Client case studies


Marks and Spencer (M&S)

A total talent solution

A bit of background

The respected retailer got in touch with us in 2007, when they were rolling out a major systems transformation programme. A new way of working was needed. As was an intuitive approach and firm cost control. We delivered all that (and much more) and initiated a working relationship that endures to this day.

Managing and saving

We were initially hired as an extension of their Permanent Recruitment Team. Our priority was to attract and build a central team who would deliver the new IT strategy, which included a core legacy replacement programme.

We created the ‘IT Transformed’ brand to give the programme an identity, both internally and externally, building a microsite to highlight the benefits of working in IT at M&S. Through on and offline advertising, we drove traffic to this site and made some noise in a very competitive market. With best practice processes and a deep talent pool, we quickly filled 60 much-needed roles. As the CIO’s next priority was to reduce the number of contingency workers, 60 vacancies ballooned to 120, This led to the next phase of our partnership.

Following an audit we could see that with 150 contractors from 18 suppliers, it was almost impossible to make timely hiring decisions and accurately benchmark spend for this, and future projects. We had to first capture and then stop agency and contractor costs from spiralling out of control. The introduction of a benchmarked rate card saved M&S 10% of spend in the first year alone. A substantial cost saving, particularly when you take into consideration the scale of their operations. We transitioned the existing contractor workforce into an RTM Managed Service Provider programme. This gave M&S confidence in their recruitment and total control over contractors. It also drove efficiencies while ensuring greater compliance and aggressive cost savings.

So, what happened next?

We now offer a Total Talent Solution for permanent and contract hiring across their IT estate. We help with strategic resource planning and manage talent on demand through peaks and troughs with the ability to ramp up any team, any time. We help them with salary benchmarking, market mapping, competitor analysis for both permanent and contract resource in the technology retail landscape.
We’ve been M&S’ strategic partner since 2007: a testament to our successful relationship. Our partnership means M&S can focus on strategic change programmes, leaving talent resourcing to us. Some of the high profile programmes we’ve made possible through delivering exceptional permanent and contract talent include the build and operationalisation of the UK’s largest Distribution Centre, replacing M&S’ core legacy systems with Best of Breed Applications for their General Merchandise Programme and last but certainly not least, their high profile £180 million e-commerce Platforming Programme.

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