Like many other businesses, Virgin Media was receiving very high customer call volumes and needed to draft in extra resources to their call centres to answer phones and solve customer queries. 500 new jobs were created at locations across the country on both a permanent and fixed-term basis. This gave staff job security and created flexible employment opportunities for people who needed to find work in the short to medium term. The roles were based in Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and Teesside.
As the UK entered lockdown for COVID-19, downstream traffic to Virgin Media contact centres increased by around 50% during daytime hours, but was still below evening peak levels. Upstream traffic – including
customer video calls – increased by up to 95% during daytime hours. To maintain excellent service, Virgin Media created more than 500 new contact centre jobs in the UK, to help keep customers connected during this critical time.
500 starters were needed within 2 months of launch, using a completely redesigned process taking account social distancing measures. Candidates could not attend assessment centres and interviews onsite, contact centre managers would not have capacity to interview while maintaining stringent service levels and right to work/onboarding checks could not go ahead as a visual review of original documentation as normal. Additionally, Virgin Media introduced a number of measures to ensure its people remained as safe as possible while continuing to help answer customer calls and queries. This included providing remote working capabilities, where possible, and flexible working patterns. All of this onboarding and training experience needed to be brought-to-life for candidates at the outset of their application to ensure swift hiring of the right calibre people.
An agile working group was formed and this met twice daily, to track project implementation and delivery progress. A new virtual hiring process was designed and implemented in less than 2 weeks. TMP fast-tracked application and assessment by using video interviews, dramatically reducing the processing time and allowing staff to be selected within days and start within weeks. To generate candidates we built a new page on the Virgin Media careers site and created an enhanced attraction plan to drive applicants there. We diverted existing candidates (whose roles had been cancelled) into the new process. We created two microsites to improve quality of applications and speed-up hiring; a hints and tips site and a site illustrating the overall application process. Hiring capacity was ramped up, utilising our global delivery centres to score nearly 5,000 video interviews and to support onboarding of successful candidates without delay.
Within 2 weeks of launch TMP’s RPO team had:
" Due to the COVID-19 situation, we needed a new hiring process in an extremely short period of time. In less than two weeks, TMP had candidates moving swiftly through the process. TMP's agility ensured candidates could start within one month of applying. As the situation continued, we found that we needed additional on-boarding support. TMP created microsites to educate and move people through the process which, at the same time, reduced email traffic to our teams. Most importantly, TMP has helped us build a new level of trust with our hiring managers, enabling us to work in a far more efficient and safe way. The success of this project means that we now have a new way of recruiting to build on in the future.” Sharron O’Donnell, Head of Resourcing, Virgin Media