M&E Trades and Labour is where it all started for 1st Step, and we won't forget our roots. Rather, we have moved the drive and determination to deliver in this sector across to our teams in all other sectors we now operate in.
Our trades and labour teams work from multiple locations and are experts in the areas and sectors they recruit for. Each team has an in-depth knowledge of the area’s local transient workforce, current projects and market conditions. All offices specialise in the Mechanical and Electrical sector as well as Rail, Construction, Civils, demolition and Associated Disciplines.
1st Step Solutions are looking for Electrician's to work with our client, a s...
1st Step Solutions are looking for an Electrician's to work with our client, ...
1st Step Solutions are currently recruiting for Electricians in Cambridge. We...
Our Client a National M&E Contractor are looking for up to 20 Electrician's t...
I have engaged the services of Davinia at 1st Step since October 2011 in the supply of permanent and contract management staff for a number of roles and to suit our business portfolio. During this time Davinia has got to know SPIE and our business and takes the time to listen to our requirements and makes sure that the candidates she sources meet our immediate needs. She is always on hand to assist where required and takes a proactive approach and realistically manages our expectations. 1st Step Solutions and SPIE have a strong partnership dating back several years and support our business to the best of their abilities. I would have no hesitation at all in recommending Davinia and the team at 1st Step Solutions to any company looking to engage a recruitment partner.
I have been using 1st Step Solutions to supply not just trades but supervision and project staff to Shepherd Engineering projects. Their knowledge and expertise in their sector combined with the service is the main reason why 1st Step has been part of the SES PSL for ten years. Seeing them expand into the South West and furthermore into the North West really does make 1st Step Solutions a UK wide respected supplier.
1st Step Solutions have been supplying to Amco for over 4 years. During this time the 1st Step team, led by John Bailey, have provided Amco with outstanding support. I have significant experience of working with resource and recruitment suppliers as well as 15 years in the recruitment industry itself and have yet to find a supplier which goes to the lengths to provide such excellent service as 1st Step Solutions. Too many companies sell a “team with extensive industry knowledge” and “out of office hour’s support” and “on site presence” most of which seems to fade away once the T’s and C’s have been signed. John Bailey at 1st Step Solutions do not suffer with these issues. He attends planning meetings where his obvious industry knowledge has proven very useful on so many occasions. John is a regular unprompted visitor to our sites where 1st Step are providing Amco with operatives. He even attends sites where 1st Step are not providing support just to see if there is anything he can help with. I have yet to call him out of office hours for support and not get a response. 1st Step have attended and given input to monthly Health and Safety meetings and have even brought along a guest speaker to present on a specialist topic relevant to the meeting. The calibre of operatives 1st Step provide is of a very high standard. I am used to agency operatives (and even directly employed staff) jumping out of the van on arrival at site and asking the stock first question of “what time are we finishing Gov?” However, I was particularly impressed on a project where we had asked for support from1st Step. For reasons I’m not going to labour here, the work the guys had been booked for was unable to go ahead, at this point I would normally expect the team (other agencies and direct labour) to be asking for their timesheets to be signed for the full shift so they “could get off”. Not so in the case of the 1st Step lads, they started looking to see what could be done on that shift and what could be done in preparation for the following shift. Amco managers continue to select John and 1st Step Solutions to assist them on a variety of jobs including some of our more high profile projects. So, I have sung 1st Step Solutions praises for the good stuff they do, well what about the not so good stuff. A lifetime of experience working with human beings tells me that they are not the most reliable and stable product to sell. When I sit with an agency sales person for the 1st time I make it clear that our relationship will not be based on what they do well, instead it will be based on what they do when it goes wrong! At this point I usually get the sales patter around “industry knowledge”, “out of hours support” and “on site presence”. Not from 1st Step Solutions, they promised me honesty and support when things go wrong and they promised to never over promise and under deliver. I have never had to question John’s commitment to that promise.
