Platform Housing Group case study
Customer Service Recruitment Project 2020
Hewett Recruitment were delighted to be selected as recruitment partners for a specific project to recruit 14 Customer Service individuals to start work June and July 2020. Having worked with Platform Housing for many years, Platform were confident that we could deliver the quality candidates they were looking for, whilst supporting their employer brand by looking after the candidates throughout the process.
- Recruit 14 Customer Service individuals for 6 and 12 month fixed-term contracts. All must be available to start immediately.
- The entire recruitment process is to be remote, via telephone and video
- All successful candidates will work remotely for the entirety of the contract. Given the remote nature of the role, candidates would need to be confident, independent people who would work with little supervision and who would not be afraid to ask questions.
- We also agreed that to be able to hit the ground running as much as possible and have the best chance of success, they would need to have recent phone-based customer service experience. Training on the organisation and processes would be possible virtually, but they couldn’t be trained from the ground up. This gave consultants a clear idea of ‘who’ they were looking for.
So what did the remote recruitment process look like?
Firstly, the whole process was agreed up front and has largely been stuck to throughout. Something we have always found to be important to candidates is managing expectations of what the process will look like and how long it will take. In this case, one really important point was that start dates would be within days of offer, so candidates needed to be ready to start immediately.
We advertised the role widely promoting the Platform Housing brand to really help drive interest in the position and support their employer brand. This was completed over various social media platforms, targeted to the ‘ideal candidate’ to ensure the top talent was reached.
At Hewett Recruitment, our specialist consultants shortlisted from over 400 applications, plus our own database to ensure that Platform were only receiving CV’s of candidates already qualified for the job (approx. 3 CV’s per vacancy).
We ensured that every candidate received a response, even if to say that they would not be suitable. This is key to protecting the employer brand of Platform by making the candidate experience a positive one, no matter what the outcome.
The shortlisting process involved a telephone conversation with individuals, followed by a video interview. This part of the process has been tightened up, so we regularly will ask a candidate on a phone interview if we can flip the call straight into a video meeting.
The shortlisted CV’s were submitted to Platform and candidates were selected for a first stage telephone role play. This was a really useful way of quickly assessing candidates suitability for the role as it was about as close as you could get to a real life scenario, and given this was the first exposure Platform Housing staff would have to each candidate, it meant there was no bias based on interview performance. Someone from Platform would call the candidate as a customer and they would need to deal with the call with the given information.
Successful applicants from the telephone roleplay were progressed to a video interview using Microsoft Teams. This took the form of competency and values based questions, providing better insight into individuals’ personality and cultural fit.
Successful candidates were then selected following this stage and start dates were within just a few days. They needed to briefly visit Platform Housing’s site to collect their computer and other equipment as all on-boarding and training would be done remotely and had been carefully planned. Successful candidates were started together in small groups of up to 4 which really helped them feel part of the wider Platform team very quickly, with the training sessions completed in these small groups via Microsoft Teams. A call-whispering technology was used to allow trainees to listen into the conversations of more experienced colleagues and to allow trainers to give the pointers once they start taking calls.
Feedback from Platform Housing's HR Business Partner:
"I would like to say thank you for the amazing service we have had from Hewett Recruitment helping us with all our Customer Service Advisor recruitment. Anthony has been brilliant, keeping me informed the whole way and super-efficient."
Overall feedback from candidates who have started has been great, one candidate said,
“The training was fantastic and even though I am working from home, I was made to feel part of the team very quickly and everyone has been so supportive. So far so good, I am really enjoying the job! ”