The Restart Scheme recently met with Campbell Hutchison, People Partner for One Stop. One Stop are a retail convenience business with over 900 shops and are a subsidiary of Tesco.
A mutual connection and satisfied customer recommended Serco’s Restart Scheme to Campbell and put him in touch with the Restart Scheme’s Employer Engagement Coordinator, Hannah Monaghan, in July 2022.
At the time, One Stop were having huge recruitment issues, especially in South Wales, where there were a significant number of vacancies in the market, so candidates could be selective about where they wanted to work. One Stop were also finding that there was reduced staff engagement, and their turnover of staff was higher than usual.
The Restart Scheme stepped in to support and has now placed 10 Participants into Customer Assistant roles for One Stop in Wales, with the individuals settling in well to the business.
Campbell Hutchison said:
“People that we recruited via the Restart Scheme have been better engaged as they have built a relationship with the Restart Scheme team and are more likely to stay. We have more faith in the process than direct applications.
Working with Serco and the Restart Scheme has been brilliant. Before I contacted them, I had a Store Manager who was taken out of his current role to focus on recruitment. The process wasn’t working and had become disjointed. The Store Managers had become stuck on a hamster wheel of recruiting and recruiting and then they weren’t engaging with the new starters. There was no candidate care, and they were taking on anyone and these individuals weren’t committed to the roles. We started having to close stores due to a lack of staff as we don’t allow lone working in shops.
What Hannah and the Restart Scheme brought is stability and structure to the recruitment process. And the financial gain was that we managed to keep more people in stores, more of the time. When we look at our absences, we reduced absences from 6.5% in South Wales to 3.5%, even as low as 2% at one point. We both learned by working together as the candidate might tell Hannah one story and tell us another, so having the good relationship between us, helps us to get the whole story!”
Hannah Monaghan said:
“Campbell and I have built a good working relationship where we catch up weekly. We talk about the applicants that have applied that week and the progress they are making. We also use the opportunity to talk about the candidates that are in work and if there are any problems to tackle, we discuss it and agree a course of action if required. We both know the people who are in the roles and by having regular catch ups, we continue a streamlined process with One Stop.
Attending a managers’ meeting where I met 28 members of staff was really useful as it was good for them to know more about the Restart Scheme and that we are here to help. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that employers don’t necessarily know what we do. So, it was informative for them to get an insight into how we promote their vacancies, pre-screen their candidates, how we make sure the qualifying criteria is ticked off before candidates even get to the application stage. What we have achieved so far is just a sign of the good things to come with One Stop over years to come.”
When asked what Campbell would say to any business thinking about using the Restart Scheme, he said:
“Go to the Restart Scheme as early as possible. Invite their staff to your company team meetings so they can put a face to a name and your team can understand what the Restart Scheme is and what the process will be.
Candidates don’t grow on trees, and we are continuously recruiting and have new stores opening in South Wales. Hannah highlighted to us that the biggest challenges for recruitment for one of the new stores is accessibility as it’s not served by public transport very well. There’s no parking which we hadn’t thought of so we are currently working through how we can resolve this. This was invaluable advice. I would recommend using the Restart Scheme. We feel like we are working with experts, and they can bring a different skillset to the recruitment process. Let’s keep working the way we do and thank you for all of your help”.