What is HR?

What is HR? HR – or human resources – is a department in a business responsible for taking care of the employee life cycle. This includes recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, and firing employees, as well as employee benefits, maternity leave and sick pay.

The HR department is also key in business success and growth as it is their responsibility to work with managers to develop and embed people strategies throughout the business and to ensure the vision is shared by all employees.

Organisations depend on three main resources: physical, financial and people. The role that the people play cannot be underestimated because it is vital in any business because they will execute strategies, plans, and processes to make a business successful. And HR is in charge of looking after the people and one of the biggest assets. If people are managed correctly, organizations can be more profitable, lead more effectively, create brand loyalty and do better work.

The human resource function of every business defines its success as an organization. An organisation’s HR function needs to be effective as it plays a major role in the growth of its bottom line and the success of its business strategy.


What does HR do?

There is a whole range of tasks that HR is responsible for, which are all centred around the people in the business. Human resource is a resource for the people to help and support them and their tasks include:

Recruit candidates

When recruiting, HR needs to understand the needs of the business to find the right people for new positions. Arranging interviews, coordinating hiring efforts, and onboarding new employees all falls under their remit.

Update employee records and company policies

Policies need to be checked and updated where necessary, to keep aligned with the changes in the business. Employee records need to be kept on file and up to date. This is a legal requirement, can help to identify skills shortages and also have emergency contacts for each employee.

Employee benefit analysis

If you want to recruit the top talent, you need to ensure your benefits are attractive, so that you do not miss out to other companies. To stay competitive, benefits analysis needs to be undertaken by HR, to see what other companies are offering and if your package is good enough.

Disciplinaries

It is thought of as the ‘not so nice side of HR’, but it is really important that disciplinaries are navigated properly, ultimately for the best for the employee and the business. Whether there is a problem that needs investigating, so relevant support and guidance can be given to the employee to help them get better. This is much better for the business than going through the time and cost of firing and replacing them. However, sometimes it is better for the individual and the business for them to be let go if they just aren’t the right fit for the business. It is up to HR to decide the best course of action in these situations. If navigated inappropriately, disciplinary actions can lead to the loss of a valuable employee and can even result in litigation or a poor reputation.


How does HR support employees?

HR exists to help employees thrive, protects their wellbeing, and makes sure they are happy in their role and at the company. Here are the ways HR supports the people of the business.

Career paths

Career paths give employees goals and keep them motivated and engaged. Once you have a great employee you want to keep them so it’s important that they know how they can progress. HR can then check in periodically to further guide employees on their career paths. 

Learning and development

Offering training opportunities is a great way to keep your employees motivated and helps them to continuously develop their skills. HR can help determine which classes and training programs would be best for an employee on his or her designated career path.

Making managers

Managers aren’t born. They’re created. HR can help by organising relevant training, support and mentors to make the best managers.

Wellbeing at work

Well-being is so important, and it is becoming a real focal point for businesses. People want to feel happy and healthy. They want to feel valued, appreciated and developed. Happy and healthy employees produce better work and make a much better culture, so it’s important to remember that employees are people. Wellbeing in the workplace covers navigating everything from physical and mental health, financial health, and other issues such as pregnancy and adoption, bereavement and divorce.


When do you need HR?

The HR department should have regular 121 meetings to check how they’re getting on in their role and with their career path, plus to see if they have any problems or issues they’d like to discuss. You can find out what else makes a great HR professional here.

The situations where employees may need to reach out to HR for support:

  • If you experience harassment or discrimination from colleagues
  • With questions about benefits that need answering
  • If personal circumstances change which will affect your working schedule
  • To discuss your career path, progression, and training
  • Any other work-related issue

When does a company need a dedicated HR person?
  • If they’re rapidly expanding

Not only can they help with recruiting and onboarding new people, but they can also carry out performance reviews to assess for strengths and weaknesses and identifying where improvements can be made. This helps businesses get the very best out of their team.

  • If they need help with employment law

Employment law can change rapidly, and an HR manager can make sure you’re up to date with all the latest changes to employment law.

  • Employee disputes are on the rise

The more employees you have, the greater the risk of issues. An HR manager is responsible for handling conflicts in the workplace and should be able to avoid lawsuits through mediation. This enables the business to keep staff happy and productive.


What is HRM?

Human resources management is the strategic approach to the employment, development, and wellbeing of the people in a business. It involves all management decisions and actions that affect the relationship between the organisation and its employees.

