What’s the first thing you do when you need to engage a qualified expert to carry out a job which is beyond your capabilities? For many people, it’s turning to Checkatrade, a directory of trusted tradespeople who have been vetted and monitored to the company’s robust standards. Simply having a Checkatrade listing instils confidence in consumers and, combined with THAT jingle, it’s no wonder that the brand has grown exponentially since its inception in 1998.
Right now, Checkatrade is enjoying exciting internal growth, after recently relocating to enviably fabulous new offices in Portsmouth’s Lakeside, the company has multiple roles across all functions.
But unlike most businesses, the team at Checkatrade have taken a very tech-led approach to finding candidates – which enables them to both improve the human side of hiring and to build a strong employee value proposition. This talent solution saw Checkatrade implement Eploy, a new applicant tracking system (ATS) and launch a brand new careers site, while also creating the collaborative Checkatrade Recruitment Team which comprises of an internal recruiter, an on-site Optamor recruiter and a team from Talentful which deals with vacancies in London.
The joy of Eploy
For those unfamiliar, an ATS is a system in which job ads, applications, interviews, responses and eventual offers are all hosted, in a bid to streamline the recruitment process by providing a transparent record of everything related to that vacancy in one place. With such growth, it’s key for Checkatrade to have access to technology which offers a more defined recruitment roadmap.
The benefits of this are obvious: it allows faster time-to-hire by removing disjointed tasks while improving communication and the quality of information provided. Additionally, it ensures a consistent candidate experience as all hiring managers and members of the Checkatrade Recruitment Team, no matter where they are based, have access to the same tools and use the same procedures.
A self-serve system like Eploy also enables continuous improvement, offering visibility of recruitment metrics, so hiring managers can pull reports to see what’s working, what isn’t and adjust where necessary to further enhance the candidate’s journey. You could say it might revolutionise Checkatrade’s entire hiring strategy.
Speaking about the changes, Checkatrade’s Chief People Officer, John Frith, said: “We are at a really exciting phase in our journey and Eploy will enable a streamlined recruitment process and an amazing candidate journey as we continue to grow. It’s going to change the way we hire because it will offer our applicants a better candidate experience.
“For hiring managers,” he continued, “having a system where all applicants can be seen in one place along with automation will speed up our time to hire, which is just what we need as we continue to grow.”
A new careers site
The importance of an appealing careers site can never be underestimated – it serves as a shop window to the company, showcasing all that is great about working at Checkatrade to tempt the best talent to apply. In fact, the careers pages are often the first touch point a potential new employee will have with a company, after learning of a vacancy, so they should contain content which best reflects the brand. The site also needs to offer a slick and easy user experience, as applicants will abandon applications if the process is clunky and arduous.
The main aim of Checkatrade’s new careers site is to enhance attraction and present an image which is more representative of the brand (did you see the photos of Checkafest?). Naturally, Eploy sits behind the site so that the Checkatrade Recruitment Team can easily process the applications and consult the hiring managers.
The revised careers site will help Checkatrade build strong brand awareness, and provide information about the company culture and benefits, not simply about the roles, to help applicants visualise themselves as employees.
The effects internally
Training on the new system has already taken place among hiring managers and key stakeholders and the early response has been extremely positive. Attending the sessions, Claire Proudlove, Optamor’s Director of Project & Performance Services, commented that of all of the deployments she’s been involved with, at Checkatrade she witnessed the highest proportion of hiring managers turning up for face-to-face training.
“I think this speaks volumes about Checkatrade’s culture,” Claire said, “that they’re happy to learn and are really engaged in the business; they want to do this, they want to take responsibility for it.”
What’s clearly understood is the message that this technology isn’t here to replace jobs, but to enhance them and make the hiring role much more interesting. Removing repetitive and administrative tasks frees up time to develop relationships with applicants and encourages more human interaction - allowing the Checkatrade Recruitment Team to really understand candidates and ensure the absolute best person is progressed – something which correlates nicely with the company strapline: Where Reputation Matters. These new tools will enable all of the team to better embody this sentiment; consistent and streamlined processes boosts the recruitment team’s reputation and ensures that hires equally are the right fit for Checkatrade.
Creating the CheckaCandidate Experience
Checkatrade is a big, recognisable brand with – as mentioned previously – an amazing new office. It could easily use its reputation to pull in candidates, so why did they want to make such drastic technological changes?
Simply put, it’s about creating the ‘CheckaCandidate Experience’ – offering a seamless and stress-free journey from application to offer. Both Eploy and the careers site will help power this experience, while also allowing for more strategic decision-making among the team internally.
Ultimately, the new approach is reflective of Checkatrade’s own mission and strapline. It’s easy to draw parallels between how Checkatrade verifies tradespeople to the highest standard and how Eploy will enable hiring managers to do the same with candidates – ensuring that the right people are placed in the right roles - because, as we know, reputation matters.