The Crem Blog!

Welcome to The Crem Blog!



Here we intend to give our thoughts and insights into the recruitment sector and how we perceive current market trends and it also gives us the opportunity to get across a regular voice to jobseekers and employers across Cambridgeshire, West Suffolk and North Essex.

We will also be using this feature to air our views on the recruitment industry and to give an insight into our working week and the overall working culture at Crem.

Along with our career centre, we will be offering our expertise to give up to date advice on interviews, CV’s and generally finding your perfect job or recruitment tool.

Overall, we intend to use it to give an insight into our working week and the general goings on at a busy Recruitment Agency.

We hope you will find our blog informative and from time to time, mildly amusing! We encourage interaction so please feel free to engage on Facebook, Twitter or via our Linked In pages.

Please note, due to time constraints in the non stop world of recruitment, we will try to update this page sporadically throughout 2017 so watch this space!

Monday 22nd December 2014

Well, another year passes by and what a year it has been at Crem. All internal records have been broken, we have considerably expanded our client base and we have increased and improved our teams across our branch network. We also launched, along with Kate Wright, a specialist recruitment company called Top Class Education which supplies teachers to schools and this has been a roaring success and continues to go from strength to strength! 
2015 is shaping up to be equally as exciting with further new consultants starting in January and further expansion to our branch network scheduled for the second quarter of the year.
Looking back at 2014, we literally smashed our record number of temps working in December. This was boosted by having vast numbers of temps working for our catering and hospitality division in and around the Cambridge colleges and hotels. 
The manufacturing side also went through the roof and it is really positive to see such phenomenal demand across a range of sectors so a promising outlook ahead for the economy.
Our key clients have remained incredibly steady throughout the year and we look forward to working with them all again next year.
Possibly the most surprising has been our permanent jobs division that has seen a dramatic increase in vacancies and successful placements. New clients have come on board as they have needed our expert assistance following bad experiences elsewhere. We get the results that matter and it is this that makes us a cut above. 
We are also pleased that we have an incredibly settled team. They all really go the extra mile and it is a pleasure working with them. Unsurprisingly, rec to rec outfits are constantly tapping away at them trying to make a quick buck but thankfully our staff have remained loyal and we thank them for that!
Jasmine Westwood will move into our permanent jobs division in the new year after excelling in this department so we wish her every success in her new role and we have new starters coming on board which we are sure will add some further expertise.
We have also been blessed with a wonderful work force of temporary staff who continue to work above and beyond expectations and have helped us out no end with last minute bookings so a huge thank you to those people. We will endeavour to keep you all in work next year.
So…a very positive year all round. We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone associated with Crem a very merry Christmas and all the best for 2015!

Tuesday 24th December 2013

It's Christmas!!!!!!

Well another year draws to an end and the festivities begin. This blog is really just a reflection of the year and what a year it has been at Crem. It’s been a time where we have really moved from an independent single branch agency to a multi branch recruitment firm.
It’s also been a December that has seen us break company records and it’s been a year where we have truly established ourselves with the universities and colleges in Cambridge, largely thanks to our hospitality and catering division.

Looking back, 2012 was a year of change for Crem. At the time, it was a difficult period but it opened our eyes to how a business should be run and gave us the determination and drive to take our company to an exceptional level and standard. At the end of the day, the 2012 era paved the way to where we are today and was the best thing to happen to Crem in the long run. This is largely due to our company standards, our superb consultants and management team and also to our clients. Our annual reports show that only two companies who used us in 2012, didn’t use us in 2013 so no matter how hard you try to replicate and copy the business model that is Crem; it is our brand, likeability, expertise and hard work that will always shine through. So a huge thanks to our loyal client base and we are excited about working with you all again in 2014.

As well as our loyal and established clients it has also been a year where we have brought on a lot of new business. Due to our excellent SEO strategy and our expert consultants, we have been approached by a vast number of new companies and we were sad to be having to turn away business at the back end of the year, simply due to being in the fortunate position that we could not handle anymore bookings! We now have procedures and staff in place to ensure this never happens again though!! So a massive thank you to the new companies who are now on board with us. Judging by the response we had to our Christmas giveaways, I understand they will all be working with us again in the new year although not sure if that is because of our service or the chocolates!! On that note, a special thank you to Huntsman in Duxford. The relationship we have established here has been fantastic and I am glad that things have gone very smoothly despite the high numbers of temps so looking forward to working with them again in the new year, it really has been a pleasure being a supplier to you.

