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Innovating Through Adversity: TUI’s Transformative Talent Strategy
TUI transformed their approach to candidate assessment in the midst of pandemic uncertainty. Now it gets the right people into role quickly and efficiently, while delivering the TUI brand.
Here’s how Sova helped them do it.
An award-winning partnership
TUI Group is one of the world’s leading tourism groups. Head-quartered in Germany, TUI has 21 million customers across 180+ destinations, and a 60,000 strong workforce.
In 2020, the global pandemic brought the travel industry to its knees. TUI was no exception to this as travel restrictions and flight suspensions wreaked havoc on the organisation and brought operations almost to a halt.
Their immediate priority was to safely return all customers home. The next priority was to reduce costs to a minimum in order to survive as a business, which included staff cuts and furloughs.
In 2021, TUI began to look ahead to rebuilding their workforce and recovering from the impact of the pandemic. This presented a huge challenge. TUI was now working with a reduced headcount and the pre-pandemic hiring processes for volume campaigns were no longer fit for purpose, due to:
- Heavy reliance on manual screening, and costly physical Assessment Days
- Inconsistent process across markets for the same roles
- No integration with an ATS
- Multiple local suppliers
TUI required a future-proof supplier that integrated with SuccessFactors ATS, created a superior candidate experience, increased recruiter productivity, increased conversions and reduced time to hire, while reducing costs compared to their pre-pandemic processes.
A main driver of the decision to go with Sova was the flexibility of the platform across all parts of the assessment process and the Candidate portal that hosts the entire recruitment journey in one place.
Another key driver was the Virtual Assessment Centre functionality, together with a self-service booking tool for candidates. Alongside the use of bespoke Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) for each role, enabling automated screening of candidates on their ability to analyse the situation, identify the most appropriate course of action, and demonstrate the competencies required for the role.
Overall, Sova provided a value-added, all-inclusive solution, that gave a premium candidate experience.
Nice that different scenarios emerge with what can happen before and on board. Gives you a real idea of how you would approach this. Great assessment!
- Candidate Feedback
Hiring in large volumes, it was vital that Sova enabled TUI to assess candidates at scale, without compromising on effectiveness or candidate experience. The project set up largely consisted of 3 stages:
- Situational judgement test (SJT) combined with a Personality Assessment mapped to the TUI competency framework for each role
- Language Assessment
- Assessment Centre or Video Interview
TUI saw 50,000 applicants enter the first stage, from which 15,000 candidates would progress to the final Virtual Interview or Assessment Centre, of which 3,500 would be offered a role.
In the post-pandemic world, these volumes would have been near impossible using TUI’s legacy hiring process. Sova’s automated, virtual process enables candidates to complete the process in just one week from application, instead of the previous 8 weeks. This is critical when competing for talent in a challenging market.
Each stage of the process is tracked and measured for effectiveness, fairness and candidate experience so that TUI can continue to optimise and improve, to find and retain the best talent.
The Sova platform is now an integral part of our volume hiring process and provides candidates with a far superior experience. The feedback from candidates is invaluable and we continue to work closely with the Sova team to enhance the platform and sharpen our processes for the future.
- Helen Williams, Talent Acquisition Manager and Project Lead, TUI
This was the first time TUI had shifted to a virtual recruitment process at scale – accelerated by the pandemic. Despite this, candidates reported an overwhelmingly positive experience of the TUI recruitment process:
- 85% gave high NPS of 9 or 10 ‘how likely are you to recommend TUI as a future employer.
- 95% of candidates agreed/strongly agreed that the assessment gave them a positive impression of TUI
- 85% of candidates agreed that the assessment gave them a good insight into the role
- 86% of those who started the online assessment completed it
- 88% of those who started the VI or AC completed it – both statistics are best in class.
Since these initial campaigns, TUI’s recruitment has gone from strength to strength. The 2022-23 campaigns (including Childcare, Cabin Crew, and Ski Reps) saw even more positive outcomes:
- 94% of those who started the assessment, completed it
- 93% agreed that the assessment was engaging and gave a positive impression of TUI
- 89% would recommend TUI as a future employer, based on the recruitment process
- 9.2 average NPS score
These statistics indicate not only an engaging online assessment process that is getting the right people into role swiftly and efficiently, but one that is also delivering the TUI employer brand.
Since launch, the TUI<>Sova Assessment partnership has expanded significantly. TUI are now using the platform across Retail, Contact Centre, Pilots and continue to expand in Early Talent across the UK, Europe and the USA. Since launch over 85,000 candidates have been assessed, resulting in 10,000 hires.
Candidate Assessment Award Gold Winner - IHR Awards 2023
This award recognises TUI's in-house recruitment team who have successfully set up a new assessment process, leading to improved hiring results.
Candidate Assessment Award: Talint Tiara Awards 2023
This Award recognises the most innovative and effective candidate assessment solution that meets the needs of the organisation’s talent strategy and leads to improved hiring results.
TUI experienced a significant transformation in its recruitment process, swiftly adopting a digital approach due to the pandemic's impact. This change introduced a tailored, multi-dimensional candidate journey.
The Best Use of Technology Award: Tiara Talent Acquisition Awards 2023
This award recognises the most effective and impactful use of technology within talent acquisition either through implementing a unique, new tech solution or using existing tech in an innovative way.