Shared Services, want to attract the best talent to join your business?

Shared services
Credit: The Office, NBC

I recently published an eBook called “Why Top Performing Shared Services Talent Won’t Join Your Business & What To Do About It”. In this eBook, I explain why it is that big reputable brands (which have world-class shared services centres) still find it difficult to recruit and retain the best talent. Even though these brands may believe that “everyone loves our brand and it’s a nice place to work…” this isn’t necessarily the truth.

Is that the message you are giving off to a passive candidate market?

With over 75% of shared services professionals passively looking (and not actively seeking) a new role, then it’s no wonder that it’s difficult to attract and retain the best talent!

Delivering the right message to shared services professionals

Candidates are being increasingly selective over their future employer, and considering that Monarch Airlines, Carillion, Toys R us, House of Fraser, and Maplin (just to name a few!) have gone into administration during the past year, why would you want to leave your cushy job where you’ve worked for years, and where Betty knows how to make the perfect cup of tea, for somewhere that isn’t as secure and may be at risk of joining all of the companies mentioned in the previous sentence?

It’s important that shared services give off the right message, follow the right process and keep up with their competitors when it comes to recruiting.

The most desired Shared Services assignments in the past 12 months that I’ve managed have been within newly created roles. But why is this?

Is it because there isn’t an expectation there, or because they feel the company are performing well by creating these new roles?

Newly created positions offer a chance for candidates to put their stamp on a role and make it their own. As these positions are created due to demand for a certain skillset within a business, they also provide candidates with a sense of feeling wanted and allows them to see these roles as a challenge and the chance to pursue something new.

It’s all about how you deliver the message, and how this message is perceived by your potential future employees!

So the big question is, how do you excite people to work for your shared service centre if the role is replacing someone who lacked motivation, was bored and didn’t enjoy coming into work….

It’s all in your message.

How you get this right in your Shared Services team!

And I have just the thing that can help you with this… In my free eBook, I examine the steps you can take to stay ahead in the field.

If you would like your free copy, email me at

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here

What makes a successful HR business partner?

A HR business partner as successful as batman and superman
What makes a successful HR business partner?

HR has seen quite a change over the past few years, thanks to the introduction of new technologies and changing cultural attitudes. So it makes sense that the qualities of a successful HR business partner may have gone through a similar metamorphosis since Ulrich first introduced the concept.


These days more focus is needed on how they add value to a company. But you can’t just go from being traditional HR to HR business partner overnight, as a completely different set of attitudes, beliefs and skills are required to pull off this role.

So, what exactly makes a successful HR business partner (HRBP)?

  • A well-rounded knowledge base. As the job description for a HR business manager has become all-encompassing, the knowledge base of a HRBP must be as well. Similar to a typical HR manager, a HRBP should have a sound understanding of the law so that the company they work for understands their legal obligations to their employees. Additionally, a basic understanding of psychology is also beneficial as the role now entails more interaction directly with employees.
  • Business-minded. Originally the key characteristic of a HRBP is that they were someone who understood a company’s financial goals and worked to create solutions for HR-focused issues. This characteristic still remains highly important in a modern day HRBP, as without a clear business focus and understanding, a HRBP is not adding value.
  • People skills. Now that this role involves more interaction with employees, it means that a HRBP needs engaging social skills. There’s no point in having great ideas if you can’t sell them and communicate them effectively. If the right person is in the role, then they will be able to enable employees to feel safe and motivated in their workplace and more open to change.
  • Self-belief. If you don’t believe in the impact that HR can have on a business or your own influencing skills, then why should other people? If a business is going to reach its targets, everyone in that business needs to believe that they can make a difference. And those differences start with HR!

A change in the role of HRBP

There has been a huge change in the role of HRBP’s today compared to the same role a few years ago. HR was previously considered an extra department that was nice to have a security blanket for everyone else. Now, HR is essential, and businesses are missing out if they do not adopt this new approach.

Convincing people that ‘HR business partner’ is more than just the latest buzzword means being able to demonstrate value in your work, and with the correct skills and attitudes, the benefits that you can bring to a business are truly limitless.

There is still plenty of debate around what makes a successful HR business partner

There is plenty of resource to help you form your own opinion:

Hiring commercial HRBP’s can be especially difficult, if you are having issues please contact me to discuss further, you can email me on

You can view more about James Cumming our HR, Change and Business Transformation specialist here

Don’t Judge a HR consultant by their CV

Don't judge a HR consultant by their CV
Credit: New Girl, Fox

How often have you read an amazing HR consultant CV only to find that the candidate is much better on paper than they are in real life…


Or maybe you’ve had the opposite experience – where you’ve decided to give a bit of a rubbish CV a chance to then be blown away once you’ve met the candidate!


I was recently talking to a client who, after recruiting for a number of Interim HR roles, has come to the decision that you can’t judge an interim on their CV. They had interviewed a range of candidates and actually found that the candidate they offered the role to was the least attractive on paper.


While CVs can be a great indicator of a candidate’s potential, it’s important to recognise other factors as well in order to give a complex and more rounded view of the individual you’re putting forward for a role.


I think it is also important to recognise that more often than not, HR professionals are very modest folk. They tend to downplay their experience and not really shout about their achievements. By contrast, I also know a number of interims whose CVs are ‘all singing, all dancing’, but having met and probed that individual, there is little substance to back up the experience.


There are certain traits that don’t really translate onto a CV that are often crucial to a position, such as how well they deal with change, how well they interact with large groups of people, and of course the ever elusive ‘cultural fit’.


It’s only when you meet a person and have the chance to talk to them that you will get a sense of these things.


A CV can only really be used as a checklist to tick of the skills someone has against the requirements of a role, however, it’s important to recognise that you don’t interact with a CV every day in the office. It’s not a CV that offers to make you a cuppa – it’s a person!


People are much more than a one-sided word document. It’s difficult to give a flare of personality to a formal record, especially if you work within a traditional industry. Meaning that often the true character and spirit of a person can get lost during the early stages of the recruitment process.


The standard job application practice that includes a CV and a cover letter can be very weak and doesn’t really give you much to go on regarding the quality of a candidate. Very few people thoroughly read a cover letter and most are likely to simply scan your CV for key areas of experience they are looking for to suit the role they are recruiting.


It’s also common for candidates to have their CV ‘proofread’ by multiple people before sending it off to a recruiter, so it’s more likely that your CV is a reflection of your mates’ clever editing rather than your rich career history.


It’s important for both candidates and clients to trust their recruiter and see this process as a collaboration and a partnership. A CV should be seen as an effective ‘first touch’ in the candidate screening process. And they do still have their place in recruitment, as simple things such as spelling and grammar errors can be a clear indicator that someone isn’t right for a role.


I can recall a number of occasions where…in true Love Island style, I have said to a hiring manager, ‘Now this guy doesn’t look like your type on paper, but…’.  The hiring manager has gone on to hire the HR consultant because ultimately they have trusted that I have done my job properly and I am confident that they are right for the role.


But of course, this topic begs the question – if you can’t judge a HR consultant by their CV…how do you decide who to speak to and qualify? Whose CV do you send to your stakeholder and who’s do you reject?


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


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