Collaboration for a consistent RPO service


Virgin Media is typical of a growing number of employers looking to consolidate its recruitment outsourcing under one provider. Previously they used multiple suppliers and teams for recruitment marketing and attraction, senior and specialist, volume hiring and onboarding candidates. However, keeping up with multiple suppliers to maintain a consistent level of service and brand messaging had become a challenge. A new approach was needed.


In January 2013, following a competitive selection process, TMP Worldwide was chosen as the RPO provider for Virgin Media, with responsibility for all permanent recruitment areas. Onboarding was not implemented in the first wave of services, but six months after the initial go live TMP took full responsibility for the process.

Consolidating their recruitment process by appointing a single provider meant that there were fewer points of contact for Virgin, leading to a faster, more efficient service. This ensured a more streamlined and responsive account management structure.                            

By taking a holistic view to Virgin's hiring needs we were able to identify where improvements could be made across the service. We introduced a more consistent approach to candidate assessment which focused on the core values and competencies of Virgin. We also looked for ways to introduce innovative assessment processes that accurately and realistically conveyed what working in a role would entail, while reflecting Virgin Media's market-leading technical abilities.
One of the innovations created by TMP was an interactive audio visual experience to submerge potential candidates in 'a day in the life' of a door knocker. At the same time we wanted to put candidates through a rigorous assessment of their motivation and perception skills. We came up with the 'Field Sales Challenge' which combined video clips from a day in the life of an actual Virgin Media salesperson. Candidates would then answer questions about the role and what their reactions would be if they were put in similar situations. The process perfectly reflects the Virgin Media brand of fun, engagement and innovation.

The recruitment process is fully branded and brand-led: our team understand the Virgin brand and engage with candidates as Virgin Media throughout.
A consistent, brand-led approach was also introduced to external candidate communications, as well as candidate management. We carefully guided applicants through the recruitment process, sending them emails written in the informal Virgin style to appraise them of where they were in the recruitment process. Reminder text messages were sent to candidates before assessment centres, and 'keep warm' emails were sent to applicants placed in a talent pool. We extended the brand-led approach beyond the initial recruitment process into onboarding, with great success. We placed Virgin's brand front and centre throughout the process, ensuring that we maintained a candidate experience fully reflective of Virgin's values and voice.


The results speak for themselves. Virgin have seen lower attrition in direct sales roles due to our improved assessment tools. We reduced time-to-hire, improved levels of vacancy fulfillment and saw a much higher level of direct candidate attraction.

Moving from multiple providers to a single RPO service engendered a spirit of close collaboration between TMP and Virgin Media. This team-based, unified approach avoided the pitfalls Virgin had previously experienced with too many people working towards the same goals in different ways. There was no ambiguity about what we were trying to achieve. Confusion, wastage, duplication of effort and uncertainty as to roles and responsibilities were eliminated as we focused our resource capability and expertise where it was needed to ensure a successful, brand-led approach to fulfilling Virgin's recruitment needs.