Uncovering the 9-5
Published on: 20 February 2018
My day typically starts around 6am. Sometimes much earlier depending on the internal clock of my four year-old twins. I aim to be out of the house by 7.45am but getting out requires planning and military precision, as well as bit of chaos as anyone with small children knows. Thereafter I leave the children with the childminder before heading into work.
I use this time in the car for catching up on the news and what is going on in the world. Normally I am at my desk for 8.45am and will try to blast through a few urgent emails before catching up with the team to go through the various projects we are working on. I discuss resource allocation, review project timings and ensure the priorities of the team are aligned. We also use this time to get each other’s input into our assignments, whether that is discussing potential candidate profiles to research into or how we can improve and enhance our approach to search and the project as a whole. We have so much collective knowledge and experience and, as such, it is vital that we tap into this to both support each other and deliver the best quality shortlist for our clients.
As Northern Ireland’s largest and fastest growing business, business development is a crucial aspect of our success and during these team meetings we also explore what opportunities exist for our business and how we can tap into new opportunities. As Head of Delivery my role is a mix between general management of the office and team as well as delivering on my own executive search assignments. As such I try to balance these priorities however delivering on the projects for clients is always the highest priority for me and this sometimes creates a back log in terms of internal office work.
I dedicate some time to making calls to candidates, getting or providing post interview feedback or following up with candidates who I have placed and who are currently working their notice before commencing a new role. Likewise I spend time catching up with clients, this could beproviding an update on project progress or just generally keeping the lines of communication open to ensure 4c is working hand in glove to deliver on their executive search assignments.
There is typically a face-to-face client meeting at some point in the day, either an initial project kick-off meeting to take on a new assignment or a shortlist meeting to discuss the candidates we have presented, both of which can take 1.5-2hrs. When we take on a new assignment we spend a lot of time getting to know the client, the organisation and the role as this forms the basis of each project and ultimately steers our approach to the entire project. This investment at the outset helps cement our relationship with the client and determine success later on.
At some point in the day my focus has to switch to the internal workings of the business, whether this is reviewing management accounts and budgets, renewing insurances or reviewing internal process. With the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) due to come into effect in May of this year, I know this will likely take up a good proportion of my time going forward.
My office based day has a hard stop at 5pm as I need to collect my children from the childminder. In order to assuage the panic that comes with worrying about being late for the childminder I typically spend my time during the drive home making calls to clients, candidates and my own staff that I didn’t get the opportunity to speak to during the day. Once mouths are fed and children are tucked away in bed I would switch on the laptop at around 8pm and use this time to catch up on paper work, for example drafting interviews and assessment frameworks, preparing tender proposals or reviewing documents for the rest of the team.
My day is about balancing priorities. I strive to give as much of myself to 4c and my work but equally I need to give the time and attention to my children and family, a balance that is often difficult to get right.