AN UPHILL BATTLE! Getting an Architecture Job in the UK without UK experience! Ft. Marwah Aziz
By Stephen Drew
April 11, 2022
0:00 / 48:42
Stephen Drew00:01

Hello everyone in the big wide world. And it's the new year. It's February. January's already gone. It's time to move on. Things are happening at a fast pace. And I'm sure if you're looking for a job in the architecture market, that it's so much is going on. And perhaps if you're the client, you've realized that the situation is also change and finding people can be really difficult.

I'm drawing here today. By some colleagues, I guess you could say colleagues, fellow recruiters, fellow professionals in the field. And we're going to have an open Frank on this conversation about the Cara market, as well as learn about what they're up to as well. So on that note, I'm going to do a little introduction.

So I'm joined here virtually. I think it would be this cyber. With Hannah, Brooke than Hannah is currently on. have I said that correctly? Renouncing. Very, I liked the name. I liked that name Renee seem, and I'm also joined here by Marwa Aziz who is at EGUs. And if I said that, it's almost it's Egypt.

Okay.

Marwah Aziz01:09

Damn change. It we'll change it. Stephen seems like you don't like it or no,

Stephen Drew01:14

I love it. I love it. I'm the one that needs to change and adapt. And so it's great to have you here, perhaps Hannah, you can tell us a little bit about what you currently do and how you're involved in architectural recruitment.

Hannah Brooke01:29

Absolutely. Like you said, I worked for a NACY and when I see is a social enterprise, so we're based in Hackney. And we do all sorts of amazing stuff, but it's the mission or the vision is all about creating the conditions for communities to thrive. And so employment is a massive part of that.

And so I run their. Employment services, which,

Stephen Drew01:49

Yeah. Yeah, no, I'll probably love it. And I was just going to just do a little virtual clap. I don't know if you guys can hear that, but I can hear that it's a social enterprise and we'll make this distinction just before we go in, because I've actually worked.

I don't know. I used to be a part two in the industry and I've worked with architecture practices hiring, but in terms of recruiting. I've always been in the private sector. Now Hannah is social enterprise. That's a little bit different right. Than the companies I've worked with. So do you want to just unpack that little bit of information for us?

Hannah Brooke02:22

Absolutely. So you said the service that we, that I run transitions is all about restarting the. Of refugee professionals. And that obviously includes architects and kind of professionals in the built environment. And so the way a social enterprise works is that we've got an asset lock in terms of our purpose, our mission any money we make over and above our costs is reinvested.

In achieving our social mission. And in this case, it's about ensuring that those that are furthest from the market or underrepresented in the market that we change that essentially. And we get people and talent into the jobs that

Stephen Drew02:54

they should be in love. It. Absolutely. That's really useful.

And I think quite a noble cause because I haven't worked in recruitment for quite some time, there's always. That difficult transition period. And I guess that's where your title actually fits in really well. We're at. People with different situations, maybe they worked in done amazing architecture, different countries come to the UK.

It's not that easy to get a job in architecture in the UK in my experience. And that kind of at that point in between is incredibly stressful. So what I would say, Hannah is we're going to hold onto that for, but I don't want to be a rude host here. My, I don't know if you can still see me because my computer.

It'd been playing up a little bit, but it's, I think we're all here. We're going to keep going. But Marla, do you want to tell us a little bit about what your role is and how you work with Hannah and I'd love to know a little bit about what you currently do at the.

Marwah Aziz03:52

Okay. I am an urban designer and I have an architecture background.

So I worked as an architect for 10 years back home in Yemen. And I came to do my master's degree in the UK achieving scholar. So I came on a scholarship. I graduated with distinction and then I started searching for a job. I thought at the beginning, it was going to be an easy thing to do.

But unfortunately I realized that there was a lot of things that I had to face how I met Hannah was through . So I had joined Renisi working as an employment advisor, because I was searching for a job and I like. Could not really find my suitable job and in the field.

And I was working at RNAC and joining the transitions model and. And yeah, through transitions. I joined eaches.

Stephen Drew04:47

Amazing. Wow. Now,

Marwah Aziz04:49

currently working as an oven design, I finally in my field for the past almost

Stephen Drew04:53

six years. Well done, you got to, I wanted to squeeze in, on our clap for your back and it is absolutely brutal.