The functions of HRM are managerial, operative, and advisory.

Managerial functions include:

  • Planning: The planning function of HRM ensures the best fit between employees and jobs avoiding shortages or surpluses. There are four key steps of the HRP process: Analysing present HR supply, forecasting HR demand, balancing HR demand with supply, and aligning to the organizational goals.
  • Organising: Organising is the function of HRM that involves developing an organizational structure to ensure the accomplishment of the organizational goals.
  • Directing: Ensuring all employees are doing what they should be doing, in order to achieve the business goals.
  • Controlling: Performance is evaluated, verified, and compared with overall goals. Action must be taken if performance isn’t at the right level, otherwise it wil effect the business in a negaive way.

The advisory function includes:

  • Top Management Advice: Advise the top management in formulating policies and procedures to maintain high-quality HR and improve employee morale.
  • Departmental Head advice: HRM advises the heads of various departments on policies related to job design, job description, recruitment, selection, appraisals.

What is the importance of HRM?
  • Valuing individuals:
    Employees are more likely to stay at an organization with an empathetic employer. The happywork study by Ultimate Software says that 75% of employees would stay longer at an organization that listens to and addresses their concerns.
  • People bring ideas:
    HRM manages people, and people bring new skills and ideas and help the growth of business.
  • Quality of work life:
    Quality of work life is a legitimate concern, and that employees have a right to safe, clean, and pleasant surroundings, which is one of the responsibilities of HRM.
  • Upskilling is a long-term interest:
    HRM recognizes the need for continuous learning; talents and skills must be continually refined in the long-term interests of the organization.
  • Employee satisfaction: People have a right to be satisfied by their work, and organizations have a responsibility, and a profit motivation, to try to match their skills with their job.

HR tech and systems

From an HR perspective, there has never been a stronger case for investing in technology solutions to support employees and business operations.

HR has been at the forefront of the pandemic helping guide people through the challenges faced due to Covid and remote working and HR systems have been key.

HR technology has enabled the rapid shift to remote working and has been vital in supporting ‘virtual’ processes such as recruitment and onboarding.


James Cumming is our MD and leads our HR practice. He has recruited senior HR professionals for over 15 years and has experience in finding niche HR talent. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

If you would like to find out more about re:find and how we can support you and your business, then please get in touch.

Hiring a Business Change professional is the key to running a successful change programme

Some things never change. However, some things have to change for the sake of progression. Without moving forward, we run the risk of becoming stagnant. This is where a change programme comes in.

Business Change can be a complex and challenging undertaking. It could be focused on either a strategic, technological, process or organisational change. However, it shouldn’t be confused with projects or programmes of work. The big difference for me is the breadth and the impact, plus the time it takes to embed the change.

Many senior executives are aggressively trying to transform businesses across the globe. Hoping to cut costs and improve performance by introducing innovative technology and changing behaviours and capabilities throughout organisations.

Although change is an integral factor in the running of a business, according to McKinsey, 70% of change programs will fail. But is this true? They make the case that failure is largely due to employee resistance and lack of management support.


Why do change programs fail?

Businesses spend millions of pounds on new technology, developing highly-skilled programme teams to implement it and setting up new processes and ways of working to create supportive infrastructures. But in many cases adoption rates are low, new ways of working don’t work and businesses don’t get the return on investment they were hoping for. 

This is, in my opinion, due to businesses forgetting something extremely key – people. Unfortunately, management consultants and IT services firms, are paid to get the new operating model or piece of IT in place, it is often not one of their main tasks to focus on the longer term – the people impact.

Any change, whether it be a technological, organisational, or even a minor process change, isn’t a short-term thing, it has to be embedded with the people impacted. To ensure that they truly understand how their day to day working practices will change going forward and to get them on board. It can take time, but it’s so important to ensure the whole company moves to the new way of working.

Change is rarely functional, so the governance has to be right. If you want to see change across functions, the person leading the change has to drive it at the board level with board-level support.

This is where a change expert comes in. “The role of a Change Expert will help stakeholders determine what the final destination actually looks like and then plots the journey to get there.”


A change expert will support stakeholders and sponsors in gaining answers to the following questions:

  • What does the proposed culture look like?
  • Will individuals be bought into the change?
  • What reluctance is expected and how can we manage that?
  • How do we expect employees to behave and what knowledge do we want them to have?
  • Do they see the benefits and are they on board with making it a success?
  • “What does good actually look like?”