A great time was had by all at our staff Christmas parties and many thanks to the Oak Bistro in Cambridge for a fine meal and thanks for the hangover;) Our management party in Brighton was also great fun and both do’s created some fantastic memories.

2014 is already shaping up very nicely. January is a traditionally a slow time of the year, especially for temps but things have only eased slightly and I’m pleased that so many of our temps will be back out working where they have been after the Christmas break. We are well aware of the insecurity that temp work can cause so it is fantastic that so many of our temps will be back in their jobs in the new year.

We have lots planned for 2014. Naturally we will be at our premium stand at the Cambridge job fair in January which is always a productive event.

We are also in the process of finalising a huge new project that will be rolled out in early January. It is probably the biggest development we have had since opening Crem six years ago and one that is incredibly exciting and is eagerly anticipated. It is a massive expansion move and the time is right to roll it out so looking forward to our announcement in the new year.

And finally… I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a very happy new year.

Friday 15th November 2013



So this week I officially gain the title of ‘guest blogger’ how exciting! I feel very privileged to be writing our blog! (*do I sense sarcasm?)

This week has been full of ups and downs for me. We will start with the down side, on a personal note; I had to say goodbye to my nana this week however, on the plus side of that, as a family we all got together for a cup of tea and sandwiches after, great to see those cousins I have not seen in years!

Ups for me this week would be the tester for the Christmas gifts, we received our sample to try, I have to say it was superb and is going down a storm in the office. So much for the pre-Christmas diet!! (*they stink!)

And of course the Sales day. We went into the week with a bang to be honest, bookings galore! All hands on deck and staff running out left, right and centre to visits!

So a date in the diary had been reserved for some time for our fantastic and fun Crem Recruitment Sales day. Personally I quite like the girls against boys theory (*bit sexist), however it was all for one in this one and we saw some great team work going on (*not sure that makes sense). We all based ourselves in one of the branches and then the prizes are shown… love to see Alcohol included at 8am (although that is slightly worrying)! (*gets us through the day!)

A fab day was had by all, including a fantastic lunch provided by Domino’s Pizza, we all managed to polish off a full Pizza each! All whilst booking visits and filling the assignments we had gained.

I think the most interesting thing to come out of the sales day was to hear that there is such a need for a recruiter to offer a transparent service and all too often recruiters get carried away in their roles that they fail to give 100% customer service. (*very true)

The day was in full swing and the competition was hotting up and with Scores on the boards every hour it was great to see lead position changing hour by hour. The buzz in our office during these sales days is truly phenomenal and one that I would love to mirror every day of my life and of course the reason we look forward to them so much. Although Colin and his little “I’ve broken your phone line” joke was a little below the belt I felt. (*debateable but mildly amusing surely)

Sadly there was not as much coffee flowing either that day as nobody would offer to leave their seat to make one (*lazy more like!), for fear of losing their place on the board!! But an excellent and fun day, just didn’t want it to end. (*so why go home at 5?) But the next date is already in the diary and something I already am planning for (including a little trick of my own to play!!) (* we are never doing one again now)

So I think all in all a fairly productive week, visits for next week and lots of new candidates in temp roles and of course a big congrats and good luck to the lovely Shabnaz for next week.  With lots going on that will mean a busy evening and weekend for me, preparing and speaking to candidates… but not until I have got that wine on chill and of course we all have the wonderful, Children in Need to watch this evening, dig deep people!! (*agreed)

KW

*CS comments;)

 

Friday 1st November 2013

 

Countdown to Christmas!!

Generally love this time of year as autumn at its best with leaves littering the streets (although not keen on the amount I have just had to hoover from the stairs!!) and a chill in the air meaning the change of season is now in full swing!

Preparations are already underway for our client’s Christmas gifts and this year will be like no other for them; we have some extra special surprises to give to our most loyal companies. Going through the full list of clients was exhausting though, to say the least. We have many new clients on board so far this year to add to our extensive list of repeat clientele. Anyway, glad that’s sorted for another year as to be honest, it is always a chore to go through but this year seems to have taken up more time than ever before!!

