Costain: Smart recruitment for smart infrastructure

Costain: Smart recruitment for smart infrastructure

Costain: Smart recruitment for smart infrastructure

Costain, the smart infrastructure solutions company, has used the Morson Group as its talent partner for well over a decade, benefitting from our extensive candidate reach and proven business improvement processes.

“The quality of their people is paramount, and they leave no stone unturned. We require specific engineering disciplines and operational skills, which are always delivered. Morson is transparent in its reporting, always open and honest about its results, which have been consistently strong in our time working together.

Morson is viewed as part of Costain, because the team is driven to go above and beyond their remit, supporting us to achieve our own objectives.”

– Richard Howell, head of supply chain at Costain

Costain, the smart infrastructure solutions company, has used the Morson Group as its talent partner for well over a decade, benefitting from our extensive candidate reach and proven business improvement processes.

 

A dedicated division

Having developed a dedicated, 20+ strong Costain recruitment team at the start of our relationship, we have been able to truly align with the business’ disciplines, implementing a four-step process which ensures the firm can meet its objectives to budget, and on time, for every project.

As part of our vacancy approval service, we delve into Costain’s future, flexible workforce needs, then talent pool candidates ahead of the approval process, to deliver a more efficient talent solution. For new requirements, we work with Costain’s discipline leads to understand all elements of the roles available, ensuring contractors are delivered with the right experience, qualifications and skills.

Equality and diversity are the foundations of our candidate attraction and recruitment processes. We support Costain to write job adverts that are inclusive and encouraging of all qualified candidates to apply so that no implied barriers exist. During the hiring process, we provide a 3:1 or better CV to interview ratio.

We act to time-bound performance targets to ensure a consistent candidate and hiring manager journey throughout, while our onboarding and time capture programme is digitally optimised. Through our contractor care team and online timesheet solution, we provide all Costain hiring managers and contractors with a dedicated point of contact whilst retaining a fully auditable log of compliance and hours.

 

Covid considerations

In March 2020, Costain temporarily paused some of its operations at the very start of the Coronavirus pandemic. We adapted our delivery rapidly but effectively in order to ensure it could continue operations, keeping its contractor workforce updated on process and policy changes as they emerged.

In line with new legislation, we implemented a ‘Covid-19 Support Hub’ for Costain, arming its permanent team, as well as its contingent labour, with support as the world around them continued to change.

As well as offering advice on workplace safety audits, flexible workforce solutions and providing interim HR support, the hub also shared advice on maintaining physical and mental wellbeing through a seriously challenging period of time, and as sites became operational once more.

While Covid-19 enforced an alternative way of working throughout 2020 and into 2021, we are committed to achieving the same outstanding levels of service we have for Costain across our previous years working together.

 

An ongoing commitment

Throughout our partnership, our dedicated talent team has filled more than 2,000 contractor roles on schemes, our robust delivery has seen us achieve 98% of KPIs, and we’ve achieved significant cost savings via our commercial and strategic recruitment model.

Richard Howell, head of supply chain at Costain, said:

Having developed a dedicated, 20+ strong Costain recruitment team at the start of our relationship, we have been able to truly align with the business’ disciplines, implementing a four-step process which ensures the firm can meet its objectives to budget, and on time, for every project. Morson’s partnership is one of our more strategic relationships; it’s collaborative, integrated and highly effective. The team is client focused, has an in-depth understanding of the markets we’re involved in – and those we want to enter in the future – and how we operate, and can anticipate our needs and support them through to fruition.

 

“The quality of their people is paramount, and they leave no stone unturned. We require specific engineering disciplines and operational skills, which are always delivered. Morson is transparent in its reporting, always open and honest about its results, which have been consistently strong in our time working together.

 

“Morson is viewed as part of Costain, because the team is driven to go above and beyond their remit, supporting us to achieve our own objectives.”

​If you would like to find out more about our MSP solution and how we can help your organisation cost save, continuously improve, and transform through talent, get in touch with Morson director, David Lynchehaun at david.lynchehaun@morson.com

MORSON SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS

  • 20+ strong Costain recruitment team
  • Equality and diversity are the foundations of our candidate attraction and recruitment process
  • Time-bound performance targets
  • Genuine strategic relationship
  • 3:1 or better CV to interview ratio

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Sir Robert McAlpine: Our strategic MSP partnership

Sir Robert McAlpine: Our strategic MSP partnership

Sir Robert McAlpine: Our strategic MSP partnership

​Over the last four years, we’ve been able to support Sir Robert McAlpine (SRM) to develop a fully integrated service model that has enabled them to have full control over the contingent workforce they rely upon across their sites. As Coronavirus hit the UK, we adapted our delivery to ensure the business could remain operational against a truly unforeseen challenge, bringing the value behind our strategic partnership into the spotlight.