They will help plot how that journey will take place and make sure communication is clear. Whilst explaining why you’re making the change, what behaviour is expected and get buy-in from everyone.

The most important part of progression is to truly embrace the change, implementing this can often take a long time and can be a tricky thing to truly embed. To do this effectively, you need People Change experts who can work alongside a client’s internal team to deliver the change. Then, upskill, transition, and embed it, until you and the client are confident that this new approach is working as it should do.


If you decide that a People Change expert is needed – how do you know what to look out for to ensure your change programme is a success?

  • A track record of delivering change related assignments. (Change assignments are typically ambiguous in nature and differ enormously from BAU roles, which are more process orientated).
  • They should be an expert in their chosen field and can demonstrate their success with tangible results.
  • Must come with a pre-prepared kit bag of tools that can be used immediately, with an ability to implement these from day one.
  • They are happy to challenge the status quo, benefitting the client without a personal agenda. (Therefore interim managers shouldn’t be considering permanent appointments).


James Cumming is our MD and leads our Interim Transformation practice. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

If you would like to find out more about re:find and how we can support you and your business, then please get in touch.

What makes a great HR professional?

HR is always evolving, as is the importance of the function in business. I have worked in the HR industry for over 15 years and still see many of the same topics discussed over and over.

Has anything changed? Here is my take on what makes a great HR professional.

What qualities should an HR professional have?

Develops trust

This quality is probably the most important one that any great professional needs, more so in HR than other functions. The HRD should be a confidant to the CEO and other business leaders, people will only open up to someone they can trust.

The easiest way to alienate an employee population is to create a ‘say do gap’. For HR to be effective, you need to role model the behaviours of the business and the best way to do this is to be consistent and authentic.

Although there is lots of talk that HR should be more strategic, I think the most effective HR practitioners are able to roll their sleeves up too and to really get to know what is going on in the business.


Known as a problem solver

As an HR professional, you will be responsible for solving problems and issues. I hear many stories of people continuously dealing with the same stuff in a reactive fashion… and guess what? That isn’t the best use of time or resources, and it doesn’t demonstrate commercial thinking.  

Once a problem has been identified it is important to get to the root cause of the issue – there are many great books on RCA. The important steps are finding data to back up what is going on and then providing a workable solution.

The role of HR has moved on and can’t only work in coaching/facilitation mode. The best HR professionals I know have an innovative mindset and provide multiple scenarios, solutions, and options to problems.


Knowledgeable

Like any profession you need to have the relevant subject matter knowledge (in this case HR) – for me, this should be a given. HR needs to have a broader understanding of business drivers, and an ability to consider external factors. Things like competitors and the future direction of the sector and bringing ideas into the business from peers or thought leaders.

An easy way to develop this in HR is to read business books (or blogs, vlogs, audiobooks) and to become up to speed with modern concepts such as ‘Netflix – no rules’, OKRs, agile performance management etc. It doesn’t mean that all of these will be suitable or relevant to your business, but business leaders will be up to speed with the concepts and in HR you should have a view.


Understands the business

If you can answer YES to these questions, then it might suggest that you are a commercial HR leader:

  • Could you stand in for the CEO/MD or Operational leader at their next weekly/monthly stand-up or board meeting and give an update on business performance?
  • Could you meet potential clients/investors, give them a thorough understanding of the business, and sell the benefits of your organisation?
  • Do you understand the key drivers of your business and how it drives growth?

Please let me know in the comments section if you think anything else is relevant? I’d be interested to get other views.


James Cumming is our MD and leads our HR practice. He has recruited senior HR professionals for over 15 years and has experience in finding niche HR talent. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

If you would like to find out more about re:find and how we can support you and your business, then please get in touch.

How HR systems have been key in helping people through the pandemic

From an HR perspective, there has never been a stronger case for investing in technology solutions to support employees and business operations.

HR really has been at the forefront of the pandemic helping guide people through the challenges faced due to Covid and remote working and HR systems have been key.


survey by XpertHR has given some key stats on HR technology through the pandemic:

  • 85% of organisations have a formal HR technology strategy in place, or plan to introduce one over the coming 12 months.
  • 9 in 10 deployed some form of technology to support HR activities.
  • 12% of organisations said they currently do not use any HR technology, with the most common barrier being insufficient resources.

In most organisations surveyed, the HR technology strategy was part of a wider HR strategy, although 1 in 10 said they had a standalone strategy for technology.

