Irwin & Colton meets the IIRSM

Full house at the London International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) Branch Meeting

We were delighted to be invited to present recently at the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) London branch meeting at their headquarters in Hammersmith. We were given an open brief by London Branch Chair, Andrew Ammerlann (Group Health and Safety Manager at TalkTalk) and we opted to provide an insight aimed at both job hunters and employers in the health and safety market.

Our aim was to provide candidates and those recruiting in health and safety a tool kit to be able to successfully navigate the recruitment process and build a successful career or recruit the best team possible. Perhaps lofty goals for a 2-hour session and indeed both myself and fellow Director of Irwin & Colton, Michael Colton who were presenting, do not profess to have all the answers. However, recruitment is made up of a large number of small steps and with our combined 18 years we have had the benefit over the years of seeing what works and what tends not to.

There was an excellent turnout and it was standing room only, we were thankful to those who took time out of their schedule on a Monday afternoon to attend. Reflective of the health and safety market the attendees came from an extremely diverse range of backgrounds – from a senior health and safety professional, back in the UK from a break in his role with a major oil and gas project in Saudi Arabia; a Health and Safety Advisor with a major telecommunications company; through to students from the Middlesex University health and safety program, we even had an OBE and MBE holder!

It was no surprise that our section on salary levels in the health and safety industry proved a popular conversation topic. In addition, the various study paths available also attracted a number of questions and comments.

Perhaps one unexpected outcome of the presentation and subsequent question and answer session, was the discussion about how graduates in health and safety can get their foot on the ladder and build a career. There were some exceptionally bright graduates in attendance and it seemed perhaps there was a gap in the health and safety industry of some kind of formal mentoring market place where these and other graduates could meet those looking to mentor. Perhaps this market place does exist, in fact I am sure it must. If someone out there in the health and safety can come forward and share this information it would be much appreciated! We can then collectively help to secure these top graduates roles before we lose them to other countries or industries.

One final theme which came up regularly both for job seekers and those recruiting in health and safety was the essential requirement to stay positive throughout the process. Recruitment can be tough for job seekers and equally for clients searching for that elusive perfect candidate, and at times an emotional rollercoaster. Once you know what you want, staying positive and constantly looking for solutions is the number one piece of advice which trumps all others.  

James Irwin is a Director at Irwin & Colton a specialist UK based Recruitment Consultancy in the health and safety space. For more information please contact James, or +44 (0)207 0784 099

Posted on Wednesday Apr 26