Looking back now, I can't think why I would waste so much of my life and money in cramped trains!
I’ve been at CBSbutler since 2008 but before this like so many others did the weekday morning commute heading for an early start at my job as a recruitment consultant in London.
Despite the fact that Redhill has good accommodation, a great social life and infrastructure and a thriving local economy, too many skilled people have given up the idea of working here. And for companies like ours, that desperately need this level of talent to join our team and fuel growth, it’s a major headache. So, given the horror stories that pour out of practically any commuter at the slightest provocation, I’m not sure why so many people spend up to two hours hiking backwards and forwards to town every day?
Maybe the problem stems from the fact that, Redhill still suffers from the old perception that provincial towns can only offer lower paid, low skill jobs. And, unfortunately statistics seem to back this feeling up. Apart from at a relatively few large companies in the area, there does seem to be a ‘glass ceiling’ for jobs locally.
Yet working in Redhill doesn’t have to mean compromising on your career and I’m proof of this! I’m a Surrey boy born and bred. My family is here - and my mates are here. I spent six years travelling three hours a day to get to my job in North London and to have that three hours a day back to myself is amazing! I can leave home at the same time and get into work an hour earlier. People often talk about being able to earn more in London but it’s not true - I was spending over £2,500 per year on a season ticket - that soon cancels out any ‘so called’ London Weighting.
I think we’ve fought back against the Surrey ‘brain-drain’ by playing London at its own game. We get upper quartile salaries, and have opportunities for career development normally not seen outside the capital. That’s meant properly thought out training programmes, whole company get-togethers and treating staff like ‘grown ups’ capable of making sensible commercial and career decisions. We also have a gym on site as well as a canteen and a fantastic garden – perfect for summer lunch outdoors. The bosses are imaginative and innovative when it comes to hanging on to good people. Everyone knows that recruitment can be a challenging and demanding environment and they’re also good at promoting a family atmosphere with flexible and part time working options.
So if we can do it, why can’t other companies? It’s time to fight back – Redhill 1, London 0!