Behind the scenes in talent acquisition: an approach to communications

On this blog we run an occasional series of interviews with colleagues and associates, designed to introduce the people themselves and their ways working. Here we interview our Communications Director, Anthony Haynes.

What does your work in talent acquisition involve?

anthony_haynes bnu croppedUnlike my colleagues at FJWilson Talent Services (FJWTS), I have no hands-on involvement with the actual business of recruiting or providing services such as assessment and coaching.

My main role is to manage communication both in terms of forms of external communication, such as this blog, and internal communications.

What is your strategy for external communications?

Our strategy consists of two planks. First, only doing things for a reason — not doing things for the sake of it. That might sound obvious but I suggest that in practice it’s actually quite unusual.

What I mean by that is that in comms, as in many other areas of business life, there’s a lot of following-the-herd: doing something really just because everyone else is doing it. For example, being active on a multitude of social media platforms, regardless of the return on investment in staff time and energy.

And the second plank?

Recognising that the digital/analogue division in comms need not be an either/or: it can be a both-and. I frequently encounter people in comms who seem to believe that being enthusiastic about digital somehow entails denigration of more trad forms of communications. At FJWTS we do a number of trad things because they work for us.

Such as?

Things like handwritten notes, use of print (such as postcards), and meeting people face-to-face. I include in that the good old-fashioned business of sitting down to lunch with someone.

And what about the future?

One idea I’ve been developing is an FJWTS podcast. I’d say we’ve reached the taxi-ing out to the runway stage for that.

You said your main role at FJWTS is managing communications: what else do you do?

Since January of this year I’ve had a remit to introduce leaner management systems. But my colleagues at FJWTS could be forgiven for not having noticed that yet, since my focus in 2019 to date has been almost 100% on communications.

As a director of the company I also contribute to the development of the business overall.

At board meetings I tend to be the one who obsesses about continuity management and also scanning the business environment to see what’s happening out there and to consider what we need to do in response.

And outside FJWTS, what do you?

My role at FJWTS isn’t a full-time role. I’m also a director of Frontinus Ltd, which is a communications consultancy specialising in engineering.

And, outside work, I like to relax at my beach hut on the east coast, swim outdoors, cook with a wok, and watch (and occasionally play) cricket.

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