Hazel Wynn leads the Rutherford Cross team in Glasgow, and focusses on Senior Interim Finance recruitment across Scotland. Here, Hazel shares her experiences of her career in recruitment to date.
Tell us a bit about your education and career prior to joining Rutherford Cross.
After graduating with a business degree, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do and spent a year working in a few contract roles while deciding what route I wanted to take. While studying for my degree I had worked in retail and knew that I enjoyed the buzz of sales as well as being in a fast-paced environment. I applied to a trainee recruitment role at Hays and then spent nine really enjoyable years working in their Glasgow office and handling finance recruitment, eventually becoming a Senior Manager with them. I pretty much loved recruitment as soon as I started. There was a lot of pressure but also amazing highs and every day a new challenge would present itself!
What attracted you to join Rutherford Cross?
Probably two key things and a few smaller! People and experience were definitely the top two for me. I knew a few of the people already in Livingston James and had worked with them during my time at Hays and I felt the business had really attracted some very experienced and great people to the company. The second was the events programme that was being run at the business. I had always loved that aspect of my role and felt the speakers and level of events the company were doing were really differentiating themselves in the market and I was keen to be a part of that.
What market do you focus on now and how has your role changed over time?
For almost six years I have been focusing on Senior Finance Interim market alongside my colleague Derek Lauder while also leading our Glasgow Team. I am now going to be moving to handle our permanent senior level appointments across the central belt of Scotland while broadening my team management role. I’m excited about this move, while I love the speed and pace of the contracting market and have some great relationships with contractors I have worked with over the years, it will be great to expand my knowledge of the senior finance market in the permanent space and work with some new candidates.
How would you describe working at Rutherford Cross and Livingston James Group overall?
I think we work in a really positive environment where its pretty amazing to work alongside a lot of very experienced recruiters with 10/15/20+ years’ experience! What stood out for me when I started was seeing how much Jamie Livingston, the founding owner was doing exactly the same role as everyone else in terms of spending a lot of his time front facing with candidates and clients, which is still the same today!
No matter what your position in the company you are actively encouraged to be out meeting people as much as possible and building your network. This ties in well with our events programme where we have managed to attract some excellent speakers not only within the finance space with a number of prominent FTSE listed CFOs, but also in the sporting world with speakers such as Leon Smith. If you have a good idea for an event and would like to run something the business will really support you to do that.
We are still a relatively small business in comparison to others, and in normal times you interact with all your colleagues daily. I feel I have truly worked with some of the best recruiters in the market as well as benefited from introductions through my colleagues’ networks. Overall, I like to think we do not take ourselves too seriously and can have a laugh which is really important particularly when you work in a driven, sales environment where things don’t always go to plan!
What have you learned during the pandemic that you will take forward to the future?
I think the biggest shift for me is how I work now. Before the pandemic I was very much office based and it was a complete rarity I would have a day working from home. It made me feel guilty! As a business we have now adopted a hybrid working model and also moved to a 4.5 day working week which has been excellent and given much more flexibility and a greater work/life balance without effecting productivity, as well as showing me how much I can get done if I am spending some of my time working from home.
I love being in the office and around colleagues and that hasn’t changed but I have learned there is a different way of working that can still get optimum results and change doesn’t have to be scary!
What has your time at Rutherford Cross enabled you to do?
My time at RC has definitely allowed me to build my network in the senior finance space and as mentioned earlier I have benefited from many introductions from various colleagues across the business which is great. We are a values focused organisation and as such we do utilise a minimum of two free days per year to focus on CSR activities.
Previous ways I have used this have included running the London Marathon to raise money for the Wooden Spoon Charity, volunteering in a Marie Curie shop for the day, cycling round Arran and climbing Goatfell. I am also a Board Member for Good Morning Service Charity, a telephone befriending service for older people in Glasgow and Ayrshire.
Every summer the Group tends to commit to a sporting challenge of some sort to raise money for charity and while they have definitely pushed me to the limits at some points and been incredibly painful, they have also had a great social element to them and been good fun.
Outside of work what do you like to do?
I have a little boy who is two and he keeps me very busy when I am not at work. I love music and attending festivals when I can, and now we are getting back to normal will be looking forward to going to some gigs again. While I will never run another marathon …ever, I do like doing a bit of running still and am hoping to do the Harris Half Marathon in June this year.