B&Q Case Study

B&Q implement integrated recruitment solution using Logical Innovations TalentTracker system

Business Context

B&Q is the largest home improvement and garden centre retailer in the UK and Europe and the third largest in the world. With more than 300 UK stores and over 30,000 employees B&Q needs to continuously recruit talented and passionate people to fill a diverse range of roles. This includes both high volume roles such as customer advisors and specialist roles such as trade professionals, retail managers, store support staff, and head office roles.

B&Q required a software solution to replace a number of disparate (largely manual) systems that would provide a robust framework for managing end-to-end recruitment activities.

The main business drivers were to:

  • Lower costs by automating repetitive tasks and reducing administrative overheads.
  • Reduce the amount of time, staff resources and management effort expended on administering recruitment activities.
  • Improve time-to-hire, i.e. the amount of time required to make an offer decision from when a completed application is received.
  • Guarantee consistency and robustness of process by ensuring all applications treated in a consistent and equitable manner.
  • Improve the overall candidate experience, in particular through improved communications.
  • Ensure compliance with business policies and legal requirements, e.g. by minimising opportunities for discrimination.


After working with B&Q to fully understand the business needs and technical constraints a bespoke solution based on Logical Innovations' proprietary TalentTracker recruitment toolkit was proposed and subsequently delivered. The main elements of the solution were a SQL Server database and a number of web applications that provided the required user facilities. The solution included a fully branded Job Board that allowed prospective candidates to search and apply for advertised jobs, and a comprehensive Applicant Tracking System for use by HR personnel and store managers to track and process applications and to administer the overall recruitment process.

Key features of the solution:

  • Multi-stage online application process including role-specific screening questionnaires, integrated psychometric test, and comprehensive structured application form with real-time data validation.
  • Automated scoring and prioritisation of online applications based on objective, pre-defined business rules, and automated regret of unsuitable candidates where appropriate.
  • Seamless experience for candidates with full B&Q branding throughout.
  • Integrated workflow model including automation of correspondence (email and letter form) based on defined trigger events.
  • Full vacancy management allowing authorised back-office users to define new vacancies, including in-built enforcement of business rules e.g. to ensure salary offered is within approved bands based on role and location.
  • Full application tracking providing authorised back-office users with visibility of all applications received and user facilities to record progress decisions.
  • A number of structured processes allowing authorised back-office users to undertake specific tasks and to administer various aspects of the overall recruitment process, e.g. to set-up interviews, record interview decisions, manage the reference process, and manage the offer process.
  • Automatically add suitable candidates to a talent-bank for matching to subsequent vacancies.
  • Integrated analytics and reporting to generate various management reports and Key Performance Indicators.
  • User-level application security model providing fine grained access control, e.g. to restrict the data that each user can view, the tasks that can be undertaken, and the organisational units that a user can manage (e.g. one or more specific stores or departments).
  • Inbuilt audit trail providing tractability and accountability.


The initial solution was developed over a three month period and after a short pilot exercise that targeted a small number of stores the solution was rolled out to all UK stores. The solution resulted in a 30% cost saving as a result of lower spend on external advertising, reduced use of recruitment agencies, internal efficiency savings, and better utilisation of staff resources. Other tangible benefits included the ability to rapidly screen applications, match candidates to the most appropriate roles, and make quick and effective decisions about which candidates to offer.

Mike Cutt (B&Q's HR Director) said, "With an annual growth in excess of 15% it is imperative for us to have instant access to applicants who are pre-screened against business and role specific criteria so that our store managers can recruit applicants directly in minutes. Not only have we reduced the number of unsuitable applications we receive, we now redirect applicants who were not best suited for the role they initially applied for. It is important to us not to discount anyone but to find out what alternative role they could fulfill within our business."

A further benefit of the solution was that B&Q could demonstrate and guarantee that all applications for any vacancy were treated consistently and fairly, with opportunity for discrimination minimised as far as practical at all stages of the process. For example, initial screening against fundamental criteria was fully automated based on objective business rules. Further, as all candidates remain anonymous prior to the interview selection stage, the opportunity for discrimination (e.g. by inferring gender, race or religion from someone's name) is substantially eliminated. This would allow B&Q to readily defend any claims of discrimination that might be levelled by a candidate and more importantly to provide robust evidence to support this.

B&Q Screen Grab