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The Secret to becoming a high performing, agile business is…..?


The beauty of working within talent management is being able to analyse the ‘Who-Why-How’ of success stories across the commercial world.

We are currently witnessing one of the most transformational shifts of the average UK workforce in recent memory and there are a couple of external factors that could underpin such an evolution:

  • Ever-changing customer behaviour (personal vs digital business transactions)
  • External investment / Acquisition
  • Preparing for Bre***

There are more start-up organisations in the UK than ever before. The consequence of shifting towards an entrepreneurial population is the ability to not only hire the RIGHT talent but have faith in humanity to be able to TRUST those colleagues to work effectively in any environment, and not be afraid to throw out the rule book when it comes to the working schedule!

The nine to five model is dead…

Whether your team has a long commute / personal situation effecting a 9am start or you might be wanting to tap into the incredible talent within the Maternity / Paternity network that is overlooked by so many employers – BE FLEXIBLE.

Offer adjusted working hours, be open to part-time or contract workers depending on your business goals. Need more business leads but don’t have budget for 4/5 full time employees?… work with self-employed or contract sales organisations. Most of the time those professionals will have a wealth of experience at the right level but may just want to work on their own terms after a successful career.

More and more entrepreneurs are reaping rewards from employing an agile workforce!

Of course… there has to be a level of structure, communication and reporting in order to maintain consistent growth, however flexibility, diversity and trust in a workforce built upon proven skill and ability will always outperform an over KPI’d, skilled workforce but with an inflexible approach and a revolving door policy for genuinely strong employees who fail to see effective working through being chained to a desk for 9 hours per day.

I would even go as far to say that such a mantra will increase employee engagement, client retention and brand awareness within the employment market.

Our client base sits predominantly within the technology/professional services markets. With fluctuations in the strength of the pound, foreign investors from the likes of the US and Asia are becoming increasingly interested in embryonic tech start-ups and unicorns alike! Such investment creates natural growth alongside a 3-5 year plan typically installed on the back of such acquisitions or cash injections.

Aside from huge foreign investment into our UK born businesses (something rarely reported in today’s media!), candidates seem more determined to ride-out the political storm and focus more towards personal growth in both career development and earnings.

The average candidate relevant to our business (experienced front line / management / leadership) is choosing to stay with an employer for – on average – 12 months longer than our 2016 data. an incredible change in such a short space of time considering we are in a candidate driven market.

The takeaway from this… be bold, be ambitious, offer something attractive, and don’t be afraid to believe in alternative ways of hiring. Most importantly, TRUST in that talent and be willing to structure the workforce with efficiency and ability in mind, not just the picture perfect idea of a 9-5 office which could be filled with a workforce operating at 60%.

Let me know your thoughts –

Building a dream team? It’s time to give candidates the TRUTH!

Why on earth would top talent from your biggest competitor want to join you?

Working with a close client of ours this week talking talent and transformation made me think.… ‘The golden egg’ of candidates is considering a new challenge, your company would be an excellent fit, but what do they really know about working for you?

The truth is – not much. For the best part of a working week they are in direct competition with your brand.

90% of their company banter is around how their managers would never work for you…

“their service levels are shocking”

“It’s death by micro-management”

“it’s a horrible working environment”

So what are we doing to counteract and pull the wool from the eyes, other than a standard issue job advert that stands out about as much as an outfit in Mr. Bean’s wardrobe.

The difference in reality vs fiction when running a successful talent engagement strategy can be stark. How we engage, retain and communicate with that talent will ultimately define our success in creating a successful employee value proposition.

A couple of bullet points to set the scene…

  • Attracting talent is hard – the way people interact with brands differs from candidate to candidate.
  • Lots of businesses are trying to be the best when it comes to brand perception
  • It can sometimes feel like a thankless task if engagement is low for a particular job advert or social post


When considering social media as one vehicle for attraction, the first failing of 90% of those companies is that they lack the consistency and quality of regular, engaging content to start driving traffic towards the role or bench you are looking to create.

What type of content should I post?

  • People want to work somewhere POSITIVE – Don’t be afraid to release photo and video content praising or recognising individual or team success.
  • Talk about business goals and what culture the brand is looking to drive internally – not what you’re selling as that makes up 90% of the content the marketing team is already releasing!
  • Celebrate collaboration between internal teams… project the image you are working to implement.

Make it personal, don’t regurgitate a generic company advert as you will see next to no engagement in comparison to a personalised story around why the brand is looking to hire.

Make yourself available for a conversation, this gets CV traffic coming into the business and people feel like they are applying to YOU as opposed to the “attract team” which can be impersonal and difficult to generate candidate loyalty.

What happens afterwards?

If your content strategy and candidate journey is on point, you should see an influx of active and RELEVANT applications!

Collect as much specific candidate data as possible and communicate with regular, interesting internal content to maintain engagement. (competitors just DO NOT DO THIS – you can be ahead of the curve)

When you have formed a dream talent bench, keep in touch with them monthly and make sure you are the first option when they decide to push the big green button of a career move.

Remember, consistency and dedication to the cause is key. Don’t have time…. Outsource it, delegate it to a trusted colleague, just don’t forget it!


Thoughts on a postcard…