SWIFT ENLISTS SHL TO RECRUIT FOR CHINESE EXPANSION
SWIFT, the global secure messaging services provider, is using a bespoke online recruitment programme to ensure its continued expansion in China, a key market for business growth and development.
SWIFT enlisted the support of online assessment specialist SHL to direct its recruitment and assessment processes in 2004, following the company’s successful, tailor-made assessment programmes with global organisations such as Kimberly-Clark, Krispy Kreme and 3M. SWIFT is now using SHL’s expertise for a niche, high-stakes recruitment project in China in addition to its standard recruitment process.
The company has been working with SHL to grow its offering in China, one of its biggest growth markets and the world’s leading country for trade finance messaging. Its most recent programme aims to recruit four Chinese MBA graduates, who demonstrate analytical and customer-focused behaviours and are keen to work as part of a developing team, to grow the Company’s presence and reputation in China from its expanding Beijing office.
Anne Lemaire, HR business partner at SWIFT, and Monisa Wan, HR Manager Asia-pacific at SWIFT, called in SHL to help manage the specialised programme following the success of the Company’s annual graduate recruitment drive. The online use of SHL’s OPQ32 personality questionnaire and OVT and ONT verbal and numerical ability tests in this process allowed the HR team to shave three weeks off the recruitment timeline and minimise the time drain on HR personnel and line managers.
Anne comments, "Our recruitment requirements for the Beijing office are highly specific, and the selection process is business critical as the candidates chosen have an important role to play in growing our business in China, as well as looking after the needs of the 160 clients that we already have in the area.
"SHL provided the specific ability tests and personality questionnaires to allow us to select four candidates out of 229 applicants in just six weeks, using online testing and selection to streamline the interview process. This allowed us to cut down on recruitment spending and time investment, while ensuring that our recruits were of the highest calibre."
In order to recruit those best suited to facilitate the growth of SWIFT’s Chinese offering, an initial sift was used to remove 109 candidates that were not suitable for the roles. Successful candidates then took SHL’s OVT and ONT verbal and numerical online ability tests.
The next step included a 30 minute telephone interview with 74 candidates to assess their level of English comprehension and their customer orientation skills. The results of this competency based interview were used to identify a long-list of 26 candidates showing the potential to succeed. Following an OPQ32 personality test (which candidates could take in English or their native tongue), the 12 remaining candidates that had demonstrated good personality fit with SWIFT and the role were flown to Hong Kong for the final interview stage.
Monisa adds, "The four candidates we selected this year are currently undertaking a year’s training in Belgium; our contacts there indicate that they really are the ‘crème de la crème’ of the talent on the market. The small team in Beijing means that candidates will essentially have to manage on their own in this competitive business environment, so their potential not only casts the HR team in a favourable light, but also promises great things for the Company’s growth in crucial markets like China."
Moreover, the selection process has proven to be a success even amongst candidates that didn’t make the cut this time around. Anne comments, "All of the candidates that applied for the position have been very impressed with the precision of the process. In fact, one applicant told me that the procedure had been so rigorous that she would have no regrets if she wasn’t offered a position, as she was certain that we would have selected the right candidates for the job!"
SWIFT recruits staff across the globe, from graduates to senior managers, and has been working with SHL since 2004 to improve the quality and consistency of its recruitment practices worldwide. The company uses personality questionnaires, ability tests and assessment tools to manage every aspect of the career life-cycle, from large scale graduate recruitment programmes to team fit tests and career and leadership progression reviews.
The company will use SHL for four subsequent selection programmes in Beijing, and aims to use SHL’s recruitment and assessment expertise to further improve its global cohesion in managing every stage of the employee life cycle.