A consumer goods organisation operating in 120 markets that’s also one of the world’s largest international tobacco companies is undergoing worldwide transformation. To achieve this, the company is creating global functions to energise its business, culture, technology and efficiency.

Hiring at pace

The company looked to centralise the supply chain and planning functions for their Polish operation in a new workplace facility in the country’s capital, Warsaw. Competition for talent in the city is fierce, particularly for planning professionals. With little recognition in the local market, the business needed to amplify its employer brand.

Cielo’s mission? To deliver 121 high-quality hires in just a few months. Of the vacancies, 10% were for senior managers who’d lead and develop the whole facility and 75% were mid-to-senior level planning experts, including operational, production, supply and material planners. The remainder of the team was a mix of support professionals, ranging from data process experts to export coordinators.

A productive partnership

We developed a strong strategic partnership with the company’s Global Head of EVP and Employer Brand, as well as with the Global Head of TA Operations. Together with colleagues in Poland, we planned and implemented the recruitment process for this full-scale facility launch at every point from attraction to assessment – all in extremely challenging timescales.

As well as answering this immediate need, our partnership created a route to talent that’ll continue to support the business on its five-year global transformation journey. We developed an overall talent acquisition strategy and processes that will play a key role in driving this transformation forward.

Success built on a solid strategy

Cielo was involved in the strategic decision-making for the launch of this pivotal new facility right from the start. During the pitching stage, we provided an analysis of the talent pros and cons of three shortlisted potential locations. Our research revealed that one of these locations would prove much more attractive to the target professionals. This was the location the business chose and it proved its worth as a very effective selling point in the recruitment process.

Blending local knowledge and international experience

The organisation asked Cielo for a local team that was knowledgeable about the recruitment market in Warsaw and beyond, fluent in Polish, and experienced in providing a recruitment process that delivered exceptional candidate experience and outcomes.

Headed by Cielo’s Warsaw-based Polish expert, we assembled a joint Poland/UK team in just a few days. It included professionals ranging from delivery leads and interview specialists, to talent acquisition coordinators and recruiters. By clearly segmenting the work, we produced a client- and candidate-facing team of native-speaking Poles. They could communicate fluently with their Polish audience, whether they were facilitating assessments or visiting the client in their offices. We augmented this core team with a group of experts from our wider European network, providing in-depth knowledge on everything from technology integration to assessment best practice.

Speedy implementation

The project was up and running in under two months. During this time, Cielo worked closely with the organisation and its partners to plan, organise and facilitate assessment centres, which were primarily delivered virtually. This included project managing suppliers to refresh the assessment centre collateral and training those involved on how to use it to best advantage.

Integrated technology

We also deployed our flexible technology platform – Cielo TalentCloud – to drive the end-to-end recruitment process. Working closely with the client, we integrated their campaign microsite hosting all of the individual job adverts with our platform. Cielo TalentCloud then became the applicant tracking system (ATS) for the campaign and was used to manage all of the candidates throughout the entire recruitment process, creating a seamless experience.

A broad digital and in-person attraction strategy

Given the short timeframe, we worked with the business’ Global Head of EVP and Employer Brand to plan and implement a campaign using existing collateral and activating it across a full range of channels. Online, we used LinkedIn, key local job boards, and programmatic advertising, leveraging the full AI capabilities of Cielo TalentCloud to optimise placement for maximum effectiveness.

Offline advertising was also key to creating a buzz and raising awareness. This included bus adverts on routes close to competitors’ locations, and job advertisements on TV screens across other big corporate offices in Warsaw. We also supported the company at a key career fair and the running of in-person networking events at their new office. We briefed our Polish-speaking team members on the key messages that would drive engagement, and they were on site to interact with attendees. Introducing a new joiner referral programme also proved highly effective.

A shared assessment process

Once the application process had begun, the Cielo team managed all the initial assessment centres, perfecting the process before then sourcing and training a local team to follow established standards. Using Cielo TalentCloud to manage candidates throughout their journey allowed the organisation’s hiring managers and Cielo’s team to have a real-time view of the application and assessment process using a standardised reporting suite.

Delivering over 100 professionals in just 3 months

Despite Warsaw’s highly competitive marketplace, especially for planning talent, we achieved:

  • over 128 hires (104 within just first three months from launch)
  • average time to offer of just 49.7 days
  • 77% offer acceptance rate, driven by the quality of the engagement and employer branding piece and a superior candidate experience at every step
  • 95 of the 128 candidates were direct hires, making for a highly cost-effective project

The organisation invited Cielo’s Polish team to celebrate the success of the project. It has proved to be just the start for an ongoing partnership with Cielo to reshape the company’s entire talent attraction strategy and process, to help drive the global group’s ambitious five-year transformation process. Together, we’re working on a range of initiatives, from day-to-day recruitment to other talent acquisition projects across Poland and beyond.