Anna Rebaudo at Recruit Right tells how we helped fill their recruitment needs.

A ‘brilliant’ partnership between us and commercial recruitment specialist Recruit Right has resulted in more than 150 long-term unemployed people starting new jobs.

Anna Rebaudo, a resourcer for Merseyside-based Recruit Right, turned to us six months ago when she needed to find large volumes of candidates to fill customer services roles for an important client.

Recruit Right had been working with the client, a leading call centre in Birkenhead, for 14 months, and were offering full training to candidates, with a recognised NVQ qualification in Contact Centre Operations, but they were struggling to find and retain the right people.

“We wanted to go wider and reach more people,” said Anna,

We were introduced to PeoplePlus because they work with thousands of jobseekers across a wide range of employability contracts who were either ready straight away, because they’d done call centre work before, or who could be enrolled on our development programme.

“One of the problems with recruiting through traditional methods is that it means sifting through hundreds of applications, and then having to make quick decisions based on a brief CV and an interview.

By using PeoplePlus, we were able to get much better idea about each candidate because PeoplePlus already had a relationship with them, either because they were seeing employment advisors, or had attended events or were on other programmes. It meant that right from the start we already knew much more about them than what would be on a CV.”

The service that PeoplePlus offers to large employers also means that Recruit Right’s five-day Academy One pre-employment training programmes are held inside the PeoplePlus offices. As part of the process, Anna visits and gives a detailed description of the role to candidates, giving them a full picture of the work involved. Interviews take place at the end of the week.

“The courses give us a longer period to get to know the candidate and for them to find out about our client and what the job involves,” explained Anna, “Before this, the drop-out rate was quite high because people didn’t know what to expect. Now, through PeoplePlus, we’re seeing a steady stream of successful applicants who are suitably briefed and genuinely committed to the role and because of this they tend to stay longer.”

It’s a high-pressure job, with the call centre handling tens of thousands of in-bound calls from customers every day. The campaigns they work on range from parcel couriers to High Street shops and large supermarkets.

Anna said: “Our call centre employees come from wide variety of backgrounds and ages and don’t have to have done this kind of work before. What we’re looking for is someone with the ability to talk and communicate with people and to understand that for the customer on the other end of the line, the issue they’re ringing about might be most awful thing that’s happened to them that day. It could be that the parcel they ordered has not arrived and there was a huge weight of expectation on it. They want to be able to talk to someone who understands that feeling and wants to help.”

The partnership with Recruit Right means that we are able to secure hundreds of job opportunities to offer to participants on contracts such as the Government's Work Programme in Liverpool and Birkenhead. Other candidates put forward to Recruit Right include participants on the Youth Employment Gateway, a specialist programme in the Wirral which offers free training, career coaching and employment support to people aged 18-24.

Earlier this week, Anna offered another four candidates a role at the call centre.

She said: “We’ve met so many lovely people who’ve come through from PeoplePlus that we wouldn’t normally get to see, including people from school and college who haven’t had many chances before to get beyond the job application stage and who just need the right opportunity to show us what they can do.”

“When I rang one chap this morning to give him the news that he’d got the job, he asked if he could run around his house screaming because he was so excited!”

The next call Anna made to confirm the successful candidates was to Ged Harnick, Employer Relationship Manager at PeoplePlus.

We have a brilliant relationship with PeoplePlus,” said Anna, “I talk to Ged every day, usually several times and he’s great. That’s a big plus to know that you’re working with a company that take time to get to know you and understands what you’re looking for.”