Grandir UK is the home of multiple nursery and adult learning brands and employs over 1,800 staff. They recently started implementing our Jobtrain applicant tracking system alongside features such as the Onboarding Welcome Hub, DBS and Right-to-Work integrations, job board multi-posting, and our Advanced Insights Business Intelligence tool.
Now nearing the end of the implementation process, we sat down with Kate Sarama (Head of Human Resources), Mel Edwards (HR Business Partner), and Beth Kennedy (HR Compliance Manager), to hear about why Grandir chose Jobtrain, their implementation experience so far and their path to ATS and recruiting success!
Kate: Before Jobtrain, we used a Human Resources Information System (HRIS) with an ATS bolt-on. However, it’s very clunky, not very efficient, and had a lot of margin for error. With volume recruitment going to play a big part of our hiring process moving forwards, we needed a recruitment system that could support that – and Jobtrain fits the bill.
We had seen the benefits of Jobtrain for some time before and knew it was competitively priced. Both Mel and I had used Jobtrain in previous roles and were confident that it would work really well for us here at Grandir. The cost of Jobtrain was very competitive, and the benefits of functionality like the Onboarding Welcome Hub that I’d previously used in a role at a multi-academy trust were a real stand-out compared to other providers we looked at.
Mel: Jobtrain was also the ATS I used in my previous role so when I joined Grandir and we were using the HRIS system to recruit with, I immediately missed the functionality available in Jobtrain – particularly the onboarding elements. With our business growing so quickly, Jobtrain meets our requirements that the HRIS simply couldn’t.
Beth: My role is very process-driven, so looking at Jobtrain from that perspective I’m really excited to see how the DBS integration will streamline our process from where it is now.
Beth: We use First Advantage/Know Your People for DBS checks and there are numerous steps involved. We start an application, add the candidate’s details, then send that off via email to the candidate. Once completed, it’s passed back to us to be verified, then we send it off to the police and all the national records. There are lots of steps involved! When we go live with Jobtrain, we’re looking forward to using both DBS and Right-to-Work checks that are fully integrated into the ATS to help speed up the process and reduce the amount of time we spend on admin.
Our ideal time-to-hire is 4 weeks. Sometimes it’s quicker than that, sometimes it’s longer but we’re excited to see the difference Jobtrain will make because it will help us reduce the number of steps and establish a defined process!
Mel: Easy and positive! Jules, Rachel, and Helen have been so friendly, and it’s made the whole experience an enjoyable one! The entire Jobtrain team have been really understanding – for us at Grandir, we all have day jobs and the team at Jobtrain has really understood that. We massively welcome and value their support – they have been so helpful and quick to respond. We know we can call on the Jobtrain support team too, but we’ve not had any need to reach out to them yet because the guidance from the implementation team has been so clear!
Going through implementation has met all of our expectations – such as how well the process is structured in the Trello board and the project plan. Everything has been incredibly useful, and it’s ensured everything is timely and transparent.
Kate: The efficiency has been great. The whole process has been smooth with the Jobtrain team. The meetings are really focussed and efficient – they’re not waffly!
Mel: I’ve really appreciated how responsive the team are. If someone’s uploaded something to the Trello board, the implementation team have been quick to respond and let me know if they need any further detail or information, or if there’s something for us to review.
The fact we can do so much with the system, such as the candidate experience branding, has been really great too. We can make each location and nursery feel unique in style.
It’s been a real relief to have an ATS that we’re confident in with and is future-proofed! We’ve worked well with the implementation team and the momentum has been kept up every step of the way – we can see that the end result will be worth it!
Jobtrain has been like an extension to our recruitment team – we’ve been so synchronised!
Kate: Identify who the scoping group/key stakeholders should be to ensure everyone buys into the new ATS. Suzi – our HRIS co-ordinator – took this on and it’s been a real help.
Mel: I’d recommend asking why the organisation really needs the ATS.
I’d strongly advise mapping out your existing recruitment process and then look at where the gaps are. Then you can identify what you need from an ATS – what’s essential, what’s a nice to have, where there might need to be compromises etc. I’d also recommend doing this for companies with multiple brands like Grandir has. We have lots of different brands to showcase and that requires a lot of buy-in, so we’re developing a strategy to assist that.
To ensure we get buy-in from Hiring Managers across all our sites, we’re setting up a champion programme, looking for people who are influencers in each Grandir organisation and department. Typically, these will be people who are technically minded and will be led by our Head of Recruitment.
Kate: Reporting and visibility are key for us. As we’re currently using the bolt on ATS that’s in our HR System, at the moment we have to export the data, meaning there’s always room for error. Diversity reporting will be useful in the future too, but for now the time-to-hire and conversion stats will be an immediate focus when we go live with Jobtrain.
Mel: The usability part will need to be easier than what we have at the moment in our current system. We will drive everything through our Jobtrain ATS – even compliance! Seeing success from the Onboarding Welcome Hub will be key for us too. It’s a really nice touch for candidates in that period after accepting an offer to their first day with us – we love how positive it can be.
Kate: We’re also getting our marketing team onboard with helping to create imagery and videos that we can use to build out different Welcome Hub templates.
Grandir UK is a rapidly growing organisation of 70 nurseries and adult learning brands across the UK. The organisation currently employs over 1,800 staff and operates a number of nursery brands including Kiddi Caru, Dicky Birds, DayDream and Maggie & Rose.