Morson partnered with Sir Robert McAlpine in 2017 to develop a fully integrated service model, managing the complete supply chain to ensure SRM benefitted from the best available talent on the market.

By working closely alongside SRM as a true MSP resourcing partner, we were able to develop insight into its project pipeline, which we utilised to extract highly skilled talent from our network within the built environment to effectively set up relevant talent pools for upcoming ventures. These individuals were mobilised seamlessly, from introduction to appointment, within very short timeframes.

Our national infrastructure made us best placed to support SRM in this way, given its needs to quickly dispatch individuals to its sites up and down the country. Through our tailored services, we were able to deliver leading talent, financial control, quality and innovation unlike anything SRM had experienced previously.

However, in 2020, our focus shifted. When Covid-19 hit UK shores and began to threaten the productivity of construction sites across the country, our relationship with SRM went beyond contractual agreement; we worked in a true partnership approach to ensure it could achieve as close to business as usual levels of operation as possible and developed technology and solutions that prioritised the mental and physical health of the SRM team during the most challenging conditions many had ever encountered.

 

Construction and Coronavirus

In March of that year, SRM, like many other construction companies, had to demobilise large numbers of contractors extremely quickly due to disruptive changes in the environment. To help support clients facing this obstacle, we initially adapted our own business – rapidly but effectively – in order to ensure we could offer a continuity of service to clients. Despite 97 per cent of our internal workforce working from home, we were able to reimagine agreed strategies to focus on creating solutions for clients that enabled them to remain successful.

Having an established MSP in place with SRM, we had visibility of its entire contractor population, which meant we could engage with them efficiently about the overnight impact of the UK lockdown. We played an unequivocally vital role in the communications and processes that were put in place to close sites with almost immediate effect. Within 48 hours of the lockdown announcement, every contractor had been informed of SRM’s updated policy and had exited site, which we made clear was for their own protection, and in compliance with the law.

Over the year, as restrictions ebbed and flowed, we worked synonymously with SRM to remobilise its teams to site. We used our in-house reporting technology to inform senior management of its contractor spend on a weekly basis, broken down by region, to enable it to manage costs for the wider business in a delicate financial climate. Having Morson available for 24/7 support also freed up valuable resources amongst leaders who faced pressure in other business areas.

Having been selected as the official ‘Northern Recruitment Partner’ in REED’s ‘Keep Britain Working’ movement, part of our role centred on redeploying contractors who found themselves out of work, or in suddenly low demand industries, into those which were in high demand or faced labour shortages to ensure as many of our clients as possible were able to sustain their businesses. As part of our MSP with SRM, we were able to recruit and onboard six suitable contractors in less than 48 hours – all of whom were qualified to the senior specialist skill levels required – at a point when resource became suddenly limited. This ensured there was minimum disruption for SRM and enabled the project to continue at pace.

 

Coordination during continuous change

Throughout our relationship with SRM – but particularly in the year of 2020 and beyond – we have striven to demonstrate that, as a group of people, we go well beyond the scope of services our business offers, making clients and their success our main focus.

Nadeem Mirza, head of resourcing at Sir Robert McAlpine, said:

“In the last 12 months, our MSP with Morson has completely matured. They are fully engaged with our business; they open up new streams to reach candidates, they understand our culture and processes and even with a higher quality of service are saving us hundreds of thousands of pounds each year compared to previous solutions.

 

When Coronavirus became part of our lives, our partnership with Morson truly came into its own. They achieved in 48 hours what our team would’ve taken at least a week to implement – and they did it when quick action was imperative, never ever making us feel like we were just one of many clients they had to do this for. Our service remained personalised, and we felt a priority, at every step.

The term ‘extension of our team’ is used a lot, but it is certainly the case with Morson. Whenever we made an update as a business, they were amongst the first to know and helped us communicate this to our workforce. It has been a truly coordinated effort at a time when we were so physically removed from one another.

Covid-19 has been tragic, with a catastrophic impact on so many parts of our lives. A positive we can take is that Morson’s actions have helped our relationship to go from strength to strength. I have direct access to Morson’s leaders as well as my account team, and they have made what has been an extremely tough year into something constructive for us.

There is a lot of synergy in how our two businesses are run – that’s what makes it work. I’ve worked with other recruiters who’ve implemented an MSP, but the relationship had no personality. With Morson, I know we have genuine relationships with recruitment professionals.”