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
1st Step Solutions have taken a major step forward in our quest to become one of the leading aviation construction workforce suppliers in the UK by becoming approved airside signatories at Stansted Airport. This means that 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 "Between Jas and Laila a great deal of effort has gone into processing our application. Which has involved speaking with contractors at Stanstead to gain an understanding of the way they have obtained their status and for us to understand the procedure of working alongside them to achieve a great workforce. Jas Dhunna, Business Manager said, “Credit must go to Laila Haddad for her hard work in getting this over the line.” Adding “Her hard work, dedication and support from myself and Stuart Wallis has secured us this amazing opportunity to provide our services” For more information on working for 1st Step at Stansted, Gatwick or Heathrow Airports, please call us on 01753 708988 or email email@example.com and speak to Jas or Laila.
Friday, 27th September 2019 we celebrated a major anniversary as Careena Dabbs has reached the milestone of 15 years with 1st Step. Careena has been with 1st Step since the very beginning and has become a mainstay of the business reaching the position of Executive Director in 2019, as a valued member of the Board. Simon Cowdrey, 1st Step’s Owner & Chairman, said “Careena is a highly respected and valued part of 1st Step, both internally and with our clients and peers across our business”, adding “She has become an integral part of what we do. From recruitment, advising clients as a business partner or mentoring and coaching colleagues, Careena has helped to shape and deliver 1st Step to be what it is today!” Careena is responsible for key areas in 1st Step, including compliance and support services such as our database as well as managing the London & South East M&E Trades team.
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.”
Congratulations to Hayley Laurance who recently completed and passed her PTS training on 27th March 2019. Managing Director, Les Fillery said "It's a great achievement for Hayley to become PTS qualified, and further demonstrates her ambition to best serve our clients and candidates. Well done, Hayley!"
The board of directors are pleased to announce that Matthew Williams has been promoted to the role of Associate Director with effect from 10th April 2019. Les Fillery, Managing Director, said “Prior to joining 1st Step Matthew has been in recruitment for 16 years and used his extensive experience to set up and build a presence for us in the South West. During his time with us, Matt has developed his management skills and built an excellent team who continue to provide a first-class service to our clients. Matt leads by example and I’m looking forward to working with him as we continue to develop our core strengths across the business.” Matt’s duties in managing the South West division will continue but he will also assist with the development of our staff and clients across all aspects and divisions of our business. We hope you will join us in congratulating Matt for a 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and speak to Jas, Laila or Stuart
I am delighted to announce that 1st Step has launched a new office based at Heathrow West This brings two innovative divisions to support the construction industry. We have enlisted a specialist team to clear and pass candidate’s airside for both Heathrow and Gatwick airports, directed by our new Recruitment Manager, Laila Haddad. What’s more, within Heathrow West, we have further new division focusing on the recruitment of construction trades within the M25 and South East. This team will be headed up by our newly appointed Business Manager, Jas Dhunna. The 1st Step vision is to create a platform that allows our employees to excel; both externally for our clients, but also in their own personal development and career progression. It goes without saying that the staff at 1st Step are what leads and drives our business. The growth & development of our 1st Step family is equally as important as the growth of our business.
We are pleased to welcome two new employees to our Heathrow West office, which houses our airports and Construction Trades division covering London and the South East. Laila Haddad, Recruitment Manager Laila joins as our Recruitment Manager, and she brings with her a wealth of experience in providing security cleared personnel to the South East's main airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. With a background in recruiting for Construction Tradespersons and M&E personnel, Laila will fit in with the ethos of customer service coming first within 1st Step. Jas Dhunna, Business Manager Jas is our new Business Manager in Heathrow West and will be leading the team in developing 1st Step across London & the South East, leading the ongoing growth of 1st Step, focussing on the structural steel and architectural sectors but with a view to growing the team and what they can offer. Jas has five years experience in recruitment and has a desire to succeed and business acumen that will only serve to deliver excellence for 1st Step in becoming a partner of choice for our clients and candidates. Owner & Chairman, Simon Cowdrey said "adding Jas and Laila to the team is a great move for us and they have already fitted in brilliantly with the rest of 1st Step. Their work ethics and desire to put the clients and candidates first are akin to what has become expected of us by people that work with 1st Step."
