What does a 'Head of People' do? Meet ours, Blaze McGuire...

Here at Meet, we believe that people are the key to business success. Whatever the size of an organization, the people who work there are its biggest asset. That’s why we’re so passionate about the people who work for us. Who’s in charge of all that? Meet our head of People, Blaze McGuire.

So, Blaze, what does a ‘Head of People’ do?

“Good question! Obviously, it’s different in every company. Here at Meet my role is to ensure everyone is engaged with the company vision and strategy. From learning and development to welfare and driving internal initiatives, together with the Senior Leaders I make sure Meet’s people are comfortable and confident in their roles.”

Blaze has worked for Meet for almost 5 years, having started as a recruiter herself, she’s seen the business grown from a company of around 15 people, with a single London office, to the international business it is today. As we grew, Blaze became more involved in training and development and now manages the department working closely with our COO, Hannah.

In her time, she has on-boarded over 65 people – including the 4 new starters who joined just last week. But, what is the onboarding process for a new starter?

“We have a 4-6 week program specifically for onboarding which is a blend of on the job and classroom learning. Encompassing general sales training and modules which are exclusively about Meet and the unique way we work, that includes training focusing on our mission statement and values.

Everyone learns in different ways, so the program is a diverse mixture of role plays, call coaching and presentations. And it’s not all lead by me, but also involves managers and the senior team. This is important in integrating a newbie into the business and gives them valuable exposure to the different ways people work.  

What is essential in my role is making sure everything is watertight and everyone feels supported. Which is why we tailor the program to each group or individual – it’s bespoke and personal.

Feedback is really important to the people department, so we’ve introduced several points throughout the process where we hold an informal catch up to get feedback on the recruiters’ progression and reflect on the program.

We are constantly refining the process to ensure onboarding is as smooth as possible. Recently we have had people promoted after just 5 weeks in the business, so it’s obviously working well!”

The on-boarding program forms part of the ‘Meet Academy’, Blaze explains what that involves…

The Meet academy is relevant to all of our staff. The training at Meet doesn’t stop after the onboarding. Whether someone has been in the business for a year or 5, we want to make sure they have the support they need in their different roles.

Recently we’ve held a ‘Stepping into leadership’ training session in London and the US; a whole day that explores the challenges of stepping into leadership which will be running throughout the year. Even the senior managers have ongoing training with an external coach. No matter what level you are, you’re being stimulated!

8 new starters over the last 6 weeks and the ongoing training of the team; it sounds busy doesn’t it? Well, as the business has grown so has the department.

How has the People department grown?

“When I first started, I worked on internal recruitment and assisted Hannah with Learning and Development. As the business has grown exponentially the two departments, L&D and IR, have separated and we now focus on training and driving internal initiatives.

We’ve also recently had a new addition to the team, Jon Cuccia. Based in New York, Jon is a technical trainer. Here at Meet, we invest heavily in technology as we want to make sure our staff have the best tools available to them. Bringing Jon onboard is a commitment to how important technology is to the business. His role is to ensure we get a good return on investment on the software we use, training everyone and holding regular catch ups around usage.”

Training is just one important aspect of the work the people department do. They also drive internal initiatives and maintain the culture which we pride ourselves on. Blaze tells us more about that aspect of her work…

“Anything to do with Meet’s people relates to our culture. The culture has grown organically over the years and is shaped by everyone who works here – it’s unique. Part of my role is to ensure everyone feels a part of the story and is engaged and inspired.

As a business globally, we’re mindful of thinking holistically about how to support staff. That includes promoting health and wellness as well as supporting the team in their personal stories. Last month, we had a mortgage and financial advisor speak to London HQ about getting on the property ladder; a big ambition for many of the team. In the next few weeks we will be holding a mindfulness session too.

Last year the New York and London offices were involved in Tough Mudder – and we’re doing the challenge again this year! In London, we’re running on behalf of Centrepoint. Each office elects their own charity to support. But generally, we support charities that can impact our local communities. We also offer 2 charity days so that the team can support charities of their choice. Whether that’s giving blood, volunteering or fundraising.”

Interested in hearing more about the support and training offered at Meet? Get in touch with careers@peoplewithchemistry.com to learn more.

 

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