When I was a young recruiter many years ago, I worked away without any concept of company values and what they meant. I remember there being a poster on the wall in the office with some un-inspiring phrase around “fostering ingenuity & collaboration”. As a wannabe musician/new recruiter, what did that mean to me?. I was a simple boy from the valleys who just saw that as corporate rubbish that was on a wall simply because it had to be. In no way did it resonate or engage with me or feel important.
How wrong was I!
Years later when I became the Managing Director of Head Resourcing one of the first tasks was to refresh our vision, values and logo to be more in line with the company we wanted to be. We engaged an external marketing consultant to interview our staff, our clients and candidates then the outputs from those sessions formed our Head Resourcing company values. These values remain the same today. Obviously, each year we keep checking to make sure they are still relevant. We don’t fall foul of the same criticism I had of our previously values.
WE’RE OPEN & HONEST – Sounds obvious and of course, every company & employee should be both, however in our industry it really does help to be a trusted partner, to always be honest and upfront even if giving bad news to a candidate or to not avoid difficult conversations with clients. Also, being open always encourages people to give more of themselves and without a doubt, this helps gain rapport with everyone we meet.
WE TREAT PEOPLE WITH RESPECT – Again, linked to the above but a no-brainer for me. It’s all about customer service. Having a culture of respect and honesty goes a long way to building a mature business with strong ethics that people want to join and work with.
WE DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY – We really do try. Often it’s how we interact with clients & candidates that separates us from the norm. A client once commented having met our team at a sporting event; “you guys are just like normal people” (I took that as a compliment). We also include clients in our training sessions, introduce our customers to each other, partner up for hosting events, try to look at ways to save cost, improve processes and generally be a strategic partner rather than simply a transactional supplier.
WE PROVIDE A GREAT PLACE TO WORK –This means more than our office space. It means we provide a safe positive working environment which allows people to thrive. Over 10 of our employees have been with the company for over 10 years and that typically doesn’t happen in recruitment unless you’re a boss. We have great technology, great clients, a great reputation, a great culture and are proud of the environment we have built for our people.
WE CARE – This all sounds very cuddly, however, it relates to a conversation between one of my favourite customers (you know who you are Proj 30) and our marketing person who helped with the exercise to re-fresh our Values. He was asked; “What’s it like to deal with Head Resourcing?”, his reply was fantastic and indeed one of the core values that underpin this business. He said; “Head Resourcing really give a s**t!” – Unfortunately for many reasons this wasn’t appropriate for our website or external communications and was changed to ‘We Care’ but we all know what it really means, and we’re very proud of that fact!
Overall, I now understand the importance of having strong values that mean something and positive company culture. If anyone asks me to describe the company I reply talking about the values, not simply how much money we make or how many deals we’ve done – that’s all very important and comes with being a good business and that’s what matters to me – first and foremost we’re a strong successful business, with great values, a positive culture, good governance, great people it just so happens we do recruitment!