We are pleased to announce the opening of our latest office, Heathrow West, with business opening with a flourish today (29 October 2018). The office is based on the Bath Road and will house our dedicated Recruitment Team which specialises in security cleared and passed candidates across London's busiest airports, as well as supplying candidates to our valued clients across London and the South East. Our Owner & Chairman, Simon Cowdrey said "1st Step has been trading for 14 years and has become renowned for excellent customer service, built originally on our footprint across London and the South East. That has spread to the Midlands with our office in Newark, our offices in Bristol and most recently in New York which began our presence in the USA". He added, "We are delighted to have acquired premises and a fantastic new team in the Heathrow West office who will strengthen our resolve and ability to deliver for our clients and candidates alike." The Heathrow West team can be contacted by emailing email@example.com or calling 01753 708 988.
As a company that takes our responsibility of checking right to work seriously, I’m always surprised when recruitment professionals join 1st Step and have not previously received any sort of training on checking right to work documents. Many companies seem to accept whatever is given to them, or take the opinion that this is the responsibility of intermediaries or sub-contractors as individuals are not directly engaged by them. However, at 1st Step we make it our business to safeguard ourselves and our client’s by checking every individual who is engaged on one of our projects. Indeed it also amazes me how many candidates present outdated documents which still allow them the right to travel, but no longer provide evidence of the right to work, and yet they have not been challenged or advised that they need to update their documents. Over the last few years, we’ve come a long way from stamps in passports, which weren’t very clear to understand and difficult to verify. Now, whilst not particularly well publicised, there are some useful tools available to employers from the home office, including; Full and comprehensive guidance documents and checklists A basic “sanity check” step by step web guide, talking you through what has been presented and whether that person needs additional documents to prove their work. A biometric verification service allows the candidate to share details of their biometric online, confirming the individuals status and enabling you to cross-reference with the documents collected. The Employers Checking Service, which allows you to check the current status of an outstanding application and establish if you have a statutory excuse whilst this is ongoing. This service will normally give a response within five working days. Employers Helpline for any anomalies and exceptions to the rules (and annoyingly there are still some of them) Training Our first line of defence is our recruiters and everyone at 1st Step is given training on the importance of checking right to work documents, how to check them, and when to refer them to the compliance team. Our compliance team act as our safety net and have a comprehensive understanding of the tools available to them and what to look for when checking documents. Where there is any doubt, they will not hesitate to pick up the phone to the Employers Helpline to seek further guidance. Candidate Support Where candidates have presented out of date documents, often because they were unaware that these are no longer acceptable having been allowed to travel and gone unchallenged by other employers, our compliance team will still go out of their way to educate the candidate, correspond with their solicitors if necessary and provide them the information and contacts they need in order to provide the relevant evidence. We also ensure that any candidates working for us are given reminders and any support required where their documents are approaching the time for renewal.
I was asked recently what Kerrie’s Job title meant when we promoted her to a Candidate Manager. I thought to myself "I could list all of Kerrie’s daily duties and responsibilities" (they would definitely include making me a great cup of tea and of course being my right-hand person when it comes to getting the job done). But then I thought the best way to demonstrate what she does, would be to let the candidates Kerrie manages explain why she thoroughly deserves the job title Candidate Manager; what makes her more than a Resourcer "I have found Kerrie to be most helpful in all aspects in relations to any queries raised. She has a positive approach towards the recruited staff, & a bubbly personality, which installs trust in that union. Hopefully, she has a long career in this industry, as I believe she is an asset to 1st Step, which doesn't come around every day." Electrical Manager – SES Engineering Services "From my experience, I have found Kerrie to be extremely helpful and very professional. She provides you with all the information about a Client and job and delivers It in a warm and friendly manner. She is always cheerful and upbeat." Mechanical Site Manager – Designer Group "I have worked with Kerrie Letchford for the last year and I personally think she is a great woman for any position with any company, She has a lovely personality and extremely helpful at all times." Mechanical Supervisor – Briggs & Forrester Candidates are important to 1st Step and making sure they have the correct information, are continually informed of how the process is going and treated with respect are at the core of what Kerrie does daily and an ethos that is echoed by the values of 1st Step Solutions. I’m very privileged to have Kerrie in my team continually on the hunt for the “best of the best” Mechanical & Electrical Supervisors and Site Managers to work for our clients. To Kerrie, no candidate is ever just a number and to me, Kerrie is an essential part of my team. Thank you, Kerrie, we never underestimate how important you are in our team – can someone please try and find us 10 more Kerries?
