In the case study below, we explore a best practice approach to selecting from an ‘at risk’ pool based on a job description in the absence of performance and attendance records. When carrying out an interview in a redundancy situation, it is important to ensure that it is fair and objective. One of the most effective methods to use  in this situation is a panel led competency-based interview.

ACCO brands

The Challenge: Pan-European Redundancy and Recruitment

We worked with a global distribution company with a $2 billion turnover, whose managers, as a result of their own long-term success, had never needed to develop the skills necessary to handle a redundancy situation. They were undertaking a major restructure of their European division to become more competitive in their sector. When we started working with them:-

  • 100 employees in Europe and U.K. were put ‘at risk’
  • The “at risk” employees were invited to apply for 20 new roles
  • HR had 6 weeks to complete the project
  • There was a lack of HR records covering appraisals, performance management and absence
  • The line managers had no previous experience of carrying out a structured redundancy selection programme
  • There was little knowledge of redundancy selection processes or legal implications in the company.

When the programme started it also became apparent that there wasn’t an existing recruitment framework that was robust enough to support a European wide project that needed to be consistent and standardised.

Minimising the risk with Recrion.

Most importantly, the company needed to minimise the risk of unfair dismissal claims and the use of compromise agreements that were very costly. The HR Director used the opportunity to improve the processes throughout the regions by calling in Recrion as a third party to design a robust redundancy interview selection process that was compliant with multiple European employment legislation.

How did we help?

  • One-to-one coaching of Line Managers enabled them to select the candidates following an agreed screening process, before inviting them for an interview. They became more aware of the legislation surrounding redundancy.
  • Coaching Line Managers on competency based interview techniques and structured panel interviews. Once competencies were established for every job role, the panel interviews were carried out by two managers and a Recrion consultant, and were scored so that the best applicants got the job, whether they were existing employees or external applicants.
  • By giving managers such positive support and teaching them relevant skills, they felt confident dealing with the emotional employees and equally confident that they were going to be selecting the right people for the jobs.

Making the Best of a Difficult Situation

From the candidates’ point of view they felt extremely encouraged to be given a fair opportunity to apply and compete for the new jobs. This sent out very positive signals to the rest of the business and helped to keep the overall levels of motivation far higher than anticipated during this difficult process.

Client Feedback:

“I was extremely impressed with Recrion’s design and management of the whole recruitment selection process during our restructure. Communication across the company was excellent & speed of response the best I have seen in a recruitment process within our company.” Director, ACCO UK