Waterwise are an independent non-profit campaigning organisation focused on reducing water consumption in the UK. They support and challenge governments, industry, customers and others to be innovative and ambitious on water efficiency. Waterwise is the leading authority on water efficiency in the UK.
Waterwise, working with Eastside People (their recruiters), were looking to recruit for four new senior roles – Board members. Key to Waterwise, a not-for-profit focused on reducing water consumption in the UK, was ensuring they attracted candidates with a wide range of skills and expertise. Not just experience. This also meant finding a diverse candidate pool from a range of backgrounds. Before starting the recruitment project, both Waterwise and Eastside People had been looking at the Applied all-in-one debiased hiring software and it therefore seemed like the obvious solution to help achieve Waterwise’s goal – underpinning its other inclusive approaches such as sharing questions with interviewees in advance.
As the main recruiters, Eastside People were also keen to use Applied’s system to build upon the hard work they put in to always recruiting fairly and objectively, delivering the best possible candidates for Waterwise. We also wanted to try and improve the volume of applications for roles that, traditionally would struggle to attract high numbers of candidates. We believed that the Applied hiring platform would add value to the search by helping to find suitable candidates; support the creation of an engaging candidate information pack and advert and utilise its networks and executive search techniques to engage candidates and encourage applications.
How Applied Helped Transform Waterwise’s Hiring
Using the Applied system and focussing on skills-based questions instead of previous experience and background made a huge difference. As well as Waterwise being open about this through their employer brand – that diversity and inclusion were important – using Applied meant that this transpired through the actual recruitment process. Waterwise (supported by Eastside People), also held a Zoom drop-in session for interested candidates to find out more about Waterwise, the roles, and the Applied system, which was very well-attended.
Chair of Waterwise, Tania Flasck, was highly impressed by Applied: “I absolutely love the detailed, automated feedback given to candidates, it is rich with data and helps candidates feel that we’ve really taken the time to care about their applications, giving them useful ways to improve for future opportunities’”
Candidates commented they were attracted to the role because the process was so unique that it was obvious it wasn’t just a diversity box-ticking exercise. The success of using Applied became obvious when instead of around the typical 10 candidates per Board role (Eastside People figures), there were a total of 57 applications; a 30% increase. Unpaid Board roles often have a low volume of applications so this was a vast improvement. With a wider pool of talent to choose from, more high-quality candidates could be taken through to interview.
It also meant the hiring team spent 50% less time reviewing applications. Managing Director, Nicci Russell from Waterwise said “I was whizzing through them and still feeling like I was getting useful candidate information, the Applied system just makes it so much easier. Candidate quality was higher because the questions were so focused and skills-based, certain applicants just qualified themselves out as they probably couldn’t answer all the questions, leaving us with only high-quality applicants. We ended up appointing five people because the standard was so high.”
The five successful candidates are unique and highly-skilled individuals, between them significantly broadening the skills and insight on Waterwise’s Board – giving Waterwise exactly what they had set out to achieve.
From a recruiter perspective, Eastside People found Applied’s customer service team to be incredibly helpful and responsive throughout, supporting them through the process of using a technology-based hiring platform for the first time. Bernice Rook, Director of Recruitment & Membership, said “it made me think differently about what we were really looking for in these candidates and what would show us their potential for success in the role – and (I can’t believe I’m saying this) it was really enjoyable!”
This story has been published courtesy of BeApplied.com and Waterwise.
“We were thrilled with Bernice’s work and advice. She was as excited as us to use the Be Applied ‘blind’ hiring platform to help debias our Board member recruitment and she just totally understood both our organisation and our needs, as well as being a fantastic source of advice on best practice as we went through the process, including the interviews.”
Nicci Russell, Managing Director, Waterwise