Isn't it making that transition at the start. And I think that while the opportunity's always there and I've seen lots and lots of people. Talented people like yourself, get the role in the UK. There's like a few months where you're like fighting almost for it and it can feel lonely. It can feel stressful.

And I imagine at the time when you were doing the second. Sometimes you speak to recruiters and it's quite people try to help. They don't really have enough time and you in between, and you're not really sure you're getting all the answers from employers. And did you find yourself hitting that brick wall initially?

Marwah Aziz05:42

And then, yeah, I think after six months of searching, I realized that I must have been doing something incorrect because I was always hit by the wall, as you said. And at times when I was successful to get an interview, I still was not able to secure the job even though at times I thought, I nailed it in the interview.

Like I'll, I would get feedback from the employer saying okay, you've done great. But unfortunately you lack the a couple of years experience in the country, and it was a dilemma I'm like, how I am supposed to get a couple of years experience if I'm not working. And, but I have experience from overseas, like I am an architect and they would say, no, that's disregarded.

And I'm like, okay. And unfortunately, at a point I was already applying for entry-level jobs and I still was not able to secure a job was I was considered overqualified. And then when I applied for the jobs that are suitable for me, I was told that I'm under-qualified, I think it was very stressful because honestly speaking, like after I graduated with distinction, I was like, okay, so I've got master's degree from this country.

I speak three languages. I've got 10 years experience. I think I'm a great add to any company. So I thought that it would just take me six months to secure a job in my field. Unfortunately, I, that was not the case. And even though I went to networking events and I tried as much as I could. Break all these barriers in a way or another, but I would say that for office overseas refugees in particular is just we just have other layers of barriers and difficulties, for example, the fact that our degrees in architecture not recognized in the UK we can be for example professional architects that been working for 10 years.

That is not, recognized in the UK. So all that was just extra. I don't know, extra barriers for

Stephen Drew07:53

us. Yeah. Bless you. Look, you came out fighting spirit and I get to use my like and noises. So you you broke through it. And you did it. And so what I think if anyone's going to take away anything from this podcast, and if you are in that difficult situation of looking, is that I do think if you keep going.

You will get there and it is a shame it's that difficult. And I have seen people in that position. So first of all, well done proud that you got there and that's maybe what we can do together as a team here is we can, and I think for what would be awesome to do is to establish those barriers.

I'll tell you a figured out. I've seen them maybe a hammer. You can give me your insight as well, Marwa, because there's probably people listening. And if they hear those barriers, they'd be like, oh yeah, that's what I'm feeling. Maybe they aren't feeling so alone. So I think the first barrier they see the most, which is exactly as you hit the nail on the head is the catch 22 of you need UK regulations.

Ah, You need UK regulations, there's chicken and egg, because to, to get the job, you need the UK regulations because that's what they looking for. But you're also very transparent. You don't really have those. And then that's like this self-perpetuating barrier. Isn't it? It's you don't understand UK building regulations.

And I think that one of the ways I've seen the around this barrier is. There's some architectural practices and urban designers and other companies, which do maybe overseas work. And that can be a nice transition and need, especially if you speak different languages and you understand different cultures that can be advantageous.

So some examples will be companies. I know w T TG, which through, beautiful hotels overseas, but then also what I've seen some success with as well. Is speaking to employers in RIBA stages, but you perhaps, maybe you haven't necessarily done the UK, the work in the UK. So that kind of shows that you're familiar with what the rebar work stages are.

You understand that you're familiar with the culture and that will go a little bit to debunk this and naggy. Thing in the interview is head of, oh my gosh, no UK building regulations. That's Hannah, do you want to chip in on that or malware as well? Is there any thoughts around that subject, Hannah, perhaps you've seen people who have experienced this clients and stuff.

What's your.

Hannah Brooke10:15

Yeah. More liquidly there, but a number of barriers and you're absolutely right. And in terms of the advice you've given around overcoming that particular barrier, I think that's spot on something that we've been developing and doing more of is mentoring as well.

So we're connecting individuals to people in their fields where they can advise on those steps that you take exactly to get accreditation to, to join a particular membership, probably like RBA, et cetera. Yeah we definitely see that as well. Overcoming that I think the issue is then the and I'm sure this will resonate, but as the kind of job search goes on and it's unsuccessful.

