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Mina Machacek

Helping Creative Personnel Increase the value of each desk by 30% and over the last 12 months, the annual turnover grew by 40%.

Mina Machacek
MD – Creative Personnel

The Situation

Mina Machacek and Phil Pataky founded Creative Personnel in 1999. Over the last eighteen years, the business has developed an enviable reputation in their specialist digital sectors. This has been achieved by a focus on building relationships with major players in the creative industry within the UK, Europe and beyond. The company have one of the most extensive networks of clients and candidates in their industry.

The company continuously grew and by 2010 employed 20 consultants.

It was around this time that Mina felt:

  • The business wasn’t moving forward, they were doing ok, but she thought they could be further ahead.
  • That she was doing the same things and getting the same results, yet wanted different outcomes.

An experienced recruiter of 24 years Mina recognised that she understood recruitment well and while she was very good with the Creative Personnel team Mina wanted to get beyond the brick wall, and therefore be exposed or meet people that could help her break through the challenges she was facing to achieve a different set of outcomes.  This, she realised was missing. Overall, Mina had lost her “mojo”.

Mina had heard of Nicky Coffin and Centred Excellence through a mutual connection and made contact. This was the start of a personal and professional development journey that has resulted
in tremendous progress for Creative Personnel and Mina personally.

The first programme Mina joined was the, Become a Great Recruitment Manager Training Programme which involves a combination of workshops, online learning and 1:1 coaching calls with Nicky.

Throughout the programme, Nicky coached Mina to recognise her own patterns of behaviour that
were limiting her ability to:

  • Leverage her own strengths and those of her business partner Phil.
  • Recruit a senior manager that would support the business to grow.
  • Create the kind of company culture that engaged employees, delivered results
    and would set the foundations for an award-winning culture and business.

While attending the workshops, Mina took the opportunity to review in detail how she and Phil were running the business. Whilst recognising that she ‘knew’ the theory of running a recruitment organisation and managing a team, Mina could see that she was only doing ‘parts’ of the process.

Outlined below are some of the actions that Mina implemented over the course of the programmes that shifted her results:

  • An evaluation of her own strengths and behavioural preferences: This also included Phil’s.
    Most important was recognising and valuing both their strengths. Mina could understand why they both worked and communicated in the way they did. This allowed her to appreciate and embrace their differences rather than get frustrated by them, which was a significant breakthrough.
  • Introduced revised KPI’s ( Key Performance Indicators)that would drive the areas of desired behaviour change and performance focus, required.
  • Having recognised the company had team members with varying levels of performance,
    a structured performance management system was introduced. This included weekly and monthly meetings with team members to review their goals and KPI’s.
  • Daily KPI books were used to help focus each team member on their own KPI achievements and were signed off daily as people achieved their KPI targets.
  • Mina and Phil took a tough line on the achievement of KPI’s to raise performance standards.
    This involved auditing each team member and managing underperformance. There was a realisation that some team members were no longer a fit and a match for the direction of the business.
  • Mina reviewed the recruiting, onboarding and training processes.
  • Mina and Phil realised that as co-Directors they also shared many similarities as leaders
    in the business. They acknowledged that if they were to kick-start their growth again, they would benefit from having a third person work in the business with them who had a different skill set.

Following the success of the Become, a Great Recruitment Manager Training Programme Mina and Phil joined the Superheroes programme where Mina then met Katy Green, Nicky’s business partner. They immediately connected and Mina realised that Katy had the knowledge, different skill set and experience that Mina and Phil were looking for.

Over the course of the following months and in combination with being part of the Super Heroes programme, Katy worked with Mina, Phil and their team 3 days per month.

The principal objectives of the Superheroes Programme were:

  • To increase the average monthly billing value of each desk to a minimum of £10k.
  • To develop the skills of team members to achieve their increased billing goals.
  • Trust and delegate to colleagues and team members with confidence.
  • Build a team around her who shared her high standards.
  • Recruit a new Senior Manager who Mina and Phil could delegate to and who
    could support them with growing the business.
  • To review the company branding and marketing activities and to implement activities

Outlined below are some of the actions that Mina and Phil implemented over the course of the programme whilst working closely with Katy:

  • Regularly held company vision meetings to explore the future development of the brand.
  • Recruited an internal recruitment manager and revised the recruiting process and role competencies.
  • Introduced the use of the Sales Preference Questionnaire, (SPQ) profiling tool as an essential part of their recruitment process.
  • Undertook a skills audit with each consultant to identify their individual development needs.
  • Katy led a series of training workshops to address the above gaps which included topics
    such as; candidate and client control, persuasive language, the recruitment process, dealing with consultants own limiting beliefs about what they could achieve and much
  • Introduced ‘desk coaching’ with Katy to provide 1:1 support following the training workshops.
  • Restructured the business to create a management structure and recruited 2 managers.
  • Recruited a digital marketing and social media executive.
  • Undertook a marketing rebranding exercise and updated the website.
  • Reviewed all marketing collateral being used.
  • Updating the onboarding and internal new hire training programme.
    (This is ongoing as the business is evolving)
  • With Katy’s support, Mina has developed her communication with the team so that there
    is a clarity and consistency of message.

Final Words from Mina About RockIT and Centred Excellence

The combination of Nicky and Katy is powerful. Nicky does more inner work and is able to help you go to a deeper level which means you understand yourself, what you want, what drives you and what is blocking you. This, then allows Katy to give you the how to achieve what you want. Katy is very good at how you’re going to act and move towards what you want.

She builds excellent rapport and trust with the team and managers. She’s got this ability to make an individual question themselves as to how they’re going to get there.

I see them as my partners. They are genuinely interested in the business doing well and they can both work at any level.

The Outcome Mina Wanted:

  • Increased the value of each desk by 30%.
  • Over the last 12 months, the annual turnover grew by 40 %.
  • Mina is now aware of what she can and can’t control and what she needs to do to affect any outcome.
  • She now chooses her response to situations no matter how challenging rather than reacting in unhelpful ways for herself, Phil or the team.
  • Mina is now delegating to managers which has freed up time for her to focus on strategic business development with the key clients.
  • Team members saw that Mina was making change happen and role modelling the changes she was asking for. Gradually this consistent approach resulted in the team engaging and embracing the changes.
  • Consultants are now able to openly discuss the challenges they are facing and are proposing ideas for overcoming these and improving their way of working.
  • Team members have started stepping outside their comfort zones and are now asking when their next coaching session with Katy is.
  • Regular management meetings involving Katy have allowed Mina and Phil to gain a third perspective on their decision making. This has helped them understand where they were focusing their time and energy and adjust their balance of less and more where appropriate.
  • Mina recognises she now communicates and makes decisions in a more measured and less emotional way.
  • The overall culture is now confident with an openness to change.
  • Consultants are now able to value themselves which has impacted their language and conversations with clients.
  • Fees have now increased by £1k per placement per head, and this will be double by 2018
  • The team’s ratios have improved which has meant that now there is consistency with the billing figures.
  • There is now collaboration and cross-selling between team members which didn’t happen previously.
  • The company are now ambitious in their approach towards clients and consultants use their confidence to both ask and expect more from clients.
  • The new recruiting process has resulted in the recruitment of employees who will now thrive in the evolving culture.
  • Marketing collateral has been upgraded, content and social media marketing are consistent, and the website is delivering 5- 6 leads per week.

The Challenge:

  • For Mina to regain her motivation for the business.
  • To develop the company culture and brand.
  • To review the business systems and identify what was required to raise the standards of operation.
  • To review the performance management process and identify areas of improvement.

Transform Your Business and Your Results!

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