Over the last several years, I’ve enjoyed working with several of probably the fastest growing asset management and asset servicing businesses in Europe and the UK. I’ve seen just how fundamental it’s to get the best folks in the right places. A couple of important folks can genuinely turn things around, making extraordinary things happen to the business.
Delivering for high-performance companies: Despite the slow growth of the fund industry, we’re fortunate to have several fast-growing companies as clients. Culturally, we’re similar and champion the same values.
As we primarily use search methods to find candidates, we actually focus on dealing with businesses that are market-leading. We do this for two reasons:
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For starters, we will not headhunt a candidate for a job that would create a downward career move, so we have to have the ability to offer top jobs at probably the best companies.
Secondly, when companies are actually growing quickly, they require the specialist support of firms like us more because hiring decisions are much more challenging. The understanding required goes way beyond taking down a simple job spec. We build up a knowledge of the business theirs that allows us to do much more than just simple’ box ticking’ recruiting – thought and analysis that takes effort and time and goes way beyond a typical recruitment process.
A partner of mine, who’s a consultant, regularly tells me that what I’m doing is actually, in fact, HR consulting work due to the depths I go to with candidates and clients, teasing out key drivers for hiring and operational issues. I understand intense businesses, and I can problem solve and make matches accurately tailored to the clientele of ours from there. Half the time, the things I’m looking for are not found on the job description at all.
I feel that working with a great recruitment partner needs to be this way. We have the capacity to support businesses in demanding periods of fast growth since we can deal without folks’ problems through the injection of the right folks at the right times. This’s only possible when we truly know the business well, and for this to happen, we focus on servicing clients who’re loyal to us.
Human capital = capital: It might seem unusual to some folks to hear that you can still find some fast-growing asset management businesses available, but there are actually. Probably the fascinating thing about it would be that all of them display very similar characteristics when it comes to human capital theirs. Just a coincidence? I do not think so.
I think these firms have got a thing right in the way they go about their business, which allows them to take advantage of the possibility of the folks of theirs, which allows them to outperform the market – any market. Getting human capital decisions right is actually vital if you would like the company of yours to grow, as it’s the individuals that are actually engaged and motivated that will enable you to drive your company forwards, creating and innovating as they go. It’s the folks of yours who’ll enable you to weather the storm or perhaps bring the company of yours into profit.
Although most companies will tell you on their homepage it’s the staff of theirs that differentiate them from the following, the number of companies who actually behave this way is really different. In all high-end businesses I know, they really do live and breathe this. I feel it’s the good energy that is actually created by managing the business effectively that makes certain companies outshine others. Allow me to share with you, more specifically, several examples of what I’ve seen:
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My top human capital characteristics of high-performance businesses:
High levels of involvement and respect from senior decision-makers: High-performance companies have, what I will say is actually, a greater compared to the average level of respect and involvement from all levels of the organization, among staff and supervisors, and between staff and external suppliers – folks generally treat each other well. But it’s how senior directors of the business actively get involved with the business, which makes probably the biggest change.
I’ve noticed that senior staff members, like the CEO or the COO, will dip into whatever is actually the business’s biggest concern and use their power and knowledge to make it work when it counts. They’re not’ hands-off’ when it matters.
Build strong supplier relationships: They build strong relationships with their external suppliers, as above, and they treat them as they’d an internal colleague. They realize it’s a two-way street, a personal relationship, even though one of you is actually a client.
The requests of yours will be serviced last if the supplier of yours feels disrespected. On the other hand, which small favor you did for your supplier will get repaid to you inconsistent service that’s way above the majority. Never forget that every person is actually someone’s service provider!
They create flat structures: Heavy hierarchies have a tendency to stifle new ideas and fresh thought generation. Like it or perhaps not, when you’ve been in a business for upwards of five years, you do not question how things are actually done anymore. Stay upwards of ten years, and you have forgotten about it can work another way.
So let the young guys speak up sometimes and hear what they are saying. The strongest managers are probably able to hear out a new thought and then consider it, even when it is not one of their own.
There is not a heavy blame culture: This one is actually tough, but it’s crucial to the business’s success to allow mistakes to happen sometimes and not to let this get in the way of practicing good decision making.
When there’s a heavy blame culture, this can destroy decision-making confidence and, therefore, growth. It’s important not to undermine folks who’re generally doing a great job for the odd error, one that they can then learn from. Mistake, move on, learn, and forget about it! In case you feel someone is actually making mistakes all the time, they’re likely in a bad job.
They chose their teams carefully: They do not hire badly, they spend effort and time finding the best folks, and they leverage on relationships with good recruitment firms to enable them to cover more ground. When they hire, they focus on both folk skills and specialized abilities.
They are not looking for the perfect CV; they’re searching for the best person, knowing that that person can acquire. They hire folks with possible rather than those that have the right CV but who might not deliver. They spend time with their recruitment partners, external and internal. My clients know when it’s me calling because most of them have my number saved, and they call me immediately to talk.
They chose quality over quantity in recruitment partners: They get to know us really well, and they give us the commitment that allows us to give them probably the best service we can. When they reach out to us, they know we are going to have it covered. That’s the peace of mind that can only come from a good relationship. They make an effort to describe how their business works, what their culture is actually like, and what the past is actually. When done, this method saves them money and time since we may be sure who’d be a fit and who would not – and they also do not have to repeat themselves. Due to their commitment, we can invest the time of ours in finding candidates who’d never know about the firm otherwise.
They chose their suppliers carefully: They chose their suppliers very carefully and offered chances to new suppliers if there seems to be a brand new market leader. Companies do not make it big for no reason; if there’s a firm out there making waves, go and talk to them, see what the hoopla is about; you may be glad you did. High-performance firms are actually open to change if this may bring about much more positive results, and they spend time reviewing this eventuality instead of staying with the status quo, which seems easier but might be making your life a lot more challenging than you realize.
They promote gender balance: When I talk about gender balance, I, in fact, mean they attempt to attract and/or perhaps retain females of a certain’ child-bearing’ age. They’re not put off hiring them since they’re focused on finding probably the best hire regardless of sex. This can often double the odds of finding someone really great. They recognize the importance of gender-balanced teams and the way they function better. They support females in coming through the ranks, not dropping them at child-rearing age after kids are actually born. At the time, many females reach their professional peak – when they’re really of most value to the firm, knowing a great amount about the products and the clients, and the very best firms find a way of keeping their talent on board.
They retain the best talent and remunerate properly: They recognize that their best folks often have other opportunities and look after them. It’s usually the best folks who’re probably the most frustrated if things do not work out because they invest probably the most. High-performance businesses are actually full of managers who have found a way to maintain positive teams, even when the times are actually tough, keeping morale high. This’s the primary way good businesses have seen out the recession. Good management breeds a workforce who’ll go beyond the role of theirs. They’ve clear career paths and pay structures for the staff members and have an a’ open door’ culture.
They use folks in the right roles: They’re in a position to find people’s strengths and place them in roles that work with the core personality traits of theirs. This keeps the employees engaged since they can further enhance their best skills – skills that are actually of equal benefit to the business given they’re solid, creating a successful and positive work environment.
You can argue it’s the other way around; fast-growing companies create these folks, this environment, which creates these typical characteristics. You can say it’s a question of whether the egg or perhaps the chicken came first. But I believe that would be the easy way out.
In a world as demanding and fast-changing as ours, you likely would not wish to take the risk. There’s an enormous chance to take the period in the history of ours and learn from it. Look after the human capital, yours, and you will see what happens to the capital yours. I believe it is a win-win situation.