Ideal Standard Case Study

Ideal Standard Case Study

November 12, 2018
Ideal Standard are undergoing a digital transformation period. Digitalising and automating their recruitment forecasting was a clear and obvious choice.


From humble beginnings in 1872. US businessman, John Pierce, opened a tinware shop in Massachusetts. Ideal Standard has a deep and rich history. Bringing this iconic business to where it stands today. By 2012, Ideal Standard International operated in 20 countries. Recruitment has brought in more than 11,000 employees producing the highest quality products. The consumer is at the heart of our business.

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Our Recruitment Strategy

We started our aim of a complete recruitment transformation in 2015. Mainly, because of a desire to provide far greater value to the business bottom line. Unsurprisingly our thoughts soon turned to the need for: A new ATS. A revamped EVP. Updated candidate sourcing techniques.
However the more we considered our goal, we kept coming back to the same root problem – We were far too reactive!
Whilst useful, these tools and technologies couldn’t solve this problem. We recognised that the only way for us to become proactive would be to get our colleagues to engage with us earlier.
Easier said than done, right?


Where Did We Start?

Our recruitment planning process was ad hoc. There was no structure in terms of what info we needed to capture. From who and when. No-one had ownership of the process. It felt like finance had a part to play. HR too. But the real info we needed was out in the business.
Our live vacancies kept us firefighting. Nothing like Foresight had been tried before at Ideal Standard. We had to build a business case to show why this would be fundamental to our success.
We had to think about how we make the planning cycle real for our hiring communities. To make them want to engage with us. We did this by linking into their day to day drivers/pain points.
We are of course fast-paced, complex and transient. Yet in many ways, a traditional business. So change can feel difficult!


The Solution

We decided to bypass the excel stage. Having spoken to others that had tried excel, we knew we needed the data. Excel wasn’t the way for us. We wanted to be taken seriously. To do this we needed to showcase innovation. To make this painless for the hiring managers. After all, I did say we were a complex, traditional company!

We needed a solution that was quick & easy to deploy. That would help us reduce those hiring manager grumbles and escalations. Whilst being budget friendly! Most of all we needed to put the TA team in centre stage. To create an environment where we were included in the business. Not told (late) about the business.

Our first plan was simple. We kept it to the UK business units. All we asked for was future ‘known’ recruitment needs. Such as Mat/Pat. Resignations. Retirees. Flight risks and Growth. From these needs, again we kept it simple and only asked Job title, Grade, Salary, Location and When. Our next phase is to roll it out across our European countries.


The Results For Me

The data flooded in. We knew the hiring communities knew their hiring need. But we didn’t realise how ready they were to include us!
I now have a hiring plan (recruitment forecast) for the next 120 + days
An average lead time of 30 weeks – unimaginable before!
I control the hiring process. I am rarely at the mercy of business colleagues landing vacancies on me at the last minute. The norm before!
Excellent relationships with managers!
Don’t get me wrong, I am still busy, but now feel in control!
The visibility of this project has given me great exposure to the c-suite.
All the other tech that we’ve invested is benefitting from having a clear picture of what we are going to recruit.
The reward to effort ratio is unparalleled. There are a few areas that didn’t comply. There always will be. But we are light years ahead of where we were. This isn’t the end, we’ll refine, refresh and improve!
The Results For The Business
TTH reduced by 55%.
CPH reduced by 40% due to direct sourcing of candidates.
More strategic ad spend – which here comes from a Hiring Managers budget.
The reporting suite showcases back to the business the power of working with us. And the consequence of not!
Measure “empty chair time” now. Giving us a direct link to the productivity of a team/business area!
Everyone is working towards the same people plan.


Would I Recommend Foresight?

The TA team now feels super-human. Yes. 100%. Start simple but just start!

Vivienne Pearsons

Recruitment Manager, Ideal Standard

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