Cast UK welcomes two new consultants to its Manchester office

We are happy to announce that we have strengthened our team with two new appointments to our Manchester office.

The new starters, Tony Zyda and Connor Blankley, have joined Cast UK’s Training Academy and will be working in the Logistics sector.

With extensive experience working here in the UK and overseas, Tony Zyda is a former Logistical Operations and Warehouse Manager, with 22 years military experience in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

Connor Blankley comes to Cast UK from a recruitment background, with a passion for the industry already established. He joins the Logistics South team, led by Gary Robinson, to work with clients throughout the South West.

Commenting on his experience of the Cast UK Training Academy, Tony said: “It’s great to be part of an ambitious team who are sector specialists. Having been a candidate in the past, I have been on the receiving end of poor service from other agencies. With my logistics background, and great support from my team leader, Gary, I am really excited about my new career and providing excellent recruitment services at Cast UK’s high standards.”

Connor added “I joined Cast UK because the career opportunities & progression available here are clearly mapped out & attainable. So far I have really enjoyed the in-house training programme. We are covering each topic in depth, with input from team managers & senior consultants, ensuring that we get maximum benefit from peoples’ skills and personal insights gained over years of experience.”

Wayne Brophy, managing director of Cast UK, added: “Having recently moved into our new larger offices at the end of 2014, we are really happy to be expanding our teams through our Training Academy.

We recognise the importance of providing an environment that both supports and challenges ambitious employees embarking on their career with us. We welcome the opportunity to work with Tony & Connor, developing their skills and careers within the recruitment sector.”

Cast UK Christmas Message

If you are anything like us, no doubt you are shocked to find that Christmas is only a few days away & 2015 looms on the horizon….

Perhaps the reason the holidays have crept up on us so quickly this year is that 2014 has been a busy one for everyone and Cast UK is no exception.

With the upturn in the economy our clients have been relentlessly recruiting the best talent out there & we have been running to keep up!

In addition, 2014 has been a year of self-reflection here at Cast UK, as we look within to develop our strengths. Indeed, in the first half of the year we undertook & completed the Government’s Growth Accelerator Scheme, resulting in a new 3 year growth plan which we have been busy implementing ever since! Currently we are recovering from our big office move two weeks ago and finally the new “Orange Towers” is starting to feel a little more like home.

So far the numbers are looking good: Turnover has doubled along with our office space, 8 new recruits have been through our Training Academy, 40 new all-singing-&-dancing phone handsets have been installed along with the new cloud phone system and we have added another two recruitment teams. All-in-all, we are proud of our progress but we won’t be standing still any time soon!

Our relationships with our existing clients have been further reinforced as we have been busy recruiting talent for them. This has helped Cast UK secure several national sole supplier agreements with large organisations plus we have added over forty new clients that we have never worked with before to our ever growing portfolio of happy customers.

We are all optimistic about what 2015 will bring. We think this will be our best year yet plus it is our 10th Year Anniversary as a business so big celebrations are being planned.

Before 2015 commences though, we are going to take a little breath, relax, enjoy a Christmas drink (or two) at the office party & raise a toast, to you, & us for the year head.

Wishing you & your family, the very best Christmas & a fantastic and productive 2015.

Wayne Brophy

Managing Director

Cast UK teams up with JD Sports for festive charity raffle

We are delighted to have teamed up with our client, JD Sports, to offer an epic opportunity to see The Who live in concert at Manchester’s Phones4U Arena this coming weekend, as part of the leading sports fashion retailer’s festive ’Guess Who…..?’ competition.

The tickets are a donation from Cast UK and will see two lucky winners enjoy the opportunity to look back on 50 years of the legendary band as Roger Daltry, Pete Townsend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon perform their greatest hits to a packed arena.

The competition is open to all colleagues at the Kingsway Distribution Centre and the winners and runners up were selected on Wednesday 10th December. The competition will raise funds for JD Sports’ official charity, The Christie – Europe’s largest cancer centre, treating more than 40,000 patients each year.

Wayne Brophy, Managing Director of leading recruitment company, Cast UK, said: “As a charity that is close to our hearts, we wanted to contribute to the competition and thought this would be a prize to remember. Not only will it be a once-in-a-lifetime gig, but we hope it goes some way to raise valuable funding for such a worthy charity.”

Karen Owen, from JD Sports, added: “It’s great to see the Cast UK team get involved with one of our annual Christmas activities again this year. We’ve taken advantage of the theme and introduced a ‘Guess Who?’ picture quiz to inject some fun into the DC during this busy time. It is great that we can also support a fantastic charity whilst doing so.”


Cast UK are pleased to announce we have been appointed the sole recruiter for professional level logistics personnel at Abbey Logistics. Abbey Logistics Group employ over 250 employees & in June this year they acquired most of the assets and customer base relating to the Bulk Powder transport business of Seafield Logistics Limited.

Gareth Steggles, Cast UK’s Logistics North manager said “We are elated to have secured this agreement with Abbey to service all their professional level logistics roles. We have worked with them now for some time & this is the next logical step in our relationship. Our close working partnership means we have a great insight into their culture, and this agreement allows us to have better visibility of Abbey’s requirements as they expand, ensuring we can proactively recruit the best people on their behalf.”

