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Randstad Construction, Property & Engineering, the leading construction recruitment firm, invests in a job swap initiative to demonstrate ongoing commitment to staff development, instill understanding and build relationships in every facet of the company, despite the economic downturn.

The week-long job swap took place in September, with five senior participants taking on a completely foreign role in a completely different part of the company, with a new team.

Commenting on the exercise, Mark Bull, Managing Director, Randstad Construction, Property and Engineering commented:

It is very easy to become blinkered and to be heavily internally focused when you are busy, stepping outside of your own day to day role really does open your eyes to the world outside.

The job swap provided an innovative way of developing strategic thinking across the business. It encouraged us as participants to think beyond our own roles, and recognise how our experience, skills and knowledge could benefit other teams across the organisation and vice versa.

The programme has also helped us to engage with staff at all levels to encourage an open and transparent dialogue across the company.

Nic Yates, Regional Manager for BBT and Gidon OHana, National Key Accounts Manager for BBT both spent the day in the payroll and credit control departments and Nic commented:
The exercise has been incredibly insightful, I learnt about staff payment processes and the systems in place to undertake credit checks on clients. The payroll department pays over 2,000 freelance workers each week, this includes PAYE temps as well as those working as Limited Companies and those through composite companies thats a lot of tax and payroll checking each week! And as for the credit collectors they were friendly, thoroughly professional and enjoyed their job. It was a really positive experience and I can now advise clients about how long certain processes will take and whats involved.

Mark Bull, Managing Director of Hill McGlynn spent the day assisting the marketing and communications team. Mark comments:
I was involved with producing the newly branded corporate literature and revamping the website. The exercise was a real eye opener, making me realise the full extent of attention to detail needed and the enormous capacity for error - potentially costing the company thousands of pounds if something is printed with a mistake or error. I have renewed respect for the marketing team as they continually pull results out of the bag to extremely tight deadlines. It was refreshing and invigorating to submerge myself in a completely different set of tasks and objectives for the day.

Hill McGlynn Events Manager, Nancy Hargreaves, worked in Freelance Recruitment for the day with the Manchester team and adds:
It was great to see the company from a sales perspective as its a completely different environment to the one Im used to in events. The recruitment team works in a really buzzing, excitable environment with lots going on the phone was ringing constantly. Before taking part in the job swap, Id wonder why it took so long for some of the sales team to get back to my enquiries but I now fully understand how busy they are. Its good to know how every aspect of the company works together as a whole and how all of our jobs and ways of working impact on each other.

Associate Director at Hill McGlynn, Simon Girling, worked alongside the Birmingham BBT team for a day and comments:
I sat with the management team and was given a thorough overview of how they operate. It worked particularly well for me as both teams expertise complements the other. Id definitely recommend other companies taking part in similar activities. I came away feeling upbeat and well placed to reassure colleagues that well be working with more great people following the merger.

Commenting on the weeks activities, Mark Bull concluded:
We are confident that our investment in terms of time and resourcing will reap rewards. We would certainly recommend all forward thinking organisations - who are keen to harness the skills and knowledge of its staff - undertake similar activities.


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