Case Study - Johnson Matthey

Johnson Matthey Logo

In 2006, the Johnson Matthey Catalysts HR team were asked to step up the pace with their change agenda. However, they were finding it extremely difficult to do this and analysed why. They discovered that they were spending a large proportion of their time completing routine recruitment work. This was frequently meaning up to 70% of each HR Manager's time and 100% for the administrators. Instead of increasing their headcount, they chose instead to outsource their recruitment activity and find a recruitment partner that could not only offer the same high level of service but also make recommendations for further improvement.

In asking a number or organisations to tender for the work they wanted to know not only what services they normally provide but also what ideas they had to help move the outsourcing to a level not normally experienced within other companies. Of the companies that were assessed there were several large known names in the recruitment industry but they eventually chose to offer the contract to DBA HR Solutions.

They felt that appointing DBA HR Solutions was a sensible choice as we were able to offer:

  • a flexible and multi faceted approach
  • a competitive and appropriate price structure
  • an experienced HR professional to manage the contract
  • resources specifically allocated to Johnson Matthey Catalysts
  • enthusiasm for the task

Within the first 12 months not only were the transactional activities successfully transferred but also a number of tasks which other companies would probably hesitate to allow an external company to perform on their behalf. DBA HR Solutions had the time-served and qualified HR professional which other recruitment consultancies typically cannot offer. Yet we also carried the understanding of the 'recruitment world' at the same time.

Now we handle all the recruitment activities from the point where the role is authorised to the day the successful candidate starts with the company. We handle all of the administration, logistics, advertising, line manager liaison, contract paperwork, candidate interview expenses, candidate feedback, reference checking, security vetting and work permit applications to name the elements you'd expect to see. However, we also manage all of the other second tier recruitment suppliers, negotiating their fees on behalf of Johnson Matthey to get the best deal and consolidate their fees into one monthly invoice. Previous suppliers were asked to liaise via us and new suppliers are sourced and recommended by us as required.

More significant, perhaps, than all of this is the fact that we typically handle the negotiation of the starting package with the successful candidate after agreeing what scope we have to negotiate. Despite the fact that part of our own fee structure includes a percentage of the starting salary we most typically do not use the full value of the package available to offer the candidate. We are trusted to manage Johnson Matthey's money like it is our own and gain great pride from being trusted to that extent. On one occasion recently we withheld £3000 in salary and the potential for a large Golden Hello because we persuaded the candidate to accept a lower, yet still acceptable, package.

We have completed our first annual review with strong positive feedback and are intensely proud to have been able not only to acquire this contract, but most importantly make a success of it. It may be appropriate for the client to have the last word with one comment from Ben Jenkinson (HR Director):

"DBA successfully took away the hassle and time pressures of a significant recruitment workload whilst allowing us to retain the critical hiring decisions and concentrate on real added value HR activity."

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