Just over a quarter plan to introduce an HR systems and technology strategy over the coming 12 months. Given the conversations I have been having recently I can see this increasing significantly.


Reasons for investing in technology:

  • To increase automation of HR services (81%)
  • To enable employees to access HR via self-service (66.9%)
  • To enable data-driven decision making (66%)
  • To integrate disparate sources of people data (64.6%)

When asked how HR technology use had changed over the past 12 months, HR professionals said it had been deployed to enable the rapid shift to remote working. This has helped to keep employees engaged and connected and recording details of payroll changes especially with regards to furloughed employees.

Technology has also been vital in supporting ‘virtual’ processes such as recruitment and onboarding.


Moving forward, as companies rethink the value of their existing operating models this trend is only going to increase.

James Cumming is our MD and leads our Interim Transformation practice. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

If you would like to find out more about re:find and how we can support you and your business, then please get in touch.

Your journey to a new HR role

If you’re starting a journey to a new HR role, (or any other role!) then there are lots of things to think about.

We want to break the process down into manageable chunks, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. So, over the next few weeks, we will be updating this page with all the things you need to consider when starting that journey to a new role.

Your personal profile

First things first – your personal profile needs to show you in the right way, your skills and experience as well as your personality. LinkedIn is the number 1 tool recruiters use, and prospective employers are likely to look at your profile, so it’s important you get your LinkedIn profile right and utilise it in your job search.

Here you can not only share your experience and skills but engage with your network and raise your personal profile.

How you can achieve an All-Star profile on LinkedIn:

  • Make sure you have a professional photo – forward-facing, clear background, smiling.
  • Headline – utilise all characters to tell people what it is that you do.
  • Summary – here is your chance to sell yourself (more on this later).
  • Add your location – so you’ll be found in searches for roles in your area.
  • Experience – list your relevant experience, with main achievements.
  • Skills – pick your most relevant skills to showcase.

Here are top tips for successful job searching on LinkedIn from Ellie Rich-Poole – the recruitment coach.

It’s worth checking your settings on LinkedIn to select what is shared and what people see. If you have any other social media accounts, it’s probably a good idea to check the privacy settings on there too.


Your CV is the other part of your personal profile which is crucial to your job search. It’s often the first thing a potential employer sees of you, so you need to make sure you get it right.

Things you can think about before writing or updating your CV include – your biggest achievements, why they should employ you, what you can bring to their company and what desirable skills you have.

  • Demonstrate your skills and experience – commercial success, problem resolution and achievements.
  • Keep it simple – your font and layout are important, simple works best.
  • Don’t be generic –
  • Check and check again for mistakes – anything from spelling and grammar, incorrect contact details or employment dates that don’t add up. It doesn’t give a great impression.
  • Keep it up to date – you should regularly review your CV, so it’s not outdated and make it specific to the roles you’re applying to.

Here are tips on how you can stand out from the crowd with a commercial and impactful CV.


Your summary or personal statement sits at the top of your LinkedIn profile and your CV. This should not be longer than a couple of paragraphs, succinctly showing off your strengths and aspirations. It’s important you keep to the point, market yourself well and reflect the job specification in your statement. Don’t overuse buzz words, waffle or mix the grammatical person – use either first person or third person, but not both!

Transferable skills

Don’t forget that some skills can be applied to any role or company – portable skills could have come from your current role or a past role, educational background or from hobbies or voluntary work. They might help in roles even if it is not obvious at first that they are directly relevant. Having examples of the transferable skills you’ve developed, can help to show you are right for the job.

Here are some examples of transferable skills:

Leadershipstrong interpersonal skills and the ability to inspire others.

Analytical thinking – or problem-solving skills – are desired by businesses, to help solve challenges and problems within the business.

Communication – good communication skills are so important in all roles, as they contribute to smooth operations. These skills include verbal communication, written communication, listening skills, presenting, and negotiating.

Technical skills – it is important to keep up to date with technological advances, so you have at least a basic knowledge of computer systems in a digitally evolving world.

Teamwork – being strong in collaboration, relationship building, communication, motivating, problem-solving and conflict resolution are all key skills to have.

Management – this doesn’t only cover people management, but time management, project management, organisation skills and budgeting too.

All of these transferable skills are important and desired by businesses, so don’t let these be forgotten in your job search planning. Sometimes organisations will use psychometric profile testing in the process to check personality type as well as skills and ability and will measure potential as opposed to just experience.


