Nev Wilshire: The secret to building a happy workplace

Nev Wilshire
By Nev Wilshire

23 September 2015

Star of BBC TV show The Call Centre, Nev Wilshire, shares his recruitment secrets and tips to build a happier workplace, ahead of his appearance at The New ICAS Conference.

"The most common question I am asked at industry events is how a medium-sized call centre in Swansea found itself one of the Sunday Times Top Five places to work in the UK, not just once, but for two years running? 

In truth there are a lot of factors that go into creating a happy place to work: communication; training; reward; retention and management style all play a part, alongside, of course, a pinch of luck. 

But if I had to highlight one part of the process it would be recruitment – that happy knack of finding people who don't just fit into your culture but help to develop it.

Surround yourself with good people

"Surround yourself with good people and the rest is easy" is a mantra I 'borrowed' from the late English football legend Brian Clough. 

It encapsulates nicely the importance I place on finding the right recruits for my business. 

Despite being a salesman who runs a sales business I don't look for ready-made sales professionals, that's where training comes in. 

My focus is on finding people who have the drive, confidence, enthusiasm and a nice smile, because as we all know, happy people sell! 

Get involved in the recruitment process

My approach has always been to value mindset and attitude as much as skill and experience.

I advise any head of an organisation to get involved in the recruitment process. 

Much to the 'delight' of my recruitment and HR team, I like to assist by attending our recruitment days, meeting candidates and on occasion interviewing them.  

I walk the candidates around the sales floor, encouraging banter with my staff. It may seem odd but there is no better way of assessing confidence levels and attitude, or as I call it "a glide in their stride". I pride myself on knowing everyone who works for me. 

This starts on interview day and carries on through the sing-along on induction day and my regular walk the floor sessions.

Getting the right candidates to the recruitment day is also important. Many people rely on the job centre or agencies but I tend to draw my candidates from radio campaigns on the morning of the event. 

I firmly believe that this attracts those who have the attitude to get out of bed as well as those who are prepared to change plans. These traits of flexibility and drive are important to me. 

Finally, I should mention 'refer a friend' schemes. I reward existing staff with £50 for every new recruit they refer; this draw candidates similar in attitude to those who work for me, the mirroring effect is what professionals would call it!"

Hear more from Nev Wilshire at The New ICAS Conference

Nev Wilshire will be sharing his secrets to building a motivated and productive workforce at The New ICAS Conference on 27 November 2015 in Glasgow.

Book now


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