So all candidates in particular, I guess it for early stage individuals that are born in the UK, it's the same but for our guys, it's, the career gap gets longer and the longer it gets that in itself.

Stephen Drew11:00

Oh my gosh. I've been out of work for awhile. Will that be seen as a negative and a.

Yeah, absolutely.

Hannah Brooke11:08

Absolutely. And I think, it again for our candidates, it's through no fault of their own. So sometimes the, the forcible relocation has impacted on that career obviously. And then the asylum process it takes. So actually applying to get permission to work can take years now in a sort of post pandemic world.

So you've got a situation where you're not working in your field. Suddenly those kinds of those skills in terms of the latest stuff, you're not going to have access to that necessarily. And while we can probably speak about that in a bit more detail, but yeah. Yeah, we see that as a big issue.

It's

Stephen Drew11:38

very interesting. My word, is there anything around that point to the barriers that you'd like to expand the.

Marwah Aziz11:46

Actually I'd like to just just explain expand on the building regulations point that you've mentioned. I think I'm in, I've taken like a different path because I did sustainable urban design and my.

And my masters and I wanted to pursue an oven design career, but in the end regarding building regulations, all learning about planning policies, or as I'm as an architect, I have the capability to understand. These building regulations, and it's just easier for us to, land these things quite quickly.

And you can see that in fresh interest graduates, when they graduate from architecture, they're able to understand these things. And it's not rocket science. So I'm just trying to say that in the industry, one overseas professionals are seen as people who are not familiar with building regulations.

They can be familiar quite quickly. Like I've started learning about the national planning policy and understand the compendium. I know how to use or how to refer to sequel, how to refer to brand, because these things are things that I've learnt and they're things that I've also self-educated in regarding software.

For example, we use back home Autodesk, we use AutoCAD Photoshop, SketchUp. I had worked on these software's. All my life, but in the UK people more use Ravitch. And the fact that I didn't have that on my CV always made it seem like, oh, okay, now you don't have revenue. You can not really work on projects.

And I joined ages and I had a training literally like a week ago, and I'm now working on 3d projects on Revvit. So I'm learning as I go, because I'm an architect. I understand these things. When you're not an architect. Okay. You can be told it's hard for you to learn a software.

It's hard for you to understand national policy, but when you're an architect, then you already have that mindset. So I'm just trying to say that it is so unfortunate that so many people are being forced away from the industry, just because they have different credentials or. Certificates or different, experiences.

I think it is quite important to include all of these people because they will contribute to their society. They will contribute to the industry. They will contribute with everything that they know, and they will learn quickly and integrate.

Stephen Drew14:11

Yeah, I think said to be on this, I just know it's like I though my light here, I've got no control of our light, so it looks like I've got the holy light come down.

You guys don't mind. I don't mind too. And said. And I think that there's a number of things going it's. It's interesting. It's like it's getting the employer to get past these nervous nurses that, that pop there, which on one sense I can understand as an employer, you would be conscious of these issues, but at the same time, As you quite rightly pointed out my way, you've done this before in another professional capacity.

So there's no reason why after a little investment, you can't do it again. And then you unlock that person's talent and that can be used. And why would you not want people from different cultures, people, different diversities, different ethnicities that kind of adds in the greater scheme to the strand for the office.

So it's like going around that and what I quite like about this scheme, or I quite like about as well, what you're doing Anna, is that. Patient enough to go through this. And they think that, or it might be worth talking about is I think that the current status of recruitment, and while we were just talking about before the podcast, I was talking quite candidly about recruitment is that sometimes they think that one of the misconceptions I see is that you'll have a fantastic architect who has just come to the UK and looking for it.

And their natural reaction is to speak to a recruitment comm, a consultant, and I think 99.9% of the time. The recruitment consultant is the person that's probably not going to be able to help him. I know it's slightly different with what you do, Anna, but in a private recruitment company. I normally get like a brief from a client to find a highest.

Set of scales. So at another company, so typically you might be trying to find the bid manager to work in the current role as a bid manager, who's maybe been a BIM coordinator or a bid manager at a company, or it could be that I'm looking for an architect. Who's just worked on the hotels. And what happens is loads of people ring up the recruitment consultant and they don't really have the time to deal with.

