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Posted by Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President on Wednesday, May 23, 2018
This year, Hays turns 50. It's the people that make Hays great so we're talking to our valued veterans. Senior Business Manager Jeff Garland started in Toronto in 2004 and just a year later helped establish the Ottawa office – he even hired his now-boss Director Soley Soucie.
How did you start with Hays and how has your career progressed?
I started with Hays IT in Toronto doing perm recruitment focused mostly in law firms as I had just come from another company and had to deal with a non-compete. The plan was to move to Ottawa in summer of 2006 but that plan was very quickly moved up to opening Ottawa in July 2005! We started in my basement for the first couple of weeks and then finally got an office in a beautiful building downtown.
In fall of 2005 we started staffing up, my best hire was Soley Soucie (now the director of Hays’ Eastern Region)! During that time we did business with Public and Private sector and we built up a nice IT business until the bottom fell out of the market in 2009. At that point I switched into Property & Real Estate and it has been great ever since. Sometimes a change is as good as a vacation. During this time I ran Property & Real Estate in the Montreal territory when we temporarily didn’t have an office there for a couple of years. I have managing the east coast as well, servicing New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland as well as Eastern Ontario.
How has recruitment changed since you started?
Where do I start? I’ve seen the advent of many of the systems we currently use. The old Adapt was good but our OneTouch database is much better as we still had to flip through resumes to find good people for our jobs – and the recent addition of Sales Planner has added a lot of very good functionality to that as well. We have introduced very good formal training since then with follow ups which we didn’t really used to do. The focus on the actions and measurable that help us get results is something that has been a game changer at all levels of the business too.
What makes Hays a great place for you to build your long-term career?
Hays gives you the opportunities to do a lot of things. You can be a people manager, business development manager or sole contributor, it’s up to you! You aren’t forced into doing a career path that doesn’t match your own goals. If you want to relocate, that option is there for you too. You meet many great people and some of the ones that have left I still keep in touch with. Hays has given me the freedom that I would really miss anywhere else I think.
What do you think has helped make Hays successful over 50 years?
We are a people business, not a number crunching KPI business. That sort of micro-management makes most of us crazy and honestly it would be very hard to deal with if it were that kind of company. Hays challenges you to grow and develop yourself, too. Another key point is that we freely share information with our clients and candidates, smaller less organized companies can’t compete with us at this. They don’t have the knowledge or horsepower that we do.
Please share your favourite Hays story from throughout the years…
Probably my favourite was getting a call from Hays Sweden to partner on finding a Country Manager in Newfoundland for a large seafood conglomerate that wanted to open there. I learned a lot about the seafood industry during that time. I had the chance to fly to St. John’s to meet the client and the candidates for second interviews and eventually I filled the job. The best part is that the guy is still there.
Another good one is placing someone with Cushman & Wakefield when they first came to Canada in a leadership role. After a few months of them being on the job they gave me requirements for nine further staff in Ottawa and Montreal, we filled 8 of 9 in a very short period of time!
Ready to start your career with a company that helps you plan your own progression? Find out more about working at Hays.