• Niyaa People

Niyaa People Interview: Castle Vale Community Housing

In our last post we spoke to our Trades and Labour team to highlight a topic of concern for the industry.

This week’s post is written by Matthew Guest (Section Manager and Head of the Public Sector Property and Housing team at Niyaa People) and he speaks to Tansy Crowley-Sweet (Customer 1st & Income Manager at The Pioneer Group) to shed the light on a what it’s really like to work in Housing.

MG: As a recruiter for Housing Associations and Local Authorities across the West Midlands, my role involves meeting with Hiring Managers to understand potential recruitment needs, discuss hiring strategy, industry news and changes to legislation.

One topic that I have found to be a common theme recently is attracting new talent to join the industry. I decided to catch up with Tansy Crowley-Sweet, Income & Customer Service Manager, she’s recently left the private sector to join Castle Vale Community Housing (part of The Pioneer Group), and I was keen to hear her thoughts on being new to the industry and what challenges she has faced so far.

MG: Why Social Housing?

TCS: Coming from a manufacturing background, I’ve had this question a lot (as you can imagine!). For me, moving across to social housing was completely intentional and I am very grateful to my then Director recognising my transferable skills. Although I loved being a manager within Supply Chain at a very well-known multinational organisation and gained invaluable experience and knowledge whilst there, I always knew that my path would lead me to a people based sector.

As soon as I started to look at what my options were with regards to a career change, social housing got me hook line and sinker. I hadn’t quite appreciated the offer social landlords gave to their customers and I knew that this would be the place for me. Castle Vale Community Housing has been and continues to be a great experience and from not having a background in the housing sector, I jumped straight in to Income, Customer Service and Resident Inclusion Management!

MG: What challenges have you faced since joining the sector?

TCS: I have not had the challenges in which I thought I would have considering the change in industry. My expectation was that it would take me time to settle in to a new sector, however it really hasn’t and I hit the ground running. I’ve had great support from my manager and peers and I’m fortunate to have a great mentor in a different Social Housing organisation, which has been really beneficial for my personal and professional development.

I think the biggest challenge for me, was adapting my mind set around partnership working with other organisations. In my previous sector, due to the competitive market, I wasn’t really able to work jointly with other manufacturers in the same industry. This took a little time to adapt to within Social Housing as the collaboration and joint working is not only promoted, but a key aspect of housing. Although people work for different organisations, it really does feel like you are part of a huge social housing community where people celebrate your success and are also on hand to offer support and guidance when you need it.

MG: Biggest achievement since joining the sector?

TCS: I would say that my biggest achievement was hitting the ground running in a new sector and a new role. Although I joined the organisation during a restructure, and at times this was a challenge, we came out the other side with lots to be proud of. Our Income performance improved, the new Customer 1st team was embedded and we have had lots of opportunity think innovatively around resident inclusion. All in all it’s been a great two years!

MG: Where do you see the sector in five years’ time?

TCS: I think there are some really exciting things happening within the sector generally and I think it’s a great time for innovation. I see the industry continuing to keep its customers and communities at the heart of what they do, which is the most important thing!

MG: Any advice to people considering joining the industry?

TCS: Do it! Everyone has been incredibly supportive and I would recommend it to anyone who may be thinking of the move!

MG: I think it is safe to say that Tansy would certainly recommend the industry to anyone that is exploring the possibility of entering the Housing world!

If you would like to discuss your next role or would be keen to explore a career within Housing, please do not hesitate to call me directly!

Find Matthew

Phone: 0121 790 0980


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