Setting up SEAO Talent Partners was always a dream of mine. After spending over ten years in recruitment consultancies and then five years internally for a National £1.35B business – leading one of the largest recruitment teams in the North East – it was truly time.
Alongside my career, I was very fortunate and blessed to have also started a family, set up a home and support two beautiful little girls now 10 and seven.
My family life gave me even more ambition as being a positive role model, along with providing for them and giving them all the experiences they deserve, has been such a motivation and has moved me nicely from one thing to the next.
So I sit here, the day after Boxing Day, in my pyjamas, with a bustling, happy house of family and extended family (see photograph above) – counting my blessings and feeling extremely positive for 2019 and the opportunity for SEAO Talent Partners.
This feeling of nostalgia is exactly how SEAO was ‘born’. One of the very first conversations with my investors, Solutions Recruitment, was around what would make us different.
I thought long and hard – it would need to be something unique, memorable and real or I would be best placed to stay where I was. I was happy there. I had some fabulous mentors and my role pushed me daily.
However, I just knew there was so much more to providing a recruitment solution than the traditional (and still very much needed) method.
I kept my in-house hat on and asked myself ‘what support would I like from an external recruitment partner’. The answer to this inspired our company name –
S – Strategy
E – End to end integrated and fully client branded recruitment
A – Assessment centres
O – Outplacement support
We knew this was different – we would be a business’s in-house recruitment team – we would turn the recruitment offering on it’s head. The attracting, sourcing and placement of well selected and assessed talent would be the outcome of support. It would be the creation of the process, the candidate journey, the link to engagement, building a company culture, linking people to business objectives and creating the EVP (Employer Value Proposition) which businesses needed.
And we would be best placed to provide it.
I would create a team of experienced in-house, internal recruitment professionals. We would all totally understand how it is to contribute to business change and business growth through people.
So next would be our culture … people buy people and an engaged workforce is an effective workforce.
I focused on creating our values
Values that could incorporate our families and loved ones. Values that could be owned also be the people coming on the SEAO journey with us. Values that my little girls could identify with and feel associated.
Values which would also allow us to be seen by our clients and candidates as individuals with morals, beliefs, experience and ambition.
So our four company values were created –
Lead the way
Partner with passion
Now for the team
My investors put out adverts on my behalf and some great interest was built. Skill was important, as we were to be a new business however, ambition, loyalty and perspective were more essential.
I telescreened my Executive Assistant (and now also our internal People Partner) and I knew within three minutes she was right for me and for SEAO. She was hard working, she was proven, she was down to earth but ambitious – she was obviously a rock. With three children, Laura was used to Boardroom situations, she was organised and driven, and luckily Laura loved the concept of SEAO too.
So she was onboard.
Next, I knew I needed to grow the business and as our services are different – I didn’t want someone who would muscle in and bully clients to speak with us further.
I needed a Kirsty! Kirsty is my best friend and Godmother to my eldest. She had worked in large organisations for the best part of 10 years and for the past three years had been working self-employed, creating and building inspiring networks for business leaders and HR professionals. She too is ambitious, has three beautiful children (I’m not being biased) and is raring to go.
So I then had Kirsty.
Finally, I needed a dedicated, senior level recruitment partner. Someone who knew the pressures of a CEO demanding a shortlist or enquiring why there were no ladies at the Boardroom table.
This was to be Rachel.
Determined, focused, hugely credible and highly experienced – Rachel was ideal. With a little one herself – Phoebe – not yet two, her values mirrored SEAO’s.
And we were complete.
So between us we have a tribe of SEAO juniors ranging from one to 14. They feature on our values wall with a value per family and they are in our dots on our logo and brand. They have put our first office Christmas tree up together, star in our induction video for new starters and have been topical in many a conversation.
They motivate and inspire us to continue this crazy, but amazing, adventure to tackle the reputation of the recruitment industry. To re-engineer the services provided to clients, add some real business value and partner with some well selected businesses and candidates.
The future is calling along with the new year … and so are the children – so I’m signing out.
Merry Christmas All and Happy New Year.
SEAO Talent Partners – we are your internal recruitment team.