David Lloyd Clubs is Europe’s largest racquets, health and fitness operator with around 100 clubs in the UK and sites within Holland, Spain and Belgium. David Lloyd Clubs has over 7000 employees with a membership numbering 500,000. The business has enjoyed rapid expansion over the past year opening new clubs in Newbury, Colchester, Antwerp, Glasgow and Madrid and has recently purchased 16 Virgin Active clubs that are due to open later this year.

David Lloyd promotes succession and provides opportunities for every employee to develop within the organisation. Wherever possible, David Lloyd Clubs promotes from within and are committed to developing their people. With excellent on-job training, along with structured skills training, flexible working, it is no surprise that in 2017 David Lloyd made The Sunday Times ‘30 Best Big Companies To Work For’ list. With an impressive long-term growth plan and continued European expansion, David Lloyd needed a recruitment software solution that could scale as they continue to grow. 

Recruitment Challenge

Before 2014 David Lloyd Clubs had been hiring primarily through one particular outsourcing provider. “We used to pay a large annual retainer to an outsourcing company”, explains Jos Male, Recruitment Executive at David Lloyd, “Given our growth plans, we had three key criteria we needed a recruitment platform to fulfil.” These were:
• To reduce cost of hire
• To improve the candidate experience.
“We wanted to prove to candidates why we are an employer of choice, and an excellent candidate experience was critical to that,” explains Male.
• Finally, David Lloyd needed a solution that could suit their comapny model- where the hiring process is handled almost entirely at the discretion of the individual clubs.

Essentially, the central recruitment team support and oversee the strategic recruitment decisions and employer branding. “Eploy ticked all the boxes we needed,” explains Male. Central to the decisions to choose Eploy was the flexible Hiring Manager Portal. Giving hiring managers access to the main recruiter modules was not an ideal scenario. This dedicated portal meant that David Lloyd could implement Eploy and keep their federal hiring structure.

The Results

Three years on, Eploy is continuing to tick the boxes and support David Lloyd’s recruitment strategy. “Within the first year of implementing Eploy, we lowered our recruitment agency retainer”, says Male, “by year two we removed it completely”.

By dramatically reducing David Lloyd’s need for agency suppliers, they gained more control over their hiring process. 70% of all hires now come directly through Eploy. Also, the cost savings are significant. The average cost of hire for candidates that come directly to David Lloyd is 98% less than those that come through an agency.

Part of this dramatic cost reduction comes as a result of the Eploy powered, SEO optimised careers site https://careers.davidlloyd.co.uk/.

“Of the staff we hired in 2016, 70% were sourced directly from our website. So we know that the site and our jobs are structured well to attract candidates directly from search engines”, said Male. The site managed 64,000 candidate applications in 2016, so there has been no drop in volume since switching from our previous reliance on agency partners.

“Our next biggest candidate source is through a specific generalist job board”, continued Male. “To ensure we are giving candidates the best possible candidate experience, we direct them to our careers site from the job board.”

Using Eploy’s Hiring Manager Portal, David Lloyd had a system that fitted their - company structure. “Our clubs have complete control over their hiring,” explains Male. Eploy’s Hiring Manager Portal is designed specifically for use by Hiring Managers, and cuts out many of the complexities of giving Hiring Managers access to a full recruitment system.

The Future

The future looks rosy for David Lloyd. Their expansion plans will see them continuing to open new clubs, both in the UK and overseas. Central to the business development plan is the recruitment strategy.

“Eploy has been tremendous in supporting our recruitment targets,” said Male.
Moving forward, David Lloyd has three key objectives for the future.

First, to continue to develop the careers site, and continually improve the candidate experience with additional case studies and video content.

Second, to continue to nurture talent and progress hires through the organisation quickly. Identifying and attracting the right talent is, therefore, key.

Third to continue to be an employer of choice. “Eploy is fundamental to our ability to achieve each of these goals,” said Male.


Eploy Chief Technology Officer, Chris Bogh comments: “We are extremely proud to have supported the team at David Lloyd over the past three years. David Lloyd’s ambitions and values around being an employer of choice is something we are equally passionate about, and we will continue to support David Lloyd as they pursue their expansion plans. We are proud that the flexibility of Eploy’s cloud-based recruitment software can simultaneously drive their employer brand, reduce the cost of hire and fit their company structure.”

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