Accenture’s main challenge was being able to hire in-demand, diverse talent at scale. Matching standardisation of recruitment with the scalability of business needs was proving to be a growing challenge, particularly when recruiting within such competitive niches and candidate-short markets. It was becoming increasingly difficult to find high calibre, diverse candidates to meet their level of demand.
Accenture knew the value of having more capability at junior levels, and the promise of building teams for the future. However, limitations around hiring seasonal graduates into the business included restrictive timeframes, high-cost commitments, issues with volume, and discrepancies in skills due to varying university course curricula. They wanted to find a way to standardise the hire of job-ready juniors who all had the same level of training and experience in the tech stacks that their teams needed, without the high cost of their traditional recruitment options.
Furthermore, they wanted an actionable focus on hiring for diversity due to their commitment to a 50:50 gender balance across the business by 2025.
CHARACTERISTICS OF OUR SOLUTION
We built a bespoke training solution for Accenture that would help them fill their diversity and skills gaps fast, while also delivering candidates with the professional aptitude to meet their needs.
First, we placed three trained _nologists into their internal Product Development team so they could get a feel for the overall approach. Our _nologists’ maturity and experience proved to be better suited to the roles and company culture and require less handholding than candidates they’d been sourcing from other junior hiring models. Following the success of these initial placements, we worked closely with the internal Engineering teams to build out a tailored program that could be replicated and scaled up easily.
We were able to tailor every stage of the process to their needs, from the assessment stage through to the curriculum itself. Accenture incorporated their own aptitude testing and interview process to our usual assessment stage, and we aligned the course to directly address their required skills, including Java, React, Python, AWS, and Cloud. To help students integrate with the company before the course ended, we added in Accenture’s own 4-day bootcamp challenge that they’d been using as part of their onboarding process. We were able to ready the students with a live Accenture business problem and hone their creative problem-solving skills before onboarding them with their new mentors and teams.
We delivered a cobranded attraction campaign, recruiting for 10 Junior Engineer roles. Our internal marketing team used a range of platforms, messaging, and imagery to target key demographics that aligned with Accenture’s diversity goals, such as more women audiences, LGBTQIA+ friendly job boards, and non-biased wording.
The first program was completed in 2022 and all 10 students were placed into Accenture’s ‘Pega Practice’ team within 6 months of the partnership beginning. This program involved 3 months of planning, attraction, and assessment, followed by 3 months of tailored training linked to their final placement in the Pega team.
Outcomes and benefits
One of the main benefits to Accenture was our ability to build out a bespoke curriculum and add value as quickly as possible. By aligning with Accenture’s need for certain skills and a standardised approach to hiring new talent, we’ve helped them scale up their tech teams at pace. The course was designed to be so well-rounded that each student could be deployed into any tech area of the company, and we are now planning a second cohort to train and place 10 more Junior Engineers.
The outcomes of a truly collaborative approach greatly contributed to the success of this partnership. With strong internal buy-in, we had a close working relationship with Accenture at every stage of the program. Our ability to embed ourselves in the business via Engineering and Hiring Leads meant we had a concrete understanding of their teams’ needs before the real work even began. This extended to the onboarding process, which was mapped out well in advance so that it could be a seamless transition for everyone involved.
We employ for culture fit rather than just capability, meaning we could focus on directly enabling Accenture’s diversity goals. The cobranded attraction campaigns that we ran helped position Accenture as a diversity-first organisation, resulting in a stronger uptake of women applicants and us delivering the 50:50 gender split. Accenture’s reputation among the candidate community, at both junior and senior level, has been hugely enhanced by this partnership and has led to strong camaraderie among the _nologists who continue to upskill together within their teams at Accenture.
From a commercial perspective, the bespoke model provided standardisation and known costs, with _nologists equipped to start their placements well before Accenture even had to onboard or pay them. This facilitated an overall cost saving to the attraction, communications, and internal training stages that they would normally have to manage, alleviating time, risk, and resources along the way.
The success of this partnership has led to a review of their internal processes when it comes to junior and graduate recruitment. Via _nology, it’s opened up a new opportunity for improvements to smooth out the hiring process between Line Managers in tech teams and Talent Managers in procurement teams.