NOVO UK Becoming an employer of choice Case Study

Company: Novo UK www.novouk.com
Key Industry: Recruitment
Key Sector: Construction

Overview

Located at the Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, Novo UK is a recruitment company on a mission.  Specialising in the construction sector, their ethos revolves around promoting a service first, sales second model and generally changing the perception of recruitment for the better.

Established in 2011, they have grown the business from 3 to 26 and now in their 7th year of trading, Novo continues to cement its place as an employer of choice in the Hertfordshire area.

The Challenge

There are thousands of recruitment companies all over the UK doing the same thing day in day out, working in the same way and using the same methods that have been used for years.  Whilst ‘successful’ in many instances from a commercial, turnover and headcount point of view, Novo believe that recruitment is still lagging way behind most other sectors in terms of customer service, innovation and employee happiness.

In a recent article, Director Gary Melton wrote: “The recruitment industry needs change.  It needs honesty and transparency.  It needs humility and transparency.  It needs humility over vanity.  It needs to recognise the fact that service levels and customer relationships should be the primary barometer of success rather than an afterthought to turnover and business growth”.

Solution

Novo laid the foundations from an early stage, taking inspiration from sectors outside of recruitment to essentially get the basics right from an internal perspective with the theory being that happy employees would lead to happier customers.  High on the agenda was a compelling employee engagement strategy, comprehensive benefits and staff well-being packages, continuous development and progression and tangible rewards – financial or otherwise – for exceptional performance.

When Novo work with a customer – be it a candidate or client- they invest in that person / company completely.  From a candidate perspective they carefully consider the candidate’s personal ambitions, location, family commitments, financial situation and anything else of importance when making the difficult decision to look at new career opportunities.

Likewise, when engaging with clients Novo strive to partner with and understand businesses from top to bottom in order to forge long lasting and valued working relationships whilst sourcing the most appropriate people to join their companies.

In order to do this they rely heavily on the quality of their people.  Novo ensure their staff are well looked after – professionally, financially and personally.  They are strong advocates of work/life balance (their first action in the New Year was to reduce everybody’s hours, increase everybody’s holidays and introduce a benefits scheme to rival any large organisation) and offer genuine opportunity to dedicated individuals who are committed to working hard, developing their skills and progressing their careers.

Results

The Novo team works extremely hard, but has lots of fun doing it!  Their fresh approach to recruitment and determination to change the perception of an often criticised industry is what sets them apart from their competitors.

In 2015 Novo was shortlisted for and won the category of ‘Employer of the Year’ at the Hertfordshire Business Awards, following four years of steady growth from their inception in 2011.

“This organisation has broken the mould in their recruitment strategy giving a diverse group the opportunity to work.  Their induction and ongoing training is bespoke to each individual and reward and recognition is tailored to each person, from sofas to watches.  This is a very inclusive forward thinking organisation.”  Hertfordshire Business Awards 2015 – Judges Comments

This award acknowledged the efforts they had taken to ensure their staff were well looked after and the recognition Novo employees received for helping the business achieve its objectives.

Two years later and Novo were shortlisted once again at the Hertfordshire Business Awards – this time in the category of Medium Business of the Year (turnover from £2m-£15m) which focuses around the growth, ambition and quality of management that has helped to deliver on their business strategy.

Sadly, Novo were just pipped to the post but their future plans are by no means diminished.  2018 has already seen Novo rebrand and relaunch a new website in line with their core business message and their constant endeavours to change the perception of how recruitment is conducted and perceived.

Novo’s workforce now sits at 26, in a beautiful custom-built office space and many of those initial foundations have been built upon and continue to evolve to create a unique and first class working environment in the centre of Hemel Hempstead.

Business growth is on the agenda and once again they will be looking to hire a combination of experienced and inexperienced individuals in to the business from the local areas.

Director, Darren Heneghan, said: “We have carefully built the foundations of Novo over the last few years and we are now perfectly positioned to continue that growth and continue to deliver a superior service to the construction sector whilst remaining true to our beliefs and ensuring we always prioritise service over sales.  We are always looking for exceptional people in the area who want to be part of something truly unique”

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