In a highly competitive labour market, Wincanton’s highly predictive pre-employment assessment tool improves hiring speed, effectiveness, and candidate experience.

The labour market has never been so sensitive, triggered by post-Brexit changes and the elevated levels of employment. The consequence is that there is a greater and more complex demand at a time when supply of talent has never been shorter. Colleagues have greater choices about where they work. This means there is a greater need to be creative in our recruitment, retention and onboarding – and to become more colleague centred than ever. 

The candidate conundrum

Wincanton recognised the issue with managers spending their days CV sifting, telephone screening and interviewing instead of managing, and the average time it took to make an offer was up to four weeks. Candidate drop-off was also a problem, with candidates dropping out of the hiring process/funnel at all stages pre and post receiving an offer of employment.  

Additionally, there were issues with new colleagues being under-prepared for the realities of the role. Some candidates accepted a position only to then leave after the business had invested in weeks of training, simply because the role wasn’t right for them.  

Intelligent hiring solution

Technology and innovation helped us to manage this recruitment challenge through W² Labs. W² Labs  is Wincanton’s programme to bring together some of the brightest minds and disrupters to tackle industry challenges in innovative ways to enable us to create value for our customers. Through the W² Labs programme and in partnership with ThriveMap, Recruiter was born.

Recruiter is a digital tool which automates the assessment process (including systems integration) so the recruitment team can make offers more quickly to suitable candidates. It also reduces the time it takes to hire new people. This includes a digitisation of the recruitment process to allow colleagues to digitally see the working environment for themselves, so they have a better understanding of an average day in the role they have applied for. One candidate commented, “The assessment is interesting and makes you feel like you are already working there! Great idea.” This means candidates have the option of self-selecting out of the recruitment process at any stage if the role is not what they expect.  

A positive and fair candidate experience

Recruiter dramatically speeds up the entire recruitment process, improving candidate conversion and  new hire retention and performance. We have also digitised the interview process, removing unconscious bias which has resulted in an increased diversity of colleagues, so we fairly represent the communities in which we work.  

Recruiter streamlines the hiring process and offers the following benefits to Wincanton and its customers: 

  • Reduced candidate drop-off - 50% improvement in top of the funnel candidate conversion 
  • Increase in job offers - automatic scoring resulting in a 150% increase in offers from the same talent pool 
  • Better candidate experience - 91% of candidates report the assessment as positive experience with 9% neutral and 0% negative feedback 
  • Reduced average time to offer - from up to four weeks to just 24 hours. This is a 96% reduction in time to hire, based on an online assessment score. 

Jo Pick, People Director at Wincanton, commented: 

"Recruiter has completely changed our approach to engaging with candidates. It provides them with early insight into the role expectations with the “day in the life” videos and interactive activities. It also provides line managers with robust, unbiased hiring decisions with minimal time invested. Finally, we’ve clearly demonstrated the link between using the Recruiter tool and retaining new hires in their first 6 months, saving significant cost. With Recruiter the outcomes are all win-win " 

Chris Platts, CEO of ThriveMap, commented: 

“Partnering with Wincanton to develop job realistic assessments for its colleagues has been a great experience. Its commitment to fair and inclusive hiring practices is clear and it is obvious they really care about improving their stats around hiring.” 


improvement in conversion


increase in job offers


of candidates report a positive experience


reduction in average time to offer