‚ÄėThe Candidate Experience‚Äô was the topic for discussion at our recent client HR Forum in Glasgow.¬†
Our Forums are a chance for HR Professionals from diverse backgrounds and industries to network and share ideas on best practice.¬†
In today‚Äôs changing market place, how do we ensure that we deliver a great candidate experience which engages candidates?¬† Record numbers of applications are being received across all industry sectors.¬† How can we give candidates a great experience and enhance our brand?¬† We looked at the full cycle from candidate attraction and application through to the rejected candidate and candidate after care.
Discussion points included:
- - How can we manage the balance between the personal touch and the speed and convenience of on line technology?
- - How do we treat the rejected candidate?
- - Methods for gathering feedback.
- - What can we learn from negative candidate experiences?
- - How can we use feedback to facilitate change?
Future Forum topics will include:
- - Reward & Recognition
- - Recruitment for Retention
- - On Boarding & Induction
- - Social Media in the Workplace
To find out more, contact Kirsty Peacock on 0141 270 5002 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Seeing as it‚Äôs been a while since we wrote a blog I thought we‚Äôd start things off again with a really positive one.
We try to regularly get our clients together along with ourselves and have a fun quiz but this time we decided to not only have fun & test our brains but to also donate all proceeds to The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice (http://www.ppwh.org.uk) which is a charity very close to our hearts. Maisie, The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice representative gave us an info talk before hand to let everyone know what the hospice is all about and how much money it needs each year to survive ‚Äď millions!!. It made it all the more important for us as a company to do what we could. It was a great night, with a fantastic turnout.
We managed to raise ¬£306 on the night. Along with the actual quiz, we also had a couple of random games ‚Äď the ‚Äėheads and tails‚Äô game raised was won by Susan from Space & People who went home that night with a lovely bottle of champagne with the ¬£1 nearest the bottle game won by our very own Consultant Daniel who makes up part of our Permanent IT Team. Star of the night was Scott, aka Tony Questionmark???? Who is part of our Business Operations team; he was an exceptionally good quiz master & compare, very witty, slick and really kept the crowd engaged, so well done Scott.
We were over whelmed at the generosity of donations that came in for raffle prizes so we‚Äôd like to say a huge thank you to the following companies, Equinox 10, FPSG, G4S, Goddess Day Spa, i-PAYE, James Martin Hairdressing, JC Decaux, McGrath Opticians, Metro Sandwich Company, Pr√™t a Manger, R&J Flooring and Space & People. Your generosity was greatly appreciated. We‚Äôd also like to say a huge thank you to all that attended including Kwik Fit, JC Decaux, Life Technologies, Monster, Space & People, Oval Group and Glasgow University. Space & People were the victors on the night ‚Äď they won most raffle prizes & the quiz over all, so well done to them.
We do also have to give a special pat on the back to our National Accounts Manager Kirsty who recently ran‚Ä¶..and I do mean ran and not walked, a 5k which raised a further ¬£410 for The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice‚Ä¶Well done Kirsty. So all in all it was a fun night, we did our bit for a great charity & we got to give our brains a flex too. Without everyone that participated it¬†wouldn’t¬†have been possible so we really hope to see you all at our next one.
The FPSG Team
Customer service centres in Scotland could create thousands of new jobs over the next 2/3 years, making them one of the biggest creator of new jobs in the Scottish economy.
That‚Äôs the claim of leading recruitment specialists FPSG who work extensively in the sector in Scotland.
The company‚Äôs managing director, John Agnew, expresses a fear that the jobs potential in customer services could be overlooked saying, ‚ÄúIn our largely stagnant economy, everyone is searching for the holy grail to create new jobs, to stimulate growth.¬† The danger is that the potential right under our collective noses is overlooked.¬† Why?¬† Maybe it‚Äôs not sexy enough or maybe there‚Äôs still a hint of the old stigma about working in call centres.‚ÄĚ
FPSG claims that, despite perceptions in some quarters, the Scottish based customer service centres sector has held up very well in the four years following the credit crunch of 2008.
The statistics bear this out with latest available data, sourced through an audit conducted last year by Professor Phil Taylor, confirming remarkable resilience in the sector since the economic meltdown of 2008. Today, there are 400 contact centres in Scotland, employing 90,000 people. That‚Äôs 4,000 more than pre credit crunch. High profile companies opening significant new facilities during that period include John Lewis Partnership, Tesco Bank, Virgin Money, MoreThan, Vertex and H&M.
