And just as quickly as 2020 began, Christmas is here once again and we’re about to enter a new year – we can’t quite believe it either! 2020 hasn’t been the year anyone planned for, but as a company we’ve experienced some major milestones that we feel deserve a shout out because this year is about the small wins.
It only seems right to start at January – we’d just moved from our small Clapham office into our new office in Tower Hill where we hosted our first IR35 event. Clients and Contractors came to our office where we discussed the legislation, the impacts, why everyone’s panicking and the solutions we provide. Looking back now it’s crazy thinking about 60 people together in our office in a non-covid world.
Fast forward a month to March… We hosted clients in our Club Wembley box for the first time to watch the Carabao Cup Final and what a day this was! Not only was it a great match, but we also got to meet the Football icon that is the late Sir Geoff Hurst.
What started off as a great month for develop and reflecting on the year now, no one could have predicted what was to come. On March 14th we made the decision to close the office for what we thought would’ve been for a short period of time, little did we know it was the start of a global pandemic. The short period of time we predicted turned into four months, which led to the office closing again in November due to the second wave.
Despite all working from home we stayed connected and tried to replicate the company culture online – which led to one too many Zoom quizzes. Throughout the summer we had the privilege of attending webinars hosted by the RDLC where we listened to Rugby legend Matt Dawson and Adventurer Ash Dykes speak about their experiences, motivation and perseverance.
Our work with Trevor Pinder, Founder of Junction 9 and Recruitment Trainer extraordinaire, went from strength to strength this year – we’ve been working with Trevor for around two years and he immediately added value to our sales floor in terms of process, technique, and mindset. He’s loved by the team here who look forward to the monthly sessions we have with him and the 1-2-1 coaching he offers our Consultants. 2020 also saw Trevor join the team as a Non-Executive Director.
During this quieter time, we took the decision to rebrand our business, and today we are operating as develop. The rebrand was one of the biggest things to happen to us as a business in 10 years – and we’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved since this rebrand!
We hired our first ever Marketing Manager where her first impression on us was a Zoom interview in her pyjamas after a phone call somehow turned into a video. We’ve also hired nine new consultants to our growing team; six of these consultants for the launch of develop Germany!
While the rebrand was going on, CEO Kevin Hammond clearly didn’t have enough going on and his partner decided it was a good time to give birth to a beautiful baby boy in the middle of all the chaos! What timing!
With develop’s consultants now working from home, we launched a wellbeing initiative for all employees, something we’ve never had before. We worked with health coach Michelle Flynn who speaks to the team via video call for group sessions on finding your mojo and resilience, as well as everyone having one-to-one sessions with her. When the office closed for a second time, we sent fruit boxes to all employees, as well as having regular team calls to check in with everyone.
All our consultants have monthly performance coaching with Drewe Broughton. He helps the consultants with personal growth, their goals, how to achieve these and their performance.
We also launched our charity days where each quarter everyone in the company gives back! In September we had our first charity day partnering with Thames Reach – we wanted to use the skills we have as Recruiters to add genuine, lasting value into the homeless community. To do this, we came up with the idea of running workshops on CV building, job searching, interview preparation and how to be heard in the workplace. The business also donated £10 for every CV sent and interviews booked by our consultants on our charity day and we raised £1,800 for Thames Reach via our GoFundMe page.
In December we partnered with Family Action and helped support their annual Toy Appeal. We donated presents to 20 girls and boys to help make their Christmas’ more magical as well as setting up a JustGiving Page. On December 11th the business donated £10 for every CV sent and interview booked. So far, we have raised £680.
To try and regain some sort of normality, we attempted a normal Christmas and dedicated an afternoon to all things festive. Kevin’s annual Spooky Christmas Quiz went online this year, we had cocktail kits sent to everyone’s homes and we hosted a Zoom Murder Mystery.
The develop office is also closing it’s doors for Christmas 2020 from December 18th this year – we’re giving all employees 16 days off to spend with family, refresh, and to reflect on the year.
What the new normal will look like is still a mystery to us and navigating how to run a business during so much uncertainty has been a challenge that we’re still weaving our way through. 2020 has been a huge year for develop, and we’re hoping that 2021 has continued success for the business leaving lockdowns and a pandemic behind us.