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Transform HR with Modernised Focus on Candidate


Candidate experience needs to be the number one priority for recruiters looking to transform their recruitment approaches and hire the best candidates, according to a Metropolitan Police HR provider.

Morag Gardner, Director of Operational HR and Payroll at Shared Services Connected Ltd delivering services to the Metropolitan Police, was speaking at a session organised by e-recruitment pioneers WCN at the In House Recruitment Expo in London.

“Getting to the end of application forms to join the police form can feel really tough to candidates because they felt long and asked for a lot of information. We could see that more needed to be done to keep candidates enthused and so made candidate experience a core focus of our work helping to modernise and transform the Met’s recruitment processes,” she explained.

Gardner explained how the Met Police have focused on simplifying the approaches used by the Met in online application forms to be simplified and standardised into one user friendly candidate interface. The force – which covers an area of 620 square miles and a population of 7.2 million – now uses technology to streamline end-to-end recruitment focused on great candidate & line manager experiences.

“From the linguistics that we use to ask questions to the layout of the pages we ask candidates to fill in. Our approach to online is all about moving away from the old application packs and having a clean, simple, modern and transparent system that offers candidates great engagement throughout their application journey and provides hiring managers with the key information they need. This attention to candidate experience should be a recruiter’s number one priority,” Gardner remarked.

The transformation of Met Police recruiting seems to have paid dividends with 100% of candidates rating their experience as good to excellent and a number of people sharing the application pages using social media to encourage others to apply.

Hiring managers also realise the benefits reporting a reduced time taken to create vacancies, lower costs for time investment in recruiting and more interest in dedicated events to help build talent pools and ensure great candidate experiences.

“With WCN’s help, we can engage candidates more actively using the online portal, make use of dynamic dashboards and real-time reporting to truly measure our success, focus more on diversity to ensure the service is representative of the many cultures that make up London and to some degree accelerate the time to hire for our forces,” Gardner added.

Management intelligence was one area that Gardner singled out as an area of continued exploration to help further strengthen candidate experience scores.

WCN CEO Charles Hipps gave a short presentation to explore the potential of big data in helping recruiters like the Met to do this explaining that knowing what worked well in the past can help to fine-tune the types of candidates that carry high favour within a firm. He said the benefits to recruitment include:

  • Saving recruiters time
  • Getting to the top candidates first
  • Finding a needle in a haystack
  • Reducing bias and increasing diversity.