The current person's situation and they, I, where it could be a combination of things of out of politeness, or they don't really want to say, oh, I can't really help you right now. And what happens is that I think that people call up recruitment consultants typically before these kinds of social enterprises and they don't really get the guidance.

That's needed. And then it the candidate who's looking for a job feels a bit unsupported and lonely, and really they've got to go out there and fight and approach companies direct. So did you have that experience initially when speaking to recruitment consultants? Marwa?

Marwah Aziz17:06

I did actually I think.

It was for me, the fact that I every that I try to apply for jobs through. Ask me to go back to the other party. If it makes sense. Like I applied in the public sector, then I was told, okay, we really cannot hire you. You need to go to the private sector. And then I thought I started applying in the private sector and I was asked you, maybe seek the help of recruitment agencies.

And then when I did. Recruitment agencies told me. Oh, I think we cannot really help you because you don't have the couple of years experience again. And it just

Stephen Drew17:44

seemed like I was

Marwah Aziz17:48

in this far, all alone, trying to understand okay, so how does anybody. Work in this country. And at a point I even started like doubting the fight that I can work in the UK.

I'm like, maybe they're doing something like, extraordinary in this country that I cannot do. And that's why you rightly said recruitment. Agencies are not ideal for people. A set of barriers because you need let's say a career advisor someone new is able to understand what you need and what the market needs and liaises between both of you.

Both sides of it makes sense. Like what public practice is doing at the moment, because public practice as an organization understands that there's a lack of designers in the public sector. And there's a need for designers and they're liaising between. Finding those designers and bringing them to the public sector for the good off of urban design and regeneration projects and so on.

So that's how we needed I pass into the, for example learned two tips from Hannah in terms of changing my CV format. It was not correct. I, it was meant to. It was like the format used in the middle east. And that's why I was not always getting, to interview stages.

And in interviews, for example, I come from a culture where we say, So we did this and this and this project. So whenever I'm asked a question, I wasn't always able to talk about, I always talk about myself. So even though I was leading a team in doing something, I would say we achieved this and that's not really interpreted in the crop, correct way here in the UK here.

You really have to focus on what you've done in particular and that, in that scenario and how did you contribute and how to do things. So tips like these, we don't get to find them. We don't find people to tell us, okay, this is what you have to do. And I believe it is quite important.

Maybe not necessarily only have social enterprises that support obviously as professionals, but let me create an app where someone can go and just find all these simple answers to get to the UK market. Instead of for lump. For example, I had to work. In translation for almost eight months.

And I worked as a social, which was a very good thing because now I understand the market as a, as an employment advisor. But what I'm saying is like I had to spend a year and eight months after graduation working away from architecture, which also influenced me indirectly because I was away from my profession.

Stephen Drew20:42

Very well said, look, you covered so much there. And it resonates with me. That's the truth. Cause I have predominantly in terms of recruitment mainly worked in the private sector and then I've got part on Thurlow. Why Y to run them February 20, 20, the, with the pandemic, so I was at home and because I worked in architecture, like you, that's where I.

The architecture. So www dot Architecture, Social dot com. And he was like my way of trying to get involved, keep my brain active and probably instilled some of the lessons I've learned. So that candidates who are students and even architects and, like talented overseas architects, just trying to get some of the lessons out there.

That's even now I try to do content there, but I also, now I try to be very transparent with people that when I'm recruiting, especially in the private sector, Always have part one or part two jobs. And I always try to say, check out some of the content I've done, but also, you need to search and crack on with that search and you need to get involved and start learning from each other as well.

So it can be I'm trying to. Pick all that information I think is super valuable and I've enjoyed it. I enjoy that. And that's probably a nice segue and that's how we met because I did a podcast, which I think was I was on the business of architecture and I was talking about disrupting recruitment.

Kind of the old status quo and the bound, the boundaries that as a recruitment consultant, you get, and also as a candidate, what you experienced as well. Hannah there's. So let's maybe dive into a little bit about that. So compared to what I do. The social enterprise aspect is a little bit different.

Isn't it? So what would be the typical roles that you work on a day to day? Hannah? And maybe you can say how that's, how you met malware and tell us, walk us through that process.

Hannah Brooke22:36

My, my specific remit is actually employee engagement. So I'm we exist, as I said to open doors for talent, like Marwell you've even had from my experience, et cetera.

