With over 50 years in the soft furnishings industry, Plumbs understand that finding that perfect candidate for the job is essential for delivering excellent customer service and products.
Recruiting for three key managerial posts required much more than the usual process of face-to-face interviews – which is why they tapped up Untapped Potential for their services.
The tried-and-tested traditional approach had worked with non-managerial roles but for Plumbs to continue its successful business it wanted to see the candidates in a different light before they sat them down for the final hurdle and a possible job offer.
This meant no CVs or covering letters were seen by Plumbs director, Sarah Page, before the selection day at their head office in Preston.
Hundreds of people applied for the three positions – Head of Customer Services, Head of Sales and Head of Operations – and these were whittled down by UP before they came up with a dozen or so candidates who they invited in for a selection day.
This is the first time Sarah had chance to see their potential as she observed their actions during the day; how they managed situations, discussed strategy, gave advice and offered their thoughts on what was happening around them.
“It gave me a fascinating insight into how our possible new recruits could fit in with the job roles we had on offer,” says Sarah. “You could see characteristics you wouldn’t normally be able to see face-to-face. Seeing them in this environment you can see how they interact with other people and how they might face up to tasks presented to them.”
This relaxed yet hands-on approach continued at the end when each candidate answered an emotive question from a selection of cards:
Questions like “when was the last time you cried, and why?” and “what’s your favourite film?” were posed to them so they could get a quick reaction before a final selection of candidates were drawn up for a more formal interview.
Sarah added: “It was very insightful to see the candidates ‘at work’ before they were invited back for the more formal procedure and it made them more relaxed once it came to that stage in the process.
“The selection day also gave the candidates a chance to get to know the business better, where they could be working, how they were greeted by staff, that sort of thing. If they liked it then it made them want to job even more so it was a chance not only for us to see if they were suitable for Plumbs but also if they wanted to work for us.”