When Nicola Eastwood first came to Anne Corder Recruitment (ACR) seven years ago she was looking to find candidates as part of a specific recruitment campaign at Thomas Cook. Having known Nel Woolcott, recruitment partner here at ACR, in a personal capacity for several years, Nicola already had our recruitment agency on her radar.
The campaign was a success and from there on in, Nicola continued to build a professional relationship with the ACR team.
“I was head of HR at Thomas Cook for 12 years and during that time I regularly pointed the recruitment team in the direction of ACR”, explained Nicola.
Searching for a new, challenging HR role
Following Thomas Cook, Nicola moved in to HR consultancy but soon realised that she was ready for the next step in her career:
“I knew I wanted to work with ACR when it came to making a personal career move. I was very specific about what I wanted. I was looking for a senior HR role, with the right hours and challenges, which pushed me beyond day-to-day HR duties.”
After working with ACR as a client for several years, Nicola knew what to expect as a job seeker. Nicola explained: “With ACR it’s about the person – whether you’re a candidate or a client. They adopt a personal approach to recruitment, always focussing on finding the right role, not simply filling a vacancy.”
Recruiting for roles with a tendency towards a high turnover
Having secured a role as Head of HR for Charis Grant, a business which offers tailored financial relief programmes, Nicola had the opportunity to manage some interesting HR challenges – including recruitment for a number of roles where turnover had traditionally been high:
“New to the role at Charis I was looking to recruit for a number of roles, which had previously been on payroll for a fixed term basis. Previously, the roles had suffered from a high turnover rate resulting in high recruitment costs. Add to that the fact that the positions were on payroll, it meant a lot of extra administration for the HR team and left our attrition poor.”
Tasked with the challenge of finding a way of tackling the issue, Nicola got in touch with ACR. Judith Broughton, recruitment partner at ACR, suggested Charis try recruiting on a temp to perm basis. Candidates would come in as a temporary worker for two weeks, and then if the fit was right, they would be added to the payroll.
The benefits of this new approach were two-fold, as Nicola explained: “There’s no gamble with a temp to perm, the candidates get the opportunity to test the water with us and we equally get to know them.
“The benefits stretch beyond that though. ACR understand what we’re looking for, so much so that they conduct the interviews for these temp to perm roles – a crucial timesaver for the HR team.
“In fact, with 15 roles now recruited for and only one of them not on a contract, I estimate we’ve saved 30 hours alone in interview time. Then add another 30 hours saved in getting people set up on the system here at Charis.”
Working with a team of recruitment experts
One of the benefits Nicola sees from working with ACR is the range of experts she’s able to tap in to. In the example above, Judith’s experience in temp recruitment was key, in other instances Nicola is able to work with recruiters who specialise in permanent roles, more senior placements and so on.
Nicola said: “Since working with ACR the quality of placements has improved. Staff remain in post for longer: a great benefit for them and us.”
The honesty and transparency of ACR has also been pivotal for Nicola: “Working with ACR I know I will be receiving an honest and fair service. As an example, ACR are very transparent about how their fees work, with the team not receiving commission. There can be a lot of small print when it comes to other recruiters.
“ACR’s approach to engaging with clients is also refreshing. There’s no cold calling, bombarding me at work with irrelevant suggestions and unsuitable candidates.”
Building relationships with candidates and clients
Building relationships with candidates and clients is at the heart of how we work. We always aim to listen to the ambitions of candidates and the needs of clients to help us establish an in-depth understanding of what they’re looking for. This feeds through to how we communicate, the roles we put forward and how we always strive to operate with transparency.