But we also are there to and educate employers about inclusive recruitment, about the benefits of all the stuff. Again, that more was talked about like diversity of thought, this untapped talent pool or the benefits that can bring to the sector in the UK and help it to thrive. And I say, educate, sometimes we get amazing passionate advocates.

To us, and progressive employers and it's a delight working with them, there's a whole spectrum there and it's really so in terms of the talent portfolio, I've got actually, we've got engineers, we've also got tech talent. So we have a kind of portfolio of candidates that we work across different sectors.

And I think it's, yeah. Going back to the conversation, it's. We see the potential in them is about transferable skills is about having those conversations with employers. And what we do is we have a returner placement model. So in its purest form, we will have broker with an employer that six month period.

And they, it might be the probation period. It might be a fixed. But in essence, it's allowing someone to come in, who may not have worked for a period of time because of that career gap is allowing someone who hasn't maybe worked in the UK before that just needs to orientate themselves in the UK.

It's a different culture. It's a different way of working and it's all being compounded by the pandemic. Where you're being onboarded, virtually all of that. So much harder when you haven't worked here in the UK before. And so yeah, so then you've got that, that individual's got six months really to find their feet and show the employee the value they can bring to the organization and vice versa.

And its model works really well in the end of that period, we've had last year, a hundred percent of our candidates going on to be offered permanent contracts at

Stephen Drew24:19

that point, wow. This speaks for itself, doesn't it? It's like it works. And we're seeing it here in the full circle, the fact that being a candidate in the process, and I think that's really encouraging and I think there's a place for them.

And that's why I was super happy to have this conversation, because I think that even between recruitment consultants is so shortsighted with this whole competition, like in theory, we're competing with each other and I think that's as well. Unfortunately, one of the fragmented parts of our industry.

There's this element of, oh my gosh, we compete with each other. We shouldn't exchange information. We shouldn't share information about candidates looking for jobs. We shouldn't do that because you would do that with your own team, but why would you do it with someone else? And I just think like that social site ads and then, and not giving information is, or helping out is also short-sighted something.

Like I can speak to a part one or part two. I try to give advice where I can then I might work with them use later. So that actually benefits me in a way as well. So there's. Reasons why you should go out or the way in how people. And I love that your scheme is flexible in that way, where it is extra support during the start, because I imagine in the client's head, it's more of that initial reassurance, this scheme has helped and provided that this person works hard and you're happy with it. Then they continue. Have you found that what people, sometimes clients are nervous that the stock Hannah for when they learn about the scheme and what you do, they're actually pleasantly supplies with the low drop, with a zero dropout rate and everything.

Hannah Brooke25:59

Absolutely. And often we'll start from a sort of pilot perspective, we get one or two individuals in and and then that changes people's minds. How it works, they just realize that they, a refugee architect is another person with another experience with with another set of skills that they're bringing to that organization.

That's as simple as that, I think sometimes employees can go into panic mode as blueberries. It's a kind of very specific program. And it's not, as people led this person led. And when an employer operates like that, it fits really well.

Stephen Drew26:31

That's, what's really interesting about this is that sometimes in teams and this is just my raw thoughts and I can't prove this all anecdotally, but what's interesting is like CVS and portfolios and covering that as an all that.

It's presenting logical information. And if you can get an emotional catch, then that's where people invite. That's where a hiring manager will invite someone in for an interview. What I mean by. It's so interesting that I think people logically withdraw candidates, which are useful at the start. So what I mean by this they over worry.

Once they see a CV in portfolio and go, oh my gosh, there's no UK regulations. Maybe this person doesn't have the rabbit yet. And they logically rule them out. But if they met this person on an emotional level, on a human level, they that this person can do the job. So what I quite like about your system is it saying to people like, look, I will help you out with your logical worries, but let's see if you will like that person that see if you believe that they're the right kind of fit culturally.

The right kind of fit emotionally their ability to do the job. And if you believe that they can do it, then we'll support you. So absolutely that does it make sense? Like

Hannah Brooke27:46

my role. Okay. I'm not crazy that you haven't hit the nail on the head. I always am at pains to emphasize a more we've had this before, we all have a social enterprise, not a charity or candidates or our talent.

