SSE: Achieving Project RPO Success Despite Limited Talent Pool


As part of the Government’s smart meter rollout, SSE needed to hire 1,500 Smart Meter Engineers in a short time-frame – in direct competition with all the other energy companies looking for the same people. A long-term client, SSE turned to their Talent Solutions Partner to share the problem and outsource the project.


Our task was to recruit 1,500 Smart Meter Installers by December 2017. Time was of the essence. The hiring process needed to be transformed, streamlined and made more consistent, as the existing process was time-consuming for hiring managers and candidates alike. Hiring managers were incredibly busy so we needed a process that required minimal commitment.

The next challenge we faced was the limited talent pool of candidates. So it was essential that SSE made an impact with highly targeted communications.

Our Occupational Psychologist team designed a new online application process that removed the need for SSE Managers to interview candidates. Now they would only need to meet the candidates on their first day of training. Our newly designed online 3D model and multiple-choice tests allowed us to assess candidates much more efficiently. And along the way, our UK Delivery Centre supported candidates at each stage, ensuring that they remained engaged and satisfied.

‘We’ve been really pleased with the speed of project set up, the team and the added value that they continue to provide.” Lee Newbold, HR Business Partner – Metering and Smart Transformation’


Between October 2016 and April 2018, 902 Smart Meter Installers were recruited. The average time to receive an offer has been reduced to 69 days, and recruits now start after 104 days, on average.

And, throughout we have increased the quality of the candidates. 90% of trainee candidates attended assessment and 64% passed at the Assessment Centre. We’ve increased the number of female Smart Meter Operatives by 800%.

The application process was nominated for an Innovation Award by the Association of British Psychology.