We are delighted to announce that we have promoted two of our consultants to Recruitment Manager positions today, in recognition of their hard work and dedication and in line with our ongoing plans for growth and development of both the business and our people. Find Nicole on LinkedIn Nicole Hodgson - M&E South East Having joined us in 2017, Nicole has quickly become an integral part of our business and proven to have the leadership skills necessary to lead our recruitment team in Wickford. Owner and Chairman Simon Cowdrey said "With our recent restructures, it quickly became apparent to us that Nicole has the ability and skills to take the lead in our M&E trades office for London and the South East. Even though Nicole only joined us last year, her integration with the rest of our business and the commitment she has shown in the best interests of the Company meant this was an obvious choice for us." Find Mike on LinkedIn - Mike Elliott - M&E Midlands Joining as a Consultant, Mike Elliott has been with 1st Step now for two and a half years. After a career in the Army, Mike quickly became an ambassador for the ethos and values of 1st Step and has now been promoted to be the Recruitment Manager for our team based in Newark. Commenting on Mike's promotion, Managing Director Matthew Jones said "Mike has unofficially taken some of the roles of leading the team and supporting the division well over the past 18 months, and his commitment to customer service levels to candidates and clients alike along with a keen eye for detail meant it was the right choice for him and us to promote him to Recruitment Manager", adding "when assessing how best to continue the excellent work our Newark team do it was clear to us that Mike should be allowed to continue and develop his role more formally. We are really pleased that he is taking this opportunity to develop himself and the office".
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
We have so many vacancies on our books at the moment, that is easier to tell you what we are not recruiting for; we don't need astronauts right now. Our teams are working the phones so hard that they make a Comic Relief night telephone operator look like they are on a go-slow! We have vacancies for temporary and permanent placements at a whole range of clients, and we are looking for candidates in every field, be it trades and labour or Project Managers, and everything in between. So what are you waiting for? Visit https://www.1ststepsolutions.co.uk/contact-us/head-office and find the office nearest to you, and give them a call! Your next move and career step is only a call away.
The Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre - Stanford Hall Estate While each Recruiter will have his/her opinion on projects, clients and candidates, what we all have in common is that common goal of providing an excellent service to all. Some, like myself, started a career in recruitment for job satisfaction and knowing you have aided people seeking employment to the clients who rely on our services daily. Having served in the military for over 14 years, I initial joined 1st Step Solutions due to their impending contract to supply a large M&E contractor on a new state of the art Rehabilitation centre for the Military’s injured and wounded soldiers with a national capacity. This project is something I really wanted to be part of and watch the project develop from a piece of land to a brand-new purpose build facility that some of my old colleagues and friends will be using. From early 2016 1st Step Solutions had tendered the supply of tradesman to SES (Engineering Services). Having successful been chosen, I would assume the role as the onsite Recruitment consultant. This would involve visiting the site at least once per week, which would increase during busier periods, walking around site visiting the supervisors and candidates weekly, liaising with the senior project team to ensure we could be more pro-active and understanding their labour plan early on. This also included dealing with any issues that may arise from both the supervisors or the candidates throughout the entire project, managing absences, holidays, occupational health assessments and completion of the timesheets each week. The initial order of a 2 CPCS Slingers quickly turned in to 2 Electricians, 2 Electrical Improvers followed by another order just before the Christmas break. Returning to the site in January, another large order was placed which our team had successfully sourced and supplied another batch of high-quality tradesman in a timely manner. Due to the project being of such magnitude with at peak over 800 tradesmen on site, certain areas of the project were not ready for the M&E installation. This resulted in the labour fluctuating which needed to be managed from the outset. Having supplied and managed the labour requirement since 2016, we have a built up a great rapport and relationship with both SES (engineering services) its supervisors and staff and all the candidates we have supplied. Watching this project from a grassland to a huge building site to now walking around site seeing the little things like door name tags, the walls all painted and rooms fully complete ready for the patients to move in including that brand-new smell, really brings home the work that all the tradesman have done. Some of this work is amazing like the brickwork, M&E Installation (that’s visible), painters, groundworks, windows and doors and behind the scenes that most will never know to exist are the designers and architects, all supporting staff that managed the designs, site associated paperwork, administration roles that are key to help move the project forward etc have all been instrumental in the whole DNRC project. This project will be a lasting legacy in the area of Loughborough and I’m very proud to play our part in it, however small it may seem. Being a recruiter has it’s up’s and downs and being the ‘middleman’ we can receive the pressure from both angles, however that said, this project has really made me and my team fully understand that we are not just supplying an electrician, a slinger, a labourer, a supervisor or a plumber, we are supplying candidates that will and do make a difference not just to the client but to the end user and in this case, our injured troops. Although this project has been officially handed over in July 2018 to the Prime Minister in the presence of His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge, the facility will not fully open until later this year with the first patients looking to move in circa early October 2018. I will be looking forward to seeing this project fully open and take the opportunity to visit some friends. Don’t take my word for it, take a look for yourself and see the incredible work to date and to find out more information visit the DNRC Website https://www.thednrc.org.uk/
