Nicola Robson, of charity Providence Row, catches up with Dee Weir, RedLaw Marketing Manager, over a brownie (or two!) and chats about their partnership and how support from businesses, just like ours, have have such a positive impact on helping to tackle homelessness.
Interview written by Nicola Robson, Providence Row:
Here at Providence we count ourselves very lucky to have such fantastic company partners who support us not only through donations and fundraising, but also by sharing their expertise. This week we went to visit Dee from RedLaw Recruitment, a Rise Bakery regular customer and partner company, to find out more about why they choose to support Providence Row…
We are an executive legal recruiter based in London working with law firms to assist them in attracting the best talent. We also work with associate lawyers and partners of law firms to help them secure their next move within their professional careers.
I am RedLaw’s marketing manager and look after internal communications, branding, content, web and social media, advertising etc. As we’re a small team I also pick up some other responsibilities such as coordinating our relationships with charities such as Providence Row and Rise Bakery.
Why do you send Rise brownies to your candidates on their first day in their new job?
We have supported Providence Row for several years and when we heard about their Rise Bakery we thought it was the perfect fit for us. It seemed an excellent way to extend our support for the charity.
We pride ourselves on working in collaboration with candidates searching for new roles. And we can work with them for months at a time to find the perfect fit for them and the law firms they work for. We often form long-lasting relationships with them and aim to provide them with a high level of service. We thought it was a lovely gesture to give candidates another reward once the hard work of getting a new role – all the applications, interviews and meetings – is done. It’s a nice little surprise gift to them on their first day to wish them luck. They can also share it with their new colleagues to help break the ice on their first day in a new office. Obviously they taste amazing as well.
Rise Brownies also come with a story behind them. There’s a leaflet with a quote from a former trainee talking about how the bakery has helped him get back into work and accommodation. Our candidates always thank us and comment on the story behind the brownies. It’s a great talking point and we get lots of lovely feedback which we send on to the team at the bakery.
What made you choose Rise Bakery?
There was a strong synergy between the two organisations. We are helping people into new roles, and so are Providence Row and Rise Bakery. We loved the idea that Providence Row’s clients are working in the bakery and that by buying the brownies, we are helping to fund people’s training and help them back into the world of work.
How else do you support Providence Row and Rise Bakery?
We also support Providence Row’s ‘Working on It scheme’, a 10-week employability course open to trainees and people using the daycentre. The scheme includes a range of workshops run by centre staff and company partners around searching for jobs, building a CV, interview skills and much more. We’ve be supporting the interview workshops on a quarterly basis. Two of our consultants, Adam and Raj, attended one recently and went through CVs, set up a mock interview panel and gave interview technique tips to two trainees. One trainee in particular was very nervous before he started, but once he relaxed he interviewed really well. He came across as friendly, responsible and a team player. He would make an excellent member of a team. We fed this back and he came out of the workshop more confident about future job interviews.
Our recruitment consultants help the trainees figure out what their strengths are and what they could say in response to standard questions. They can also advise on the qualities employers are looking for such as reliability and honesty. Trainees can then develop a list of keywords to focus on during their interview. Sometimes people aren’t used to selling themselves, they can’t put into words why they’d make an excellent employee. Our recruitment advisers can help them find those words so they’re better prepared for their interviews.
What advice would you give to our trainees about finding a new job in the future?
We always advise our candidates and the trainees we meet in the workshops to be unique. People are attracted to people and everyone has got different strengths and qualities. No one person is the same and no one job is the same so be yourself and stand out from the crowd. We could have five candidates going for the same role all with the same experience and skills, but the person who gets the job will be the one who the interviewers think will fit best with the organisation and the rest of the team. The trainees we have worked with have so many great strengths and qualities, the challenge is helping them to see them, and to find the words to show them off at interview (which doesn’t always come naturally or easily). It’s a matter of practise, and we’re very proud to be helping people to do this in the safe, supportive environment of Providence Row.
What our team said about RedLaw recruitment?
‘RedLaw Recruitment are our idea of the perfect customers. We love that they congratulate their candidates with a Rise Brownie box, and that way directly help to support and spread the word about our trainee schemes for people affected by homelessness. They also get involved with our employability schemes, sharing their skills and experience with the people we’re working with, who are trying hard to get back into work, training and education.’
– Dom, Enterprise and Training Manager
‘Having RedLaw Recruitment involved with our “Working on it” programme has been incredibly helpful for the people taking part. Many have never been given any guidance around interviews techniques before, so getting advice from experts in this area is incredibly helpful and can make a real, tangible difference to their confidence. Our trainees come out of the interview training session with renewed confidence in themselves and their ability to find employment in the future.’
– Asia, Employability Coordinator
Find out more about Providence Row
Find out more about Rise Bakery