Phil Duggan

Oct 28, 2021


ECO Bucking Recruitment Trend with Over 200 New Hires.

Director of Group HR; Nikki Welsh discusses how, despite the industry downturn, ECO has maintained and exceeded recruitment targets in the first 3 quarters of 2021.

According to a report published by Reuters in September, over 40% of large UK businesses are struggling to recruit new talent post-pandemic, so after a phenomenal few months of candidate onboarding, I thought I’d catch up with Nikki to discuss what has worked so well for ECO.

PD: Nikki, it’s certainly been a busy few months for you and your recruitment team, how do you think they have carried on recruiting so prolifically when others seem to be finding it difficult?

A renewed focus on candidate experience.

NW: One of the ways in which we’ve been able to achieve such consistent numbers is by constantly looking to evolve our candidate experience.

Now, more than ever, candidates are really looking for an engaging experience with that ‘wow’ factor prior to starting with us, so we’ve made a few simple changes to our processes to really welcome new starters, and show them all of what ECO can do for them.

One of the biggest changes was how we interact with our new hires prior to them starting with us.
In the past, we have relied on email communication at every stage, in addition to the welcome phone call, but we decided to take it a step further by introducing them to our internal social platform; Workplace, which allows us to add them to a group chat.

This has a few benefits as it not only allows them to chat with their new colleagues, trainer, and recruitment team, but it also provides a window into ECO, how we acknowledge our colleagues, how we treat them, and the kind of things we get up to internally.

Some of the challenges businesses are facing are undoubtedly a result of candidates being reluctant to change jobs also, even now we are moving away from the pandemic into this next chapter and the post-covid world of work, there is still a nervousness from speaking to other recruitment professionals.

Having access to Workplace prior to joining us also removes any nerves for our new colleagues, giving them more of an insight that they’ve ever had before.

So it’s a real testament to our team for being able to not only find candidates but to manage them throughout the process, fully engage with them and gear them up for a fantastic career with us across all three of our centres, including our newly opened site at Doxford Park, Sunderland.

PD: You mention evolving the candidate experience, that must have taken some time to implement?

NW: That’s one of the things that I love about how we do things at ECO, we’re very agile in that regard.
When we analysed the feedback and evaluations we received from our focus group, we were able to make recommendations and put new processes in place fairly quickly.

We asked a broad range of questions of both our existing staff and former colleagues who have moved on to understand what we can do better.

Some of those suggestions worked really well from the start and we’ve built on them, some made little difference, so we’re always refining how we work but over the last quarter things have really clicked and allowed us to grow the number of advisors we hire and retain them which is the goal.

Getting the buzz back.

PD: Do you think a return to the office after lockdown has played a part?

NW: Absolutely, I think working from home suited some people, and many of those are still happy working from home now, but something that’s unique to ECO is our culture, and with all the will in the world, you just can’t replicate that digitally. There’s been such a buzz throughout the business since returning and that’s had a positive impact in so many ways. From performance to recruitment, that atmosphere and culture is infectious and many of our newest colleagues have come from employee referrals which speaks volumes for how much our teams love being a part of ECO.

If you’d like to view our current vacancies, head to our careers page for more information or call our team on 0191 519 5297.

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