Direct benefit | How DirectLine Group turned its HR into a premium deal

How DirectLine Group turned its HR into a premium deal

Deep Dive

When Craig Morgans joined DirectLine late last year, a big change was already afoot in the insurer’s talent acquisition game. In this exclusive, he spills the details on how to really make your HR strategy work...

Heading up an HR revolution is sort of Craig Morgans’ thing. As Director of Talent Acquisition at The AA, for example, the path he and the TA team trod in order to improve the People function led to the team winning 20 industry awards, including the coveted RADs Work of the Year for 2020.

He sits down with HR Grapevine Senior Business Journalist Sarah Williams to share the hows, whys and whens of leading a successful HR team – and how good HR leads to overall business success.

HRGV: You’ve been with the DirectLine Group for a little more than half a year – what’s gone on in that time?

CM: Our Acquire Centre of Excellence (COE) came into existence mid-2021, with a focus on three key areas: Future Skills and Careers, Talent Acquisition and Emerging Careers (investing in levelling up the UK skills gap by developing and nurturing future critical skills). We have since grown to incorporated Diversity and Inclusion as well as Culture and Engagement.

I joined at the back end of 2021and have taken the Acquisition team on a journey to become real business partners, rather than just [a support function]. We have a very clear 2022 TA strategy…and have already transformed our approach and processes, which has in turn driven significant increases in candidate applications, even in the backdrop of the current talent challenges. We’ve also transformed an old, out-of-date careers website and recently launched phase 1 of our new DLG careers site.

One of our main and critical ambitions was to define and develop an authentic, future-focused, aspirational EVP which is distinct and credible in the market externally – and living and breathing throughout the employee experience internally.

How we did this was to identify an Employer Brand Partner and then scoping a full EVP project; which has involved significant desk research, senior stakeholder engagement, focus groups from across our business and finally, competitor analysis. We’re now in phase two – Validating early prototypes through internal focus groups with priority skills sets and interviews with external professionals, which will lead us to phase 3 – finalisation and communications / brand activation.

We also designed and launched our highest performing social campaign (“Work your way”) for TA. But all of this is only the start!

"A comfort zone is the worst place to be"

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