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As we’ve come to the end of our financial year at BCUK, I wanted to reflect on the great year we’ve had and look toward the exciting 12 months ahead! The housing market is busy, our team are busy – and the future of housing is constantly shifting. Exciting times…

Our Team BCUK

What a year it’s been for the social housing team at BCUK! Additions and changes within the team have seen us really thrive.

  • Leon Kearney – Leon has come to us from outside the recruitment sector. He has brought with him his love of Tranmere Rovers and a determination to succeed and learn. He has been instrumental in building a fresh enthusiasm to housing recruitment across the Cheshire, Warrington and North Wales areas, with his passion to help people and persevere through some challenging times. Using a quote from one of Leon’s idols… as Jonny King once said, “It all comes down to having a recipe and the right people to make it work.”
  • Amber Smith - Another part of our success story this year has been the arrival of new recruit Amber. Amber has captured the busy Manchester trades and labour market in the last 12 months by developing strong relationships with the skilled workforce in the region. The investment of time that Amber has made in meeting several maintenance trades professionals and understanding the inner workings of clients has helped Amber to build instant rapport in Manchester.
  • Alex Taylor - We’ve also welcomed Alex to the team at our Head Office in Skelmersdale. With previous recruitment experience, Alex has a strong interest in housing, wanting to build on existing relationships and has had instant success by having a natural flare to develop relationships and do right by people.  Alex focuses on our professional interim assignments across the North West. Interim opportunities in surveying and compliance have increased in our business by 60%, which has been really positive. Good news for candidates is that salaries are increasing and more challenging opportunities are opening up for assets, compliance, Health and Safety, Fire Stop and FRA work.

It’s been great to see how our team has grown (to 9… and counting) and worked together throughout the year. We’ve enjoyed Jen Radcliffe and Graham Hacking in our team winning company awards for their hard work in the last month. “Both Graham and Jen have been outstanding colleagues and friends to work with over the past year. Our enthusiasm for this sector and our passion to succeed and make things happen have got to be a “key ingredient” for loving your job and being happy”. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed seeing the fresh ideas that our newer recruiters have brought in, be it investing time in our candidate care in new ways (Working Wardrobe, Jobcentre events, partnering with colleges) or taking the time to truly listen to the frustrations of our clients and candidates.

As a business as a whole, we’ve increased overall headcount and managed to almost half our staff turnover from 14% to 7.5% - an incredible feat in recruitment, and one point I’m massively proud of for this past year.

Growth of the Permanent Recruitment Market

One of the biggest successes of our year has been within permanent recruitment; particularly in asset management, development and within property and maintenance. We are finding more than ever that the relationship with “The Recruiter” is key to helping organisations find the right people, particularly in middle to senior management roles. This is surely set to be a challenging and exciting year, and we predict permanent recruitment to take 40% of our overall social housing business in 2019/2020.

Clients are telling us they want their vacancies filled within their given timescales and want to partner with a recruiter who they trust, who understands them and can deliver on what they need. Additional to this, candidates are discussing career aspirations and looking to discuss career paths with recruiters more so than looking at the external advertising market. This leads to the question of, are potential candidates looking at the advertisements in the market anymore? Are vacancies out there true vacancies to one and all? As the housing industry continues to struggle with skill shortages, do we need to shift our focus on how we attract and approach the next generation of the industry?

One of our senior members of staff Jen says, ““there is a definite increase in candidates wanting to move to organisations that suit them and this has led us to increase our efforts in attraction and education re: “the right fit” vs “the perfect CV” that clients would look for in the past. Although package and salary still sit high on the priority list for candidates progressing in their careers, ultimately work life balance and working for the right company is the key driver for candidate attraction in the current market. As Team BCUK look to the next financial year, we will be increasing our investment in candidate attraction and client education of what the up and coming candidates look for as they progress in their career.

Key focuses for next year:

  • Continue our Customer Care to our Clients and Candidates BCUK Social Housing have never been a typical sales business - our reputation and how we deal with people is becoming our biggest sales tool. We will look to develop our relationships and look to partner further with organisations wanting our support to find the right people for their business areas.
  • Candidate Attraction. The candidate market is changing - more permanent jobs are coming in to recruitment consultancies from housing associations, and candidates are relying more on being approached personally and being nurtured into taking risks. We will look to develop further with social media to attract candidates to vacancies that we have- plus keep and build on being the “honest” as well as “trusted” recruiter. We will also look for innovative ways of tackling the skill set shortage as well as bringing transferable talent to this sector.
  • CSR is an element we are investing more in, with local job fairs, recruitment drives, presentations to schools/colleges. We want to be involved and are doing more CSR local projects.
  • Value our teams and business areas. Our social housing team work is a part of a wider BCUK team and community within the construction and property industry. Staff retention and valuing each team member is something that Tam, Mark, Carl and I will continue to do. 

The importance of the temporary worker and consultant relationship, developing the right team internally and overall sound business strategy will be key factors in having a successful 2019/2020.

Next on the agenda will be this year’s CIH conference – if you’re visiting, do say hello to our team. If you’d like a meeting please contact myself at:

Happy June everyone!


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