Found Us

A Leading Lady.

Last week, Wednesday 27th March, I enjoyed a morning MPA session “Insider Stories” with this particular one being delivered by Nicky Unsworth of BJL, hosted by Andy Johnson.

Nicky Unsworth, Andy Johnson, and Cindy Simmons (MPA)

I have known, in a business sense, Nicky for years and she has always been welcoming and open to chats; business obviously, running and I’m a fell runner, across to her new dog, well not so new now.

I have found her helpful, relaxed, and level headed when dealing with her on business, but this morning it was not strictly business, which made it a welcome change to sit back, proverbially relax and listen to Andy ask her questions about her career and life.

It was interesting to hear from Nicky in the context of BJL having been sold to Denstu Aegis Network North. What came out this, that despite a sale there is a clear passion for the industry, the business she joined those years ago, and for the staff who make it what it is. Nicky can clearly see a match made in heaven as she spoke highly of the innovation, and entrepreneurial drive from Dentsu Aegis in Manchester, but importantly to her is the cultural fit. That said the commercial acumen of Nicky revealed itself as she explained it is a “honeymoon” period with bedding in required.

It was clear she’d had a well grounded life via her father and personal circumstances. He a well respected and much loved and missed figure in the game of rugby league and teaching. For details see a warm piece written by Phil Clarke of Sky Sports. To have had a father like that must have both reassuring and inspirational.

But it was also clear that her life in St Helens and early work experience was important in shaping her and her attitude to life. From her early days at what was Pilkington Glass and time in Germany across to a horrendous 2008. The compassion and emotion came through when talking about 2008 and what this involved. It was not just business.

What shone through is the care for staff and keeping good people in an age when not enough emphasis is put on this, and I’ve seen that when I’ve popped into the BJL office.

She believes in an inclusive way of life, in offering and driving this for people, so they feel a part of something. People need to feel “settled” as she put it, and something clearly important to her.

Reality is an important element to her and over the years had learned that you should always ask the question, “what’s the worse that can happen?” “Has anyone died?” The point she made was that it is work and people come first, laudable in what can be a toxic business in the current climate.

She reminded people to pay attention to their mental health, and that we all have a life outside of work and one the ought to lead.

Peter Cobley and Found Us - A quick guide to recruitment Brexit.

Well it’s T-minus less than a month towards the end of the world as we know it. Erm, Brexit for those who don’t read the news…

Returning from Stuc a Chroin October 2017

It’s been an interesting state of affairs in the recruitment marketplace when you look at the last few months. For that matter it’s been an interesting few months on a political level with continuous bickering. A chess game whilst drunk could be a description, with niceties out of the window: the two phrases of herding cats across to walking the plank spring to mind.

A level of vagueness blended with Brexit scaremongering has led to uncertainty that permeates the marketplace. Advertising is a very reactive and reflective business, self centred as well, and in one sense mirrors the bear and bull of the financial marketplace. And this can cause opportunities or chaos for people, depending on how they deal with it all. Point being that it comes down to how one mentally addresses the scenario.

At the moment the advice I give to people, those looking and those hiring, is don’t try to predict the unpredictable and it’s business as usual. But do we adopt the Blitz mentality? Well no not really; that borders on naive or plain daft. One should always have the Ace up the sleeve or alternate plans. And yes you can plan even when I say you cannot predict. There are always generalities even where we don’t know the specifics.

So, having trained in Law and a fan of empirical evidence and Sherlock Holmes:

“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” 

Let us look to the impossible whilst paying homage to the Sleuth.

Is the UK and all those who sail in her going to be cast adrift? No, that won’t happen. So from a macro point of view UK Limited won’t be going down the toilet, nor will you lose your job.

Will the advertising world sail off the edge of a flat world? NO. Advertising is more than linear and straddles borders with messaging that is human orientated not State led.

