How do you add value? What does adding value actually mean? Why would you add value?
At an early age, I remember my parents telling me that you will always get a bigger “buzz” giving than you ever will receiving. As a child at Christmas I wasn’t so convinced but looking back they were absolutely right and through their words and influence, I have always been a giver. There is nothing better than putting a smile on someone’s face and making their day, especially if they weren’t expecting you to go that extra mile. I don’t believe that kindness is something you can learn and instead it is innate.
Giving doesn’t just mean spending money to give an object to someone. For me, it is about using your knowledge, expertise, business or personal network to help someone. It is about being emotionally intelligent, taking time out of your busy day to take an interest in someone, to listen to them about their world, pressures, and anxieties or just help them see the wood from the trees.
Having spent 19 years in the somewhat ‘tainted’ world of recruitment, an industry that has gained itself a reputation for high costs and bonuses and all without adding much value, mine and Collingwood’s approach of adding value is sometimes met with cynicism!
From our inception in May 2005, we have always been a values-driven, family-centric business with a team that cares for one another. We have also always set out to care for our clients and candidates. In recent years we have also become very passionate about supporting charities, usually by enduring long cycle rides, half marathons or team walks. We have loved doing these team events, spending time together and seeing the smiles on our charity partner's faces when we present them a much-valued cheque to help them invest in their great cause.
The last 12 months has been different. We have realised that whilst money is important, our team felt they’d exhausted sponsorship requests and so we have taken a new approach.
We have instead decided to give our time and professional expertise to help our charities. We have been working with Tarporley War Memorial Hospital, providing marketing support in the form of market research, poster design for their '100 Years of Caring' campaign and educating them on the power of social media to help raise their profile. One of our team also sits on their fundraising committee and helped during the campaign launch. Imparting this knowledge has helped the charity build a followership and given their team a few techniques and tools to help them both now and in the future.
We also support Hope House. Our team held a ‘shop n scoff’ event raising £160 where we sold cakes and donated items, as well as donating 20 bags of preloved clothing and toys. This social event brought our business park together, raised the profile of the charity and generated some funds for them to reinvest.
I’m also proud to say we’ve been helping them to recruit a key leadership role. Effective recruitment comes as second nature to us but a lot of organisations don’t do it very often and, therefore, they tend to default to what they’ve always done. Hope House’s usual approach had been to advertise, but the days of placing an advert and waiting for an amazing response have sadly gone. Recruitment is now all about being proactive, identifying the type of people that you would love to work for you and making them want to be part of your organisation by sharing your amazing story, culture and highlighting the value it will add to their life.
What a brilliant way to help someone, give up time to impart your expertise and advice. The role is still to be appointed but the charity has had a very strong pool of interested candidates to choose from which exceeded their expectations! Smiles all round.
We take the same approach in the services we deliver to our clients too. It is not just about getting what you pay for, it’s about the advice and the support offered before, during and long after the recruitment process. It’s also about the research and insights gleaned as part of our identification process which we pass on to clients, helping them maintain their competitive edge.
That’s what building trusting, long-term partnerships that we’re passionate about and get a buzz from is about. Our clients align to our values, love working collaboratively and see the benefits of a consultative approach over sales based business transaction. Creating Collingwood’s ‘ecosystem’ has been tough but the rewards (smiles on everyone’s faces) has made it so worthwhile.
So, do you see the value of giving?