The Meal-kit industry launched in the UK in 2012, after starting in Europe in 2007; driven by demand from health-conscious shoppers who were no longer happy to feed their families processed ready meals and frozen pizza! Meal-Kit companies like Hello Fresh have led the way by educating consumers and getting them comfortable with the idea of ordering measured ingredients that they cook themselves.
Hello Fresh operates in nine countries and delivers almost nine million dinners per month globally, charging from £4 per meal. Their business model is based on home delivery of a product that provides everything you need, in exact quantities, for five days.
Meridian has been working with HelloFresh for two years. We supply 300+ Temporary Production Staff daily to work mainly Weekend shifts at their warehouse in Banbury, Oxford.
The challenge wasn’t just to find competent, quality staff within a very tight labour market, Banbury, 0.5% unemployment. They also wanted us to:
- Take total ownership of Induction & On-Boarding processes, which was previously taking up 40% of HelloFresh Supervisors’ time
- Reduce turnover of temporary labour pool; over 80% of new starters do not return on week two.
- Improve local brand reputation for the site, in the past poor agency management damaged local profile [pay issues, lack of shifts etc]
We spent time with the HelloFresh management team to fully understand the business, their strategy and goals for the future. We also spent a lot of time in the warehouse to see for ourselves the challenges the company faced as well as the opportunity to find areas for improvements.
- We decided the best way to partner with HelloFresh was to dedicate 4 team members to an on-site solution, based full time at their site in Banbury, Oxford. The team was headed up by Kashona Patel. Kashona recently won Best Newcomer at our Annual Conference and awards dinner.
- We also dedicated Temp Recruitment Hub based in Bristol to source, screen and recruit over 500 temporary staff.
- In order to deal with the candidate shortage, we decided we needed to implement a Transport Initiative. Coordinating joined-up supply across 3 local Meridian branches – Milton Keynes, Birmingham & Witney in Oxford and transporting temps to HelloFresh from out of the immediate area therefore, increasing the size of the candidate pool.
- To improve the site reputation in the area we designed a new “Brand Campaign” in line with Meridian & HelloFresh marketing to re-launch in the local area.
- 600 candidates contacted
- 80 booked in for interview over 5 days with the registration team
- 50 confirmed starters
- We partnered with local Banbury College to specifically attract students to work weekend shifts, positioning HelloFresh as the local ’weekend work of choice for students’. We also convinced HelloFresh to offer National Living Wage to all workers regardless of age, which was very successful in attracting high levels of Young worker (17 year old) applicants.
This has allowed us to increase our weekend pool by over 20% and ensure all HelloFresh shifts are fulfilled.
- We also built a strong relationship with the Banbury Job Centre. We Invited the Job Centre Case Workers (Job Coaches) to site for, site tours with the onsite team and a Q&A session about the work and suitable candidates. Jobcentre referrals increased by over 300% and Job Coaches were able to promote Meridian and HelloFresh after seeing the environment “in real life”
- Meridian is proud to be a Disability Confident employer and we have been working with the Job Centre on promoting our “disability confident” status. The Job Centre has been providing us with job-ready candidates with disabilities. We have successfully placed workers with autism into our production area and this has really promoted HelloFresh locally as an “employer of choice”.
- We also worked with the Job Centre to promote that we champion mental health awareness and this has encouraged some candidates that would not feel confident to apply or enter the workforce to “give us a try” and this has resulted in us being able to attract a new pool of candidates that have not been given a chance elsewhere in Banbury.
- Meridian/HelloFresh is now the number one referral from Banbury Job Centre for candidates seeking temporary work in Banbury – above any other local employer or agency.
- We increased order fulfilment from 30% to 100% in less than 3 weeks!
- We were able to reduce Wk 1 turnover from 80% to 5% - saving HelloFresh circa £200K per annum