Preparing for interviews and researching a company should form part of your job hunt but you should also remember to find out whether or not an employer is the right fit for you.
So what should you look for?
Outsourcing specialists Firstsource Solutions, recently won Employer of Choice and Employee Champion awards. Laura Hourican, VP HR UK of Firstsource says there are three areas to check to ensure your future employer will be a good fit for you.
1. Career Development
A good employer will focus on professional development from the outset. As an employee, this is always an attractive incentive when you can view an organisation’s offerings as a long-term career opportunity, rather than just another ‘job’.
Laura says; “People and growth should be a core element to any business model. Our employees are at the heart of Firstsource, so it’s essential to offer a number of options for staff including opportunities for the long-term unemployed and a university degree.
Michael, a successful recruit through the Ingeus programme which offers opportunities and training to the long- term unemployed.
“To date almost 100 UK employees have enrolled for our degree with Ulster University. The BSc (Hons) in Customer Contact Management is the first of its kind in the world in which a leading Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company has entered into an academic partnership.
“Options such as a degree can improve business performance significantly. My advice is be on the lookout for training opportunities and other partnerships – it’s a great way to move up the career ladder within any company.”
2. Work/Life balance
Job-hunting for that perfect role can involve a process of elimination because work often needs to match your lifestyle. Whether you have family commitments or perhaps are continuing with studies, it’s advisable to find out whether an employer will support and work around these obligations.
Laura says; “Flexible working patterns can provide a number of benefits to both the business and employee. We currently have 179 staff working from home, due to a number of personal factors. Our flexible family time allows parents to take extended leave and students to combine work and studies via the back to school initiative.
“In general, these options allow us to optimize our resourcing capacity, reduce absenteeism and our carbon footprint and see a rise in staff engagement across all sites.
Firstsource also has its own ‘Inspire choir’, open to all employees with over 100 members. This has been a huge success in motivating employees and their wellbeing, reducing stress, increasing productivity, improving communication and boosting staff morale.
Firstsource Inspire choir in full swing at workshops held in their Derry centre.
A happy workplace means a happy workforce – no matter what role you are targeting.
“We have a variety of activities to encourage a more positive and engaging workplace including; massage therapy, health checks, holistic therapy, healthy food, fitness programmes and wellbeing weeks.
“Mental Health is hugely important for us and we recently introduced a new Mental Health toolkit due to 50% of absenteeism being attributed to mental health issues. Managers are trained to recognise the triggers and can now offer a number of support mechanisms for staff who feel affected.
Wellbeing support and advice offered by Firstsource to staff throughout the year
Laura adds; “My last tip is to find an employer that offers much more than a job. Research a company’s website and social media channels to see how they engage with staff. What sort of flexible working patterns do they offer? And most importantly how they develop and support employees?
“Once a company ticks these boxes you’ve found a good fit – commitment to excellence in career development and health/wellbeing benefits everyone.”
Firstsource employ nearly 2,000 people at three sites in Belfast and Derry/ Londonderry and have won two prestigious business awards namely, Employer of Choice (Business In The Community Northern Ireland Awards) and Employee Champion (Aer Lingus Viscount Awards in association with Ulster Business).