I was one of the first five employees to join FutureYou. In January 2016 (we officially launched in April) we started with a name, a logo, and a very, very small serviced office in the heart of Sydney CBD. It was in stark contrast to the large advertising agency environment I had come from.
On my first day, I was walked to the Apple store to choose my laptop and equipment. No onboarding, no IT department to help set up, no process, no policies. But that will come as no surprise to anyone who has joined a true startup where you are quite literally building a business from the ground up. Nothing exists. As FutureYou’s Chief Marketing & Digital Officer it was really important for me to define what we would stand for, why we existed, and in turn what our purpose, values, and beliefs would be.
But where to start on a lean, startup budget…? Yes, we could have spent tens of thousands of dollars to get the professionals in for day-long workshops. But as a startup that’s not really an option.
Being new to the recruitment industry there was going to be a steep learning curve for me. My first port of call was to understand our competitors both locally and globally.
What I learned very quickly was the industry had a lot of catching up to do; one of the many reasons I took the role. So I also needed to look at best-in-class companies around the world to benchmark ourselves against, but also to have a clear idea of where I wanted to take FutureYou. To grasp the possibilities.
The next step was a long lunch with the founders to really understand their story, seek out the true DNA of why they started FutureYou and what they were hoping to achieve. Some of the key questions included: What makes us unique? What’s outstanding in our offer? Who is the brand for and what is their mindset? What are we aspiring to be? How do we behave?
I walked out with what seemed like a book of notes (granted I’m a BIG note taker), and grouped the keywords together to eventually form our five succinct company values.
We didn’t want a mission or a vision statement (they’re always so confusing – which one means what!?), but something everyone could understand… A Purpose. We wanted to get to the very core of why we exist and eventually came up with ‘The power to connect without limitation’. Eureka! Off the back of these exercises our six beliefs spilled effortlessly. My personal favourite, ‘Inspired people to change the world by inspiring people around them’.
The power to connect without limitation means something different to everyone. Removing the constraints of geographical borders; redressing the outdated model of recruiters connecting in a transactional capacity; and providing local expertise on a size and scale currently not offered in Australia.
Having a purpose, values and beliefs can propel a company forward, but only if they are intrinsically built into the company. They need to be so much more than words on a wall. FutureYou was built from the ground up where purpose, values and beliefs were the first step in defining what we stand for.
From day one we have gone to great lengths to impress our purpose, values and beliefs, and their importance on everyone at FutureYou (including monthly awards for those leading the way). Combined, they have genuinely guided every business decision we have made over the past 12 months.
How does your company define and see through its purpose, values, and beliefs?
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