Finding people with the right skills and experience is essential if you want to grow your business and take it to the next level. This is why we asked talent expert Michaela Reaney (Founder & MD, Gradvert) to take part in a panel discussion on this subject at our 1-day Newcastle Scaleup Summit on 23rd November 2017.
Ahead of the event, we asked Michaela the following questions:
Hi Michaela, can you please explain what services Gradvert provides to employers & employees?
Gradvert‘s mission is ‘improving business performance by improving people’.
We do this by simplifying graduate recruitment, delivering tailored leadership and management training and enabling businesses to build life-long learning capability so they succeed.
We have 3 areas of expertise:
1. Gradvert Attraction provides businesses with a pipeline of top graduate talent.
2. Gradvert Escalator ensures this talent is nurtured and retained as people move from education to employment and up the internal career ladder.
3. Gradvert Amplifier delivers tailored training and development programmes, designed to unlock the potential of everyone in the organisation, from new starters through to senior management.
What makes us different is the unique 360° approach we take when evaluating our client’s ‘people strategy’. Everything we design and deliver is bespoke to their needs, supporting commercial goals with training aligned accordingly. We implement a full diagnostic process to truly understand an organisation’s aims and objectives no matter what the client’s requirements are.
We’re here to empower businesses by optimising team performance to drive commercial success.
How many employees do you currently have and where do you find them?
We have 7 full-time people in the team and 2 part-time split between Newcastle and Birmingham. Our delivery team is a mix of leadership and management experts who are based UK-wide.
Building a strong network of partners, clients, advisors and mentors has helped us to meet and identify key talent in both the North East of England and the Midlands.
Do you have plans to grow the business and if so, how will you do this?
I have been on a growth journey since I started the business in 2012. I always had a desire to scale and this became more real in 2016 when we received our first round of investment from the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund (FBNE) to expand into the Midlands and set up a sales team there. We currently have offices in Newcastle, Birmingham and London.
We are all about people and we believe that as a service business we need to be outstanding and delivering real tangible benefits back to the business through people development. People, whether those who work for us or who we work for, are placed right at the centre of the business and we take an integrated approach to delivery. This coupled with remaining agile and close to the market will allow us to continue to grow.
Is there really a ‘Skills Gap’ in the UK or do employers just need to try harder when it comes to finding potential candidates?
There are recognised skills gaps in most sectors. We can help businesses to become employers of choice when looking for apprenticeships or graduates and if this is done right we can change perceptions of the benefits of ‘growing your own talent.’
Businesses need to take a long-term approach to recruitment, succession planning and skills development in their own business and vehicles such as the ‘Apprenticeship Levy‘ help them to do this.
Who (or what) are you most looking forward to at Newcastle Scaleup Summit in November?
Firstly, I think it is fantastic that you are focusing on the subject of ‘scale’ and ‘growth’ and providing aspiration for businesses to do so – there needs to be more of this! The agenda is spot on for the day and provides a practitioner’s approach to the ‘how’. The whole day will be interesting.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to grow their business?
My advice to those who want to grow is – stay focused, do what you do and do it well! Believe that you can do it but you must invest in people and their development to match your company aspirations and ambitions. Take people on the journey with you, we sincerely believe that you can improve business performance by improving people – that is our mantra.