APG & Co.: “Xref Has Breathed New Life Into Our Hiring Process”

Posted on 25 Jul 2016 by Laura Johnson

For more than 60 years, APG & Co. has been proud to be behind some of Australia’s most iconic fashion brands. At our core, we are driven to succeed, we are authentic, we are courageous and, ultimately, we are customer obsessed. We are devoted to providing the optimal service, and great service relies on having the best team possible representing the group across our Support Office and Retail stores.  


When it comes to our recruitment process we don’t cut corners. However, we had come to realise that, when seeking references, our necessary caution had become time-consuming. In recent years, reference checking had become a pain point fraught with risk, weighing down resources and slowing the hiring process.


The helping hand we needed came from Xref’s automated reference checking process. The platform perfectly addresses our referencing concerns by providing a solution that fits particularly well with the retail industry, as retail employees typically operate outside of traditional business hours.


Speed, Ease and Security

In the fast-paced environment we now live and work in, time is a luxury. We found that the time and resources (often of our retail store managers) used chasing references from referees, who were often uncontactable during traditional trading hours, became a shared frustration that was felt industry-wide.


The Xref process saves time and distraction for referees who work on shop floors, allowing them to respond at a time that works for them. Also, by placing responsibility on the candidate to drive and encourage responses, the legwork is taken away from our busy and time-constrained HR team.


For APG & Co., requesting a reference now takes just 15 seconds. We no longer chase time, we save it, and Xref has become a staple tool used for the recruitment of every employee across our 300+ stores across Australia and New Zealand. It has set a new standard for all hiring across the group.  


Additionally, Xref provides a previously unachievable layer of security to our hiring process. While APG & Co. has never been subject to a high volume of fraudulent hires, the Xref platform now provides the comfort that any fraudulent reference attempts will be identified, and a number already have. We also feel assured that we are complying with data privacy regulations, a risk we admittedly hadn’t sufficiently acknowledged through our referencing process in the past.


Data and Performance Management

Before we discovered Xref, we were calling referees directly. But we found that these phone references provided us with limited, inconsistent and insufficient data to make great hiring decisions.


Now we use the data provided by Xref to better understand the strength and weakness of new employees before they join us, giving us the opportunity to plan our training and management requirements. This ensures that we are able to offer employees the best possible support in their career progression, while preventing us from ruling out candidates that may not “tick all the boxes” on paper, but have most of the key skills required for the role.


As omni-channel shopping becomes the norm, our industry has never been in more need of a competitive edge. We believe that new technologies are the solution to staying ahead of the crowd, both on the shop floor and in Support Office. Xref has breathed new life into our hiring process by offering a customisable, nimble and flexible solution. With Xref, we have the ability to gather accurate, honest and insightful feedback in a fraction of the time it would traditionally take and without any of the associated risks.



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