It's all in the DNA
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In the latest of our 'Day in the life...' series, it's the turn of Rob Waddams, in-house recruiter, to talk us through a typical day.
My mornings are a bit mad at the moment. Finlay, our two-year-old son has recently decided that he wants to stay in bed until 8am every day. Which is great because from the moment he was born it feels like he hasn’t slept for longer than an hour at a time so my partner and I are taking full advantage. This is great but means that we only have half an hour to get ourselves ready for work.
Although I live about half an hour from the office, in my role as in-house recruiter I aim to be present at every recruitment assessment centre that we run. This can mean that one day I’ll be Bristol, the next Oswestry and then Stratford, Wolverhampton and Swindon – or pretty much anywhere in between.
This morning I’m off to the office in Wolverhampton, so after the mad dash of us getting up (within half an hour all three of us are washed, dressed and out of the door) I jump in the car for the thirty minute drive. I pull up on the car park just as Dream Catch Me by Newton Faulkner finishes – perfect timing!
Because we’re enjoying our sleep at the moment I don’t have time for breakfast at home so, after logging on to my computer, I grab a bowl of Oats So Simple ( I’m loving the sweet cinnamon) and check my emails. We’ve got an assessment centre at 10.30am today for support worker roles and I’ve had an email from one of the candidates who is not able to attend – that still leaves us with nine potential colleagues so a decent number to work with. Another email tells me that our information and communications technology (ICT) team need to recruit a new colleague so we arrange to meet at 4pm today to complete a ‘kick off briefing.’ This is something that we work through at the beginning of the recruitment process and it is where we gather all of the information for the role. For example: hours, pay, the job profile, whether this is a new role or replacing a colleague who is leaving and how quickly the process needs to be completed.
Variety of roles
I’ve still got a little time before the assessment centre so I look through the CV’s that have come in over night for the other vacancies that we have available at the moment.
I quickly take a look at the stats to see how well our latest recruitment campaigns are performing – checking which is the most effective – advertising, LinkedIn or social media. At any one time we have roles covering a number of professions including asset management, colleague development, sales, support work, housing management, communications specialists and engineers so we need to try a variety of methods to ensure that we find the best possible people for the jobs.
Working with 25 recruiting managers, part of my role is to help write the job adverts and interview questions and it’s crucial that they all have an input – after all, they’re the experts in their fields.
Just time for a quick coffee whilst I meet with our observers for the assessment centre, this is to chat to them about their roles in the recruitment process. Our observers usually include the recruiting manager and colleagues from the teams that we are recruiting for as they know their roles inside out. We may be the recruitment specialists but are not experts in all parts of the business so who better to assess whether someone is suitable for the role than those who carry it out on a daily basis.
The Assessment Centre
Just to briefly explain, if you successfully get through the initial application stage when applying for a job at Bromford you will be invited along to an assessment centre. The sessions last for around three hours and during that time we have a little bit of fun whilst getting to know each other better. My role is to facilitate the sessions and it can be quite an exhausting task, at times I feel a bit like a game show host. It’s so important that we as a business create a great first impression on potential colleagues and this session is a really good opportunity to do just that.
We have nine potential support workers in the room today and I kick off by introducing myself and explain what to expect from the session. I see a few of them looking at the big inflatable dice in the middle of the room. I explain that there’s nothing to worry about as we’ll be having a bit of fun whist carrying out five different activities that will allow them to showcase their various talents and ‘sell’ themselves to us.
It’s important for us to recruit people who will fit into the Bromford way of working and so a huge emphasis is placed on our DNA , positive attitude and the personality of people, sometimes above qualifications depending on the role. This is definitely the case when recruiting for roles such as support workers and we make clear that we’re looking for people from any background. So it’s no surprise to find out some of the previous jobs of the people in the room today. We have a croupier, someone from a sales background, a taxi driver, prison officer, a hairdresser, car mechanic and even a captain of a boat!
The assessment centre finishes at about 1.30pm which signals the start of the ‘wash-up’ session. I grab my sandwiches and sit with the recruiting manager to review the assessment score sheets to work out who will be attending the next stage of the selection process.
There are two that we all decide on and I have the great job of contacting them that afternoon – we don’t like to keep people hanging so we try and contact everyone on the day whenever possible.
After calling the successful candidates it’s back to my emails as I have a couple that I need to chase up from this morning. We recently offered a job to someone and we have received a poor reference for them that needs investigating.
When people apply for a job with us it’s made clear that we will need evidence of what they have been doing for the last two years and, unfortunately, there’s a gap in this particular person’s history.
A lot of our colleagues work directly with customers, some of whom are vulnerable, and the most important thing is that our customers are kept safe. To ensure that we are covering every base possible, if there are gaps in their history, we do a deep dive to gain better understanding of what this person was doing in this timeframe. This is to help fill in any gaps which in turn can help us to protect our customers, business and our culture.
It’s time for my meeting with the ICT recruiting manager to discuss their latest vacancy. This is an example of me stepping into the unknown a little. I have over nine years experience in recruitment, ranging from finding work for car mechanics and chicken factory workers to matching executives with companies looking for leaders but, like anyone else, there are things that I know little about – and information and communications technology is one of them.
I gather all the information and help to put together an advert for the vacancy but to be honest, I don’t completely understand a lot of the technical terms. With specialist teams like this I have to rely on the expertise of the recruiting manager especially when it comes to specific terminology, qualifications and expectations.
With the meeting over and a plan in place there’s just enough time to start work on a job profile for some multi-skilled engineer vacancies that we have coming up.
We’re looking to make our customer experience as good as possible so we’re on the look out for multi-skilled engineers. Traditionally we’ve employed tradespeople who are skilled plumbers, electricians etc. but this could mean that a customer may have to wait for a number of different engineers to complete their various repairs. Employing engineers who have a multitude of skills means that if a customer needs different jobs doing, the aim would be for them all to be completed by the engineer during the same visit wherever possible.
Time for home and I share the journey with Adrian Durham and TalkSport. Once home I spend the next hour or so being a big kid and wrestling with Finlay whilst Sarah cooks dinner – Chilli and garlic prawn linguini with crème fresh and sliced chestnut mushrooms.
7.30pm and Finlay is tucked up in bed so it’s time to unwind in front of the telly. Well it would be if Liverpool were playing, as that’s the only time I really get to watch what I want. As it happens, Sarah has a night of catching up on Hollyoaks planned so I take myself off to the spare room to relax with my guitar.
If you’re looking for a role with Bromford why not take a look at our current vacancies – you might even be lucky enough to meet Rob.
Enjoyed reading about Rob’s day? Take a look at what some of our other colleagues get up to on a daily basis: