Case Study: AECOM

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AECOM Link: building a strong network of on-demand talent


AECOM was looking for an effective solution to enable the organisation to scale up, or down, its workforce as required. Often, client demands required an immediate response, so AECOM was looking to increase their network of available on-demand workers to fulfill those needs.

AECOM often had short-term critical staffing needs that it previously resourced through hiring permanent talent. However, those employees were then let go after project completion and AECOM had no way of engaging with them in a structured way after they left. The organisation also couldn’t track their skills when working on other projects. By using Adepto for their contractor network, they hoped to better engage with workers and to never have to resource a project from point zero.


AECOM looked to Adepto for a solution, a way to build a contractor talent pool that would allow hiring managers to resource workers fast. The organisation needed a way to quickly search for the right people, to track worker skills and experience, and to engage with its contractors. Developing a strong relationship with its contractors was key to AECOM’s rapid response to market and future workforce goals. The organisation also challenged Adepto to address the inconsistent approach in its existing communications with contractors (and vice versa). To create a holistic, long-term approach in engaging and maintaining an external talent pool.

The Adepto platform offered a way for AECOM to cultivate a network of high-quality on-demand workers whilst also establishing its employer brand. Adepto provided a quick and seamless way to populate AECOM Link through:

 The creation of ghost profiles (unclaimed) through uploading data from AECOM’s payroll provider

 Identifying engineering skills and implementing campaigns to attract new contractors to the network based on skills needed, significantly reducing spend

By branding the platform AECOM Link, AECOM started to build awareness of the brand and its opportunities amongst contract workers. Regular communications and opportunities helped to strengthen the relationship with contractors once they were attracted to sign-up to the platform. Retaining talented workers is crucial to AECOM’s future success, especially considering the rising skills shortage threatening the engineering sector. By using Adepto, AECOM reduced its reliance on agencies and external recruiters.

The results

So far, over 900 contractors have been onboarded onto the platform with 66 hiring managers using Adepto to resource projects. AECOM Link has received media attention and awards, most recently the 2019 ‘Innovation Award’ by HRD Australia, for its forward-thinking impact on the future of engineering.

A dedicated team helps to curate communications and engage with the network to ensure contractors are available to AECOM on-demand. Contractors on the platform have expressed greater happiness and satisfaction in maintaining their profiles and connecting more readily with AECOM. Both hiring managers and workers have noted a more seamless flow between posting jobs, expressing interest and being resourced onto a project. Currently, 18% of AECOM’s workforce are contractors and it’s working towards a target of 25%.

On one occasion, a specialised bid writer was found and resourced within four hours of a need arising. The hiring manager required a writer urgently to fulfil a sudden new business opportunity.

“What I like about owning my Adepto profile is it gives you the opportunity to present your whole self… not just what you can do or have done… but who you are and what you potentially can bring to a role more personally. I’m motivated to keep my profile up to date as I know an opportunity is always just around the corner… and perception is everything”

AECOM Contractor, Workforce Agility HR Projects