The Times 100 Business Case Studies British Gas Workforce planning at British Gas
Introduction to British Gas • The UK’s best recognised energy brand • Employs more than 9,000 trained gas engineers • One of Centrica Group’s 8 separate energy- related businesses • Energy is highly competitive market • British Gas competes on price and customer service • British Gas does more than just supply gas • Installs and maintains domestic central heating and appliances • Maintains and repairs electrical white goods • Cleans drains, offers plumbing and home security services through the Dyno brand
Human Resource Management (HRM) • HRM ensures the business has the right people to deliver its business plan through • Planning • Recruitment and selection • Training • Motivation - financial and non-financial rewards • High levels of technical skill and customer focus needed to meet customer requirements
Training • Several training routes • Intensive 5-year Apprenticeship Programme – to become a qualified gas engineer • Traineeships – new recruits learn about the industry and gain qualifications • Technical training – ongoing for engineers to gain up-to-date information on new technology • The British Gas Academy • Focus for specialised training requirements • People skills critical for dealing with customers
Workforce planning • Identifies and forecasts staffing needs for present and future demand • British Gas needs to plan for its future managers • Demand for all services has increased • Contract customers with service level agreements • One-off customers with specific problems • Engineering is long term training – up to 10 years • Skills gaps need to be filled • Safety regulations must be met.
Recruitment • British Gas HR strategy is socially inclusive • Diverse workforce reflects diverse customer base • Targets people with languages other than English • Advertises jobs in targeted ethnic publications • Aims to attract more women engineers – winning awards for this work • Apprenticeship candidates need • GCSEs plus customer skills, e.g. good listening and communication • Online application form includes value-based questionnaire • Identifies which roles an applicant is suited to.
Selection • British Gas seeks • Core competencies, e.g. team working, dealing with people, responding to change • ‘Life skills’, e.g. politeness, courtesy • Assessment for selection through • Interview • Role play scenarios • Practical dexterity test • Once accepted, recruits benefit from ongoing training