150 disabled candidates recruited over five years
"Through Remploy, we have access to a large pool of pre-screened,job-ready candidates."
Helen Buckingham, Branch Manager, Abacus Recruitment
Swansea-based Abacus Recruitment has been an employer partner of Remploy for more than five years during which time the company has given around 150 disabled individuals the opportunity to secure rewarding employment. The ethical recruitment company relies on Remploy’s pre-screening and development services to find talented candidates who are the right fit for the job and also prepare them to give them the best chance of interview success.
“We chose Remploy because they have a very good understanding of our needs and the qualities we are looking for in a candidate,” explains Helen Buckingham, Branch Manager for Abacus Recruitment. “This saves us time as we know we can trust the pre-screening and development Remploy carries out for prospective employees.”
One of Abacus Recruitment’s biggest customers operates a large warehouse and needs a steady supply of conscientious, reliable people to work as stowers, pickers, packers and sorters. When pallets of goods come off a lorry staff sort and code them before they are stored by the stowers. Pickers use handheld devices to find specific items to fulfil an online order and packers then speedily pack single or multiple items ready for despatch. Finally, mail sorters ensure goods are properly sealed and placed on the correct conveyor belt according to the chosen method of delivery.
Commenting on Abacus Recruitment’s decision to actively seek out disabled candidates, Helen Buckingham explains, “If someone is capable of doing the job then we should support them into the role. It doesn’t matter what background they’ve got – if they’re right for the job, they’re right for the job!”
She notes that using Remploy’s services makes sound financial sense. “Through Remploy, we have access to a large pool of pre-screened, job-ready candidates, which saves us the cost of advertising and means they can often provide candidates at short notice when required. As we find Remploy’s people are more committed to the job it also avoids us incurring fines from clients when employees leave before the contracted period.”
The candidates Remploy puts forward have had a variety of disabilities including osteoarthritis, Asperger’s syndrome, acquired brain injury and epilepsy. Others suffer from anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. These conditions can present barriers to work but, in the right role and with support from Remploy, disabled people are able to fulfil their potential and make a valuable contribution in the workplace. They also tend to demonstrate huge commitment to the job (Helen Buckingham cites one individual so keen to work he not only covers up to ten miles a day doing his job as a picker but also walks five miles each way to work and back).
“It is great to work with Remploy as it shows our clients how committed we are to diversity and helps us demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility in action.” Helen Buckingham, Branch Manager, Abacus Recruitment
Helen Buckingham reports that client feedback is overwhelmingly positive. “Our clients are comfortable we would never put anyone forward who was unsuitable for a role. There have been occasions when a candidate has gone in to meet with the health and safety department beforehand to ensure they will be able to fit in. That’s well received by the client as they are aware of the candidate’s disabilities upfront, rather than them coming as a surprise, and can be reassured that they will be capable of doing the job.”
She describes Remploy’s expertise and experience as being “of paramount importance” to Abacus Recruitment, saying, “We nearly always manage to place the candidates Remploy forwards to us and they do fit in well and work hard. One individual who hadn’t worked for some time is incredibly grateful for the opportunity. She’s enjoying it and doing so well that she actually won the Employee of the Month Award!”
Helen Buckingham finds the local Remploy team “supportive and helpful”, even to the extent of providing a room for interviews at the local branch! She comments, “We always find Remploy’s advice and guidance helpful – after all, they’re the disability experts!” As Abacus Recruitment is part of a publicly quoted company – the Cordant Group – she notes, “It is also great for us to be working with Remploy as it shows our clients how committed we are to diversity and helps us demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility in action.”
The partnership between Abacus and Remploy has proved an unqualified success by any measure and Helen Buckingham remarks, “We want this partnership to continue and grow even stronger. If things go to plan this year we will need ever larger numbers of staff so Remploy’s support will be vital.”
Remploy is the UK’s leading provider of specialist employment services to people who experience complex barriers to work