Below is a recent press article which has been featured in the UK Haulier
Companies are gradually starting to return to the ‘new normal’ as lockdown begins to ease, but for some, they have never stopped working and are the unsung heroes behind the scenes.
Kent-based family recruitment agency, Will Barnes Limited, has continued to work hard during the pandemic supplying clients with quality hard-working key workers, from HGV drivers to warehouse operatives and administration clerks to cleaners.
Company Director, William Barnes, has been driving HGV vehicles for over 20 years and previously owned a very successful haulage company. In 2018, after dealing with numerous recruitment agencies, William decided he could offer a much better service and opened Will Barnes Ltd based in Sittingbourne, Kent, with his partner Serena Howse. The business has grown significantly with a huge amount of staff on their books and also offers training such as Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), emergency first aid courses and PCV and HGV driver assessments.
As with many businesses during the pandemic, William knew that his company needed to adapt to how they worked to ensure that they could continue to support their clients through such unprecedented times. The following measures have been put into place:
- Immediately applied to be able to offer online Zoom CPC training. Pre-pandemic these were classroom-based and it was crucial that the company were still able to offer this to clients
- Lowered training course prices giving lorry drivers a more affordable way to stay working to continue providing vital deliveries for public consumption
- Installation of Pandadoc, a secure legally binding online document for candidates to sign up to easily and securely allowing staff to be placed with clients quickly
- Quick turnaround to supply staff – an example of this was a client calling the office at 5.30 pm seeking two warehouse staff for a 6 pm start. The team took on the challenge and were able to source and supply staff within a 30 min time frame, including setting up a new company record for supplying the staff.
- Supporting clients with advice on legislation and general changes during the pandemic
- The team are working longer hours and maintaining continuous contact with clients to meet their needs
- Offering full PPE including masks and gloves throughout the crisis and moving forward
- The reopening of training rooms from 20th July has led to the business completing a COVID-19 risk assessment and introduction of new measures in line with Government advice. These include a one-way system, one-metre social distance rule, the use of hand sanitiser on entry and exit of the room and the requirement of masks to be worn
Company Director, William Barnes, reflects on the last few months and offers his thoughts on the future: “We all know that times ahead will be tough but there is still a lot of work available and of course many people seeking employment. We have a large bank of talented candidates ready to fulfil client demand as our new normal slowly returns. Due to dealing with the crisis employers will also have less time dedicated to seeking candidates and so we can support those clients in finding their staff.
“As a team, Will Barnes Ltd have worked extremely hard to adapt to how we work so we can continue to support our clients during these unprecedented times. We have lowered training course fees so candidates can continue to work, provided online instead of classroom training and provided quick turnaround fulfilment of staff to clients to keep their business running.”