Engaging Minds sponsored The FIRM (Forum for In-House Recruitment Managers) event in Manchester last week. You’re reading the sixth blog post in a series inspired by presentations and conversations from the day.
Watching my client, Kathryn Pendlebury, up in front of a large audience last week, made me reflect on the strengths she has that make her so successful in her field.
She was giving a talk to the The FIRM, about our work together introducing strengths-based recruitment into five UK prisons. It got me thinking about how and why she had done such a good job and why she was so good to work with.
She’s really aware that one of her great strengths is organisation. She loves writing lists, getting things done and planning. She talks about how a perfect Friday night is sitting in front of TV making lists of things she has to do and crossing off the things she’s done. Everyone laughs, but those of us who share that strength feel that pang of recognition. Oh how satisfying that is to us too!
Kathryn likes things to be right. I knew this was why she re-arranged our stand at the conference – it just wasn’t looking good enough and so she fixed it! We weren’t offended. Just pleased she cared.
She’s a determined person. From my first meeting with her I could see that the problems her company was experiencing with attracting and retaining great Prison Custody Officers were really getting to her. She was determined to do what it would take to fix them. She was curious and open minded in our discussion about how our strengths approach could help. Her conscientiousness means she won’t settle for mediocrity. We’ve seen that again and again in our time working together.
The combination of all these strengths meant that she was able to get senior managers and colleagues bought into a new approach. They know she cares, that she wouldn’t embark upon something without being satisfied it was right. And her determination means that she will see the change through to a successful completion.
These strengths make her a dream to work with, and they also make her a great change leader. And that is arguably important for anyone working in the talent field today, as it becomes increasingly necessary to find new ways of attracting talent that is in short supply.
Kathryn, of course, has a lot of technical knowledge concerning recruitment. But, as she herself pointed out in her talk, when speaking about a colleague, it’s the type of person you are that matters. You can learn the skills and knowledge, but you cannot become a different person.