More recently, there was the announcement from Amazon creating new jobs in its customer service centre in Edinburgh and, in June this year, beCogent announced plans for a fifth Scottish centre that will employ 450.
FPSG believes a number of large multinational corporations are currently considering Scotland as a potential location for a customer service centre. And, they acknowledge the efforts of agencies like SDI in attracting these companies to set up in Scotland.
Agnew says, ‚ÄúScotland has a lot to offer, including a cost competitive location, a great quality of life, good transport links and ready availability of a skilled workforce. We believe there is real potential to create many more jobs in this sector and it‚Äôs really important that collectively, we retain a focus on the skills pipeline, so that Scotland can continue to meet the needs of new incoming employers and those already here who are expanding.‚ÄĚ
FPSG believes that former employees in financial services and retail, who may have lost their jobs through the financial crisis of recent years, are ideal candidates to work in the currently expanding customer service sector.¬† And, they are also keen to stress it‚Äôs a sector that delivers career potential across all levels.
Agnew explains, ‚ÄúA customer service centre is not just about entry level jobs. There is a well defined career structure with attractive rewards and also a need for specialists in areas such as languages, IT, HR, business development, finance and administration.‚ÄĚ
FPSG is delighted to support the Modern Apprenticeship scheme through the recruitment of three Trainee Resourcers from training partners in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
This is an excellent way to offer fresh talent an opportunity to take their first steps into recruitment while receiving on-going support from their training provider through an evidence based and work related vocational qualification.
The Apprentices are visited fortnightly in the work-place by their assessor while working towards their VQ in Business and Administration L3.
Modules include Project Management, Document Production, Customer Service, Communications and IT.¬†¬† So far, we have aligned our Apprentices to the Technology, Business Operations and Volume teams.¬† Feedback from all teams has been glowing with our recruits displaying enthusiasm, drive and flexibility from the outset.
Here is what our Apprentices have to say:
¬†‚ÄėI was motivated to take up the fantastic opportunity to join the modern apprenticeship program because I felt it would give me experience and confidence in the world of work and it has done exactly that.¬† Since joining FPSG in April, I have learned so many new skills in the office work environment and have a lot more confidence when speaking to people of all ages and cultures whether it be over the phone or face to face‚Äô¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Cameron, Trainee Resourcer, Volume Delivery, Edinburgh.
¬†‚ÄėI really loved the idea of taking up the Apprentice Scheme because it teaches you on the job and someone is always there for help. You get to experience the working environment. ¬†Age and experience is not the main priority and it‚Äôs given me an opportunity for a career.¬† I would rate my experience so far with FPSG 10 out of 10 because I have learned loads and everyone is so nice and making me feel so comfortable within an environment I have never experienced before.¬† ¬†I enjoy these new challenges everyday and am loving the job‚Äô¬† Holly, Trainee Resourcer, Business Operations, Glasgow.
‚ÄėWhen leaving school my naivety led me to believe I would type up a simple CV, walk into an office with a cactus in my hand and choose a desk where it would receive the best light and get straight to work.¬† This dream was soon to be dismissed as I spent two years swapping between temporary jobs, to unemployment and helping the family with chores for some extra cash. ¬†I knew an apprenticeship would help me gain a qualification.¬† ¬†I have now been in my apprenticeship with FPSG for two months and thoroughly enjoying gaining not only work experience, but life experience when talking to clients, candidates and colleagues. I feel that everyone plays an important part in the office and in their team and have all helped me settleg in. It‚Äôs always scary starting a new job and being the ‚Äėnewbie‚Äô but I couldn‚Äôt have been more welcomed”. ¬†Lorelle, Trainee Researcher, Technology, Glasgow
FPSG recommends the Modern Apprenticeship Scheme.¬† For further information on how you or your business can benefit start with Skills Development Scotland¬† www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk
Contact Kirsty Peacock to find out how FPSG can help you make your next career move or fulfill your recruitment project – 0141 270 5002 ¬†email@example.com
Oops, I Did It Again!
