Atkins Case Study

Identifying Engineering Potential for Atkins


The Background

Atkins and Amberjack have a long-standing and successful partnership. Since the beginning of our partnership, we have delivered 8 effective graduate and apprentice campaigns, managing over 100,000 candidates and offering roles to around 7,000 of them. In addition to this, Amberjack has helped Atkins establish and manage a virtual work experience programme.

Over this time, we have won 8 industry awards, and continually reviewed processes to improve automation and effectiveness without sacrificing candidate experience.

Our Objective

With evolution at its core, Atkins wanted to create an industry-leading Early Careers programme. Together, we aimed to leverage technology and automation, while maintaining a great candidate experience.

With post-pandemic growth coupled with a buoyant job market, increased attrition rates, and increased competition, it was essential to review the data behind the core processes to understand how automation and technology could be used to improve efficiencies and streamline Atkins’ recruitment process for graduates and apprentices.

With the introduction of Atkins’ virtual work experience programme, additional goals also included educating students about the organisation and helping them learn industry specific skills.

Two people planning on working on a building.
Two happy people working in a meeting

Our Solution

Improving access to our industry means engaging with candidates earlier. The virtual work experience programme for 14-18 year olds provides information on careers in Engineering, and is designed to help inform and inspire the next generation of talent. 731 students participated in this programme, with 75% stating they are likely or very likely to consider a career in Engineering post programme.

For university students, Atkins’ Digital Campus activity engages potential candidates with live events and virtual on-campus presence listings, allowing everyone to access information inside Atkins. Early engagement is prioritised for these populations too, with an increased focus on first-year students to help improve their understanding and awareness of Atkins. This year, an increased presence at non-Russel group universities was achieved, helping to recruit these students onto Atkins schemes.

Streamlining Atkins’ recruitment process itself involved the removal of stages that were an inefficient use of recruiter time and implementing  more effective processes. We worked together to remove telephone interviews for apprentices, introduce a new matching process for summer placements and 3 new immersive assessments for grads, apprentices, and placements. We replaced assessment centres with interview days to provide candidates with information about the programme and what’s on offer before joining a business presentation and role-relevant interview, to increase engagement and avoid long wait times.

All candidates that make it to the offer stage are assigned a buddy and get access to a pre-boarding portal with mentors, forums, and preparation modules.

Candidate experience and engagement is a constant priority.

The Journey

Step 1.
Insight and Research

By drawing on insight and feedback and utilising our in-house expertise, Amberjack designed a customised and interactive process, which was industry relevant and reflected the roles candidates are applying for. This increased face validity and the ability to find the best fit.

Step 2.

We managed Atkins candidates through the process using our revolutionary digital platform. This enabled candidates to access personal accounts and useful information while we provided regular, reassuring communication to keep their interest warm.

Step 3.
New Process

  • Stage 1: Degree matcher tool
  • Stage 2: Immersive situational judgement text
  • Stage 3: Online application form
  • Stage 4: Psychometric tests for graduates
  • Stage 5: Telephone interview hosted by Atkins employees
  • Stage 6: Engaging assessment centres
Stage 1: Degree matcher tool
Stage 2: Immersive situational judgement text
Stage 3: Online application form
Stage 4: Psychometric tests for graduates
Stage 5: Telephone interview hosted by Atkins employees
Stage 6: Engaging assessment centres

The Impact

These solutions had a significant impact on Atkins’ Early Careers recruitment process. Not only did Atkins and Amberjack work together to improve access to engineering, build an understanding of Atkins, and recruit a diverse cohort of talent… we also achieved much more:

Saved 11 weeks of recruiter time

36% offers to female candidates

Building a World-Class Candidate Experience for Atkins

27% offers to BAME candidates

Achievements far out-performed industry averages

The newly implemented virtual work experience programme supported 731 students, providing them with support and access to opportunities.

    • 4% of these students were female, 18.6% were on free school meals, and 50.6% identified as BAME.
    • The STEM Learning Hub delivered 318 events. Colleagues volunteered 1,700 hours of their time.
    • 65% of applications came from students from ethnically diverse backgrounds, 27% converted onto the placement programme of which 54% BAME and 36% female.

The innovation and improved candidate experience implemented in this partnership helped raise NPS Scores from an award-winning +66, to +71, with the assessment centre reaching an outstanding +80.

Transforming recruitment for leading organisations

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Creating an Award-Winning Candidate Experience for Virgin Atlantic
Identifying Engineering Potential for Atkins

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