How Iceland won best in-house innovation in recruitment

We’re thrilled to announce that along with our customer Iceland Foods, we won the award for Best In-House Innovation in Recruitment at the 2021 Recruiter Awards in London.

Established in 2002, the Recruiter Awards gala is the UK’s largest event for the entire recruitment community recognising outstanding achievements by agencies and in-house recruiters.

The award recognises the partnership between  Iceland and Sapia that saved their store leaders 24,000 hours a year by implementing transformational change – during a pandemic.

Iceland receives a high volume of applicants – more than 120,000 per month – and faced a crisis in 2020: increased trade and Covid-19 absence meant that surge hiring needed to be automated, without losing the personal touch.

Automation was critical to increase the time store managers had to trade in their stores.

It had to be a simple solution that store managers would understand quickly and trust. The candidate experience had to be fast, inclusive and human. 

The tool needed to work for the candidate market which is as diverse as the general population. The team settled on Smart Interviewer as their solution of choice. 

Candidates have reacted well to the technology, with 99% positive sentiment towards the process  and 77% of candidates more likely to  recommend Iceland as an employer of choice.

There was 5x payback in four months, giving back 8,000 hours to the business and costing less than £1 per applicant.

On top of this there was zero gender and race bias, ensuring people hires are as diverse as the applicant group.

The Judges comments were that: “ this simple, straightforward submission ticked every box by demonstrating the contribution the recruitment function played to the success of their overall business. They also clearly demonstrated thoughtful consideration to the fact that many candidates would be applying for jobs at Iceland following the decimation of their previous career paths, for example, aviation industry employees.”

Read the case study of Iceland and Sapia innovated during the pandemic here.


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