Our established commercial teams work across the Building Services, Rail, Civils and Construction Sectors.
Their expert knowledge of the industries they work within enables them to offer advice and recruitment solutions for Bid Managers, Estimators, Quantity surveyors, Buyers and Project Accountants from entry level to senior positions.
“We work in a very niche and cutting-edge sector of media and marketing, so understanding what we do, as well as “getting” our company culture is vital to our business. After meeting with Genevieve, we were given great confidence in her and her team to support us, and they did not fail. A very consultative approach, and the provision of high-calibre candidates, means that 1st Step have become an important business partner for Addition Plus. Whenever we are looking to recruit new team members for Addition Plus, we know we can rely on them for an honest, informed and trusted approach.”
We are pleased to announce that within the past two weeks, 1st Step Solutions Ltd has completed a deal to purchase On-Site London, making them part of the 1st Step Group. Like 1st Step Solutions Ltd, On-Site London supply M&E candidates to construction sites across London and the South East. They have the added speciality with providing airside passed candidates for Heathrow & Gatwick, which is not something all agencies can attain to! The process of applying for an airport authorised signatory is not an easy task but we can now proudly announce that in the past week On-Site London has successfully gained another 12 months. Our Chairman Simon Cowdrey said “The On-Site London team are established with longevity in employment, led by their Director, Neil Saunders, whom I’ve known personally for 30 years. The acquisition of On-Site London is a great addition to the 1st Step Group, now consisting of 1st Step Solutions Ltd, 1st Step Resourcing Inc. and Wells-Brooks Associates.” He also added, “this is a very exciting time for the group, with grossing our accumulative turnover to 50M, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our accountant Kris Havard - Wells Associates, lawyer Nick Gabay - Thomson Snell & Passmore, and the previous owner Darren Burnett in facilitating this deal.” Neil Saunders, Group Business Development Director statement: “The team at On-Site London are excited at the new challenges ahead. We are confident that with the joint experience and knowledge of the industry of both On-Site London and 1st Step, that both our clients and candidates will reap the benefits. On-Site London specialise in the supply of M&E and Construction blue-collar trades in London and the Home Counties. We are also authorised signatories for both Gatwick and Heathrow Airport. The team at On-Site London has over 30 years of experience collectively in the industry.” Les Fillery, Managing Director/Finance Director statement: “1st Step Solutions Ltd are delighted with the acquisition of On-Site London and excited to welcome the team onboard. As with any business, diversification and expansion is necessary for growth and with this partnership, we can offer different areas of experience within our market. The On-Site London team add to our extensive knowledge on supplying M&E trades and labour and in particular, at both Heathrow and Gatwick Airport as airside signatories. We, in turn, will be able to offer their clients and candidates the benefits of our LUL, Rail and technical divisions.” Lara Cameron-Wells, Managing Director statement: "Since Wells-Brooks Associates joined forces with the 1st Step Group, we have had the opportunity to expand our presence on a global basis to include, UAE, Europe, and the USA. Wells-Brooks specialise in the recruitment and training of Doctors and Nurses, with training academies in 12 countries, including London and Manchester. We are perfectly placed to address the ongoing shortage of suitably qualified candidates for the NHS and private sector. Our strong pipeline of GMC /IMC registered Doctors graduating PLAB 2, and our Nurses graduating CBT, IELTs/OET means we can uniquely present candidates from all specialities ready for relocation to the UK. We offer a full recruitment service including support from our inhouse immigration and compliance team, this includes a 12-week aftercare service for both candidates and clients which ensures confidence in our commitment to developing long term relationships." Nana Boss, Vice President statement: “1st Step Resourcing Inc. is located in New York, a thriving place for construction with some iconic structures, all of which we can acclaim to having provided white-collar and permanent placement staff for. We are specialists in the provision of operatives for Exterior, MEP, Ground Up, Heavy Construction and General Contracting sectors. We also operate on the East Coast of the USA and currently working towards the Mid-Atlantic USA. As a division, we have over 20 years of industry knowledge as a team.”
