Customer Q&A: Pilot Group

Founded over 25 years ago by its entrepreneurial CEO, Phil Hodari, and esteemed COO, Simone Peppi, Pilot Group is renowned for its intelligent tech solutions that optimise performance for businesses around the UK.

Based in Manchester, Pilot Group specialises in three main divisions: infrastructure, medical, and investments, and with a great supply chain married to a reputation for excellent customer service and unrivalled industry knowledge, it’s set for fast growth.

A Hiring Hub user since 2016, Kat Hoang, the group’s HR Business Partner, shares the company’s recruitment strategy and her experience of recruiting within a fast-paced environment.

Tell us about Pilot Group.
We’re a group of companies that provide tech solutions. We work within the electrical, heating, and lighting markets and we generally focus on reducing energy usage for a variety of companies operating in the industrial and public sectors.

What is it that makes working at Pilot Group great?
It sounds cliché, but without a doubt it’s the people. I get so many comments from new starters and external visitors, saying just how friendly and happy everyone is. At the minute, there’s a big drive and focus on retaining staff and ways in which we can invest in our people.

You’ve been with Pilot Group for over a year, what have been your most successful recruitment channels to date?
We’ve used a whole variety of channels at various points in time, including graduate fairs, job boards, recommend-a-friend and obviously recruitment agencies, and we’ve managed to successfully recruit via all of those methods. However, out of all these channels, we’ve tended to lean on recruitment agencies the most, which is why Hiring Hub fits so perfectly within our recruitment strategy.

What does your recruitment process look like?
I’d say it depends on the role, but Hiring Hub is our first port of call for the vast majority of our technical and sales roles as it fits in perfectly with our processes. The team at Hiring Hub are fantastic at helping to qualify and clarify the role too, so the recruitment agencies have a very clear idea of the type of candidate we’re looking for. This saves us quite a lot of time, as we do that briefing once, and thereafter my Account Manager at Hiring Hub can act almost as an extension of our internal team at Pilot Group to liaise with agencies, answer questions, setup interviews, etc.

Rebecca Ball, HR Administrator at Pilot Group. Rebecca was recruited through Hiring Hub earlier this year.

How long does it typically take you to find and hire candidates?
I’d say for us it’s an average of around three weeks. However, our lead time is longer than the average because of our internal processes. We typically have a first and second round interviews, plus it’s very time consuming to try and pin down hiring managers and get them to review CVs and make time for the interviews!

Has your time-to-hire improved by using Hiring Hub?
Compared to other recruitment channels, Hiring Hub definitely has a much faster time-to-hire. That’s why we tend to favour it. That, and the quality of candidates we get through it.

How would you describe the quality of candidates you get through other recruitment channels?
It can be very hit and miss, in terms of candidate quality. The candidate quality is much better through Hiring Hub because they take our brief, build on it, and share it with the recruitment agencies in their network, so they know exactly who we’re looking for. Hiring Hub also understands what we’re like, culturally, at Pilot Group, so they can give the agencies a steer there too. What’s more, I can set a limit to the maximum number of CVs each agency can send through – for me it’s usually around three – so the recruitment agencies on Hiring Hub’s marketplace only send through their best candidates, which saves time.

What are your biggest pain points?
For me personally it’s the time is takes to sift through CVs, engaging with each candidate, the quality of the candidates and more than anything the no shows! Using Hiring Hub solves many of these pain points for me, especially by removing the heavy admin side that comes with recruiting. I also love that, with Hiring Hub, I get to connect and work with recruitment agencies I wouldn’t have ever found otherwise, or even known about, because they’re small, but they’re really good and they really specialise in their industry.


Originally published 15th August 2018