They're not beneficiaries. It's about meeting a business need. We plug your skills gaps. You we're providing you with talent. We're supporting you in your kind of diversity and inclusion aims, with your social value. We, there were all of those business benefits, but it's not about just doing the right thing.

Albeit it is just doing the right thing, so there is a kind of responsible business case there, but it absolutely makes sense on a kind of bottom line, triple bottom line, whatever way you want to refer

Stephen Drew28:23

to it. Okay, cool. And I love that. I'll give you another clap, cause I think it's so important now.

I need to learn as well on this podcast and we can learn the life. And if I embarrass myself, so cakes is my podcast. I'll be responsible for embarrassing myself. So the Architecture Social is it's my own private company and recruitment pays the bills. It keeps the servers on, it pays for my monthly outgoing costs.

I enjoy recruitment, but I'm upfront about what role I'm working on. And I try to do a lot of group work and mentoring on the community. So I'm a private business, which does. I don't know social staff, but what is the difference between a real social enterprise compared to what I do in the Architecture Social, so I can distinguish, and I understand what you mean when you say it's social enterprise.

Hannah Brooke29:10

Yeah. Honestly if it was just reflected in your in your D does it work, and then in how you set up your company, that you have a social purpose, that's pretty much it.

Stephen Drew29:21

Okay. I'm getting I'm learning. I'm not. Ooh, I'm not going to say any names on the companies, but

Hannah Brooke29:28

okay.

So Renee, see Renee sees a limited company, but it's, as I said, it's written in our kind of I've forgotten the word, which is why I'm struggling here. Anyway, but it's written into the,

Stephen Drew29:39

the agenda, the narrative I had a mentoring session with them. This, I worked quite a lot with ACRA Alaria did they were until the time.

And accurate. Larry's an architecture practice and they was all about the purpose, the meaning, and it got drilled into me. It's what's the purpose of the Architecture Social? And I was like pink it for ages about all the features and benefits, like it's a forum, it's this and that and kept all the vocab going.

And it was really useful. Go this no battalion that's fine. You've got a forum, but why is it? Yeah. And then now. And he was like, just tell me what you think. Thinking. I was like it's because job seeking in architectures terrible and stressful and annoying and frustrating. And if I can make it less stressful, that's his purpose.

And he was like, that's a purpose. And I was like, yes, I was like, and that's where I believe in because it is so difficult getting a job E N and most nine times out of 10 and especially. When you're someone that's moved from a country where you're comfortable in your situation, you move for whatever reason, right?

But you remove yourself from one physical environment to another, which has different culture, different values, and you can add an advantage there, but that during that transition is extremely stressful. And what I like about what you do, Anna, is that, and I'm learning from you as well. It's all about, we're all learning from.

It's helping that transition is so important. And I think, and I would argue that it's one of the most stressful periods and a lot of talented professionals careers, I think.

Hannah Brooke31:06

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And, I think the impact it can have on an individual's confidence is probably underestimated,

Stephen Drew31:14

I've seen it seen.

I seen some people I did this morning just before. Yeah. I did CV and portfolio sessions in both studios. So I did that and that was like my social purpose thingy of the week is I'm going to do that. And one lady hadn't worked in art. Hadn't worked in interior design for a few years.

Psycho. I'm not sure if I can go back. So I'm like, course you can go back to it by the age is going to be tough. And, but you can do it and, but everyone can go back to it. And that period of time, the one thing I'd like to add. Before we have a bit of fun and you can ask me questions, you can do it wherever you want.

And we have bit of fun with that. But the one thing I'd like to throw out there is that sometimes they see people really worry about for example, quite rightly sponsored treatment. Visas can be difficult. Employers get thrown off and I've seen some people not mention that on this. Naomi was thing that you should mention that quite early in the process, because there's nothing worse than going all the way down the process and you feel it in like you hiding something and then the, the raw, and then you mentioned it.

I've seen some people mentioned that right at the end, they have a great interview and they go, oh, by the way, I need sponsorship. And. The company freaks out because they don't understand the situation. And that's the biggest thing. It's like a lack of understanding. And then actually, because especially now with the skilled workers it's actually, it's not as hard as possible, but if I always say to candidates, if you say, look.

