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Kickstart Case Studies

Two case studies from local Kickstarters who have recently been employed.
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Case study – Ben

Who are the company and what do they do?

Naturally Social are a social-first communications agency based in Corsham, Wiltshire. What does this mean exactly? It means they are a digital marketing company with a difference, putting purpose before profit they are on a mission to achieve social for social good. Working with charities and ethical companies alike, to promote positivity and change the world one post at a time.

 

What led you to look at Kickstart and how did you interact with us, how did you find us or did we reach out to you?

Here at Naturally Social we never underestimate the knowledge and impact of young people. Lockdown had been tough on everyone; we were looking to expand our team but with uncertainty looming we didn’t want to commit to hiring a permanent staff member, when we heard about the Kickstart program through our network it sounded like the perfect solution. We were able to give a young person a chance and kickstart their career and not have to worry about any more potential lockdowns making things difficult.

 

What was their journey through the Kickstart placement and how did they find it?

Ben had been made redundant from his call-center job during the first lockdown and as with many others in his position had no option but to claim universal credits, in doing so, he made himself viable for the Kickstart placement. He applied for the role of Project Support Assistant with us, after interviewing we felt strongly that Ben had exactly what we were looking for; confidence, determination and a can-do attitude.

Ben worked with us in our office at the Digital Mansion throughout his entire placement. From the very beginning he proved himself to be a valuable member of the Naturally Social team, participating in discussions and getting stuck in. Throughout his time with us, his main responsibility was to manage the account with Wiltshire Digital Drive, a local charity client of ours. He worked on several successful projects, including a fundraising event and launching an annual awareness day. Based on Ben’s performance at the start of his placement, we felt confident letting him take the lead on these two high-profile projects, under the guidance of founder, Natalie. We can happily report that Ben did not disappoint, he did a fantastic job and both the Naturally Social team and clients were happy with his work.

When it came to the end of his placement, we would loved to have kept Ben on for a permanent position but at the time our need for a Communications and Admin Assistant was much greater, this role was fulfilled by our other Kickstart employee. However, we couldn’t just let Ben go, we managed to secure him a permanent role at Wiltshire Digital Drive, having worked so closely with them during his placement with us made him the perfect candidate. Not only is Ben doing amazing in his new role, working with Wiltshire Digital Drive means we still get to see him and stay-up-to date with his progress, which the Naturally Social team love.

 

What problems (and solutions) did they encounter?

The main challenge for Ben was his lack of experience in digital marketing. His call-centre role meant that he had the interpersonal skills we were looking for, however there was still a lot to learn when it came to software. We developed a four-week training plan for Ben to get him up to speed with everything, following this we then had a discussion with him to find out where he thought he could develop further and specifically what skills he felt he needed to work on to complete the tasks he’d been struggling with. As a result, we were able to find multiple courses and training programs to help further his development. At Naturally Social we are constantly trying to develop and learn, I think having already established this culture it made it easier for Ben to open up, not be afraid to ask for help or additional training in specific areas.

 

How has it made a difference to you and the Kickstarter?

It’s clear that we all gained a lot from this experience. Ben was a huge asset throughout his entire placement and it was a pleasure to watch him grow and develop. It was the first time we had taken someone on for this kind of position, therefore we also learned a lot about how to integrate this role into the team and what it would look like on a long-term basis. We can’t speak for Ben but we think the evidence speaks for itself, following his placement he was able to secure a permanent position in which he is excelling at. The skills and experience he has gained from his placement have really opened his opportunities.

 

Quotes from Ben

“Arranging an awareness day and a fundraising event have both been really useful in increasing my confidence & knowledge base.”

“Natalie has always been sure to be aware of mental health and wellbeing, offering team days out & mental health break days which has meant a lot to me.”

 

Case Study Harry

Who are the company and what do they do?

Naturally Social are a social-first communications agency based in Corsham, Wiltshire. What does this mean exactly? It means they are a digital marketing company with a difference, putting purpose before profit they are on a mission to achieve social for social good. Working with charities and ethical companies alike, to promote positivity and change the world one post at a time

 

What led you to look at Kickstart and how did you interact with us, how did you find us or did we reach out to you?

Here at Naturally Social we never underestimate the knowledge and impact of young people. Lockdown had been tough on everyone; we were looking to expand our team but with uncertainty looming we didn’t want to commit to hiring a permanent staff member, when we heard about the Kickstart program through our network it sounded like the perfect solution. We were able to give a young person a chance and kickstart their career and not have to worry about any more potential lockdowns making things difficult.

 

What was their journey through the Kickstart placement and how did they find it?

Harry graduated from university in 2020 and started looking for work straightaway, however this was made incredibly difficult by the covid-19 lockdown. Due to the level of uncertainty at the time, very few businesses were taking people on. Harry found out about the Kickstarter placement in October and after a couple of months of receiving assistance from the Chippenham Job Centre became eligible for the program.

“I found the process exciting and a little daunting, I knew this was the best way for me to find work but I didn’t have much interview experience and this made me anxious”. - Harry

Harry is neurodiverse; as a result, the interview process is something he has always struggled with and avoided where possible. Working with the Chippenham Job Centre we were privy to this information from the get go and made adjustments to the process to make Harry feel more comfortable. By doing this we got to see the best parts of him, Harry shone in his interview and we knew straight away that he would be a great fit for Naturally Social. Throughout his placement he took on the role of Communications and Administration Assistant.

Throughout the placement, Harry worked very closely with our Business Development Manager, Rachael. She took him through his training program and oversaw his tasks. Harry joined Naturally Social with tons of potential, but once he got comfortable in the role, we really saw him excel. Harry is responsible for assisting the rest of the team and ensuring they have what they need to get their tasks done. He has become a cornerstone member of our team which is why when is placement came to an end, we couldn’t see any other option but to take him on as a permanent member of staff. We’re very proud to say that we recently celebrated his one-year anniversary as part of the Naturally Social team.

 

What problems (and solutions) did they encounter?

“My biggest challenge was overcoming my nerves towards being in a proper work environment for the first time and doing tasks that I wasn't familiar with” - Harry.

The biggest hurdle for Harry has always been his confidence, he’s an extremely capable young man but second guesses himself. We always encourage members of the team to get involved with discussions, at first Harry was slow to contribute but as he settled in started to get more involved, which was lovely to see. We never wanted to make him feel overwhelmed so let him take it at his own pace, using positive reinforcement to recognize his contribution.

Something that really helped was when he was asked to do a speech about the Kickstart program at a local event. We felt this would be a really good opportunity for him to prove to himself that he’s far more capable than he believed. Together we supported him to write his speech and went through public speaking techniques. When he finally stood on that stage, he was fantastic and we could really see how far he had come since joining us at the beginning of his placement.

“Doing a speech about the Kickstart Scheme definitely helped my confidence and showed me that I can overcome anything” - Harry

 

How has it made a difference to you and Kickstarter?

The fact that we decided we couldn’t possibly let Harry go when his placement came to end shows that he has had quite an impact on the Naturally Social team as a whole. Having him in the office has been hugely beneficial, having someone to help coordinate tasks has really helped to create smoother internal and external processes, ensuring that we are using our time effectively and productively.

Harry has developed in so many ways since joining Naturally Social, not just professionally but personally as well. The biggest transformation we’ve seen is his confidence, when he first started, he was very shy and anxious and now he gets involved in the group discussions and TikTok videos the same way as the rest of the team. It’s clear that he has definitely opened up and has more self-belief. It's been a pleasure to see his journey over the past year and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the future. 

 

For more information, please click here and check out @NlySocial and @wiltsDigiDrive on socials.