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IQPC switches to Workable and streamlines hiring across its global network

IQPC is a business to business, on and offline events company. Its 1000+ employees are based in offices spanning six continents around the world. Since implementing Workable, it's seen 100% uptake of the new system across every office, globally. And 100% uptake from its external UK recruiters too.


The challenge

The solution

  • 150+ hiring managers using different hiring tools
  • 50% of recruitment done using a manual process (emails + spreadsheets)
  • An organization that’s hiring constantly
  • Poor communication with external recruiters and candidates

  • Deploy Workable across all 10 locations
  • Provide access to Workable’s 24/7 global support
  • Use structured workflows, pipelines, scorecards and templates to streamline and standardize process
  • Collaborate and track communication using templates, 2-way email sync, candidate profiles and timeline
  • Introduce integrations to enrich candidate experience
  • All UK agency recruiters to submit and track candidates using Workable

The challenge: Different offices, different systems

IQPC is a sales-driven organisation—and hiring constantly. At any one time, they have approximately 80 open roles. But lacking the company-wide adoption of a single, effective recruiting tool, their approach to hiring was inconsistent. While 50% of offices used a legacy applicant tracking system (ATS), the rest struggled with separate hiring spreadsheets.

When Esther Smith became IQPC’s Global Head of People in 2017 her first goal was to centralize and standardize recruitment strategy. This meant switching from their current ATS, which had poor take-up and engagement, to a platform everyone would want to use.

“Our recruiters were using different functionality in different offices but no-one was using it as an end-to-end system”, she says. “This was usually because they found it too difficult, too complex. Everything we wanted to do required back-end intervention.”

The solution: Find a platform everyone wants to use

Most of IQPC’s hiring is done at line manager level. To make this work they needed a platform their 150+ hiring managers could use with little or no training. They looked at a range of systems, from basic packages to fully integrated Human Resource Management Systems (HRIS). Workable’s reputation for helping fast-growing, mid-sized businesses to scale up quickly led them to sign up for a free trial.

“The free trial allowed me to see how easy it was going to be for us to use,” says Esther.

With a planned roll-out to every office, and management-level users who are notoriously short on time, ease of use was vital.

“I wanted something that with just a few pointers and maybe a 20-minute demo people could just jump in and get on with,” says Esther.

“Our teams use LinkedIn and Facebook a lot. Workable’s interface was close to those social media sites in its positioning and I knew it would feel very natural to them.”

To meet IQPC’s full brief, the new system needed to balance manageable customization with tools that promoted consistency.

“I needed a platform that would standardize our disjointed approach to hiring. Workable made this easy through structured workflows and pipelines, scorecards, in-product best practice guides and templates.”

“With Workable you’ve got the option to customize when you choose but, unlike our legacy system, it’s not required to make the product work.”

The outcome: A better hiring experience for everyone

One year on, 446 new hires made, and everyone with a stake in recruitment at IQPC is using Workable. The dip-in dip-out approach that was so typical before has gone.

“Using Workable we’re getting value for money and a well-designed, quality product that people like and want to use,” says Esther.

Another big win was having access to integrations to build a smoother hiring experience.

“With Workable we can grow our HR technology footprint in an efficient, cost-effective way,” says Esther. “All of the partners we’re evaluating or using come through Workable. We’re currently rolling out Sapling for onboarding, and in the US we’re using Spark Hire for video interviewing. I’m also in the process of reviewing a trial with Drafted to boost referrals.”

Keeping track of communication with candidates was impossible using their old system. Now, everyone is up to speed and their candidate experience has been transformed.

“Before, I didn’t know if we were closing out candidates properly or if our communication chain with them was strong,” says Esther. “With the automated templates, 2-way email sync, candidate profiles and the timeline, we’ve been able to improve that experience a lot.”

That improved user experience also extends to IQPC’s network of external recruiters.

“Workable’s Agency tool offers external recruiters far more visibility than other ATS platforms,” says Esther. “It’s working so well that in the UK we only deal with agencies through Workable.”

The future: Building best practice

Day-to-day hiring aside, IQPC now also uses Workable to future-proof recruitment.

“Workable is constantly evolving the product to reflect new approaches to recruitment,” says Esther. ”Their GDPR support has given us a process to follow. It automates a lot of the GDPR requirements and saves time.

“With Workable we know we’ve got a platform we can grow with.”

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