One of Shaftesbury biggest employers is opening its doors to potential new staff who want to find out more about the expanding business. Alfred heard why BV Diary is hosting its first recruitment open day.
BV Dairy lies off-the-beaten-track. Its premises are at the end of Wincombe Lane, part-screened by trees and surrounded by open pastureland. Although this site is just one mile as the crow flies from the Town Hall, not everybody knows that the business is there.
“Although we’ve been here for 62 years, not all people come down to the end of Wincombe Lane and they are not aware that we are here, making clotted cream, soft cheese and yoghurt. Even those who are aware of what we do sometimes assume that we just milk the cows and get the milk in,” said finance director Vaughan Heard.
His role includes overseeing HR and his team has decided to arrange their first-ever recruitment open day. “We employ about 136 people. I think there are some other employers of the same size, but we are certainly one of the bigger employers,” said Vaughan.
His team wants locals who are looking for work or who might be considering future opportunities to understand the range of roles on offer. “We want to let people know what BV Dairy does. It is wide and diverse. We have a massive production area which makes all the products. We have a technical team supporting them. We have a lot of engineering people, finance and marketing helping in the background. We have lots of apprentices who come and join us for careers,” said Vaughan.
Vaughan says some residents who commute away from Shaftesbury for work may not realise that there are opportunities within their field locally. “We want to help support people in the local community who are looking for roles and may be driving a long way because they want to be involved in IT, technical things or engineering. Those roles are available in Shaftesbury,” he said, adding, “I’m sitting and looking at our £1.5 million investment that has gone into an automated process system. It will require upkeep and lots of development. We plan to carry on building and developing. We want to remain at the forefront with innovative solutions to customers. Those are the sort of people we’re looking to come and help us.”
Even if suitable positions are not open immediately, Vaughan says his team is keen to know what range of skilled staff are available locally for when BV’s current staff retire or move on. “We are looking to talk to people to see what they are after. The more that people come and talk to us, the more we find out what they want. And in the future, if they make a career change, they will have us on the radar.”
The company prides itself on staff training and professional development. “Whichever role you are interested in, training is something that we believe in. We have lots of different training courses both internal and external,” said Vaughan.
This recruitment open day is a new initiative for BV Dairy and many locals will not have attended an event like this before, anywhere. Vaughan says you don’t have to dress up because it’s not a job interview. “It’s very informal. You are selling yourself to us, but we are trying to sell ourselves to you. At this stage, it’s not a formal interview. When you come to a formal interview it is as you would expect. We will talk to you about what skill set you have at the moment and what skill set you’re looking to develop. It’s two-way communication. There will be cakes and clotted cream and things for people to eat when they come around. It’ll be a very relaxed day,” he said.
Some people might be concerned about being seen attending a recruitment open day. Word might get back to their current employers that they are looking for a change. “This isn’t necessarily about coming to a recruitment day with your CV. You can just come and find out what we do. That’s fine. If your current employer says, ‘Why were you there?’ you can turn around and say that it’s the same reason that they were there and that you were just working out what other companies do.”
The recruitment open day takes place on Saturday, 25th January, from 10am until 2pm. You’ll be able to take a tour around the site during your visit. You need to book your place so the organisers can arrange catering. Call (01747) 851855 or email jobs@BVdairy.co.uk.
“Even if you’re not looking for a job today or tomorrow, why don’t you just come around and have a look, see what we do? If you’re looking for your first job after studying or looking for a career change, come and see what options we have,” said Vaughan.