How Waterwise increased the volume, diversity & quality of applications for Board positions

Waterwise are an independent non-profit campaigning organisation focused on reducing water consumption in the UK. They support and challenge governments, industry, customers and others to be innovative and ambitious on water efficiency. Waterwise is the leading authority on water efficiency in the UK.
The Challenge

Waterwise, working with their recruiters, Eastside Primetimers, were looking to recruit for four new senior roles - Board members. Key to Waterwise, a not-for-profit focused on reducing water consumption in the UK, was ensuring they attracted candidates with a wide range of skills and expertise. Not just experience. This also meant finding a diverse candidate pool from a range of backgrounds. Knowing this, Applied’s software seemed like the obvious solution to help achieve Waterwise’s goal - underpinning its other inclusive approaches such as sharing questions with interviewees in advance.

Recruiters, Eastside Primetimers, were also keen to use Applied to build upon the hard work they put in to always recruiting fairly and objectively, delivering the best possible candidates for Waterwise. They also wanted to try and improve the volume of applications, for roles that, traditionally would struggle to attract high numbers of applications. They believed Applied would add value to their search in finding suitable candidates; writing an engaging candidate information pack and ad as well as using their networks and executive search techniques to engage candidates and encourage applications.

How Applied helped transform Waterwise's hiring

Using Applied and focussing on skills-based questions instead of previous experience and background made a huge difference. As well as Waterwise being open about this through their employer brand - that diversity and inclusion were important - using Applied meant it transpired through the actual recruitment process. Waterwise also held a Zoom drop-in session for interested candidates to find out more about Waterwise, the roles, and the Applied system, which was very well-attended.

Chair of Waterwise, Tania Flasck, was highly impressed by Applied: "I absolutely love the detailed, automated feedback given to candidates, it is rich with data and helps candidates feel that we’ve really taken the time to care about their applications, giving them useful ways to improve for future opportunities’"

Candidates commented they were attracted to the role because the process was so unique that it was obvious it wasn’t just a diversity box-ticking exercise. The success of using Applied became obvious when instead of around the typical 10 candidates per Board role, according to Eastside Primetimers, there were a total of 57 applications; a 30% increase. For Board roles, that are unpaid and often have a low volume of applications, this was a vast improvement. With a wider pool of talent to choose from more high-quality candidates could be taken through to interview.

It also meant the hiring team spent 50% less time reviewing applications. Managing Director, Nicci Russell from Waterwise said  "I was whizzing through them and still feeling like I was getting useful candidate information, the Applied system just makes it so much easier. Candidate quality was higher because the questions were so focused and skills-based, certain applicants just qualified themselves out as they probably couldn’t answer all the questions, leaving us with only high-quality applicants. We ended up appointing five people because the standard was so high."

The five successful candidates are unique and highly-skilled individuals, between them significantly broadening the skills and insight on Waterwise’s Board - giving Waterwise exactly what they set out to achieve.

From a recruiter perspective, Eastside Primetimers found Applied’s customer service team to be incredibly helpful and responsive throughout, supporting them through a new way of hiring for the first time. They had their eyes opened to a new way of hiring. Bernice Rook, Director of Recruitment & Membership, said "it made me think differently about what we were really looking for in these candidates and what would show us their potential for success in the role - and (I can’t believe I’m saying this) it was really enjoyable!"

The results speak for themselves

Reduced time reviewing applications by 50%
30% increase in applications
Higher quality of candidates at every stage
A more diverse range of candidates

What our customers think

“The reporting and data Applied offers provides such useful insights for us to reflect on, I’ve never seen another recruitment tool or provider offer so much that allows us to continuously improve our hiring process.”

Tania Flasck



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