Thomas Thor builds a thriving learning culture with 5app

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In this case study, we’ll explore how Thomas Thor transformed its learning culture with powerful results, including:

  • Driving daily platform logins throughout the onboarding period
  • Supporting 80% employee retention vs an industry average of 50%
  • Cutting content creation time from multiple days to just two hours


Thomas Thor is a global provider of recruitment, search and workforce solutions to sectors and organisations shaping a Net Zero future, with a focus on nuclear energy and low-carbon solutions, including renewables and digital transformation.

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The challenge

Constant industry-wide change

Things don’t stay the same for long in the recruitment industry, but especially in the clean energy space. Thomas Thor’s recruitment experts are constantly looking for the best candidates for organisations leading the charge to Net Zero, including nuclear regulators, operators, engineering and construction companies, equipment manufacturers and research organisations, in an environment where change is a given.

It’s an undeniably complex space – but complex challenges don’t always need complex solutions.

Reducing employee churn with high-impact learning

The recruitment industry is notorious for its high employee churn rates – in some sectors, it’s thought that the average tenure of a recruiter is just 12 months. Thomas Thor’s small-but-mighty team of 70 people, based across 9 offices, needed a way to effectively onboard new starters to get them up to speed quickly, boost retention rates and ensure they had the best possible start to their time at Thomas Thor.

But it wasn’t just about onboarding. Beyond a new employee’s first few months, Thomas Thor’s learning team wanted to keep employees engaged with thought-provoking, highly topical content, so they needed a scalable digital learning platform to make it easy to share learning content with employees all over the world.

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The solution


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Enter 5app. 5app is the elegantly simple learning and comms platform that makes it quick and easy for businesses to keep employees in the loop with the information that matters to them, at the point of need.

Thomas Thor’s partnership with 5app started in 2022, with the Thomas Thor Academy focusing on onboarding, tracking engagement with compliance content and providing anytime, anywhere learning in a complex technical environment. 

Keeping learning content fresh

The learning platform exclusively consists of in-house content created and curated by Thomas Thor’s learning team, in a wide variety of formats accessed via focused playlists, making it easy for employees to find exactly what they need, when they need it. The content encompasses recruitment-related topics, management training, self-development tips and more, all presented in a striking, visually appealing way to attract attention and avoid learning being seen as boring or overly corporate.

Thomas Thor Case Study home with 5app

Thomas Thor’s learning team is constantly drip-feeding new content into the platform, giving employees a reason to keep checking back for new inspiration and information. Much of this is inspired by the employees themselves – especially around DEI content that is directly relevant to Thomas Thor’s workforce.

Whenever new content is released, such as an internal podcast where employees share their tips for improving their recruiting skills, the learning team provides a link to the Thomas Thor Academy. This ensures that employees are constantly being signposted back to the hub, where they can explore the latest content without feeling forced into it.

Maintaining long-term learning engagement

Every new Thomas Thor employee accesses a 5app playlist with their onboarding (and pre-onboarding) materials. This includes everything they need to know during their first days and weeks at Thomas Thor, and is particularly useful for remote workers who aren’t in the same physical location as their new teammates.

But learning doesn’t stop after the first few months. Training and development is crucial for employee retention, especially in a high-churn sector like recruitment, which is why comms are such a key part of Thomas Thor’s learning engagement strategy. Using the employee newsletter and a dedicated L&D slot in company town hall meetings, Thomas Thor’s learning department keeps employees informed about new learning. 5app’s in-platform nudge functionality is used to highlight the most important content, such as security awareness training, to avoid overwhelming employees. These nudges can also be pre-scheduled, which is especially useful when dealing with a global team.

Thomas Thor Case Study results

Fun and intriguing imagery is used across the platform to entice employees to explore the content. For instance, for a content series around leadership, the imagery was inspired by the TV series Ted Lasso. A simple thumbnail image of Ted’s moustache significantly increased clicks and engagement, proving that taking a light-hearted approach to learning is key for boosting learner engagement at Thomas Thor.

The 5app platform is also integrated with Microsoft Teams, allowing employees to opt-in to receive notifications in the flow of work. Keeping learning content optional is key to avoid information overload for employees who already receive a lot of notifications, ensuring messages effectively cut through the noise.

“Our employees are adults, so I treat them like adults – if they want to learn, they will!”


Fitting seamlessly into the technical environment

At Thomas Thor, security and technical considerations are of paramount importance. All employees must access Thomas Thor's systems via a VPN, and they can’t save content locally, making an intuitive, streamlined learning platform crucial to remove barriers to learning.

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The results

Despite the fact that using the Thomas Thor Academy is completely optional, around a third of the company engages with the platform every month. Employees can dip in and out of the platform as and when they need it, meaning it supports, rather than gets in the way of their day-to-day jobs. Many employees use the platform every single day throughout their onboarding period, showing that Thomas Thor Academy is a crucial tool for helping Thomas Thor's new employees hit the ground running.

5app has also been a massive time saver on the admin side – instead of spending days building an elearning course, Thomas Thor’s learning team can create a playlist in two hours, significantly reducing the speed at which they can roll out learning content.

Following the launch of the academy in 2022, Thomas Thor’s leaders spearheaded the usage of the platform, with more junior colleagues following suit. Having senior leaders modelling learning behaviours has been hugely beneficial for Thomas Thor’s learning culture, as the academy now attracts people across the entire company, with some employees using it daily.

“5app has made it much easier to develop a learning culture," said Clarisse Lievre, Thomas Thor's Global Talent Director. "We hire a lot of people who are curious and eager to learn, but also to teach others. I’m not an expert in everything, but 5app means I can easily bring my colleagues in to act as SMEs and help me curate content that benefits everyone.”

The recruitment sector typically experiences high employee turnover (around 50%), but Thomas Thor enjoys 80% employee retention across the company – even throughout times of rapid change and growth.

“I love the customer service we get from the 5app team. 5app is the only supplier to care so much about how it’s going for us – the proactive ongoing support I get is quite unique. I never feel like I’m a small client – I feel like I’m a priority.”


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