‘There’s always a driver shortage and Brexit hasn’t helped’

David B’Bade, Managing Director at Kinetic Recruitment
David B’Bade, Managing Director at Kinetic Recruitment

Kinetic Recruitment is part of the SH Pratt Group and, as well a specialist in driver recruitment, the firm also acts an expanding stand-alone agency offering staffing solutions and training across logistics and many other sectors.

Company MD, David B’Bade, jumped at the opportunity to run a new division within SH Pratt Group and joined towards the end of 2015. An experienced recruiter, he started out as a consultant aged 21 before moving onto accounts specialist, then manager and was eventually head-hunted to start a recruitment division at Transport for London.

What is it that attracts him to such a demanding role? “It’s an interesting industry, regardless of the level you begin at,” David explains.

“Recruitment is not for the faint hearted, you make your bones. You can’t just walk into a business with a nine-to-five mentality. You have to pick up the phone speak to people and make things happen. You also have to generate money and a lot of people can be scared to do this.

“If a client has a desk to fill, we look at it in terms of the figure involved. For example it can mean this desk is worth £5,000 to occupy, plus electricity costs. In order to stay in your job you have to provide a return on investment, whether you’re in a sales role, dealing with customers, or managing accounts.

“The challenges involved can range from the hard work of finding good candidates, through to managing the expectations of an unhappy customer. If there’s a lorry hold up it inevitably has a knock-on effect which means someone isn’t going to be pleased.

“All you can do is anticipate the issues, apologise where appropriate – even when these things are out of your control – and develop adequate solutions and back-up plans. If a driver can’t get to their destination, we need to find another one who can.

“There’s always a driver shortage and Brexit hasn’t helped, but this is one of the mysteries of the sector. Perhaps there’s a stigma about being a truck driver, but the reality is it’s a very well-paid job.

“We train people to become HGV-qualified, after which they’ll earn in excess of £35-40,000 a year. They can also develop their career and specialise in transporting volatile goods such as petroleum or other chemicals.

“What makes us different from other recruitment agencies? Well for many it’s about chasing the margin. While recognising that costs are important we’re fortunate in that being part of SH Pratt means we’ll always be able to put service over profits.

“We invest heavily in the professionalism of our drivers who are all fully trained and uniformed. In addition to Kinship’s fleet of trucks all of our transport management staff are also ‘Certificate of Professional Competence’ certified.

“High-quality recruiters are always going to be needed. As well as finding and training the right people, administrative elements of the business such as ensuring IR35 compliance are becoming increasingly important.

“Ultimately we’re not just about drivers. We expect to grow over the next five years and become a major force in recruitment.”

Visit www.kineticrecruitment.uk or call 01582 436591