Everybody makes mistakes (apart from me, I‚Äôm perfect‚Ä¶most of the time).¬† In recruitment there are a million and one pitfalls to avoid.¬† Unfortunately I only seem to learn by experience and I have fallen in quite a few.¬†¬†¬† Most recently when replying to an email to a shiny new (male) client I confirmed an interview with a kiss at the end.¬† Aaarrgh.¬† Why!?¬† I then made it worse by first of all trying to recall the email (didn‚Äôt work) and then emailing the client to apologise that I sent him a kiss.¬† Oops.¬†¬† ¬†¬†I sat in a state of mortification until I got his email reply the next day to say everyone likes a kiss now and again.¬† I am sure I will still blush the next time I see him.
Rule number 1 ‚Äď Remember who you are addressing
Asking round my recruitment friends it seems that most mistakes are made due to modern technology (answering machines and rogue emails topping the list).¬†¬†¬† A good example is of a Recruitment Consultant that I know (who shall remain nameless) who was trying to arrange her weekend on a quiet afternoon at the office and sent the following email to friend ‚ÄúAlright ya bam are you still coming to the pub on Friday?.¬† Unfortunately, instead of her friend it winged itself to one of her clients instead ‚Äď The Corporate Head of HR of a large Transport organisation who has the same first name. Doh! One hastily written apology later the client was understanding though she didn‚Äôt‚Äô take up the invite to the pub!
Rule number 2 -Double check the email address before hitting send
Email is sometimes a dangerous thing.¬† Whilst working on a PSL project to recruit 10 new customer service advisors , the onsite assessment centre had went swimming well and looked like job offers were about to be made.¬†¬† This particular Consultant was really pleased as she could almost see the commission rolling in.¬† After completing the assessment she was called into the client Directors office.¬†¬† As soon as she entered the office she noticed the atmosphere had changed and all wasn‚Äôt quite as rosy. ¬†¬†The Director produced an email and asked the Consultant to read.¬† It was the email the consultant had sent the day before with all the candidates¬† CVs and details that her colleague had prepared for her the day before.¬†¬†¬† As she scrolled down she realised that there was another email from her colleague at the bottom which she hadn‚Äôt noticed when she had forwarded on to the Director.¬†¬† The title was ‚ÄúHere are the CVs of the headless wonders for the dark side‚ÄĚ.¬† Needless to say this required some explaining for the client to see the funny side.
Rule number 3 – Check your paperwork before submitting
It is not only agency recruiters who make these kinds of mistakes.¬† I have also heard a story of a HR Manager from well know retail firm who was trying to get in touch with the owner on his mobile.¬† It rang out and clicked onto answering machine so they put the phone down without leaving a message.¬† The HR Manager then entered into a swear fuelled rant ¬†to a colleague about said owner including a few choice words about his less than competent management techniques and not so handsome looks.¬†¬† Only to find out the next day that they hadn‚Äôt put the phone down properly and the answering machine had recorded the lot.¬†¬† Mucho grovelling later and it was resolved‚Ä¶though apparently not forgotten.
Rule number 4 – Make sure you always put phone down properly
In theory Rec to Recs should be at the top of the recruitment pile.¬† They live and breathe recruitment in some shape of form every moment of the day.¬†¬† However, even they have fallen foul of one of the golden rules.¬†¬† I recently heard a rumour that a well know Rec to Rec tried to spec in a very experienced Senior Consultant into their current company and their direct line Manager.¬† Cringe central!¬† Before the Rec to Rec sent the CV they hadn‚Äôt bothered to check where
the Consultant was working at the moment.¬†¬† Luckily the Senior Consultant was very highly regarded and their Manager was keen to keep them within the business however the result could have been very different.
Rule number 5 – Do your research
Recruitment Consultants have busy and pressurised jobs so it is inevitable that mistakes will happen.¬† Sometimes the silliest errors give the opportunity to open up communication lines further with clients‚Äô ¬†and strengthen previously superficial relationships.¬† In the words of Henry Ford ‚ÄúEven a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement‚ÄĚ.
After a fun filled and very enjoyable Client Quiz Night back in October, we decided it was about time to do it all over again.
