I believe successful recruitment is a partnership with both clients and candidates. I help companies to grow by finding them top quality candidates. My aim is simply to match the right person to the right position in the right company.
I recruit purely in the retail marketing, design, and POS / POP sectors. My knowledge of the marketplace is substantial, and includes the key activities, trends, and movers and shakers. My clients include agencies, brands and retailers.
I work throughout the UK, occasionally in Europe, and sometimes beyond. I’m proud of my reputation. Feel free to check out my LinkedIn recommendations
I recently read a great blog by Leo Babauta titled ‘Why I’m always in a hurry, and what I’m doing about it’
This resonated with me. I’m often in a hurry, not because I’m running late, but because I want to achieve more
In fairness to myself, I’ve been making a conscious effort over the last few years to slow down. This is largely thanks to yoga, which has taught me how to find stillness in the mind through practicing yoga on a regular basis
But there are some areas of my life, where I still tend to rush, because I want to get through more. One example is reading. There is so much out there I want to read - books, articles, blogs etc. Rather than accept I can’t read them all, I often hurry my reading so I can get through as much as possible
This is ridiculous, because I sometimes miss key points when I read too fast, and instead of being pleasurable, the act of reading itself becomes onerous
Through what I do, both as a recruiter and a yoga teacher, I’m constantly talking with people about their lifestyles. It seems a lot of us are very similar. We’re all trying to pack as much into our lives as we can
One of the dangers in trying to get through stuff fast, and achieve more and more, is that the detail suffers. On major tasks, most people are aware of this, and take the time to get the detail right. But on quicker, less important tasks (especially internet related), it’s easy to rush through the detail
A common situation is that people press the ‘send’ button without checking through the email they’ve written. So attachments are forgotten, spelling is poor, words are missed out, dates and times are incorrect
Worse still is when detail is overlooked on more important things, like booking flights, and inserting incorrect passport details, or getting dates wrong. Or people order stuff online, but in their haste, they overlook the detail and not get what they want
Multi-tasking is something that sharply divides opinion. Some people are intensely proud of the fact they can do several things at the same time. Others, including myself, believe that to get things done properly, they need full, undivided attention
And this - surely - is the thing; by paying attention to what we’re doing, we don’t just get it right, but it makes the experience more enjoyable. Taking the time to complete even mundane tasks gives us the confidence that they’re done properly
Taking the time to do things we want to do, irregardless what they are, makes the whole process so much more enjoyable. Why? Because we’re in the zone. Smelling the roses (and any other cliché you want!). But they’re true. Because we’re ‘being in the moment’, and when we are there, we become more relaxed, we do it better, and we can appreciate more of what we enjoy doing
This is especially important when we’re interacting with other people, especially those who we’re close to. It’s too easy to dismiss others due to lack of time, or interest. There are fewer annoying things when you’re talking to someone, and they’re fiddling with their phone. They pretend they are there, but they’re not. Their attention is diverted. It’s offensive and it’s irritating. It’s also potentially dangerous; for example parents texting as their children play
I remember a story attributed to Bill Clinton, that he had the ability, even as President of the US, to make whoever he was talking to feel like the only person in the room. He focused his attention purely on them, and in doing so, he made them feel very special.
It’s a proven fact, that it’s not what you say that people remember, it’s how you make them feel
So whatever we’re doing, maybe we should just ease up, and stop greedily cramming our lives full of stuff. Turn off the self-indulgence, and just let go of the need to have it all and do it all
In his blog, Leo talked about the practice of generosity. He described generosity as turning away from our self-centred view, and start turning towards other people. Or turning to each moment, giving it the gift of our focus
What a great idea - practice being more generous. To ourselves and to others. To learn how to pay full attention to whatever we’re doing, to get more fun and satisfaction out of what we're doing, and just appreciate being in the moment
I watched the BBC lunchtime news today. Not something I usually do. But I was keen to see the appearance of Dominic Chappell - recent owner of BHS - being interviewed by a House of Commons Select Committee
Why? I have a vested interest. I started my business career at BHS in 1976 as a graduate management trainee, and spent six years there, working in several stores, moving up to Store Manager
I’m sad to see the demise and closure of BHS. Maybe it was due to happen; the business hadn’t progressed in the past 20 years, and it had become a bit of a high street dinosaur. However, my chief concern revolves around the serious mis-management of the business, under the ownership of Philip Green and more recently Dominic Chappell
Apart from the fact 11,000 employees will lose their jobs, the pension plan has been significantly underfunded. Without going into detail, it’s amazing that one former owner (Green) has recently bought his third luxury yacht, having paid his family massive dividends in excess of £580m since he bought the company in 2000
To date, there’s been no tangible offer from Green towards plugging a substantial part of the gap in the BHS pension fund. When he acquired the company in 2000, the pension fund had a surplus of £5m. The deficit in that fund now stands at £571m. The consequence is that BHS pensioners will have to suffer a 10% shortfall in their pension payments.
