A good title eh? Stick with this article, as it will eventually become clear, but first, let’s start at the beginning.
As a veteran recruiter in the HR and Business Support space, I still have the passion and commitment for my job that I did as a 25 year old (although I do need softer lighting now...) and nothing excites me more than meeting a fantastic new candidate or speaking to dynamic businesses about their requirements. The spark of ignition, the measure of potential in an individual and the matching of a client to the right candidate is like oxygen in my blood.
I have enjoyed amazing client relationships over the last 15 years at LMA Recruitment and really thrived in the private equity, hedge fund and alternative investment framework and my candidates are never far from my mind.
Recently returning from furlough, I began to reconnect with clients and candidates about their pandemic experiences and I was worried about Business Support as a sector, as their roles had been greatly affected by the pandemic. Office Managers, EA’s and Corporate Receptionists were suddenly having to adapt and how! I have been astounded by their resilience and innovation.
I interviewed a superb Office Manager/Head of Ops currently looking for work and asked her what it was like in early lockdown. She was not a victim of job losses, but company relocation and prior to this, was completely involved in adjusting her team to remote working, updating office tech and establishing health and safety covid policies in the completely unchartered territory of the pandemic. Making sure that offices are running and secure even when staff are not in, falls extensively within the OM’s remit. These individuals are the lynch pins of many SME’s and have made sure their offices are running like Bentley’s in a garage..ticking over ready for the return of their staff.
During this time, Executive Assistants who can book around 70% travel in their working day, have had to step up and offer their services to different areas of their businesses and take projects to assist their senior stakeholders. Many are taking on more personal work for their team, jumping into different areas of the business to add value, updating SEO content and constantly and continually improving their skills.
A tech revolution has occurred during the pandemic at a pace faster than Robbie the Robot can say “Does not compute” and EA’s are totally on point with the ability and knowledge to navigate between multiple systems daily, using and creating bots and tech to streamline efficiency and suggesting new innovations along the way. They foster amazing working relationships globally and are natural ambassadors who have kept their teams on point and driven cohesion.
I caught up with an extremely valued client, a superb Private Equity company and spoke to the Head Receptionist, who is simply the finest in her field, to check in and see how her team were during the pandemic. She was immensely proud and had taken a helicopter view of the 6 star guest experience at the firm and works seamlessly to continually improve performance and provide solutions to meeting and greeting in the Covid world. (Something that would be unheard of a year ago!).
Let’s go back for a minute. Way back. The year is 1927 and Fritz Lang’s masterpiece Metropolis showcased Maria the robot and was magnificently futuristic. Fast forward and we are now living that dream. Robots are on our doorstep with crypto wallets, digital IDs and serious attitude. But whatever happens, it’s the Business Support staff who will always press theONswitch.