Acuity, Axis Group’s front-of-house division, has partnered with Growing Talent, an initiative run by Jane James Consultancy (JJC), focused on furthering social mobility through employment, as part of a programme to offer full-time job opportunities to people struggling to find work.
Acuity is offering regular three-month initiatives, with JJC presenting suitable front-of-house candidates. A ‘speed-dating’ style meeting is then arranged that Acuity uses to create a shortlist, followed by one-to-one meetings with decision makers at the participating Acuity site. The applicant is then mentored throughout the training process and if they successfully complete the programme, the permanent role becomes theirs. The process includes two off-site weeks, where soft skills such as personal finance, fitness, nutrition, art, mental health and wellbeing are addressed.
Chiara Di Renzo, Director of Acuity, says the Growing Talent initiative provides a unique opportunity for job seekers and employers: “It provides a guaranteed, permanent job offer at the end of the process that is based on an assessment of the candidate’s personality and suitability for the role, rather than CV and experience. This with the training process lends itself to both parties feeling confident in the employment offer.”
The first employee to have gone through the process is Ismail Mohammed, who had been working in multiple jobs to make up the hours and wages he needed, but did not feel he had a future in any of these roles. Originally employed in Acuity’s SELECT team providing high-quality holiday and sickness cover to Acuity’s suite of high-profile clients, he now has a permanent role as the Acuity Corporate Receptionist in one of the business’ he provided cover for.
Chiara says Mohammed’s confidence and professionalism impressed her: “Even without specific front-of-house experience, Mohammed had a very well-established understanding of customer service and what a five-star welcome is.”
On Mohammed’s decision to go through the Growing Talent process, he is succinct in his praise for the programme: “It was the best decision I have ever made for my career progression.”
Jane James, Managing Director of JJC, says: “Without insightful employers like Acuity willing to recruit in a different way, the untapped talent in our unemployed communities would remain hidden.”