Dextra – the local light in the darkness

Keith Brownhill, CEO of the Dextra Group, outlined their efforts to support the NHS and food industries as well as thanking donors, such as Octopus Personnel and Screwfix, who are enabling Dextra to supply free PPE to local NHS, Care & key workers to BBC Radio Somerset this morning.

The UK’s largest privately-owned lighting manufacturer, Dextra Group, lighting manufacturer based in Gillingham, is certainly playing its part in the response to Coronavirus and has been prioritising orders for the NHS, NHS Suppliers and food production industries supplying both standard and bespoke products in as little as 24 hours from point of order.  They have also been producing PPE for local NHS and care workers.

Dextra Transport Lorry next to a sign which reads #NHS Thank you from Dextra - Dextra – local light in the darkness

Although the Group is facing a fraction of their normal turnover, with 60% of staff furloughed, they are prioritising NHS orders and food manufacturers wherever possible.  As an NHS supplier, they outfit anything from a corridor to a whole hospital with lighting, as well as all major supermarkets, and this demand is equally vital during the current situation.  Dextra are currently working hard to supply lighting for the pop-up supermarkets outside the Nightingale hospitals, with very tight deadlines, often a single day, to dovetail with the operational needs of the hospitals.

Row of Dextra Transport Lorries next to a sign which reads #NHS Thank you from Dextra - Dextra – local light in the darkness

Keith explained, “It’s great to be able to be there.  A lot of manufacturers have shut, said they aren’t going to develop the product, but we are developing whatever we can, within a couple of days, to help wherever we can really… If we save one life or one person from getting the virus in the working staff, I think it will be worth it personally.”

PPE for local NHS & Care Staff - Dextra – local light in the darkness

Keith went on to talk about the fantastic work Dextra is doing in producing PPE for local health organisations, with donors like Screwfix and Octopus Personnel supporting their work.   Dextra has also completed and delivered a significant number of visor headsets and converted hard hats for local NHS, Care staff & key workers.  Dextra is making visors which were approved by local GP’s and they are now in use in 7 local GP practices.  The visors are different to the normal NHS specifications, the aim being to produce a protective visor which could be ‘wiped down’ to protect staff.  Dextra still currently have some visors & safety glasses for NHS & care workers, please email kbrownhill@dextragroup.co.uk directly with any PPE enquires.

PPE for local NHS & Care Staff - Dextra – local light in the darkness

Octopus Personnel is incredibly proud to have been able to support Dextra with the donation of hard hats for PPE and we thank all the Dextra workers for their continued efforts to support and protect the NHS.

Listen to the full interview on Breakfast on BBC Radio Somerset from 2:50:55 https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p089k90y

 

Erin Belmont

About the author

I look after the marketing for Octopus – from the job adverts you see to the events we put on throughout the year.

I love being in the middle of the office, soaking up the lively dynamic atmosphere. The team at Octopus really care about our job searchers and clients and do everything they can to understand everyone’s needs and make intelligent and productive job matches. Their drive and fun loving spirit inspire me every day!

 

Ongoing Recruitment Case Study – Dextra

Ongoing Recruitment and local expertise

Octopus Personnel and Dextra have developed a close relationship which enables Octopus Personnel to find the right people for Dextra’s roles at the right time.  Read more about how their relationship provides ongoing recruitment which supports the growth and development of the business.

Dextra Group Plc – The company background

Dextra Group plc, based in Gillingham, Dorset, manufactures commercial lighting. Founded by Rupert Martin, the Group Chairman, in 1978, it has grown to become a highly successful, privately owned business, in several sectors of the industry.

From its inception, service, in its true meaning, has been its mantra and investment in the finest manufacturing equipment and facilities has helped the company to reach and maintain that goal.

Ariel View of Dextra Site - Octopus Personnel Recruitment Case Study

The introduction of LED components was seen as a great opportunity and the resulting investment has placed Dextra Group at the forefront of the UK lighting industry for both standard and special products.

Building a client relationship

15 years ago, Dextra was struggling to recruit to match the demands of the expansion of the business and pace of customer demand.  Although Dextra is a large employer, at it’s heart it is a family run business who seek to be an local, ethical employer, looking after their workforce long term.  These ethics and the benefits of local expertise are what drew Dextra to Octopus Personnel.

