Winner: Commercial Services

The recruitment division of Commercial Services is wholly owned by Kent County Council. Connect2Kent provides a master vendor recruitment managed service for the council for all categories of temporary, interim and contract positions. When required, the recruitment team engages with its OJEU-compliant supply chain, with zero off-contract spend. Increasing demand from other public, third and private organisations have led it to operate an external trading business, Connect2staff. An example of the company’s expertise contributing to clients’ success is its work connected with resettling Syrian refugees in Kent, where it swiftly mobilised an interpreting and translation business to source qualified agency translators, ensuring families were fully supported from arrival through to full integration into the UK.

• The company sourced assessors for adult social care. The council had a backlog of deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) assessments, but a combined effort to source qualified best interest assessors allowed the assessments to be completed within the necessary timeframe.

• A challenging vacancy filled by Connect2Kent is placing six independent chairs, for domestic homicide and for the safeguarding adults board, into the council and Kent Police – all six workers are ad hoc consultants and still work on a regular basis for the service.

• Connect2Kent provided temporary admin and education support staff to Virtual Schools Kent, which promotes the progress and educational attainment of children in care and young care leavers.

• Connect2Kent helped a care and support worker in their career path, assisting them in a move to work at a reception centre for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, and then to gain skills to eventually become a shift leader at this centre.

• Innovation during this period is shown by the company’s development of a mobile app, MyTimesheets, to meet the challenges of clients with shift workers. The app enables real-time approval of individual shifts that are captured for finalised authorisation by the hiring manager for the week as a whole on a secure client portal.

Highly Commended:

Baltimore Consulting

Judges’ Comments:

“The winner showed a clear focus on delivering solutions in a difficult environment … and showed innovation in creating an in-house recruitment agency, adding real value to the community and the council.”