Royal-MailRoyal Mail Group has reengineered its operational recruitment process to improve the way it selects postmen and women, drivers, sorters and data inputting staff.

Talent Q, the talent assessment specialist, worked closely with the Group’s resourcing team to identify and hone new competencies for each role, after a modernisation programme had changed the job specifications. The company then incorporated a new personality questionnaire and new verbal, numerical and checking tests, to assess whether the applicants fit the chosen competencies.

“Our business now requires a greater degree of teamwork, flexibility and customer focus,” said Dianne Crookes, Royal Mail Group’s Resourcing Supplier Manager. “Our operational roles attract 170,000 applications per year, so we needed to review the assessments we provided to ensure we were focussing on people with the right skills and attributes.”

Talent Q has worked with Royal Mail Group since 2009, providing assessments to recruit senior executives, managers and professional specialists. The company has also run assessment centres to help re-deploy staff into other job roles, as part of the Group’s restructuring.

“When we were looking for a viable alternative to our operational test supplier, we decided to trial Talent Q’s new volume recruitment assessments,” said Dianne Crookes. “The tests may be short but they’ve proved to be reliable and robust.”

Talent Q also created interview guides for each job role, to help hiring managers conduct more rigorous and professional interviews.

Royal Mail Group conducted a 12-week pilot of the new tests across three regions, involving around 3,500 candidates. During the pilot, Talent Q supported the resourcing team in running webinars and presentations for hiring managers, as part of an internal communication campaign. Following the success of the pilot, the tests were rolled out nationally in a phased implementation.

“We’ve now completely replaced the old tests with the new ones,” said Helen Chapman, Manager of Frontline Recruitment Services at Royal Mail Group. “Our whole application process is slicker and it provides an improved candidate experience.”

Royal Mail Group expects to interview around 22,000 candidates each year, using the new interview guides. Around 10,000 applicants will be hired annually.

“Our operational staff play an essential role in ensuring that our customers receive the best possible service and, in many cases, they’re the face of Royal Mail,” said Dianne Crookes. “With a more robust and consistent process in place for volume recruitment, we’re now in a much better position to appoint the right people for these roles.”