In our latest Spotlight On, we chat to Chris Beevers, head of technical at affiliate member Jackson Hogg Recruitment, which has confirmed its return to the EMCON engineering and manufacturing event as delivery partner for a second year.
You’re returning as EMCON’s delivery partner. Why did you decide to come back?
We were delighted to be so closely involved with EMCON last year and found the event to be an ideal chance to catch up with contacts old and new. It was also great to be able to invite a range of connections and make targeted introductions to exhibiting businesses, which was a great opportunity for us to add value back to our network. We gained an insightful snapshot of how the industry was performing in general and of its areas of growth through having such a relevant cross section in the same place at the same time, so when we were asked to be delivery partner again this year, it was an easy decision for us to say yes.
What are your priorities as far as this year’s event is concerned?
Our priorities this year are around ensuring that we have strong engagement with relevant decision makers across the wider North East region. EMCON is the key engineering and manufacturing event in the North East calendar and we’re keen to make sure that as many engineering and manufacturing businesses as possible benefit from such a well-attended day.
Last year’s ‘Expert Panel Q&A’ was a real highlight of the event. What can we expect from it this year?
We really enjoyed delivering the Expert Q&A Panel last year and had strong feedback on the insights that came out of the discussion on the day. Whilst our experts cut across multiple sectors from renewables to robotics, a lot of the challenges that they talked about facing were the same and it was a fantastic opportunity to share this with the audience. This year we’re excited about drawing out more of these stories with high profile business leaders who are making great things happen in the region.
You’re heavily involved with the engineering, manufacturing and technology sectors. How is the current economic climate affecting business growth and recruitment?
The engineering, manufacturing and technology sectors have been incredibly busy over the last couple of years and this has allowed us to grow from a team of 3 to almost 40 since 2016. A large proportion of North East companies in these sectors are SMEs, and whilst they are keeping an eye on the wider economic climate, their main focus is continuing to build good businesses. Most of our clients have grown through this period and we are seeing a number of them driving innovation in their products and processes to take advantage of opportunities both nationally and internationally. Recruitment challenges are predominantly led by the market for talent being so competitive and organisations are having to work hard on their candidate proposition to make themselves attractive to potential employees. Retention of current staff in this climate is also a big focus. At Jackson Hogg, we are addressing this by working in much closer partnership with our clients to support them across the whole organisation and helping them to build achievable talent strategies and keep growing with good people.