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calendarMay 10, 2023

Implementing a fair global hiring process while driving down technology costs

Vodafone’s talent acquisition team transformed their global assessment process to improve consistency, fairness and candidate experience.

Here's how Sova helped them do it.

Business Background

Vodafone is transforming its global operating model to be digital-first and now needs to attract a new kind of talent. Digitalising and optimising the global talent assessment process is an essential part of this strategy.


Vodafone is a complex, global organisation, in which local markets retain a large degree of autonomy. This can make global change and alignment challenging. Many local markets process tens of thousands of applicants per programme with their own mix of assessments and platforms, resulting in an inconsistent and disjointed experience for both candidates and hiring managers. In many cases no assessment was used at all, and line manager interviews were relied on entirely. This left hiring decisions open to bias and inconsistency.

The Vodafone team was clear that they wanted rigour, easy central access to data, and to save time and costs. They wanted global consistency with multiple language versions, and to consolidate the 60 assessments and 4 platforms that were in play. The team wanted to democratise assessment so that it could be used for all levels and markets, improving the quality of hiring decisions and reducing bias. Finally, Vodafone wanted every candidate to receive personalised, developmental feedback.

Why Sova?

Vodafone were excited by the ease of use of the Sova platform. They liked that all the different elements of the assessment process would be housed in one, unified platform that could be deployed globally. This would allow Vodafone to set mandatory global assessments, while taking into account the nuances between markets.

We’ve already had positive feedback from our innovation team. They like that it’s digital as it’s aligned to our strategy to become a digital first company. They like the reports and that all the data is stored in one place, they like having the guidance and support.

- James Butler, Senior Resourcing Partner - Digital at Vodafone UK

Sova’s commercial model was central to their decision making. Unlike other assessment platforms, an unlimited subscription with Sova is not constrained by software licenses or assessment credits. This meant that hiring teams across their global organisation could adopt the technology at scale and pace. Vodafone knew this would allow their recruitment processes to become fairer and more consistent globally than ever before.


The Sova platform solution, designed in collaboration with Talent Acquisition teams across Vodafone’s markets, creates an end-to-end, fully integrated, digital experience. Candidates are progressed through an immersive experience which including multimedia content and digital assessments including gamified assessments, situational judgement and behavioural questions.

All assessments are aligned to Vodafone’s competency model and Spirit behaviours and available in 10 languages. The Discover programme is Vodafone’s largest, assessing thousands of candidates globally every year for graduate, internship and apprentice roles. This programme sees higher-scoring candidates automatically progressed through to video interviews (scored using AI) and a virtual assessment centre.

A variety of assessment journeys were configured, allowing smart workflow automation to present relevant assessments and content to the candidate based on the job role and location. At the relevant point, candidates can schedule an appropriate time for their assessment centre and log back into the same platform to participate. Unique reports are automatically generated for each candidate to provide quick yet considered feedback using gentle language and including development activities.

The Sova platform is also integrated with SAP Success Factors, an applicant tracking system, allowing Vodafone to have a single point of truth for all candidate information.

Feedback on the recruitment journey has been really, really, positive. Even with the move to remote it is exponentially better. Candidates feel more connected to Vodafone. They are kept informed, they can contact us at the touch of a button, they can really see how the questions reflect what we are looking for. The online assessment also sets them up for success at the assessment centre. 
Aidan McCarthy, Head of Talent Acquisition and Employer Brand at Vodafone in Ireland


The pilot saw 65,000 candidates progress in a 6 month period and feedback from candidates and internal stakeholders was very positive. Here are the highlight outcomes so far:

  • A significant reduction in technology cost as a result of streamlining assessment use across the business from 60 assessments across 4 platforms to Sova’s unified platform.
  • A significant reduction in candidate queries as a result of the easy-to-use platform interface, allowing the Talent Acquisition team to focus on higher-value activities.
  • Talent-focused analytics is quicker and more accurate than before, thanks to easy access to central data. Assessment data can be easily linked to performance data for future comparisons.
  • Candidates now have a fair and consistent recruitment process, thanks to a structured assessment programme with user training.
  • The use of AI scored video interviews has reduced the previously seen difference in interview scores for males and females as well as younger and older applicants, when using human assessors.
  • A significant reduction in HR admin time, due to automated workflows and candidate self-scheduler for assessment centres.
  • 83% of candidates agreed or strongly agreed that the assessment process gave a positive impression of Vodafone.
  • 74% agreed or ‘strongly agreed’ that they found the assessments engaging.

A fair and consistent global hiring process

Since the launch of their Sova Assessment Experience, Vodafone have achieved:

1200% more candidates assessed
The first 6 months saw a 1200% increase in the number of candidates assessed, enabling Vodafone to process 65,000 candidates.
66% reduction in assessor time
Vodafone reduced recruiter time by 66% by using Sova's AI solution to automatically score and rank video interviews.
60 assessments across 4 platforms conslidated into 1
A significant reduction in technology cost as a result of streamlining assessment use across the business from 60 assessments across 4 platforms to Sova’s unified platform.
83% of candidates got a positive impression of Vodafone
83% of candidates agreed or strongly agreed that the assessment process gave a positive impression of Vodafone.
74% found the assessments engaging
Nearly 3/4 of candidates agreed or strongly agreed that they found the assessments engaging.