Lidl - The Talent Group
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Graduate recruitment case study – a crop of fresh new recruits

Since coming to the UK in 1994, Lidl has opened over 640 stores and now has nearly 20,000 employees in the UK alone.

We have worked alongside the company as it has grown in recent years, providing a diverse range of recruitment services for multiple departments. We pride ourselves on delivering a superior candidate experience whilst meeting the evolving needs of the organisation.

Lidl came to us to talk about how we could help them streamline their graduate recruitment.

The challenge

Lidl has always recruited graduates to establish a pipeline of young talent that they can develop and prepare for senior roles.

With competition in the graduate jobs market increasing, the supermarket chain was keen to attract and select the most suitable and motivated candidates for their four early talent schemes: Graduate Management Development, Junior Buyer, International Traineeship and Retail Placement.

The company was keen to provide each candidate with a streamlined and memorable recruitment experience.

The solution

For the last four years, we have supported Lidl team members at graduate recruitment fairs up and down the country to encourage prospective graduates and undergraduates to apply to the schemes. In combination with media advertising provided by OnlineMediaExperts, this helped to attract the highest calibre of candidates.

We worked closely with assessment solution provider cut-e to devise assessment material that would help to map the suitability of each candidate against Lidl’s requirements. Together we set up two tests for each scheme, which candidates would be prompted to complete once they had submitted their application and CV through the online portal. The tests measured their numerical reasoning (data processing ability) and situational judgement (how they would behave in various real life scenarios) and the results were benchmarked against existing graduate employees.

For maximum efficiency, we would only screen the CVs of the candidates who passed the tests. The most promising candidates would then go forward for a telephone interview, where our trained interviewers would assess their behaviours, motivation and communication skills against a measurable framework.

Those who passed the telephone interview stage were offered the opportunity to attend one of our assessment centres across the country.

“At the assessment centres, we supported Lidl staff to assess the graduate candidates through interviews and group exercises, designed to assess their behaviour and measure their aptitude,” explains Operations Director, Camilla Booth.

“Our applicant tracking system (ATS) helped us manage and monitor the process to ensure we met Lidl’s goal of providing candidates with a seamless recruitment experience. We understand the importance of feedback for young people just starting out in their careers, so we made sure candidates felt free to ask questions at any stage of their candidate journey.”

The results

Using tests to measure aptitude and behaviour from the start helped us develop a deeper understanding of each applicant than simply reviewing their CVs.

Closely mapping applicants’ aptitude and behaviours to the needs of each of the four programmes enabled us to definitively measure their suitability from the outset, dramatically increasing the efficiency of the sifting process.

We made the initial online tests short and straightforward, which set a positive tone for the recruitment experience. Keeping in touch with the applicants on a regular basis and ensuring the application journey was fluid and engaging throughout also helped to position Lidl as an employer who values every applicant.

In total we handled over 14,000 applications for Lidl’s four early talent programmes in 2017.

“Over the past few years The Talent Group have supported us to establish and perfect an efficient and successful selection process for our early talent programmes,” comments Lidl’s emerging talent Recruitment Manager.  “Each year we have seen a high quality service but most importantly an incredible candidate experience provided by the team. The 2017-2018 campaign saw the highest number of applications to our programmes and without The Talent Group, a successful recruitment process would not have been possible.”

Following the success of the 2017 graduate recruitment season, we will continue to work with Lidl to recruit promising new graduates and students, developing and refining the process in line with the company’s evolving needs.

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