Networking

Networking can be key in finding that next role, you can get a lot out of networking, whether that’s through online profiles, talking to your networking, reaching out to a wider network or attending networking events.

These points are important to bear in mind before you start networking:

  • Know what you are looking for in terms of the role, the company and the culture. Have an idea of the things that are non-negotiable and the things that
  • Use your existing network  – think about who you already know or have worked with.
  • Create profiles and keep them updated to reach a wider audience.
  • It’s always good to ask for feedback, to check you’re coming across how you want to and so you know if there are areas you can improve on.
  • Get out (or online!) to networking events.

If you find networking intimidating, you don’t need to – here are tips on how to navigate them effectively.

You can gain a wide range of things including:

  • Grow your self-confidence
  • Build long lasting relationships
  • Sharing ideas and creativity
  • Find new opportunites

There are all different kinds of networking events, so find one that suits you! We run a breakfast event – in person and online – which is informal and fun. You can find more info here.

It is worth considering setting up a profile on some of the sites below, with your up-to-date CV, plus any other important info, to broaden your network, so recruiters have a higher chance of finding you.

Total Jobs

CV-library

Jobsite

LinkedIn


Interview tips

Once you make it to the interview stage – well done, it takes some work to get here. Now make sure you do the right preparation work and smash your interview.


  • Make sure you do your research – get to know the business, the role and be prepared to answer questions on both.
  • Dress to impress – find out what their culture is and what is deemed appropriate.
  • Know your CV inside and out, so you can confidently and articulately talk about your background and experience.
  • Be in control – it’s not just them grilling you, you want to find out about the company and find out if it’s the right fit for you.
  • Ask good questions – it is so important to ask the right questions.
  • Practice examples to key questions and prepare your answers using the STAR model (Situation, Task, Action and Result).

Being resilient/dealing with rejection

Unfortunately, it won’t always go the way you want and you will get rejections, which is why being resilient in your job search is important. It is important you control what you can – and realise what you cannot. Getting feedback is always good, so you know what you can improve on.

Many things that affect resilience and that you need to factor into your quest to be more resilient include:

  • Physical energy: falls into 3 categories – sleep, nutrition, exercise.  
  • Emotional intelligence: the higher the intelligence, the higher the resilience.
  • Multitasking: has a direct negative influence on work and negatively impacts resilience.
  • Inner voice: internal commentary can be a negative force.
  • Purpose in life: high purpose in life acts as a protective factor against stress.
  • Recovery: Recovery in all dimensions, agility, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and recovery are dependent on the creation of new individual habit.

You can see more about these tips from organisational psychologist and resilience expert Fran Costello here.

Resilience is closely linked with looking after yourself physically and mentally, so here are some tips on looking after your wellbeing throughout that new career journey.


Your wellbeing throughout

A routine is important for many people as a foundation for good mental health. These simple steps apply in all situations, but between jobs, they are even more important:

  • Start your day well – get dressed, have your normal breakfast, get ready for a working day.
  • Get some direct sunlight.
  • Stick to your regular lunchtimes and eat well.
  • Don’t sit for too long – get up regularly and go for a walk at lunchtime.
  • Even when job hunting set a time to switch off. Close your laptop, enjoy your evening, and continue tomorrow.

Tools that can help:

Mindmental health charity, giving advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

Headspace – a meditation app with a mission:  to improve the health and happiness of the world.

Speak to people – Speak to a family member, friend or loved one, or call the Samaritans on 116 123. Alternatively, you can text Shout to 85258 and a member of their team of crisis volunteers will call you back as soon as they can.

Here is a blog we wrote on managing stress in the workplace.


James Cumming is our MD, Interim and Transformation Search specialist. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

If you would like to find out more about re:find and how we can support you and your business then please get in touch.

Discover the tactics that head-hunters are using to source talent (and what could be causing you to miss out when you are direct sourcing!)

Discover new tactics that head-hunters are using to source talent: Never ever do something you can’t afford financially or emotionally.

Like giving away all your top tips on how to do your job… for FREE. People will just copy you and you’ll be out of business in no time!

So, shh – don’t tell anyone…

I am kidding, of course, fortunately/unfortunately, no one has found a silver bullet yet for recruitment and it is still a case of time = reward in many ways when it comes to Exec Search. There are some best practices to ensure you get it right.

