It’s been 6 months since I took the plunge. I made the move from the corporate recruitment world to working for a small business with a close friend. And I haven’t looked back.
In these months of working at re:find I have learnt a lot, and I mean a lot! One of the main things being that everything you do is a reflection of you and your brand. There are no corporate layers to hide behind, your actions reflect you and whatever you do has an impact on your own reputation in the market.
While the transition from the corporate world hasn’t been easy, there has been a lot of adjusting into new ways of working. Below is my list of attributes that I feel are needed to survive in a small business and how it differs from the corporate recruitment world.
In order to succeed, you must be self-motivated, nobody will tell you what to do. This is good in a sense, as it means you don’t have anyone checking up on you. Allowing you to have free rein to get on with things. It can be hard to be self-motivated without a team around you, but my main motivation is that I genuinely care. I care about helping businesses meet their objectives, I care about understanding my client’s needs and care that my candidates get the right advice. I also care about my reputation. And, as I said before, every action is a reflection on you, so maintaining my reputation and providing the best service is super important and another reason to care. On a personal level, I want, in fact, I need, to perform well to provide for my family and that motivates me even more.
Next, there are no more pointless KPIs. Which means that you can focus on the important things that allow you to grow your business. Of course, KPIs can be important within a business and can provide incentive and motivation for staff. But for me the focus is now not on the number of CV’s I have sent or the number of meetings in the diary, it is about helping clients and candidates. I feel we are making a difference, providing our customers with a great service and focusing on the things that make the biggest impact rather than completing a box-ticking exercise.
What I enjoy about working for a small business, is the freedom to choose who you want to work with. The biggest change is the ability for me to say no to working with a client who doesn’t share our values. We are trusted advisors to our clients and candidates, we build strong relationships and really get to know our clients and their businesses. This means we can add real value. As we’re not just a number on a PSL or are being told by head office who we can or can’t work with.
Possibly one of the best rewards is that I have complete autonomy to work when and where I want. The greatest benefit of this is that it enables me to spend time with my family. With traditional corporate recruitment firms, you are expected to be in the office from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday. I am not saying that we don’t put in the hours, we do, and in actual fact, I probably work more hours now than I ever did before, but they are flexible and seamlessly integrated into my life. I know what I need to do so I get it done, even if that is at home.
You have the flexibility to work from anywhere, so if the office gets a bit boring you can pick up your laptop and find a good coffee shop to work from. With the help of WIFI accessibility, cloud-based systems and my smartphone, I can seamlessly move between the two: working in the office and working remotely. I am now able to work from anywhere and be more productive
Now, I’m not saying that it’s plain sailing and, as we all know, working for yourself has its own challenges. But I can say that the benefits and opportunities that it opens up, means that I can concentrate more on the things that matter. This is going to make the biggest impact for both my customers and my family.
Have you transitioned from corporate recruitment to a small business or vice versa? Or are you looking to work with a small business?
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You can view more about Carl Hinett our Executive search of HR professionals specialist here.