In this weeks Leading the Way blog, we address the UK talent shortage currently impacting various industries and consider transparency as a route to success for enforcement vacancies.
Common misconceptions about enforcement can be a barrier that prevents talented people from ever considering a role in the industry. But there is more variety and room for progression in enforcement than many job seekers expect and the prospect of a highly rewarding, stable and secure career. By providing insight into what enforcement really means, more people will begin to recognise the opportunity they have to positively impact people’s lives and at the same time, improve their own career prospects.
What’s the appeal?
Enforcement roles generally encourage people to be ambitious and, in most cases, employees achieve greater self-ownership over their day-to-day activities compared to other environments. Support is always available from peers and supervisors, but micro-management is unlikely. Freedom to get on with the job has historically been an appealing aspect of the sector and now that flexible working has become more of an expectation by candidates generally, enforcement firms can point to how well established they are at this already.
As pandemic recovery continues, we are entering a unique time where some office workers are expressing displeasure and resistance to giving up some of the freedoms they have experienced during periods of remote working. A role as an Enforcement Agent (EA) on the other hand, represents an opportunity to maintain or even increase those privileges, as it is majorly based on the road. Bristow & Sutor has all of the systems and technology required to ensure staff can perform at an optimal level, regardless of when and where they may conduct their activities.
This is not to say however that there are not a plethora of options available to people who still enjoy being office-based. The enforcement process requires collection teams who speak to customers over the phone or on a variety of digital apps and chat solutions, route planners to ensure colleagues out on the road have the most efficient and up to date information available and all kinds of different positions that you would expect to see in a leading business, from Human Resources and finance to training, legal, marketing and IT.
More than a job
At Bristow & Sutor we work closely with debt advice services and charities, investing heavily in financial awareness and training. We are uniquely placed to identify and find meaningful solutions for people in problem debt.
It can surprise those that are not already in the know that many employees enjoy working in enforcement because of vocational qualities. EAs are often the first people to come into contact with somebody vulnerable and they are trained to provide support in these circumstances, passing cases onto dedicated welfare teams. There are even roles available that focus purely on providing social value in the sector and ensuring this remains present in all business operations.
Exploring the unknown
Many businesses see the value of attracting young people to their business and this is certainly true here at B&S where we are keen to provide our younger, inexperienced staff with the support they need. This is true of enforcement but the sector also represents a fantastic option for those who have established careers elsewhere and want to make a change. A big obstacle when looking to re-train in a new environment is the cost implications of taking a step back in order to move forward. In enforcement, the transferable skills that are needed for success can be drawn from a variety of different backgrounds and this is reflected in who is considered for different roles. Current employees at Bristow & Sutor range from apprentices and entry-level joiners to staff with previous enforcement experience and many others who previously stepped into the unknown after working in sectors such as retail, leisure, hospitality, events, sales, customer service and more.
Stable environments and variation in career pathways is not something that all industries can offer in the present climate, but companies like Bristow & Sutor can point to their growth and performance during the coronavirus pandemic as evidence of why a career in enforcement is a fantastic option at times of uncertainty. Local Authorities rely on the collections recovered by enforcement firms to fund critical services such as social care, which is needed more than ever to tackle the ongoing impact of the coronavirus. If choosing a career move based on client demand, enforcement should be high on anyone’s list.
Similar to the security industry, there has been a historic view that the industry only suited male staff, but this has changed and could not be further from the truth. At Bristow & Sutor our female EAs are highly successful and we actively encourage applications from diverse candidates of all backgrounds. Connecting with debtors on a personal level is an essential component of what we do, so having a workforce made up of differing life experiences and cultures is also highly beneficial. Our ambition is to be as diverse as possible and provide a workforce that mirrors and reflects the multi-cultural society and communities we work within.
Enforcement is a fantastic career for anyone who believes in fairness and that recovering funds from people who can afford to pay but choose not is the right thing to do. If you agree with our cool, calm and collected approach, then enforcement could also be a good fit for you.
To learn more and see our current list of vacancies, please visit our dedicated careers page.