From Reflection to Aspiration

These recent weeks have certainly given us the opportunity to take stock and think about the future, but also to reflect on past events in our company’s timeline. Around two years ago my colleagues and I were embarking on our first trip to Philadelphia to meet some of our best clients and understand more of the US market. We had already successfully completed multiple search projects across The States.

I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of business growth and winning new clients in the UK, but international business development really makes you feel like you’re breaking new ground. Without sounding soft, it’s probably our equivalent to climbing a mountain and planting the JH flag. I enjoy business trips as a group – the humour is excellent and essential for long spells in departures, including when your colleagues take the obligatory embarrassing photos when you fall asleep on the plane with your mouth open.

The jet lag hits your colleagues at different times and we’d take it in turns to maintain the banter while singing out to rap songs and R&B on LL Cool J radio in our massive hire car, feeling the sweltering heat when you open the windows.

If you’ve ever been to Philadelphia, you’ll know it’s famous for the Rocky steps and statue from the great film Rocky III. Tourists see Rocky’s famous climb as a metaphor for an everyman rising to a challenge. And this was one climb of our business ascent with our photo at the top.

So, in two years – how the world can change. Who would have predicted Mike Tyson contemplating a return to boxing, let alone a world where airlines are going bust and you can’t visit many of your clients? Pre-lockdown, we were excited about a number of director-level tech appointments in Boston start-ups, but now our candidate-led markets have gone on pause whilst unemployment in the US, at the time of writing, is now 15% and rising.

It may be a good few months before we can start flying again. But it does make me reflect on the wider reconnaissance and groundwork that we undertake before placing a candidate. The whole process of working with a new business, visiting their offices and spending time with their employees to get a deep appreciation of the culture is so important. I love meeting people in person and although I enjoy using the virtual meetings through Teams and Zoom there are some things you just can’t replace. Onwards and upwards, and I’m looking forward to creating new happy memories when the world allows.

What are you looking forward to getting back to?