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Financial Ombudsman

In just three months, Lifetime helped the FOS leverage the power of digital to shift to an entirely new recruitment strategy. Find out how we rapidly accelerated its approach to hiring fresh talent during the pandemic.

Collaborating to optimise the Financial Ombudsman's candidate attraction activity

Set up by Parliament in 2001, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an award-winning service that helps resolve a wide range of disputes between financial businesses and their customers.

In the wake of COVID-19, organisations had to adapt quickly and think differently. Looking to evolve and optimise its recruitment process and overcome the challenges of hiring new talent during the pandemic, the FOS partnered with Lifetime to introduce a strategy that could attract, identify and onboard high-quality recruits for Business Administration Level 3 and Customer Service – and do it all in a virtual world.

How Lifetime attracted and screened over 1,000 applicants to uncover the best talent

Within a challenging timescale of just three months, Lifetime supported the FOS with our best practice for online recruitment. It meant temporarily adapting their internal processes to pivot from a face-to-face, workshop-based approach to an entirely digital onboarding solution.

Lifetime’s experienced AR service worked in partnership with the FOS to onboard apprentices at speed. In two weeks, 1,000 applications were successfully generated through the campaign, followed by a unique four-day screening process to include diversity, eligibility, suitability and competency metrics.

Line Managers were engaged effectively to shift perceptions and drive the campaign's success, while each candidate was prepared for virtual assessments and interviews (resulting in 97% attendance at assessment days and interviews).

Through its partnership with Lifetime, the organisation was quickly armed with a flexible and effective digital recruitment strategy that brought fresh talent into the organisation. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, the FOS successfully met its ambitious timeframes, recruiting and enrolling 25 high calibre
apprentices at the start of 2021.

The impact of digital recruitment

With Lifetime’s help, the FOS quickly transformed its recruitment processes to maximise the benefits of the digital world – and crucially, overcome the challenges of hiring talent during COVID-19.

1,000
high-quality applications generated in just two weeks
3-month
timeframe to attract and recruit new talent through a virtual strategy
25
high calibre candidates enrolled in the space of four days
people working on laptops

What's next? A focus on the Financial Ombudsman’s future leaders

With a successful recruitment campaign behind it, the FOS has continued to collaborate with Lifetime. Now there’s a new focus: to develop and support its existing Senior Investigators and Senior Advisors through the launch of its new Team Leader Supervisor Level 3 programme, Aspire.  

Together, we’ve worked collaboratively to identify the best strategy and launch plan, tailoring the programme through engagement sessions to boost the skillsets of its Senior teams. A pilot is due to start imminently, with a first cohort of 12 apprentices to kickstart the programme in the organisation. 

The FOS is another government department that chooses to partner with Lifetime. By reshaping its hiring process through digital strategies, it was equipped with the tools to attract the best talent in a virtual world.

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The results have been impressive given our challenging timescales, our partnership with Lifetime has been critical in driving the success of our candidate attraction activity. The level of interest and quality of candidates have far exceeded our expectations.

Serena Phillips, Apprenticeship Programme Partner

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