When the Standards Board for England began considering relocation to Manchester, MIDAS was on hand to provide assistance every step of the way. This included organising a series of reconnaissance visits for Standards Board employees and helping to locate suitable office space by arranging property searches and site visits.
The reconnaissance visits were particularly valuable, receiving a lot of positive feedback. They gave employees a taste of life in Manchester, including tours of the city centre and popular suburbs, residential property guides and the chance to meet with other colleagues relocating to Manchester.
In June 2006 Policy and Guidance became the first Standards Board team to relocate to Manchester. The organisation was encouraged by the number of employees that decided to make the move, with 35% of the Policy and Guidance team heading north. Employees from other departments, such as investigations, have also taken the opportunity to relocate.
The first employees to move have been delighted by their new lifestyle, enjoying what they have described as “a friendly atmosphere and an excellent balance between city and country living”.
MIDAS was also able to assist with the Standards Boards recruitment campaign. Support initially involved showing the HR department around Manchester and arranging relevant meetings with recruitment agencies and the University of Manchester’s careers department.
“MIDAS’ involvement has certainly made the process smoother,” says Amy Berrisford, HR Officer for the Standards Board who has temporarily relocated to Manchester to head this second wave of recruitment. “They provided us with a good introduction to the city and have really helped make the recruitment process a lot easier.”
During the first recruitment phase, the Standards Board was pleasantly surprised by the number of applications received for posts and by the quality of candidates, as Amy explains:
“I have to admit, we received many more applications than I expected. For some roles we received more applications than we have done for similar positions in London and the calibre of candidates has been very high.
“We were very pleased when we carried out the initial interviews in June 2006, and found that of the twelve candidates we interviewed all were potentially employable and very well qualified.”
The campaign was so successful that the Standards Board quickly advertised for other posts, to further build their Manchester base and since late 2006 all new positions have been recruited in the region.
“Manchester has an excellent skills base and individuals are extremely career focused,”continues Amy.
The Standards Board team is currently working from serviced offices in the heart of Manchester’s financial district and, with the help of MIDAS, will move in April 2007 to their new permanent location, the refurbished Griffin House, a Grade-A development located on the border of the city’s popular Northern Quarter and Piccadilly Gardens complex.
“Manchester has excellent communication links around the UK, with London just over 2 hours away by train. We have also been delighted by the strong local authority presence throughout Greater Manchester, which is key to our organisation. The regeneration around the city centre has turned what was once a somewhat dated city into a lively and cosmopolitan place to live and work. It is the ideal location for the Standards Board for England.”