When I first spoke to Sharon Turner, the founder of High 5 recruitment, I was impressed by the social conscience angle to her business. Yes, she is fundamentally about matching people with vacancies, but she is brimming with ideas to tackle some of the more difficult areas in her field.
Sharon calls herself a “micro recruitment and training agency” with a few select clients. By being a small organisation – and it is principally her – it allows her to be agile, flexible, and personalised. She covers Derby and the surrounding areas and sources permanent candidates in Admin and HR, in Hospitality and Care, although she is looking to expand into Retail and Distribution. She works very closely with clients to get a sense of the culture and the nature of needs to ensure that she can find the right candidate. She only refers people who she believes are “job ready” and who pass her acid-test – “ would I employ this person and would I be happy for them to represent my brand?”
Based in Laurie House, on Colyear Street, overlooking the old Duckworth Square, and with views across the Derby skyline, she has a pleasant office space with she shares with one of the Work Placement staff she has from the Job Centre. Sharon is a believer in doing her part to give people opportunities. As a one-person organisation, there is plenty of scope, working for her, that will give people valuable skills and experiences for inclusion on their CV and, hopefully, better chances in the job market.
She has ideas for a project on promoting the” 50+ job market”. For a whole variety of reasons people in this age range can struggle to find employment – this can be due to, for example, the wrong experience, outdated skills, being considered to be ‘Set in their ways’ or, ironically, too much experience…or for other reasons. Sharon, is keen to develop this project to better understand these ‘blockers’ and use this to improve this segment of the market.
Her social conscience doesn’t stop there – she’s keen to support people with criminal records. This will involve identifying and working with potential employers who operate an open and fair recruitment process who will welcome giving people a second chance who have the requisite skills.
High 5 recruitment has recently signed up to the Government’s “Disability Confident Scheme”. This is a scheme that helps employers to recognise the potential value of the talent pool of disabled people, and to provide support in attracting them back into work. It is also serves to send a positive signal out about the nature and values of the organisation.
Sharon believes in ‘community’ and working with charities is another part of her commitment. She has special link with Twenty Twenty and Steps for the Future. Steps is High 5’s nominated charity and a percentage of the fees from filling permanent vacancies is donated to them to help with their work with adults with learning differences.
Her many years working in the Job Centre prepared her for making the leap of faith in 2015 to set up on her own and, trust her instinct, and have confidence in her abilities and socially minded ideas.