Why the Virtue of listening is now more important than ever

10 minutes

Why the Virtue of listening is now more important than ever

Why the Virtue of listening is now more important than ever By Penny Queller, Chief Customer Officer at Impellam Group

By Penny Queller, Chief Customer Officer at Impellam Group

Business success in uncertain times

Just a few weeks ago, life for many of us seemed to be returning to ‘normal’.  The success of vaccine programs in many countries encouraged people to celebrate a long-awaited return to the office, resume travel and enjoy seeing family and friends.  But over the last couple of weeks, uncertainty caused by the new Omicron variant means that life, once again, is changing – for us as individuals, and for businesses.

I was thrilled to join Impellam last year as Chief Customer Officer and I have spent a great deal of time over the last few months talking with customers to hear the realities, challenges and opportunities that they face. 

At this time of unprecedented change, I believe that it’s more important than ever to listen intently with the goal of understanding so we can bring solutions and solve problems.  To complement my own meetings, I also engaged an independent third party for one-to-one customer interviews, gaining additional objective analysis.

No matter what sector or industry, a key insight from this exercise is that a pervasive uncertainty continues to force businesses across the globe to find new and improved ways of working. The way that talent is sourced, managed and energized is always key to long-term success.

The talent challenge

A perfect storm in the talent market continues to brew.  Having navigated significant market and operational challenges over the last 18 months, many businesses are now battling to retain their business-critical talent at a time when they need it most.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans resigned from their jobs in July 2021, resulting in a record-breaking 10.9 million open roles, consistently outpacing the number of unemployed people. Similar trends have been seen in across Europe and further afield.

At the same time, as businesses are forced to work in different ways, an unprecedented supply-demand mismatch for almost all types of jobs roles, levels and industries is increasing.  In the UK, the number of unemployed people looking for a job rose to 1.17 million in October, the highest number in recent history.

And as companies strive to attract and retain great people, salaries and wages continue to rise.  When many organizations need to become more efficient, increased people costs are unsustainable for the long term.

The good news is that help is at hand.  As one customer said to me “we are increasingly looking for partners who can provide initiative, foresight and anticipation of what we need before we need it.”  At Impellam, we pride ourselves on a unique approach to helping our customers build better businesses by optimising their talent in a changing world.

Unique customer solutions, the Virtuoso way

Creating exceptional customer solutions starts with the way we shape our own culture, with the concept of trust at the heart of our approach.  We build trust by making and keeping promises to achieve better results and experiences for our customers, candidates and colleagues. We pride ourselves by doing exactly what we say we’re going to do. 

To develop this culture, I have enjoyed seeing first-hand how we support Impellam colleagues to deliver on their promises by becoming ‘Virtuosos’.  Through exceptional leadership, coaching and development, we enable colleagues to make big and small, bold, transformational promises so that customers can devise new and creative ways to solve their biggest workforce challenges.

Our ‘Virtuosos’ are hyper-focused on creating a better customer and candidate experience from each unique perspective.  Listening to each customer and each candidate and their particular concerns is fundamental to every interaction, helping to ensure they do the right thing at the right time, every time.  Impellam Virtuosos constantly tune in, innovate, make and deliver on new promises and grow with their customers and candidates to ensure their evolving needs are met whether through sector, service or international expansion.

People and partnerships 

It’s often said that employees are the most valuable asset of an organization and in the current dynamic environment, this is truer than ever before. Workforce planning, the need to mitigate risks and a comprehensive understanding of the talent supply chain are critical.  Virtuoso partnerships help our customers to see what is on the horizon and understand the art of the possible.  Our ability to listen and respond and helping others to succeed demonstrates that there is a better way to do recruitment - a way where fulfilled, engaged, adaptable and productive people help our customers build better businesses in a changing world.



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