Arriving at Cambridge Consultants your attention is instantly drawn to giant banners hanging on the façade of the glass atrium, telling all who enter that this is an exceptional place to work. Employees are put at the heart of the company, and even feature on the banners, making the title of Employer of the Year 2013 a deserved triumph.
Sponsored by Cambridge-based recruitment consultancy firm, Pure Resourcing Solutions (Pure), the award looks for a locally based organisation that successfully inspires, motivates, develops and rewards its staff.
Securing the accolade at Cambridge Evening News Business Excellence Awards last year gave Cambridge Consultants’ reputation as a firm that takes care of its workforce an extra boost. One year on and the product design and development firm reports significant business benefits - especially in recruitment. In fact, the award’s timing coincided perfectly with plans to double the global workforce by 2016.
“Since winning we have employed around 75 new people,” explained Alison Hughes, HR director. “Many applicants mention the award during the recruitment process and although we cannot measure whether the award was responsible for attracting a different kind of candidate, it has certainly helped attract the right ones.”
In its typically proactive manner Cambridge Consultants used the opportunity to springboard into new territory to recruit for the Wireless Division. Not stopping at huge banners, the firm also promoted themselves as ‘Employer of the Year’ as part of their recruitment strategy with posters on London trains, at Tesco Milton, and with an ad bike which travelled around the city.
CEO, Alan Richardson, said: “In the second half of 2013 we tripled our intake into wireless – a competitive area that is difficult to recruit in. We went from five new wireless recruits in first half of year, to 15.”
Also recognising that the Employer of the Year award could support employee engagement, the technology cluster founder also promoted the success internally.
Richardson added: “Winning awards like this can help staff feel even more positive about their workplace. For example, when employees are interviewing potential new recruits the feeling of pride comes through and helps give candidates a positive experience.”
The results are not bad at all considering that Cambridge Consultants originally entered Employer of the Year to simply gauge its standing as a good employer. In fact its reputation in this area has been recently galvanized with a place on the prestigious annual The Sunday Times 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work For list, with its ‘outstanding’ workplace engagement receiving a 2-star accreditation.
Alongside benefits such as free lunches, a comprehensive healthcare package and a performance-related bonus scheme, the firm gives its 410 employees around the world opportunities to develop their careers. Not only is half a million invested in training each year, but employees are also able to move between departments when opportunities arise, which gives them new skills and variety.
Richardson said: “Where possible we are flexible in enabling employees to work in different areas. For example, following a major role on a project, one of our senior technologists went on to lead a highly successful sales campaign.”
“We’ve always been a very progressive and forward-thinking company,” added Hughes. “If you engage staff, help them develop and treat them well, you get loyalty in return.”
The firm’s much commended approach continues to keep staff on board; staff turnover is now down to just 6 per cent. Not content with growth to date, it plans to keep up with its strong levels of recruitment and is looking to attract another 70 engineers to its UK facilities in 2014.
This year’s Employer of the Year entrants can be sure that judging remains in the hands of experts including Director of Pure, Lynn Walters. An enthusiastic supporter of employee engagement, Walters, along with her co-directors, often implements her own strategies at Pure and with eras ltd (a provider of psychometric and talent solutions) heads up the Best Employer, Eastern Region (BEER) initiative, which promotes the East of England’s best employers. Walters judged the Employer of the Year in 2013 and sits on other award panels across the region.
To find out more about Cambridge Consultants and current job opportunities visit www.CambridgeConsultants.com. For further details about ‘BEER’, contact Lynn Walters on: 01223 209888 or Lynn.firstname.lastname@example.org.