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Case study

How Tata Chemicals meet their time to hire target—100% of the time

Recruitment in the chemical manufacturing industry poses unique challenges, like attracting diverse talent at high volume and a lack of widespread brand recognition.

Tata Chemicals Europe is a manufacturer of chemical products with a 150-year history. Nestled in the heart of Cheshire, TCE manufactures key ingredients which go into our everyday products, from glass to pharmaceuticals and even food. You’ve likely used products containing what they make—many of which are well-known household brands—even if you haven’t heard the name “Tata Chemicals” before.

Hiring within manufacturing brings a unique set of challenges, and any ATS for manufacturing needs to be able to keep up. TCE hires for a wide range of roles, including operational and engineering plant-based positions that require local talent and hybrid roles with a broader geographical range. With a brand name that isn’t widely known beyond Cheshire, the HR team struggled to attract a diverse workforce at volume.

TCE have enlisted agency support for some time now, but that meant losing visibility into the early candidate journey. Toward the end of 2023, the HR team decided to look at an in-house applicant tracking system to gain more control over recruitment and their employer brand. 


Key info

  • Locations: 1 head office and 3 manufacturing sites in Cheshire
  • Industry: Chemical manufacturing
  • Headcount: 375
  • Size of talent team: 2

The challenge

Before they discovered Pinpoint, Tata Chemicals worked solely with a recruitment partner who used their own ATS to field candidates, obscuring valuable data about their applicant pool. The Tata Chemicals team could only see the final shortlist—and even then, found that their hiring managers were often working outside of the recruiter’s system.

Tata Chemicals’ Head of HR Vicky Watson and her team faced many challenges, including:

  • Employer brand control: With a recruiter managing early interactions with candidates, Tata Chemicals struggled to create a consistent employer brand. They wanted to engage with applicants directly to set the tone and feel, but even small updates to vacancy listings could not be handled in-house.
  • User experience: Hiring managers had not engaged with the recruitment partner’s ATS and often chose manual workarounds, such as separate phone calls and emails to request interviews and discuss shortlisted CVs. 
  • Visibility void on candidate progress: The many workarounds sidestepping the system created a lack of transparency that left Vicky and her team in the dark. They had no direct way to track a candidate’s progress or gather feedback, which slowed the hiring process.
  • No DEI tools: Tata Chemicals strove to recruit a more diverse and varied workforce, but the recruiter’s system didn’t use anonymized screening or other DEI tools, limiting their ability to reduce bias.
  • Lack of data: With hiring managers bypassing the system, Vicky and her team struggled to track key recruitment metrics, understand where candidates were coming from, and measure the effectiveness of their recruitment efforts.

These challenges combined to create a high cost per hire, with little insight into the effectiveness of that investment. The team at Tata Chemicals felt they wanted greater influence over the candidate experience.

Although using an external recruitment agency still forms part of the overall recruitment strategy, Pinpoint has offered many more benefits that were not previously realized.



1. Customizable, branded careers site

Adopting Pinpoint gave Tata Chemicals direct control over their user-friendly careers site, which integrates seamlessly with their core website. Today, their careers page reflects their warm team culture and longstanding values, attracting a wider pool of applicants and providing complete ownership over their employer brand. 

With an engaging careers site that reinforces their employer value proposition, Tata Chemicals has also seen an uptick in application quality. Candidates sourced from web traffic are 7 times more likely to be hired than those who apply directly through job boards

This has helped with hiring manager system engagement: They see candidates applying directly to Tata Chemicals and are excited that more applicants really want to work with the company.

I’ve never experienced such quick response times from candidates, from choosing interview slots to accepting roles and returning signed contracts [until Pinpoint].

Vicky Watson
Head of HR, Tata Chemicals

2. Easy CV review, scorecards, and comments

Pinpoint’s centralized candidate profiles have lured hiring managers back from manual workarounds and into a user-friendly system they love. They can easily review CVs, request interviews, create and complete candidate scorecards, and leave comments—all in one place.

The hiring managers feel much more engaged in the process because they can see what they’re contributing. We’re doing much less chasing now, even though we’re more involved.

Vicky Watson
Head of HR, Tata Chemicals

3. Referral portal for building a talent pool

The referral portal within Pinpoint has made it easier for existing employees to refer potential candidates. Vicky and her team leverage the power of their current workforce to attract fresh talent that aligns with their company culture, and the system has cut down on the complexity and time required to administer the company’s employee referral scheme.

Originally, we were worried about the amount of work we’d have to handle in-house. But it’s become this sort of savior.

Vicky Watson
Head of HR, Tata Chemicals

4. Centralized requisitions and offer management

Where Vicky and her team once sent out paper contracts and chased down signatures, they can now manage offers more efficiently. Candidates often respond to interview requests and sign contracts in less than an hour—both processes that once took days of manual effort.

We no longer do anything outside Pinpoint, all correspondence internally and externally is visible in one place. We’ve been amazed by the speed of candidates’ responses. It’s like a new world to us.

Vicky Watson
Head of HR, Tata Chemicals

5. User permissions to safeguard sensitive data

Vicky described the old recruiter-centric system as a bit of a “security blanket,” because they weren’t responsible for safeguarding privacy in-house. But the transition has been simple, she says. “We make sure people know we own the data and that tags and comments are professional.” 

Pinpoint automatically asks candidates if they want to keep their CVs in Tata Chemicals’ database, removing that burden from HR. The team also has a built-in audit trail to illuminate every step in a candidate’s journey.

6. Dedicated tools to support DEI efforts

Best applicant tracking system for DEI Resume Redaction from Pinpoint

Using Pinpoint’s anonymized screening tool, Tata Chemicals can focus exclusively on candidates’ skills and experience, prompting a more diverse and inclusive recruitment process. Despite initial concerns about the ease of discussing anonymized candidate details, feedback from hiring managers has been overwhelmingly positive.

With Pinpoint, we can recruit from all backgrounds, and we get visibility into that data.

Vicky Watson
Head of HR, Tata Chemicals

7. Reporting and analytics to track KPIs

Pinpoint’s robust reporting and data analytics have empowered Vicky with valuable insights into the recruitment process, giving her the data she needs to make decisions about how to move forward.

The result

Since integrating Pinpoint into their recruitment process, Tata Chemicals has hit their time to hire target 100% of the time, ensuring that they meet team expectations and fill critical roles promptly. Even more impressively, Tata Chemicals offset the cost of Pinpoint in a single quarter with the money they saved by hiring candidates directly rather than through an agency. 

My team all tease me that people will think I’m working for Pinpoint because I love it so much, but it genuinely is really good. It’s done everything we wanted it to and more.

Vicky Watson
Head of HR, Tata Chemicals

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