At 1st Step, we are proud of our record in employing people based on their ability to do their job and for promoting a diverse workforce. Our latest statistics back up our efforts! Looking at our entire workforce of 50 employees, 60.4% of 1st Step employees are women, some of whom are now 40% of our senior team - almost treble what it was just 4 years ago. In terms of ethnic diversity, employees from a BAME ethnicity now represent 35.4% of our workforce. We believe that our ongoing growth and success is based on our ambition to have people working for us who have the ability to succeed, alongside having a workforce that is as diverse as the communities it represents. It's good to #bea1ststepper
Despite recent monthly recruitment monitoring from KMPG and the REC in the UK reporting an ongoing decrease in the availability of candidates across the permanent and temporary markets, we are embracing the challenge, confident that we have the relationships in place with candidates and clients to make the most of this opportunity. The permanent market shows a decrease in the availability of permanent staff of 25.4%, higher than the 22% in April. In the temporary market, the decrease in availability is showing the same trend, with a 14.4% drop in availability, compared with 12.2% drop in April. 1st Step’s Managing Director, Les Fillery said “Although 1st Step has bucked this trend in the same time period, the latest statistics from KMPG and REC bare out what we have been hearing in our conversations with clients and candidates. Uncertainty in the current economic and political climate is having an impact on the jobs market, both in terms of the availability of candidates and the salary expectations of those looking to move, but with the experience of our team, we are seeing this as a positive challenge.” Average starting salaries for permanent staff have increased further in May, with on average increases being at around 17.8%, whilst the temporary/contractor market has seen pay rates increase by around 18%. This trending scarcity of availability has had a significant impact on the “market rates” for new recruits. Analysing the report, REC Chief Executive Neil Carberry said “The jobs market is still creating opportunities for those looking for work. With vacancies rising and starting salaries going up sharply, it is worth people talking to recruiters about the next step in their career.” Our Associate Director, Davinia Farr believes that this gives more reason for candidates and clients to continue to put their faith in 1st Step. “We have excellent relationships with our clients and candidates alike, with my team having industry knowledge that is second to none. We understand what each stakeholder in the recruitment process is looking for, and never forget the ‘consultant’ part of our job.” Davinia advises that “the key to anyone thinking about a move, is to work with a recruiter that wants to understand you and the kind of business you want to work with or the projects you want to work upon. We can then marry this up with the clients we think are best suited to what you want to do. By maintaining close ties with our clients, we understand better than most their internal culture and values, and what kind of candidates they would want to see. 1st Step is not in the game of mass-CV mailshots, but of cultivating the right opportunities for both parties.”
Shaping the future of 1st Step continues The board of directors are delighted to announce that Davinia Farr has been promoted to Associate Director with effect from 28th January 2019. Managing Director Les Fillery said, “Davinia has been with the business for over ten years, she has been dedicated to developing her team and division, to the greater good of the entire company and industry. She is a worthy advocate of the title AD and leads by example and I’m looking forward to working with her as we continue to develop our core strengths across the business.” Davinia’s duties in managing the Management and Technical division will continue, supplying candidates to our clients along with her team. Her role will see her also assisting the development of her colleagues at 1st Step and representing all aspects and divisions of 1st Step to the industry. We hope you will join us in congratulating Davinia in this fantastic achievement.
The year 2019 is fast-approaching, and for us, 2019 will be about the foundations of 1st Step; the staff. This year, we have experienced the reshaping of 1st Step, which has been essential in order to contest with the challenges and demands that BREXIT will bring upon us. I hope that despite these obstacles we have maintained career opportunities and the encouragement of progression for everyone at 1st Step. Irrespective of whether a business is a ‘Nike’ or your local corner shop the fundamentals of success remain, it’s with the people – ensuring staff retention, employee engagement and creating a sense of trust and appreciation. Every person within the 1st Step family has an important and equal role to play, both now and in the future. It gives me enormous pleasure when I read the regular staff updates on anniversaries and employment miles reached. I recall one conversation with a staff member, being told that they ‘could never see themselves working anywhere else’. Even one of our Executive Directors celebrating her 15-year service milestone is an enormous achievement. Only this week, we have run an anonymous survey of our staff about their opinions on the business, and the results are very encouraging in terms of communications, progression and people understanding how they fit into the “bigger picture”. Quarter 4 of this year the Board began the project ‘Shaping the Future’ of 1st Step with three newly appointed Executives to the main Board. These appointments provide diversity and perspective in decision making into the direction we head toward in 2019. I can assure that 2019 will bring about even more employee engagement, opportunities, promotions and achievements within the business. We can expect another tough year during 2019 in trading. However, what we all appreciate in recruitment is that every day is as hard as the next. We work in a people’s industry and every conversation, meeting or situation is unlike the last; that’s why we all love what we do. We thrive on challenges. 1st Step has invested hugely in our the future with a new database, compliance, systems and processes. With the continuous support of our staff along with the combined development of the infrastructure, our future is not just looking bright, it’s looking BRIGHT ORANGE!! (excuse the pun!) I know that this Christmas everyone will be treasuring every moment with their family, relaxing, recharging the batteries. I would like to wish all 1st Step staff, clients, candidates and suppliers a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to working with you all in 2019.
