Pets at Home has attributed the impressive turnaround in the efficiency and standard of its temporary warehouse staffing and savings of £70,000 a year in training to national recruitment firm Encore Personnel.
After months of agency issues, Encore was contracted by Pets at Home to help transform the company’s temporary recruitment process at its distribution centre in Stoke-on-Trent and take responsibility for 40 per cent of its warehouse staff.
Recruiting 93 warehouse order pickers and mezzanine hand pickers, Encore went above and beyond, exceeding its ambitious targets for Pets at Homes in just six months, by focusing on hours of work required at both low and high peak periods, instead of the number of agency workers.
This allowed Encore to record a 0% absent record, hit KPIs each month and gain a six to ten per cent improvement on performance, despite the competitive market and the challenges faced from previous recruitment agencies.
Andy Lewis, Operations Director at Encore Personnel, said: “Pets at Home has become more and more reliant on a temporary and flexible workforce to help meet high peaks in sales throughout the year. However, being in a competitive recruitment area with Amazon’s distribution centre just next door and an increasing demand for skilled labour - this was not always easy.
“However, in the six months that Encore has been working with Pets at Home, I am delighted to have seen such an impressive turnaround, including a remarkable £70,000 savings in recruitment training for Pets at Home.
“By changing the recruitment process and ensuring that the right candidates were walking through the door, we ensured that Pets at Home continued to provide a robust service to help meet business demand.”
A considerable part of this success has been accredited to Contract Manager at Encore Personnel, Olivia Lowis who is based on-site at Pets at Homes full-time, while also being on-call 24/7. Pets at Home required representation from an agency on site but no other agency had been able to provide this service full time previously.
At just 22 years’ old and from Biddulph in Staffordshire, University of Sheffield graduate Olivia has been instrumental in ensuring Encore’s recruitment strategy is aligned with Pets at Home’s day to day requirements. Her dedication to the role saw her awarded Encore’s Employee of the Month as well.
She said: “I was employed by Pets at Home’s previous recruitment agency but when that partnership dissolved shortly after I began, Encore provided me with the perfect opportunity to join their Managed Services division, while still being based at Pets at Home full-time.
“I love my job. Working on site allows me to really get in the thick of it and to become fully integrated with the Pets at Home team. To know that I am making a difference to the business is a great feeling and something that I am very much enjoying.”
Supporting Olivia in her role is 26-year-old Account Manager at Encore, Amie Tyler, who works both off and on-site at Pets at Home.
She said: “Working in recruitment can sometimes be a tough environment for many, particularly in Managed Services, and you need to be thick-skinned to succeed. Being integrated in the business allows us to keep it moving forward, while forming excellent relationships with the client.
“I, like Olivia, had no recruitment experience when I first joined Encore but thanks to the training and support offered, we have been able to gain fantastic results for Pets at Homes – something that we are looking forward to continuing in the future.”