On 22nd March, FPSG held yet another uber competitive Quiz Night in our favorite venue ‚Äď The Pony. It was great to see another fantastic turnout, Clients both old and new mixing and mingling together whilst enjoying a beer or two‚Ä¶ or three‚Ä¶ you know the rest‚Ä¶
¬†Good effort by both teams who came joint first and caused a tie-breaker question that had everyone thinking ‚Äď How many episodes has there been of Noels House Party??
¬†High Fives to the winning team Percepta who walked away with the top prize. Better luck next time to our good friends at Space and People¬† (we will win next time guys J)
Our night carried on till the early hours by the very ‚Äėbrave‚Äô & ‚Äėjolly‚Äô ones ‚Äď and rumor has it someone went home with a reserved sign and someone also lost a shoe ( this baffles me)¬† you know who you are J
Ultimately a great night had by all!!
We‚Äôve put together some photos from our night and wanted to share them with you. Thanks for a fun night guys and we look forward to many more!!
Our Business Operations team at FPSG Connect is enjoying a busy final quarter of 2011.¬† ¬†We have been awarded the fantastic opportunity to supply contact centre recruitment services to on line retailer Amazon in their prestigious new Contact Centre in Edinburgh‚Äôs landmark Waverley Gate building.¬† This has culminated in the supply of 80+ temporary Associates in both UKand German roles for their Christmas ramp up.¬† Amazon is well known as being an exciting and innovative company to work for and supply and as such it has been a pleasure supporting their seasonal campaign.¬† This project has firmly placed FPSG Connect in the East Coast Contact Centre market with the successful placement of volume and bilingual temporary Associates, permanent Team Leads and Specialist Support Roles.¬† It‚Äôs been hectic but we have thoroughly enjoyed our Amazon experience.¬† Keep our associates busy and check out Amazon‚Äôs weekly deals at http://www.amazon.co.uk/deals-offers-savings/b/ref=cs_top_nav_gb27?ie=UTF8&node=350613011
¬†To discuss your next move in the Contact Centre market, please contact Kirsty Peacock ‚Äď firstname.lastname@example.org
FPSG Connect held a Client Quiz Night at the Bath Street Pony in October.¬† There was a great attendance and a fun time had by all.¬† Who knew that a group of normally passive business professionals could become so competitive over tunes from the 70‚Äôs and flags of the world?!¬† That said we have all been educated and definitely gleaned some useless knowledge for the future‚Ä¶..none of us will ever forget what WD40 stands for ‚Äď top tip, its not Wax Dripping!!
Well it‚Äôs definitely exciting times here at FPSG Connect as new faces join us and we‚Äôre off to pastures new!!
Well‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶., not really new so much as moved along a bit really, but due to the whole group experiencing a period of growth, which resulted in a number of new appointments (mine included!) across several of the companies, we‚Äôve had to re-shape the office.
So out went the old boardroom and interview rooms first and the new boardroom and interview rooms were put in place. Next, one of our sister companies moved, but our own move still seemed a long way off! But this Friday it‚Äôs our turn!
We‚Äôve been waiting weeks for this moment (like children driving their parents mad on a long journey asking ‚ÄúAre we nearly there yet??‚ÄĚ) and the excitement has been building‚Ä¶.. along with the smell of freshly painted walls‚Ä¶‚Ä¶
Each day we‚Äôve arrived eagerly anticipating the work carried out the night before. Each of us thinking ‚ÄúIs it nearly finished?‚ÄĚ
Ideas have been flowing‚Ä¶‚Ä¶..‚ÄĚShall we have a Client area?‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúShall we have a break-out zone?‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúHow about painted whiteboards instead of the traditional ones?‚ÄĚ A sense of pride in our new surroundings prevails.
We watch and listen eagerly as the MD fends off yet another question of ‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs the seating plan?‚ÄĚ‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶.
Each division makes plans for future expansion and details how many seats they need now, how many in 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and so on. There is an air of anticipation and positivity as everyone can see and almost feel the growth.
Friday will be here soon‚Ä¶‚Ä¶.
We‚Äôll all be dressed down so that we can help to move the furniture and get stuck in. We‚Äôll get used to our new surroundings in the afternoon and we may even celebrate with a drink after work.
Then we‚Äôll walk in on Monday morning, knowing all the answers to our previous questions, and feeling excited about the next phase of our continuing journey‚Ä¶‚Ä¶‚Ä¶..in our new ‚Äúhome‚ÄĚ.