Speed dating – Growing Talent style!

The toughest thing to overcome when looking for employment after a period of unemployment is being judged on your label(s).

 

By that I mean recruiters/employers ofter see your label(s) and the assumptions they make about the potential impact of those label(s) without speaking with you to understand the facts.

 

For example, a homeless, single parent who is unemployed will often be perceived as someone who is unstable and unreliable with zero transferable skills into the world of employment.

 

In reality, homeless doesn’t always mean ‘sleeping on the streets’ – although I think sleeping is the wrong word.  No one can sleep soundly on the streets with all the dangers that environment presents.

 

Single parents, in my experience,  have an array of skills which add value to employers.  All are great problem solvers, they are life coaches, highly organised solution finders with strong time management skills along with the drive and attitude to succeed to be positive role models for their children as well as establish a career path for themselves.  Any employer can train in their area of expertise but they can’t train ‘attitude’.  They are missing an excellent talent pool.

 

At Growing Talent, based on my own experience, we do not allow traditional recruitment methods.  There are no cvs nor job descriptions.  Employers select based on their belief of someone’s attitude to grow into their vacancy.  As every applicant has usually more than one barrier to employment, we partner with JobCentre Plus to ensure a financial safety net if someone is selected but doesn’t complete and secure the provisional permanent job offer.  This removes the ‘fear’ from those unemployed people who really want to work but have that nagging ‘what if’ in their heads.

 

So, to ensure employers and applicants are on the same level playing field, we have a speed dating session.  These always start really quietly.  Within 10minutes everyone is relaxed, laughing with each other and showing who they really are.

 

In small groups, applicants spend 10 minutes at each employer table finding out a little about the company and permanent jobs on offer.  The employers have the same window of time to find out a little about all applicants.

 

Some examples of previously employer speed dating events:

 

Employers select their shortlist from this event.  Shortlisted applicants attend a 1-2-1 meeting on the employer site where the job is based to learn more details.

 

At the point any offers are made to go on the Growing Talent journey with the employer, everything is known upfront about the end job.  There is no mystery around salary, bonus, benefits, hours, shifts etc.

 

How often do you go for a traditional job interview and leave as mystified as when you went in?

 

Growing Talent removes any doubt for both sides and everyone loves the spontaneity of speed dating – who not use it in recruitment?

The final countdown…..

So the final Growing Talent kick’s off tomorrow with the Orientation Week.  The 24th programme.  Over the five years Growing Talent has run it has seen 157 go into direct, permanent employment with a potential four more on the current programme – Daniel, Juliet, Debbie and Tequila.

 

Many employers have been involved from hotels to corporates, filling diverse roles from manual, hospitality to office, HR, administration etc.

 

It’s been a great journey so far and will hopefully continue into 2020 and beyond – funders willing of course!

 

We wish Daniel, Debbie, Juliet and Tequila a fab journey over the weeks ahead as their confidence, skills and ability grow to secure their permanent jobs.

 

Check back to see how they get on….

‘Sacrifice People to save numbers’

I came across this quote whilst reading work by Simon Sinek – the renowned motivational speaker – check him out on YouTube.

 

We’ve all seen companies downsize their staff in turbulent financial times with no thought about the impact on those individuals, their families nor the overall drop in moral on the staff they keep.

 

Even when there isn’t a financial downturn, companies will often shred staff to reduce their payroll bill and thus increase their profits – more palatable for the shareholders – or is it?

 

I worked for a company for over 12 years.  Just before the financial reporting, a round of redundancies would be announced to ensure the company retained it’s double digit growth.  In reality, they haven’t grown at all.  All they had done was culled their staff.

 

Simon’s point was what would happen if companies did the reverse? ‘Sacrificed the numbers to save the people’ – what a thought.  The example he gave was of Bob Chapman Chair of Barry-Wehmiller in USA.  This company was a £1bn plus turnover and made big machinery.  In the 2008 financial crash he decided to ‘sacrifice the numbers to save the people’.   With 30% written of the company’s value in one fail swoop – it was time to try something new.

 

He suggested everyone – from himself downwards, would take four weeks unpaid holiday.  They didn’t have to take it consecutively and they could take it when they wanted but everyone would keep their jobs.  The response was huge.  Those senior people who could afford to take more unpaid leave traded with those that couldn’t.  Everyone worked as a family, pulling together.  They were involved in the decision, given the support to do it and felt safe and happy.  The company prospered.  It enjoys 20% year on year growth compared with the average 6%.

 

When you believe in why you are doing something, everything else falls into place.  People support you because they believe in the same thing.

 

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if all companies ‘Sacrificed the numbers for the people’?

 

How much more would their profits grow?  What do you think?

Gig Economy – here to stay?

During 2017, there has been a growing concern on the status of those working in the ‘gig’ economy.

 

On paper, the flexibility to work when you want with no responsibility sounds good – especially for students/those who aren’t the key breadwinner. Not so good for those people who are the key breadwinner or this is their only source of income.  ACAS and many other employment organisations have been struggling on flexibility vs protection of workers for sometime.

