A Day in The Life of our Consultancy Division – The Future Cities Case Study
Phase 1 – Creating the Recruitment Roadmap
This first in a series of blog case studies looks at a real-time timeline of the work our Consultancy division does with companies involved in future cities, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart, innovative technology projects.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll take you through a day in the life of our Lead Consultant, Stuart White, as he works with a Community Interest Company on a major future cities initiative.
Recruiting in this unknown area brings with it many challenges, as you’ll see in these blogs.
“Today is about due diligence. I’m now spending one or two days per week with the client, helping them to recruit for very niche roles in an unknown, untested field of technology. I’ll be working for the next 12 months as their onsite recruitment manager and will build an internal recruitment system from the ground up that they can use in the future, long after I’ve gone.
We’ve already worked with the founders to generate a report highlighting the challenges and now I’m fully in the trenches, ready to start delivering.
My client is a private equity backed business looking to create a world-leading product to regenerate city centres, specifically focusing on issues surrounding congestion, pollution, and energy efficiency over the next five years. The plan is to roll this out locally, nationally and then worldwide.
Whilst the organisation is start-up in nature, it is backed by many £millions in funding, which is critical if it is to achieve the ambitious targets they’ve been set.
As you’d expect, a product like this and project of this scale has never been attempted before, making recruitment a difficult, but not impossible, task. And that’s why I’m here.
Recruiting niche skills for an unproven market
Right now, it’s just me, the founders and two HR people who are spread over four companies – and that needs to change fast! My first mandate is to build the company to 20 people, which ordinarily would be a straightforward task but this is a specialist niche and the company is an unknown entity. It has no brand presence whatsoever and needs exceptionally skilled people with PHDs who are highly qualified in science and technology but also commercially aware (which often only comes from experience).
My client is also based outside of London – by some distance on the South West coast – which poses another barrier to many who would view the move as a risky one. Encouraging people to relocate requires a great deal of trust from them and reassurance from the employer.
Putting the recruitment framework in place
I’ve started by putting a solid recruitment framework in place. This will give my client a roadmap to follow which will strengthen every part of the recruitment process – from search to interview to close.
Having witnessed my client’s interview process, I quickly realised they were speaking to the wrong types of individuals and their interview technique was poor. HR has been wasting valuable time with the wrong people, the candidate brief for presentations was fluffy and weak, and there was no selling of the role of prospects to the candidates.
We’re at ground zero and I’ve laid down the fundamentals already. Next job is to redesign their presentation brief and organise an Assessment Day for multiple candidates. By providing an in-house candidate report, my client will be able to measure timescales in process and flag bottle necks as they arise.
It’s important to now position the business as a capable one so I’ve started by rewriting the recruitment area of their website, which they’ve seen a benefit from already.
Aside from the strategic aspect of my support, my client really needs to see an increase in headcount so my team and I have sent CVs for the most difficult, off the wall positions. We’ve delivered the first tranche of hard-to-find, passive candidates already and the client is happy and confident in our ability to find the talent they need.”
Read about the next phase here: Planning the Assessment Day