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50 years of Hays: “Nothing can replace the relationships we nurture”

Posted by Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President on Thursday, May 17, 2018

Hays 50th interview with Rachel FinanThis year, Hays turns 50. It's the people that make Hays great so we're talking to our valued veterans. After 17 years at Hays, Rachel Finan is a recruiting expert, and she stresses that it's the relationships she's built that make her the most proud.

How did you start with Hays and how has your career progressed?
I started working for Hays in May 2001 in Stoke on Trent, England. My desk there was contract and permanent office support positions, this is where I quickly established my craft and in my 3rd year, I was the biggest Office Support biller in the southern provinces of the UK. I realized almost instantly how important the right selection of an employee or a job is and my role in that process, recognizing who I wanted to be as a recruitment partner – knowledgeable, consultative, honest and kind.

Then, in June 2004, I brought everything I had learned to Toronto and set up Hays’ Canadian Human Resources practice – where I had to learn it all again! It has all been worth it though because now I am told that I am known as the face of HR recruitment in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond – I’m very flattered by this.

I pride myself on my HR expertise and the strong relationships I’ve built with my extensive network of HR professionals. A true business partner, I work hard at keeping my business acumen modern and strategic by being insatiably inquisitive so that I have a plethora of consultative ideas to share my candidates and clients: from structure, salary, culture fit and skills requirements to industry experience, current trends and candidate availability.

How has recruitment changed since you started?
Hays.com was brand new when I started and I remember when we had our first 100k hits in a week. We talked about online job boards rendering our service obsolete but that didn’t happen because we adapted and changed to provide even greater service to our candidates and clients. There will always be technological innovations (thankfully we are at the forefront of most of them) but nothing can replace the relationships we nurture.

What makes Hays a great place for you to build your long-term career?
Hays is great at providing opportunities for people that want to develop, in the way that they want to develop and that is impressive for a recruitment firm. We attract and retain ambitious people.

What do you think has helped make Hays successful over 50 years?
We are passionate about people. We hire consultants that care about the impact they have on people’s lives and that is how you maintain success for a long time. Constantly innovating our processes and honing our skills, we make sure that we are valuable to our customers and aren’t afraid to tell them all about it!

What are some of the achievements you’re most proud of in your career?
I have had the pleasure of taking five businesses through complete HR transformation. This has been really satisfying. I have also helped about fifty small businesses grow by adding an HR partner that implements the human capital solutions to broader business objectives. Helping HR professionals and teams reach their potential by matching the right person to the right company is one of the most rewarding parts of the job – I think I have placed 500 candidates in total in the 14 years I have managed this division.  That makes me really proud.

Hear from Hays Canada President Rowan O’Grady on his two-decade career with Hays.

Ready to join a team where you get to direct and drive your own career? Find out more about working at Hays.


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