People matter

8 November 2011
Ventura (now part of the Capita Group) manages more than 
50 million customer contacts each year for a range of private and public sector clients. With more than 8,000 employees and five large-scale contact centres in the UK and India, it is one of the largest companies of its kind. As an outsourcer, it is vital that we maintain a firm control on costs and manage the way we recruit innovatively and efficiently. Delivering customer and other services on behalf of big name companies is a huge responsibility and one we take seriously. Making sure we match the right person to the right job and client is absolutely critical to our success. Attracting, recruiting and retaining the right people for our roles is at the heart of our business, which is why we’ve developed our own People Matter programme. This programme delivers a whole suite of innovative HR tools and systems based on sound knowledge and experience that enable us to keep our promises to our people and clients. Our in-house purchasing team plays a critical role by taking our volume recruitment requirements and the ethos of People Matter and translating them into competitive agency tenders that are aimed at attracting the best commercial offers available to us. The advice and direction of the team gives us that extra edge and commercial acumen and it’s great to have that additional support. The demanding and fast-paced nature of our industry means that requirements can change at a moment’s notice and what makes it work is our ability to engage collaboratively with our purchasing team to proactively meet those challenges. Our ability to manage high-volume recruitment is our speciality. Our skilled in-house team recruited the majority of these roles but occasionally we use third parties to support us. We recently took the strategic decision to move to sole recruitment supplier by site. Working with the procurement function for this was crucial and ensured that all agencies were subject to a rigorous tendering process to be able to deliver on the promises we’ve made to our clients. The Ventura purchasing team’s primary responsibility is to deliver a coherent and complementary service to the business. By taking a deliberately inclusive approach, we capitalise on all available sources of knowledge. As an outsourcer we live or die by the strength of the service we provide for our clients. It’s only by controlling our own expenditure and exposure to risk that we can deliver a cost effective proposition to fit their needs. Key points in Ventura methodology 1. Encourage and co-ordinate interaction with internal stakeholders to ensure ability to meet requirements effectively and on-time. 2. Provide assurance of the best possible total cost of acquisition through commercial risk assessment and liaison with legal and commercial teams. 3. A regime of continual supply base optimisation through best practice policies and competitive market testing. 4. Generate ongoing cost savings though benefit tracking and contract lifetime management. 5. Act as a spearhead for profit improvement across the business. ☛ Sarah Blanchfield is head of recruitment 
at Ventura.
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