On Friday last week, I had the privilege and pleasure to be invited to the annual Vision meeting for GCS Recruitment. This is their year end meeting which announces the year’s achievements and celebrates the staff for all of their efforts. I was there as Ross’ guest. Ross has been connected to GCS for over 15 years and originally worked for GCS as one of their recruiters. He is now a freelance business consultant and is involved in their recruitment training programme. I hear him grill the staff on a regular basis over the phone and he really puts them through their paces.
Ross was there to film the event with me as his glamorous (hmmm!) assistant! When we arrived at the Milton Hill House Hotel in Abingdon, Oxford I was struck by the stunning location. The reception was beautiful as was the rest of the venue. We met with some of the senior staff including two of the directors, Chris Bartlett and David Bloxham in order to run through the day’s agenda. They made me feel very comfortable to be there and a part of the team – the sign of things to come for the rest of the day.
As staff started to arrive, a carvery and buffet lunch was served in the restaurant. I opted for the slow roast pork with crackling and some vegetables to accompany it, as did Ross. Once lunch was complete, Ross and I filmed the presentation for the final years quarter which was led by newly appointed Director, Chris Devonshire. The staff who had met and exceeded their targets were rewarded generously. Vouchers, bottles of champagne, a trip to New York, lunches at some of the Country’s top restaurants, lunches at some of the World’s best restaurants and a trip to Oktoberfest in Germany were among many of the benefits that were presented to the hard-working teams from Reading, London and Dublin.
Once this was complete, there was time for a quick comfort break before we moved into the meeting room and the full presentation for the year end from Chris Bartlett and David Bloxham. Again, putting our filming into action, Ross and I were unintrusive at the back of the room as the two Directors delivered a motivating and engaging speech, followed by a video package put together by Ross and Daniel Evans, the GCS Marketing Manager,of the years accolades and events – including what looked like an amazing fancy dress Christmas party.
With the speeches and business completed, it was time for some team building events with prizes on offer for the best of the best. This consisted of laser clay shooting, crossbows, guns and archery. Ross and I were there to film again. Stupidly, I decided to walk along the path behind the crossbows – and narrowly avoided being shot in the head!! Doh!
Once the team events were over, everyone had two hours to themselves before the evening’s black tie party commenced. There was a drinks reception at 7pm, followed by a three-course meal, entertainment, more awards and, finally, a disco. I wore my MAD awards dress (which seems to be a bit famous now!) and Ross wore a black tuxedo with a lovely black and silver tie.
Something that struck me what how passionate everyone was. Chris and David really do care about their staff and reward the workers to the highest standard that they can. They give back what the staff put in. I loved the motivation, the passion, the care that everyone had for each other. They celebrated each and everyone’s achievements by cheering, shouting, clapping and table-banging for anyone who was rewarded.
When Grace watched the video package that Daniel and Ross put together she said ‘Wow. I would like to work for them one day’. It is easy to see why this company has a list of accolades longer than my arm! They include:
- 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain (2013)
Named in the London Stock Exchange Group’s celebration of some of the fastest-growing and most dynamic SMEs in the UK
- Sunday Times International Track 200 (2013)
134th in a list of the fastest growing international businesses, based on compound annual growth rate
- Recruiter Hot 100 (2013)
50th in the Recruiter Magazine’s list of 100 fastest growing recruitment businesses
- Recruitment International Top 250 (2013)
145th in listing, based on turnover, of the UK’s most successful recruitment businesses
- Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work For (2010 – 2013)
Featured in the Sunday Times Top 100 for 4 consecutive years
- Best Companies’ 3 Star Status (2010 – 2013)
Accredited by Best Companies as “Outstanding” for 4 consecutive years
- Sunday Times – Innovation in Engagement Practice (2013)
Recognised at the Sunday Times Best Samll Companies to Work For Awards for our innovation in engagement practice
Chris Bartlett was named Director of the Year (London & South East) and Highly Commended in the Director for Social Responsibility category at the national IoD Awards 2012 and, this year, David Bloxham has been named a finalist at the IoD Awards.
The whole company made me feel welcome. It was a pleasure and a privilege being able to celebrate their successes and, if I had my time over again, it would certainly be a place I would want to work.
I did not receive any compensation whatsoever for writing this post, I just wanted to share my experience with my readers.