44 www. ceotodaymagazine . com CEO Today Gl oba l Awa rds 202 2 I knew immediately that they were perfect for the role and perfect for me. I interviewed many people for each role, and some had fabulous skills and experience, but something in me wasn’t totally sure of the fit until I sat down with the people who finally joined. Something clicked that told me without doubt that they were the perfect fit. I have been proven correct in each case. This is incredibly important to the continuous growth and success of Neuven and I think is the same for any organisation. If you can get the senior team right and they reflect your values and drive, then this will cascade through their recruitment activities and ensure you imbue a great culture in the company by engaging with people who ‘get it’ and want to live the values. The colleagues you have are the foundation of your business. That is a key lesson that I have learned over the years. In what ways would you say your career skills, in leadership and other areas, have developed since you came to Neuven? It is interesting to reflect on how I have changed over time when I look back on my career and, most recently, my time at Neuven. I guess you are shaped by the situations you find yourself in. When starting a company with no revenue you are a very different leader to the one you are when you have a fabulous team of colleagues and a thriving business. I think my leadership style has softened over the years as I have had to develop a style that encourages others to take the initiative and support them in trusting their instincts. At the outset, I was directly involved in all aspects of Neuven from sales through to account management and writing our contracts. As time has passed and we have developed departments within the company to take care of all aspects of our service, I have had to understand that in many of those areas, I now have people with better skills than me to execute their area of responsibility. Thus, my leadership style has become more about encouraging them and giving them the space and clarity to perform at their best. I would like to think I am a more relaxed leader than I was twenty years ago and find it easier to relinquish control to let others flourish. Ultimately, my colleagues are the only ones who can tell you if that is correct! How has the UK recruitment sector developed over the course of your career, and what do you predict the future might hold? The recruitment sector has developed and evolved like all other industries since I first entered the sector. Companies have become far slicker at purchasing HR and staffing services and are far savvier at gaining the best price for the optimum service. I think we have seen an evolution from a point where even the biggest companies procured recruitment services in an ad hoc manner that allowed recruitment agencies to charge high margins without control or regulation. We then moved into a period where cost became everything and those services were procured at the lowest possible price – I think this meant that companies were sometimes focused on price reduction to the detriment of service levels. Latterly, companies have managed to find a balance between searching for optimum price whilst also demanding the highest standards of service and compliance. This has sorted the wheat from the chaff and as a result I believe the recruitment sector is far slicker and more professional than ever before. Companies like Neuven have been at the forefront of this evolution as they ensure that prices are fair, that workers are provided in a compliant way and that all responsibilities to the end worker are adhered to rigidly. Our services have been key in helping to shape the way the sector currently operates. By implementing our technology, companies have been able to gain transparency over the way they are being charged. This has helped eradicate unjustly high agency margins and helped provide robust and streamlined management reporting. As the sector has developed, our clients have become more focused on compliance and quality. Whereas our original pitch to our clients would have mainly been about cost-saving, now we are expected to explain how our solutions can help in ensuring proper process is followed in the recruitment of workers and that a robust electronic audit trail is available, so all actions are easy to reference and validate at the flick of a button. Although making savings and gaining the best value for money will always remain vitally important, I am convinced that companies like Neuven will be required to support this push towards protection and compliance. Clients are also expecting to be offered a far more layered service with a push towards more of a recruitment process outsourcing solution (RPO) model. Quite rightly, organisations want technology to link all the platforms they use and take the strain of procuring and the ongoing management and effective deployment of workers.