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Playing the long game: why we want to grow our own

Posted by Steve Brown on Sep 29, 2022 12:00:00 AM
Playing the long game: why we want to grow our own | Business IT Sheffield

Please note: This post was written by Highlander prior to their rebrand to FluidOne Business IT - Sheffield.

Whether you’re an enterprise organisation, an SME, or an ambitious small business, everyone is facing similar challenges right now – finding the right people to fill roles within your business.

Over the last 2 and a half years, there has been plenty of talk about pandemic-driven changes to the job market. There were warnings of a ‘great resignation’, and reports of an increase in ‘boomerang’ employees quickly returning to their previous roles. I’m happy to say that we haven’t seen too much evidence of either of these trends, and hope that continues to be the case!

In the face of a challenging job market, finding ready-made replacements isn’t always possible. And even if it is, it isn’t always the best way forward.

I’ve written before about the importance of people to our business. We’re proud of our team culture, and those we employee play a huge role in keeping those values alive. I doubt we are alone in this, but getting the right personality and cultural fit is often far more important to us than getting the person who looks most suitable on paper. It’s why, in recent times, we’ve taken a slightly revised approach, and hired a number of graduates and apprentices to join our ranks.

Introducing the new recruits

In the last 12 months we’ve been delighted to add Gabriel, Vijay, Hollie, and Taylor to the team, each bringing their own ideas, creativity and enthusiasm to their respective roles.

A graduate from Sheffield Hallam University, Gabriel was keen to move back up to Sheffield following the conclusion of his undergraduate course and recently joined as a Commercial Account Manager.

Vijay, Hollie and Taylor are all Yorkshire-based, and having recently left school were keen to start their careers and continue their education through apprenticeships. They’ve now taken up roles in our helpdesk, sales support and core support teams.

Kick-starting careers

With the detailed and technical nature of our business, there are certain roles and opportunities that are better suited to a more seasoned professional. But that doesn’t mean we can’t also provide a helpful first rung on the ladder for those finding their way.

I’m understandably biased, but having worked here for over 20 years I know as well as anyone how interesting, exciting, and diverse the world of IT and technology can be. The pace of our industry ensures that our team never stand still, and that can be brilliant for a graduate or first jobber looking to progress. That doesn’t mean they have to come with a burning ambition. I often talk about campers and climbers within our business, so helping someone find a role where they are happy and can offer value is just as important as helping someone else take the next step.

In it for the long haul

While Gabriel, Vijay, Hollie and Taylor are already proving themselves to be valuable additions to the team, they are only starting out on their respective journeys, with no idea where their careers might take them. But without wishing to pile on undue pressure, we hope that they are all excited by the opportunities available here, and go on to become long-term members of the Highlander family.

Longevity is never in short supply across our team. 37% of our employees have been with us for more than 10 years, including several members of the management team, while 65% have worked here for over 5 years. Our culture plays a huge part in this, and we’re committed to making Highlander a place where people want to work, something that is only helped by the quality of people we employ.

As our recent recruits show, we can always find ways to equip newcomers with the tools they need to be a success at Highlander, but crucially, we can’t train those people on how to be a good fit within our team. Those attitudes, behaviours, and beliefs are something that predominantly come from them, and are aided by role models that they will work with. That’s why growing our own, by backing the right people, is something that will always be important to us.

Attrition will occur at times, but our aim is always to train people well enough so that they can leave but treat them well enough so they don’t want to. I must give Richard Branson credit for that one!

We still have vacancies open to join our team, and we’re always open to new enquiries. If you’re interested, you can find more details here.

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