Winner: JCB

One of the world’s largest privately-owned construction equipment companies, JCB has 22 plants on four continents and employs more than 15,000 people. The firm is experiencing unprecedented growth – the UK workforce grew by more than 1,000 from Oct 2017-Oct 2018 – and therefore has an increased focus on recruitment.

  • The company’s five-year plan for significant growth led to the creation of a new in-house recruitment team in 2016 to directly engage with internal and external talent. Quality of hires and cost-efficiency was to be integral to the strategy. From a starting point of zero, the team now consists of four recruitment experts.
  • The team faces a number of challenges. With its headquarters in rural Rocester, Staffordshire, the distance from major UK cities can be a barrier to attracting talent. However, amplifying that challenge is the big industry-wide issue, the significant skills shortage in engineering.
  • At the end of 2017, the in-house recruitment team was set a target of recruiting at least 80 new engineers for a specific project within four months. A select group of partners was used to find quality candidates; direct approaches through LinkedIn and social media were used for passive candidates, and regional assessment centres were established. The outcome exceeded all expectations, as the team hired more than 100 trained engineers in the period, and eight months on the retention rate was above the industry average.
  • The category showcased a very high standard of some excellent in-house teams, demonstrating best practice in their industry and great value to their organisations. The numbers were very close and the judges considered logistical challenges and solutions to come to their decision.

Judges’ comments: “The location of JCB would be a key factor in the impact of any recruitment process. However, the in-house team overcame this challenge using social media, processes and technology. Keeping the wheels of the company turning and growing.”


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