Adidas aims to halve its recruitment costs when it rolls out a global recruitment tool next year. It will use the tool to match job applicants to positions not just in their home countries but across the world.
The roll-out marks the first stage of Adidas's programme to consolidate its IT onto a single set of systems after its acquisition of Reebok last January. The Reebok takeover made the German sportswear company the employer of more than 25,000 people, with a presence in almost every country in the world.
But managers handling recruitment were using a variety of applications and paper processes to take on staff, with the result that applicants for jobs in one country were not being considered for jobs in others.
The main cost saving from introducing the tool will come from cutting the fees paid to headhunters.
Steve Bonomo, head of recruitment at Adidas, said, "It will save us 30% to 50% of our global recruitment costs. The amount of money we are spending on headhunters is single-digit millions right now, but it could easily have gone above $10m."
Bonomo said the cost of running the system in its first five years would be met from cost savings within 12 months of the roll-out getting under way.
"We needed to do this before we were faced with the absolute problem of not finding talent," said Bonomo. "It is getting much more difficult to find people, in particular really good people. Therefore we could not be competitive any longer without the right infrastructure in place."
The Activerecruiter application from software supplier Jobpartners will go live at Adidas's global headquarters in Herzogenaurach in Germany on 1 February next year. The four US headquarters for the Adidas, Reebok, Rockport and Taylormade sportswear brands are due to go live on 15 February.
The company's retail business will switch over to Activerecruiter in June, as will most of its European offices. More than 100 different recruitment processes will be scrapped, as hiring managers across the globe become required to use the common recruitment tool.
The company's managers in Asia will start using the application next October, and all remaining countries will go live during 2008.
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