"If you feel stuck in a rut and are not developing on a daily basis, it’s up to you to drive change."
We're always curious to hear how our members and contributors tackle the challenges that the ever-changing world of HR throws at them. We've got a wealth of experience and knowledge across the site, and what better way to showcase the diversity of our community than to get them to walk us through an average day?
Want to tell us about your way of working? Email us at [email protected], or let us know in the comments below.
Neil Griffiths is Global Practice Leader for Futurestep’s Talent Communications and Employer Brand practice, where he advises clients on talent attraction strategies through the use of multiple platforms including social media, digital channels, talent community development and branding. He was previously global Creative Director at Alexander Mann Solutions.
So Neil, tell us about your day...
07:00 – Cup of tea, quick email check (APAC time zone for communications is short) and then a breakfast frenzy ensues to feed my two boys and get them to the school bus. If I’m not travelling then the commute into London involves document reviews or presentation creation – ironically it's a peaceful hour to get some work done!
09:00 - Checking emails and getting an idea of the day ahead, what is going on and what has priority. As I am usually traveling one day per week, I also review all upcoming travel plans to ensure everything goes smoothly. This week I was in Basel and Dusseldorf, who knows next week.
10:00 - Typically a call to discuss the latest updates on ongoing projects with the Regional Lead. We’re a team of 16 in the Talent Communications & Employer Brand practice and work across the globe, so communication is key!
11:00 - Catch up with the EMEA team on ongoing projects and think about what I will be having for lunch. The majority of our creative team is based in London - so this is when we commonly have brainstorms – with people dialling in from all over sharing the latest trends and technologies.
13:00 - Lunchtime! If I am in the office, I unfortunately do fall into the trap of eating at my desk but try to go for a walk when possible. However, when I do work from home I am proud to say that I go running frequently – exercise helps me to think creatively about opportunities we’re working on. At Korn Ferry, we’re doing a lunch&learn series titled ‘Knowledge blitz’. Most recently I hosted a session on ‘Making the right impact with your employer brand’, which hopefully proved useful to the teams across our lines of business.
15:00 - From lunchtime, the US comes alive, so I usually spend my afternoon with the East Coast and West Coast teams discussing client opportunities and projects. At the moment we are working on a visionary client platform that will evolve the Futurestep value proposition so we’re in the midst of shaping its communications plan. We’re also refining our Employer Branding solution, and further integrating Korn Ferry IP which is unique in the industry. We’re also creating a data analytics model for another client to measure annual brand performance. I can’t wait to see the actual results and how we can build on these in the future.
17:00 – Most likely a client call or presentation. Given the nature of our work, it's a 50/50 split on presenting via Skype/WebEx or in person. As a creative at heart – it’s always great to see clients get excited when the teams shares its latest thinking and ideas.
19:00 – Homeward bound! You will most likely find me on a train home, looking forward to spending time with the kids before putting them to sleep and either joining a late call or getting an hours deserved rest!
Now, tell us…
What would you say are your main passions or things you champion within HR?
The creation of an employer brand is one of the things I feel most passionate about. Understanding what you stand for as a company and how to engage brand ambassadors with this message is absolutely crucial to talent attraction and management. Many times organisations allow their employer brand to be controlled by others, whether that is through social media or the market. Having the opportunity to help them articulate and broadcast their identity feels incredibly rewarding.
What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
What I enjoy most about my job is the diversity of it; we work across many different industries at Futurestep and as a result we get to meet so many specialists and executives with very different backgrounds and viewpoints.
I can educate 6-11 year olds about the impact of STEM subjects one day (most recently for Rolls-Royce at a science and innovation event), or attract an R&D professional to a pharma company about to launch a critical new drug that cures serious conditions, to the CEO of a luxury fashion brand. It’s not your typical 9-5 job and no day is the same.
Which tools & apps do you use the most for work?
Awareness of brand perception in the marketplace is key in our industry. So I leverage a lot of the usual social media suspects – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram – as well as social listening tools in my daily job. Internally, we use Yammer and externally, i.e. for client calls, we mainly use WebEx and Skype for business.
If you could improve or make one aspect of your job more effective/productive, what would it be? How do you think you could do this?
A centralised tool that gathers all brand commentary from multiple sources would certainly prove useful in my job. Although there are plenty of tools out there that claim to do just that, most of them only point towards the source rather than provide any intel on the brand themselves. I’d also love to have a wearable version of timesheets or have a timesheet app that could be downloaded to my Apple Watch. Imagine how much more efficient and enjoyable this would make the whole time capturing process?!
One tip you’d pass on to your peers?
I’m a firm believer in creating your own opportunities in your job. If you feel stuck in a rut and are not developing on a daily basis, it’s up to you to drive change. However, if there really is no possibility to do so and you dread going into work every morning, it’s time to move on. Life is too short to stay in a job that makes you unhappy!