How do you recruit the perfect candidate without incurring any cost?……

Growing Talent!

Sounds simple doesn’t it.  A try before you buy for both the applicant and employer based on personality – no cvs, employment history etc.  With 116 success stories, we want more.


Amongst this 116 are people from diverse backgrounds – homeless, graduates, no education, solid employment history, no employment history, mental health issues etc.  This unique business funded initiative has seen diverse success studies.


There is a wide talent of unemployed people hungry to work and willing to learn.  Employers can’t see this talent in a short interview/assessment.  So we are spreading the work with a poster campaign.


Some things really aren’t too good to be true!  You just have to give it a go and see for yourself!


Although the cost table below shows HR Review’s breakdown of traditional recruitment costs from 2014 – it’s logical to believe these have risen over 3 years.  One solid fact the display below shows is Growing Talent remains completely free!



Check out and @Growing_Talent for more information.


Is it too good to be true? Actually no – it really is free…….

‘How do you recruit the perfect candidate without incurring any cost?’

‘How can you be confident your potential new hire is right for your role, team & business’

Answer:  Growing Talent

Growing Talent is a business led and funded initiative to bring the unemployed and employers with permanent London-based jobs together.  Over a 12 week, mutually mentored period each gets to know the other well resulting in confident recruitment.


With four programmes planned for 2018 – who not get involved?


GT16            17 January 2018

GT17            18 April 2018

GT18            18 July 2018

GT19            19 September 2018


For more information, checkout


#See Potential

#SeePotential is a Government backed campaign to get more people into work who have difficult backgrounds.   These include long-term unemployed people, ex-offenders, care leavers, recovering addicts, homeless people, single parents and military veterans.  Usually aimed at the 16-24 age group.


I attended an event on this subject yesterday at a City law firm.  Expectations were high.  The Minister for Employment, Damian Hinds, was present along with numerous charities and the employers some had worked with.


M&S partners The Princes Trust and spoke about their decade plus programme of work experience lasting 4-6 weeks which has seen 50% officially into work.


KFC & Dame Kelly Holmes Trust presented their two week work experience.  They take 16 young people at a time aged 16-24 which results in 5 into jobs at a time.


Drive Forward, a charity working with under 24 – mainly care leavers, said cvs were problematic for someone with a dysfunctional background and called for a more innovative, inclusive way.


The Minister of course did not stay for the whole event.  Which is a shame.  He may have learnt some of the issues.


The thoughts I had were:

Why were there no employers not already involved in equal and diverse recruitment present

What happens to the people who don’t secure jobs on these programme?

How long do those who do secure jobs, stay in them on these programme?

How can a short foundation of work experience without training in soft skills deliver      sustainable employment?


This event could be viewed as a missed opportunity.  There was no addressing the issues that affect all parties and therefore no discussion on possible resolutions.  No new employers to engage with.


I am very proud that every person selected on Growing Talent has:

  1. A permanent, provisional job offer at the start
  2. Orientation week – to build confidence before going on site
  3. Upto 10 weeks full-time training in the vacant role
  4. Holistic week covering personal finance, fitness, nutrition and well being
  5. Three robust manuals for onward learning
  6. The average time in employment is 2 years before moving on.
  7. 100% percent who complete secure a permanent job


I have worked on inclusive employment since 2004.  During that time I have interacted with several leading charities.  There are a number of issues I found which include:


Charities are funded by specific regions and therefore focussed on this area alone.  They won’t refer anyone into a programme where they will not be able to draw the cash incentive from their contract.


Charities often want to charge you a fee to ‘train’ you in dealing with their clients!


Charities often don’t know everything about their clients.  All of whom are also JobCentre Plus clients.  Having documentation and clearance to work in the UK doesn’t mean that person has the right to the public purse – i.e. benefits.  An employer can have a situation where they start a training programme and someone has to leave because their benefits have stopped.


Charities are sometimes funded by JobCentre Plus to get someone into work.  This means there can sometimes be quite a lot of negotiation when neither side wants to pay for travel/clothes etc.  Understandable on the JobCentre’s part as they’ve already paid the charity.


To me, it’s a ‘no brainer’ for employers to recruit through Growing Talent.  It doesn’t cost them anything and they know everything about their new talent before hiring them.


It couldn’t be simpler!  So See the Potential and use Growing Talent!


