As we continue to grow, we were fortunate enough to catch up with our Team Manager from our Warrington office, Vicky O'Flanagan. Have a read to find out why she entered the world of recruitment, the challenges that face social workers and even what she likes to do in her spare time!
Why did you choose to enter the world of recruitment?
After 5 years within Dentistry I wanted to try something different, I took some time out to travel around South America but after 6 months over there I realised I could only speak Spanish with a 'scouse twang' and had no money. I applied for a job as a temp in my first recruitment agency working within social work recruitment. Initially processing payroll and working as a compliance administrator, within 3 months I had been made a permanent recruitment consultant specialising in interim social work vacancies and that year I won the newcomer of the year award within the company.
Within 2 years I had worked my way up to manager and 4 years after that I managed 2 social work teams for their Manchester branch. I haven’t really looked back. I had friends and family within recruitment and had always heard positive things. In recruitment every day is different and now nearly 7 years later I still enjoy the role, and find it really rewarding when you have helped to find someone work and they are happy in their new placement.
Why did you choose to work for Pertemps Professional Recruitment?
I chose to work for Pertemps as they are the UK’s largest privately owned recruitment agency with over 250 branches across the UK. There are great career opportunities and training courses on offer. I had worked with people from Pertemps at my last company and was impressed with what they had achieved when working for Pertemps so far. Within my first week here I had met the owner of the company and was made to feel really welcome by everyone. It was an easy decision to join the Pertemps family and I haven’t looked back!
What do you enjoy about working in the North of England?
Living in Liverpool the people are some of the friendliest in the country, I am surrounded by beaches, great shopping, travel links, oh and we have Mo Salah! Why live anywhere else?
What do you believe are the challenges that face social workers in today’s market?
Social workers work relentlessly to deliver high quality services and outcomes to the children or adults they support. They work tirelessly in a stressful role dealing with issues on a daily basis that include child abuse, adult abuse, homelessness, depression and poverty. This is all whilst working in what can be a thankless job from the condemnation of the media, government and wider society.
Some of the challenges they face is trying to ensure they have continued support from the government, needing their support and funding to help reaffirm its commitment to protecting children, young people and their families. For a role so challenging in the last year the restrictive effect of IR35 has seen the profession take a hit in terms of what social workers can expect to earn. Social Work is a candidate short profession, there are more jobs than qualified workers able to fill them making this a highly competitive market for hiring managers.
IR35 and the Implications this caused has meant in large cases it is no longer financially viable to travel out of area for a job. This can make geographically challenging areas to get to, hard to recruit in, putting added pressure on the existing work force to carry larger caseloads.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy snowboarding and have boarded in Canada, Austria, France, Andorra and Italy. Spending time with friends and family, especially my two young nephews. I also like to try to visit a different county each year. Last year it was Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro, this year it was Austria for the snow bombing festival!