As part of their people and culture strategy, Nationwide Building Society planned to revisit its recruitment process including content and delivery. As the review coincided with COVID-19, the business chose to invest in a fully virtual process that will be sustainable for the society’s new talent model, which is borderless geographically, enabling Nationwide to recruit and promote talent regardless of location.
Nationwide Building Society is a British mutual financial institution, the seventh largest cooperative financial institution and the largest building society in the world with over 15 million members. Its headquarters are in Swindon, UK. Nationwide’s new recruitment process has resulted in more diverse hiring, time savings and cost savings, and has achieved objectives tied to sustainability, talent pooling and candidate experience. Having implemented the solution across industrial, tech, and graduate roles, Nationwide has achieved a 76% pass rate at assessment centre, 57% white / 43% ethnically diverse hires and 56% male / 44% female hires.
In total the business estimates that 867 people hours have been saved in total from implementing a fully automated end to end recruitment process and that Nationwide has saved approximately £80,000.00 due to usage of the Sova platform.
The Nationwide talent team had already planned to review the recruitment process for emerging talent with the goal of updating the content and making the process smoother for candidates and for recruiters. The team found that recruiters were spending a lot of time and energy on tech workarounds to improve the journey for the candidate. The new approach would free up recruiters from manual administrative work.
However, during the process of reviewing the current recruitment journey it became clear that conducting a wider review would be more beneficial.
In other parts of the business, such as customer contact centres, there was an opportunity to improve the process in order to give a more realistic job
preview. Then, as the global pandemic unfolded, Nationwide decided to create a process that was more sustainable in view of its new business model which meant embracing a more virtual approach to work and therefore to the hiring process.
The solution needed to address three objectives:
Sova worked with Nationwide to provide an end-to-end platform solution to support all stages of the selection process for customer facing, graduate, and contact centre hiring. A two-stage selection process combines bespoke blended online assessments using personality, situational judgement and learnability plus a one-way video interview, followed by a virtual assessment centre.
Nationwide’s team co-created the approach with Sova through a process of working groups, feedback sessions, and workshops so that the solution was thoroughly checked and tested. There was a focus on sustainability of the solution as well as an improvement in the overall experience for candidates and recruiters.
Candidates enter through an interactive homepage which includes interactive video and imagery, providing candidates with an immersive and engaging assessment experience and a realistic job preview. The online assessment is a seamless process for candidates, conducted on one platform and in one sitting.
Candidates are asked to provide video-based responses to two or three questions. This allows for increased flexibility for candidates as they can complete this any time and are not restricted by working hours. The content of the video interview is personalised, including videos of current Nationwide Building Society employees asking the questions.
Virtual assessment event
The virtual assessment centre is more accessible for candidates who
historically wouldn’t have been available to travel as well as offering increased flexibility for candidates and managers. The process is also more sustainable given Nationwide’s business and talent plan. Candidates and assessors participate in a virtual assessment centre using Sova’s Digital Assessment Centre platform and Microsoft Teams. Timetabling and logistics are all configured within the platform, making it a manageable and seamless process for recruiters and candidates.
Candidates receive an automated feedback report with development tips on two strength areas and one development area based on their completion of the assessment. Candidates also receive an automated feedback report based on their performance at the assessment centre.
To find out more about the work we have done with Nationwide, and how we can help transform the recruitment process for you and your candidates, watch our on-demand panel discussion within the Sova Community platform.
"Our aim was to adapt our current recruitment assessment methods to an online, virtual platform. One that would enable an excellent candidate and hiring manager experience, whilst ensuring we deliver our hiring requirements and inclusion and diversity strategy."
Head of Resourcing Delivery at Nationwide Building Society
The refreshed hiring process for Nationwide has been well received by candidates, hiring managers and the leadership team. The approach is fully validated to predict performance within Nationwide with analysis showing that the assessment was 89% accurate at correctly identifying exceptional performers (based on overall performance) in the role and seven times more accurate than a traditional unstructured interview.
The team has received positive candidate feedback at every stage. For example, 97% of candidates found the assessment engaging, 94% agreed the assessment gave them a positive impression of Nationwide.
The approach has addressed Nationwide’s objectives: