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50 Years of Hays “This combination of corporate and entrepreneurial cultures makes Hays a uniquely adaptable company”

Posted by Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President on Thursday, Jun 7, 2018

Hays 50th Anniversary interview with Benjamin OstrowskiThis year, Hays turns 50. It's the people that make Hays great so we're talking to our valued veterans. Montreal Senior Branch Manager Ben Ostrowski has more than 10 years with Hays, and says building the Montreal office has been his proudest achievement.

How did you start with Hays and how has your career progressed?
I started at Hays 10 years ago in the Paris office in the Financial Markets division as a Junior Talent Broker. It was a bit of trial by fire because 2008 was a tough year due to the economic crisis so the banking sector suffered a lot. Having said that, I chose to continue to work hard, give the best service delivery and invest my energy, convinced it would pay off in the near future. This is exactly what happened; I was promoted to 360 consultant in January 2009 and in 2010 launched the Senior Banking division, growing the team to four people by the end of 2011. In 2013, we had the highest team productivity rate across all of France and Luxembourg. In 2014, I transferred in Canada for a new challenge in my career at Hays in order to open our new office in Montreal. This was an amazing opportunity to start this business from scratch and building a team from one to 16. We have big plans for Montreal and we are expecting to double, then triple the business in the next couple of years.

How has recruitment changed since you started?
The internet has been always for me a key factor in the recruitment industry since 2008, but the best practices and resources have changed. Monster website was the best place to be for a candidate, but newspapers ads were still one of the best way to find a job, and LinkedIn and other professional social network had just recently launched in the French market. I have been lucky to work and understand different markets (financial services industry, IT, Property and Construction), and I can say that every market niche still has the same fundamental requirements – you have to be an expert in your market. Even though the internet makes it easier to recruit for a new market, your ability to develop your professional network is the key to the success, and the first reason why a company will spend money and invest in your brand.

What makes Hays a great place for you to build your long-term career?
Everything is possible for everyone! I always say to my team that whatever your role is at Hays (manager, team lead, junior talent broker), everyone has the opportunity to grow and be accountable for their own business. We all do the same job at different steps above or below: grow the business and make Hays a leader in every one of our market specialisms. Team results are first of all personal results.

What do you think has helped make Hays successful over 50 years?
Hays is global company, and we integrated our brand globally in 2009. When I started at Hays, I remember we only had a local intranet, and different logos and brandings, with different working environments, different best practices and cultures. The company operated as many different branches, with little integration or central strategy. That changed in 2009 when we were able to introduce consistent global branding, an intranet to share information across borders, and expanded our proprietary database OneTouch. That investment in resources and the strong global leadership have built Hays into an organization that retains all the opportunities and resources of a large multi-national company, while still maintaining the agility at the country and city level to adapt to local market needs. This combination of corporate and entrepreneurial cultures makes Hays a uniquely adaptable company, ready to evolve and stay at the cutting edge of recruitment and staffing.

What are some of your favourite Hays memories?
It was no doubt July 2015 when we officially opened the Montreal office. I remember as it was yesterday that morning when I was walking towards our new office very excited to make the first calls of Hays Montreal. We were three people in July 2015, and now we’re 16. Since that moment, every time someone is joining us in the business I remember the first hours of this story and realize the progress we have made so far.

Ready to start your career with a company that helps you plan your own progression? Find out more about working at Hays.
 

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