Your Hays Story

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When people are able to be themselves at work, they are happier, more productive, able to flourish and achieve success. In an organisation that is based on building strong relationships with candidates and clients, it’s even more important employees feel able to be their authentic selves.

We would like to showcase Hays as an employer of choice and profile people of colour at Hays who have enjoyed successful careers and would like to be seen as role models to others. This will help you see what your career could look like and what opportunities are available. Hear from two leaders, Shan Nelson-Palmer and Jason Dunwell at Hays.

Shan Nelson-PalmerAssociate Director

Have you experienced a lot of variety in your role?

Nelson-Palmer: “I have been very fortunate to work with multiple clients in various guises during my time at Hays Talent Solutions. Initially, I joined one of our clients to lead the creation of a new strategy for Early Career, I then moved to Operational Lead for another one of our clients. I took six months’ sabbatical leave when I got married in Jamaica which other employers may not have supported. After two years I gained promotion to Senior Client Manager and became Head of Resourcing, and now I work as Global Operations Lead for Early Careers and Recruitment Administration. I am grateful that Hays Talent Solutions has enabled me to work on strategic reviews, bids and client pitches which has expanded my knowledge and given me the opportunity to grow professionally.”

What do you think differentiates Hays as an employer?

Nelson-Palmer: Having multiple clients in differing sectors has enabled me to have such a variety of work experience over the past 6 years. If I worked in house for an employer within a specific sector, I definitely would not have the opportunity to excel as I’ve had.”

What is the best career advice you’ve been given?

Nelson-Palmer: “The best career advice I’ve been given is to be my authentic self at work. As a black woman of Afro Caribbean descent my parents, unfortunately, did not have the opportunities that I now have, as they came to Britain in the 1950s and ’60s during the Windrush generation and suffered racism at its worst. So being authentic, staying true to myself and knowing that I am responsible for my career development is very empowering to me.”

What ED&I initiatives have you worked on?

Nelson-Palmer: “Working within Early Career recruitment for over 15 years I have learnt a lot about ED&I initiatives, particularly at a grassroots level. I am passionate about people reaching their full potential so ensuring that robust, fair, unbiased recruitment practices are in place is essential. Organisations that recruit early talent have paved the way to achieving diversity through apprenticeships, internships and graduate programmes. Research demonstrates that a more diverse workforce will function more efficiently, creatively, and overall more successfully, which is hardly surprising. With a heavy focus on Black Lives Matter, Organisations globally are questioning how they can improve their recruitment processes, onboarding and training to ensure ED&I for reasons varying from comfortable work environments for employees, to statistically better functioning. Having worked in Construction, Financial and Professional Services I have often been the only black woman at a management level.

Despite decades of work towards achieving gender diversity in the workplace, there is still an underrepresentation of women across industries. Only 3% of women are pursuing careers in tech as a first choice, and just 23% of STEM roles are held by women which are in contrast to research that illustrates that girls are consistently outperforming boys in STEM subjects throughout school. However, surveys have suggested that due to lack of role models, and thus self-assurance of ability, women tend not to pursue careers in these industries.”

How have you demonstrated living the Hays values?

Nelson-Palmer: “Working for a meritocratic employer is equally as important to me as I often reflect on how to be a better colleague and manager. I demonstrate my passion for people by being approachable, always being honest and giving colleagues support with room to grow personally and professionally. Working for a large organisation like Hays can be daunting for new starters, so to provide support is to do the right thing which to me means being insightful, helping to find solutions and giving expert advice.”

Jason Dunwell – Service Delivery Director

What is your journey at Hays?

Dunwell: “I started my journey in Hays IT London in 2004, running a temporary desk for IT into Public Sector Clients, where I was awarded a series of promotions to Senior Business Manager to run a team across Commerce & Industry and Public Sector. I moved to Hays Talent Solutions in 2010, where I ran our Public-Sector framework agreements as a client manager. Shortly after in 2011 I was promoted to Client Director where I ran some of our technology clients. Three years after starting my Hays journey, I took a break, I studied, graduating from Business School with an MBA. I returned to Hays in 2015, running one of our accounts onsite as a Client Director, and then adding two further accounts to the portfolio. I was promoted to Service Delivery Director in 2017 and am responsible for several of our accounts in the UK.”

Have you experienced a lot of variety in your role?

Dunwell: “Yes, most definitely! From temp to perm, volume, campaigns, diversity, EVP, tech deployments and executive search.”

What do you think differentiates Hays as an employer?

Dunwell: “The ability to offer diverse careers, in different businesses and sectors.”

How did Hays help develop your skills?

Dunwell: “By giving me the opportunities to grow as and when I’ve been ready to push and develop. This has always been with a good level of support. “

What is a career highlight for you?

Dunwell: “Being an account director at 29 and running one of our biggest accounts; we had thousands of contractors and had permanent campaigns running – great times! Followed by graduating with my MBA with a first. Not sure which was better…”

To learn more about Hays or to apply for their available opportunities please visit their BYP jobs board here.

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