Local expertise

Located on the high street, and working with businesses across the South West, we found Octopus had the experience to understand and predict the peaks and troughs of the local employment market to ensure a steady stream of suitably qualified quality candidates could be funnelled to us at Dextra.  The Octopus team worked hard to establish a productive relationship with HR, allowing them to understand the demands of the different roles required, and to appreciate the challenges of the cutting-edge developments of the business.

Specialist Electronics Unit - Octopus Personnel Recruitment Case Study

Growing the team

All candidates coming from Octopus Personnel have been thoroughly checked and vetted, including interviewed face-to-face, before they come to us.  They understand the demands of the roles so they come prepared before the interview stage.  This reduces our administration time, easing the pressure on already busy departments.  Being so close locally, candidates can be briefed and with us for an interview within 30 minutes, and time is money!

Recruitment Routes

The temp to perm route allows us and candidates to try each other out; the candidates gain valuable experience and can absorb everything the company has to offer whilst having the opportunity to demonstrate their work ethic, reliability and ability to turn their hand to different tasks – all the key skills we are looking for.

Dextra Logistics - Octopus Personnel Recruitment Case Study

Tailored approach to Ongoing Recruitment

Octopus Personnel find us the ‘pick of the bunch’ locally, meaning issues around transport or accommodation which we have had with other agency staff don’t arise.  They offer a good, competitive, friendly and personable service for a reasonable price which focuses on delivering what we need, when we need it.  They look after us and we try to do the same.

Moving Forward…

I believe the relationship between Octopus Personnel and Dextra will continue to grow as Octopus Personnel offers all the benefits of owner management, local expertise, ethical candidate care and supportive, responsive client care.  Candidates working at Dextra seem to feel the same and I think that says a lot.

Dextra - Octopus Personnel Recruitment Case Study

Have I convinced you?  What have you got to lose?

At Octopus Personnel, we are experts at presenting our candidates to ensure the employer is able to see all the skills and experience you are bringing to a role.  Years of industry expertise and outstanding relationships with our clients, and grasp of the needs of their business, means we are perfectly positioned within the market to guide you to your new role or to the right employee who will drive your business forward.  You can sign up here and call the office on 01747 825568 to arrange an interview.

 

Sandra Smart

About the author

I believe that recruitment is at the heart of a growing economy and that a different type of recruitment service, with honesty, efficiency and integrity at its heart, can benefit all. Octopus Personnel is the result of hard work, focus and commitment to that vision – to delivering consistently great results for our candidates and clients alike, as well as ensuring the agency is a vibrant, inclusive, inspirational place to work and develop rewarding careers.

Recruitment Open Day Case Study at The Hillbrush Company

A Recruitment Open Day to engage with the Brand

Octopus Personnel and Hillbrush have developed a close relationship which enabled Octopus Personnel to run a successful Recruitment Open Day at the Hillbrush site.  Read more about how the day enabled candidates to engage with the Brand, the opportunities of the site and the roles at the company.

Branded bags with Hillbrush company information in - Octopus Personnel Recruitment Day at Hillbrush

History between Hillbrush and Octopus Personnel

We have worked with The Hillbrush Company for over 12 years.  On our first client visit, we were shown the plans for the new site.  A few years later, they are now situated in a fantastic new site offering staff an amazing work space and facilities.

We started working with the production side of the business, getting to know the team to enable us to make sure we were providing the right people for the business at the time.  As their confidence in our ‘matching skills’ grew, we were asked to recruit for other areas within the business.

As the business has evolved and developed, our relationship has strengthened and deepened.  The profile of the ‘right people’ changed to fit in with the new ethos of the business and, with our experience, we were able to support this change.

What was the rationale behind the Recruitment Drive?

Due to new business gained and their almost exponential growth, Hillbrush required a significant amount of production operatives within a short time frame.  However, they didn’t just want to fill the roles – they needed candidates with the right approach to learn, to gel with the existing teams and to buy into the company culture to succeed and remain with the company.  To attract those high calibre candidates, it was important that candidates have the opportunity to experience the ‘whole package’.  This was the key rationale for the Recruitment Open Day.

Front of Marketing Car 28th November 2019 - Octopus Personnel Recruitment Day at Hillbrush

What was the aim?  How did this align with business aims?

