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IT Recruiting BP Case Study

Oiling the Wheels

In December 2005, BP faced the challenge of recruiting some 50 IT specialists to help it implement what will be the largest SAP software application it has ever undertaken.

This project was to be an integral part of a major reorganization designed to reduce costs in the company by $1.5 billion.

BP had approached a number of potential partners and judged Harvey Nash as the best equipped to help.

The brief was demanding, as Rolf Jaeger, BP’s HR Director, Process Fitness, admits:

As if this wasn’t enough, BP needed the recruits in place within three months at a diffi cult time due to a shortage of skills and competition from lots of different organizations that are in the middle of similar business transformations.

Undaunted, the Harvey Nash team, led by John Whiting, Director of the Executive IT practice, set to work over Christmas to plan a comprehensive recruitment campaign that included executive search, newspaper, trade publications, Internet advertising and a dedicated micro-site on the BP website.

But internal BP politics over the scope of the project caused the project to stall in February 2006, and it was only in April that recruitment began in earnest.

Harvey Nash left no stone unturned in its search for a range of specialists, from Data Architects, to SAP Solutions Analysts, to Siebel Architects, to Data Analysts.

By the end of October, BP had made 45 appointments, most of them from the UK, but some from Europe, Saudi Arabia, India and China. “Harvey Nash responded well to the brief and through a process of adaptive learning, they managed to improve the rate of candidates appointed to candidates fielded from one in four to one in two as a result of better screening and preselection,” says Jaeger.

The net benefit of the SAP implementation will be almost $1.5 billion over the next five years. The external recruits brought in by Harvey Nash represent around 10% of the critical workforce needed to manage the program.