Time was short but we were glad to catch up with Jason Gracey at JCB to discuss their recruitment challenges and their plans for introducing gamification in to the resourcing process
Sparks: Jason, in your career you’ve recruited for a yoghurt company, an electrical wholesaler, a chain of pubs, JCB and you’ve also guarded the Crown Jewels. What was the highlight?
Jason: That’s a good question. Well, I think it’s got to be two. I certainly think guarding the Crown Jewels has got to be up there. That was quite a privilege guarding Her Majesty the Queen and Trooping the Colour. So that’s definitely got to be up there. But in terms of my career, I think the opportunity and the scale and breadth at JCB is definitely one of the highlights of my professional career, since the Army.
Sparks: And what challenges are you finding at the moment in the market?
Jason: We are a traditional manufacturing company and so Engineering is a challenge. And we need more women Engineers. We need more diversity within that skills set, certainly. So that would be the main one. I think there are other hotspots that have been a challenge for us. Speaking to my counterparts they’re also finding a similar theme in Purchasing. Recruiting qualified Purchasing professionals is a key challenge for us. Finance as well. I think what we are seeing is a result of lack of investment in professional qualifications post the crash in 2008. So we’re certainly seeing a challenge with ten years plus of experience because a lot of organisations didn’t invest during that period.
Sparks: And do you see that as problem that’s going to get worse or is it getting better now?
Jason: I think it’s stabilised except for those Finance professionals, and I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but speaking to a lot of recruiters and what I’m seeing it is a challenge in Finance.
Sparks: The landscape of how you recruit has changed dramatically over the last few years and we’ve noticed your team has grown. What do you think the future holds for internal recruitment? Have you got any tips or tricks for the coming few years?
Jason: I think the key thing from recruitment is because it’s such a candidate driven market it’s all about building your Employer Value Proposition. You engage with candidates on a number of different platforms. It seems to me that we’re getting less and less applications through your traditional methods like job boards. So something like gamification is a way to engage with candidates. So, yeah, you’ll move away from your traditional platforms – which we have already been doing for a number of years. LinkedIn has been a great platform, but you know different social media platforms is how you’ll engage with that talent from the latest generations.
Sparks: You mentioned gamification there. Is that something that JCB is exploring as part of your recruitment process?
Jason: Not at the moment as we need to get to a stable point. With the resource that we’ve got here we are lean in comparison to the size of the organisation and the number of vacancies we have and are still a relatively new function. But it’s something we’re looking into in the next 12-18 months. It’s certainly on our roadmap.
Sparks: And you’re building a new site aren’t you?
Jason: Yes. Our Cabs factory is moving from Cheadle to Uttoxeter, so we’ll have a three pronged site on that stretch of road on the A50 – heavy products, cabs and world parts.
Sparks: So a busy year for you then?
Jason: Yes. All being well that will be fully operational before the end of next year.