A very quick recap for anyone that hasn’t Headhunted! Executive search is about being proactive – rather than passively waiting for people to come to you (e.g. via adverts or job boards.) These tips might help you to get it right… feedback appreciated as always.

The brief

Work out the job brief – this is often the trickiest part and should be anything but brief. The aim is to fully understand what the hiring manager needs from the appointment, the must-haves and the areas for push back.

Culture – if you are internal you are likely to already understand the culture of the business – if you are external, I would suggest fully immersing yourself in their culture (retail is a good example where I would suggest visiting stores to get a picture of what it’s really like!)

The story – WHY is just as important as WHAT. You need to understand the bigger picture and where this role fits into things – this will become useful in our approach stage. Get this wrong and you won’t get the right people interested in the appointment.

Defining the role – a job description doesn’t give a full picture of what a job really entails, It might list tasks, but this just doesn’t cut it. Also, it won’t tell a great story.

The push back – the most important part of taking any job brief is the push back. This is a reality check on their expectations vs what is in the external market. This is why many searches fail – whoever has taken the upfront brief hasn’t said NO to unrealistic expectations. Ensure you have data, benchmarking, and a thorough understanding of the candidate landscape before any briefing meeting.

Where will we find the talent?

I will leave the basics of research to another time and focus on the more strategic side of things.

Personally, I believe that one of the biggest mistakes that can be made when hiring is wrongly assuming that the candidate with the exact experience for the role, is the right candidate for the role.

It is important to determine whether you are sourcing for experience, or whether you are taking a more holistic approach to sourcing for future talent – where it is important to place a lot of emphasis on hiring for attitude and potential.

Some top tips:

Keep an open mind on sector experience – For example, retailers have large multi-site workforces, as do restaurant businesses. Restaurant business might have chefs that work in their kitchens – so might pub groups or business services firms such as Compass group.

During your research ask the right questions – for example, if people aren’t interested: do they know anyone who might be interested? Ask who they rate in business and why? Who are the future stars? Who is the best boss they have worked for?

Sometimes you need to kiss a few frogs – in my opinion, if you are retained on an assignment you need to fill it. This sometimes means approaching more people than you might have ever thought necessary! Keep going when it gets tough.

The approach

There are a variety of options when it comes to approaching candidates – email/LinkedIn/telephone. The most important thing is you must be able to sell WHY someone should join your business and what is in it for them – I will repeat this bit as it is often forgotten. The candidate needs to know what they will get from the business, be it development, a great boss, flex working, career development or whatever, it is just as much about them as it is about you checking that they are right for your business.

People are emotional and everyone loves a good story, in fact, there are significant pieces of research that point to storytelling being one of the most sought-after skills required in business over the next five years.

In today’s business environment, where information is out there and candidates have greater choice than ever, it is vital to get this narrative correct, to ensure you build an emotional connection with candidates from the first contact during the research phase.

The follow-through

It’s important to work on building a relationship with the candidate and make them feel valued and wanted. After all, if they are in demand and have more offers on the table, they are going to be more inclined to lean towards the people that make them feel engaged.

Make sure the process isn’t too one-sided and transactional. Of course, any process needs to be robust, from my experience, I would suggest this isn’t the first time someone comes to meet you. This first meeting should be more informal, sense checking their experience but equally selling the opportunity to them.

Once they are fully committed, then you can assess away.

The offer

The offer is the most important part. You must remember that you are dealing with people. People are emotional and are all driven differently.

  • It is important to make people feel wanted! Telling someone WHY you think they would be great in this role and WHY they were the preferred candidate is a great starting point…
  • It is vitally important that you do a thorough search, to take your time to ensure that you hire the right person for the role. Once you have found that ‘right person’ it is important to move quickly, especially in talent short markets (where people might have multiple offers.)
  • Money can be an important motivator to move but isn’t the only reason people accept a role. It is worth exploring fully someone’s total compensation and what is important to them.

-For example, home working and/or 3-4 days a week is more important to some people than a large bonus for example.
-Conversely, base salary might be more important to someone who is the main breadwinner – they might not be financially able to take a cut.
-Ensure you have a full understanding of full compensation including pension contributions, healthcare, LTIPs and paid bonus arrangements. Especially if your extended package doesn’t add up – you may well have to provide a cash equivalent.

If you would like to find out more about re:find and how we can support you and your business then please get in touch.

