We recently had the pleasure of welcoming Patricia Hay to our offices. Patricia is founder and Managing Director of First Base Employment, a recruitment company based in Stroud, Gloucestershire. First Base works with industrial, engineering, commercial, executive level and management staff and has been operating since 1997.
Her business has, since the beginning, strived to create a culture of community and has a strong commitment to look after internal staff, temporary workers, candidates and clients in equal measure. Patricia spoke to us about how passionate she is about temporary worker welfare and engagement, plus lots more. Here’s part one of her interview, where she talks about the reasons for starting a recruitment business and her vision to change the industry’s reputation:
I come from a background of recruitment, but I was treated appallingly in the sector. Historically, there’s been a lot of shortcuts used in the sector, where perhaps people aren’t treated as well as they should be. We’re a people business, and I believe that if you’re a people business you need to treat people very well, and place them at the heart of your operation. And so, I set up First Base, in order to make a difference and to make sure people were being treated with the respect that they deserve. After all, they are working on our behalf and need to be engaged and happy to best reflect my business. I believe that temporary workers need to be matched to the right jobs, to be given the tools to do their jobs well, to be paid on time, and to have their holiday pay entitlement. And I think First Base has always been about looking after the people, whether it’s clients, candidates or my own staff.
We’ve always focused on only recruiting people who share our values for People. I only employ very genuine people, who want to form relationships, who are interested in people. Our recruitment team are interested in our candidates’ backgrounds, they are interested in their skills that they can bring to a job role, and they are interested in looking outside of the box to ensure we find the best match for our candidates and our clients.
People are more reliable if they enjoy the work they’re doing and if they’re treated properly, communicated with effectively and rewarded properly.
Besides treating our people very well and communicating with them consistently, we have recently partnered with Hive360, to help us stand out from the competition. Hive360 offers a range of services to our own members of staff as well as our temporary workforce. These services are delivered via a really easy to use portal that spans pay, pension, discounts and perks, mental health and NHS helplines, carer support and a wealth of health and fitness online resources and savings. It also allows people to have one place to go to see their P45s, P60s, and digital pay slips on a weekly basis. Being able to bring all this together has been invaluable, and we’re finding that people really like that. It is very accessible on a desktop or a phone or an iPad.
People are actually enjoying being able to tap into the information they need, when they need it, all in one place. Pensions in particular, haven’t been hugely ‘visible’ historically, but now, through the Hive360 portal - they are.
We’ve created a community around First Base Employment. Clients and candidates want to know our staff, they want to communicate with them, and they are loyal to them.
By having people values at our heart, by having a commitment to full compliance and by offering more in terms of welfare support and benefits we have seen great retention rates from our candidates and a real enthusiasm in the business about the service we’re now offering.
I work to an ethos of ‘abundance’, so we give away a lot of information content wise, we use all the social media channels, we attend regular events, we know a lot of people, and it’s all about mobilising those people to do excellent work for our clients.