Rolls-Royce - Helping people managers ‘recruit the best’

Rolls-Royce is a global company providing highly efficient integrated power and propulsion solutions. The power systems are used in aerospace, marine, energy and off-highway applications.

Rolls-Royce supports its customers through a worldwide network of offices, manufacturing and service facilities and employs over 45,000 employees.

The key locations are Asia Pacific (India and Singapore), Europe (Germany, Norway, UK) and US (North America and Canada).

What did they do?

When it comes to recruiting quality and diverse talent into Rolls-Royce, it wants to ensure that it upholds the highest standards, the process is excellent and it keeps the company safe (leading with integrity). This is one of the reasons why resourcing is part of the HR strategic focus areas. 

Rolls-Royce wanted to ensure its people managers had the tools, resources and support to help them recruit the best, and as such created a new e-learning module.  The module covers diversity and inclusion, how to use the high-performance culture principles while interviewing, data privacy and compliance, and effective questioning techniques.

When creating global training it can be challenging to ensure its relevance. Rolls-Royce found that linking training to the global diversity and inclusion policies helped greatly.

The module is broken down into different sections; preparing to interview, during the interview, after the interview, learning summary and test your learning.

Diversity and inclusion is woven through each module, but there is also a diversity and inclusion section covering areas such as why are people’s differences important to Rolls-Royce, filters/blind spots (or unconscious bias to others), body language, and types of discrimination.

‘Recruit the best’ is available for people managers to access when they need it (for example, when they have a need for talent in their team), rather than giving everyone training at once. The previous e-learning course had focused purely on assessment centre interviewing, and as a result only 10% of hiring managers globally completed the course in 2015.

Globally, all hiring managers are supported by ‘Recruit the best’ to develop the skills they need to interview effectively and compliantly, helping Rolls-Royce recruit the best people and ensure candidates have a great experience – after all, interviewing is a two-way process.

What was the impact?

Rolls-Royce have designed the ‘Recruit the best’ module to set their people managers up for success.  They want them to have the skills, knowledge and resources to conduct the best interview for possible in the right environment. 

Active hiring managers need to have the learnings at the forefront of their mind before, during and after interview. Rolls-Royce want the hiring managers to relax, smile and feel confident they know what they are doing. It is worth highlighting that in the first four months of its launch, the training was completed by 86% of senior executives who were actively recruiting.

Similarly, Rolls-Royce knows that candidates can be advocates for its brand, so it treats them as importantly customers. Rolls-Royce wants candidates to walk away from the interview feeling they have been able to be at their best and enjoyed the experience no matter what the result.

Where there any challenges?

As part of this process, Rolls-Royce engaged many different stakeholders to gather feedback that was used to help develop the module. Stakeholders included successful and unsuccessful candidates, and output from the employee opinion survey and employee experience project.

Due to this and not have any challenges in proving a need or developing the module. The ‘Recruit the best’ module has received great feedback from its people managers so far, but it is too early to say what impact it is having on the  recruitment process. 

Rolls-Royce are confident it will help it to recruit diverse talent who are right for the job, and will leave candidates who were not successful happy to apply for future positions.

Hints and tips

It is important to review what the organisation currently has in place, as it may only need tweaking. Speak to people managers who have completed it recently, do it yourself, get senior managers to as well. The previous module was not good enough in view of the changing landscape.

It is also worthwhile reviewing if you can buy something externally from any of your current providers. Working with a diverse group of people to create your module is essential to steer you away from in-group bias/groupthink.

You should, where possible, conduct a pilot of the training that you develop, once again ensuring that you have as diverse a group as possible. The pilot provides you valuable feedback and allows you to change if necessary before launching fully.

Also, everyone completing the ‘Recruit the best’ module is asked to provide feedback – this ensures that the material is kept relevant and supporting the business needs.

This type of training is only one part of the machine. There are other aspects that help ensure Rolls-Royce attracts and recruits diverse candidates (for example, the work they do in schools and universities), diverse targets for shortlists (but appointments still based on merit), reducing assessment time online and in person for graduates, and removing the need for a Masters degree for the graduate programmes.  All these actions form part of a wider landscape to ensure it recruits the best.