In earlier posts I have talked about how, with purpose set, our values guide our behaviours and consequently the experience people have when we are partnering with them. Once people understand the positioning of each of our brands, it is our underlying motivation (why / purpose) coupled with our behaviours (culture guided by values) that truly creates a USP.

Having unpacked our purpose and why our values are important to us, this series will take each of our values in turn and outline how we aspire for them to influence and shape the experience and outcomes for each of our key stakeholder groups: our Clients, Candidates, Colleagues and Community.

First up: Together we Achieve More

When we were defining this value, key words associated included; teamwork, partnership, collaboration, and synergy. Alongside the obvious benefits of working with these ideas at heart, it was the concept of the sum of the whole being greater than the individual parts that really resonated. Both internally and externally we aspire to build relationships that deliver better outcomes as a consequence of the partnership than could be achieved working in isolation. It starts with how we work with each other and extends to our approach and expectations when we work with external stakeholders.

As ever, our purpose sets the ‘true north’ for everything we do: We are here to advise and support people and organisations to realise their potential, so that together we can impact lives and communities for the better. Our values then inform ‘how we do what we do’ on a human level.

To bring this to life let’s look at how this value impacts each of our stakeholder groups:

Together we achieve more with our Clients

Partnership and a time horizon that both includes and goes beyond the immediate task in hand are key to how we do what we do. We want our clients to be better as a consequence of working with us and this regularly means support and advice beyond core Search and Selection. We see helping our clients with employer of choice branding, building awareness with key intermediaries, and facilitating peer networking and learning, as part of our day job.

We are very fortunate that this value has also created many relationships that work both ways. Referral and recommendation are our biggest source of new business and we are acutely aware of the need to repay this trust with exceptional delivery when someone is kind enough to refer us to one of their key contacts.

A specific example of this value in action in the teeth of the crisis would be the numerous, intimate leader to leader knowledge exchange forums we have facilitated, the most recent one of which ended up with a new business relationship between two delegates.

Together we achieve more with our Candidates  

As with clients, it is the spirit of long-term relationships that is at the heart of how we work with candidates. Each of our brands has a tailored approach to the market it serves, and this deep specialism allows us to advise candidates over the entire lifecycle of their career. Helping someone work out what their key strengths and motivations are, and then working with them to help them realise their potential is a huge privilege. Again, this work regularly sees us transcend the role of adviser / assessor on a particular opportunity helping candidates to build long-term career plans, connecting them to mentors, facilitating peer to peer learning through our extensive events programme and, of course, often recruiting key team members for them once in post.

As with our clients, we are very grateful for the referrals and new business opportunities that our candidate relationships have so kindly passed on over the years.

Examples of this value in action always have a long-term view. With the number of new opportunities currently impacted by the tragic effects of the global pandemic, we continue to advise and support our candidates as to how they can continue to move towards their goals through the current crisis. This has included introductions to potential coaches/mentors, ‘Planning your Career Journey’ events, increasing self-knowledge through psychometric assessment, and advice on how to best present CVs/credentials in the ‘post-covid’ market place.

Together we achieve more with our Colleagues

Internally we are fortunate to work with some of the best people in our industry. The depth and breadth of knowledge and network across the business is simply staggering. We believe that by leveraging the collective wisdom and relationships of the Group, quite simply we deliver better results for our clients and candidates. As you can imagine, we therefore invest significant energy building internal relationships and communicating what is going on.

We encourage competition, but principally with yourself. We believe that by each of us striving to get a little bit better every day, including in communicating with and supporting each other, we will best move towards realising our own individual and collective potentials.

Cross-selling, mentoring, information exchange, sharing best practice, internal training, exceptional delivery on internal referral, putting client and candidate needs first and proactively ‘being there’ for each other are just some examples of this value at work.

To quote Rudyard Kipling “For the strength of the Pack is the wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the pack”.

Together we achieve more with our Community

We define ‘community’ as the social and environmental causes that are important to us. Looking at these relationships through the lens of this value, we often leverage our wider network to support key community partners. This might be by raising awareness and funds through events or by participating in often gruelling outdoor challenges, equally it can be by bringing together cross sector leadership groups to share ideas and provide a different perspective.

Often we find that relationships forged in support of a mutually motivating cause build out well beyond the moment or specific project and many of our strongest internal and external relationships were first born out of shared commitment to a particular charity or environmental interest.

Recent examples include our third sector trustee forum in partnership with SCVO, the Virtual North Coast 500 for Social Bite, Samaritans & Good Morning Service and our lunchtime yoga for the NHS crisis fund.

If working with a purpose and values-led search provider is of interest to you please get in touch and we will connect you to the right colleague. Our shared purpose and values provide consistency of approach across our group, our bespoke brands and business models ensure that solutions are tailored to your specific needs.

Livingston James Group is a portfolio of specialist executive search and talent advisory businesses comprising: Livingston JamesRutherford Cross ; Drummond Bridge; and Hamilton Forth.

Jamie Livingston is Group Chairman and CEO.