the key group logo for their case study with SRO


Before working with us, Key Group made 60% of their hires through expensive agencies. They were spending too much time on recruitment administration, and had no budget dedicated to recruitment. Using the Smart Recruit Online talent acquisition platform, Key Group were able to make more hires directly, and significantly reduce their recruitment spend.


Key Takeaways


Founded in 1998, Key Group are later life lending experts who specialise in equity release. Their mission is to open access to expert financial advice for homeowners on the retirement journey.


Before working with Smart Recruit Online

Key Group currently employ approximately 600 people across the UK. Before working with us, they did not have a suitable Applicant Tracking System, and their candidate engagement and experience was inconsistent. Advertising spend was syphoned from the department that was hiring, with no dedicated budgets for recruitment.


Key Group set out with 5 key objectives in mind:


Onboarding & training

For the onboarding process, Smart Recruit Online’s Support Team had an initial screen share and training with Daniel. We then ran subsequent screen shares and training with members of Daniel’s team. Throughout the year we ran training for any new staff, and have been providing refresher training as and when required.


Daniel commented: “Completely user friendly and seamless. Support excellent from Rob and Karl. Mark, the CEO, is always on hand if required. Very easy.”


After working with Smart Recruit Online

Smart Recruit Online started working with Key Group in 2018, and in that time have helped improve their recruitment process and achieve their objectives.


Reduced recruitment costs

Key Group experienced a major turnaround in their numbers. They were able to drastically decrease their use of recruitment agencies, reducing costs by over £300k against their 2018 spend.


“The numbers and metric indicators don’t lie” Daniel told us, as their average cost-per-hire was reduced by well over £1000.


Direct hiring increased

With the use of recruitment agencies decreased, Key Group’s direct hiring increased by 35% year-over-year, to 78% vs 22% hired through agencies.


Use of the platform significantly improved efficiency when hiring candidates directly. Time spent on recruitment administration was drastically reduced, and improved processes for shortlisting and screening candidates meant applicant quantity and quality was enhanced.


“We are now incredibly proud of our time-to-offer of under 19 days”, Daniel commented.


Improved candidate communication & experience

Since using the platform, Key Group have experience better communication internally, which has resulted in a record number of staff referrals. Their company rating on Glassdoor is at a record 4.5*, which the group are confident is due to their improved candidate experience.


The ability to video interview and use SMS was an important factor for them choosing our platform for candidate communication.


Overall thoughts


SRO has enhanced our service to the business and made our customers (Internal Stakeholders, Hiring Managers) and candidates more engaged with internal resourcing. Perhaps for the first time we have become business partners, being more proactive rather than always being behind the curve and reacting to hiring demands. The results and metric indicators have proven to the business it is worth investing further in our internal recruitment team. Value for money is also an important point to make – otherwise we would have never gained the buy-in from Senior Stakeholders for the recruitment budget.”



To find out how Smart Recruit Online can enhance your recruitment process, book a demo with us today.



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