On that note, I was pleased to confirm to staff across our branch network, that the Christmas party has been booked! After much deliberation over where to go, what we should do etc etc, we finally decided to reward our staff for all their hard work and long hours at times, by booking one of the most highly regarded restaurants in Cambridge…The Oak Bistro. This will be followed by numerous other activities to fill up their day / evening and to show the team just how much we believe and are thankful in them for everything that they have achieved this year.
 
The day shall start normally at work (it’s a Friday to allow the weekend to recover!!) and at about 1.30pm we shall meet at the restaurant where we shall be welcomed with champagne and begin our feast. After the festivities during the meal, we will move on to various locations including a select and exclusive cocktail bar where we can delight ourselves with pina colada being high on the list of requests I would imagine!! No doubt the night will end up on the dancefloor!

In the past Christmas parties with Crem have tended to consist of lunch at a chain restaurant locally then back to work. However, since last year we have upped the ante and it’s all change! The culture at Crem is now really is a sight to behold; we now have a team of recruiters that share the same, common goal; to provide the best recruitment service to all our candidates and clients alike. They are people who really have ‘something about them’ and are a pleasure to socialise with but that’s enough of the pleasantries and get back to work if any of you are reading this;)
Anyway…At some point during the week the preparations for Christmas had to stop and we had to concentrate on our actual job, to fill vacancies!! I don’t know if it’s the change in weather or the pre-Christmas rush, but we have been extremely busy. As I stated earlier, I am grateful that we have some excellent consultants working for us that can handle these various roles at ease.
So all in all another successful and productive week at Crem towers - now looking forward to firework night!!

TM



 

Friday 25th October 2013

 

This week’s blog centres on job interviews and picking out certain parts of the preparation process that candidates need to get right. For me, if you have reached interview stage then you really are in with a great chance of securing the role if you really maximise the opportunity you have been presented with.

Remember, the job market is so competitive at the moment and recruiters and other direct employers are seeing literally hundreds of CV’s for each and every post so you can gain immense confidence that you have been selected for an interview.

I believe interviews are a great chance to really ‘show off’ but not in an arrogant way! Your skills and experience have already warranted an employer to set aside an hour plus of their time to speak about you and what you can bring to that job and company so all you need to do is have the confidence to bring that CV to life.

Ok, so it’s so far so good…you have an interview lined up and now it is time to prepare. Personally I think it pays to go the extra mile so I would research the company but not just the ‘about us’ section that every other candidate will do, but put the company name into Google, play around with it and see what the search engines bring up. Many an interesting article can be found online that would not necessarily be on a company’s website so if its relevant and a good talking point then why not mention it during the interview if the opportunity comes up. Remember, most people like to talk about themselves and their own company so this is great for building relationships. Things such as business awards, certifications, takeovers and mergers can all fall nicely into this.

At Crem Recruitment, we introduced new procedures to interviewing potential consultants in the back end of last year and this is to ensure that moving forward we only attract the very best  talent for our company. This ensured that no one slipped through our vetting procedures who simply were not of the calibre we expect at Crem and a major part of this was judging just how much research and knowledge candidates had done on our company as well as their skills and experience.

Ok, so you have done the preparation and now is the time to deliver it. Many candidates blemish their chances of securing a second interview by leaving a bad first impression. I remember being late for an interview in Leicester for one of my first ever job applications because I was driving around aimlessly trying to follow a road map. When I arrived 20 minutes late, the hiring manager didn’t directly say anything but he was clearly fuming and I think he had already made his mind up as I was out of there 10 minutes later, despite being armed with a CV that was, on paper, a good match for his job. I knew I had ruined my chances there and then but in this day and age with sat nav and the internet, there really is no excuse for being lost so make sure you know exactly where you are going and that includes knowing where the reception is as in big companies if you get the wrong door, finding the right one can add 5 or 10 minutes that can be all the difference.

Chewing gum, smelling of smoke and looking scruffy are also big no no’s and please do not think this is just aimed at lower level roles as during my decade or so in recruitment, it never ceases to amaze me some of the horror stories we hear all the time about candidates even for senior management roles! Not our candidates I hasten to add although I’m sure our clients will point out one or two over the years!!

There is some excellent advice in the career centre section of this website but it is also worth scouring the internet for other snippets of information that can really enhance your chances of securing a new job. As with anything online, it is about extracting the best bits of information from each source and applying it correctly.

