Manpower France, a leader in the recruitment of temporary and permanent staff, has chosen the MEDIAplus eLearning system from ENI to assess the office application skills of the people it recruits. Searching for a reliable means of evaluating a candidate's level of proficiency, Manpower France was convinced above all by one of the distinctive features of MEDIAplus eLearning: assessment and training take place in the real working environment, unlike any other system on the market.
Manpower France, created in 1957, specialises in recruitment and assessment of temporary and permanent staff. France is Manpower's principle market, ahead of the United States and Italy, and represents 30% of its worldwide turnover.
With over 1 000 offices spread across the whole country, Manpower places 130 000 temporary workers every day and assesses over 100 000 candidates per year.
As Manpower's core activity is staff recruitment, one of its main priorities is to assess accurately its candidates' levels of proficiency. "What our clients expect from Manpower is a high-quality recruitment, entirely consistent with their needs," points out Mme Pontille, Skills Assessment and Development Manager.
In the past, it was tertiary sector workers (secretaries, assistants) whose office software skills were assessed, and this was done using CD-ROMs. Now, in a changing job market, computer skills are indispensible for an increasing number of posts, including administrative and executive positions.
Faced with this growth in the volume of candidates requiring assessment, Manpower France took the decision to change its testing method. "With over 1000 branches all over France, keeping the CD-ROMs up to date was a challenge, and we regularly experienced problems of compatibility with constantly changing technical platforms," comments Mme Pontille.
After an in-depth market study, Manpower France chose ENI's MEDIAplus eLearning system. "We were impressed with certain features unique to MEDIAplus eLearning and, in particular, with the assessment and training in the real working environment," explains Mme Pontille. "My own experience has shown me that it is difficult to get an accurate idea of someone's knowledge of an application if that knowledge is assessed in a simulated environment. We need to find out, for example, whether a person is capable of entering an Excel formula. And that cannot be done in simulation," she adds.
"With MEDIAplus eLearning, assessment and training take place in the software itself, in the actual application, and that is a real advantage over the other systems on the market," she concludes.
Other grounds supported the choice of MEDIAplus eLearning:
- It is a Full Web system, which updates instantly,
- It offers a comprehensive catalogue of e-learning products, in customisable modules so that programmes can be constructed to suit individual requirements (by skill level, by software function, by job profile, etc...)
- It provides a solution for assessing candidates in software which is not installed on the computer (with Virtual MEDIAplus eLearning, it is possible to assess and train users in the real Word 2007 working environment, for example, even if the application is not present on the computer).
- MEDIAplus eLearning exists in several languages.
The system finally deployed was first put through a pilot study in selected offices, with the involvement of the IT department.
"When we need to assess a candidate's office software proficiency, our recruiter enrols the candidate via the online testing platform and assigns an assessment program to match the required profile," explains Mme Pontille.
The test is taken on a dedicated computer at the branch office. Afterwards, the recruiter goes through the results with the candidate. "If the candidate's software skills are insufficient, and if these skills are essential for the position, the candidate will not be selected," she specifies. "But if the software skills are not an essential requirement for the recruitment, and the candidate corresponds well to the other requirements, we offer training to improve his or her proficiency," she adds.
After several months of use, the solution has proved entirely satisfactory. The number of assessments carried out with MEDIAplus eLearning keeps growing. "The recruiters in our branch offices are impressed with the efficiency and the professionalism of the system, as well as its interface. They also appreciate the ease with which assessment programmes can be customised," observes Mme Pontille.
"We are currently working on improving our approach by providing assistance for users. We have trained our own tutors in the branches and organise teleconferences on getting started with the system. We have edited communication aids to help them?" she explains. "Because even if MEDIAplus eLearning is really very easy to use, we have come to realise that it is beneficial, both for the recruiter and for the candidate, if someone is on hand to help," concludes Mme Pontille.