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Rolls-Royce is a global leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea, and in the air. Working across the civil and defense aerospace worlds – as well as the marine, nuclear, and energy industries – Rolls-Royce has ofﬁces, manufacturing, and service facilities in 50 countries and the company currently employs around 39,000 people worldwide.
Having identiﬁed a need to reﬁne and strengthen its recruitment and onboarding activities, Rolls-Royce began an organization-wide initiative to ﬁnd a vendor that would be able to help it deliver best in class talent management, analytics, and reporting services.
In searching for a vendor that could meet those needs, Rolls-Royce’s Head of Global Resourcing Services, Jeff Lackey identiﬁed some clear primary requirements. “We were looking for a vendor that could provide a global recruitment technology solution, improve our ability to attract high quality external and internal candidates, provide us with the capability to deliver simple global metrics/reports on our performance, and deliver a system that could be used to help enhance our ability to penetrate the talent market¬place,” says Lackey.
At the same time Rolls-Royce – by the nature of the industries in which it operates – had a number of supporting requirements. Any solution would need to meet the very rigorous constraints of the company’s IT security policy, as well as providing Jeff and his team with the ability to meet the requirements of their own internal customers.
“There are three questions that really matter,” says Lackey. “How easy is our service to use, does it enable us better access to the talent market, and will it help us to serve customers with different governmental and security regulations globally.”
Another important element was the provision of a common global platform as part of the solution. While Rolls-Royce in the US and Canada had access to one system for its needs, other territories around the world were using disparate solutions, and some had no access to a professional system at all, instead relying on simple ofﬁce-level databases for tracking recruitment activity. Using multiple systems was not only costly and difﬁcult to maintain, but also proved hard to get consistent reports from.
As a brand that is synonymous with excellence and innovation, Rolls-Royce wanted to deliver a ﬁrst-class experience for candidates, using incisive reporting to reﬁne and evolve its recruitment practices.
When Jeff and his team began looking for a partner that could meet these specific needs, they wanted to make sure that the search and decision would be representative of the business as a whole. “We brought together a diverse group of individuals representing every major region and multiple functions of Rolls-Royce to be a part of the selection team,” says Lackey. This group of 12 people made a unanimous decision to choose Taleo, based on the very specific criteria set out in advance.
As well as the challenges outlined above, Taleo’s ﬂexibility was another key part of the choice according to Libby Hayworth-Lenne, Global Design Lead for Rolls-Royce. “The system needed to be ﬂexible enough to allow for regional legal and compliance processes, as well as cultural differences, and Taleo was the best choice for that.” The panel also found that Taleo was one of the few products that was able to meet the very high-standards of IT security outlined by Rolls-Royce.
With the decision made, Taleo provided consultancy for the UK, US, and Canada rollouts of the software. With the Rolls-Royce deployment team gaining essential experience alongside Taleo consultants during these initial rollouts, Taleo was then able to hand the reins over to Rolls-Royce for the remaining global implementation. In nine months, three quarters of the workforce, about 29,000 employees, were online with Taleo in three countries.
When it came to gathering feedback on the deployment, while there were some understandable challenges to overcome, the response was positive: “Our head of IT at the time called out Taleo as one of the leading HR implementation success stories in Rolls-Royce. It is still considered today to be well thought out, well deployed, and well implemented and the general consensus is that it is probably one of the best deployments of HR IT in our global organization,” says Lackey.
Rolls-Royce deployed Taleo Recruiting and Taleo Reporting tools, the combined effect of which has been to deliver a range of beneﬁts to the company’s overall HR practice. Streamlined automated processes are beginning to help tackle average times to hire, as well as providing Rolls-Royce with the ability to deliver better, faster, and more consistent interactions with candidates.
An online careers portal now gives internal and external applicants visibility into available roles and has improved the overall candidate experience. Visitors can review and apply for a range of Rolls-Royce structured recruitment programmes that include student internships, apprenticeships, graduate and MBA programmes, as well as search for current job vacancies by function and discipline from around the world. Bersin & Associates view internal mobility to be strategic, and enduring organizations (like UPS, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Caterpillar, and others) see internal talent mobility as a key to their long-term success.
Rolls-Royce is also leveraging Taleo Reporting to help enhance operational HR performance and provide better Talent Intelligence. “Taleo has allowed us to track volume increases, and we’ve been able to monitor our performance more closely because of it,” says Lackey. “For instance, when we went through an increase in recruiter demand of almost 200 per cent in autumn 2010, we knew about it almost immediately and could actually report back exactly how many openings we had globally and begin discussing the hiring forecast.”
“We were able to deliver a really crisp presentation by region and by sector that showed where our recruitment demands were spiking and what we needed to do about it in response,” says Lackey. “That presentation went to the Ofﬁce of the Chief Executive, as part of their discussion on strategic demand planning.”
Lackey provides one ﬁnal piece of advice for anyone considering an implementation of this scale. “We made a conscious choice to rollout a ‘vanilla’, basic version of Taleo to begin with. Having the system accessible globally ensured that we were able to quickly and easily identify any issues that arose, before building the system up as we became more familiar with it. Taleo is a very robust system that has a lot of conﬁgurability, but those two things combined can equal complexity. We found that keeping the initial deployment simple was key.”