Steve Granite, Managing Director of ALG commented “Abbey recognises that the increased demand for excellent logistics candidates in the UK means we need to work hard to attract the best talent in the industry to maintain a top level of service for our Blue Chip clientele. We are confident that Cast UK can provide us with candidates that have the right knowledge and experience to allow us to continue our expansion going forward.”

Abbey Logistics are aware that the much published skills gap in the logistics industry will continue to cause problems in the short to medium term, hence the creation by Steve Granite of the “Think Logistics” scheme which has been set up to encourage 16 – 24 year olds to consider careers in the logistics industry.

Safety is in Speed when Landing the Best Candidates


Time is of the essence

“In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed.” So said Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th century, proving he knew as much about human nature as he did about the physics of mass and gravity. It’s a call for measured progress to stop caution turning into inaction. And you guessed it, it applies to the current  recruitment climate too, which is thawing fast.

In 2014 Skills for Logistics published its Logistics Employer Skills Survey 2013. Its message of optimism about the near and medium-term future of logistics recruitment (half a million new jobs by 2019) was tempered by a warning that too many companies are still in a recession mindset when it comes to planning for new logistics managers and executives. In short, they are leaving it till the last minute.

At Cast UK, we’re forever advising our clients to get the ball rolling as soon as possible after the need for recruitment becomes obvious – in fact, we suggest that it should never stop.  Just as important is ensuring your recruitment process is as efficient and speedy as possible. The Skills for Logistics published Logistics Employer Skills Survey reported that 57% of companies surveyed have lost potential candidates due to the length of the recruitment process.

Here’s our list of top tips for reducing your process timescales to secure the best talent for your team:

  1. Think long-term. Economies always have their ups and downs, as do individual sectors. But waiting for the ups before going recruiting will lead to disappointment. Planning ahead is essential if you’re to hit the ice speeding.
  2. Keep the interview process nimble. A two-stage process should happen quickly for you and for the candidate to maintain focus and enthusiasm. Block-book interviewers so the gap between the first filter interview and the final one is as short as possible.
  3. Don’t waste time on the maybes. If you’re not sure about someone’s CV, it’s unlikely the candidate will suddenly become the runaway favourite after interview 1. Be brutal, follow your instincts and only interview the ones you’re genuinely tossing up between.
  4. Outsource your recruitment. OK, we would say that, wouldn’t we? But think about all the other companies you hire to supply critical parts of your business, from its fuel to its IT infrastructure. Recruitment is a distinct skill with techniques and expertise that don’t necessarily come naturally to all employers. Outsourcing it brings in the best practices – and the best candidates.
  5. Form a real relationship with the recruiter. Let them in, let them see how you operate, and you’ll probably find your recruiter will be your most valuable partner, identifying potential talent long before you’d considered taking someone on.
  6. Don’t lose your focus on your internal assets. For every experienced new recruit there’s a company somewhere that’s lost an employee. If you’re experiencing a high turnover of staff, it could be that you’re not paying enough attention to their career development. A good retention and talent management scheme will make staff feel vital to your company and can increase the chances of your finding the next manager or executive from within.

You might not be looking for anyone right this moment, but that’s no reason not to get the groundwork under way. Follow the six steps above and when the time comes you’ll already have a plan in place to land the best managers and executives.

Don’t wait till you can hear the ice cracking under your feet – keep moving and feel the benefits.

Cast UK grows team with promotions and a new appointment

Recruitment company, Cast UK, which specialises in procurement, buying, supply chain and logistics, has strengthened its team with two promotions and a new appointment to its Manchester office.

Hannah Villa-March and Genevieve Greensted have both been appointed to the role of consultant after completing the Cast UK Graduate Training Academy, and David Lloyd joins the team as a consultant.

Hannah joined Cast UK after receiving her degree in German and Spanish and gaining career experience in a media sales role. She has successfully completed her training and is a consultant looking after logistics throughout East Midlands and South Yorkshire.

Genevieve, a Fashion and Textiles Retailing graduate, joined the company as a resourcer in the logistics division and is now a consultant working with Cast UK’s logistics clients across the South East.

David has been appointed to the position of consultant and joins Cast UK from Tesco Stores Ltd. where he was deputy store manager following a fast track programme. He will work alongside the logistics team with the companies’ clients operating in the North West.

Speaking about her experience of the training academy, Hannah said: “The business has seen significant growth in the last year and Cast UK’s comprehensive training scheme has contributed to our expansion. Graduates benefit from one-to-one support and mentoring from consultants, which ensures a solid foundation for career development.”

Wayne Brophy, managing director of Cast UK, added: “Our Graduate Training Academy has been very successful and we are delighted that Hannah and Genevieve have excelled and taken on the role of consultant. We’re also thrilled to welcome David to the team and look forward to continuing on our growth curve.”

Cast UK appoints four new graduates to its Manchester office

Specialist recruitment company, Cast UK, has strengthened its team with four new appointments to its Manchester office.

The new starters, which include Ben Bennett, Russell Smith, Ben Findley and Dan Whitmore, have joined Cast UK’s Graduate Training Academy.

