I have been very fortunate to have the mentoring and guidance of some of the best in our industry since I joined people2people in 2006. We have a great team, with a diverse skill set, and to this day I continue to learn and grow from my colleagues all the time. I am lucky.
Since being appointed to the Board, I have had the opportunity to talk more regularly with Greg Savage. Now, in case you have been living under a rock, Greg is a recruitment industry great. He has founded four highly successful recruitment business (including @people2people), sits on the board of 14 recruitment and tech companies, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the RIA Awards in April 2018 and is a Life member of the RCSA. He is THE VOICE of the recruitment sector.
I was lucky enough to sit down with Greg over a coffee last week – this is what I took away.
Your people are your priority
The people in your team are the most significant factor in your businesses success. All the tech innovation, client contracts and endless job orders are worth zilch without your people to bring it all together. Do everything possible to make their job easier. Treat them well, give them support, and be consistent. As the leader, YOU need to be the most level headed, optimistic, and hard working. Your business is nothing without your people.
Don’t be complacent
In the best of times (like now!) it’s easy to be smug about your success. It’s hard not to when records are breaking left, right and centre. Don’t fall for it! You can always do better, and things will not be this good forever. Sure, celebrate your success, but don’t kid yourself about the future. Always be striving to do better.
Be downturn ready
The smart business owner has a plan for when (not if) the market turns. Make the most of the good times, and be sure to have the flexibility to adapt to a significant drop in GP. You won’t ‘jinx’ it by planning. Businesses fold when they have failed to make the most of a good market, and stick their head in the sand about the future. Have a plan.
You cannot do it all
Even the most experienced and capable business leaders have their limitations – don’t think you can do it all. Get good people around you, support them, communicate expectations clearly, and utilise the diverse skill sets they bring to the table. Don’t be an island.
Watch the trends
Watch the trends in your business and work to understand them. Are you continuing to improve or are things slipping slowly (or not slowly!) over time? What can you do today to change that? You need to know your critical metrics and watch them closely.
Always be hiring
Your people are your priority so you should always be looking for talent. Have lots of coffee, participate in the industry and be ready to articulate why you, and your business are different. Don’t wait until you are under resourced to look for talent.
All this over just one cup of coffee – imagine what I’d learn if I had his ear for a whole day! Thanks again Greg, your advice and insight is invaluable.