Famous for 15 minutes

We care about technology-enhanced human systems. So we thought we would share regular thoughts and opinions about why we think they matter so much.

the FIRM awards : Best OnBoarding Experience - Suez


Part of the global SUEZ group, SUEZ recycling and recovery UK employs over 5,000 people across a variety of sectors and skillsets, from manual handling roles and HGV drivers to industry specialists and central functions, with a geographically dispersed workforce.

It was an ugly truth to face, but in 2015 almost 45% of our new starters told us that didn’t feel prepared for their first day at SUEZ. It was clearly a poor candidate experience that lead to people dropping out of the recruitment process, and those that did go on to join us were left feeling un-welcomed and, as a result, initially would have been unproductive. What followed was an end-to-end review of our on-boarding process. What we found was a process that was poorly defined, what we were asking from new starters was far from clear and our hiring managers felt poorly informed and supported.


In 2016 we worked with a group of new starters, hiring managers, resourcing professionals and 3D MarComms to design a process, both online and offline, that would ensure that our new starters would feel part of the SUEZ family even before they walked through our doors. And a rich candidate experience that would reach beyond the on-boarding process to include their first day experience and induction programme.


What we launched included:

 - Hiring manager portal. Supporting the hiring manager through the recruitment, offer, on-boarding and induction processes.

 - On-boarding portal. Offering the new starter the ability to complete essential documentation online, be prepared for their first day, review their induction process and facilitate kicking off a relationship directly with their new manager.

- ‘Buddy’ programme. The hiring manager can allocate a ‘buddy’ to the new starter who also has access to the portal and can support them through the on-boarding process.

- Notifications to the hiring manager. Auto-prompts to the hiring manager to ensure that the on-boarding process remains on track.
Automatic notifications to the new starter. Gentle prompts are sent to the new starter to ensure that they are carrying out the tasks that we need them to.

 - Automatic updates to human resources, facilities, equipment teams and IT. The system is set up to notify the relevant departments to ensure that the correct uniform, technology and systems are available to the new starter on their first day.

- Induction planner. This part we feel is particularly innovative. Through their portal the hiring manager can create a bespoke, one-month induction plan that will meet the specific needs of the new starter. This is a mixture of mandatory tasks (without which the planner cannot be submitted) and other optional tasks. The is also the opportunity to create brand new tasks that are specific to the new starter, their role and their department.

- ‘What a great first day looks like’ workshop. A training session for our hiring managers that will help them shape the new starter’s first day, to make a great first impression and continue the great work that they did during the on-boarding process.

- On-boarding survey. After two weeks and then again at six months, we survey each new starter about the process they have just been through, how they are feeling right now and would they recommend us as an employer.


The past twelve months have seen a sea change in our on-boarding process. An arduous process for all parties that saw people regularly dropping out of the recruitment process, has been replaced by a people-focused approach that is centred around delivering a best in class candidate experience.

We have some impressive numbers to share, but the most impressive aspect is that since the launch of the new process we have had zero candidates drop out of the recruitment process. What’s more our two week on-boarding surveys have revealed that over 95% of new starters believed they were well prepared for their first day. This is a significant increase on the 55% who felt prepared before the new process was put in place.

In the past 12 months we have seen

  • 392 new starters through the process
  • 673 messages sent between hiring managers and new starters
  • 392 buddies allocated
  • 100% of new starters receiving a tailored induction programmes created
  • 100% of new starters completing the on-boarding process

With regards to the on-boarding portal we have seen

  • An average of 6.7 visits per new starter
  • An average total of 42 minutes spent on the site per new starter
  • The welcome film watched 427 times
  • 617 downloads of employer handbook, benefits booklet and internal magazine

The anecdotal feedback we have had from the new starters is hugely encouraging. The on-boarding portal, the continuous interaction with their manager and ‘buddy’ and the clarity of information were all very popular.

What we have also noticed is a significant reduction in the number of telephone calls that we have received from new starters regarding the joining process. This is because the on-boarding process has moved away from the resourcing team and towards the hiring manager who are using the resources that we have given them to build meaningful and productive relationships with the new starters even before they walk through the door of SUEZ for their first day.



And unfortunately the primary client contact on this couldn't be with us on the night - but we made sure to raise a glass to this success as soon as she was :)



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