Leading Leicester-headquartered recruitment agency, Encore Personnel, which has a specialist team skilled in providing temporary and permanent jobs to the driving industry, has contributed to keeping the country’s supply chain moving throughout the pandemic by sourcing high quality drivers for key worker clients.
When lockdown was announced at the end of March, Encore’s driving division saw an almost 200 per cent increase in demand for shifts across its supermarket and home delivery customers – which meant the business had to react rapidly and efficiently to ensure all requirements were met on time. Drivers were redeployed from clients across the East Midlands where work ceased, to key worker sites which saw huge overnight increase in demand.
Logistics Area Manager at Encore Andrew Fletcher said the hard work and determination of his division’s branch network was the reason why such an unprecedented spike in demand could be navigated effectively.
He said: “At the end of March through April we saw business levels drop by around 60 per cent across our broad client base in our driving division, apart from for our supermarket and home delivery key clients located in Leicester and Northampton, where demand spiked off the chart. Those clients went from ‘normal trading’ requirements mid March, increasing by 193% by the first week of April. We’ve been seeing these clients exceeding their peak volumes – which usually last for two to three weeks around the festive season – week in, week out since April.
“Our sole goal was to keep the supply chain moving by keeping drivers driving, in turn meeting all of our clients’ needs. We did this by swiftly redeploying our drivers to where the need was. This was a mammoth task for our team and I’m extremely proud of how everyone pulled together at a time of intense pressure to get the drivers to where they needed to be. This ensured that our drivers were able to maintain an income to support their families, our clients were able to cope with increased demand and we could all rely on the supermarket shelves being stocked, and our online shopping parcels arriving next day.”
Commenting on the pandemic’s overall impact on the sector, Andrew added: “COVID-19 has certainly meant that there has been less work for drivers overall, given that society effectively shut down for weeks – but before lockdown 2 we were seeing ‘normality’ resume as our clients that had been forced to close returned to trading.
“Since October we are seeing our figures up 20 per cent on where they were pre-lockdown. When we look back at the massive dip we experienced in the depths of lockdown, this is really quite impressive, and is testament to the tenacity, hard work and commitment demonstrated by our teams across the board during these exceptionally challenging times.”
Encore Personnel are one of the UK’s leading recruitment agencies providing temporary, permanent and interim jobs to the industrial, contact services, driving, energy, engineering, managed services and professional services sectors. The agency is based across the Midlands and the north of England, with branches in Leicester, Coventry, Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Northampton, Nottingham, Spalding and Telford.