Planit: “Xref is our 24-hour referencing and value-add solution”

Posted on 01 Jun 2017 by Lucy Briggs-Farrell, HR Business Partner, Planit

Planit - a software testing company – operates across Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and India. Established in Australia in 1997, the company is a world leader in software testing, and prides itself on offering best-in-class functional, performance, automation and security testing services.

Today, Planit employs in excess of 1,000 highly skilled software testing staff across our international network of offices and this global operation has, in the past, presented a challenge for the recruitment team based in Australia. Prior to using Xref, the team were tasked with manually checking all references over the phone, at times for candidates on the other side of the world. The introduction of Xref has undoubtedly streamlined our recruitment process and added significant value to the business.

Securing the best talent with speed

Planit has been using Xref since late 2015, prior to which our reference checking process was an unproductive and slow task for the HR team as they struggled to contact referees, and spent up to three weeks chasing down and recording feedback.

We now often receive an Xref report within 24 hours of beginning the process, which means that we can fill a role and have someone in the job within the week. Given we use Xref at the very end of the recruitment process, we’re reference checking the people we are already fairly confident we want to hire. The quick turnaround of the report means we’re securing the best talent for the role and don’t risk losing them due to the time taken to get the final, crucial step completed.

Improving on-boarding with increased efficiency

Previously, our biggest barrier to on-boarding staff was the pre-employment process. While reference checking is essential prior to hiring, it was having a major impact on our ability to get great talent through the door and into their new role, quickly and efficiently. 

Our staff have also grown significantly in recent years, and we will often be implementing large volume recruitment drives. In order to manage an increased scale of recruitment, we needed to reassess our processes and ensure we were doing all we could to reduce time spent on what we regarded as administrative tasks, such as reference checking.

With Xref, we are able to use specific referencing templates for each role in the business and we can edit and update these as we need. These targeted, tailored and role-specific questions are resulting in more detailed and honest responses from referees, that enable us to make confident and informed hiring decisions. We are also able reduce the disruption we cause referees with Xref, as a 24-hour product. After all, the time that might be convenient for our team to call from Australia, may be the middle of the night for them.

Beyond speed and efficiency to real added value

We also now use Xref reports to not only inform hiring decisions, but also to keep the board up to speed with recruitment efforts. The level of governance and compliance support Xref provides, means we can be confident when speaking to senior executives and clients alike, that we have thoroughly background checked employees and are confident in their suitability for the role.

There is a significant return on investment for us, in using Xref. With the time saved our team is able to look at other areas of our HR operations including strategy, candidate selection and retention. But it is also helping us to take HR to the next level within our business. The value it adds not only to our team but to the business as a whole is immeasurable.

Beyond efficiencies and cost savings, we have also found that Xref enables us to eliminate bias from our reference checking process. It’s crucial for us to get a snapshot of candidates’ background and verify their work history but Xref also creates a sense of privacy and security in the process.

Ultimately, Xref creates efficiencies in our talent acquisition process that would never have been possible with traditional phone-based reference checking. It allows us to get better data more quickly, which we are also able to capture and use as benchmarks moving forward. The result is that we have a solution that not only addresses the immediate need to employ staff quickly, securely and efficiently, but also adds value for our future recruitment efforts. 

Lucy Briggs-Farrell is the HR Business Partner for Australia at Planit Software Testing. She has been working with the company since October 2015 and is responsible for aligning business objectives with employees and the management team in their designated functions. She acts as a consultant to management on all human resource-related issues.

Lucy Briggs-Farrell, HR Business Partner, Planit

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