 

The gig economy includes courier drivers, fast food delivery cyclists,  even those working for large national courier companies.  These people have to be ‘self-employed’ sometimes provide their own transport/clothes and provide cover if they are sick and can’t do their shift.  They work on an ‘as and when required’ basis but this can sometimes mean companies won’t give them any work for a considerable amount of time.

 

How can people pay rent/mortgage, feed and clothe themselves if they never know how much money they will have at the end of the month?

 

There was a huge surge of negative public opinion over zero hours contracts and again when the Chancellor of the Exchequer tried to bring in raised taxes for the self-employed.  It seems as though the ‘gig economy’ is just a more palatable term for ‘zero hours contract.   Is it right in a country that prides itself on inclusion that people have to work without protection/commitment?

Read more………………….

Workers confused and concerned about employment status, claims Acas

 

 

 

 

The World of Property Investment….

Growing Talent 12 (www.growing-talent.co.uk) is now firmly underway.  Reports so far are all good.

 

Yesterday I visited Sebastien who has a background in sales, abroad and at home.  With a passion for property but no experience he was a strong fit for Invest In Buy To Let who selected him to join them via the Growing Talent programme.

 

Two weeks in – the shine is not wearing off!  Cold calling, researching and evening events have meant Sebastien has been able to work with multiple people and learn quicker in situ.  He’s building his own client contacts and formulating strong relationships.

 

Luckily, Silin from Growing Talent 10 works for Shane, one of the directors in his other business Create A Business.  Based at the same venue, she can give Sebastien the encouragement doing the programme demands.

 

It always amazes me how some people write off those who are unemployed without knowing their stories, personalities etc.  Everyone on Growing Talent has to work full-time – often unsociable hours – for no money other than their benefits.  Grated, at the end there is a permanent job on offer where both employer and new employee have a confident match.  But the journey to that goal can be quite gruelling – especially the longer you’ve been out of work or the more negative, discouraging voices you have around you!

 

It takes a lot of tenacity and integrity to complete Growing Talent – definitely not for the faint hearted!

ENEI – Great News!

Heard last night that Growing Talent has been shortlisted for an ENEI (Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion) award in their Community Impact category.  Winners will be announced at the Law Society on 14 July 2015!

It’s strange to think when I wrote the entry back in March, 20 people had gone through Growing Talent and secured permanent jobs.  By the time the announcements come round, it will be 41!

It is a great encouragement to the employers who have been involved including Harrow Green, Iron Mountain, Pertemps, Aramark, Baxter Storey, Mitie, Portico, MHFA, Red Personnel, Sheridan Maine, Network Compucare, Honeywell, UpTownOil, JobCentre Plus’s management team and of course PwC to continue, grow and develop Growing Talent over the coming months and years.

Any awards won endorse the programme and encourage others to get involved.  Coupled with the online advertising on Daily Mail, Telegraph and Guardian websites through the month of June and the Evening Standard feature – which I’m now told will be published on 11 June – the word is definitely spreading!

The story in pictures………………

team

Comfort, Sophia, Holly & Jason – pilot

20140814_165445

Mikele, Jordan, Nirosana, Sholape, Anthony, Chris, Samick, James & Caroline – 2nd programme

Stairs 2 Latimer

Andy, Matt, Kavita, Mo, Madi, Ariane & David – 3rd programme

cropped group

Michael, Kit, Selwyn, Kaith, Daoud, Joshua, Sinead, Michell, Max, Jane, Courtney & Jess – 4th programme

Chris and the guys

Gavin, Chris (now a presenter!)Alenchenu, Jose, Bradley, Camilla, Shanika, Reese, Alex, Shennell, Jason & Reece – 5th programme

Getting Growing Talent out there…………………..

Shamefully, I’d always thought people working in media, advertising agencies etc were ‘lovvies’ who didn’t really work that hard.  How wrong was I!

I learnt so much in the second meeting with the media agency yesterday.  Publicizing something is a science!  The cost for paper adverts is astronomical.  Where do you start with social media – it’s like a black hole!

Thankfully Initiative know what they are doing.  Lots of ideas and options were buzzing around the room.  It’s so difficult to put Growing Talent into a box.  It needs to be highlighted to both employers and the unemployed.  Unfortunately, they rarely look in the same medium.  This is quite a task we’ve set Initiative.

The Christmas break will give time to think about different options.  Looking forward to the next meeting in January to see the three ideas – Bronze, Silver and Gold versions – from Initiative – what a great name for a media agency!

Ending the week on a high!

Well, after thinking I wasn’t going to get many employers interested in the next Growing Talent programme, one gave me 5 permanent jobs yesterday! Now I go forward with 14 jobs including two for Basingstoke and one for Manchester! Once the PR team get to work on Growing Talent and it’s’ out there’ – the jobs should roll in enabling more unemployed people to get back to work and start controlling their lives!

 

On this high, I’m off to a meeting with one of these employers – a global front of house service provider – to discuss mental health in the workplace.  This might be a bespoke programme or the global MHFA first aider course.

 

Mental Health and Employment – my two favourite things at work.  How lucky am I?

 

 

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