How SSAFA improved their retention rate from 81% to 94%

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is a trusted source of support for serving personnel, veterans and their families in their time of need. Creating a society in which the Armed Forces, veterans and their families can thrive.
The Challenge

With diversity high up on the agenda at SSAFA, the People Team were looking for a way to improve diversity through their recruitment.

SSAFA needed a platform that could support their D&I agenda - attracting a more diverse candidate pool whilst also finding candidates who would be more likely to stay with the organisation long-term.

As a national organisation with many different functions and contracted roles such as nurses, social workers, as well as volunteers, the team found that Hiring Managers were spending too much on hiring - reviewing supporting statements,CVs, analysing diversity and inclusion monitoring data through Excel.

The recruitment team knew they needed a solution that could ensure their process is fair, inclusive and streamlined.

The Results

Since using Applied, SSAFA’s recruitment has seen some dramatic improvements in diversity, retention and efficiency.

By embedding the Applied process into SSAFA’s culture, crafting job-specific work samples and taking our free training sessions, the People Team were able to use Applied across the entire organisation, from office-based exec-level roles through to nurses and trustees.

  • Shortlisting time was cut by 66% - for some large-volume roles previously it would take three days to shortlist candidates, now it takes just one. 
  • Retention rate, after one year, improved from 81% to 94%
  • Applied helped hire for senior roles - with 5 out of 8 candidates interviewed being hireable
  • The number of younger candidates applying doubled, 16% are now aged 16-29 years old.
  • The number of candidates with a disability increased from 8% to 12%. 
  • SSAFA could easily track and report on diversity, no more CSVs or pivot tables!

“The mindset has completely changed, colleagues looking for potential candidates on LinkedIn now get frustrated and say ‘how can I find people’s skills, this is just a list of people’s previous jobs!’ Applied has helped transform SSAFA’s culture when we think about hiring.”

The quality of candidates also tangibly increased: “Work samples, help to predict candidates' capabilities better, and the candidates end up having a better sense of the job they’re applying for. Some have said wouldn’t have thought I’d have this chance if I hadn’t gone through the process.”

SSAFA’s recruitment team can now optimise their hiring using Applied’s reporting and analytics. “Applied’s reporting is so quick and clear, we used to have to download files, create data tables. The graphs are really useful and we can just see what we need to improve. Overall, we’ve been delighted with Applied, it has done what we wanted it to do but there have been so many other benefits we hadn’t imagined as well”.

The results speak for themselves

Shortlisting time cut by 66%
Retention rate improved from 81% to 94%
Candidates with a disability increased from 8% to 12%. 
Younger candidates, aged 16-29, doubled to 16%

What our customers think

‘We’re recruiting people you normally wouldn’t do through a CV sift, we’re finding these hidden gems because all we’re focussing on is transferrable skills, not experience. It's enhanced our employer brand hugely."

Katie Zavros

People Officer


Read our customers’ stories below