JoinedUp Portal

J Sainsbury plc trading as Sainsbury’s is the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom, with a 16.0% share of the supermarket sector. Founded in 1869, by John James Sainsbury with a shop in Drury Lane, London, the company became the largest retailer of groceries in 1922.

Sainsbury’s purpose is to help our customers live well for less.


HG Recruitment and Sainsburys partnership spans over 2 decades. HG have grown as a business in partnership with Sainsburys sharing their strong ethical, moral, environmental stance and Values.

The challenge

HG Recruitment first began its journey with Sainsbury’s in 2003, with the aim of increasing the flexibility of their driver worker pool and reducing the costs associated with agency supply. 

HG first supplied into the flagship newly opened DC Waltham point, the depot employed 650 warehouse colleagues inc of agency, and 355 transport colleagues including agency personnel. To complement this, we sourced 200 Class 1 drivers to deliver to their supermarket store profile. We devised and delivered an effective high-volume, low-margin strategy appropriate for the business model at this site.  which gave Sainsbury’s and its associated 3PL’S the confidence to expand the service further and to utilise our MSP service offering nationally.

Our Approach

HG supply up to 450 Class 1 drivers daily, which doubles at peak achieving lead supplier status of their temporary drivers nationally into their distribution centres. During our 21-year relationship with Sainsbury’s, we have worked very closely with Sainsbury’s 3PL supplier of choice Wincanton. Through this relationship we now also supply across 15 Wincanton sites within their portfolio.

Experts in TUPE, HG have supported the tupe process for Sainsburys migrating staff from their Buntingford, Feltham, Sherburn and Northampton DC’S. Most recently HG Tuped core staff from NFT distribution to support the migration of the primary function into Waltham Point, which sits as a separate function and has its own pool of drivers who work with the hub strategy, concentrating on collections and deliveries in an integrated network solution.


Within the TUPE process, the change and nature of the previous drivers Terms & Conditions had to be managed by HG empathetically ensuring the full recruitment transition was seamless within this process. HG supported Sainsbury’s with the migration of all staff and assisted with meeting any shortfalls whilst the consultation process took place. During due diligence, it transpired that the Terms of the TUPE enabled the existing drivers to take redundancy or early retirement leaving a need to backfill and maintain productivity. We recruited an additional 100 drivers to meet this demand created by natural wastage, and successfully managed the transfer from 3 incumbent agencies.

Via a combination of temp-to-temp transfers and FREE temp to perm appointments, the labour pool is still robust and meeting Sainsbury’s head count targets regionally.


HG is proud to have been Sainsbury’s Waltham Points master vendor for the last 17 years and we offer continuous improvement initiatives to build upon and enhance this valued partnership.


Waltham Point utilises up to 130 agency drivers daily. Our recruitment campaigns are therefore structured, well organised and remain flexible to meet the fluctuating demands of the seasons.  Our candidate attraction strategies are best placed in the market to attract the right calibre of drivers to meet Sainsbury’s strict recruitment criteria and the drivers must first pass an in-depth assessment to qualify for the opportunity of an FTE status and the right to work at the DC via the MSP model. Our targeted landing page, combined with open days, family fun days and national and regional recruitment campaigns all help to ensure that we maintain the required numbers to meet peak demands (this includes but is not limited to deploying all job boards and social media avenues).


We provide driver trainers and assessors to the sites we supply. We believe that the best way to get the most out of our workforce is to invest in them. We provide continuous development and training to all of our workforce, from one-to-one upskilling to formal training like DCPC and manual handling. We open these opportunities up to all workers, which benefits retention and improves year-on-year performance. This standardised training solution allows drivers to move around the network strategically to support regional demand. (The central database forms the basis of a driver passport system thus ensuring legal compliance).


In 2015, we introduced a new senior management team for the relationship including a dedicated Account Director for the national Sainsbury’s portfolio.


Compliance is at the forefront of our minds and so we conduct internal monthly audits across each supplying site and work with Sainsbury’s provider of choice annually to pass their accredited audit. The audit looks at our systems and our ethical due diligence, whilst we checking that we adhere to current legislative guidelines.


In conjunction with Joined Up, HG partnered with Sainsbury’s and trialled the system in Waltham Point DC.


User-friendly, and totally transparent, Joined Up has an excellent search facility and reporting function, it is easy to integrate with both Paragaon and with HG’s internal technology platform. The Joined Up system is easily able to load the primary and secondary requirements so that, by the end of day deadline, a completed plan is delivered into the planning teams portal without multiple changes. This provides visibility of all drivers in the network and for the driver passport it ensures total compliance with the Sainsbury’s engagement criteria. HG are also able to provide Mi daily to ensure that KPI’s are met and enabling streamlining of the whole agency experience and of the planning experience, thereby delivering an integrated solution for all parties and including second tiers. HG also delivers its audits via the same system.

Our successful solution

Today our service with Sainsbury’s covers 7 of their major DC’s ranging from Leeds to Kent and including their largest fulfilment centres, Northampton and Waltham Point. We also enjoy preferred supplier status at their TU clothing & fashion DC in Bedford, St. Albans and Dartford.

We have partnered with Sainsbury’s to successfully set and deliver staff recruitment and retention strategies across all sites and with the implementation of our driver trainers working on site to maintain low fuel consumption and to drive emission efficiencies, as well as reducing assessment and training costs across the board.