An inspired gathering

Just Recruitment has teamed up with local schools to help with their careers programmes. Here’s what happened when two of its staff led a recent assembly at St Alban’s Catholic High School

By Tim Gibson

Peter Foy and Nicole Hogger are nervous. The Just Recruitment director and his marketing assistant are at St Alban’s Catholic High School in Ipswich to deliver a careers assembly. And while they’re both accomplished public speakers, they’ve never faced an audience made up solely of teenagers before.

“It’s important to us that we get this right,” says Peter. “We’re here to raise ambition among the pupils, giving them a sense that anything is possible in their career, so long as they’re prepared to work hard. We need to find a way of engaging them, grabbing their attention, and inspiring them.”

Nicole Hogger agrees. She graduated with a business degree from King’s College, London, a few years ago and has since enjoyed a successful career in marketing with Just Recruitment Group. Now, she wants to draw on her experience to show late-teens what they can achieve if they put their minds to it.

“It helps that I’m close enough in age to them to feel almost like a peer,” Nicole reflects. “I hope they’ll look at someone like me, a local girl who’s enjoyed some great work opportunities with a leading East Anglian company, and believe they can do something similar.”

“When you have companies like ours, and some of our clients, right on the doorstep, it shows what a wealth of opportunity is available to young people in this area,” adds Peter. “Whether they choose to go to university, locally or elsewhere in the country,  or get stuck straight in with a job, the teens we’re addressing should realise that they can pursue a stimulating career, and earn good money, right on their home turf.”

As you’ll discern, this is something about which Peter and Nicole feel passionate. Peter returned to East Anglia to work at Just Recruitment after a career that encompassed some of the world’s most high-profile consulting businesses. Now he’s drawing on his experience to grow the UK’s only employee-owned recruitment business, and is already well-known locally thanks to his role as chaplain to the business community in Ipswich.

Peter’s varied career provides a useful hook for the talk. “Over the years, I’ve held a number of roles in a wide range of companies and organisations,” he reports. “By showing how you develop your skills throughout your career, we’re helping these young people feel excited about the future.”

That just about sums up Peter’s and Nicole’s approach: “Put your mind to it and you can achieve anything,” says Nicole. “We want local people to realise their potential, then unleash it on the world.”

With such a positive message, it’s no surprise that the duo go down a storm with their teenage audience. Thanks to a stunning multi-media presentation spear-headed by Nicole and their warm and engaging speaking style, they make a real impact on the school’s pupils. Even better, because they have their finger on the pulse of the local recruitment market, they can answer with authenticity when quizzed about the opportunities available in and around the region.

“Of course, Just Recruitment is a business, so we make our money out of finding people employment,” says Peter. “But our consultants aren’t just motivated by profit. We all find it profoundly fulfilling to help someone secure a job that is a perfect fit for their skills and talents. Leading these assemblies is an extension of that – we’re helping foster ambition, and showing how it can be fulfilled.”

So Just Recruitment is a natural partner for local schools looking to inspire their pupils about the world of work. Thanks to a developing partnership with the University of Suffolk, it’s also enhancing employability among the region’s graduates.  And it’s all part of the company’s commitment to putting people at the heart of everything.

“We have a pioneering ownership structure and a highly distinctive corporate ethos that is all about doing the right thing,” says Nicole. “Outreach programmes such as our work with local schools are just one aspect of that. And although standing up in front of a group of teenagers might make Peter and me feel a bit nervous, that’s a small price to pay for the satisfaction of reaching all these young people, and inspiring them for the future.”

© 2018 Just Recruitment Group Ltd.

Posted on Tuesday Apr 10