Client: Experian

Industry: Global Information Services


The selection methods were used in a way that was able to identify skills, behaviours and future potential”

HR Business Partner


Experian a London FTSE150 organisation has grown rapidly by acquisition of new technology based and commercially driven SME’s. After acquisition one Division faced the challenge of full integration as opposed to co-habitation and c. 200 too many people needed to fill the new structure.  Substantially redesigned and new job role descriptions, inconsistent performance appraisal data, and a need to retain the best talent for the new business made decision making impossible.

To provide a fair, equitable and robust assessment process to be delivered within two months (in a 2 week window across 4 sites) was the challenge given to the HR Business Partner, and AVASST.


Building a process from ground up that was standardised yet reflected the varying needs of the senior leadership of the merged organisation, and employee representatives, was critical. The answer lay in a UCF (Universal Competency Framework), which was readily accepted as a way of aligning the competencies needed to deliver the business strategy.  Additionally the UCF provided the base framework for creating CBI (competency based interview) questions reflecting both the ‘hard’ expertise required, and reinforcing the new culture and values of the business.

Intellectual horsepower in this knowledge-worker based company (63% of candidates had at least one degree) was important to assess, as ‘learning potential’ was deemed critical to enable those working in old technologies to migrate to new technologies.

It is widely recognised that realising performance potential relies substantially upon motivation. For the new organisation to achieve its ambitious goals a high level of appropriate motivation would be needed. To ensure the ‘whole person’ was profiled, a MQ (Motivation Questionnaire) was used as an aid to the CBI selection and decision-making process which proved to be very useful. The MQ was also valued by candidates when told whether they were being offered a role or not, providing feedback alongside CBI and test data that they could take forward. With the emphasis on assessing ‘potential’ as much as existing skills, over 600 interviews were held as a result of strong employee communication messages that this was a great personal development opportunity and all jobs at all levels were open to competition.

Last but by no means least was the critical aspect of delivery.  The acid test for this fair, equitable and robust assessment process was that nothing went wrong and everyone found it acceptable. Existing staff had high expectations of our contribution and we were expected to be ‘independent’. In addition, resourcing a project of this scale and complexity (geography, time, volume of interviews, no on-line assessment provision, and process) called for high quality consultants. In total we had 14 consultants on the project.

Client comment: “Access to a wider pool of resource offered greater flexibility than could have been achieved with internal resource.”

At the end of the project a full ‘lessons learned’ review was conducted that highlighted many areas where improvement could be made to development of project management competence.

Client comment: “AVASST teaming up with HR Partners to deliver news, both good and bad, gave the benefit of being able to open the discussion into a wider context, showed how the learning could be applied outside the business and helped to take the emotion out.”


All roles were filled in the timescale, and 8 months on when the performance reviews were conducted there was an early indication that those people who went through the assessment process have performed better than expected, coped better with ambiguity during the merger, and have demonstrated initiative.