James Cumming is our MD, Interim and Transformation Search specialist. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Optimising team performance

For our featured blog this week, we caught up with Dani Bacon and Garin Rouch about their new ‘distinction podcast’ series, where they are aiming to bridge the gap between academic research and management practice. The series is based on leadership and remote working and this particular podcast is on ‘optimising team performance’.

Dani was Director of People and Business services at Investors in People, but this year has set up her own consultancy business to help organisations take a more strategic approach with their people and to make their organisations more effective and human.

Garin is an organisation development consultant, he’s been running his own practice for 10 years, but has been an OD consultant for 15 years.

There are a lot of myths around leadership practice. But there is also an enormous amount of good high-quality academic research that leaders could be using in their day-to-day practice. And that HR professionals could be advising their managers to implement on a day-to-day basis as well.

In this podcast they’re looking at teams, and what leaders can do to maximise performance. Dani and Garin have identified five specific actions that you can take away to apply to your work in optimising team performance.



If you’d like to chat with Dani and Garin more about optimising team performance, you can contact them here.

If you would like to find out more about re:find and how we can support you and your business then please get in touch.

James Cumming is our MD, Interim and Transformation Search specialist. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Why do executive search consultants always knock internal recruiters out of the park?

Why do executive search consultants always knock internal recruiters out of the park? There’s one very simple answer: they have more time and resource. There is no way that an internal recruiter can do the work an exec consultant can on a role.

Internal recruitment

Internal recruitment can be tough! Most internal recruiters will be running around 25-50 requisitions at any one time. They also do a lot of work around direct sourcing initiatives, talent strategy and hiring metrics. If that wasn’t enough, they might also manage a team and must attend a number of internal meetings.

If you are running 25 searches and using a number of channels to source – even with the help of technology – you are going to be very busy. Also, these jobs will likely be across a number of different job categories and locations, making it more challenging. There isn’t the option to walk away and decide to work with someone else either – they have to fill them all!

Executive Search

As an executive search consultant, I don’t normally run more than 3 roles at once. Plus, we have an internal resourcer to help us in finding those hard to find candidates. I typically spend at least 3 weeks doing research, I’ll then speak to 100+ people for an assignment, meeting with at least 8 of them. There is no way an internal recruiter can justify spending this amount of time on just one assignment.

Many internal recruiters will be much better recruiters than I am, but the one thing that I bet they don’t have is time to focus on every requisition they work on. With what little time they do have, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to do the same amount of work on one vacancy, as it just wouldn’t make commercial sense for them to do that.

Partnership

That’s why the best internal recruiters know the value of having trusted executive search consultants work with them. This allows the internal recruiter to focus on the roles that they can fill quickly and successfully. This Increases candidate experience, reducing time to hire and reducing agency spend.

Our clients often come to us with challenging briefs. Whether they’re not fully defined, are new into the organisation, are confidential or require a discreet search. We can offer them a robust system that enables us to find the best in the market, whilst being approachable and easy to work with.

You can download our eBook – 7 steps to executive search here.

If you would like to find out more about re:find and how we can support you and your business then please get in touch.

James Cumming is our MD, Interim and Transformation Search specialist. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Shared Services vs. BPO – who will survive?

There has long been an argument between Shared Services and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) – is one better than the other? There are many factors to take into account including the business objectives, the budget available and the speed that is required for the project.

BPO is the process of engaging a third-party vendor with the right skills and resources, to carry out work on your behalf.

Shared Services relates to the creation of an autonomous business unit, based on-site, which carries out these processes for multiple functions within an organisation (HR, Finance, procurement).

The services that BPO and Shared Services provide is generally to remove manual, operational and often repetitive tasks from your everyday work.


Business Process Outsourcing

BPO is often thought to be more efficient, due to it having better systems and processes. It is frequently based offshore, so labour costs and overheads can be significantly lower than having this service in-house.

Outsourcing can often be implemented quickly and more effectively, due to the experience of the resource within these companies. The transition to an outsourced model may not offset the savings you make and the increase in the quality of the work you receive.

Feedback is often that ‘BPO can be seen as ‘faceless’ or lacking the human approach’ that people sometimes want from these services and in a world where employee engagement and experience is paramount, this can cause real issues.

Shared Services

Shared services can be a better solution if your needs are bespoke. BPO can often be one size fits all, and if you have requirements that are specific and processes that aren’t bog standard, then a shared services model may be the best choice.

However, the implementation of a shared services function within a business can be slow and painful. More often than not this is due to lack of experience internally to deliver this and if systems, processes and data are not clean and efficient, the service will fail.

