In this business spotlight interview with The Kaiser Group focusing on the theme of “inspire”, Director Mark Fallon shares his thoughts on innovative sectors in the financial services industry, the role of a leader in the sustainability of a business, how Coopman will inspire the business world in 2021 and more.
1. WHAT INDUSTRY/SECTOR HAVE YOU SEEN EMERGE AS A LEADER OR INNOVATOR IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS?
Within the financial services industry, the fintech and insurtech sectors are really leading in terms of innovation. Companies in these areas recognise that the needs and expectations of consumers are changing when it comes to services and products, as well as how they interact and engage with brands and companies. Using advanced technology, artificial intelligence and automation, they are successfully introducing new and improved solutions to the market that offer global access, better user experiences and fast results. Interestingly however, is the response over the last 12 months to such market disruptors from more traditional organisations. With Covid-19 greatly accelerating digital transformation (by 7 years according to a recent study by McKinsey & Company), established players in the industry are stepping up their game in terms of their digital offering, so it will be exciting to see how the market develops.
2. HAS THERE EVER BEEN A PERSON YOU MET THROUGH BUSINESS THAT HAD A LONG-TERM POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOU AND WHY?
My business partner, Andrew Murphy. Having met in 2014, we worked together for five years and then in 2019, we established Coopman Search and Selection. While we possess similar skills and experience in terms of recruitment and customer service, we have an entirely different approach to business – and this works very well for the company. Andrew sees the big picture, he is ambitious, creative and very much a visionary – he is always thinking ahead and looking for opportunities before they arise. In comparison, I am practical, logical and solutions focused – I am strategic in my thinking and develop clear roadmaps that achieve results. Even within the business, Andrew would be very involved on the marketing side while I would oversee operations. It is that diverse thinking that brings about success for a company, the ability to see things from a different point of view and understand alternatives to ensure the best decisions are made.
3. IN TERMS OF YOUR BUSINESS WHAT DO YOU MOST LOOK FORWARD TO WHEN COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS ARE LIFTED?
While we successfully transitioned our business to a remote environment with the onset of Covid-19, we are looking forward to being back in the office and being able to meet again in-person. Embedding our core values of engagement, excellence and growth into everything we do, we really differentiate our business by building strong relationships with our network – whether that is with our clients, individuals or team members. While we have greatly adapted to the use of Zoom and Microsoft Teams, meeting and working with people in an office setting has additional benefits in terms of enhanced collaboration and communication, and developing better connections. We will operate a hybrid working model on returning to the office, using office-based days for team meetings and projects, as well as individual tasks. While flexibility is very important in a post-pandemic working world, maintaining and developing a strong culture and office energy will also be vital for employee wellbeing and happiness at work.
4. WORKING WITHIN RECRUITMENT DO YOU SEE CERTAIN CATEGORIES OF EMPLOYEES THAT ARE MORE LIKELY TO INSPIRE THAN OTHERS? HOW ARE THEY DOING THIS?
Through our line of work, we engage with a lot of HR professionals from different companies right across the financial services industry. With the mass transition to remote working and the challenges encountered by employers and employees over the last year, HR departments have really provided significant support for their companies. Some examples that we have seen of ways in which they are doing this include creating new policies and processes, implementing new programmes to support positive mental health and wellbeing, driving initiatives to encourage employee engagement and communication, remotely training employees on digital skills, and organising virtual company-wide events and team building activities. HR professionals have really been very creative in finding ways to adapt to the remote working world and to help others to do the same.
5. DO YOU THINK THERE IS A CORRELATION BETWEEN SUSTAINABILITY OF A BUSINESS AND INSPIRING LEADERS?
The sustainability and the success of a business depends on its people. To find the best talent, a company has to offer good compensation and benefits, but to retain the best talent, a company has to have great leaders – which is just the beginning of it. Those leaders need to then create an inclusive culture that employees are proud to be a part of and to do this, they need to lead by example so that others will feel inspired to follow. The best leaders bring an energy to the office and give employees a sense of direction and purpose. They embody the company’s values and put them into practice every day in the working environment. Great leaders challenge themselves and adapt to change, they motivate others to be creative and think outside the box, and they support professionals in reaching their full potential. They value open lines of communication and share their advice and experience, while also facilitating and encouraging employee voice and feedback.
6. HOW WILL WE SEE COOPMAN SEARCH & SELECTION INSPIRE THE BUSINESS WORLD THROUGHOUT THE REST OF 2021?
We strive to bring an enhanced recruitment service to the financial services industry that provides real value for our network and one way in which we do this is through our thought leadership. We immerse ourselves in the market, to understand current topics and trends in real time, and share that knowledge through the Conversations With Coopman podcast, our events, industry reports and articles. We are currently conducting market research on whether companies in financial services will offer flexible working arrangements to employees in a post-pandemic working world. The results of this research will be made available through our website later this month and will guide employers and HR professionals in creating their flexible working policies and procedures. In 2021, we will also look to further deliver on our commitment to driving real change and making a positive impact through our sustainable practices, diversity promise and charity involvement – but more to come later this year!
This article first appeared in the Kaiser Konnect Newsletter Q2 in April 2021.
To discuss your recruitment needs in financial services, contact us directly at email@example.com.