Despite the lows and the losses of 2020, last year was also ground-breaking. We were forced to adapt to a new way of living and working, and that’s brought up a lot of opportunities to improve the way we were doing things before.
At Lorien, as usual, we’re gearing up for change. Current reports reckon that the market will boomerang, and in sectors such as technology and telecom, demand is already picking up. As a result, we are currently on a big internal hiring drive, with plans to double our workforce over the next two years (contact us to check out our opportunities).
This level of growth, and the changes brought on by the pandemic, has left me thinking of the other changes I’ve experienced in my career. I wanted to give some insight into our past, present and the future of our business.
Back in the day, wearing a tie showed you were serious about work. Today, I only wear suits and ties when I have no other choice. I think the suit up/dress down culture shows an evolution of the office from a place of presenting the best version of yourself, to bringing your full self to work. When I interview people, I’m looking for sincerity and drive. You can’t tell that from a pinstripe.
This echoes wider culture. Today, our offices are open plan; I don’t sit in a glass cage locked away from everyone. There’s no exclusive clubs, we all go out together. And we speak often, both formally and informally, so there’s no top-down culture.
How I see our future – I think flat business structures are becoming more popular for agility. You need to trust people to make the right decisions for you. At Impellam (our parent company) we believe in a culture of Virtuosity, where we encourage individuals to fine tune their strengths, share expertise and lead from the front. We have a program that teaches people how to both become and breed virtuosity, and I’d like to continue building on that this year.
When offering to make a coffee round didn’t take half a morning.
When I first started, we were ten people working between an office in downtown Miami and downtown San Francisco. It’s incredible to me that since then, our team has grown sevenfold and that by the end of the year, we’ll have grown by a further 50%. The best part is that we’ve retained that small company feel, where everyone knows everyone, and there’s no real sense of hierarchy. But I do miss being able to remember who takes sugar.
How I see our future – keeping that family-feel is really important to me, but that’s hard to do at a distance. We’ve been sending new starters care packages, but there will still be a push when we’re back in the offices to connect everyone again. We’ll organize social events and mix old faces with new. At the same time, it’s important to recognize the value of being part of a larger organization. Since becoming Lorien last year, we have unlocked so many global opportunities, and I want us to make the most of that too.
The little black book
Lorien is one of the oldest tech recruitment companies, and when we first started out go-to recruitment platforms like Monster and Dice were only just bubbling up. There was no LinkedIn, no Glassdoor, no major job boards. Everything came down to your networks. We’ve always been proud of our focus on expertise – our people know their vertical markets inside out – and I think that comes back to our heritage. We still like to cultivate that in people today, as I believe the job boards can only take you so far. We train our people in their verticals and will sponsor people to level up their knowledge through courses or events where needed. We also help them cut through the noise by investing in external training to become snipers at finding the right candidates.
How I see our future – expertise is never going to get old. I think the real difference will be in ensuring we’re investing in the right tools and techniques. This year I’ll be looking at ways that we can help our people to build their personal profiles and improve stakeholder relationships.
I get so much more from being around people – energy, ideas, inspiration – that I never could have imagined remote working before. I like to think we’ve always supported people that needed flexibility – accommodating different working hours for parents, for example – but the reality is that we were never really free of the 9-5 work structure.
Now, I’ve seen people thriving from that alone time, being more productive, more creative, and actually healthier because of greater flexibility. That’s not something I want to lose when we go back. Of course, our offices will open – I personally think that we all need that face-to-face interaction for our mental health, but I want to strip back some of the pressure to ‘turn up’. It’s okay to work wherever you feel most comfortable, it’s okay to have off days, and it’s okay to need a degree of flexibility in working hours.
How I see our future – one where productivity and merit speaks for itself, and where people have the freedom to work how they want to, in the way that suits them. Of course, we’ll need to think about parameters to ensure fairness, but I’d like to move towards more flexibility.
2020 was a year of change, adaptation, and success. We rebranded from s.com to Lorien, establishing a new global identity to better serve our clients; we adapted to the climate and embraced full remote working for the first time; and we beat our financial targets, showing tenacity in a tough market. We adapted to unprecedented change, and we will continue adapting.
For me, the future of Lorien is undeniably exciting. We’re working in an industry that is exploding with opportunity, and we’re fantastically positioned for it. 18 years ago I joined Lorien, and the difference between then to now is staggering. Just think what will change in even a year’s time.
Do you want to join our journey? We’re currently on the lookout for tech and telecoms recruitment professionals of all backgrounds and experience levels. Contact us to learn more about our opportunities and apply.