New Look
Case Study

A brand-new way of working for New Look

By their own admission, a fast-growing New Look had very old and very time-consuming processes in place for the entire OnBoarding of new talent. Using traditional spreadsheets and email, the HR teams were stretched to the limit trying to manage the business need for 600 new employees every month. Accurate reporting was almost impossible. And the experience for candidates gave a poor reflection of a business that needed to attract dynamic people to a dynamic business.

Put simply, I can't think of anyone else I've worked with who could have delivered such a radical programme of change, and all on time and to budget. ‘Agile’ isn’t just a methodology for HARBOUR - it’s very much who they are!

Head of HR Operations, New Look
The size of the challenge

Before this year, the requisition request for a new role using their old headcount approval form could take up to seven days. Sometimes longer. Whilst the OnBoarding process to add a new starter to their personnel system could take over an hour. Just completing paperwork. So, when you multiply this by nearly 600 people who start with New Look each month, it was clear that something needed to change.

With over 60,000 applications a year, the time implications for physical form-filling was a huge problem.

A multi-partner approach

We worked in partnership with their human resources and information technology teams, and made sure their design agency was kept in the loop, to scope out and develop an approach that was bespoke to the needs of New Look. An approach that streamlined processes through the best use of technology, and is designed with the recruiter, line manager, employee and external candidate in mind.

In particular, we looked at:

  • The job requisition process through our headcount approval form
  • The applicant experience
  • The contract generation process of in-store and distribution centre employees
  • The OnBoarding process
  • The change of contract process
  • And we gave ourselves only 12 months to deliver it all.
Improving the experience from the outside

We ensured that the job search and application pages fitted seamlessly with a new careers site. This new site not only offered the candidate the option of searching for jobs using traditional drop-down menus, but also harnessing a Google Map-powered search interface.

We looked at the entire OnBoarding process to make sure that every candidate had a smooth experience before they even started. Stores are now able to input a successful applicant’s personal information and upload the mandatory right to work documentation. New starters will then be provided access to a dedicated on-line portal where they can complete essential forms and accept their contract online.

All of this has massively reduced any errors or issues that New Look had been experiencing around payroll and reference/background checks. But it has also resulted in a reduction in the time taken in store to complete new starter paperwork, and increased the accuracy of the information that they collect. This is particularly important as HARBOUR also integrates with the New Look HRMS passing it personnel information, uploading documents into the system and updating payroll.

Improving the experience from the inside

We replaced their clunky email and spreadsheet-driven requisition process with a wholly online system. Where each stage of the process is time-stamped and logged, and can be seen by the line manager, executive review committee and the recruitment team on their own personal dashboard.

While we were scoping out the new starter experience and HRMS interface we saw the opportunity to also address the issues New Look were having changing the contracts of existing employees. This was a slightly bigger challenge as we not only needed to support two distinct approaches of change of contract, we also needed to integrate with their HRMS.

Reducing time and money

We have reduced the requisition process from up to seven days to - in some instances - as little as an hour. The old in-store OnBoarding process took over an hour and generated a huge amount of paperwork. Now it takes 5 minutes in-store and 10 minutes with the Human Resources team.

Increasing engagement and performance

The feedback from across the business has been fantastic. Hiring managers are really impressed. The unsolicited positive feedback we have been getting from candidates, new starters, hiring managers and employees having contract changes is phenomenal.

Time to requisition was reduced by a staggering 60%, and time to hire by a massive 48%

So what are you waiting for?