Change recruitment – at work and at home

Organisational design - at work and at home
Change – at work and at home

I specialise in change recruitment at work, but my biggest challenge came from change at home – when I had kids!

I never knew how challenging it would be to manage work and family life. Whilst you can vaguely guess at how it might be difficult to divide your full attention between both, you never really know what the reality of it feels like until you experience it.

 

The main thing that you quickly realise is that you only have some much time available to you, especially when you’re running a small business.

 

I remember when life used to be Eat, Sleep, Rave – Repeat!

 

Now I feel more like a Labrador going round and round in circles, chasing his tail but never quite managing to get a hold of it…

 

I know recruiters get a lot of stick but it is a tough job

I know recruiters get a lot of stick but it is a tough job! Both emotionally and also from a time perspective. There is a reason the big recruitment firms make junior recruiters work so hard, its because until you know what you are doing – doing more = better results. The more that you put out there, statistically the more results that you’ll get (even if those results don’t always hold the greatest value).

 

That said, I don’t think many recruitment firms have moved with the times. Most adverts read; we work hard play hard, we go for beers, you can earn loads of money… I don’t think that’s really why most people go to work.

 

These adverts only really appeal to one part of a large demographic. Whilst these might be great perks for someone fresh out of university, for those that have important commitments outside of work then these things just aren’t as important.

 

Your priorities change when you have kids, now the most important thing to me is ensuring I see my boys as often as I can. Not going out with my colleagues for beers every evening (and being judged if you can’t make it). Whilst it’s great to socialise with your team, and I think it’s great to spend time with colleagues outside of the office, this shouldn’t eat away into your personal time and cause an imbalance in how your time is spent.

 

That’s why I setup re:find, I wanted to create a culture that supported people (rather than stifling their creativity), enabled people to put their lives first whilst having the infrastructure to enable them to be a success at work and rewarded people not just with cash but with recognition.

 

Interested? Give me a call. Send me a message. Or leave a comment below. James@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about James Cumming our change and business transformation specialist here

Lifestyles of the rich and the famous… The reality lifestyle business.

Lifestyles of the rich and the famous… The reality lifestyle business.

I was at a conference recently and bumped into an old colleague. We had a nice catch-up and before we parted ways she said it’s great to see that your lifestyle business is going so well…

 

I remember hearing the phrase ‘lifestyle business’ from my big box recruitment background, and it always had a negative connotation attached to it. However, my old colleague didn’t say it with any negative undertones at all – far from it! She was, in fact, using the phrase as a compliment, which got me thinking.

 

Why do people see recruitment firms as lifestyle businesses if they don’t want them to take over the world? A lifestyle business generally refers to a business that allows the owner to live how they want to live whilst also running the company. This phrase also often refers to a business that doesn’t consume your personal life and gives you the flexibility to shut off at the end of the day.

 

I mean, surely the days of 8 till 8 are over, especially with so much industry focus on the subject of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Thinking about it, I guess re:find does fit into the category of a lifestyle business…we have an office dog, there isn’t a suit in sight, flexible working is standard practice and we have a grown-up culture where people are supported (rather than managed to within an inch of their lives).

 

But does that mean you are a lifestyle business? Or is that just perception? How would you define a lifestyle business? Get in touch and let me know!

To discuss further, you can email me on James@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about James Cumming our change and business transformation specialist here.

Insider Story: International HR

In my line of work I often meet people who have lived and worked internationally and have a keen interest in the cultural differences that can be found in HR around the globe, so when Danny Kavanagh crossed my path I thought that he would be the perfect candidate for co-writing a blog with me around international HR.

 

Danny and I discussed everything from how to manage change, through to the perception that other countries have of us Brits in business. Over the last decade, Danny has worked in several countries on assignment and even lived in Scandinavia for three years.

‘The experience was educating in many ways, and included opportunities to see ourselves as others see us. In a work situation, different styles and practices are apparent. Outside of work, news and media reports on the UK and discussions with European colleagues about what was happening back home were on occasions eye-opening.‘

 

Working culture…mind the gap

Having worked across Scandinavia, Sweden, Finland and Poland, Danny has experienced a vast range of different working and social cultures and has found that whilst on one hand, it can feel somewhat bureaucratic when it comes to employment law, there is absolutely no grey area.

 

The UK can often be seen as quite direct and argumentative, where people take sides for and against certain things (e.g BREXIT) and this culture then strays into the workplace. The Scandinavians take more of a consensus approach when making decisions, as they want everyone to agree the best way forward. This method in international HR can be quite exasperating for us Brits, as we can often leave meetings wondering ‘what did we actually decide’ or ‘are we going to do anything?’

 

The culture in British business meetings, by contrast, can be broken down into either shooting down proposals or giving an overly supportive endorsement without any real examination of fact having taken place.

 

Interestingly, when Danny worked in Hungary, he found that the US parent company managers were seen as ‘brash’ and ‘disrespectful of culture’ and he found that the British acquired a ‘go-between’ role to make things work.

 

Implementing change

When implementing change in the UK, we tend to be very upfront when a decision has been made and go ahead and tell everyone what’s going to happen.

In international HR things are done differently – in Scandinavia (for cultural and legal reasons) employers are much more collaborative with their employees and talk more about their proposals, gathering opinions and seemingly seeking permission before committing to a final decision. Finland takes a consultative approach, but they always have a ‘drop dead date’ to go ahead and make the change happen.

 

In Europe, business change can affect a whole community. Companies are often heavily involved in the local community and quite often a number of members of the same family will be working there – so it can be a pretty big deal! Whilst being an interim, Danny found that he could be more direct as the expectation was that you are the ‘subject matter expert’, so your voice gets heard.

‘If I move onto a new change project and it is similar to one I have done before, I will never just re-use what I have done previously. I don’t believe in the ‘one size fits all’ or ‘off the shelf’ mantra on these things, particularly when working internationally, as organisations and cultures are so very different’

Danny believes that HR should be facilitating the balanced view in the workplace; fact-driven, un-emotional discussion searching for the best way forward whilst acknowledging the positives, challenges and sensitivities surrounding the situation.

 

There is a book which helps inform this approach by the late Hans Rosling. It is entitled ‘Factfulness – Ten reasons we are wrong about the world’ and really explores how we need to take an active approach to understand the way other cultures work and truely understand international HR.

 

A huge thank you to Danny Kavanagh for working with me to create this blog.

For all things interim management, change & transformation, get in touch with us via the info form below, and if you would like to feature in our ‘Insiders Story’ blog, email me on kate@refind.co.uk.

You can view more about Kate Wass our executive interim specialist here.