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Get to know your peers in the global HR community through our career profile series. Today, we talk to Bill Maynard, UK recruitment & resource lead at EC Harris about the best advice he’s ever received, what new food trend in the UK he’s most excited about, and how his current role was just the challenge he needed.

Basic details

Name: Bill Maynard

Job: UK recruitment and resource lead

Current employer: EC Harris LLP

CV in brief:

  • Manager, RPCushing (now Aspire), 2011-2013
  • Recruitment manager, Serco Defence Science and Technology, 2009-2011
  • Recruitment consultant/business development manager, Allen and York, 2005-2009
  • Rural business consultant/project manager, East of England Development Agency, 2001- 2013

a day in your life

Tell us about your job and organisation.

EC Harris is a natural and built asset consultancy, helping clients make the most from their expenditure and investment in built and natural assets. We employ around 2,500 people globally and my team covers UK resourcing, recruiting around 450 people a year into the various parts of the business. I joined around six months ago to take the team to the next level – aligning ourselves more with the business, reducing reliance on external agencies and increasing direct hires. We’re also building our recruitment brand, developing our employer value proposition and hope to have an award-winning recruitment team by 2016.

Who do you report into?

Rachel Ashley, global head of resourcing.

Tell us about your team.

I have a great team of eight people with a strong mix of personalities and abilities. Most of them have been with the company longer than I have so their knowledge is invaluable to me.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

The ability to make a difference. The resourcing function is not operating at the level it should be. With the support of the team, I have the chance to turn this around. Although this is challenging at times, it will be an incredible achievement.

What is the most challenging part of the role?

Pleasing all the stakeholders. We are a big organisation with a lot of different personalities. Developing a resourcing solution that delivers effectively to everyone is a tough, but attainable, aim.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I am an early riser so I tend to be in the office at 7:00 – 7.30am. The day starts with reading my emails and flicking through LinkedIn and Twitter to see what the social media world has been up to. Next, I review my diary for the day – it’s usually packed with meetings about all sorts of things such as developing employer value proposition, team one-to-ones, resource updates with the business, induction projects and resource planning.

I look after all executive searches for the company so I usually have some work to do around managing that process. Towards the end of the day I review the team, check analytics on our database, LinkedIn and reporting tools to make sure we are operating efficiently and are on track to achieving our goals. I finish work at about 6.30pm and spend the next 10 minutes writing my to-do list for the next day before leaving the office.

Why did you choose your current organisation to work for?

I got on very well with my manager Rachel Ashley and realised I could learn a lot from her. Also, the way the role was explained to me was exciting – it involved inheriting a function that was working well but could be significantly better.

Perks and downsides of your role?

I work for a fantastic organisation with a great future ahead of it, while being empowered to do my job, introduce my own ideas and implement them. The company invests in me to achieve and the team allow me to do this. There is not really a downside but it is very hard work and a lot needs to be done.

What skills are essential for the role you’re in?

Honesty, accountability, tenacity, a hardworking attitude, stakeholder engagement and rapport building.

career path

How did you get to where you are now?

When I studied I wanted to be a park ranger and part of me would still love that type of position. But I have a strong commercial acumen and have always wanted to put that to use.

I spent around three years as a business consultant before falling into recruitment and feel I have succeeded partly because of the viewpoint that I bring from that role. I have worked on the contingency agency side, executive search and client side, so I bring a breadth of experience to the role which I believe is very valuable. Above all, I have always worked hard, learnt from my mistakes and used the knowledge of those around me to hone my skills.

What were your best subjects in school? What and where did you study?

I was always decidedly average at school – all I wanted to do was work and earn money! My best subjects were geography, economics and engineering.

What was your first job? How did you get it and why did you choose to work there?

From the age of 13 until I went to university, I worked three nights a week and Saturdays in my uncle’s butchers. This really taught me the value of hard work as well as how to deal with people.

Have you followed the career path you set out to?

No, as a child I wanted to be a farmer, then a national park ranger. Now though, I wouldn’t change a thing – I absolutely love what I do and I’m a recruitment geek.

What challenges have you faced along the way? How did you overcome them?

There have been too many to mention but I’ve learnt from every one of them and will continue to do so. There is no failure, only feedback.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to land a job?

I haven’t done anything too crazy I’m afraid. I got my first recruitment role by applying for an environmental job through an environmental recruiter. When I didn’t hear back from them I called them up and was told there were no jobs in my area. The recruitment consultancy was based down the road so I asked them for an interview and things went from there.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

Getting the job I’m in now. It came at just the right time. I have always achieved in my jobs and loved my last company but went home in the evenings thinking something was missing – I needed a really difficult challenge and in this position I have exactly that.

Do you have any career regrets?

I have no regrets in life at all.

What advice would you offer to others who are looking to get to where you are now?

Work hard, be tenacious and learn from others. Be excited in what you do and set yourself short and long-term goals.

What advice would you give to your 22-year-old self?

Party less and focus more.

either/or

  • Coffee or tea?: Coffee – espresso shots in the morning to get me going!
  • Jam or marmalade?: Tiptree Strawberry Jam
  • The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?: Rolling Stones. The Beatles are overrated
  • Mac or PC?: PC – I’ve never liked Apple, it’s too structured
  • The Guardian or The Times?: The Guardian every time
  • BBC or ITV?: BBC,  but I never really watch any television
  • M&S or Waitrose?: Waitrose – it’s better quality and value
  • Morning or night?: Morning
  • Rain or snow?: Snow – I love the stuff. I’m a big kid at heart
  • Sweet or savoury?: Sweet. I have a passion for cakes!

Favourites…

  • App: LinkedIn – how would we cope without it?
  • TV show: Fargo
  • Band: The Stone Roses. I’m slightly obsessed and my son is named after them
  • Song: I Am The Resurrection – it’s the greatest song ever made
  • Book: Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell – a simple but pertinent outlook on life
  • Sports team: Ipswich Town FC. For my sins, I’ve been a supporter for 32 years
  • Thing to do on a Friday night: Relax with my family – a bottle of red wine and a good meal
  • Place to eat: Byron. I am loving the burger revolution hitting the UK at the moment
  • Holiday spot: Alaska – I’ve never been anywhere more breathtaking
  • Piece of advice you’ve been given: From my uncle. He said: “I don’t care if you are family, if you don’t work hard and learn every day, you won’t last long here.”

Written by Katie Richard, online content editor, Changeboard

Katie Richard, online content editor, Changeboard

Online content editor for Changeboard; Canadian in London; lover of books, magazines & design.

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