If you would like to find out more about our MSP solution and how we can help your organisation cost save, continuously improve, and transform through talent, get in touch with Morson MSP director, David Lynchehaun at david.lynchehaun@morson.com

MORSON SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Managing the complete supply chain
  • Entire contractor population visibility
  • Rapid Covid response and support
  • Genuine strategic relationship
  • Achieving 6 figure savings per year

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Manchester Airport Group: Recruitment takes flight with Morson RPO

Manchester Airport Group: Recruitment takes flight with Morson RPO

Manchester Airport Group: Recruitment takes flight with Morson RPO

Jetting 59 million+ passengers to 270 destinations each year is an increasingly complex operation and requires top talent. With a portfolio comprising Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands Airports, the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) looks to its 40,000 strong team to not only keep passengers moving around the clock, but to drive efficiency, service quality, growth, and mitigate operational issues.

The challenge

Initially contracted to source engineering skillsets in response to MAG’s evolving needs, it quickly became apparent to us that what the Group required was support identifying the right professional services talent. Spanning HR, procurement, legal and more, we’re fully embedded within MAG’s operations to deliver cost efficiencies and attract talent to essential roles, both within the operation and group services, and to support the delivery of the transformation programmes at both Manchester and Stansted Airports.

Jacqui Jones, Head of Interim Recruitment at MAG, explains:

“We’re considered as part of the MAG team, to the point where we’re included in the Group’s headcount, team meetings and staff away days. As with any new contract, the initial challenge is to build our profile from within so that we’re seen as a true extension of the team, rather than us and them. Internal managers quickly recognised the value that we delivered to the business and the number of new vacancies rocketed.”

The action

In response to the growing mix of permanent and interim needs, our MAG team grew from two to six on-site recruitment experts to meet the growing demand. Jacqui’s colleague and fellow Head of Interim Recruitment, Sara Jackson, was also seconded into the role of Head of Recruitment at MAG whilst a permanent candidate was found.

Shortly into the contract, we won a competitive tender to support MAG’s core vetting services. Based at our head office in Salford, the vetting team report directly to MAG’s head of vetting and are responsible for delivering robust checks and clearing new staff to Civil Aviation Authority standards.

As part of MAG’s wider transformation programme, the business implemented a new ERP (enterprise resource planning) platform, leveraging the latest SAP technology so that its IT capability would support efficient and scalable growth. The challenge for us was the availability of SAP skills, especially as MAG became the first-ever organisation to adopt the full cloud-based end-to-end solution.

Jacqui continues:

“SAP skillsets are rare and are usually only found in the South of England. We were competing in the same talent pool with businesses worldwide and had the added barrier in that we needed to attract the talent up north. This wasn’t without its difficulties, but by utilising the Morson Group’s wider technical abilities, we were able to develop an attractive interim package and source the best candidates.”

Delivering a successful RPO has meant our team needed to remain agile and respond to MAG’s changing recruitment needs.

“Some of our larger counterparts are far too rigid in how they work. We’ve always prioritised client service and go the extra mile to maintain great relationships. If we need additional support to deliver our promises then we’ll recruit it, bucking the norm in recruitment where if an account makes you £X amount of money then you can recruit X many people to work on it.”

The result

During the four-year contract to date, we have filled more than 750 vacancies for the leading Airports Group.

Notable hires include recruiting the ‘head of’ and ‘director’ for the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) and MAG’s construction director. Utilising a number of targeted recruitment tactics, including dedicated search specialists, bespoke landing pages, print advertising in leading political and national news outlets and market mapping, saving MAG £thousands in search fees.

Some of the key innovations that we have introduced during its tenure with MAG include an online timesheet system that reduced admin time for hiring managers. Management information reports tailored to HR and procurement requirements were also delivered, as well as precise one-page flash reports that aligned to strategic objective outputs. In addition, we have provided a variety of process communication tools and a project-based RPO specifically for security performance leads.

 

Don’t take our word for it…

Working with Morson can only be described as ‘collaborative. This hybrid recruitment model has delivered many benefits including reduced cost, increased MI and greater governance.

Our on-site account team are truly part of the in-house recruitment function at MAG and have developed strong relationships across the HR team and hiring manager community with a focus on delivery at all times.

We have been through a number of operating and process changes, with RPOne proactively adopting, supporting and championing those changes. As a recruitment team, including volume hiring, non-volume hiring and interim solutions, we have on-boarded more than 3,000 people across our airports and the RPOne service has been invaluable to achieving this.

This hybrid recruitment model, which works extremely well, has delivered many benefits including reduced cost, increased MI and greater governance since implementing this four years ago, with further benefits to come as we move into a new phase of transformation at MAG.

– Group Head of Recruitment (non-volume) at MAG

 

​If you would like to find out more about our RPO solution and how we can help your organisation cost save, continuously improve, and transform through talent, get in touch with Morson RPO director, Sam Price at sam.price@morson.com

MORSON SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Onsite team, who operated as a true extension of the MAG team
  • Supported MAG’s core vetting services
  • A mix of permanent and interim needs
  • Introduction of an online timesheet system and MI reporting
  • Notable hires include recruiting the ‘head of’ and ‘director’ for the Northern Powerhouse Partnership

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