I should declare that I’m not amongst them, having moved my BHS pension into another fund many years ago. The principle however, of one man taking huge dividends from a business without seemingly any social conscience towards the care and protection of the pension funds for his employees past and present, in my book, absolutely stinks
Green sold BHS to Dominic Chappell’s enterprise (Retail Acquisitions) in 2015 - for £1. He chose to divest himself of a problem child to an individual without any apparent retail experience, and who had previously been made bankrupt - twice. The same Dominic Chappell who has since taken £17m out of BHS, including a recent £1.5m transfer. There have been substantial allegations that sums of money have been directly paid to Chappell, including the clearing of a mortgage on his father’s house
Incidentally, it’s unbelievable how Philip Green, who prides himself on being one of the UK’s most successful retailers, could possibly imagine how someone without any retail knowledge could do a better job rescuing the company he was about to sell for just a £1
During today’s enquiry, Chappell has been referred to as ‘a Premier League liar’, a ‘Sunday pub-league retailer’ and accused of having his hands caught in the till. And who levelled these comments? No less than the former directors of BHS!
What surely drives people such as Green and Chappell? In one word - Greed! And in another - arrogance.
There are examples all over the world manifesting the damage of greed and how weak and greedy humans succumb to it. Names such as Sepp Blatter and Robert Mugabe spring to mind. Politicians with their expense accounts. I could go on …..
But the other part of my concern is about the mis-management of large companies. There are some appalling recent examples. Such as Mike Ashley, who heads up one of the largest UK retail businesses. He was also summoned to appear before a parliamentary inquiry yesterday to answer criticisms that his company Sports Direct was mistreating its employees, and paying them less than the minimum wage.
He later admitted that some of the accusations put to him actually shocked him, and that the company has outgrown his ability to effectively manage it. Yet in another riposte, he argued he could do a better job for his employees than the Trade Union Unite. How arrogant! In summary, it’s taken a long awaited parliamentary enquiry to get him to commit to an independent review of working conditions in his business. And one more thing; this same Mike Ashley was also looking to acquire BHS from the administrators. If he has concerns about his ability to run his existing company, how on earth does he imagine he could take on an additional major retail business? The mind truly boggles!
Finally, I was interested to read at the weekend that hundreds of former employees of City Link won an employment tribunal against their former owner Better Capital, a private equity business. They will share a payout of more than £1m. City Link collapsed into administration on Christmas Eve 2014, and their employees found out on Christmas Day that they would lose their jobs. The Tribunal ruled that Better Capital made a “deliberate and calculated decision” not to inform staff properly about potential redundancies.
The law is that companies preparing to make 100 or more employees redundant must give 45 days notice. I’ve heard some appalling stories of employees receiving notification of redundancy, but to find out on Christmas Day is an incredible illustration of gross mis-management, failure of duty-of-care, and arrogance
To conclude, I remember as an Assistant Manager at BHS, when some directors visited the store where I was working. One of the directors mentioned how some store managers were nervous of the increasing influence exercised by the Trade Union USDAW, which represented the interests of shop employees. In an unexpected yet refreshing way, this director stated that in his view, it was perhaps a good thing that USDAW were there to represent the interests of shop staff, as they kept poor managers on their toes!
With the backdrop of some greedy, arrogant individuals mismanaging their companies, the recourse of having parliamentary enquiries and employment tribunals can surely only be a good thing