This week we were delighted to be asked to attend an event in aid of "Haven House" which is a charity set up to look after terminally ill children. Our Operations Director, Andy Brooks was in attendance at the event, held at the Seve Ballesteros designed course, the Shire. Andy said "We were invited along to attend the event, organised by our client MJL, and we were only too pleased to be there" adding "whilst my golfing wasn't up to much, and I won't comment on others, the event was a huge success and our client should be applauded for organising such a fantastic day and, moreover, raising the best part of £30k towards the Charity". "Supporting both charities and our clients is an important and imperative part of what we do at 1st Step, so getting the chance to do so alongside our clients and fellow supply-chain members is great" said Andy.
Sun Protection As the summer approaches and most of us look forward to warmer and sunnier days, it is important to remember to take precautions with regards to sun exposure. Overexposure to the sun is dangerous and can cause issues such as sunburn, skin cancer and heat stress. People working outside, such as those in the Construction Industry, face an even higher risk as they are more exposed to the damaging ultraviolet (UV) in sunlight than people working inside. The effects of UV on the skin can include sunburn, blistering, ageing of the skin, and in the long run, it can lead to skin cancer. Around 125,000 people per year are admitted to hospital with skin cancer each year, making it one of the most common forms of cancer with approximately 2,300 people dying from the disease. There are steps that you can take, in order to reduce the risks of sun exposure, which include: Realising that a tan is not healthy, but evidence that the skin has already been damaged Keep your top on! Wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt made from a close-woven fabric that stops the UV rays getting through to your skin is an effective defence ALWAYS use a suitably high level of sun cream – a minimum of sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher; don’t forget the backs of your hands, your ears and your neck ALWAYS wear your safety helmet (hard hat) on site; not only does it protect you from falling objects and bumps, but it is an effective form of SPF Check your skin for unusual spots or moles that change size, shape or colour or that start bleeding: seek urgent medical advice if you find anything that worries you Take your breaks in the shade, and if possible try to work in the shade The HSE published a guide called “Keep your top on” (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg147.pdf) which gives further advice about the risks of working in the sun. Heat Stress The effects of heat stress are often as serious as that of UV exposure but can be harder to spot. In order to protect yourself from the effects of heat stress, it is important to ensure you recognise the symptoms, which can include heat rashes, nausea, fainting, muscle cramp, extreme fatigue and headaches. A heat stroke is most severe, and if not treated urgently, can be fatal. To stay safe, follow these easy steps: Stay hydrated – this is the best way to avoid heat stress. Drink 1-2 litres of water a day, and up to 1 litre per hour on very hot days with lots of physical activity Drink before, during (where possible) and after work Drink water, diluted squash or diluted fruit juice Eat cold foods such as salads and fruit to keep the body temperature down and as an added source of water Don’t leave food in the sun – it attracts bugs more quickly in the heat and can cause food poisoning. For more information visit the HSE website (http://www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/heatstress/)
We are delighted to announce that our rail team have once again achieved a full five stars in our annual RISQS Audit. The team as always have demonstrated a very professional and methodical approach towards compliance in this sector and when processes and procedures are followed as a matter of course throughout the year, with our internal compliance team completing regular checks as standard external audits don't need to be an ordeal. Evidence required to demonstrate our competence in supplying this sector is always readily available and plentiful and the Rail team thoroughly deserve the full five stars awarded to them. On a commercial note, we would urge all our clients who are RISQS accredited to check their audit schedule and RICCL codes prior to their next audit under the new scheme. Whilst our codes were identical to the previous year, the transferral over to RICCL added another day to our audit and nearly doubled the cost, however, the RISQS Customer Service team were very helpful in resolving the discrepancy and intervened to ensure our audit time was reduced accordingly and we weren't charged any more than we would have been under Achilles. A full list of product codes and our most recent audit certificate can be downloaded here. RISQS Certificate of Verification | 3034 Size: 182 KB RISQS Audit Certificate | 3034 Size: 181 KB
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.
