Impact Sourcing

Impact Sourcing in the UK

The story of how Foundever Exeter collaborates with local employment partners to support long-term local unemployed people with job opportunities to either enter employment for the first time or return to work.

The beginning…

In October 2021 the beginning of a long term mutually beneficial working relationship with Exeter Job Centre began.

Sarah Swain, Employer Advisor from Exeter Job Centre Plus (Exeter JCP), invited Foundever (formerly Sitel) to participate in a Customer Service SWAPs (sector-based work academy programme), which is a Government back to work scheme.

The programme provides unemployed job seekers with opportunities to learn new skills and gain experience of working in a particular industry, such as Customer Care, by introducing them to employment partners

This specific SWAPs was delivered by well-known training company, Eat That Frog, which had several job seekers who had been referred by Exeter JCP to complete the Customer Service SWAPs, at Exeter library for a week.

The invite was initially for Foundever to participate and assist by conducting mock interviews with all participants at the end of the weeks’ course.

Understanding that the course had been supporting the individuals with various pre-employment training skills, Foundever were more than happy to support the programme and facilitate mock interviews.  At this time, with some COVID restrictions in-place, the learners on the scheme hadn’t had an opportunity to complete any work experience as part of the programme.

Recruitment Manager, Kelly Heale, confirmed that participating in the scheme would be beneficial to Foundever, who is a large local employer in the city, as she is extremely passionate about local impact sourcing initiatives, being very au-fait with the local market.  She therefore offered that for ALL learners on the SWAPs, following the mock interviews, Foundever would  confirm immediate job offers (subject to suitability and the required legal checks) and facilitate a site tour to break down any barriers, as many of the learners were long term unemployed and were anxious about returning to work.

Paul Bonnington, from Eat that Frog, shared the CV’s that the learners had been working on as part of the program with Foundever ahead of the SWAPs  Mock Interview event on Thursday 25th November.

Meet Liam…

RM, Kelly along with a Senior Agent who had been nominated by his Manager to support the event, attended the Customer Service SWAPs at the library.  In total there were 5 participants, which included Liam Murphy.

Liam’s Story:

Just starting his career journey, Liam had been unemployed for 4 years and was extremely nervous about the mock interview.  His work coach had been supporting him for 2 years and had recommended that he participate in the Customer Service SWAPs to keep his options open, as at the time he was exploring opportunities in the Security sector.

Reflecting at that time, Liam described himself “as an introvert with no confidence” and in every day normal circumstances would run away from unfamiliar and crowded situations.

It was apparent that for the majority of participants on the programme that they weren’t being taken seriously by employers and really just needed an employer to give them an opportunity.  Paul from Eat that Frog had got to know the participants very well through-out the week and was able to give Kelly and Steve a brief insight into each individuals’ engagement throughout the week, before each mock interview took place, so they could be mindful of the previous experience they’d had with work and where their confidence levels were in terms of experience in engaging with employers.

They ensured that the mock-interview was conducted as a casual conversation, as being formal would not have been the right approach.  They wanted to get to know each individual, and for them to be able sell their skills and qualities they had discovered from the programme.

Following Liam’s mock interview, he was invited to come to the office for a site tour and to interact with one of the Customer Service teams that was a back office team, which meant minimal call handling which would be a great first step for Liam to work in a Contact Centre and put his new skills in to practice.

After meeting the team and also completing a written assessment with the recruitment team at Foundever Exeter, Liam was offered a temporary role at the beginning of December 2021, and 6 months later he was offered a permanent position, and has been with Foundever working on the same campaign for 1,5 years.

The impact this opportunity has had on Liam’s confidence has been profound.  For someone who had very little confidence, he now supports new employees who have joined our Exeter and Plymouth sites, and has also broadened his computer literacy skills. One of his biggest achievements recently is that he has booked a holiday to Portugal with a community group whom he does not know very well.  Prior to his confidence gained with Foundever, and support from SWAPs, he would not have achieved these milestones!

When recently asked what Liam enjoys the most about Foundever he said “The People”.

 

Conclusion…

This case study is an excellent example of how Foundever have made an impact at the very beginning of our associate’s experience by partnering with education companies such as Eat That Frog, and local government back to work programmes.

Kelly Heale, RM says “To identify candidates using a tight brief and specific qualification criteria, is what sets Foundever apart from its competitors.  We are all extremely proud of our diversity and culture, and our People play an extremely important part to make us an employer of choice in a competitive Customer Service market”.

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