This and that on the skilled work arrangement. And it's very simple process and I knew exactly how to do it, and I have a solicitor in price. And if you come and meet me and we have a good conversation, don't worry about that. I'm prepared to go through it with you, then that kind of debunks the issue straight away.

And I think that then going through the process. You take the elephant out of the room, and I think that psychologically, that is less stressful than constantly going through the process and worrying about at the end, like a little secrets, you know what? You shouldn't be.

Hannah Brooke33:09

No. Totally. I just on that point, cause I own, it's probably worth saying, but like one of the light bulb moments we have with a lot of practices and a lot of employers is when they realize that our talent is already resident in the UK with permission to work.

They don't need visas. They don't need to go through that sponsorship process. And and yeah, I think often people think refugees datas that's what's required and actually, Brexit and other events have precipitated that more with kind of other overseas talent. And I absolutely hear you.

And I would agree with you with that advice that you're giving them that it's. It's key to get that out or not front. And in a way that's, just, almost like a, just a fact moving on, and this is me. Exactly. But but for our guys, yeah. Resident in the UK got permission to work. Good to go.

Stephen Drew33:51

And that makes them makes complete sense. We will have a bit of fun now because normally the interview is always one way. I get to ask all these questions. Everyone worries about it now. Do you, that we can have a bit, we can talk, like there's a few things you can mention one or two things that you're passionate about, but also maybe you have some questions for me is wow.

Hannah, just to jump off and then Marwa, you can let's see what you fancy is if you can catch me out, I'm only joking, but you can ask me anything as well. Hammer from one recruitment colleagues who are never, is there anything you'd like me to ask or unpack live?

Hannah Brooke34:32

Yes, because I've only really been working in this space since what, January a year ago.

So I'm pretty much all of it.

Stephen Drew34:41

Very grateful. Don't worry.

Hannah Brooke34:45

No I think, you'll be, your platform is amazing. I've shared it with all our candidates. It's a great resource. I'm regularly dialing in for the the little gems, so thank you. And I loved your point earlier just about collaboration.

I would love to see that more in the sector I work in where you could actually small, charitable or social organizations working to make to make him. Practices more inclusive across the piece, right across the, all the protective characteristics and beyond. And yet there's often it's not rivalry is the wrong word, but it's almost like people are competing at a time and space and priorities.

And I feel that both employers and those organizations need to understand that, inclusion isn't about hitting one or two it's doing it across the board. And yes, I appreciate there are steps and, and that type of thing, but I think as recruitment Specialists or, agencies, we can just help feed into that.

We can share ways about doing it. And we can, building people is a great platform that I'm a part of the people in the built environment. If you're not, I'm absolutely going to leap to that, but again, so lots of organizations sitting behind working with different groups from veterans to refugees, to you name it and there for employers and practices to go and investigate and have wholesale solutions.

I feel like sometimes we're a bit itty-bitty and I guess my question for you is, obviously engaging with us through this conversation. I'm going to turn it back on you. What you're going to take away what you're going to do different.

Stephen Drew36:07

First thing is I'm going to do a research on building people.org.uk, little shower to them.

It looks quite cool. I think a few I would be really interested in continuing to develop. Employers worries about skilled work as and so forth. I think what would be cool is if there was an area that like employers can go for quick asset access, how to deal with that situation, because I had a recently with.

When they just didn't know what to do. And it wasn't a case of they were unable to do, and they just needed the points in the right direction. So maybe Hannah, this was a bit of a space there that we can do because that's a point I think, because the Architecture Social I've been designing it a lot for the job seeker, but I think the next mission is also for the hiring manager, because in turn that that loop where more and more information.

We can hopefully to bunk the barriers because in a lot in this conversation that we've had is about people that have been in that transition and talking about those barriers there in ways to overcome them. But the ultimate way would be to remove the barriers with the employers because that we educate them in the, either the advantages or how to go around the problems, because like getting the skilled worker license, It's 500 pounds.

It means that you can hire lots of amazing people, but it takes two months, I think. And you can speed it up, I believe to five or six months. But in my experience, what happens is everyone wants someone to stop as soon as possible. And I go we can't do a scale of work as thing now stay because you need to find someone immediate and maybe we'll consider that.

And I think it's. That's saying have a stitch in time saves nine. If we can get people to get these like admin bits out of the way, then it might actually help the process. Does that give you an idea of what I'm thinking and I'm always open for