Telefónica UK, a leading provider of mobile and digital services, started its relationship with Cielo in 2009, and in 2016 won the HRO Today Services and Technology Association Partnership in Recruiting Excellence award. Telefónica originally sought a partner to curb agency usage, reduce costs and improve time to hire. Over the course of the partnership, Telefónica has realized the competitive advantage that comes from a more strategic alignment between talent acquisition and the business.

Client Challenge
From the onset of the partnership, the Cielo and Telefónica partnership centered around the strategic objectives:

  1. Have the right talent in the right place at the right time; and
  2. Do things faster, smarter and better.

To accomplish these objectives, Cielo took the WE BECOME YOU™ partnership model onsite at Telefónica with the team split into two focus areas:

  • The Delivery Team. Focused on delivering excellent service to candidates and hiring managers, this team is responsible for direct sourcing and pipelining, leading to the results originally sought from the partnership: lower overall recruitment costs and an improved time to hire.
  • The Strategic Team. Focused on engagement with business leaders and HR, the strategic team aligns talent acquisition with the business’ strategic agenda by delivering data and insights that inform continuous improvement and value-add activities.

It was Cielo's role to determine which changes could be made to address Telefónica's key concerns:

  • Quality of Hire
  • Cost per Hire
  • Time to Hire
  • Agency Usage
  • Preferred Supplier Numbers
  • New Hire Diversity

Client Solution
Telefónica’s Employee Value Proposition is “Discover, Disrupt and Deliver.”  The Cielo embedded teams embody these key values every day.

From the onset of the partnership, the teams have analysed and assessed the challenges facing Telefónica not just within talent acquisition, but across the organisation, and have taken deliberate steps to solve core business problems through talent solutions. With Cielo as an invested strategic partner, challenges have been prioritized with fresh-eyes to ensure that necessary results are achieved in the shortest time possible.

Telefónica originally sought a partner to curb agency usage/costs and improve time to hire. Since partnership inception, annual agency spend has been reduced to just 7.8% of the previous spend. Agency usage has also decreased to less than 2%, with now fewer than 20 agencies being used, down from more than 80. External time to hire before the partnership was 52 days. In 2015, it was reduced to 29 days for external hires and to 21 days for internal hires.

Together, Cielo and Telefónica remain committed to continuous improvement as the only way to guarantee they will “do things faster, smarter and better,” one of the partnership objectives. One of these initiatives supported was the implementation of a new ATS, CRM and the associated careers site refresh. The initiative goal was to enhance the candidate experience and involved rebranding and refreshing recruitment campaigns, candidate attraction communications and materials and the candidate’s digital experience.

Focused on delivering excellent service to candidates and hiring managers, the Delivery Team  guarantees Telefónica “have the right talent in the right place at the right time,” the second partnership objective. The partnership’s Resourcing Business Partners are embedded within the business to fully understand future transformations to new products and services that may change the demand for external skills. This allows the recruitment team to pipeline effectively and be a proactive talent solution, not simply a reactive order-taker.

Partnership Results
The Cielo talent acquisition team delivers solutions as Telefónica employees, for the benefit of the business. Beyond managing the recruitment process, the team enables internal mobility, supports the hiring of graduates, interns and apprentices, supports major change and transformation programs, and assists with strategic and operational workforce planning.

Partnership results since the partnership in 2008 have included:

  • Increased quality-of-hire, including adopting psychometric testing
  • Hiring more than 850 managerial and specialist roles per year
  • Decreased time-to-hire from 52 days pre-Cielo to an average of 29 days for external hires and 21 days for internal hires
  • Decreased cost-per-hire by 78% from costs pre-Cielo
  • Reduced agency usage to under 2% of hires
  • Streamlined preferred supplier list from 80+ agencies pre-Cielo to less than 20
  • Increased female hires by 4 percentage points

Cielo and Telefónica have been able to sustain a successful partnership for more than seven years with consistently outstanding results because of the pride the team takes in delivering a great experience for the business and candidates. The focus remains on doing the right thing for the long-term future of the organization, not just short term KPIs. The team is truly embedded in the business, gets involved in early stages of transformations and joins leadership and HR meetings as the internal talent acquisition experts. Moreover, the team constantly evolves, looking at new technologies and ways of talent pooling and finding hidden talent aligning to the business priorities. The team constantly strive to be proactive and make the hiring manager and candidate journeys exceptional. 

Telefónica has benefited from a proactive recruitment process that has elevated the quality of talent joining the organization. Because of this, Cielo has earned additional opportunities to support the Telefónica family, assisting other areas outside of O2 UK including Wayra, giffgaff, Tesco Mobile, Weve and Telefónica Digital.

A recruiting partnership built on a shared vision for change can transform your talent acquisition and improve results. Connect with us to discuss how to get started.