I’ve been working as HR Director for 2 years now but I’ve been connected with Orion for the last 20 years or so. In that time I’ve constantly been impressed with how different it seems from other recruitment agencies. This is especially impressive when considering that Orion is now the UK's largest engineering recruitment agency.
When Orion was formed 26 years ago it was always going to be a little different. A family owned company it still has the same chairman to this day: Alan Savage. His motto was and still is “people are our business”
and most importantly this attitude isn’t just external, it’s very much at the heart of the business.
It doesn’t feel like other agencies for a number of reasons. Sales are obviously important but we take an attitude that if you’re doing your job right this will happen naturally so we don’t badger our teams with KPI’s. We genuinely pride ourselves in favouring long-term relationships over short-term gain and our clients and candidates appreciate this.
It’s reflected in our incredibly high staff retention rate, which is pretty unusual in this young and transitory industry. I love how much we’re able to offer the people that work here. It’s not a work place that sticks you in one role and leaves you there to rot. We really encourage personal growth in terms of educational opportunities, movement between roles, between teams and countries. We don’t tie our people down with fixed expectations.
We’ve offices all over the world and we relish giving people the chance to experience them. We’ve had team members move between London and Houston, Houston to Kazakhstan. Talent never goes unnoticed. We allow and promote flexibility between roles and departments, which allows team members to both gain a huge amount of experience and to find the place where they really want to be. We know that our clients and candidates see this and appreciate it from their comments to us.
As a proud Scottish company we decided to make a big thing of our 25th Anniversary last year. We flew in staff and their families from all over the world to join us for a weekend of celebrations. We also enjoy smaller light-hearted moments, such as our Smoothie Mornings. Held once a month, at Orion HQ we all gather in the canteen and make a mess with fruit and ice-cream! How healthy and delicious the concoctions are is a matter of opinion but it’s still a work in progress!
What’s important to us is the team performance. We have a ‘no blame’ culture which, although it sounds quite cheesy, is such an important symbol of what we stand for. Mistakes don’t warrant a punishment, they’re an opportunity to learn and improve for next time. I personally think this attitude is great – it’s certainly not something I’ve seen much of in the rest of my career!
I’m excited for the future of Orion; we’re going to be expanding our offices to places like South America, particularly Rio (so if you’d like to be there for Carnival next year keep an eye out for roles!) and further into places like Mozambique. The vast majority of big recruitment agencies are owned by finance or business and we all know what that means: external pressure which often creates mixed results. We’re essentially one of the last big independent agents and this drives our determination and passion. Google