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People, Skills & Talent

Finlay James Associates emphasises internal culture with help from the Hub

Finlay James Associates, a tech recruitment company, has had a long association with the GC Business Growth Hub, initially working with Be the Business in 2018. More recently the firm has worked with both The Greater Manchester Leadership Hive and Skills for Growth. The major work with Finlay James has been around Executive Development. This reflects the firms focus on their strong culture and on promoting from within the firm. This is of particular significance as the company is growing with a new office in Chicago. 

The firm had been seeing strong growth, as well as 90% customer retention, and had identified additional recruitment requirements at a junior level as the managers' direct reports. The creation of six new graduate roles has been critical to on-going operational activities. This allowed managers to focus on longer-term strategic client partnerships and client retention, essential for future growth.  

It was the addition of the six new graduates that saw the need for their managers to become better leaders to ensure the new recruits to Finlay James contributed to its growth and future development. 

The firm has conducted two Executive Development Programmes. The scope of the exercises was worked out between the Managing Director of James Finlay, James May, and Debbie Jackson, Business Advisor with GC Hub. This included conducting an organisational needs analysis (ONA) at the beginning of the process and a post EDP meeting to assess the results. The ONA looked in depth at the organisation and culture of Finlay James, and this informed the scope and overall aim of the EDP. 

The sessions of the EDP were facilitated by an external consultant, John Warren, of Matchbox Consultants. Each one involved tailored 12 hours sessions with the Finlay James managers. 

The aim of the Executive Development Programme (EDP) was to prepare the managers to take a greater part in the business and to manage the new graduates joining the teams. The programme was delivered over five full day sessions. In each session different aspects of management and role of teams were discussed and developed. The participants decided themselves the topics they would like to cover, ensuring the sessions remained relevant to the business and tailored to the participants interests and goals. 

The importance of demonstrating positivity and confidence was strong theme during the sessions. The participants kept in contact with the MD of Finlay James to confirm the direction they were going and to get sign off. Challenges to the business were addressed and solutions worked on. Ultimately the predicants worked a on a presentation to give the MD. The conclusion to the EDP worked out by the participants was that: 

  • We should be clear on our individual roles and do a fantastic job
  • We should remember that we’re a team and that we’re stronger when we work together
  • We should remember that when we understand and support the Directors everyone wins

As Debbie Jackson says, “In essence we supported the managers to step up. We helped them on their leadership journey and in developing to be better managers of the new graduates.” These managers were essential to the continuation of Final James strong culture. 

Finlay James continues to work with GC Hub, including with Open SME, a collaboration with local universities business schools, to continue in their development. 


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