Linda Currey Post, Human Capital Management Cloud content strategist for Oracle Content Central, wrote in Forbes about how Britain’s Co-op food stores leveraged Oracle HCM Cloud to recruit and retain top talent that had the qualifications to do it all.
In order to work in Britain’s Co-op food stores, employees have to do a bit of everything during any given shift. To keep the Co-op convenience stores and neighborhood markets running smoothly, staffers may:
- Accept deliveries
- Unpack boxes of groceries, flowers, and household items
- Stock the shelves
- Clean up spills
- Run the registers
Staffers must handle a variety of these tasks all while welcoming customers to the store. New hires need the qualifications to do it all.
Yvonne Foster, head of resourcing services for the Co-op, says it’s hard work. It’s hard work for Foster and her team as well, who need to know how to recruit and retain top talent in the company’s 65,000 employees across the United Kingdom.
About the Co-op
The Co-op is as interesting as the people it is trying to recruit. It has been in business since 1844 and is owned by its 4.6 million members, who get a 5 percent discount in the shops and access to Co-op offerings for insurance, healthcare, and funeral services.
The company supports local charities like the Glasgow Eco Trust, which teaches children how to repair and maintain their bicycles – sharing 1 percent of profits with nonprofits selected by employees. Foster explained that the Co-op is local and aims to be truly part of the community.
Recruiting at the Co-op
In 2017, to place the right people in their food stores and to keep up with the company’s growth, Foster launched a new approach on how to recruit and retain top talent, who the company refers to as “colleagues.”
First, Foster, store managers, and other company leaders defined “What Great Looks Like” – spelling out those hard-to-define characteristics of the ideal store worker. Energetic, responsible, even-tempered, and friendly all made the list. Additional ideal qualities included people who like forging relationships, working on a team, looking out for one another, and who don’t mind working on their feet all day. Finally, the Co-op wanted to find new hires whose racial and cultural makeup reflects the communities where the Co-op stores are located.
The Old Method: Posters and Post-It Notes
Before Foster’s new approach, recruitment was in the hands of individual store managers, who typically advertised job vacancies by posting handmade “Help Wanted” posters in the store windows and tacking Post-it notes on community bulletin boards.
Not surprisingly, the posters and Post-it notes approach to recruiting was imprecise. The most basic job information like shift hours and pay rate was often missing. Additionally, most would-be candidates would never see those job vacancy notices. Foster knew that she would need to both standardize the messaging of the job announcements and broaden their reach.
The New Approach on How to Recruit and Retain Top Talent: Oracle HCM Cloud
Foster set up a team of 30 recruiters and named the function the Colleague Resourcing Service. She tasked the new group with supporting hiring managers in their quest to find ideal new hires while giving job candidates an enjoyable hiring experience.
At the time, the resourcing team needed to hire approximately 15,000 new colleagues a year just to keep up with the turnover that is typical in retail operations. With the expanding number of stores, the number is now closer to 19,000 employees every year.
Foster and the team had already selected Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud to provide consistent HR functions to the company’s growing employee population. They also included an Oracle Taleo Recruiting module to enhance the Co-op’s resourcing reach. The combination makes it easy for candidates from across the British Isles to apply for positions that the company now lists on its job posting board.
Foster later added Oracle Integration Cloud to the technology mix to move standard job descriptions and requirements in and out of the Taleo module. Then, she engaged Capgemini to create a user interface called “My Colleague Recruit” that was specially designed for Co-op store managers to customize their job announcements in about five clicks on the web application.
The idea behind the interface was that the Co-op wanted store managers to control who they hired while spending as little time as possible on the recruiting technology and process. The interface lets managers pick requirements such as job title, hours, and pay. Then, Oracle Integration Cloud matches the details to prebuilt “Help Wanted” templates and comprehensive data about Co-op hiring practices stored in Taleo. Managers can then post the completed job announcements on the Co-ops jobs website.
“Store managers have a lot of duties and want to spend as much time as possible with their teams, supporting their local communities, and keeping customers happy.”
-Amy Grange, Capgemini’s lead implementer
Luis Weir, an Oracle director and chief architect of the HCM and Oracle Integration Cloud solution that the Co-op is using, said that the Co-op and Capgemini work is a good example of the ease of extending Oracle Cloud applications.
The Co-op and Capgemini also set up the system to provide applicants with a positive recruiting experience. They can submit their application from a smartphone or computer, then they take an online psychological and job skills test. The test results help hiring managers select candidates whose backgrounds and personalities best match the job. If invited for an interview, the applicants can choose a time online to meet with the hiring manager.
The results are dramatic. Co-op stores now have an offer acceptance rate of 98 percent, which shows great progress in targeting the best-fit candidates. In every six-month period since launching the Taleo recruiting system and the online aptitude tests, the number of new hires leaving the Co-op has decreased by more than 1,000.
“Where we used to put a poster in the window, now we’re reaching more diverse, more inclusive talent and the testing makes them a better fit. We’re making recruiting a more modern, 21st-century experience.”
-Yvonne Foster, head of resourcing services for the Co-op
To learn more about how to leverage Oracle HCM Cloud to recruit and retain top talent, check out the additional resources below.
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