It’s a glamorous world………

for Stefan….. so far


On Growing Talent, Stefan is working with Mitie Connect at one of their global skincare clients in Fitzrovia, Stefan is exposed to the high-end world of leading brand products – including those new to the marketplace.  Of course this makes him a firm favourite amongst his female circle!


Surrounded by boutique shops ‘ including the niche Pollocks Toy Museum below – the local area is buzzing with business.



The mechanics of the role with Mitie Connect of Mailroom/Logistics Team  delivers variety – customer integration, problem solving, tracking, packing, despatching, as well as costs and recharges.  All of which suits Stefan.  The potential opportunities being based on this global entity’s site are endless!


A small team headed by Wayne, includes Jack and Leon with some support from temps and contractor implants.


As you can see below, Stefan on the left looks like ‘an old hand’….



Wayne, centre above has a lot of industry knowledge and is a ‘great mentor’ said Stefan.

Discussing how it’s gone so far below – both Wayne and Stefan agreed – so far so good!



Wayne is keen to learn the rest of the role, get working so he can save for some holidays abroad to add to the vast amount of countries he’s already visited.  Maybe he can add to his five languages as well!


Watch this space to see how Stefan gets on over the coming weeks.

Stop the press! Shennell & Alex start work four weeks early!

What an achievement for both of them.


So, ladies first!


Shennell 2

Shennell in her Iron Mountain uniform


Shennell’s was referred to Growing Talent by her brother who I’d worked with previously on a programme called the Real Apprentice.  Due to various things going on at the time, Shennell decided to take a break from her University Studies in March 15 and work for a year before deciding what she really wanted to do.  Would this be a return to Uni, travelling or employment – so many options!


She arrived at the Assessment Day not knowing what to expect but was open-minded.  Nervous on entering the room full of strangers, she soon started to relax and join in.  All of the assessments are designed to be fun and inter-active enabling true personalities to be seen and good matches made.


Selected by Chloe & Russ of Iron Mountain, to train to be a Data Specialist, Shennell joined the team close to Canning Town.  Learning the processes quickly, Shennell showed her commitment and focus from the start resulting in an excellent first appraisal, followed by the offer to start paid employment from 29 June instead of 27 July!


Alex at work

Alex looking every inch the manager not a Growing Talent Associate!


Alex had a passion to join the Army from a young age.  His dad didn’t share his plan.  At the age of 16 when Alex wanted to join but needed parental consent, his dad said no.  So he carried on with studies etc before raising the issue again at 18, thinking he no longer needed his dad’s position. However, living at home means parents rule!


So job searching commenced with little success.  This is often the case when we can’t follow our passion.  What role would suit us?  What company do we want to work for?


Alex secured some work experience with his local JobCentre.  Impressing the Employment Coaches with his tenacity, they put him forward to Growing Talent.  Alex won offers from a few companies with roles ranging from administration, mailroom to data specialist.  His older brother had worked at Iron Mountain previously and Alex was particularly attracted to their offer of Data specialist.


Like Shennell, he impressed Iron Mountain and has also started paid employment four weeks early.  Russ, their line manager is still freeing them up to attend the Holistic Week commencing 22 June when personal finance, fitness, nutrition and mental health first aid will be delivered.


‘Everyone’s a winner’ – as I believe Hot chocolate once sang!



‘I’m finally a working man again’, Alenchenu


Alenchenu, without even knowing it, is sitting next to his future boss!  Taken from the Employers’ Selection & Assessment day for Growing Talent 5 on 24 April.   He’s in the electric blue shirt with Pauline of Mitie Total Document Solutions on his left.  Pauline manages the Service Solution desk for Mitie at PwC’s prestigious offices in Embankment Place.  She was impressed with Alenchenu’s style of communicating.  He listened to the questions and answered with passion.

Alenchenu is a giant of a man with a heart full of passion and empathy for others.  With a Pastor father, he is used to travelling to new congregations and joined Growing Talent to secure a steady job to give him independence.  Alenchenu’s passion for others showed in the Social Enterprise idea he devised and presented with his team partner Shennell.  Through his father’s work, Alenchenu had supported vulnerable people in deaing with any issues they had.  This shone through his presentation.  Although in his own words he ‘waffled’ a little.  Alenchenu thought this was a bad thing, but acutally it showed how important what he spoke about was to him.


Alenchenu practising his presentation skills ahead of his Social Enterprise presentation with Shennell………..entitled ‘Bridge to Society’, a supportive return to the worlds of work and community for those leaving prison life.

