IBM > Case Studies > Analytics-Driven Recruitment: A Case Study on British American Tobacco

Analytics-Driven Recruitment: A Case Study on British American Tobacco

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Technology Category
  • Analytics & Modeling - Predictive Analytics
  • Cybersecurity & Privacy - Identity & Authentication Management
Applicable Industries
  • Buildings
  • Cement
Applicable Functions
  • Quality Assurance
Use Cases
  • Building Automation & Control
  • Time Sensitive Networking
  • Cloud Planning, Design & Implementation Services
  • Training
About The Customer
British American Tobacco (BAT) is a leading tobacco group founded in 1902. The company employs more than 57,900 people and its brands are sold in more than 200 markets. Headquartered in London, England, BAT generates annual revenues equivalent to approximately USD64 billion. The company operates in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) space, contending with heavy regulation and the need for a constant flow of innovative newcomers to stay competitive. BAT aims to fill 20 percent of all management-level vacancies from outside of the company, emphasizing the importance of new talent to increase the cognitive diversity of the organization and create more effective ways of working.
The Challenge
British American Tobacco (BAT), a leading tobacco group, was facing a challenge in identifying and employing the best candidates for its management-level vacancies. The company was heavily reliant on third-party recruiters, contracting more than 70 separate agencies each year worldwide. This resulted in a diverse level and quality of candidates, with some regions falling below BAT's expectations. To support its long-term competitiveness, BAT aimed to implement a consistent approach to recruitment across its global operations, enabling it to identify and select the best candidates. The challenge was to encourage the best candidates to apply and to identify top performers in a large pool of applicants, especially in markets where BAT's brand was perceived less favorably.
The Solution
BAT decided to transition to analytics-based direct hiring processes. The company selected IBM to provide the basis for its talent transformation program, implementing a new platform based on IBM® Kenexa® BrassRing on Cloud and IBM Kenexa Skills Assessments on Cloud. The solution was based on three key elements: a business psychology consultancy to identify the characteristics that define excellence in leadership roles; custom-designed online and face-to-face assessments; and enterprise-class IBM Kenexa solutions to automate and streamline the direct recruiting process. BAT used predictive analytics in IBM Kenexa solutions to determine which candidates had the highest likelihood of thriving in the role they applied for. The IBM team also provided in-depth training for BAT’s global talent leaders and a series of webinars to ensure BAT’s in-house recruitment teams were able to use the new tools to make well-informed decisions based on analytics insights.
Operational Impact
  • The implementation of the analytics-based direct hiring process has resulted in a more consistent and effective recruitment process for BAT. The company is now able to quickly and effectively sift through large talent pools to determine if an individual has the required skills to be considered for a leadership position. The new process also ensures a positive candidate journey, even for those who do not progress to the final stages. The success of the new direct hiring model is evident in the reduction of recruitment agencies engaged from 70 to 27, a reduction of 61 percent. Furthermore, BAT is confident that the IBM Kenexa solutions will help them attract and recruit the top talent they need to compete successfully in a tough marketplace.
Quantitative Benefit
  • 70% of new leaders are hired through the new direct recruiting path
  • Direct hires score substantially higher on six-month assessments compared to agency hires
  • Annual savings of $1.5 million by reducing dependence on recruitment agencies

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