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Action on attraction

How Scottish Widows bank has re-evaluated its recruitment process

Scottish Widows Bank celebrated its 10th year last year. Looking back over the growth from a team of about 15 people to an expanding division of over 350, it is understandable that recruit-ment of the right people has presented us with one of our biggest challenges.

As Lloyds TSB Group continues to focus on its people practices and its journey towards a high-performance organisation, Scottish Widows Bank has reacted by re-evalu- ating its approach to recruiting the best people from an already competitive Scottish market.

The natural starting point for any re-evaluation of recruitment processes is to look at the existing pool of high-quality staff and examine what makes them so successful and driven. From this point, we have been able to put together a recruitment profile which includes not just desired skills but also underlying behaviours and attitude.

The resulting analysis has led to a full overhaul of our recruitment techniques, from initial “attraction” right through to final selection.

This, in turn, of course, required us to examine our recruitment advertising strategy. By increasing the variety of the mediums used, with a particular focus on online, we now concentrate more on selling ourselves as a company and brand along with the opportunities we offer rather than simply just the job in question. This allows us to establish a more comprehensive way of communicating to potential candidates.

Our message to potential candidates has changed, too. We make it clear that what drives our success is staff who thrive on teamworking and, above all, who focus on providing first-class customer service.

The result is not just higher response levels to our ads but an increase in the number of good-quality candidates with the right skills, experience and attitude.

We focus on getting to know candidates earlier on in the recruitment process and extended our selection criteria to asses not just their skills and previous experience but also their behaviours.

From outset, we were confident that our new process would enable us to identify the best people early in any recruitment campaign. The time invested in extending our phone interview reduced the need for high volumes of lengthy face-to-face interviews, saving both our interviewers’ and candidates’ valuable time.

Our ultimate aim was to design a recruitment process that was built on our corporate values and would help us to attract and retain high quality, customer focused, members of staff. Did it work?

Well, recent campaign analysis has shown that Scottish Widows Bank has recruited more people in less time with relevant skills and experience. But more importantly, we have attracted people with the attitude and ability to achieve our corporate values and thereby help Lloyds TSB Group and Scottish Widows Bank build on its success.


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Istarted my career at General Accident in York in 1968 in the annuities department before moving into what became more familiar sales roles and progressing to more senior management roles around the UK. Between 1990 and 1997, I held the position of assistant general manager of GA, creating the first true multi-channel sales and marketing […]

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