‘Wood’ You Believe it’s our 5th Anniversary
The traditional anniversary gift for five years of marriage is wood. It represents strong roots and solidarity in a relationship and a depth of understanding in the partnership.
We’re not sure if this applies to business relationships as well as marriage, but it definitely feels appropriate for us.
It’s five years since we started HRLife, a boutique HR recruitment consultancy specialising in HR roles, and we feel our relationships are stronger than ever. In the 5 years so far, we’ve built some incredible new relationships, but are also proud of the ones we’ve strengthened which now go back 10-15 years +. Similarly we can’t believe it’s 18 years of working together and luckily we still share the same thoughts and ideas.
What’s the secret to setting up a recruitment business?
If you’re embarking on the journey to set up a business, whether that’s a recruitment business, HR consultancy or something totally different, perhaps our experience over the last five years ‘wood’ help you. (that’s the last of the timber-based puns, we promise!). We’ve shared five ideas that have got us to where we are today…
Celebrate Your Wins
Positive milestones form a significant part of your journey, and sometimes the little victories could be critical steps for your business growth. That one candidate you place could become a future client.
For HRLife, the biggest win for us in the last five years has been weathering the Covid storm and bouncing back from it better than ever. Like many recruiters, HR teams and business leaders, we had a tremendous feeling of uncertainty at the start of the pandemic. We held firm, kept in contact with our clients and candidates and focused on our goals. Despite a volatile recruitment market and specific challenges in the HR sector, our business returned quickly, with 2021 our busiest year ever and 2022 following the same pattern.
Reflect on how far you’ve come
When starting or running a business, it’s too easy to focus on the day-to-day and get swept up with the small details.
Taking time out occasionally to really look back and reflect on your journey is important. Sometimes we thought we didn’t have time to do this as we had deadlines and client commitments to meet, but it really gave us the focus and ability to plan what was next and what the future could look like.
To our long-time followers of HRLife, firstly, thank you – we really have loved working with you all and to our newer connections, you might be interested to read our one and two-year blogs. So don’t forget to take time to evaluate where you started versus where you are now and what you have achieved. It’s always a helpful exercise.
Focus on your why
Why do you do what you do? Is it simply to pay the bills, or is there more to it? For us, there was definitely more to it. We’d worked together for many years recruiting purely HR roles predominantly in London and the South East and we knew from day one what we wanted to achieve and why. Our aspirations weren’t huge; arguably, they still aren’t. We’re not after world domination, but what we do focus on is a personal, professional service that gets great results.
Our ‘why’ is not about KPIs and complex numbers; it’s about creating meaningful relationships and providing best-in-class service across the HR industry. What’s your why? Keep it in focus to help drive your decisions.
Live your values
Understanding your business values helps underpin your why and what you stand for. At the beginning of HRLife, we had fun developing our brand, from logos and brand colours to our tone of voice.
Our company values fed into this. They were important on day one, and they are still the framework for how we approach everything. For HRLife, our values are passion, approachability, a personal touch, togetherness and realism. We’re transparent and people-focused and we’re really proud that is really replicated in the testimonials and feedback we receive.
Roll with the punches
Running a business can be hugely rewarding, and there are days we want to dance on the desk or punch the air, but it’s not always rosy. Let’s face it; the last few years have seen some curveballs. Running a business, particularly in people-focused recruitment, you need to roll with it. Resilience is key, and a determination to keep moving forward (remember your why and celebrate your wins feed into this).
One of our most significant learning curves starting HRLife was understanding pretty quickly that we needed to wear many hats. From marketing to GDPR & data protection to setting up systems and operational procedures. All of a sudden, these things become your responsibility. There was no IT department or head office we could turn to. It’s surprising how quickly you learn to adapt!
What do the next five years hold for HRLife? In some ways, the last five years have taught us not to plan too rigidly. Even though it’s still a relatively unpredictable market, there are some fantastic HR opportunities out there, and we remain focused on connecting the best HR talent with the best roles.
To find out more about working with HRLife, contact us today.