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Here’s what happened when we took on an apprentice…

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A little over 18 months ago, we decided it was time to try something new.  Finding people jobs in Basingstoke and surrounding areas, Wote Street People has always grown organically, but after a stagnant 12 months we wanted to initiate a change.

How were we going to do this?  Do we just wait for the right person to come along?  We felt we needed a new perspective.  Our team comprised people over the age of 35, maybe we needed an injection of youth? (Sorry Matt!)

Initially that’s why we looked to recruit an apprentice.  A blank canvass to be moulded in our image, no bad habits to “unlearn” – but also to question the status quo. 

A chance to grow our team

It was a way of trialling if an extra body would work the way we needed it to.  A chance to grow without maximum outlay.  Being a small, independent company, all our expenditure needs some form of return.

As the average age of our apprentice applicants was around 18 and they wouldn’t have had chance to build up much work experience, we decided that the recruitment process would include an assessment morning.  This allowed us to see them in “action”, rather than just reading their CV and interviewing them.

So, we asked them to complete two admin tasks, interview one of the team and then present their findings on that team member to the rest of the room, we could see who would adapt quickest to the role.  The CV was almost irrelevant, it was all about attitude.

One candidate stood out. We appointed Kyra in September 2016.  By November 2017 she completed her apprenticeship and is now our Temporaries Recruitment Consultant, recruiting for jobs in Basingstoke and dealing candidates looking for temporary positions.

We thought the learning curve would be one way

Having an outside perspective on our company has allowed us to question our processes to ensure that we are working as effectively and efficiently as possible.  One example is the age old argument of “you’re not on the phone enough”.  Now, I bang on about this every day.  When I tackled Kyra about not calling temps for work, her answer was simple “no-one listens to voicemail anymore”.  She was right, how did I know? – because I don’t listen to my voicemail either!  However, texting means that she gets a much better response to those “are you available today?” requests.  As a consequence, we have now created text templates for all our candidate correspondence and our temporary vacancy fill rate has soared.

Other benefits include seeing someone develop and grow.  We all have a tendency to parent Kyra, to nurture her.  It’s a two way process though.  Kyra has really given us an injection of energy and an insight into the outside world that we were blithely unaware of.

Perhaps, even more importantly, we are investing in the future of our local economy.

Searching for a job in Basingstoke or looking to hire?

Talk to Kyra or any one of our team if you are searching for a job in Basingstoke and the surrounding area – call us on 01256 799127.  You can also find Kyra on Facebook or speak with our friendly Chatbot ‘Robo Recruiter’ via our website.

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