I recently spent the day with Twenty Recruitment at a vision and values day they were holding for their most recent hires. I have to say it was really refreshing to see a recruitment firm not just talking the talk and paying lip service to the notion of values – but really living them. The firm has three values Life’s Short; Be Eclectic and Crystal Clear. Through the facilitator Rafe Offer, a marketing and branding expert, the new consultants talked about how those values related to themselves, their clients and their candidates.
Looking at ‘Life’s Short’ drove a discussion around daring to be different, embracing change, and being brave enough to take calculated risks. ‘Crystal Clear threw up phrases such as transparency, honesty, no spin and clear objectives; while ‘Be Eclectic’ explored ideas such as ‘there is no box’, solutions driven, differentiation and ‘there’s no such thing as a problem – only an opportunity for a solution’.
Then the real fun began with role plays where consultants had to pitch to clients and potential employees – and integrate some of the ideas around the values. I had great fun playing a client!
OK, I hear you say. So what stops the consultants enjoying their day away from the office and then forgetting all about values when they walk out of the door? Well, because how they live the values in the business is part of their performance appraisal – and it’s also linked to their bonus. There was a great discussion around how the consultants felt that they could be judged around those values with some real measurable metrics. And what’s more – to ensure that there isn’t a disconnect between how the values are perceived internally – and how they are perceived externally – there is going to be ongoing research with clients and candidates around whether the values are being demonstrated.
Recruitment is an industry where sometimes the egos of the founders can suffocate any attempt at creativity or originality. It was great to see a company where the employees are really driving the vision and the values.
So what do you think? Comments welcome!