Everyone at 1st Step Solutions Ltd & 1st Step Resourcing Inc would like to wish our clients, candidates and friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Our offices will remain open until 24th December 2018, following which we will remain closed until 2nd January 2019. Should you need to contact us urgently, please get in touch with your usual representative of 1st Step via their mobile phone.
1st Step Solutions have taken a major step forward in our quest to become the leading aviation construction agency in the UK by becoming approved airside signatories at Gatwick Airport. This means that, as your agency of choice, we can support your business across the airport sector with a security-cleared construction workforce from Labourers to Project Managers. Our Chairman, Simon Cowdrey said "Congratulations to the Heathrow West team on this major achievement." adding "We have always been strong in terms of compliance, so the next natural step for us is to apply this expertise to this area where highly complex security clearance processes are required." Jas Dhunna, Business Manager said, "this is excellent news for 1st Step, and credit must go to Laila Haddad for her hard work in getting this over the line." She added "We are renowned for our customer service, which we are very proud of. It is a testament to this that our clients were willing to support our application, so a huge thank you to them, too." For more information on working for 1st Step at either Gatwick or Heathrow Airports, please call us on 01753 708988 or email email@example.com and speak to Jas, Laila or Stuart
Three years ago today, August 17th 2015, Max White passed away after a hard fought battle with cancer. An inspirational man, who was a unique character that you rarely find in life. As a colleague, he was much loved and respected by everyone in 1st Step. It is not often you can say nobody had a bad word to say about someone and know it is true – but Max was one of those guys. Personally, he was a great Father to Ellie and a fantastic friend to those around him, too. His influence inside 1st Step was one thing, but the impact of his personality, professionalism and class in dealing with people reached far beyond the doors of West Hill House in Dartford and our offices that he helped to grow. You can ask many of our clients and industry experts that dealt with Max and they say the same thing – what a great man! Just look at the fundraising his friends and colleagues have undertaken for Live Life to the Max – the generosity and will of countless people to fundraise in his name is an astounding testament to his life and memory and a source of much-needed funding for Cancer Research UK. When Max found out about his cancer, he took it in his stride and fought it. He did get frustrated by the system, but he did it with a positive heart and mind. Dignified in his battle, he started the Live Life to the Max campaign that is still going strong today. He remained a good person to talk to – frank and honest in his opinions but with a heartfelt desire to give the best advice. Genuinely, not a day goes by for us at 1st Step where his name isn’t mentioned in some way. Over half of our colleagues didn’t meet him. But every person has heard about him and understands what he stood for because his values shaped what 1st Step stands for. Honest and loyal confidants that you can rely on. Three years haven’t made it easier to take that he has gone, but his legacy makes his family, friends, colleagues and industry peers from all walks of life remember that there is a right way to be with people. Live Life to the Max
Three weeks into my new role as a Business Development Consultant for 1st Step Solutions there’s still a little pause as I’m passing on my email address, For a long time, this was the email address I was sending my weekly timesheet to… I’d worked as a DC for almost 7 years when in 2010 company redundancy’s put me in the path of 1st Step. Within a couple of weeks, I was settling into my new DC role for one of 1st steps clients and leading M&E contractors. This was my first experience with an agency and was surprised at how easy the new start process was, the team were not only highly professional but very welcoming and approachable too. Almost 5 years later I decided to leave the UK for a couple of years of travelling, When I returned to London in 2017 there was only one place I was going to call…1st Step Solutions. Within a couple of days, I was sent for an interview, a couple of weeks later I was again getting stuck into my new job for another of the country’s leading M&E companies where is stayed until the next travel adventure began 10 months later. While travelling through New Zealand I was offered an exciting opportunity to join the team at 1st Step that introduced me to the world of M&E 8 years ago as a candidate and without hesitation and only a few months into my visa I was planning my return. Now I am part of the team and feel like I have always been here. The grass is greenest where it's watered, and that’s both sides of the fence working with 1st Step. In the team (left to right) Kerrie, Sam and Danica