Whilst preparing for your interview, it is also worth remembering to use your Recruiter to your advantage. Our Consultants are well trained in prepping candidates for interview and are on hand to help you through the process but I dare there are plenty of sub-standard agencies in our industry who will not be as useful! Remember your Consultant wants you to get the job as much as you do so work together to iron out any questions that may not readily be available online.

The consultant may have recruited for that particular job or company on dozens of occasions in the past so you can pick the brains of someone who knows exactly what the company is looking for in a candidate and indeed in an interview. For example, I know of a company who initially interviews the candidate and then takes he or she on a site tour. Now, it’s during this site tour that the candidate is really being analysed on just how interested they are in the job and it is the questions and examples of work that the candidate demonstrates during the tour that are judged. If the candidate does not ask any meaningful and relevant questions throughout the 45 minute tour then it is unlikely he or she will be progressed. This, of course, is information that perhaps only your recruiter will know so use us to your advantage!!

So, to summarise then, I hope some of the above proves useful ,if a little obvious, but it is getting the basics right that is so often forgotten about and can make or break an interview which in turn can hamper a potentially life changing hour of your life. Good luck if you have one coming up!

CS



 

 Friday 18th October 2013

Hold the phone a minute!!!!!!

Well...lets be honest, we didn’t quite realise just what a commitment this blogging malarkey was going to be!! Granted, it’s been a few weeks since we thought what a great idea it would be and believe it or not, we are trying to give out a weekly voice but there never seems to be enough hours in the day.

So, for this week’s blog, it is probably best to tie up the weeks that have been missed and hopefully we can set aside some time over each Friday to update this section and with that in mind we will be introducing some guest bloggers over the next couple of months. That’s should ease the burden a little!!

So, what been happening then…well, representatives from Crem were present at The National Recruitment Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham. This was a fantastic event that is geared to our industry where we can source new products and network with industry professionals. We must be a sales persons dream as we ended up with a new insurance company and some other guys are now working on our mobile app!! Day 2 of the event is never quite so good though but I imagine this maybe something to do with the boozy night spent on Birmingham’s Broad Street until the early hours and not the actual exhibition;)

Other events that have occurred since we last blogged included The Haverhill Job Fair that we hosted. This was very well attended and gave jobseekers the chance to ask questions and gain advice from our team of experienced recruiters. We actually managed to arrange two interviews on the day for people who attended and at the time of writing, we have several attendees working in temporary jobs.

We host these events pretty regularly over the course of a year and we really find that they are mutually beneficial for ourselves and local people. From what we have heard, it has been the best attended job fair in Haverhill for some considerable time so our reputation must be preceding us!

In and amongst the mayhem of the past few weeks, was a well deserved trip to the seaside that some of the Crem team arranged outside of work. We are certainly a close knit unit here and we are often described as friends rather than colleagues;) Bit of a wet and windy weekend but a great time was had by all. The highlight has to be the karaoke, which was great and I reckon we are in with a chance of winning x-factor next year!

Anyway, this week has been back to business and our new temp’s expert, Simon, has really hit the ground running and has got people out working already. May have to get him to slow down as he is putting the Directors to shame with his tenacity!!

Also this week, we had a great visit to Westminster College, part of Cambridge University who are keen to utilise our catering and hospitality division for the Christmas period. This side of Crem is really gathering pace and im starting to think we may have to be donning our black and whites if the demand continues!!

Finally, and to wrap things up for the time being, our Operations Manager and Ambassador for the Institute of Recruiters, Kate Wright, took over the airwaves at Star Radio for an interview regarding Crem and what we are doing in the local job market. She will be on again over the next few weeks so we will all be huddled round the office wireless!!

That’s it for now…hopefully won’t leave it as long next time!

 CS

 

Friday 27th September 2013

 

Following on from exhibiting at the Cambridge B2B last week, we held our very own Job Fair on the Wednesday at the Haverhill Arts Centre and to be honest, we were well prepared in comparison to the flapping about last week!

Every couple of months or so, we hold job fairs as we really see them as mutually beneficial to both jobseekers and for ourselves.

