Royal Mail

Developing assessor confidence and competence: a data-driven approach

Royal Mail Group Limited operates the brands Royal Mail (letters) and Parcelforce Worldwide (parcels) and General Logistics Systems, an international logistics company. They are one of the UK’s largest employers, employing around 148,000 people in the UK, and another 14,000 across the rest of Europe.

The challenge

In early 2015, Royal Mail Group (RMG) identified a need to equip 800 hiring managers with the confidence and competence to make important recruitment decisions while recognising that recruitment and assessment aren’t core job skills for these managers. RMG partnered with us to deliver this key part of their People Strategy.

This would involve a training and upskilling ‘sign off’ process for all 800 managers that would ensure a level of skill when making key recruitment decisions. Another objective was to ensure all assessments were completed using best practice methodologies.

The experience, knowledge, competence and confidence of these hiring managers ranged as widely as the specific recruitment processes employed across the organisation. So, it was important to appreciate and where possible, accommodate these differences while still delivering against the overall objectives.


The solution


RMG partnered with us to provide a ‘best practice’ approach to recruitment assessment, while bringing additional external insight to recruitment trends and challenges. Alongside this, working with an external provider allowed for high volumes of training to be conducted without impacting RMG internal resources.

We conducted a comprehensive audit of the existing levels of confidence and competence around different aspects of recruitment. This audit was conducted by asking individuals from across the business to complete a self-report confidence assessment and a multiple knowledge test to assess competence. From this, the learning objectives were identified based on managers’ current understanding, skills and gaps and the training was designed. This also incorporated best practice principals from the British Psychological Society standards and our expertise in assessment from the last 30 years.

The training lasted two days to ensure enough time for knowledge transfer, safe practice and information sharing. This was supplemented by reference materials and a workbook for ongoing support. The training culminated in a competence test (knowledge and practical) aligned to the audit so that the manager’s effectiveness could be demonstrated and also importantly, regularly monitored. Following the competence test, managers were then ‘signed off’ or identified as requiring shadowing support or identified to attend further training.

The results


  • Over 99% said that the assessment achieved its objective.
  • Evaluation data shows that over 97% were satisfied with the training.
  • To date over 600 managers have received the training.
  • Additionally, 81% of managers have been signed off to assess.