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Putting your people first is the key to attracting and retaining top talent, advises local recruiter.

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Putting your people first is the key to attracting and retaining top talent, advises local recruiter.

 Putting your people first is the key to attracting and retaining top talent, advises local recruiter.


Local recruitment company Carrington West is urging organisations looking to hire new workers to invest in their staff learning and development (L&D) programmes. The company, based in Cosham, recruits engineering, surveying, planning and other technically skilled workers across the UK and is currently looking to hire 20 new recruitment consultants to be based at its prestigious Lakeside North Harbour offices.

The market is very tough for hiring organisations at the moment with record numbers of open vacancies in many business sectors. This creates a situation where there is intense competition for workers. The business impact can be scaring. In the short term, basic business functions are affected, and in the long-term, stagnant headcount can curtail growth.

Carrington West is a Portsmouth based business well known for hiring contract and permanent workers in the UK built environment sectors. Having grown its own headcount from two to 78 in the last ten years, as well as finding thousands of engineers, surveyors and technical professionals work every year, the company certainly understand the market better than most.

Director, Alex Kerr says, “To find and keep staff, employers need to show they put their people first. In this very competitive market, we see companies that don’t invest in L&D struggle to hire. Employees want to know that the time they spend with a company will be fruitful for them. A good L&D programme empowers workers to be in control of their own careers.”

Carrington West is well placed to offer this advice as its own L&D programme has won numerous national awards and contributed towards the company being awarded a Platinum Investing in People (IIP) accreditation, something less than 2% of accredited companies achieve. Alex can boast an impressive 97% retention rate over the past two years in his teams, which he puts down the high levels of engagement with the company’s L&D.

He goes onto say, “We are hiring an additional 20 recruitment consultants this year and have immediate open vacancies for trainees and senior recruiters, so we are experiencing the same competition for talent that many of our clients are. Last year, in the throes of the pandemic and amidst national lockdowns, we decided to do things differently, we made no redundancies and instead opted for ambitious headcount growth. We grew from 55 to 78 people in 2021 and we succeeded only because of people first philosophy. L&D was at the forefront of this, but other “people first” programmes such as wellbeing and recognition played a part. It was unprecedented times, and those companies that looked after their employees have not only had better retention rates, they have also built high achieving teams.”

Alex is no stranger to working in a candidate short market. A highly experienced recruiter, his own career spans two decades, and by his own admission, he has seen it all. “This is not the first time companies have been faced with recruitment challenges and it won’t be the last. All we can do, as recruiters, is lead by example. Recruiters are in demand too, so if we can succeed by putting our people first, I am 100% certain our clients and other hiring organisations can too.”

Alex manages multiple successful teams at Carrington West, recruiting for the buildings, construction, water, environmental, utilities, power and telecoms sectors. All of which are amongst the fastest growing sectors in the UK, worth billions of pounds to the UK economy. However, he is not cavalier about Carrington West’s quest to hire in current market conditions.

“Yes, it is a really exciting time to be involved in recruitment, and it is really very rewarding to see the results a team can achieve when we find the right people for ourselves or for clients and job seekers. But, watching a team grow and develop takes effort, time and resources, which is why committing to L&D yields such a positive outcome. If it was easy, everyone would do it.”



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About Carrington West

Carrington West is an award-winning technical recruitment company providing high-calibre talent in the UK buildings & construction, highways, transport & infrastructure, property, rail, town planning, utilities, telecoms & power, water & environmental sectors. We recruit contract and permanent professionals from entry to board level for private and public sector organisations. Founded in 2011, we have grown quickly due to the passion, integrity and excellence of our people who consistently deliver outstanding levels of service so our clients and candidates can achieve their goals. For regular updates and alerts follow us on LinkedIn. You can visit the website at