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Impact sourcing makes so much sense

Article by Scott Evans, Director of HR - Sigma Connected

For several years, as part of our overall recruitment strategy, Impact Sourcing has been fully embraced by Sigma Connected in the UK and also in South Africa where we have a number of contact centres. It has made an incredibly positive impact and allowed us to recruit a hardworking and dedicated workforce, while directly benefiting hundreds of people who now find themselves with the chance to progress in a career.

Impact Sourcing is, more than anything, a socially responsible way for businesses to recruit new colleagues by providing career development opportunities to the long-term unemployed, those who are struggling to find work due to physical or mental ill health or for people from communities who generally have limited employment prospects.

It is no secret that the UK is currently gripped in a cost-of-living crisis that is seeing thousands of people struggling to heat their homes and feed their families. For many to cope, they are looking at new employment opportunities. We are committed to doing all we can to support people and their communities, especially at this time of economic uncertainty – paying particular focus on specific areas of high unemployment, including rural locations, to ensure career opportunities are available to all.

As a result of the trend for more flexible and remote ways of working, and like many other organisations, we have been able to expand our recruitment drive nationwide, working with employment partners up and down the country to tap into pools of workers we would not have been able to previously.

Many people are intrigued and ask me how Impact Sourcing works in the real world.

To put it briefly, the activity sees us having initial discussions with our partners to outline the job specification, the requirements of each role we have available, and the type of personal attributes we are looking for from the eligible candidates. Then they introduce us to those who most fit this description.

Some of our partners also offer employment readiness training before we meet them, we proactively work with these partners to collaborate on the content of the training to ensure it is bespoke to the work that they will potentially be doing – this helps considerably with the onboarding and training journey, equipping them up front with fundamental skills and knowledge, setting them up for success and removing some nervousness that they may have had embarking on a new career path.

Additional to that process, we also provide ongoing training for our workforce and encourage staff to learn new skills to expand their expertise and enable them to seek promotion within the company when the opportunities arise. This has been so successful that 80% of new team leaders and above roles were filled through internal promotions.

Our ethos is built on giving back as much as possible to our workforce – constantly nurturing, supporting them and developing their skills to succeed, which benefits both the business and the many people whose careers we have supported through Impact Sourcing. We know we are making a huge difference to people’s lives whilst recruiting a well skilled and loyal workforce that can support our continued success.

Using Impact Sourcing to find and recruit jobseekers keen to find a path back into work after a difficult time has allowed us to give a lifeline to so many, helping to restore their pride and purpose. It is an initiative that has been fully embraced by everyone connected to us.

Looking to the future, a big focus for us now is to increase the number of partners we work with across the country so we can recruit even more people through Impact Sourcing. Our target is to recruit 55% of people through Impact Sourcing. It’s a target and an ambition we are firmly focused on.

One thing for sure is that we won’t turn back. We are fully behind the Impact Sourcing model as a socially responsible employer. We see so many benefits and would urge others, especially at this time, to seriously consider what it could do for their organisation, their people and importantly, their communities.

    Scott Evans is Director of HR at business process outsourcing firm Sigma Connected.

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