From becoming the world’s ﬁrst green electricity company in 1996 to kick starting the electric car revolution in Britain and turning a football club vegan, sustainability is always key – and that also applies to the people that join their team.
The Recruitment Challenge
Ecotricity has grown rapidly and organically - recruitment was focused on supporting local employment and news about jobs spread through word of mouth or by using agencies rather than strategically driven with intention. Recruitment at Ecotricity existed in the form of an administrator who placed all jobs with agencies or handled any CV’s sent in. Any shortlisting, interviewing and job offers were handled by Managers using various spreadsheets which were exceptionally difficult to manage. There was no ATS, central recruitment team, careers website or talent strategy. Costs were very high, candidate quality and speed to respond a constant problem, and complaints were regularly received.
A recruitment strategy review was completed by the newly appointed Head of People, with the support of the Board, and it had 3 main drivers:
1. Improve the candidate experience so that it reflected Ecotricity’s “working with us” experience – demonstrating the Employer Brand Value.
2. Improve the recruitment process for Managers and make it more efficient for handling CV’s, applications and the candidate journey.
3. Increase talent attraction, pipeline and capability.
Deﬁning the Recruitment Strategy
Ecotricity decided to solve these core recruitment challenges with a clearly defined recruitment strategy:
• Significantly improving the day-today hiring experience of the People Team, Managers and Candidates.
• Bringing in exceptional performers who want to join Ecotricity for the principles and ethical outlook – to be part of a team of world changers focused on sustainability.
• Developing an awesome careers site to broadcast Ecotricity employer message and support a direct sourcing model, reflecting the Ecotricity brand and tone of voice.
• Transforming the attraction, selection, offer and on-boarding processes by automating everything - delivering efficiencies and reducing the environmental impact through removing paper from the process.
• Controlling all aspects of the recruitment process with reporting and dashboards to measure candidate sourcing data, internal candidates reporting, time to hire, cost per hire and to understand associated cost savings with more direct sourcing.
• Developing a team of fantastic direct recruiters to support the strategy and build for the future.
Ecotricity’s Approach to Implementing Eploy
Ecotricity went on a process of discovery to understand their existing way of working, challenging themselves to transform it.
Firstly, they established design principles based around the review outcomes they were looking for, then documented their recruitment process to fully understand the workflow, future roles required to support the process and develop a requirements brief for selecting an ATS. More than 80 Hiring Managers were identified as involved in the recruitment process, including both high volume and infrequent recruiters. To make the recruitment process consistent Ecotricity re-mapped optimal journeys for all the different candidate types, removing duplication or inefficiencies throughout the candidate application and assessment stages.
Ecotricity looked at how their Company values could be reflected across their careers site and continuously through the recruitment process - ensuring the whole candidate experience would convey the ethos with empathy and meaning. Ecotricity designed their careers site, with help from their Communications Team, to create a seamless journey from customer site to careers site, and Eploy delivered the build for sign off.
The Eploy implementation team worked closely with Ecotricity to implement the complete e-recruitment journey from candidate application to onboarding and within 5 months it was already delivering:
• Standard Job Templates for frequent recruitment speeding up the process of raising and posting jobs, providing a more consistent approach and paperless solution. Every vacancy is tracked at each stage and recruitment approvals have been introduced.
• Online Applications and Registrations are fully automated which has vastly improved the speed to register and apply. Candidates can easily search for vacancies by brand, location, salary ranges or job category. Vacancies can be shared across social media and candidates can apply using any device. Job alert preferences have been introduced alongside a Candidate Referral Scheme for staff.
• Attracting skilled individuals with an ethical outlook across all markets and geographical areas through the careers site, positioning Ecotricity as a choice brand to work for.
• Job offers and onboarding is fully automated to manage the entire offer acceptance process online. This has meant no more paper chasing for Candidates or Hiring Managers which is greener and quicker. Ecotricity can also gather all payroll and monitoring data directly from the candidate via the Portal.
Ecotricity launched a communications programme internally with process and skills workshops for Managers, and created ‘How To’ videos for all employees hosted on their intranet. A huge effort was invested to lead from the top and demonstrate from the CEO and Founder how employees make a genuine difference with their day job with an engaging careers site video and on-boarding welcome. This acts as a positive and inspirational recruitment message aligned to the Ecotricity ethos.
"It can be daunting to approach new ways of working, especially as we were starting with a blank page in documenting all of our processes and workflows, but the Eploy team were able to demonstrate the simplicity of implementation and support us through the process, always offering solutions. This was a successful tech project that delivered on time, to scope and within budget. It really has transformed the way we work at Ecotricity and will support other transformation across our Company.”
Pam Hasson, Programme Manager - Resourcing & People Team, Ecotricity
The Results and Improvements
The project has been liberating and transformational across the wider business creating the freedom to capitalise on the Ecotricity brand and core values, and crafting their unique tone of voice aligned to the Ecotricity brand to directly attract and source candidates who are with them on the journey of sustainability and making a difference.
• Developed a robust recruitment process to deliver process and hiring efficiencies
• Improved the candidate experience so that it reflects their “working with us” experience – creating their Employer Brand Value and voice.
• Improved the recruitment process for Managers to eliminate duplication, making it more efficient for handling CV’s, applications and the candidate journey.
• Increased their talent pipeline and capability
• Had a direct impact on the productivity and performance of the business.
“We’ve recently moved to managing recruitment in house, directly through our own jobs site. The difference is amazing. We’ve seen the quality and number of suitable people improve significantly – and it’s been easy and hassle free for our teams. We’ve seen churn reduce by approximately 5% a month, absence reduce by 2% a month and successful completion of training has improved by 20%. All of this driven by our awesome new recruitment team.”
Lizzie Hieron, Customer Service Director, Ecotricity
Ecotricity have since launched an additional onboarding path to automate internal movers’ journey as well using the onboarding tools to check and reconfirm personal data. The benefits are a tailored onboarding journey for internal candidates and better data and tracking of internal career paths.
Data & Analytics
The data within Eploy eliminates guesswork and promotes collaboration with key stakeholders to share information for better business decision. Ecotricity can track recruitment performance and plan more efficiently going forward. They have seen significant cost savings through an unprecedented shift to directly hiring. Previously agencies were used for 85% of new hires and in just 5 months this is now just 14%, with the remainder coming directly either from referrals (10% after just 6 months), job boards or via the careers site. A successful employee referral scheme launched alongside, is also driving internal motivation and engagement.
Candidate and Manager Complaints have reduced to virtually nil, vacancies are filled quicker, retention of good new hires and candidate quality has rocketed. A key foundation for the Ecotricity Sustainable People agenda.
“Eco jobs transformed the way we recruit, reducing costs significantly (a business win) and established the People team’s credibility, allowing us to introduce other transformational activities. All this and the project was on time and in budget…..such a win”
Helen Hodgkinson, Head of People, Ecotricity
“Ecotricity now have complete transparency of their recruitment process, their activity and results. It was been great working with them in their new way of working, with a faster, smarter approach to recruitment with Eploy.”
Chris Bogh, Chief Technology Officer, Eploy