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...)
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: Grundon Waste Management
Can you guess this culinary conundrum: Marks & Spencer or McDonalds? Wild Bean or Wagyu Beef? Honey Barbecue Wholegrain Snacks or Hamburger?
Yep you’ve guessed it, we are of course talking about the holy trinity of beige foodstuff choices located in Benson’s BP petrol station: where we have not one, not two but three (THREE!) dining options: McDonalds, Marks & Spencers and the Wild Bean Cafe.
But first, the most important thing: Honey Barbecue Wholegrain Snacks (which we could only find on M&S’s Greek website!) which are produced and sold by Marks & Spencers. These babies are literally the best crisps on planet earth - even better than Walkers Sweet Chilli Sensations, Salt & Pepper Kettle Chips and Walkers Sweet Chilli Sunbites (why oh why on God’s green earth are these not available in a large pack - it’s almost worth the trip to Australia just to buy one).
Oh the sweet amber nectar taste of a Marks & Spencers Honey Barbecue Wholegrain Snack as it melts on your tongue.
But anyway, we digress. Slightly.
A close second to our sausage roll / breakfast wrap dilemma at Benson BP Petrol Station is what lurks just past the petroleum - that’s right, it’s the Headquarters of Grundon Waste Management!
As you may know, you can see lots of vintage waste management vehicles in the company's bright blue building, and that’s because these folks have been literally getting their hands dirty processing our residential waste since 1929!
Their unparalleled history of environmental services means they were the first company to bring the front-end loader waste vehicle to the UK in 1979 and they introduced the now-ubiquitous wheelie bin to the UK in 1982.
In 1990 they built the UK’s first clinical waste incinerator and in 2010 they built the £160million Lakeside EfW (Energy from Waste) plant - which is the UK’s largest residual incinerator - creating enough energy to power the c50,000 homes in the Borough of Slough from over 400,000 tonnes of waste per year!
Since 2017 they have built waste management facilities across the Middle East and Africa, to the extent that the company currently employs over 700 staff and turns over almost £75million per year. It’s the UK’s largest family-owned waste management company, treats over 800,000 tonnes of waste each tear and has reduced carbon emissions by 75% since 2000!
So from everyone here at Selective Recruitment to everyone at Grundon Waste Management: WE SALUTE YOU!
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!
Amazing Thames Valley Companies: Sophos Cyber Security!
Hands up who knows the modern Greek for “smart-arse”? Anyone? Hello-ooooo?
Way back when, two budding entrepreneurs whose arms would have been raised aloft were Jan Hruska and Peter Lammer, the two founders of Abingdon-based cyber security firm Sophos.
After meeting in Oxford in the mid-1980s, the two founded a technology company named - you got it - Sophos!
And where were the glamorous offices for this now huge, multinational, FTSE 250, $640million company? Kidlington of course!
After an aborted launch into the hardware market with the never-released AC-86, the pair focused on software - creating encryption software for the disk operating system (DOS).
By the late 1980s, Sophos had carved out a niche as an anti-virus company, growing significantly by protecting people against a growing number of viruses.
Since then, the company has grown internationally by a healthy mix of innovation and acquisition. With offices around the world, over 100 million business users are protected by their products, helping to secure computers in hundreds of countries around the globe.
Co-founders Jan Hruska and Peter Lammer continue to serve on Sophos’s board of directors - although sadly the dodgy glasses and barnets are (almost) gone!
So from everyone here at Selective Recruitment to everyone at Sophos Cyber Security: WE SALUTE YOU!