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Hays Journal - Issue 11

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Travis Perkins - Credit Management recruitment

Managing a large team across numerous locations is a difficult task, this feature covers the problems faced by Nick King, Travis Perkins Group Credit Director and his team and the viewpoint of his team with a change in ideas and management. The team looked at how they could leverage Hays' national expertise within the credit management industry to deliver and excellent local service.

Nick King was appointed Group Credit Director of Travis Perkins, one of the largest suppliers to the UK building and construction industry, in October 2011. He took over a credit control team of more than 250 people based in three separate locations – Northampton, Leicester and Reading. Prior to Nick’s arrival, the credit managers were using 25 different recruitment agencies to hire into their teams at ‘knock-down’ fees and Travis Perkins had weak relationships with those agencies as a result. The company received a large number of poor CVs for every vacancy because its agencies did not have a good understanding of either Travis Perkins’ business or the qualities of the candidates who were likely to fit into it.

Inevitably, the difficulties in hiring good staff were affecting the performance of Travis Perkins’ credit control department. So Nick was determined to establish a more efficient recruitment process by partnering with an expert agency that was a leader in the field of credit control. He wanted an agency that would understand Travis Perkins’ business and credit control function and provide a professional and consultative service. As far as he was concerned, Hays Credit Management was the only option.

Nick contacted Hays’ UK Head of Credit Management, Ceinwen Wilson, with whom he had a strong existing relationship. She then connected him with Charmaine Walker, a Credit Management Recruitment Specialist with Hays, based in Northampton. Charmaine spent time getting to know Nick and each of his 14 credit managers, as well as their reports, so that she understood how the teams were set up, what their requirements were and which sorts of personalities were likely to fit in. She wanted to ensure that they believed in the partnership and trusted her guidance and expertise when it came to recruiting new staff. This wasn’t always a quick and easy process, but Charmaine now has strong relationships with all of Nick’s line managers and is in regular contact with them.

Charmaine and Ceinwen also presented at Nick’s internal UK credit management meeting, where they explained how they could leverage Hays’ national expertise within the credit management industry to deliver an excellent local service to Travis Perkins. They gave a live demonstration of Hay’s exclusive Institute of Credit Management (ICM) credit control skills test. Hays Credit Management was subsequently added to Travis Perkins’ preferred supplier list for all credit control vacancies (and later for vacancies in all specialisms nationwide).

Since October 2011, Charmaine has worked closely with Nick and his credit managers to fill roles that arise within Travis Perkins’ credit control department.

Partnering with Hays Credit Management has made a big difference to how Travis Perkins hires into its credit control department. Because its credit managers have strong working relationships with one expert agency, they benefit from tailored advice on salary and benefits and they can benchmark the department’s skills and experience using Hays’ exclusive ICM credit control skills test. Hays Credit Management also values the relationship highly. Nick chairs its Credit Circle events in Northampton and hosts them at the Northampton Saints Rugby Club. All credit control vacancies are released to Hays in the first instance with an initial period of exclusivity for each one. Nick is a strong advocate of Hays Credit Management and would recommend its services to others.

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