News & Views
HARBOUR Highlight

Retail Redeployment 




The challenge

The client needed an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that could process a huge number of applicants with consideration of the resourcing team and store managers who would be central in the processing of the activity. The system had to be fluid, fast, user-friendly and uncompromising in its automated candidate-matching capabilities. Oh, and it had to seamlessly integrate with their internal jobs board platform and be built within a tight time frame. In short, our client needed the kind of flexibility, powerful computing and speed of turnaround their existing platforms just couldn’t give them.


All about the algorithms

Here at HARBOUR we love an algorithm to take away the admin burden and drive efficiency. Using our ATS platform we created a customised recruitment solution with algorithmic complexity that totally nailed the client’s criteria. And it worked – beautifully. Our bespoke MatchMe solution saw candidates move seamlessly from application to job offer – taking in the client’s requirements for equity and a clear audit path along the way.

As soon as thousands of new roles went live on their job board our system went to work matching applicants to vacancies based on their desired location, hours and shift patterns. Crucially, the match-making system captured and flagged up applicants at risk of redundancy to ensure they were given priority.


Flex ’n’ go

Applicants could apply for multiple roles in multiple locations with different shift patterns and hours – and each one had to be processed in a way that was dependent on a number of variables, including whether they were At Risk or Non-Impacted.  Complicated? Yes. That’s why we designed a highly-flexible system to do the job.


The MatchMe system sorted and segmented applicants through more than 20 different phases based on the client’s clearly defined selection principles. In super-fast time MatchMe deciphered which applicants could be fast-tracked straight to a job offer, which applicants were in competition, which ones needed to be invited to interview and which of those would be offered the job after interview outcomes had been collated in the system and scores moderated for additional fairness. Plus a whole host of permutations in between!


If that wasn’t flexible enough, the system rode three separate waves – completing the recruitment cycle before running the whole process twice more. With each new wave the system had to flex for an influx of re-applications and again ensure priority processing for At Risk applicants. Through it all, applicants were only required to interview once, at most – and the system made sure of that!


The human touch

We’re ace at creating ATS solutions that optimise processes but we also know the value a real-life person brings. In keeping with our client’s mantra that “colleagues are at the heart of all we do” we designed an automated system with touch points for human interaction. Whenever an outcome wasn’t absolute and a judgement call or sense check was needed we made sure it was a person, not a computer, who made the ultimate decision.


Happiness is…

Our system made a lot of people happy – and that makes up happy.


The candidates

A positive candidate experience is part of the HARBOUR DNA. Using our system the candidates could:

  • Quickly find and apply for multiple roles
  • Be prioritised if at risk of redundancy
  • Interview just once (if required) – however many applications they made
  • Choose and book an interview slot
  • Get regular updates about their application status


The recruitment team

Imagine delivering a huge redeployment project in the tiniest of time frames – and doing it manually? Thankfully our client’s recruitment team didn’t have to! They loved how our system:-

  • Evaluated applicants in milliseconds not hours
  • Processed applicants in minutes not weeks
  • Paid due diligence to equanimity and fairness


The store managers

We gave store managers a simple, easy-to-use, intuitive interface that allowed them to:-

  • Establish their availability for interviews
  • View their schedule of interviews
  • Score interviews
  • Capture and update interview outcomes


The union

Our client worked very closely with the relevant union during the consultative stage. They were satisfied that our system:-

  • Had an appropriate risk structure to prioritise applicants
  • Ensured fairness and equanimity throughout the recruitment process


The perfect match

Over the three waves the MatchMe system saved literally thousands of hours of manual processing and enabled a level of speed, clarity, auditability as well as fairness – an absolute must for our client – that human processing simply wouldn’t have been able to deliver.