We had the great pleasure of welcoming our ninth team member to the Sixty Eight squad last week, with lucky number ten announced yesterday. TEN. Crikey. I could’ve only dreamed of being where we are now twelve months ago, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly sh*tting myself about doubling our headcount at such a pace.

Our growth, of course, is in response to the demand from both existing and new clients. As the sector struggles with keeping and acquiring talent, we must be in the best possible shape to deliver it. This is what growing businesses do, right? Take calculated risks and move forward with confidence – all the while feeling like caution is being thrown to the wind. I imagine so many of my hospitalitarian friends are feeling the same right now?

As we grow my role is changing. Having had some time away from the business last week, I’ve had the brain space to consider what my role as a leader in the business is, and what all these new superstars are going to expect (and deserve) from me. We talk about dream jobs A LOT at Sixty Eight, but surely we can only truly find people dream jobs if we have one ourselves.

I’ve made some notes. Whether a self-help checklist to return to in a few months, a promise to the team, or something that someone somewhere finds interesting, who knows? Mostly, they’re what I think my role is going forward (and Team Sixty Eight – please feel free to hold me to this)…

To shout about our purpose 

Our raison d’etre. To ensure that it’s woven into everything, and that everyone feels they have a reason to rock up. A higher and more meaningful purpose than money, of course. We are ALL on a crusade to change lives, disrupt recruitment and shape the industry. I need to support the team in delivering initiatives that actually do these things. We can’t ‘change lives’ without dream jobs and unforgettable candidate experience, we can’t ‘disrupt’ without challenging the status quo and constantly reviewing our processes. We can’t ‘shape the industry’ without a banging not-for-profit strategy.

To ensure our values are ‘Day in, Day out’

Always there. That everyone not only ‘gets’ them, but is 100% bought into them. That everyone feels they can make decisions everyday based on their understanding of them. They should underpin everything, and I need to make sure I cross check everything I do by them.

To keep us on course

A guiding force to achieving our vision. We want to find every hospitality superstar in the north a dream job. If we do anything that doesn’t lead towards that, we quite simply shouldn’t be doing it. 

To create a culture where everyone feels important 

I want the team to feel loved, empowered and positively challenged. I guess this means different things to different people but to me it’s all about generosity, selflessness and thoughtfulness intertwined with business measures, training and development.

To train and coach my arse off 

The challenge of a recruitment start up is that you are the business. Not to sound like a bell, but the business to date has grown with me as a recruiter. What I’ve learnt recently is that our growth is, in fact, hindered by this. It needs to change. The next challenge will be getting all of my experience into meaningful training and coaching sessions, sessions that make everyone on our team great at recruitment.

To keep building a badass team

We’re doing great so far, if I must say so myself. Let’s keep hiring bloody great people, from diverse backgrounds. People with the behaviours we know we need for great consultants. Stay diehard to my own mantra – ‘if you’re unsure, it’s a no’.

To keep Charlotte Kemp happy 

If my right arm is happy, then I know that we’re all good. The ying to my yang, our new Managing Director is already one of the most important aspects of our service delivery going forward. The one who analyses all the numbers, and the one who makes all of my above thoughts and promises possible.

More than anything, these notes are a reminder to myself that I’m more than a recruiter now. I’m a leader. As Sixty Eight People grows, I understand my personal growth will be more integral than ever. I might be sounding like one of the many CV’s and Cover Letters I’ve reviewed over the years, but I’m ready to step up. To challenge myself to keep building on what we’ve achieved together.

My new responsibility is to deliver a great place to work for my amazing team, so that in turn, they can find other people great places to work.