Ben Bennett is a geography graduate from the University of Leicester and is working within the procurement and supply chain team focusing on engineering and manufacturing in the Midlands.  In his spare time, Ben is stand-up comedian and made his debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year, which received four-star reviews.

Russell Smith is a psychology graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University and international swimmer representing GB in overseas competitions across Europe, Australia, USA, South Africa, Japan and Singapore.  As part of the retail and FMCG team, led by Pete Hobson, Russell will specialise in procurement and supply chain in the Midlands and Milton Keynes.

Ben Findley, who studied at Royal Holloway University of London, joins the specialist recruitment company with over four years of experience in retail and works in the logistics team in the South.

Dan Whitmore, originally from Saddleworth, joins Cast UK after receiving his degree from York University. He joins the procurement and supply chain team, led by Mark Nesbit, to work with clients throughout the North East.

Commenting on his experience of the Cast UK Graduate Training Academy, Dan said: “It’s great to be part of an ambitious team who are specialists in the sectors they operate. I’ve received great support from my team leader, Mark, and feel like the company is helping me to build a solid foundation for career growth.”

Wayne Brophy, managing director of Cast UK, added: “Having grown the team significantly in the last year, we recognise the importance of providing an environment that both supports and challenges ambitious graduates embarking on their careers in recruitment.

“We’ve developed a model that enables them to benefit from the expertise of senior team members, with a one-to-one pairing process, while giving them the opportunity to learn and develop their career with us.”

Demand for professional talent up by 20% as job market returns to pre-crisis growth

According to new survey data from APSCo, the UK’s professional staffing trade body, recruitment firms now have 20% more vacancies on their books than this time last year. Its latest research, independently validated by Staffing Industry Analysts, comes as the Treasury’s growth forecast for the UK economy continues to climb month-on-month, with forecasted GDP growth now standing at 3.1% for 2014, up from 1.8% at the beginning of the year.

Permanent vacancies across the engineering, IT, accounting & finance, social work and media & marketing sectors are all up year-on-year, with the former three demonstrating the most impressive jobs growth (35%, 22% and 18% respectively).

Furthermore, professional temporary and contract vacancies are also exhibiting strong growth as both are up by 8%.

Contrary to APSCo’s findings, specialist recruitment company, Cast UK, reported a staggering 45% increase in interim roles within the last 12 months.

Wayne Brophy, managing director of Cast UK, explains why he thinks interim roles are on the up:

“The report by APSCo does reinforce the same growth trend we are seeing in permanent vacancies, however, we are experiencing a much steeper increase in interim work as it’s a way of accessing experienced, specialist talent with a proven track record, who can come into a business and hit the ground running.

“Both employers and employees benefit from this type of role as interim work either helps to bridge a short-term employment gap, or is an efficient way of managing growth and enhancing an organisation’s talent pool, particularly during a period of transition.”

Soft skills favoured over technical knowledge in graduates

In a report by education provider, Kaplan, it has been suggested that employers value confidence and effective communication over technical knowledge when recruiting graduates.

The survey of 198 UK employers found that employers ranked ‘soft skills’, including confidence and an ability to be analytical, high at the recruitment stage. Technical knowledge took the 24th position out of 30 when employers ranked a list of their required or desired competencies.

Managing Director of specialist recruitment company, Cast UK, Wayne Brophy comments on the findings:

“At Cast UK, we place equal emphasis on soft skills and technical ability as we recognise that, ultimately, people buy from people. Technical skills are critical in a specialist company so we take the time to develop these through our bespoke graduate training academy.

“While having in-depth knowledge in the sectors we recruit for is of upmost importance, relationships and rapport with our clients is one of the reasons that over 70% of our business is repeat business.”

Employers need to move fast to access a shrinking talent pool

Extended recruitment processes are proving a major stumbling block for employers in a market that is witnessing a real battle for talent.


The CIPD’s 2013 survey, Resourcing and Talent Planning, states that larger organisations are most affected, with 57 per cent of companies with more than 5,000 employees reporting they have lost potential recruits due to the length of the process.


While there has been a shift in the recruitment process, with online selection tests used by a fifth of organisations and an increasing number of interviews carried out by telephone, employers need to be smarter if they want to secure top talent.


The latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG report points to an acceleration of both permanent and temporary placements, especially in the South East. Permanent placements are reported at a five-month high, with temporary placements at a seven-month high.


Wayne Brophy, Managing Director of specialist recruitment company, Cast UK, commented: “This market buoyancy may sound like good news for employers, but with a shrinking talent pool, there is heightened competition to attract the best talent. This is particularly challenging in larger organisations, which can sometimes be weighed down by bureaucracy and can lack the agility of more entrepreneurial counterparts.”


This skills gap is reiterated by the REC and KPMG report which points to the sharpest decline in permanent candidate availability since the survey commenced in 1997.


Wayne added: “These statistics should remind employers of the value of using recruitment partners who specialise in their designated markets. It is also an opportunity for organisations to focus on creating true ‘employer brands’ and to think hard about how they tackle the entire recruitment process.”