Partnering with Sky to enhance their MSP and RPO solutions – part one

As one of Europe’s leading entertainment companies, Sky serves over 21 million customers across five countries. ManpowerGroup has partnered with Sky since 2010. We spoke with Patrick Flannighan, HR Operations Director, regarding the partnership and how the solutions delivered to Sky have developed.

In part one of our interview with Patrick, we discuss Sky’s initial engagement with Experis. The service has evolved from a hybrid-managed service to a UK-wide MSP solution to meet Sky UK’s temporary and contractor requirements. The onsite white-labelled programme team currently manages over 1,500 contractors across Sky’s three primary locations in Osterley, Leeds and Livingston.

Please could you provide us with a brief overview of your current role and responsibilities?

I’m responsible for the operational excellence delivery function in HR at Sky. That comprises a number of different functions including employee relations, health and safety, occupational health, recruitment, the HR helpdesk, as well as the HR admin function. My team of around 200 are primarily based in Livingston (Scotland) and Osterley (London). Sky has been working with ManpowerGroup since 2010.

Please could you share a little history on the Experis account and how this has developed?

We spent about a year looking at how we could centralise and deliver temporary recruitment. After winning the tender process, Experis implemented an MSP for agency recruitment only. Experis partnered with Sky HR and hiring managers to implement a centralised recruitment delivery model which was successfully embedded within a year. Following that success, we’ve expanded the model to include temporary recruitment and, more recently, to include our freelance recruitment. Freelance recruitment is more complex than agency recruitment so part of this work has involved ensuring our new processes complied with HMRC requirements.

In terms of the breadth of the recruitment, the volume requirements and the specific skills needed across a diverse range of industries, this MSP is a media industry first. There was no template for us to follow – we had to work it out. A UK-wide MSP solution has been delivered to Sky UK since January 2014.

What challenges did Sky face prior to our appointment and what key initiatives were implemented to address these?

Our key challenges were that we had multiple contracts with the same agencies that were all managed locally by the line managers. We also had limited information on our temporary workers.

We’d never done anything like this before so it was a new way of working and required a real partnership approach. It was vital for Experis to bring its expertise in the contingent recruitment field, to really understand the business, and then deliver accordingly.

Experis engaged with all of Sky’s hiring managers to understand their requirements and to get their buy-in to the model. By centralising the model we were able to hire great people, reduce the time to fill vacancies, improve our data, increase our control, and manage our costs more effectively, as well as being able to enhance our supplier relationships by more proactively engaging with them. Please could you talk us through the migration and novation of approximately 500 agency workers? What did this involve and why was this successful? A huge scale engagement programme was needed and involved working through all the internal functions at Sky (business, procurement, legal and HR), then working with the agencies of the temporary workers and the temporary workers themselves. It was our partnership and engagement that made it successful. We needed to be clear on what we wanted to achieve, be open, transparent, and connect with everyone at the right time. Experis managed all of that on our behalf.

What are the benefits you’ve seen from the MSP service delivered and what factors have made this a successful relationship?

We’ve got a really strong onsite team that are fully embedded within the Sky recruitment team and who work in partnership with our hiring manager population. They know our business and our requirements and deliver in a timely and cost-effective way. We don’t treat our onsite team any differently – they have full access to the business and are seen as a true recruitment partner. As Sky has grown, the model has also had to evolve (in terms of volume, types of recruitment and the locations we recruit for), so flexibility has also been key.

Visit the Experis website for more information about our Managed Service offering.