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Customer Story: Energus

Transforming assessment
centres at Energus

Like many organisations, Covid-19 presented the graduate recruitment team at Energus with an immediate challenge; how to make the best recruitment decisions in a contact-free environment.

Energus is responsible for managing and delivering a number of different future talent programmes on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) including the training programme, ‘nucleargraduates’, a scheme aimed at finding the brightest and best young talent to help shape the future of this important industry. The final selection stage for each programme has been delivered face-to-face. Candidates are assessed against key competencies via a range of activities, as well as having the opportunity to meet and engage with key stakeholders.

The Objective
Contact-free recruitment

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic Energus needed to quickly transfer the final stage assessment to a fully virtual experience. Halting the recruitment programme was not an option and any solution need to address the following key questions:

  • How to retain rigour and fairness of recruitment decisions in a virtual environment?
  • How to deliver a virtual candidate experience that offered the same level of engagement, insight and opportunity to meet key stakeholders and demonstrate their talent, as the in-person event?
  • How to manage the virtual process efficiently and with confidence on the part of the team of assessors?

“Initially we viewed the introduction of virtual assessment centres as a solution to continue with vital recruitment during the nationwide lockdown. After running several centres, we realised the benefits of these centres were far greater. Administrative costs have been dramatically reduced and travel costs for assessors and candidates completely removed.”

Anna Byrne, Graduate Recruitment & Selection Lead, Energus

The Solution
Engaging Virtual Assessment Centres

Having looked at several different technologies, we were proud to be chosen by Energus to use our Digital Assessment Centre technology. Our digital assessment centre technology can be deployed in face-to-face assessment centres, or in conjunction with video conferencing technology (Zoom, MS Teams etc) for a fully virtual assessment experience, allowing candidates and assessors to interact with each other in the same way as an in-person event.

The technology allowed Energus to lift existing assessment centre methods to a 100% virtual solution, without needing to reengineer the assessment centre or sacrifice the integrity of the existing process. The system allows all aspects of scheduling, assessment, data capture and reporting in one cohesive, secure solution.

Sova worked with the central team at Energus to implement their assessment content into the system and provide training to ensure the process worked as smoothly as possible.

“Virtual assessment centres will enable more applicants to participate and be considered for roles on our programmes. Removing the need to travel to an assessment centre and reducing the centre to one day, will allow candidates with disabilities, those with jobs or caring responsibilities or those who do not feel confident visiting a fourstar hotel to attend. Candidates at the centres we have ran to date are performing extremely well as they are simply more comfortable at home than in an unknown venue.”

Anna Byrne, Graduate Recruitment & Selection Lead, Energus

The Result
An efficient and inclusive process

Energus have now hosted several virtual assessment centres and believe that the technology has successfully transformed their recruitment programme. Furthermore, the process itself of having to pivot at speed, test new technology and feel confident in the hiring decisions being made, has acted as a catalyst for change in the recruitment team. The team are excited to continue the path of innovation, seeking ways to enhance and improve the programme as a whole.

The virtual assessment centre has had a significant impact on the recruitment team and has addressed all of the challenges (and more) set at the outset of the project, including:

Candidate experience

The team were able to deliver a human experience for the applicants, despite the virtual nature of the assessment centre. From the comfort of their own home, these early career applicants were able to meet the team and key stakeholders via video, who provided insight about the role and the programme and put them at ease about the whole process.

Assessor efficiency and confidence

Naturally there’s always concern about using new technology to deliver an important initiative, but feedback from the team has been that the virtual experience has been transformative, and the system is intuitive and easy to use. They are spending less time on the administration of the Centre and can instead focus on the job of assessing and looking after candidates. With data collection and analysis directly in the system, there’s no need for paper, instead it’s all captured securely in one system. Feedback reports for each candidate are automatically created, providing personalised insight based on their results.

Alignment with the organisation’s green agenda

Typically a paper-heavy process, the transition to virtual means Energus how have a much more environmentally friendly process. Removing the need for candidates and assessors to travel also aligns strongly with their green credentials.

Social mobility

Perhaps one of the more surprising outcomes has been the positive impact on social mobility. Attending a face-to-face assessment centre is a daunting prospect for most people, particularly those early on in their careers. Add to this the cost of travel which is incurred up front for the individual, perhaps having to invest in a new suit or lacking access to support and guidance on the etiquette and nuances of in-person events, for many, these are barriers too high to overcome. The virtual assessment centre experience addresses these barriers, opening up the talent pool and boosting the diversity of future talent.

The team have a busy schedule of recruitment activity throughout the year, including their graduate programmes and the virtual assessment centre will continue to play a vital role in selecting the engineers, scientists, business minds, managers and financial experts, all of whom are so essential to the future of this sector.

Changing assessment for good
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