As RTM’s, Global Sourcing Centre (GSC) continues to grow, we thought now was a great time to delve deeper into why the team was created, what sourcing support the centre offers, and the future vision for the team. We sat down with Director of Special Projects and Founder of the GSC, Deborah Boardman, who has been with the Group for 2 and a half years, spending the last 9 months dedicated to developing the future of the GSC team.
My title is Director of Special Projects and my role is a very interesting one. I think what that has meant over the last few years, has been to work across the business with Digital Gurus and RTM to support and help with anything that needs doing, that isn't the natural part of somebody else's role. My current role today is helping to build a Global Sourcing function.
There is huge demand and large volumes of work that comes from our clients across the board. We wanted to achieve a dedicated function that really addresses the candidate engagement and introductions. The GSC is all about focusing on the candidate and the candidate market, they don't have to necessarily focus on the Hiring Manager experience, that relationship is taken care by the recruiters. The sourcing function is there to really perfect the beginning part of the recruitment process, which is finding the talent in the marketplace, engaging with the candidates, ensuring that the candidates have a positive experience and that we drive healthy, diverse shortlists into our client operations.
It came about because we wanted to have a function that was scalable, flexible and agile. We deal with well-known and large organisations and at any point in time they could have 700 - 800 open positions. However, in the future that might drop to 400 or it might go back up again to 900 depending on the fluctuations within our clients operations, so we wanted a centralised sourcing centre, as a shared service type model that we could scale up and down in parallel with our clients operations.
I think what's been great so far is building the team, the people are phenomenal. We've got some really confident young recruitment professionals who care every inch as much as I do about the candidate journey. I've been impressed greatly with their desire to do things slightly differently, and their focus on ensuring candidates have a great experience as part of an inclusive process.
I had a good conversation with one particular individual who was passionate about supporting people who might have a disability through the recruitment process, where historically people might not have explored this from their perspective. There’s another individual in the team who is super keen to get started with some charity work and is full of ideas. The people in the team are so inspiring and make my job extremely rewarding.
Growth! I think the GSC is definitely going to be one of the biggest areas of growth within the overall business. We're going to be expanding our team and we plan to support other areas of the business - so our growth is going to be considerable.
I have been very fortunate to hire a group of people who come from really varied backgrounds. I think building the team with a variety of different experiences creates a great culture, because everyone's got something different to bring to the table.
The skills that the team have are also important. Tech for example is a tough gig at the moment and if we look at some of the skill sets that you must have, you have to understand Python and Scala and all of these languages (that I personally don't understand), but outside of those defined areas, I don’t mind whether you come from a finance background or healthcare or whether you’ve recruited HR professionals.
If you understand people, which is pivotal to everything, and if you understand people's drivers, motivations and where they want to go, the rest of it can be taught.
I think what underpins everything for me is to remember the candidates are human beings. There are usually 3 major changes in a person's life that they can go through, they can move house, they can start a family, and they can move jobs and careers. We are responsible in lots of ways for the experience that person has and it's not an easy thing to do, to decide to leave an organisation to move to a new one, there's always a level of risk, there's always a level of uncertainty and we need to remember that these people are not commodities.
A positive candidate experience is paramount. It can take a long time to fill in an application form for a job these days (I did one once and I thought this is ridiculous, it's taken over 2 hours of my time) so a pet hate of mine is submitting and not hearing anything back. It’s not just about communication it's about how we treat people applying for roles from the start - right the way through to when they land in their new organisations and start their job.
They must be people-people! You get people who love data, I love data actually, but you get people who love sitting with Excel spreadsheets, analysing what the data is telling them and could quite happily not speak to another human all day. They can't be like that unfortunately.
Whilst I do want them to be analytical and to be thinking about insights into the talent market and insights into who's doing what in the employment market, they must be people-people, because they must care about candidate experience.
Hold onto your seat! Because it's a whole industry within a sector. I started my first recruitment job in 1997, I've seen the industry change in the sector hugely and I've always been passionate about it as a profession.
I've often use this mantra: if you want legal advice, you go and speak to a lawyer. So if you want to change your career or if you're a client that has roles to fill, then you go to a recruiter.
It’s an exciting and rewarding industry to work in.
The GSC is on an exciting journey of growth. We want to hear from you if you have a background in recruitment/sourcing and you’re a people-person who cares about the candidate experience. Contact Deborah Boardman to join us and grow your personal career.