If the service fails, it can be hugely damaging to employee engagement and if people aren’t engaged to use the service, then they will revert to old habits, rendering the service useless.

Is there a place for both?

General consensus seems to be that in the long term, only one will survive. I think there is a place for both: if you have a high volume of standard processes which need carrying out without the knowledge of internal factors or processes, then BPO is probably for you. However, if you have unique processes and you have the time, money and resources to do this properly, then shared services is the best option.

Before you decide whether to implement a BPO or Shared Services model, it’s a good idea to do a thorough diagnostic of your business and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the end goal is for your organisation in changing to a new service delivery model?
  • Do you have management engagement and support?
  • Are your systems, processes and data fit for purpose?

Once you have the answers to all of these questions, you should be able to make an informed decision.


If you would like to find out more about re:find and how we can support you and your business then please get in touch.

James Cumming is our MD, Interim and Transformation Search specialist. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Wellbeing in the workplace

Wellbeing in the workplace is fast becoming just as important, if not more so, than salary or career progression. One issue at the forefront of this is mental health in the workplace. We are all aware of the importance of wellbeing, but could we be doing more?


Surveys over recent years have shown the true impact of poor mental health:

  • 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace (14.7%
  • Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions.
  • Deloitte says poor mental health in the workplace is equivalent to almost 2% of UK GDP (in 2016).
  • 89% of workers with mental health problems report an impact on their working life.
  • Just 13% of employees would be comfortable talking about mental illness at work.
  • Last year, poor employee mental health cost UK employers £42bn.
  • The return on investment of workplace mental health interventions is overwhelmingly positive, with an average ROI of 4:1.

Last month our Thursday Brunch event was on ‘Mental health strategies for a crazy world!’ looking at the stats above and speaking to our guests about what we can do to help our own mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

We found that: 

  • Kindness and wellbeing have a significant impact on culture and the engagement of colleagues.
  • Our brain is our most powerful tool, yet we are not taught how we can manage it to get the best out of it. This needs to change. 
  • The fear of failure and constantly striving for perfection are massive contributors to poor mental health – but is in our control if we are aware of it.

So what can an employer do to support an employee with mental health issues?

Discuss
Ensure that you create an environment that is open, that encourages staff to discuss their challenges and problems. Have a culture of openness that allows you to go beyond a person’s workload, instead, it delves deeper into their role responsibilities and the opportunities that they would like to see appear. We know that 13% of employers would feel comfortable talking about their mental health and that percentage needs to be much higher!

Educate
Know what to do if a mental health problem arises within your workplace, such as where to direct the employees if they require specialist help. Also, educate yourself and staff on various mental health problems, so you can see the trigger. Always remember to be sensitive.

Be clear
The groundwork can be set from the minute a new recruit starts, just by letting them know that if any problem arises, big or small, that they can discuss it. It doesn’t take much to make an employee feel supported or to create a culture of openness, especially if it means it decreases the chances of mental health problems in the workplace. You could create a wellbeing policy with relevant support links and contact details, which is always available to employees. 

We have recently become a ‘Mindful Employer’ – we recognise that in the UK, people experiencing mental ill-health continue to report stigma and discrimination at work. Having signed the ‘Charter for Employers Positive about Mental Health’, we are committed to creating a supportive and open culture, where colleagues feel able to talk about mental health confidently, and aspire to appropriately support the mental wellbeing of all staff.


As an employer, we have made an on-going commitment to:

  • Provide non-judgemental and proactive support to staff experiencing mental ill-health.
  • Not make assumptions about a person with a mental health condition and their ability to work.
  • Be positive and enabling all employees and job applicants with a mental health condition.
  • Support line managers in managing mental health in the workplace.
  • Ensure we are fair in the recruitment of new staff in accordance with the Equality Act (2010).
  • Make it clear that people who have experienced mental ill-health will not be discriminated against, and that disclosure of a mental health problem will enable both the employee and employer to assess and provide the right level of support or adjustment.

 It’s so important to make sure you have a balance between your work and home life – we’re big advocates of it here.

If you’re struggling with your mental health at work or in general – mental health charity MIND can offer lots of help and support. Here are tips for staying well at work. 


If you would like to find out more about re:find and how we can support you and your business then please get in touch.

James Cumming is our MD, Interim and Transformation Search specialist. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch. Connect with him on LinkedIn.