Two of our leading Consultants, Kieran James and Sam Nixon, have recently taken a visit to Battersea, and they were impressed... Kieran and Sam were meeting their client at Battersea and got a treat of a site tour. In this picture, you can see Sam Nixon, our Commercial Consultant who was stood next to a £450,000 boiler, of which there are two powering the old Power Station! Sam said "this was an awesome project, and great to meet the guys out on site. I am always in awe of the projects our candidates and clients build, but this is another level. I'm really grateful for being invited". "The size and scale of this project is immense" said Kieran, "and you can't really grasp the scale and size of the project even when you are stood next to it. We're really proud to be represented 1st Step as part of this prestigious project."
England got their World Cup off to a great start, with their 1st Step (sorry!) into the tournament ending in a victory for Captain Kane and the England team. And we were lucky enough to watch the first match for the Three Lions screened on the walls of our Farringdon office! 1st Step's London team were joined by clients and candidates from across a wide variety of contractors in the M&E sector and beyond, and were all treated to a fantastic finger buffet organised by our Divisional Manager, Davinia Farr and a free bar (with no queue). Matthew Jones, Managing Director said "It was a great evening. Davinia excelled in putting on a great show for our candidates and clients. It was so nice to spend time in a relaxed atmosphere, and her team did her really proud." Keep your eyes peeled for more games being shown at our Cowcross Street offices - an invite may just drop in your inbox!
In case you haven't noticed... the FIFA World Cup starts in a few weeks! Yes, that's right, love it or hate it, the World Cup fever is back soon for its quad-annual visit to our lives. We've created a free Sweepstake sheet for you to use in your office. Print it off and use as you please! Have fun The latest survey responses to XpertHR, who 1st Step use for advice and guidance, suggest the World Cup is a great tool for engaging employees, including putting TVs up in canteens and allowing flexibility for rest breaks to allow people to watch. With 90.8% of respondent employers suggesting that they will adopt an informal approach to the World Cup, common practice might suggest you don't get too hooked on rules for the events too. Common sense - from you as an employer or employee - is most needed in this situation, and just keep in mind that you are always representing your business. And 1st Step is using it to engage clients and candidates, too! We're not ashamed to admit we will use the opportunity either. So keep an eye out for any emails about events, and why not download our FREE world cup sweepstake sheet. 2018 Sweep Stake Sheet.pdf Size: 248 KB
It's good for business, especially if you work with 1st Step as a candidate or client. Whilst there is plenty of scaremongering about at the moment, GDPR is here to stay. Compliance with it will at the very least encourage recruiters to be better at recruitment. The best form of recruitment always has been and always will be "people buy from people" and that is how we at 1st Step do our business. Our recruiters try and meet every candidate, numerous times and sometimes they will build relationships over many years. This is what works, and why we employ a certain kind of recruiter that takes the time to care about the people we work with. Our consultants are going to carry on doing their job as they are because they are very good at it, and they have been doing it for years. The difference, and why GDPR is good for us, is that the concept of getting out there and meeting your candidates is not the norm with some of our competitors. To put it mildly, our competitors are going to have to up their game, to catch us. We are 1st Step, and we are the benchmark. So, we won't be mass emailing people, because it's not our style. But you can all take this blog as permission to contact us, and we will get to know you, and find you a new job! Sounds like a good idea to me. As for our clients? Well, you can rest assured that we have consent, from when we bought our candidates a coffee and asked them for it, whilst discussing where would be the best fit for their next career move. Just before they filled out the application form and signed the consent form.