cut-e helps O2 to recruit a new type of employee for two flagship ‘stores of the future’

November 22, 2016 Aon's Assessment Solutions

UK mobile operator O2 has partnered with international assessment company cut-e to select and recruit 56 new staff for its two flagship stores in London and Manchester.

Recognising the need to provide a personalised and compelling customer experience, O2 has opened two ‘stores of the future’, which provide a very different experience from a traditional ‘mobile phone shop’. The new stores feature relaxation areas and interactive ‘inspire zones’ where customers can try out the latest technology, including virtual reality apps, wearables, smartphones, tablets and connected home devices.

“The aim was to create a more compelling reason for customers to want to visit an O2 store,” said  Ross Crook, Vice President of Service Delivery at Cielo which undertakes O2’s managerial and specialist recruitment. “We appointed cut-e to help us recruit creative, gregarious, emotionally-intelligent individuals who could embody our brand, interact with customers and provide a hands-on digital experience.”

500 applicants undertook a special selection of cut-e’s online assessments to measure their creativity, communication skills and style of interacting with customers and colleagues. The best candidates were invited to submit a short video of themselves answering strengths-based questions devised by cut-e. 78 external and internal candidates were then invited to face-to-face assessment events, which were held in special pop-up stores in London and Manchester.

Each assessment event featured customer-interaction role-plays with live actors. The candidates undertook activities such as showing off the Google ecosystem, demonstrating a Star Wars BB-8 droid and diagnosing a customer problem via Skype. They also completed an interactive quiz to test their passion for technology, and a teamwork exercise.

“The assessment experience was radically different to the norm and it was designed to be an engaging, low-stress process in which candidates could show us their personality,” said Ross Crook. “cut-e devised and developed the activities and they briefed and trained our team to observe and objectively assess the candidates. We had a 98% acceptance rate when we offered the roles and we successfully recruited a diverse mix of new employees.”

The entire recruitment process - from cut-e’s briefing to the 56 job offers being accepted - took just five weeks.

“cut-e’s role was central to the success of this initiative,” added Ross Crook. “Their assessment tools identified exactly the right candidates and the feedback from everyone at O2 has been very positive. The revenues, engagement levels and retention rates at the two new stores have all been remarkably high. This whole recruitment experience has had a very beneficial impact on O2’s business, its brand and its culture.”

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