John Cobb was in shock after being laid off from the job he had for 29 years. But as he cleared the mementos from his office at the factory, he knew where he would go for help.
"I said goodbye to everyone – gutted, devastated. I went into the office, took all my photographs down, got everything into a box and into my car and off I went" he says.
"That's when I phoned TeamJobs.”
John had enjoyed a well-paid job as a foreman with a steel manufacturer. John was responsible for 13 staff and regularly working 12-hour days as well as taking work home. He had dealt with TeamJobs often as a supplier of temporary staff.
Now the team at the recruitment agency became his personal coaches as he looked for a way forward.
"I arrived on a Monday morning and they made me a cup of tea. I must admit I was a bit tearful because I thought 'I've just lost the job I've had for 29 years – hang on, what am I going to do now?’"
John was met by Vicki Reeks, TeamJobs Industrial manager.
"Vicki sat me down, looked at me and said 'Don't worry about it, you will be fine. It's not a problem, we will sort it out for you'. I was in bits because I didn't know what to do.”
Building trust in a recruitment consultancy
John trusted TeamJobs because they already knew and understood each other.
"The reason he came to us promptly is because of the relationship we had built with him,"
says TeamJobs Industrial consultant Yasmin Cottrell.
"I spoke to John near enough every single day. I was on site weekly. Temps were meant to be there at 6am and I was on the phone with him at 6:10am checking if they were there. If they were not, we were looking for replacements and I was driving them to work."
"I could ring TeamJobs and say 'I need a member of staff tomorrow'. The reply was, 'Yes not a problem, we will sort something out for you.'
"Say the following day that person didn't turn up. Six o'clock in the morning, you're on the phone with the person on call and they will say 'Not a problem John, we'll have somebody to you within an hour.' TeamJobs are that good.”
Coaching people back to work
TeamJobs became more than a recruitment consultancy as John looked for a way back into work. The team knew him well and became trusted advisers and coaches.
"I was never very academic at school, I had no qualifications at all. I thought 'What am I going to do now?'"
He was helped to put together the first CV he had needed to write for 30 years. Yasmin says it is important for a recruitment consultant to know someone personally and go through their experience to understand their skills.
“John came into the Poole branch, we had a look at his experience, went through his CV, and built that up" she highlighted.
"When you speak to a person and say, 'What did you do in your day job?' they will reply with four or five aspects from the working day.”
"You say, 'Let's really break it down, from the moment you walked in and made your first cup of coffee to when you left. What did you do? Talk me through your step-by-step process.' Then you can really break it down that way.
"We then go through the interview process. We tell them what to expect in an interview and what kind of questions.”
John says the experience was like having an agent, in the shape of Vicki Reeks.
"I must say Vicki was brilliant. She rang me back a week later and said 'I've got a job for you at a packaging company’. Vicki said, 'I'll even come to the interview with you.' You can't ask for much more than that," he stated.
"Vicki took me down to the interview and sat in the interview with me. She gave the interviewer my CV and he showed me around the company. They replied. ‘You have got the job; can you start on Monday?”
It is one thing for a recruitment consultancy to understand the job market and tick all the expected boxes. But having real empathy and understanding of other people makes all the difference.
TeamJobs put its faith in John and he was keen not to let the team down. He remains grateful for everything TeamJobs did to reconnect him to the world of work.
He dropped into the TeamJobs office at Christmas to deliver gifts and see how everyone was doing. He still remembers the confidence he had when a TeamJobs consultant was by his side at that first interview.
"Straight away, you are on the up. You are thinking, 'There's somebody next to me who's going to help me out, who's going to word it better than I could and who can help shape my confidence’.
“The TeamJobs staff are in this situation all the time. They are looking for jobs for people regularly, and when you've got that behind you it is a great feeling.”
It is important to remember that when it comes to finding candidates their next career step, it’s to understand people on a personal level and how we can support them which can go a long way.