Did you know that in the Chinese Zodiac, 2024 is the Year of the Dragon? According to Chinese astrology, the dragon encourages us to be ambitious and creative, promising a year of opportunities. About time!
2023 was one of our toughest years yet. I know it was the same for many other business owners, which is semi-reassuring… We all just about survived, and for that, let’s give ourselves a pat on the back. The delayed impacts of the pandemic started emerging, with many businesses having to make redundancies, letting go of their office spaces and closing altogether. Thankfully, Grace avoided all of those, but we still found things unbelievably tough.
Back to the dragon and what it symbolises. As a recruitment agency, we’ve always been ambitious – it’s in our blood. And let’s face it, you’re in the wrong job if you’re a recruiter with no ambition. But when it comes to creativity and thinking outside the box – especially when you’re under a lot of pressure – it can be tough to come up with the answers.
After a lot of reflection, I’ve decided how to evolve Grace in 2024 to better serve our clients and candidates and get our small business exactly where it needs to be. Here’s the plan:
1. Doing less
You read that correctly! We’re going to do LESS. We’re going to be more intentional about the types of roles we decide to recruit for, instead of agreeing to all client requests. Why? Well, it means that we can keep the level of quality that we’re so proud of (our Google reviews are the proof). And, it relates to our next commitment…
2. Niching down
We’re niching the business and specialising in HR and business support roles. We’ve been recruiting for HR roles since 1999, and we’ve seen a 40% increase in demand for HR support in the last two years. Narrowing down our offering to dedicate ourselves to this area just seems to make sense! 89% of our clients sit within HR already, and over the years we’ve gained a deep understanding of their challenges and opportunities.
3. Remaining authentic
If you follow me on LinkedIn, you know I love a rant about the industry. I get riled up when I hear about poor candidate experience and I have strong opinions on the way things should be done… if you’re someone who loves putting the world to rights, I’m your girl! But seriously, my personal values and those of our business seem to align well with the HR industry. We’re ‘people people’ and have always championed the HR function, placing huge emphasis on diversity, gender equality, avoiding bias in interviews and so on – you can browse our resources to see the types of stuff we like sharing opinions on.
What this means to us
Aside from HR being a natural industry for our recruitment agency to specialise in, on a personal level, I’ve loved seeing its transformation over the years. I don’t think one function has fundamentally changed so much! The pandemic taught us the importance of putting the human back in HR. HR is finally considered a strategic player with a voice at the table, and we want to shine a light on its importance. Alongside sometimes educating those who DON’T yet value their HR teams the way they should…
We’ve spent the past 25 years cementing ourselves as a trusted partner for organisations across the Thames Valley and I’m proud of the reputation we’ve built. I’m so excited to become an extension of even more HR departments and businesses across the area, and further afield in London, Hampshire and across the South East.
What we offer
We use our market knowledge to provide guidance on employee expectations within the HR sector, including salary and benefit expectations, as well as market trends and developments.
We have a pool of pre-screened candidates and the right tools to carry out searches on passive candidates, meaning we can cut down the time to hire and reduce time and money wasted on poor hires. We’re a partner who truly understands the HR space, and who appreciates, respects and values the function.
If you’ve got plans to recruit for an HR position in 2024, drop me a line and let’s chat. You can also check out our case studies and testimonials are dotted all around the website. And if you’re working in HR and looking for a new role, I’d love to hear from you too – just get in touch and we can set something up!
Thanks to everyone who has supported the evolution of Grace so far. We’re so grateful to work with some brilliant local businesses and fantastic candidates (we appreciate your Google reviews!).
So, here’s to the Year of the Dragon: courage, tenacity and success 💪