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Search Industrial and DFS: Creating a unique recruitment strategy to secure top talent

Tags: blog, Industrial, Case Study

​DFS is the UK's leading furniture retailer, also operating in Spain, the Netherlands and Ireland. They were founded in 1969 in Doncaster, and employ nearly 4,000 staff in the UK alone. With over 120 retail stores, three factories and two mills, attracting the right talent to keep the business running smoothly, and the legacy of the brand protected, is no easy feat.

DFS pride themselves on innovation and expertise to remain at the top of the home furnishing industry. They are always keen to use technology and visualisation within their business in order to stay ahead of competitors. It was this outside-of-the-box thinking that allowed them try a new approach when recruiting a cohort of drivers and warehouse staff.

Listening to precise specifications

DFS came to Search Industrial with a specific requirement. They were looking to build up their team, both on a temporary and permanent basis. Having worked with Search Industrial, and particularly our Business Director, Tracy McIntyre, for 16 years, DFS knew they were in good hands. Although the recruitment criteria was tight, they had faith that Tracy knew the business well enough to recruit the right people.

For the Search Industrial team, this wasn’t a standard recruitment campaign. DFS emphasised that they wanted a very high quality of candidate, one that would immerse themselves into the DFS way of working, and their company culture. This meant that Search Industrial had to cast a wider recruitment net than usual. But what would pique the interest of those suitable candidates, and how would they locate them? It was time for a strategic rethink.

Recruitment with a marketing twist

Having partnered with DFS for 16 years, Search Industrial knew the brand well. Overall they are a popular company to work for, with a attractive benefits package. Convincing and prepping candidates for interview would be no problem, but finding those candidates was proving more of a struggle. So, the team turned to social media to help.

Search Industrial, alongside DFS, created a large marketing campaign on social media to promote the business, and their ongoing recruitment. It targeted users across multiple platforms, and encouraged those appropriate to apply, whilst selling the benefits of working for a large, well-known company.

The campaign was well-planned, heavily targeted and, although time consuming, resulted in a huge response. Not only did it have a positive impact on DFS’ overall brand, but the level of candidates responding was very high.

Now that the team had an influx of promising CVs, it was time to manually screen each one to ensure that only the best were put forward for the role.

“Usually a client wouldn’t have as much input as DFS, but they were really keen on attracting a certain calibre of candidate, one that was aligned to their brand values and would be part of the DFS family for years to come. Recruitment really is about adapting to the specific needs of your client, and this was one way to ensure that they were satisfied with the candidates we selected, right from the very beginning,” said Tracy Mcintyre.

The interview process beings

After the Search Industrial team had screened every CV and consulted with candidates over the telephone, the best applicants were invited for a face-to-face interview with a Search recruiter. This also included an assessment to ensure they had the necessary skills and that the calibre remained high, all before they were ever introduced to the team at DFS.

The successful candidates were then invited to an internal interview with the DFS Distribution Manager, which Tracy attended and her team ensured they were fully prepped for. The interview process was also revamped with a more branded feel, with an emphasis on core values and company culture.

“The Search Industrial team were heavily involved in all stages of the recruitment process, from telephone interviews to final stage, and we prepped multiple candidates every step of the way. Checking in to ensure these candidates understood the requirements of the role, making sure that it was still the right fit for them and that they were still available was essential to keep the applicants engaged.. Never underestimate the power of a pep talk!” said Tracy Mcintyre.

As a result of the recruitment campaign, every person that DFS decided to hire was a candidate of Search Industrial – fourteen in total. DFS managed to attract all of the long term talent they needed, and see this as critical to future success and business growth.

“We were very impressed with Search Industrial. Our recruitment process needed a revamp, and through their unique approach, we have managed to attract a much higher level of applicant than in the past. It has been vital to our growth as a brand, and a very worthwhile investment to ensure we keep developing our internal talent base. As a result of this, in the future we will always turn to Search Industrial when hiring in our Glasgow and Edinburgh locations," Harry Mulholland, Distribution Centre Manager at DFS.

This was the most successful recruitment campaign that DFS had ever undertaken, and since then they have worked with Search Industrial on several additional key recruitment projects.

Are you looking to strengthen your warehouse, transport or production team with a unique recruitment campaign? Get in touch with Tracy and her team today.

If you are looking to recruit for your next warehouse or driving role get in touch with Search Industrial to find out more about how we can meet your recruitment needs.