Avencia Asks: James Lochrie


This week’s Avencia Asks blog is with our Recruitment Business Partner James Lochrie, who provides an exclusive insight into his day-to-day life at Avencia and what his role involves, so you can get to know us a little better.


James, how long have you been working at Avencia?

I have been working at Avencia for almost 2 years. Previously, I worked in RPO for a large banking client, before moving in-house to work as an in-house Recruitment Lead in Life Insurance.

Avencia provided an opportunity to move back into the world of RPO whilst incorporating my previous Financial Services experience – it was the perfect mix.


What attracted you about Avencia?

I was really interested in Avencia’s offering; providing a more agile and tailored service to the RPO and Insurance piece.

When I first met Avencia’s founders, Chris and Charlie, I was immediately impressed with their approach and vision – I instantly had a good feeling. As soon as I met with the wider team and as Avencia began to grow I knew straight away that they were good people, aligned with clear ambitions and great attitudes.

At Avencia your voice can be heard. You can be directly or indirectly involved in the growth and success of the organisation and I liked that. It provided me with the career perspective I was looking for, offering an opportunity for personal development with an entrepreneurial feel.


Can you describe your role in a little more detail?

When I joined Avencia I was working on-site with one of our most established clients as the Recruitment Business Partner for almost two years before taking an opportunity to move to a new client, for whom we are implementing first generation RPO.

Both roles have essentially involved being the central point of communication for all thing’s recruitment while being embedded onsite with the client.

I work with HR, key business stakeholders/hiring managers, recruitment agencies and our in-house direct recruitment team to oversee the end-to-end recruitment process for all vacancies.

Aside from the daily management of multiple requisitions, I also support with the implementation of new processes. Improving existing recruitment models and rolling out system implementations and initiatives.

Many of Avencia’s clients are first generation RPO and so my role can often involve the education of key business stakeholders on how the RPO model works.


What does your role involve when you start with a new client?

Before I go on site to work with a new client there has already been a lot of groundwork completed by Avencia’s Operations and Implementation teams. From go-live it’s typically a case of reviewing and evaluating the client’s current live vacancies, supporting with hiring processes where necessary, and identifying who the key points of contact are for the business and HR.

Once I have a handle on this, I would then begin networking and developing relationships with key stakeholders in order to build an understanding of the current recruitment processes, current and future hiring needs and collate examples of previous issues they have faced.

From here, I can then look at what Avencia can do to support and improve the existing processes and what governance can be rolled out for instant success.

Working in conjunction with Avencia’s Operations team we can then look to implement and roll out an updated recruitment operating model in line with the business need. This is when typically, my role becomes more BAU.

Much of the first 4-6 weeks is trying to gain an understanding of the client’s pain points, the culture and how quickly and efficiently we can support them with their hiring needs.


What can clients expect from Avencia?

Avencia offers a tailored approach to Talent Acquisition, accommodating clients existing systems and processes and improving on them.

Our agility enables us to bend and flex our services to provide flexible resources depended upon the clients needs. We can adapt and allocate more resources to support with regulatory projects or large recruitment projects if needed. Relieving the need for a permanent in-house team, which can be difficult to manage resource-wise due to naturally fluctuating volumes.

Talent Solutions experience is ingrained throughout Avencia. We try to use this experience in combination with a strong back-office support function, a tailored and bespoke applicant tracking system to ensure we can provide front of house support, as well as reporting and the production of MI, all of which is crucial to our clients.


How does Avencia support their clients hiring needs?

Utilising our ingrained Talent Acquisition and Insurance expertise, the Avencia delivery function can provide comprehensive market mapping capabilities.

Our aim is to ensure that our Direct Delivery function not only understand the vacancy, but the team, function and company culture to enable them to find suitable candidates faster and with more efficiency than using the traditional routes.

We can support with salary benchmarking, market intel and external market trends tailored to individual roles, hiring managers and disciplines. This, coupled with our strong relationships with recruitment agencies across the UK and globally, enables us to support our clients with a range of delivery and hiring requirements.


What does a typical week look like for you?

My role can be quite reactive. The weeks can vary from working multiple vacancies, networking with key business stakeholders, looking at forecasts and working with Avencia on new initiatives.

On a weekly basis I can often manage multiple job briefing’s with hiring managers, manage CV submissions, coordinate and support with interviews, manage offers and negotiations, and support internal recruitment processes.

I am also responsible for providing weekly reporting and commentary to HR and key business stakeholders. In short, every day is different, and I really enjoy that aspect of the role.


If you could describe the part you play in the recruitment process in a sentence, what would it be?

I am responsible for ensuring the management of the end-to-end recruitment process for all hires is a success.

Everything we do at Avencia revolves around making sure we deliver a high-quality service, with a personal touch, and it’s my responsibility to ensure we deliver on the standards and expectations.


What’s the best thing about working at Avencia?

At Avencia the support network is great. Everyone has previous experience of working within the Talent Solutions industry so we all understand each other’s challenges.

We are all connected and wiling to communicate and support each other whenever it’s needed. You can also see first-hand the impact of your work and so you can truly see the fruits of your labour, which is very motivating.  


To find out more about how Avencia can assist you, get in touch at hello@avenciaconsulting.com.


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