My parents were self-employed. If you also grew up in a family business you’ve probably been immersed in the world of work since you could sit up at the dinner table. I was put to work once I could serve customers across the counter at our General Store. That was an early Point of View: as a school child learning about small business.
In my position as Founder and Executive Chairman of Slade Group, I have at least four Points of View about the World at Work. These POVs are: (i) as a business owner and employer; (ii) as a professional recruiter; (iii) as an advisor to employers and; (iv) as a headhunter working with high performing senior executives.
(i) As a business owner and employer
I’ve been busy un-learning all the Command and Control hits I sang in the 1970’s. Fundamentally I was off tune to the song of the day ‘I’m the boss and you’re the worker’. Employees in those days appeared to accept the world weary working life they signed up to as the Servant in a Master Servant relationship. Now we’re equals. The POV shot has equal actors playing out their parts. It’s understood that we have a fair commercial exchange going on: I stump up the salary half of the equation and my colleagues trade me their ‘work power’. I’ve got the swing of it and together we’ve got the harmonies about right.
(ii) As a professional recruiter
POV: A slightly chaotic landscape amidst the necessary interruptions and potential distractions. I’m constantly looking at technological and digital transformation whilst tracking how much Artificial Intelligence is creeping in on what I’ve always termed ‘the third eye’. The third eye is that eye for talent that comes with years of experience, sophisticated profiling and scanning for capabilities and competencies. This coupled with plain old IQ and EQ seems to be the profile of top candidates.
(iii) As an advisor to employers
My POV is shared with sophisticated employers. You might also have worked out that the best new hire is often not the candidate who has done similar roles in a similar organisation. Rather many of our highly rated appointments have come from shortlisted candidates who have never worked in the same industry sector. Great talent is quick to pick up new challenges, brings fresh experience to a new role and can transform old school ways of doing business. They arrive unencumbered by the history and legacy of a particular industry status quo. I know the recruitment industry is no different, we all suffer from one or more unhelpful conventions. I’d like to challenge more employers to see through this lens.
(iv) As a headhunter working with high performing senior executives
Some of the best conversations I have each week are the headhunter calls I make to senior talent. This is how the scene plays out. They answer the phone, there’s a short silence, a quick recovery and 99 times out of 100 they’ll explore the discussion or make a time to speak later. Who wouldn’t want to be identified as talented and in demand. Very rarely am I cut off. Even if the time’s not right, most professionals like to keep an open mind about potential opportunities and who’s tracking their performance and professional reputation.
So, they’re my Points of View. What are yours ?
Look forward to hearing from you.
Geoff Slade has worked at the forefront of the Recruitment industry for 50 years. He is the Executive Chairman of Slade Group and was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to the industry.