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From analytics to action: how Shell digitized recruitment

Sue Lam (Shell Oil Company, Houston, Texas, USA)
Ben Hawkes (Shell UK Ltd., London, UK)

Strategic HR Review

ISSN: 1475-4398

Article publication date: 10 April 2017




The purpose of this paper is to share how Shell HR enabled technological change in their graduate hiring assessments.


Shell receives over 100,000 applications for their global graduate program each year for fewer than 1,000 technical and commercial positions. The foundation of the recruitment process is the assessments, providing data and insight on which to make selection decisions. The effectiveness of the assessments, along with attracting the best candidates, determines the quality of hire and long-term value to Shell. To stay competitive in the market with job seekers, Shell recruitment wanted to create a streamlined assessment approach that could be delivered through available technology. HR analytics and assessment specialists collaborated to review the current graduate assessments to enhance candidate assessment data, boost candidate experience, leverage technology and make structural changes that improve cost effectiveness, scalability and efficiency for variable hire demand levels. Focus groups, interviews, candidate experience surveys and assessment center data were examined.


The findings indicate that the assessment process was robust but could be streamlined, particularly by digitizing the process. For example, pre-recorded video interviewing could be utilized early in the assessment process.


This paper sheds light on the success factors of digitizing the recruitment assessment process. Information on bringing data analysis to recommendations and implementation is shared.



The authors would like to thank Shell Recruitment and HR Analytics for their work on the project and for the support of Thomas Rasmussen (VP HR Data & Analytics) and Jeroen de Weerd (VP Recruitment).


Lam, S. and Hawkes, B. (2017), "From analytics to action: how Shell digitized recruitment", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 76-80.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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