The aim of the day was to deepen the employer brand, showing the benefits to a career with Hillbrush, allowing candidates to imagine themselves growing and becoming part of the Hillbrush family.  Through a series of talks and a tour, candidates could develop their understanding of the challenges of the roles and environment, whilst experiencing the culture and seeing the onsite facilities which support work/life balance – such as the gym and cafeteria.

Octopus Personnel Recruitment Consultants worked with Hillbrush to develop the candidate experience – allowing access to employees who are passionate about their roles and the brand, talks from managers with their vision for developing their departments, the opportunity to experience the working environment, the onsite facilities and an informal Q and A – the right people would see all the benefits to becoming part of the Hillbrush family, investing their skills and time into the company.

What was the Octopus Personnel approach to the Recruitment Open Day?

Having worked with Hillbrush to develop the outline of the day, Octopus needed to find the right people for the experience.  We prepared adverts, in line with the branding guidelines offered by Hillbrush, to offer a snapshot of what the day, and a career with Hillbrush, could offer.  These were printed and offered in the office and the Hillbrush visitor centre.  Adverts were animated for social media, and went out across all our social media channels, with Hillbrush and Hillbrush employees interacting with the posts on key platforms (Facebook and Twitter).

 

Rear of Marketing Car 28th November 2019 - Octopus Personnel Recruitment Day at Hillbrush

Within the office, the consultants targeted key people, both active job seekers who engaged through call, social media and interviews, to passive job seekers who are waiting for that dream role and need to be prompted, all of whom had the skills and experience to benefit from the day.

The adverts were well received and invited response through DM on social media and people calling the office for more information.  Candidates were registered by face to face interview prior to the day to ensure suitability.

On the day

Two consultants from Octopus attended the day, with clear Octopus branding so a familiar face was ready to greet the candidates.

Working with HR, managers and employees from Hillbrush, an informal welcoming atmosphere was created to enable candidates to gain a true insight into the company’s culture.

Octopus Personnel Banner in reception of Hillbrush - Octopus Personnel Recruitment Day at Hillbrush

 

Candidates were welcomed as part of two sessions.  Each session opened with a welcome from one of the Managing Directors – showing the company’s commitment top down to their staff – an insight into each role by the head of departments, a comprehensive tour and then finished with a Q and A session with tea, coffee and cake and the opportunity to speak with and impress the relevant Heads of Department.

A welcome from the Hillbrush Management - Octopus Personnel Recruitment Day at Hillbrush

Teas and Coffees provided - Octopus Personnel Recruitment Day at Hillbrush

A Recruitment Consultant was also available in a separate room to interview any candidates who had not yet made contact with Octopus to ensure all checks had been made.  As we had briefed each candidate thoroughly, they were engaged throughout the day and commented how much they had learnt from the process.

Follow Up – what has been the impact?

Due to the careful selection of attendees by Octopus Personnel, 43% of the candidates who attended were offered a role, all of whom accepted.

It has also deepened the relationship between the HR staff and our Recruitment Consultants, as they worked together so closely, each gaining deeper insight into the processes of the other business, strengthening their understanding of Octopus’s commitment to finding the right people for the right jobs through the transparency of the process.

Moving Forward…

Hillbrush were extremely pleased with the outcome of the day and will forecast this into their future recruitment strategies, allowing for a greater time-frame for preparation in order to target an even wider talent pool.  This case study will enable Octopus Personnel to illustrate the benefits of a clear employer brand to other companies and run similar events for companies undergoing periods of rapid expansion and recruitment.

Have I convinced you?  What have you got to lose?

At Octopus Personnel, we are experts at presenting our candidates to ensure the employer is able to see all the skills and experience you are bringing to a role.  Years of industry expertise and outstanding relationships with our clients, and grasp of the needs of their business, means we are perfectly positioned within the market to guide you to your new role or to the right employee who will drive your business forward.  You can sign up here and call the office on 01747 825568 to arrange an interview.

Erin Belmont

About the author

I look after the marketing for Octopus – from the job adverts you see to the events we put on throughout the year.

I love being in the middle of the office, soaking up the lively dynamic atmosphere. The team at Octopus really care about our job searchers and clients and do everything they can to understand everyone’s needs and make intelligent and productive job matches. Their drive and fun loving spirit inspire me every day!