Tell us about the professional journey that led you to your current role as Senior Manager for Procurement Heads.
I graduated with a 2:1 in French & Spanish with Linguistics with a view to becoming a translator worldwide! However, I had a massive student loan to pay back and took up a role straight from Uni as a Retail Manager working for a small franchise. I did that for a number of years until the company went into liquidation. I helped set up a business on the back of it however with a previous Director of Clinton Cards and a Buyer from the previous business. We built a retail brand with five stores around the M25 circular and made a success of it. The recession hit in 2008 and our product offering was not in line with consumer spending so we closed two stores and focused trading on the remaining three.
It was a tough three years and I was left pondering what to do next as I didn’t have any professional qualifications but had a lot of business skills to offer. I put my CV into the ether (which I would now never advise that you do!) and was inundated with calls from recruitment organisations wanting me to work with them. I joined Michael Page Finance in 2011 as a consultant and enjoyed seven amazing years there until 2018 when I left as a Senior Manager having built a good reputation in the market and left a fantastic team behind. My Procurement Heads journey started in October 2018 and I haven’t looked back!
What does the average working week in the life of Hayley look like?
I work Monday – Thursday as I take Fridays off to be with my son until he starts School. My week is therefore very busy as I attempt to cram in a full-time week in four days! No two days are the same and I spend my week either on the telephone talking to candidates and clients or I am out on the road meeting them face to face to discuss the market. Tuesday is the day I get to work from home which allows me to focus the mind away from the office and plan more strategically about what I am going to look at next.
I am also a Manager and therefore part of my week is training and developing my team and helping them to achieve their goals.
What is your favourite thing about working at Procurement Heads?
Autonomy. I have always likened my recruitment roles to running your own business. You are given a defined market from day one and you are targeted on delivering into that market. At Procurement Heads, I am given complete autonomy to ‘run’ my business as I see fit and the focus is very much on delivery rather than task orientation/KPI’s. This allows me to be more agile in my thinking and apply a more strategic viewpoint to the market rather than focus on volumes.
Describe your personal self in 3 words.
Driven, Selfless and anally retentive!
What does success mean to you?
I want to look back on my life and know I have made a positive impact on everyone I have encountered even if in a small way.
“Success means caring more about the personal and professional growth of others instead of your own.”GL Goffman
This is how I have always conducted myself in life and in business. Whether it is supporting my family to achieve our goals or assisting my team in developing their careers, that to me is the epitome of success; achieving through others.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
Respect yourself, that’s the advice I would give to my younger self. Everything you do, all the choices you make, your successes and your failures are all directly related to how you feel about yourself. When you love yourself and live with confidence, your choices reflect that. Respecting yourself holds the key to personal success and living a happy life.
How do you achieve work / life balance?
I have Fridays off with my son Dexter who will be four in May. When he was born I took the decision that I would only want to return to work four days per week so I can have one day with him. Whist my career is really important to me and I want Dexter to grow up in a household with two career driven parents, I also want him to be able to spend quality time with us when our focus is just on him. Friday each week allows me to do that and we then have weekends together as a family.
We also have a rule in our household whereby Saturday morning is ‘mummy’s time’ and Sunday morning is ‘Daddy’s time’. This gives us a few hours each to do whatever we want to do, be it reading a book, going swimming or just having some extra sleep! I think it’s really important to take time out for yourself even if it is just a few hours a week.
What qualities do you value most in people?
Loyalty, Commitment, Integrity & Empathy.
The best place you’ve ever visited?
Egypt. Not because it was the best place but because it was where we spent our Honeymoon.
What’s your greatest professional success?
Setting up a retail business from scratch. It was both physically and emotionally draining for many years. Retail is a very competitive sector to be involved in and you are always having to evaluate your product, service and people in order to keep up with market trends and not be a slave to the cost cutting exercises that the industry demands. The same can be applied to the Recruitment industry and therefore that experience has served me well to date.
What are you currently reading?
Aside from reading the ‘Mr Men’ series to my son every night which I am thoroughly enjoying as a throw back to my own childhood, I am also reading “Will it make the boat go faster?” by Ben Hunt-Davis & Harriet Beveridge. It documents Ben’s journey to Olympic Gold and explains how you can use the techniques and strategies employed by the British rowing crew to achieve more success and happiness in your everyday life.
What TV series you’re currently watching?
The Americans on Netflix. It’s about two KGB agents forced into an arranged marriage and have to live life as American citizens whilst taking on missions for their Country. It’s set during the Cold War and whilst it is tongue in cheek at times, it documents the strain between America and Russia and what life would have been like in that era.
What’s your hidden talent?
I can play the flute.
If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be?
My son’s. He turns four in May and we never truly remember what it was like at that age. It would be really liberating to be that young and carefree again with a naïve view on the world. Children provide such a different perspective on life and to live his life even for one day would be fascinating.
What job would you be genuinely terrible at?
Stand up Comedian. It’s the fear of failure that would swallow me up whole and debilitate me completely.
What’s your signature drink?
My go to drink is always a classic G&T but if I am wanting to treat myself it would be an Old Fashioned. I went through a phase where I was obsessed with watching Mad Men and it inspired me to try it!
Who or what always makes you laugh?
My son Dexter every single day whether he intends to or not!
I have so many! Top three would have to be: middle lane drivers, poor manners and text speak!
I hate to admit this but…..reality TV! I know I shouldn’t like it but I can’t help it. There is something fascinating about watching groups of people come together from different walks of life to see how they can co-exist in a forced setting.