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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!”


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Key Details

Role: Customer Service Advisors (Multiple Languages Required)

Location: Oxfordshire

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!



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!



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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!



As you may know, May 2019 saw Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year is Body Image, and how the way we view our bodies impacts our mental health.


At Selective Recruitment, we care passionately about mental health. We all spend most of our waking week at work, so our job can have a huge influence on our happiness. It’s the reason why we don’t make a placement for the sake of it, or try to fit a square peg in a round hole.


Instead, one of the many reasons we’ve been a successful Oxfordshire recruitment business since 1992 is that we’ve always taken the long term view. This means we try our absolute best to introduce great candidates to great clients - which creates literally happy customers!


With this in mind, we wanted to share with you the thoughts of Mental Health Foundation CEO Mark Rowland, who discusses the subject far more eloquently than we can. In this excerpt Mark discusses how we live with our bodies as they evolve and change - and all of us have a role in shaping an inclusive culture where we help others feel comfortable in their own skin.



Why does body image matter?

We are all intimately aware of the particular idiosyncrasies of our own body; its strengths and wonders and its limitations. No piece of technology that you will ever buy will match the complexity, sophistication and regenerative powers of your body.


And yet… For too many of us, our bodies are sources of shame and distress.  From an early age, we are bombarded with images that define what an ‘ideal body’ looks like.  Sometimes we have faced stigma or cruelty as friends and family have used how we look as a way to put us down for a cheap laugh.  I know I have been guilty of that within my own family.


In therapeutic terms, we have internalised a sense of SHOULD when it comes to our bodies.  It is as if we each have our own internal GIF on a loop reinforcing what the ideal looks like. My GIF repeats Daniel Craig strutting toned and chiselled from the sea.  It’s no wonder that when I catch a glimpse of my actual reflection, I sigh with a sense of disappointment.


And although we know girls and young women are particularly vulnerable to poor body image, this year we will explore body image as an issue that cuts across gender, age, sexuality and ethnicity. Bodyguard star Richard Madden is among the surprising voices to have spoken out recently against the demands they face to look a certain way.



Body image is closely linked with mental health

All this might not be so serious if it didn’t have profound implications for our mental and physical health. The opposite also seems true: the more comfortable you are with your body, the greater your overall wellbeing, and the less likely you are to engage in destructive behaviours.  


During Mental Health Awareness Week, we will release findings that will bring together the latest research on body image with one of the largest surveys ever completed to give a picture of how people of all ages and across the UK feel about their bodies. It will also set out the increased risk of mental health problems that accompany poor body image.   


We want to ignite a national conversation about how we can be kinder to our bodies as a guard against the individual, family and cultural influences that can lead to a gnawing and sometimes debilitating sense of dissatisfaction with our bodies.  


Since ancient times, there have been a long line of Western philosophers who influenced how we think about the separation of the body and mind. But the evidence definitively shows that this sort of dualism is not a helpful construct and that a holistic view about the inter-relatedness of our bodies and minds is vital to achieve a healthier population.  It is perhaps why it still surprises us that cultures that are focused on materialism, consumption and celebrity fare worse in terms of people’s body image and mental health.


So, during Mental Health Awareness Week, we will make the case that the distress related to poor body image and the related mental health problems can be prevented. We will explore the changes needed in our cultural values, parenting styles, schooling approaches, use of technology, advertising standards and reducing discrimination that will make a real difference.  


We know we can make a difference because with your help, we already have.  Last year, it was a concern over body image that led us to seek a ban on a series of cosmetic surgery ads shown around the TV show Love Island. We warned the Advertising Standards Authority that the ads ‘painted a false picture of perfection’ and ‘exacerbated young people’s insecurities’ – and I’m glad to say the ASA seemed to agree and ruled it should be banned.


Evidence into action

So, we don’t simply want to publish a report. We’ve already offered some ideas about how people can help protect themselves against harm from social media. During Mental Health Awareness Week, we’ll publish further suggestions about body image in particular, and how we can look after ourselves and each other. We will also make recommendations to policymakers, about the changes they can make towards better mental health.


But we are nowhere near having all the answers. We would love to hear about your experiences and opinions around body image, and what you believe should change to help us to be kinder to our bodies and healthier in our minds.  


- Mark Rowlands, CEO, Mental Health Foundation



Contact Us

01235 462 900 - Abingdon - Head Office
01865 595 560 - Oxford
0207 186 0271 - London