Silverstone Inspiration for Innovation Profile #2 – Caroline Vooght, Business Unit Director Expion Search & Selection

Welcome back to our ‘volunteer profile’ blog, the aim of which is to give you an introduction to the individual volunteers who are part of the Silverstone Park volunteer network which supports the Inspiration for Innovation programme.

Let me introduce Caroline Vooght (pronounced ‘vote’ btw) of ​Expion Search & Selection​, a determined, honest and exceptionally approachable individual who works as a recruitment specialist and leader in her business. Caroline is also a proud mum of two daughters and once walked the Great Wall of China for ‘​Against Breast Cancer​’ raising close to £4k for the charity.

In regard to the Inspiration for Innovation programme, Caroline was presented with the inaugural Tom Maccabee award for being volunteer of the year 2018-2019. This was a truly well deserved recognition of her outstanding contributions throughout the year which included several visits into schools as well as taking part in our Inspirational Events.

Caroline graduated from The University of Manchester in 1995 and now has over 20 years of experience in specialist recruitment, sourcing and placing middle to senior level candidates within the Food/FMCG manufacturing sector. Currently, Caroline’s role involves building relationships with new and prospective clients, sourcing suitable candidates for vacancies within those clients, and managing candidates through the interview process, notice period and on-boarding into their new role.

No two days are the same in her business. Caroline spends most days speaking to candidates and clients and following up on feedback from interviews which hopefully lead to job offers. It’s really important for Caroline to understand her clients business so she spends a lot of time getting to know them as well as investing time in coaching and supporting candidates prior to interview. You will notice on meeting Caroline that she is very engaging and has a natural empathy; throw in the radiant smile and you can see how easy it is to connect with her.

Clearly the ‘work hard’ ethic runs through everything Caroline does. Her parents ran a small business and have been a major positive influence in her ability to believe in herself and to be the best she can be. Resilience and determination are really important throughout her work and life as a whole. She is clear that having real-life examples of other peoples achievements are vital in helping steer your own path. Caroline cites ​Ann Swain​, CEO of ​APSCo​ as a person in her industry that inspires her because she has a wealth of passion and belief in the recruitment industry and has had such an impact on so many businesses, and the recruitment industry as a whole.

Keeping motivated is a must and Caroline thrives on seeing the excitement in someone when they are offered a role that they really want.  She says “it’s a fantastic feeling and starts a new chapter in someone’s life”. Expion is continuing to grow and benefit the employees by ensuring that their business is the ‘go to’ recruiter for their clients’ specialist and niche recruitment needs. The central location of Silverstone Park will certainly help with this and is one reason Caroline chose the site. Meeting people face to face is an important aspect of what Expion do, and building relationships is paramount. That, along with the kudos and global fame of Silverstone makes it memorable and the facilities are excellent. Moving here was one of Caroline’s biggest successes and signified something exciting both personally and for the business.

All of this points to why Caroline decided to volunteer for the I4I programme at Silverstone Park as she has always believed that there are opportunities for everyone – “you just need some help to grab them sometimes”, she says. With a love for inspiring others, Caroline believes that volunteering is so worthwhile as you can really have a positive impact on a student’s future. I rather like Caroline’s advice to her 16 year old self “ find something that you love and do it brilliantly”.

We know that Caroline was excited and keen to start her volunteering, and like many of our volunteers, was a little bit nervous, to begin with. She has found it quite challenging with some teenagers who give the impression they are not fully engaged, but also really rewarding because the vast majority of the students have reported her sessions as extremely valuable. Caroline is clearly igniting a spark in many youngsters and helping them to achieve their best employment destination. In the words of Suzy Pykett, Assistant Head Teacher, Director of sixth form at The Buckingham School –

“Caroline has been brilliant at coming in, putting the students at ease very quickly and giving constructive, fair and professional feedback on CVs, application letters and interview technique. She is very perceptive, being able to instantly adapt to the individual needs of the students within an hour; especially our vulnerable students. Caroline has brought amazing resources and is very well prepared for the sessions. She has had an instant impact on growing confidence and improving the soft skills of our students. We look forward to working with you again next year. Thank you!”