Today’s interview is with Keith Lewis, the UK Managing Director of Matchtech, the UK’s number 1 and multi-award winning recruitment agency in Engineering & Technology recruitment, and follows on from my recent interview: Our customer service and success is driven by happy people all striving for the same high standards: Interview with Will Beckett of Hawksmoor
It was when they ranked No. 25 in the Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies to work for in 2012 that I decided I’d like to find out more about what makes them tick and what makes them so successful.
This interview makes up number forty-nine in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things and helping businesses innovate, become more social and deliver better service.
Here’s the highlights from the interview I did with Keith:
- Matchtech is the UK’s number 1 Engineering recruitment agency in Engineering & Technology recruitment.
- They offer their clients specialist recruitment and Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) services.
- The business that Keith runs is a predominantly UK based but their global footprint is growing as they have followed their clients overseas and have established in-country solutions for them.
- They have a very high level of employee engagement and low staff turnover.
- In 2012, Matchtech Group was announced as 25th in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For.
- Entering the competition was a way of benchmarking themselves and gaining recognition for the work that they are doing and the success they are having. It’s also a good way of attracting talent.
- Engagement has been more challenging as they have grown from a single site firm to one that operates from a number of different offices.
- However, to maintain that level of engagement some of the key things that they do to maintain engagement are:
- One, every 3 months, at least, the CEO of the Group, Keith (the UK MD), the Finance Director and members of the Group Board present to all of the staff at all locations about how the business is doing and what the short, medium and long terms plans for the business are.
- Two, the CEO of the Group, Keith (the UK MD) and the Finance Director conduct monthly lunches with the staff where an open invite goes out to all staff. These are conducted as Q&A sessions and staff at any level can come and talk about any issues that are relevant to them.
- Three, cross function and department working groups are set up to promote cross-business working, communication and selling so that they can provide their customers with the sort of holistic service that they need and deserve.
- Four, a great social, sports and volunteering scene exists within the company and, five, there is a continuous and rigorous training programme, linked to qualifications, for all members of staff.
- The result is a great environment, high productivity and a very committed team.
- As recognition of their efforts, in 2012 they were voted in The Most Admired Recruitment Company by their peers at The Recruitment International Awards.
- Keith’s top tips for getting the most out of your teams: 1. Engage with all of your people at all levels of the business; 2. Listen and respond. That doesn’t mean giving everyone everything they want but listening and then responding will go a long way to helping people feel like they are being paid attention to and their opinion matters; 3. Regular communication with the team on where the business is going and what it stands for. Your frontline people represent the business and they drive the business forward; and 4. Finally, succession planning is vital as it means you will be thinking long term and not just short-term.
- When asked what he would like to plug, Keith mention that Matchtech has just launched the Engineering Showcase, a gallery which aims to celebrate celebrate engineering professionals and organisations, and the work they do on a daily basis. The aim is to reinstate some of the lost confidence in the industry, while giving engineers the opportunity to showcase their achievements. You can check out the site here.
About Keith (taken from his Matchtech Group website bio)
Keith is the Managing Director of Matchtech UK and is responsible for all of the UK operations across the Engineering, Science & Medical, Built Environment and IS&T sectors. Keith, a Fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (FIRP), joined Matchtech in 1993 as a Senior Consultant, before progressing to his current position. Keith is also on the Steering Committee for the Engineering & Technical sector at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). He joined the Group Board on 5th Sept 2012.
I must also say a big Thank you to Ric Piper, a friend of mine who sits on the Matchtech Group Board and introduced me to Keith. Thank again, Ric.