Amazing Thames Valley Companies: Oxfam International
Yeah yeah yeah, we know - pedants everywhere will be screaming that Oxfam isn’t a company, it’s a charity.
They also might be pointing out that Oxfam is different to Oxfam International - and they’d be right!
But frankly: a) bore off, b) we don’t care, and c) we’d do it again we tell you!
Anyhoo, any organisation that generates over £1billion of revenue each year and employs over 5,000 people in the UK alone gets to do whatever it wants - especially if it’s from God’s county of Oxfordshire.
Formed at 17 Broad Street, Oxford in 1942, Oxfam is a rather generous abbreviation of “Oxford Committee for Famine Relief”. The original committee was a group of concerned, prominent local residents including Henry Gillett, Theodore Milford, Cecil Jackson-Cole, Alan Pim, Gilbert Murray and his wife Mary.
The Committee met in the Old Library of University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford, for the first time in 1942, and its aim was to help starving citizens of occupied Greece in World War II, a famine caused by the Axis occupation of Greece and Allied naval blockades, and to persuade the British government to allow food relief through the blockade.
Oxfam's first paid employee was Joe Mitty, who began working at the Oxfam shop on Broad Street, Oxford on 9 November 1949. Engaged to manage the accounts and distribute donated clothing, he originated the policy of selling anything which people were willing to donate, and developed the shop into a national chain.
By 1960, Oxfam was a major international non-governmental aid organisation. The first overseas committee was founded in Canada in 1963 and in 1995 Oxfam International was formed by the group of similar independent non-governmental organisations.
Today, there are 19 member organisations of the Oxfam International confederation: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, India, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Quebec, South Africa, Spain and the United States.
As well as becoming a world leader in the delivery of emergency relief, Oxfam International implements long-term development programs in vulnerable communities. They also campaign to end unfair trade rules, demand better health and education services for all, and to combat climate change.
So there we have it: good eggs all round. So from everyone here at Selective Recruitment, to all the yolk folk at Oxfam, we salute you!
Amazing Thames Valley Companies: Unipart Group!
As any respectable owner of the 1987 Panini sticker album will know, the best named sponsor of any team was that of our beloved Oxford United - whose palm was crossed with silver by none other than Wang Computers.
As the Robert Maxwell era came to an end, and we waved goodbye to famous players with fantastic perm / mullet hybrids such as Dean Saunders, Ray Houghton, John Aldridge and Mark Wright (see below), so too did we usher in a new era of shirt sponsorship.
And that, dear friends, brings us squarely to an amazing Thames Valley company called Unipart.
Sponsoring the Us from 1991 to 2000, Unipart was originally founded in 1974 as the distributor of service parts for state-owned British Leyland (and later Austin Rover), before a management buyout in 1987 made it one of the UK’s largest privately owned companies - and part employee-owned to boot.
Originally operating two manufacturing sites, from which automotive service parts were distributed via its logistics division, like so many other amazing Thames Valley companies Unipart has not just survived but indeed flourished by innovation, acquisition and joint ventures.
In the 30 years since, Unipart has grown to a turnover of almost £900million by acquiring companies such as National Railway Supplies, Partco, Park Signalling and Key Fasteners. It has also worked closely with a succession of major UK companies such as Honda, Sky, Vodafone, Rolls Royce and Waterstones.
Most recently, in 2018 Unipart Logistics won a five year £730 million contract with the NHS. Each of the Unipart NHS Supply Chain warehouse across the UK now supply different products for the NHS across the country, making it one of the most important contracts Unipart have.
So from everyone here at Selective Recruitment to everyone at Unipart Group: We salute you!
Selective Recruitment Announces Sponsorship of Didcot Town FC Under 10s!
Selective Recruitment is delighted to announce our sponsorship of Didcot Town FC under 10s!
The team is currently in the under 9s age group and played in the Didcot Town Youth Festival of Football on Sunday 9th June 2019.
Playing a year above their age group and no doubt delighted by their team’s new sponsorship, the team got all the way to the final against older opposition!
The match was all square at full time and went to a golden goal, but unfortunately on this occasion it wasn’t meant to be. However, the boys can take great heart that they conceded just two goals in the entire tournament!
Speaking at the Football Festival, Emma Hunt, Managing Director of Selective Recruitment, had this to say:
“I’m so proud that Selective is now partnering with Didcot Town FC. It’s been a great day and this soon-to-be under 10s team were amazing today. They came together, dug in when it got tough, watched out for each other and stuck together - they really are a great example of what a team should be!”
Amazing Thames Valley Companies: Westcoast
When someone says “west coast” to you, what do you think of?
Tim Westwood of course! And things like the Radio 1 Rap Show (is it still going?), West Side New York, East Coast America and all things gangster - like poppin’ caps in erm, certain places, and singing along to Nate Dog and Warren G in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
So what does all this have to do with an amazing Thames Valley company we hear you ask? Absolutely nothing, although their name does sound a bit ghetto superstar!
The irony is that Westcoast could not be a more polar opposite than Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (who is without doubt the best rapper ever - oooh summer-summer-summer-time), being as it is that Westcoast sells “IT products and services, including storage systems, servers and workstations, to other businesses and the education sector.”
Pretty unsexy we agree.
But what is super sexy is that Westcoast Group was founded by Joe Hemani in 1984 in Reading, and has grown by acquisition in the 35 years since to reach an annual turnover of £2.5billion, and is now headquartered in Theale (the place near the M4 where you have to do your DVLA stuff).
So much so that as of 2018 Westcoast is only the biggest bloody company in the Thames Valley!
It now employs more than 1,600 people across a number of locations in the UK, Ireland and Europe and remains privately owned. Its distributor arm, Westcoast Limited, is the UK’s number 1 reseller of IT brands such as HP, Microsoft, Lenovo and Apple to a broad range of resellers, retailers and office product dealers in the UK.
So there you have it. Westcoast Group: hard drives, not drive-bys.
So from everyone here at Selective Recruitment to all the amazing people at Westcoast Group, WE SALUTE YOU!
(And when we say hip you say hop, when we say hip, you say hop, hip, hop, hip, hop...)
Case Study: Travel Comparison Website
Role: Customer Service Advisors (Multiple Languages Required)
Contact: Head of HR
Sector: Travel / Technology
Client: Global leader in online travel comparison
When one the world’s leading travel price comparison websites required urgent recruitment for multiple niche positions, their Head of HR contacted Selective Recruitment to successfully deliver these business-critical roles.
Founded over 20 years ago, our client has been the one of the world's leading global real-time internet travel comparison websites. The award-winning company offers over 4000 routes and works with over 100 firms. Their website is visited by 55 million people per year and receives over 3,000 bookings per day!
With the busy summer holiday period ahead, our client needed multiple customer service advisors to liaise with clients in their native language who were calling the company’s international telephone helpline from their own country - such as French, German, Polish, Spanish and Swedish.
Recruiting multiple English-speaking customer service advisors can be tough at the best of times, but finding several who each spoke different European languages was another level of complexity!
Thankfully, Selective Recruitment love to constantly innovate, so as well as deploying our usual methodology of job board adverts and database searching, we also created a proactive, comprehensive campaign targeting foreign speakers on social media platforms outside of Linkedin.
Not content to rest on our laurels, we also worked closely with one of the world’s biggest job board aggregators to create a bespoke recruitment campaign - using their cross-border international capabilities to ensure that no stone was left unturned in attracting the best candidates.
All of our incredibly time-consuming work paid off, with eight candidates being put forward to interview. We’re delighted to reveal that five made such a good impression that all were hired and are still working at the client, despite only initially being required on a temporary basis!