Bev White

My name is Bev White and I am the CEO of Harvey Nash Group, a $1bn global technology recruitment, IT solutions and leadership services group with 36 offices across the USA, Europe and Asia

Mixing Virtual and Reality

Virtually visiting has become so much part of our lives in the past year. Born out of necessity during the height of the pandemic when it has been impossible to travel, it is actually a great way of catching up really efficiently without losing chunks of time travelling. It has enabled many of us to meet teams of people across the other side of the world for an hour or two then go back to get on with the rest of our days.

This week I have had a virtual visit with our Spinks colleagues and heard so much about their first quarter, the brilliant successes as well as the challenges that many of our teams face around the world of those elusive hires we are working hard on making. The launch of Spinks on Site, the collaboration with Beauhurst that enabled us to launch the innovative and high value Tech Talent index in the past few weeks, the progression of working with an advisory board. The growth of the pipeline, the scaling to other countries, for example do you know that we now have Spinks contractors working hard for our clients in Germany and Sweden?  Robin and his team told me that Magnus and the Alumni business are busy planning how to get our next Spinks on Site in the Nordics, we have already successfully completed our first assignment in Sweden. Robin and Nick are also in deep discussion about a collaboration with NashTech to bring Spinks into their client proposition.

I had a virtual visit too with Jan-Leen and Thijs in our Netherlands business on Tuesday. The Dutch staffing market is maturing and there is a lot of change going on in the way our clients want to meet their resourcing demands. Jan-Leen and Thijs, with their colleagues, have been agile in adapting to these changes. The results so far have been impressive with a massive jump in contractors placed in the past 18 months. And they are far from done, they have a new service for placing contractors in Dutch clients where the contractor is living and doing their work from an entirely different country. The shortage of skills and available contractors makes this an absolute necessity, and we are seeing this in other countries too.

Yesterday I also had a virtual visit with our Harvey Nash Technology recruitment team in Birmingham and the wider UK South Team. I had driven up to our office there a few weeks ago and met many in person which for me is always preferable. Good as meeting virtually is there is still nothing quite as good as meeting somebody in person, getting to see the office up close and having the informal chats which are much harder to do over Teams.

Well, the hour spent with the team went in a flash. I met fantastic colleagues, heard about the incredible work being done and got to see some gorgeous baby pics of new born baby Nashers. The results for the first quarter were great and big shout outs were given to colleagues in our GDC in Poland for record placements this year. The good news is that we have also offered roles to new colleagues to join us too, an absolute essential for ensuring we have the resources to meet our growth plans as the year unfolds.

Then there are the celebratory virtual visits we make. The Harvey Nash world games visit with Alastair Brownlee the British Gold medal Triathlete who spoke with Rob Grimsey about how he prepares for events like the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The virtual visit I and many colleagues had with Rob Grimsey to celebrate his 25th Anniversary in the Harvey Nash Group was another happy and fun occasion and I know there are many such occasions being celebrated with other colleagues reaching milestones around the group.

Our colleagues in NashTech came up with innovative new ways of bringing to life the Vietnam trade visits we often take new and existing clients on but just cannot do right now. The virtual Vietnam experience has been born from this. Giving clients the opportunity through immersive video, content and live Teams meetings to get a sense of what visiting our colleagues in Vietnam is like.

My reflections on the many ways we have adapted the way we meet and work are that they are here to stay. That we will find a hybrid way of in-person and virtual that lets us be agile and efficient and at the same time recognises that there are just some times when getting together in person is just simply better. Working in a virtual way has enabled us to do so many things with a wider participation from colleagues which if we tried to do the ‘old way’ would have been far less productive, and taken so much time out of people’s diaries. Yet there are other times when sitting in the same room or going for a walk together, having a meal together and getting to know each other outside of the bounds of a work conversation makes work life better for us all.

As the weekend comes around do take time to rest and recuperate and keep safe and well.

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