Recruiting, retaining and engaging excellent people

We occupy a competitive sector when it comes to attracting and keeping talented people. To find the calibre of people we need, we have to think differently.

This means demonstrating that we mean business when we talk about inclusivity, learning, developing, engaging and rewarding.

Within our refreshed strategy, investing in our people and capabilities remains our top priority. Developing and attracting excellent people to create a vibrant, diverse and flexible workforce has the greatest impact on the success of our business.

Our new recruitment website includes a focus on flexible working practices to appeal to a wider talent pool, and we continue leading the way alongside Business in the Community to champion opportunities for young women in engineering, ex–offenders, vulnerable women and reservists.

Supporting the armed forces

Supporting those connected to the armed forces has been formally recognised by the Ministry of Defence with a Martello Tower Award in 2014.

We currently employ around 400 former service personnel and are provide resettlement opportunities for those leaving the Forces. Last year, 94 personnel took advantage of Carillion’s placements, and we aim to employ 300 reservists by the end of 2016 – offering them two additional weeks’ paid leave during the year.

We have also signed up to an Armed Forces Pathways to Employability programme. This enables young people on job seekers’ allowance to attend a General Army Insight Course and secure a placement with reservist-friendly companies such as Carillion. Carl Smith was the first to complete work experience with us. He has since secured a full-time job with Heyrod – one of our subcontractors.

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Recruiting talent

We aim to recruit from our existing staff where possible and advertise all roles internally for a minimum of two weeks. Our next step is to recruit people locally, supporting local economies, reducing costs and carbon through commuting and strengthening community relationships.

We strive to treat all job applicants fairly and to eliminate any bias or unlawful discrimination. All our managers receive guidance and training on how to tackle unconscious bias and consider each applicant on merit alone.

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Ban the box

Carillion is part of a pioneering employers’ group that has banned the criminal conviction ‘tick box’ from job application forms. Banning the box enables ex-offenders to compete fairly for jobs based on an assessment of their skills first, alongside regulated Disclosure and Barring Service checks. Participating employers are able to find people from a wider pool of talent, while also contributing to reducing the estimated £11 billion annual cost of reoffending.

It is so important to maintain a steady flow of skilled, engaged people into our workforce and promote opportunities within our business to a wider pool of talent. Not having a criminal record tick box is one of the ways we meet this aim.”

Janet Dawson, Carillion‘s HR Director

Business has a huge opportunity and responsibility to make the workplace more accessible to talented ex-offenders who simply want to contribute their skills to society.”

Catherine Sermon, Employment Director, Business in the Community

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Learning and development

Carillion‘s tailored learning activities are developing and inspiring our people to fulfil their potential. The Carillion Academy continues to offer e–learning and quality assurance of the apprenticeship programmes. We now have apprentice development schemes for both technical and soft skills and have launched a new graduate development programme, with 31 graduates involved in 2014.

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E-learning takes off

2014 saw a 70% increase in the number of modules completed using our e-learning system ePOD, which represents over 30% of all training recorded centrally. There are now over 85 modules available, with 12 new titles added during 2014. These included training on finance, sustainability, health and safety and IT skills. Demand for new modules is growing rapidly, with 10 new modules already planned for 2015. We have expanded this to colleagues in Canada and plan to roll it out in the Middle East in 2015 following a systems upgrade in the region.

The new ePOD platform we launched in 2015 will save £200,000 over the next three years and will allow us to make training available to suppliers, partners and clients in the future. It will only become more useful as flexible working increases and we strive to cut our business travel footprint.

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We also have a number of leadership development programmes to identify and develop our future leaders and have seen a strong increase in the number of specific business group leadership, management and supervisory programmes being run. Feedback from our internal engagement survey, the Great Debate, indicated a need for soft skills training for front-line managers and so we launched the Facilities Management Supervisory Development Programme. Over 2,100 people in 72 different contracts have taken part and, as the programme was delivered internally, it has saved £850,000.

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The Great Debate

Our Group-wide employee survey, the Great Debate, gives participants the opportunity to vote on big issues that will influence the future of the company, and let senior management know what really matters to them, anonymously. The overall feedback is reviewed by the Chief Executive Leadership Team, with each business unit developing action plans for improvement.

This year, we worked with research specialists ORC International, who gave us an ‘employee engagement index’ score, designed to measure employee commitment and understand why they want to stay with the company. Our engagement score was 63% compared to a private sector worldwide benchmark level of 72%. Key issues raised included the visibility of our business leaders, employee recognition and clearer communication of business direction to everyone – all of which we have already started to address.

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Communicating sustainability

We deploy a variety of methods and local languages to convey our sustainability priorities. Formally, business Unit Steering Groups and Working Groups make sure businesses have a plan to implement the 2020 strategy, while informally, a highlight was our Group-wide Sustainability Week. In Oman, Carillion Alawi supported the Environment Society of Oman on their environmental projects and the Speciality Work Division and United Engineering project teams installed 30 environmental awareness boards at Masirah Island to help protect loggerhead turtles and other endangered species found on the island.

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An exemplar employer

Carillion has been commended for its commitment to the Armed Forces with a Gold Level Award under the MOD’s new Employer Recognition Scheme.

Described as ‘an exemplar employer’ we were one of the first 50 companies to sign up to the Government’s Corporate Covenant, which pledges to help, support and champion the military, as well as the communities and families of defence workers.

We are a lead employer in support of the MOD and Department for Work and Pensions’ Armed Forces Employability Pathways programme, and are pioneering the provision of work placements for job seekers who commit to joining the Reserves.

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Supportive employers are essential to ensuring that reservists are able to contribute effectively to the safety and security of the UK. Carillion is an excellent example of that. They understand the benefits that reservists can bring to their organisation, and are prepared to go the extra mile to ensure that their reservists are able to meet their training commitments.”

Major General John Crackett, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Reserves and Cadets)

BITC Sieff Award Elena Gonzalez, Carillion Corporate Responsibility Manager, received the Business in the Community West Midlands Sieff Future Business Leaders Award, which recognises the next generation of sustainability leadership.

14% of our people utilise the Carillion special leave policy, which enables them to engage in community and charity activities for up to six days a year on full pay

Carillion plc, Company No. 3782379. Registered Office: Carillion House, 84 Salop Street, Wolverhampton WV3 0SR. Place of Registration: England and Wales

Copyright 2015 Carillion plc