My name is Paul Fallon and I work in the freelance engineering section at Contract Scotland. My journey began in January 2015, so I am fairly new to recruitment and I expected to find a stuffy office based environment where I would perform a lot of paper pushing exercises under the guise of some “faceless” person on the other end of a phone. I couldn’t have been more wrong! I was surprised to discover that there are a lot of site based activities that occur on a weekly basis, and it didn’t take long to see why site visits are valued so highly here at Contract. The difference they make to our relationships with our candidates and clients is immeasurable.
You would be forgiven for thinking that the team at Contract Scotland is smaller than you might first have imagined. Although there are 7 of us within the freelance contracting section alone, we have over 30 years of combined knowledge and experience within construction recruitment. In order to put this knowledge to good use and ensure that it is as up to date as possible, we actively attend multiple site visits per month. October provides some perspective on this, as we attended 115 different sites, which averages out at 16 days out the office per person. Big deal, right?
Wellﾅ to some other agencies it’s all about the numbers, and to some candidates and clients it might seem like a waste of time.ﾠTo us, they are an essential part of our businessﾠin order to learn about more our candidates and clients needs and objectives. From a client perspective, we get to know your business better and can work with you to ensure you are one step ahead of the game in terms of hiring the right staff. Visiting sites also allows us to have a clear understanding of the projects in which we place candidates, meaning our freelance workers know what to expect before they arrive. Site visits should be so much more than simply ﾑshowing face’ or ﾑgetting numbers up’, but to understand candidates and clients objectives, assist them in achieving these and ultimatelyﾠbuild people partnerships.
In comparison, my colleague Gregor and I were on a site visit recently, and had noticed that another agency had been there before us. They left behind two boxes of biscuits from a well known supplier (which aren’t just ordinary biscuits) and a bunch of business cards for multiple recruiters within their firm. The gentlemen we were visiting (two freelance Site Agents working through us), had no idea who their previous visitors were as it was a fly by visit to keep up appearances. Gregor and I spoke with the guys in depth, covering a whole manner of relevant issues (while enjoying said biscuits), before leaving them with some Contract Scotland goodies as a secondary element to our visit. This is the difference; we left knowing our candidates better and that they are getting on extremely well in a very client facing role. The other agency left with one element of their monthly target met and a few less biscuits and business cards!
In summary, we genuinely hope to achieve an understanding of our clients and candidates as individuals in as professional (and friendly) a manner as possible during a site visit. Doing this allows us to find the right candidates for clients and in turn the right clients for our candidates. At the end of the day, that’s what its about for us, and when everyone is happy about the project they are involved in, trust is gained and the company grows naturally through word of mouth.
We’ll see you soon!