Ricoh has launched a dedicated channel recruitment service for its UK partners. The brand new service has been introduced in direct response to demand from the company’s resellers for help in recruiting highly skilled sales staff at all levels.
Samantha Bradbury, Business Generation Manager within Ricoh UK’s Partner Channel, told PITR that the service, which Ricoh has been working on since last year, is new and unique. “We’ve never done it before, and I don’t believe any other OEM offers this either,” she said.
It is being offered by Ricoh’s Business Generation team as part of its remit to support the channel. “It’s our job to help partners grow and succeed,” explained Bradbury. “This new channel recruitment service is something else that differentiates us. We’re helping our partners to find and train talented staff and, by doing so, are supporting them in their growth strategies.”
The UK is facing a skills gap, and as a result good candidates are increasingly able to pick and choose where they would like to work. A report published by venture capital investor Albion Ventures states that over a third of smaller UK companies are struggling to recruit employees with the necessary skills to help their business grow. It claims that key skills in the areas of IT, sales and financial management are either absent or lacking in some SMEs.
Bradbury says that in the past a number of partners have approached Ricoh for support when looking to recruit new personnel. “Partners looking to hire would ask us if we knew anyone. We helped out informally on a few occasions and realised there was a real need, so we decided to build a business plan around that and shape it into something more structured,” she said.
Ricoh’s channel recruitment service is available to all partners within its indirect channel and aims to provide candidates at all levels, from starter right through to director. Ricoh is currently trialling the service with a number of partners, including large and established accounts, as well as some new partners.
Initially, it will focus on sales recruitment, but there are plans to expand into IT services roles in the future. “The need is primarily to fid good candidates with sales backgrounds, so we will stick with that for now,” explained Bradbury. “Already, the vacancies are coming in thick and fast and we need to make sure that what we do is perfect before we change. We want to ensure that we don’t over promise and under-deliver.”
She added: “Ricoh is a company that prides itself on training and retaining the best talent, which is essential for responsible business growth. We are therefore delighted to share our expertise and offer this new recruitment service, to help our partners attract the best talent for future growth.”
Recognising that the ability to retain good sales people is just as important as the recruitment process itself, every placement Ricoh makes with a channel partner will be backed by a one-year intensive induction and training programme, covering everything from appraisals to solution sales and comprehensive product training.
“It’s difficult to recruit good sales people and even the strongest candidates need training. Many companies don’t have the in-house resource to invest in this area, so we’re providing comprehensive product training and personal development for our partners in the UK,” explained Bradbury.
“We’re providing them with the tools they will need to be a success in their new role.” Ricoh will work with partner companies to ensure all new employees start their career with clear performance targets. Once placed within a partner organisation, Ricoh’s dedicated Partner Sales Recruitment Manager will account manage any new recruits, ensuring that they settle effortlessly and deliver results for their team. The support programme also offers regular one-to-one sessions, performance appraisals and development opportunities.
The service attracts an admin fee, which Bradbury describes as ‘next to nothing’. “We are helping our partners to secure the best employees. If we find them the right people, who are fully trained and able to hit the ground running and start selling, that’s where we will see an ROI,” she said.