When we got ourselves an office…and grew ourselves a team!
The balancing act that comes with the territory of running a business and running our families means we have reached a whole new level of busy. Therefore, our commitment to regular blogging has fallen by the wayside (naughty us) and there’s now lots (and lots) to update on. We celebrated our half birthday like the Queen, raising a glass or two to us and we just last week went onto plan the final quarter of our first year. A morning of planning was followed by a well earned afternoon of spa’ing for the whole team…if that’s even a word – because when you work hard it’s only fair that you play harder! All it will take now is a blink of an eye and we’ll be 1!
So what’s new in the world of Pear Tree? Well, what started out as us working from home hoping and waiting for things to take off quickly evolved into us pulling the work attire out of retirement and making the daily commute to our office. An office that started life as the general dumping ground for the business upstairs was soon transformed (with the help of several trips to Ikea and lots of help from the significant other) into a clutter-free space. Admittedly being a tad biased, it now wouldn’t look out of place in some Swedish good-living magazine with its white trestle tables and white seats…not to mention several pear-related items (including the obligatory pear tree to some not-so-obligatory pear shaped post-it note pads that are quite frankly too pretty to use)!
Office aside, a pretty momentous decision was when we bit the bullet and decided it was time for us to go from being our own bosses, to actually becoming bosses! First came Ollie; a student needing temporary work to see him through his University summer holidays. Ollie brought with him the social media knowledge that we were seriously lacking and soon words like GIFs, impressions and clicks were becoming part of our day-to-day vocabulary. Perhaps most importantly, his dedicated approach to promoting our brand meant a wider audience was reached and in turn, our followers increased. One such social media update was shared 57 times, reached 11,000 people and gained us our first high-profile follower, all of which left us feeling like some sort of minor celebrities! Sadly, Ollie had to return to University taking with him his easy going approach and cheeky banter. However, all was not lost because in his place we welcomed Maddie; a recent graduate who joined us as an intern. In addition to picking up the social media reins from Ollie (and helping us reach the milestone of 500 Twitter followers in the process), Maddie assists with everything that isn’t day-to-day recruitment. She has had to quickly learn our quirks and way of working, and in doing so now props us up like a literal backbone! It may have only been a few short weeks, but it’s safe to say that as with the trestle tables, Maddie feels like a welcome fixture, so-much-so that her days as an intern are almost up and she has agreed to stay with us for the next year before she goes off travelling. Hopefully, she’ll forgive us for comparing her to furniture!
And last but by no means least came Karley; Pear Tree’s brand new Recruitment Manager! We knew it was only a matter of time before we needed to bolster the troops. This would put us in the position where we could continue growing our business without risking those client relationships that have been developed, nurtured and solidified over recent months. We just didn’t think we would be entertaining this so soon. It was one of those ‘we’ll look at it after 18 months’ type of scenarios that ended up being ‘it’s only been 6 months but why wait’ type of realities! Now, almost 3 months in and Karley, with her outstanding candidate control, business development and account management experience, not to mention her on-point business acumen and commercial awareness, has made her an integral part of the team that personifies our brand.
Literally the only problem (a first-world one at that) that has come from Pear Tree going from the two to the four of us is the fact that there’s now always a seemingly good excuse for cake. This has led to a few cheeky pounds going on just in time for the Christmas party and tighter-than-usual choice of outfit that is appropriate for this time of year. So now there is a desperate bid to shift said pounds to fit into said outfit…queue the celery and replacement of cake with a fruit basket…which includes pears…obviously! Off the subject of cake, one of the biggest and more responsible learning curves that has come from employing people is payroll! We’ve had to become au fait with the world of PAYE, including how to process a pay run, how to identify the correct tax code, and how to auto enrol for pensions – each has been accompanied by a long (mostly spent on hold) and needy phone call to HMRC to check we are doing it right! And on the note of phones, now would be a good time to thank our provider, Solution IP for coming to our aid in our time of need and finally getting these sorted for us. This might seem like the most basic of needs but believe us when we tell you that this has been the bane of our lives…but no more because we are now the proud owners of a shiny new phone line and even shinier new desk phones!
Now we enter the Christmas period – a time where recruitment used to stand still but where we now have plenty to be working on. Hopefully, we will have (and if not have, make) the time to tackle the save-it-for-Christmas to-do list that keeps on growing. This will be while dedicating time to our small people for all the festivities that we might otherwise have missed in previous years (nativity plays, ballet recitals and annual fetes etc) – which brings us back to the whole reason that we have done what we have done and why 2017 has gone down as being a life-changing year for us both.
With the best will in the world, there won’t be any further blogging this side of Christmas as our evenings will mostly be spent panic buying, wrapping presents and let’s not forget staging the following day’s Elf On The Shelf escapades! So with this in mind, we would like to wish all our family and friends, clients and candidates, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Bring on 2018 – we can’t wait to see what’s in store!