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Customer Story: Santander

Bringing precision and
personalisation to volume assessment

Working in partnership with Alexander Mann Solutions, we have designed and delivered a series of bespoke, blended, mobile-enabled online assessments to help Santander identify the most suitable candidates for key Branch and Contact Centre roles and their Emerging Talent programme.

“We were looking for an assessment solution that would provide better quality screening, whilst also delivering a seamless, engaging and more candidate-centric experience.”

Hema Bakhshi, Resourcing Strategy & Innovation Lead, HR, Santander UK

The Objective
Better quality screening

In early 2016, Santander was looking for a new assessment solution for volume hiring across key Branch and Contact Centre roles and for their Emerging Talent programme.

They were already using psychometric assessment in their recruitment, but the existing tests were four years old, delivered via a lengthy two-stage process, and didn’t assess candidates against the new Santander behaviours. So, in order to ensure they were screening current candidates effectively, they needed to either update their existing solution or find a new one.

Santander wanted a solution that gives a more precise assessment of candidate suitability by assessing candidates against both the role requirements and Santander’s new behaviour framework, as well as providing a more efficient and engaging candidate experience. They also wanted an assessment optimised for mobile devices, as they are looking to create a fully mobile-enabled end-to-end application process in early 2017.


The Solution
Bespoke, blended and seamless

Our solution was to design and deliver a bespoke, blended online assessment for each role, which combines cognitive ability and situational judgement questions relevant to the individual role requirements and key behaviours. Each assessment is mobile-optimised so candidates can complete their assessment on any device and in any location of their choice.

We integrated the Sova assessments with Santander’s applicant tracking system, Lumesse TalentLink. This makes the assessment process simpler and more automated for the recruiter, as everything is in one system, and easier for candidates, as they don’t need to remember multiple logins or links to complete the various stages of their application.

Through the TalentLink integration, Santander can also access the candidates’ assessment results. The assessment data includes an overall suitability fit score and profile breakdown by competency for each candidate; this enables Santander to identify the most suitable candidates to take through to the next stage. They can also generate personalised candidate reports that give objective feedback on the key behavioural areas measured, ensuring the assessment process is open, fair and meaningful for the candidates.

“The results so far confirm that the new assessments provide a predictive and efficient method of successfully identifying strong candidates early in the recruitment process. I look forward to seeing the longer term impact on quality of hire, attrition, hiring manager satisfaction and candidate experience.”

Hema Bakhshi, Resourcing Strategy & Innovation Lead, HR, Santander UK

The Result
Better quality and more engaged candidates

Santander launched the new assessments in October and, whilst it’s too early to identify more tangible longterm results, they are already noticing some of the key benefits of the new assessments:

  • Better quality of candidate: the more precise assessment of candidate suitability, focused on Santander’s new behavioural framework, is leading to a higher standard of candidate going through to the later stages of the recruitment process. As confirmed by the pilot, 84-90% of individuals predicted by the assessments to be high performers were also independently rated as high performers by their line managers.
  • Reduction in assessment time and lower candidate drop out: by replacing a lengthy two-stage process with a single blended assessment and more engaging candidate experience, we have reduced the time it takes candidates to complete the assessment stage. This will have a positive impact on the overall time-to-hire, as well as lower the candidate drop out rate between stages.
  • Better approach to diversity: initial results show negligible adverse impact in terms of gender and age, indicating that the new assessments provide a fairer method of sifting applicants compared to Santander’s previous process.
Changing assessment for good
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