The company was rapidly expanding, requiring a significant number of new gas engineers. The pool of referrals was ever-shrinking and they were keen to attract gas engineers who may not already have been working with one of their competitors, e.g. independents. To date they’d used an unstructured interview and a practical test which looked at their gas engineering skills.
Recruitment was ad hoc and very much depended on the capabilities of the line manager. An anecdotal comment was made that a candidate had been hired through this approach who, on the first day of the job, didn’t even know how to take the front cover off a boiler.
These gas engineers spent their time at customers’ properties both installing and maintaining gas central heating and water systems. They were the face of the company. So my challenge was to develop a pre-screening process and assessment exercises to assessing customer focus.
I shadowed gas engineers for a couple of days, looking inside boilers, talking to customers and gas engineers, really understanding what it took to be good at the job from a behavioural and attitude angle. I developed a framework to describe this, and designed a pre-screening approach, including essential criteria, killer questions and a telephone interview. I brought in the SHL’s Dependability and Safety Instrument, a reliable predictor of safety in these types of role. I developed an exercise where the candidate had to ask questions to find out more information from the customer and further developed the structured interview.
I then worked closely with a third party supplier to improve their skills in the delivery of the assessments and support them in the implementation of the assessments as part of their recruitment campaign.
The customer was pleased with the standard and quality of the exercises designed and felt that they really helped improve the focus on identifying candidates with good customer relationship behaviours.