The Wellbeing Series: Ernest Hunter Green

Welcome to the Wellbeing Series on Hunted. Where we look at what our individual partners are doing to promote mental positivity throughout their business. This time out, Ernest Hunter Green take the reins.

When we started our recruitment business, we set out to create the optimum working environment for recruiters like us. People who’ve created a successful career but wanted to be part of a grown-up business. A business that lets them work in the most productive way, in an autonomous but supportive set up.

Our thinking went like this…

“We don’t really need hands-on management ourselves and we’re not planning on hiring anyone unlike ourselves. So why would we need controlled hours, rigid KPIs and a micromanagement style?”

We’d been frustrated in environments with set working hours, set locations and set objectives. It was preventing us from doing the best job.  So, when we were setting up Ernest Hunter Green we looked to create an environment and benefits scheme we would want, hoping similar people would want to come and work here too.

Things have evolved over the two and a half years we’ve been in business. We realised the optimum working environment wasn’t just about the physical space. It was about making ourselves happy and healthy mentally. By removing the pressure of a dated, KPI led ‘sales floor’ dynamic we were more productive. Which meant more success and happier people.

We decided to incorporate happiness and wellbeing into our culture.

We integrate perks, tips and initiatives that drive, encourage and promote wellbeing.

We’ve seen the positive impact it has on our consultants and as a direct result, the benefit to business. We’ve learned that happy, healthy consultants mean happy clients, happy candidates and healthy billings.

How we do it

We have a completely flexible working model.

You can work from anywhere you want. Create your ideal work space at home. Spend the day in a hotel. A café. On your sofa. Or at one of our co-working membership hubs.

We offer a benefits scheme that includes unlimited holiday. Simply send a diary invitation so your team know not to disturb you and that’s it. Everyone gets private healthcare which comes with an annual health check. So consultants know they’re good physically and have peace of mind they have insurance if anything serious happens.

We also decided to create a ‘Virtual Fitness Club’ in a WhatsApp group for everyone to share their healthy activities and motivate each other. We share tips and ideas that help us feel happy, energised and productive.

These range from topics such as sleep, meditation and exercise to charity ‘team’ running events. The most recent addition to our scheme is the Grokker health and wellbeing service. Which allows employees to access a realm of wellbeing videos from healthy recipes to yoga classes to meditation sessions.

Due to the reduction in commuting time, we have more time to look after ourselves. So we encourage as much activity as possible.

The general rule of thumb is: use some of your extra time to do something that makes you happy.”

We encourage mental health days for when you need a day away from the desk. We trust each other’s work ethic. We know that to get to where we are in our recruitment careers you should be hard working and care about what you do. So our consultants won’t abandon their desks, phones or emails at a critical time. They’re trusted to manage their business responsibly.

Happy Runner

Challenges

While the remote set up’s great, it’s a double edged sword and our internal recruitment process is rigorous.

We need to feel confident people joining are capable in the environment. It’s not for everyone. It’s easy to feel isolated, so it’s important that everyone feels confident and comfortable to reach out if they need some support.

Sometimes we need company. After all, we’re a sociable bunch. But all we need to do is pick up the phone and suggest it. There’s always someone feeling the same way who’s happy to spend a day working together. It’s about finding the right balance.

We use Skype all the time and meet regularly to ensure we have real face time recruiters so often need. Ultimately, remote working will always be more isolated than an office based role. So, every quarter we get feedback from the team to see how they’re feeling about the business.

Any improvements and any ideas they’d like to see implemented that could add value to our set up. The scores so far have been high in regards to employee happiness, so we think we’re getting it right somewhere.

We’ve seen productivity shoot up in comparison to individual’s previous roles. And everyone has more ‘work-life balance’. Which in recruitment is a rare thing. One person at EHG was commuting for 4 hours in their past role so having that time back has made a huge difference to their personal life.

Although that’s an extreme example, everyone’s able to do more whilst not working less. Recruiters work very long hours, as everyone knows, but it really takes the edge off if it’s only a short walk to the TV or the kitchen once you’re done. You can set yourself up to work in the area you need to be in that evening for the social event you’re going to later that night.

Only time will tell how well our model really works in the long run, but we’re proud of the team we’ve attracted because of it. Our clients and candidates are happy as we have empowered consultants who deliver a service with a smile on their face.

If this sounds like you, click hereHuge thanks to Alex from Ernest Hunter Green for his insights.