Community recruitment – helping and supporting people back into work

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Despite the huge impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on all corners of daily life, we are proud here at Sigma Connected that over the past 12 months we have become the fastest growing BPO provider in the UK – trusted by a growing roster of clients from across a variety of sectors including utilities, finance and energy.

The growth in clients is one thing, but in 12 months we have also seen our employee numbers boosted by 120% – from 1,500 to 3,300 across the UK, South Africa and in our newest market, Australia.

Of course this increase in staff, especially in the UK, needs a well-planned recruitment strategy to advertise the roles, onboard the right people and induct them properly into Sigma to ensure they understand our story, how we work and where we’re going.

These are time-consuming phases, but a vital focus as part of our West Midlands recruitment is to encourage a truly diverse workforce by making our recruitment process as inclusive as possible.

We see it as more of a ‘community’ approach to boosting recruitment where, through a variety of tactics, we have managed to tap into opportunities which give local people the best possible chance of getting back into work, having a fresh start, or a window into rediscovering a new found confidence.

Here in our latest blog, I cover a few of those opportunities in the hope we can inspire other companies to tap into similar resources and keep the wheels of work turning.

Young people and Covid-19

One successful initiative to get people back into work is through our membership of the Whitehall-led Kickstart scheme which creates short-term placements for 16 to 24 year-olds who are on Universal Credit. This scheme will see us taking on 15 young people on six-month placements, where along with training and development they will work within our support services and call centre teams. Two people have already been taken on permanently in HR roles and had their career prospects boosted following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, our sector-based work academy with the West Midlands Combined Authority, Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet), Birmingham City Council and JobCentre Plus has given over 700 unemployed people to-date the opportunity to retrain and secure full-time work with us, with hopefully more to come. Our relationship with BMet continues to go from strength to strength and additionally we are also hiring apprentices through them which enables young people to earn and learn as an alternative to tuition fees which can be out of reach for many.

Dress for success

We absolutely love our thriving partnership with Birmingham-based charity, ‘Suited for Success’. The charity works alongside a variety of support agencies to help young men and women make a great first impression by providing them with free clothing for interviews and a variety of preparation and presentation tips to help them hopefully secure that all-important job.

Many of the candidates coming through the charity are mums returning back to work, so we are delighted to be working with them to offer employment skills workshops and helping them with application advice. We hope that many of them will successfully come through our recruitment process.

Like I said, we love this link-up and have already found some outstanding people through the charity. ‘Suited for Success’ deserves all the national plaudits it gets. You can find out more here www.suitedforsuccess.co.uk.

These are just some examples of how we are doing things differently, working with experts and young people and trying to be innovative and inclusive in our recruitment. There is so much more to do but we are all proud here at Sigma of the impact we’re making and the relationships we’re developing.

It is important that we don’t think it’s job done. We expect to take on hundreds more people in the months ahead so we never stop watching trends, finding new recruitment routes and most of all, learning from others too.

About the author

An experienced resourcing and talent professional, Julia Seymour is Sigma Connected’s recruitment lead and works within our nationally-recognised People Services and HR team. For further information, you can contact Julia through julia.seymour@sigfin.co.uk.

Readers can also connect with Julia on LinkedIn through https://www.linkedin.com/in/julia-seymour-1b24b513/

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