Career advice is littered across the internet but finding personal career advice, delivered face to face from a Consultant who has local market knowledge, is another matter altogether. This is where our job fairs come in. Not only do we get to showcase our latest vacancies but we can aslo pass on our market knowledge and expertise to jobseekers that may not be able to find such niche information online. This includes everything from whom is recruiting in the area, through to offering some hints and tips for interviews. Our advice even extends through to the tweaking of peoples CVs. Now, there are a lot of people out there looking to make a quick buck by charging a fee to redo or type up a candidate's CV. I find this disturbing and at our job fairs we ensure that Crem really add value to jobseekers by giving jobseekers CV’s a ‘MOT’ to ensure they are in the best position to apply for jobs. On Wednesday, this, unsurprisingly, included several CV’s from people who had previously paid a fee to have theirs done!

The difference a CV can make should not be underestimated. Almost every day we see candidates who are selling themselves short or leaving off crucial information that can really be the difference between getting an interview or not. It can even come done to missing out simply due to a poorly presented CV.

Other than passing on our expertise we also benefit hugely from our job fairs as it gives us an influx of candidates who may not always be found in the usual channels, i.e. on the job boards or via social networking. It was actually on the back of this that we arranged two interviews on the day for candidates that we would otherwise have not have unearthed. We also got temporary work for a chap who walked in and is now working on the Thursday!

A very productive day all round.

Also this week we had a call from one of my favourite clients, Lettergold in Newmarket. The banter and gossip we share is priceless. It’s a working relationship built on trust and understanding fully what they expect from an agency (and they usually put our competitors in their place when they are touting for business which is music to our ears!)  Personally, I cannot believe they are approaching their busy time again, has a year really gone that quickly?!

Speaking of the year going past quickly...things are ramping up nicely on the catering and hospitality side of our company. Since opening our Cambridge office, we have been inudated with enquiries from colleges and hotels with regards to staffing their Christmas events. A big plan of attack and a promotional campaign is needed methinks!!


All in all, another good week at Crem towers!

CS

 


Friday 20th September 2013

 

Always a highlight on the office calendar is any type of exhibition, event or jobfair and this week saw the arrival of the eagerly anticipated Cambridge B2B Business exhibition.

This is the first time we have exhibited in Cambridge for a while so it created quite a buzz in both the Cambridge and Haverhill branches.

Being recruiters, things tend to be a hundred miles an hour and sometimes these events fall at completely the wrong time due to constantly changing business demands!

First we had to pick up our latest promotional stand from our suppliers, Stylize. It all looked pretty simple to assemble although perhaps we should have paid more attention to the demonstration as it was anything but simple to put up on the day!! We made the Chuckle Brothers look good!!

The panic continued across both branches…ensuring we had enough pens, mugs, brochures, sweets etc etc. All free stuff for the business people of Cambridge that may, or may not end up in a bin somewhere!

The event was fantastic and a roaring success. We generated a staggering 8 vacancies across 5 new clients including Engineering and project management roles. All of which have follow up meetings planned for the forth coming weeks so should produce an excellent influx of new business.

We also spoke to some potentially excellent venues for our 2013 staff Christmas party that will most probably need booking sooner rather than later. They all seemed very keen to have us at their venues although not quite convinced they will feel the same after!

Overall, The B2B was a great day and a very worthwhile event, even if we did have to dash off for an hour to fill some temporary bookings for one of our regular clients in Cambridge. Needs must I suppose! If I am being really picky, probably the only negative of the day was the huge snaking queue for coffee so next time we will be armed with flasks to go with our mugs, pens etc etc!

The rest of the week was supposed to be the calm after the storm but no such luck. New roles are coming in thick and fast and temporary bookings seem to be going through the roof at the moment. We are also ramping up for our next event in which we are hosting The Haverhill Job Fair. This takes place on Wednesday 25th September so I imagine most of the main preparation will be done on the evening of the 24th! (See above).

The local press are on the case for us in terms of editorials and promotional features for the event. We have some excellent contacts and relationships with some very influential people within the Cambridge Newspaper Group and at Johnston Press that money simply cannot buy that!

And…so that’s our first blog done and dusted! As mentioned, we aim to do it weekly and share the writing duties around and branch network and members of staff. Those lucky people!

CS

 

Please note - the views and opinions expressed in this blog may not necessarily be the views of Crem Recruitment. 

 

 

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