Alenchenuand Shennell

Judges above left to right were Jo from JobCentre Plus, Jordan ex Growing Talent now Executive Host for Portico, Patti –  Pertemps, Jon – PwC, Gillian – MHFAEngland, Simon – Portico and Chloe – Iron Mountain.

The Social Enterprise presentations saw the end of the Orientation Week.  On Tuesday 5 May, Alenchenu and his peers went on site to learn the vacant roles in situ.  Working with the Rapid Response team Alenchenu’s role entails the collection and delivery of high value/critical documentation and goods.  Responsible for accurate tracking and dealing with any issues as they arise.

Alenchenu’s dedication paid off!  Just a few short weeks in, he’s been employed!  It’s a shame he’ll miss the holistic week but Alenchenu aims to catch-up with the guys later.  With his steady income, Alenchenu is going to focus on education in his ultimate field of passion – robotic prosthetics.

Seen below in Service Solutions, Alenchenu’s story is just beginning……………..

Alenchenu EP

Growing Talent 5 – What’s The Status?

Well after a prolific pre-screening programme back in April, leading employers including Mitie, Harrow Green, Iron Mountain, Portico and MHFA selected 11 to join them on the Growing Talent journey.


Jason, Bradley & Gavin went into operations roles with Harrow Green,  the leading business relocation organisation, who also took Shanika in a Customer Service role and Jose who has joined their HR team.


Trev and co


(l-r: Trev, Shanika, Sharon & Jose)

At the point of employment on completion, Jason, Bradley & Gareth will be skills multi operations assistants with a solid career path ahead of them.  Jason is already learning the tablet technology and has his sights set on installation.


Shankia had only retail experience and was a little worried on the office environment.  She need not have worried!  The team already feel she’s been there forever and is like a sponge when it comes to learning.  She is enthused and supportive with a strong focus on customer satisfaction.  The end job within the team will call for extensive liaison on the phone, in person whilst keeping a cool head in solution sourcing.


Jose was born and brought up in Maderia.  A strong trait of self-sufficiency saw Jose relocate to the UK a few years back to learn English.  His career had largely been spent in hospitality. but a natural passion for people and business saw him undertake evening studies in CIPD HR.  Working closely with the new HR Manager, Jose has a new project to deliver though idea, design, testing, launch, training.


Mr Reece Worrell joined the Mitie team in the archiving department.  The team look after all the information, records, contracts etc of a global financial firm.  Better than Reece 1 & 2 is the use of ‘Mister’ – not a note of favouritism!


Mr Reece Newton was selected by Gillian and Emma to join their small but industrious team at MHFAEngland based in Old Street in the role of Admin Assistant.  Reece was initially nervous – taking time to make sure his work was accurate – especially when it came to producing the First Aider Certificates!

Gillian, Reece, Simon

Gillian from MHFAEngland with Reece and Simon – Portico.


Pauline spotted Alenchenu’s potential to sine in her team at Mitie Service Solutions.  As part of the Rapids team, Alenchenu has to ensure all deliveries of urgent items reach their destination efficiently.  Not as easy as you might think!  These items can be high value documents or personal IT goods. Based in the Charing Cross area, Alenchenu is looking forward to the end role and promotion prospects!


Iron Mountain choose Shennell and Alex to join their data entry team in East London.  Shennell is on a year’s break from her University course in Psychology and Criminology.  Having done summer and part-time roles, Shennell wanted something which would give her options.  She has settled in well and is on course to secure a flexible job to turn into a career when she’s ready.  Alex, quiet by nature,


Camilla was selected to join the Executive Welcome team with Portico working at global organisations in central London.  This role is highly visible and customer facing.  Responsible for meet and greet, direction, meeting room set-up, client safety on site, inter departmental liaison the Executive Welcome team work with all levels of personnel including Board.  Camilla has embraced the challenge and is working very well.  Simon, MD of Portico and Jordan, Welcome Team Executive – also Growing Talent Associate on the 2nd programme! – were judges on the Social Enterprise idea, the flagship workshop of the Orientation Week.

Simon Camilla Jordan


Camilla won the Social Enterprise Challenge with her idea – Renaissance House.  Seen below receiving her cup from Jon or PwC


Camila and Jon


The guys have all been on site for a week now and starting to get used to the routine of employment.  Each have gone into roles open minded and hungry to learn.  They are doing well and initial reports are encouraging.  

Watch this space to see how the guys progress over the coming weeks……………..