Defining Our Purpose
When starting Evolution 17 years ago (from the cellar of my house!) our goal was to create an outstanding IT recruitment company for our employees, candidates and clients. I started the business with my best friend from university, Nick Elliott, who is our current CFO, and Mike Latham, the best recruiter I knew, who is MD of APAC.
We believed that we could provide a better service to candidates and clients by making sure our employees were treated and trained well, as they were ultimately responsible for the service given to our customers. It was a simple plan, but arguably ambitious for a company who, at that stage, not only had no employees, candidates or clients, but didn’t even have any windows in our office and had to seal the paper for the printer in an airtight container because the cellar was so damp!
As a result of the hard work and talent of hundreds of my Evolution colleagues over the years, we’ve built a multi award-winning IT recruitment company, employing 130 people, working in 5 offices, based in 4 countries (UK, Germany, Singapore and Australia) on 3 continents. It’s fair to say the view from the MLC Centre where our Sydney office is based is a bit better than our first office in my cellar all those years ago!
Although in the early days we didn’t have any systematic way of measuring whether we were achieving our goal of creating an outstanding IT recruitment company, ad hoc feedback from our employees, candidates and clients indicated we were heading in the right direction. However, in more recent years we’ve fully integrated NPS (Net Promoter Score) into our business and the results show that our candidates and clients value our service very highly:
Candidates we successfully placed: +89
Clients we placed candidates with: +73
We’ve used Gallup Employee Engagement surveys for many years to measure whether we’ve created an outstanding company for our employees, and with 60% of our people highly engaged, Evolution is certainly outperforming most companies. Gallup reports that across the 142 countries where they’ve surveyed over 70 million people, only 13% of people are highly engaged with their job, which shows how well we’re doing.
To help us improve further, we’ve recently invested in Peakon, an engagement platform designed to gain real-time feedback on our employee engagement, rather than relying on an annual survey.
Over the last 17 years, we’ve been extremely busy working hard to create a great IT recruitment company for our employees, candidates and clients, but never stopped to answer the question; why? According to Simon Sinek, the business author and speaker, very few companies stop and think why they do what they do, but it’s the why that inspires and motivates people.
Earlier this year, our global senior management team came together to work on the strategy of the business and spent time thinking about our purpose and why we do what we do. It was amazing to see a group people who work in different offices throughout the world working together and agreeing our purpose, relatively quickly and efficiently.
We realised this was because although we had never stopped to define our purpose before, we always had one. As the business grows, it’s critical to make sure our employees, candidates and clients know what our purpose is so everyone can contribute to achieving it on a daily basis:
"Committed to helping people and organisations realise their potential."
Why it matters
I truly believe that people are the most important asset of any company, and that when you interact with a great company, you find great people who have worked together to create that company. As an IT recruitment consultancy, we’ve consistently trained and developed our own people - who have often joined as trainees - and helped them realise their own potential. We were the first company ever to gain Platinum Investors in People status and also won the Princess Royal Training Award this year, which we are absolutely thrilled about.
In turn, Evolution employees place thousands of the right people in the right jobs. They have not only helped our candidates realise their potential, but those candidates have helped the organisations they’ve joined to achieve their goals and realise their potential too. As a result, we have the opportunity to add real value to others on a daily basis, which is the definition of a worthwhile purpose according to Simon Sinek.
Now it’s been defined, we’ve got to make sure that we continue to build a brand that consistently delivers our purpose, and to help us do this we had to agree on our brand promise, which will be the subject of my next blog.