Associated British Foods - Graduates

Associated British Foods (ABF) is an international food, ingredients and retail group, operating in 47 countries. They first approached Cohesion in June 2015, to discuss outsourcing their Graduate Recruitment Programme.

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The requirement:

Cohesion first began working with ABF in 2016 and have continued to do so on an annual basis, to manage their Graduate recruitment campaign. Working to recruit into all the businesses area’s across ABF, this has involved sourcing for multiple locations (Including, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland).

Associated British Foods (ABF) is a diversified international food, ingredients and retail group with sales of £15.8 billion. ABF operate within 52 different countries across Europe, Southern Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia. The business is split across five segments, comprising of Grocery, Sugar, Agriculture, Ingredients; and Retail.

Having very popular brands and a sought-after training and development programme, it is no surprise that ABF attracts around 4,000 – 5,000 applicants for each campaign!

The aim for ABF has always been to make the candidate experience and engagement a priority, and this is something that Cohesion pride themselves on. We work in partnership with each of the business areas and know exactly what good looks like for them.

The Solution:

The solution that Cohesion provide to ABF, not only includes a range of bespoke recruitment solutions, it also includes:

  • All year round register-your-interest management
  • Advice and guidance with website content and structure
  • Pre-boarding programme
  • Feedback surveys
  • Early Talent market updates
  • Management of candidate ‘live chat’
  • Assessment Centre facilitation
  • Management Information driven from our ATS system

Each year, role requirements and therefore candidate requirements, change, depending on the wider business needs and priorities. Cohesion work closely with senior stakeholders from implementation right through to candidates joining the business, to deliver a successful campaign year on year.

The approach that Cohesion adopt, having individual contact, giving feedback through each phase of the recruitment process and responding to live chat functionality, definitely aid the overall success of the campaign.

Year on year we have implemented greater cost savings, shorter time to hire, increased offer ratios and an excellent candidate experience. Cohesion continue to work in partnership with ABF, to understand the key requirements for both the business and roles, and ultimately to be able to manage an ever improving tailored recruitment process that will help ABF to not only attract but to retain and develop Graduates to become their future business leaders.

What have the candidates said?

“The level of communication between the ABF team and candidates was outstanding. The team’s feedback and constant encouragement really helped motivate and inspire.”

“The singular best thing I can say is that, even though I was declined, when I called for feedback there was in-depth feedback responding to each of the answers I gave in the video interview. The market is so competitive and this shows a high level of professionalism justifying my reason for applying in the first place.”

What the client has said:

“We have been working with Cohesion for 5 years now and we would describe our relationship with them as a partnership. Our account team are passionate, driven and friendly which has meant it feels like they are an extension of our internal team. Whatever our priorities Cohesion have worked with us to help develop objectives, and action plans to achieve these. Over the 5 years working with Cohesion, they haven’t been scared to challenge us to improve and therefore with their help we have seen our cost per hire decrease and our success ratio at assessment centres increase. What makes Cohesion stand out is their passion for customer experience, they have taken our graduate recruitment from a faceless numbers game to a recruitment process where every candidate can have a positive experience. One of the most regular pieces of feedback we get from candidates is how valued they feel and how they really get a sense that we want them to succeed, something which is driven from the first stage of our process managed on our behalf by Cohesion. We are looking forward to working with Cohesion again for our 2021 intake, and seeing how we can continue to progress our recruitment process.”  (Graduate Talent Officer, Associated British Foods)

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