“We’re a supplier of products....in our case, that product is people.”
Chris Champion talks with Mathew Gibson, Managing Director of Chase Taylor, the specialist recruitment agency for the fenestration industry.
Ed. Firstly, Mat, you’ve been in the recruitment industry since leaving school so, by my reckoning, that’s 24 years of experience. Is that about right?
MG I actually had a short spell in the financial services industry before starting in recruitment but, yes, certainly 20 years in recruitment and 10 of those specialising in fenestration.
Ed. So you’ve seen the good days and the bad days in this industry. Some say that recruitment is a good barometer of the state of the market - so are there good signs of recovery?
MG Quite honestly, companies are always looking for good people and people are looking for positions, but I would definitely say that there is a solid and apparent revival with more companies looking to recruit. Bear in mind, we don’t service the UK alone. There’s Europe and as far away as India. I recently placed a Managing Director for Fenesta Windows, the largest fenestration company in India, manufacturing in excess of 10,000 frames per week. And following the MD, we’ve placed another 5 people in production and administration.
Ed. So an Indian company looks for a UK based recruiter?
MG They did, but because they wanted British personnel. We often forget how our fenestration industry is looked at by others - we are looked on as the leaders in this industry and Fenesta wanted the best.
Ed. But how would Fenesta know about you in the first place?
MG Believe it or not but the answer is social media! Fenesta found Chase Taylor through the professional social media networking site Linked In.
Ed. Just going back for a moment, it must have been difficult for you when our economy went into recession?
MG We suffered as everyone did. We even had a client who pulled a recruitment drive after the interview stage. That makes things very difficult for everyone but, in their case, they were actually right and virtually anticipated the downturn and put a hold on the recruitment. From the candidate side too, people were holding on to their jobs and not wanting to risk a move. In that situation we did as everyone in the industry did - worked harder and more effectively and kept a close eye on costs.
Ed. You have, however, expanded your own staff and invested in a very good website. It seems that the whole essence of Chase Taylor is one of approachability with professionalism. Is that fair?
MG People will always buy from people, and when I set my own company up I wanted it to reflect how I would like to be treated, both as a candidate looking for a job and or as an employer seeking to recruit talent. So friendliness and approachability are important but we are totally professional in everything we do. Our aim is to open up the talent pool and to place talented individuals in the correct niches of the industry. It could be CEOs or MDs or, equally, production, sales or administration staff.
Ed. Does Chase Taylor almost follow through an individual’s career, placing them in positions moré than once?
MG That has happened, certainly. But clients must be able to trust us and that includes not poaching their staff simply to fill another commission. Confidentiality is paramount, both for the employer and the candidate. No one wants a situation where a candidate’s CV is sent to their current employer! We’ve all heard of these things....but not with Chase Taylor.
Ed. I’m particularly interested in the candidate side and your One Page Me concept....
MG We’ve found that many, and particularly senior people who have been in the industry a long time, don’t have an up-to-date CV. The fact that it’s called by a latin name says it all....it’s a bit forbidding, difficult to do, time consuming and so on. On top of that, if a potential employer gets a 4 page CV, our own research says that they are unlikely to read it in depth. They want something that gives them the facts about the candidate’s experience and what makes them tick , and will help them put together a short list for interview. That’s when they’ll get into the minutiae.
Ed. So how does this work? Do I pay for you to put my One Page Me together?
MG No! Absolutely not, the One Page Me service is entirely free to candidates. I said earlier that we’re all about opening up the talent pool. We, effectively, take you through a series of questions which are normally ‘tick box’ answers. Those answers are used to put your own One Page Me together....a document that can quickly be scanned by a potential employer and will tell him whether your talents fit their own criteria for a job.
Ed. So you could condense my 40 years worth of CV into a succinct One Page Me, rather than it rivaling ‘War and Peace’ in size?
MG Yes, that’s the whole point. Our database of candidates is just as important to us as a database of potential companies who want to hire us to recruit for them. We are very experienced in this industry, recruiting for window, door, profile manufacturers, hardware companies and so on. In fact we recruited a whole sales team for UAP and you can read about that process on our website. Chase Taylor is just another part of this industry. We’re a supplier of products....in our case, that product is people.
I think that says it all: “We’re a supplier of products....in our case, that product is people”. Chase Taylor is a recruitment agency that is very much part of the whole fenestration industry. Just looking at their website you can tell that the company knows their business, but also ours, whatever product or service we represent. Mat Gibson and his team provide a totally professional but friendly service and just reading the testimonials from well known names in our industry, backs up everything Mat and I have talked about in this interview.