A Modern Take on Recruitment
The world of business is changing. Flexible hours, mobile capabilities, remote working, global conferencing, digital meetings, online seminars – sitting still is not the status quo anymore. For some companies, this more flexible approach is key to their very success – now anyone can compete in a global market, network with people across the world, reach customers when it suits them, day or night. For employees, working like this allows more freedom to be in control of your working day, to set limits based on your specific skillset and efficiency, and to strike that crucial balance between home life and work commitments.
Traditionally, recruitment has been slow to follow this trend. When technological advances allow you to be in touch with anyone anywhere, why are some of us still expected to sit in an office for our entire working week? Shouldn’t you have the choice as to what will be more effective for your own business, and clients, at that time of the week, month or year?
I recently made a move to Ernest Hunter Green for a more flexible approach, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve moved from being office-based, with all its distractions and annoyances, to managing my own diary and working from a location that is the most productive for me – whether this is at home, in an office with colleagues, or with clients and candidates at various locations. Ernest Hunter Green wants consultants to be able to provide a leading service that can be reactive to market conditions, client nuances and geographical boundaries.
We all work better in different situations, and at different times of the day. Not a morning person? Work late into the evening instead. Short attention span? Structure your day around productive bursts with breaks in between. Ruthlessly efficient? Start early, finish early. The business environment is yours to create. For me, I found the endless interruptions – “Tea anyone? Two sugars in mine please. Anyone see Game of Thrones last night?” often distracting. A quiet environment at times really does help focus the mind.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the shared experience of being in an office. But this is where both our regular meet-ups in London, and the power of the digital age comes into force. We use a messenger service to chat throughout the day – but I can turn it off if I need to concentrate. We Skype every week. We often phone each other to bounce ideas around. We have several centralised documents that we work from. We are part of a network, linked by technology, but free to structure our environment as we please.
There are plenty of other benefits to this way of working too. The time taken simply to get to work can eat into the rest of your day and leave you feeling exhausted. My commute into London each morning used to resemble a scene from The Hunger Games. Take the tube at your peril, every man and woman for themselves. May the odds be ever in your favour indeed. Frequently, after battling the London mob, I would get to the office exhausted and feel that I needed 30 minutes to unwind before doing anything.
If you add family and children into the mix, then the benefits become even clearer, and for me, this has been the most seismic shift that Ernest Hunter Green has been able to offer me and my family. Just before our daughter was born, we moved out of central London, and it’s safe to say my commute was fairly long. For two years, my travel into work dominated so much that I didn’t see my daughter throughout the week, was tired and grumpy in the evenings, and fell asleep on the sofa way before anyone in their early 30’s should do. I saw the weekends as a brief recovery time before it all started again. Somehow, 5.40am Monday morning always rolled around too quickly. Now I have a proper relationship with my daughter, I see her every day, and can help with supper, childcare runs, bathtime, storytime. I don’t look tired anymore, I have more energy, and I am a joy to be around (according to me anyway!). Add into this being able to spend time with my wife in the evenings, and a mid-week social life with local friends, and you’re on to a winner. My work/life balance now couldn’t be more different to how it was before.
And here is the best part, my job hasn’t suffered in the slightest from any of these changes. In fact, quite the opposite. I feel more efficient. I find it easier to focus on what I’m doing. If I need to speak to clients in Asia, the Middle East or Europe, I can tailor my working day to fit their hours. When a client phones with a brief I can concentrate on their requirements without trying to block out the pointless prattle behind me.
I now have a genuine work/life balance. That’s what Ernest Hunter Green offers – along with a cracking social calendar!