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4 months ago by Alex Rutter

Distance no object as NMS bridges 8,000-mile recruitment gap

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THE perfect job may have been more than 8,000 miles away – but distance was no object for NMS Recruit achieving Shannon Gray’s dream of a new start for her family by working in the UK’s booming Telecoms fibre industry.

Within only a matter of days of making the decision to find employment here, Shannon was planning a life-changing move to Manchester from their home in South Africa.

A chance CV posted online, picked up inside an hour by NMS principal consultant Rachel Powell (pictured, left, with Shannon), an internet interview date the following day – and Shannon had a job offer two days later.

Now settled and happy in her role as a Fibre Planner with network provider Freedom Fibre at their headquarters in Irlam, she said: “Starting this job has been an absolute dream come true.

“Although I am still battling with the emotional roller-coaster of moving so far away, being here is like a home from home.

“At first I was shocked as it all happened really fast but, at the same time, I was so excited. Rachel has literally helped me and my family achieve our dream of coming to the UK.”

Shannon’s career in fibre planning and design began five years ago. She started out, she says, knowing absolutely nothing about the growing industry in South Africa but “fell completely in love with it”.

However, she and her husband both agreed to pursue a life in the UK for themselves and their young son – but where to start?

She explained: “I decided to take a chance on sending out my CV to companies in the UK Telecoms industry. I saw a position for a Senior Fibre Planner and, although I didn’t have the years’ experience required, I thought I would give it a go and emailed it.

“This is where my journey began. Rachel responded within an hour, asking if we could have an online Teams meeting – she liked my CV, she said, and there could be some other opportunities I could apply for. I was so happy. 

“Rachel decided to take a chance on sending my CV to Freedom Fibre and the very next day I was given an interview date. Two days later I had got the job. 

“Accepting it was a difficult decision to make but we realised this was our opportunity to have a better life, especially for our son. I had to make the journey here by myself - probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. 

“Leaving them both behind wasn’t easy but knowing I was being helped by Rachel, as well as starting work for an amazing company, helped ease the process. From the very beginning, she was an absolute blessing. She was so hands-on, explained everything and kept me in the loop all the time. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to have helped me land this position. 

“Professionalism isn’t even a word I can use to describe her way of working as she is way more than that - I have made a really good friend as well!”

Lisa Carew, Operations Director at NMS Recruit, added: “The rapidly-moving digital world in which we operate means we can now fast-track employers and job-seekers into employment.

“Going the extra mile – in this case more than 8,000 of them – and setting Shannon and her family on the road to a new life has been a very rewarding experience for Rachel and the team here at NMS

“However, creating that perfect fit for Freedom Fibre and Shannon was more than a job-matching exercise. It was a unique challenge and one where Rachel’s people skills and precise knowledge of the Telecoms market brought such a speedy, successful result for everyone.”

Four months into her role at Freedom Fibre, Shannon looks back on the vital support she’s had from her employers, from the HR team who helped ease her in to a new life so far away from home – both from a workplace and personal perspective – to her friendly and helpful colleagues.

She said: “I work with an amazing team and we have gelled well together. I absolutely love what I do and working for a company like this is beyond what I could have ever have hoped for.

“Words can’t describe how grateful I am for everyone taking the chance on me. It has been such an adventure.”

Praising Shannon for her life-changing actions, Keith Vicary, Head of Fibre Design at Freedom Fibre, said: “Overcoming the extremely difficult circumstances and the emotional roller-coaster of experiences to make a new start here - especially during those early days - is testament to Shannon’s character, her desire to succeed and total commitment to providing a new and more stable life for her family. She has come through with flying colours.

“Shannon has quickly become an integral and reliable part of our design team and her bubbly personality is infectious. She’s a real asset to Freedom Fibre and a role model for others with similar ambitions.

“She’s also proof that women, in this male-dominated industry, do have a rightful and valued place alongside their male colleagues.”