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Waltham Forest is one of London’s 32 boroughs and it situated to the East of the City on the fringes of London.
It has a population of 258,000 residents and is home to London’s many diverse communities. The Council provides a range of statutory services.
HR was required to re-organise the department ensuring its services aligned and supported the Council’s new strategic priorities. An up-to-date skills audit was required so that the organisation could understand what skills were present in the department and also identify any skills gap. From this crucial information a full development programme could be planned and implemented to prepare the department for the future demands from the Council as a whole.
The HR Department had not undertaken a skills review for some time, so the challenge was to ensure we gained the trust and confidence of the people in the department across all levels to ensure our findings were accurate and of value.
Spending time with the client at the beginning of the project ensured we agreed a clear set of objectives and deliverables. As well as identifying what technical skills were present, the client also wanted to explore attitudes and behaviours to ensure they supported the wider brand values of the Council when delivering services to customers.
We design a bespoke Assessement Centre and invited a range of Waltham Forest employees to participate. The Assessment tasks included psychometric tests, interviews and presentations. We also develop a series of bespoke in-tray assessments designed around issues that people in Waltham Forest would deal with every day. This gave individuals an opportunity to show how they approached and solved problems as well and giving them an insight into their own learning styles. The in-tray assessments was carried out by employees across various grade bands so that both senior and junior staff were included.
Every person that went through Assessment Centre was given individual feedback on their performance identifying their strengths and also areas that they need to improve upon. This feedback formed a framework for an individual’s Personal Development Plan, something many individuals had not had before.
For our client, Waltham Forest, it gave them the beginnings of identifying their strategic talent needs for the borough. The data from the Assessment Centres provided invaluable information on what skills were already within the Council and also what skills were missing. Armed with this information the Council could undertake some informed Workforce Planning to ensure they had the right people with the right skills to support customers in the future.
The project delivered on time and within agreed budget .
“The HR Lounge worked with us on designing and delivering assessment centres to support us implementing a new HR Operating Model. Their work added significant value as they understood and translated our requirements into a fair and robust process to ensure we selected the best people for the roles. They struck the right balance of behavioural and technical assessment while not over-engineering the process so that we achieved a good result and value for money.”
Althea Loderick, Director of Human Resources and Transformation, London Borough of Waltham Forest