Inspiring, Leading and Delivering - Tomorrow's Business Leaders are studying at LSEC's #theplatform and entered the Dragon's Den Through our longstanding partnership with LSEC, and in particular our good friend, Bob Noseda, our team were invited to hold a "Dragon's Den" style event at LSEC's Bexley Campus in Erith on Thursday, 8th March 2018. Students were set the task, in 6 teams of 4, of creating a recruitment business including a logo, company structure and logo to name some tasks, with a three hour deadline before presenting their business to our "Dragons". Representing us were Operations & Compliance Director, Careena Dabbs, Operations Director, Andy Brooks and Employee & Industrial Relations Manager Stuart Wallis, and the task at hand was a difficult one for them, as Careena explained. "All of the students present made such an impressive effort to develop the business plans. There were elements of every presentation and idea that were really well thought out, especially considering how they only had four hours in which to create their concepts!" The Dragons put the students through their paces - the idea being that they needed to experience a real-life situation when presenting a business concept to a group of potential investors, or clients, and the students had good answers too. Andy was given the honour of announcing the winner at the end of the day. He said "it was a really tough decision, with some inspiring ideas that got us thinking too. Eventually we chose a winner called Spotlight Recruitment, because we felt that they had the most complete concept. But it was a close run thing, with any of them capable of winning the competition." Talking about why 1st Step was supporting this initiative, Stuart said "We recognise the importance of businesses getting involved in the education of the next generation of businesses. The students we met today are all from our local area, and the incumbent responsibility on companies such as ours to play an active role in core business skills cannot be underestimated. We are delighted to be working with LSEC, and we look forward to our continuing partnership growing over the coming months and years."
Message from Simon Cowdrey, Chairman: "Tomorrow represents the 2nd anniversary since Max White, my Managing Director and friend passed away. Max and I worked together for nearly 17 years, during that time he was not only pivotal in establishing 1st Step but also instrumental in building the strong foundations to where the business is today. When Max was diagnosed 3 years ago he set-up a charity in aid of Cancer Research called “Live Life to the Max” which the company, staff, clients and his many friends continue to support raising much needed funds. Wherever we live in the world we are all sadly effected by someone we know with this dreadful disease. 1st Step has grown rapidly in the past 2 years and over 50% of our employees have never met Max. However they have all embraced Max’s philosophies and as a company we are united in showing compassion and empathy in support for his charity. Max died one week before his 41st birthday, however his memory still lives on."
The Boys from Bristol have been out today visiting our clients, starting with Interserve's Bristol office. But they were not being salesy! Oh no... Andy Brooks (Operations Director), Ralph Preston (Regional Director) and Matthew Williams (Branch Manager) all visited Interserve - dressed in their big baby nappies - and washed their cars in aid of Cancer Research! watch the video below. If you are in Bristol, and are a client of 1st Step, give the guys a call. For the right donation, you can get your cars cleaned by our cleaning babies! Call 0117 332 6633 now and speak to Andy, Ralph or Matthew.