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Nestlé CBI Guide - the 'Wiki Way'

Nestle logoNestlé UK and Ireland is a subsidiary of Nestlé SA, the world’s foremost nutrition, health and wellness company. Nestlé employs almost 7,000 people across 23 sites in the UK and Ireland and Wickland Westcott has built a long standing relationship with the business over several years, having previously designed their Competency Based Interview Guide (CBI) for team member, manager and senior manager roles. When Nestlé’s Recruitment Team wanted to refresh and update their interview questions they approached Wickland Westcott.

The brief was to design and develop a new CBI Guide which reflected the current challenges facing the business and the employee behaviours which were critical for success. The questions needed to be challenging, topical and interesting for interviewers to ask and for candidates to answer. There was also a need to make the guide searchable by themes and key words other than simply competency headings, and a further requirement to include questions to test different levels of each competency.

The demand was for a digital rather than paper based solution. Wickland Westcott therefore prepared an online database of questions, coded by various key words as well as different levels of competency. Users are therefore able to quickly log-in and identify a selection of modern, interesting questions which they can select for use themselves, or easily forward to line managers to help them prepare for an interview.

The end result is that Nestlé’s recruitment interviews are more accurate and engaging for both candidates and interviewers. Amanda Jailler, Head of Recruitment Shared Services comments:

“Laura came up with a great versatile solution using Wikispace. I was very impressed by her willingness to start with a blank sheet of paper, in terms of how to find the technology to provide the solution I wanted, and go figure out how to do it!”

The design process for the new online CBI Guide is detailed below.

Design Process

Stage One – Competency Analysis

A meeting was held with the Recruitment Team to explore the practical meaning for each of the competency criteria. Questions asked included: What does each competency actually mean in practice? What are the employee skill gaps which need to be developed? What are managers tending to look for in their new recruits? Such analysis provided the opportunity to discuss with recruiters their own perceptions regarding the priorities that line managers were highlighting, and gave an invaluable firsthand insight into where improvements could be made to the existing interview questions.

Stage Two – Coding the questions

Following the Competency Analysis, key themes were identified which the new CBI Guide needed to assess. Over 50 key words were defined and incorporated within the CBI Guide, including: ‘Project Management’, ‘Stakeholder Management’, ‘Awareness of Matrix Management’, ‘Coaching’, ‘Commercial Understanding’ and ‘Applying Lean Processes’. These themes were face-valid and resonated with Nestlé’s line managers – topics they would be interested in discussing with candidates. Then, over 200 questions were developed against the different competencies, and were incorporated into one succinct and comprehensive CBI guide.

Stage Three – Developing the ‘wiki’    

Once the questions had been written, the next stage was to develop a current and assessable CBI Guide template. This was to be used by Recruitment Specialists from a variety of different offices and required members to search for CBI questions using defined key words.

With this in mind, an exclusive ‘wiki’ was developed for Nestlé. Web pages were designed via a web browser where Recruiters could log into a secure site and search through the CBI questions using an easy and accessible search engine, similar to Google. The ‘wiki’ was then fully branded in Nestlé’s own colours and logo, and detailed instructions for using the ‘wiki’ were presented on the home page for new users.

Recruiters have to be invited into the ‘wiki’ to view and use the guide, ensuring the contents remain confidential and exclusive to Nestlé. Questions are also securely protected so that they cannot be edited or changed by users, thus ensuring all content remains consistent and fully approved. 

Stage Four – ‘Wiki’ introduction and training

Once the CBI Guide was fully transferred into the ‘wiki’, a training and introduction session was held with Recruitment Team Members to familiarise them with the new tool. During this session, team members were fully briefed on how to use the ‘wiki’ and its purpose as part of the recruitment process moving forward. Users therefore had the chance to practice using the ‘wiki’, before it became fully integrated across the HR team.