TRANSITIONING A FMCG WORKFORCE

In early 2016, the newly formed Programmed Skilled Workforce transitioned 380 field employees working for a major FMCG company from the previous labour hire provider. The transition required PSW to work across ten locations nationally, including four major sites of 60+ field employees.

Prior to the transition, our team worked closely with our customer’s senior management to identify risks and mitigate controls, and work out the timeline. Due to customer requirements, we took a staggered approach over two months rather than transition all employees at the same time within our typical time frame (less than a month). We used the largest site as a pilot site, going live there one month before rolling out the other sites in further stages. This meant that we could apply any lessons learnt from the pilot to the remaining sites.

Recognising communication as key, we met with each site’s hiring manager to explain our processes and to set out mutual expectations. Once the transition had been announced to employees we met with them within one week to start the communication and transition process. We held introduction and workshop meetings at each site for day, afternoon and night shift casual employees and hiring managers. During these meetings we handed out a general Q&A information sheet as well as a clear explanation of procedures field employees would need to follow to be transitioned to PSW.

All existing field employees were required to apply through our online application tool. If the employee passed the initial screening, they then had a face-to-face interview and undertook a FlexScreen. Successful employees then went through the customer’s standard pre-placement procedure, including watching a DVD and undergoing an induction, regardless of whether they were long-term or new employees. In some locations we completed this process on-site; at others employees were asked to attend their local PSW branch.

Through the transition we retained 85% of the workforce. The vast majority of those departing were employees who had not passed our stringent recruitment and safety screening procedures.

Although our procedures ensure that retention through the transition process is high, we recognise that some attrition is likely. As a result we secured a 20–25% buffer of suitable candidates, drawing from our database and recruiting extra candidates where required.

The client has been positive about our transition and recruitment procedures. In fact our company has been received so positively that they have also engaged our professionals division for additional services.

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