Lara Plaxton is a senior HR leader at FDM Group, the global IT services provider partnered with the UK Employee Experience Awards. In this article, she discusses how technology can be utilised to the benefit of employees…

At FDM, we understand that Employee Experience begins even before an individual has considered applying for a role with us.

Therefore, every human interaction is important to us. From the start of the recruitment process, we want those who apply to us to have an engaging and meaningful experience, whether it’s meeting people face-to-face, talking over the phone, or communicating through digital interfaces.

We aim to make our process meaningful by ensuring it benefits our candidates, such as by providing helpful feedback which can support them in finding the right role.

‘Gamification’ is a key innovation we have implemented to help us achieve this. Gaming techniques have been incorporated into many aspects of people’s lives today to enhance their emotional connection, often without them even realising.

Implementing technology that creates a more natural experience for our potential employees is a great way of helping them to relax and enjoy a process which can often be quite stressful when you are aware you are being assessed.

Through gamification, we are able to understand the candidate’s strengths in a far less daunting environment, whilst also collecting data that will create a detailed picture of a person’s aptitude and suitability for a role.

Along with traditional skill sets such as mathematical ability or verbal reasoning, we can assess attributes such as a candidate’s aversion (or lack thereof) to risk – something that is key to determining what type of role would be suitable for them.

Importantly, using data in this way also helps to reduce potential unconscious bias from recruitment, which is a key priority for us as we want to ensure that every individual, regardless of their background, has the same opportunity.

We have over 100,000 applications globally each year and hire over 2,000 people. Using the data that this technology provides, we are able to improve the candidate experience and give feedback for unsuccessful candidates, to give them greater insight into where their strengths are and therefore what kind of role they may be suited to as they continue to pursue their career.

The experience of our unsuccessful candidates is as important to us as the experience of our successful candidates. We also hold regular open days for potential candidates, which gives them the opportunity to get hands-on experience of the types of roles we offer.

Candidates are split into teams and set various challenges, such as coding a robotic car to race around a track. Here they are able to test their knowledge but also to try out something new in a very relaxed and informal environment. We feel this is an important part of what we do, as our selection pools are focused on recent graduates, ex-forces personnel, and those returning from career breaks.

In each of these scenarios, people are considering their options at a point in their lives where they are entering a new phase. Providing fun opportunities where individuals can network, trial new skills in a ‘safe’ environment, and understand more about themselves, allows them to hopefully increase their confidence and help decide in which direction they would like their future career to go.

Recruitment technology is ever-evolving and as a company that operates in the digital space, we are passionate about harnessing the power of innovative tech to improve the candidate experience.

We are excited to see how AI, VR, and AR will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible for organisations when it comes to creating world-class experiences. Our purpose is to bring people and technology together and therefore we do not confine Employee Experience to the traditional employee lifecycle; for us it’s about how we add value to all our interactions with people, using technology to enhance this.

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