Do I need to look for a alternate job or colleague? Well, my answer to that is the same as usual for senior people. You should move when you have the right reasons, and the same applies for hiring someone. And being British is like the weather, there is never a good or bad time. I sometimes say to people that they use a SWOT analysis blended with a bit of common sense. And I don’t want to resort to management speak or acronyms. You can pay people for that. It comes down to common sense as mentioned.

For someone looking

Have your LinkedIn up to date, as well as the CV. The beauty of LinkedIn is you can cross refer to speeches you may have given as well as your interests. It makes you think about you, and that’s important. You’ll gain a realisation of who you are, where you have been, are, and are going. You may want to alter what is to come, or change some of your thinking and behaviour. Don’t change who you are. LinkedIn and a CV won’t get you a job, please be aware of that, just use them as a “me” exercise as well as an “introduction” for people. Don’t get hung up on them, too many people do.

Play with a SWOT analysis of yourself and be holistic, don’t just look from a work perspective, ask some other questions, for example: What do I like? What do I not like? What am I good at? What am I bad at? And so forth. Try and also put some timelines in there, e.g. short term one year, medium two to three years, and five years plus for longer term. Be selfish and think about what you want even if that excludes family. Give back and don’t be a taker, and from that you will grow as a person, be happy, and rewards naturally follow. I know this sounds straight out of a management book, but I strongly feel that in doing what actually makes you happy you will achieve what you want. That happiness rubs off and can also be offered to people, it is a thing, a rare thing. Sadly only a few get this.

Running a business

You run a business and you need to replace someone, or plain hire someone. So you write a job description, advertise, find the person. Blah, blah, blah. But did YOU feel fulfilled, not just the candidate? We all look to the specifics of a role, but do we honestly look to the person, the person who we should really empathise with? Maybe try and write down or picture before anything happens what it would be like if you applied for the job. This helps form an idea of what you would be as a person in that role, or for that matter ought to be. What should be their moral compass? Can you have a drink with them when it’s all going wrong? If you’ve done your research correctly they can do a job, question is who are they? We are all individuals - corporeal; companies are incorporeal.

Catastrophising

What is frustrating is the contraction of people moving and people hiring based on fear. We all make decisions based on risk and maybes. So why change that now? My advice ultimately is to keep growing your business and your career. In times of uncertainty there is one certainty, the opportunity to fill gaps, niches and exploit the marketplace. I refer directly to BREXIT, but also expand this to encompass living life per se. There is never a bad time to do something, only ever good times as you have the ability to exercise volition.

A good example is Saturday just gone when running the Haworth Hobble, a 32 mile ultra fell race starting and finishing at Bronte’s Haworth, with 6,000 feet of climb across the moors. We all started the race in blistering rain coming in horizontally accompanied by gusting wind. Horrible. Just awful. By this point I considered giving up, but stuck at it. I was panicking, worried, thinking the worse. And here is the rub. We all do this and it is normal and correct. Point is you don’t give up. You plod on like a fell race, as your thinking does improve, as does the weather, and you get into a pace. You get used to it. And that can be your career, life, whatever. Just keep at it. Being miserable at times is normal and builds character.


Alongside Walshaw Dean Reservoir.

Why not just say f**k it and do something different?

Has your business thought about attracting that much needed staff member, or of creating a business division? As a person, have you thought of offering your services to fill that gap, create something as against slavishly apply for the identikit job description?

Be a bit wild.

Donut eating at the last checkpoint before finishing the 32 mile Haworth Hobble fell race in March 2019… Be wild.




Five years later... Found Us.

Five years ago yesterday Peter Cobley Recruitment Ltd, trading as Found Us was incorporated as a limited company.

It has been a successful ride along the way, and it’s had it’s challenges like any new business has. Onwards and upwards to use an old phrase.

There have been many supporters along the way, and too many to mention but you know who you are. And thank you. Two people I will single out is my lovely wife Claire who has been a cheerleader from day one, and has had to put up with me - love you loads. Xxx. The other? A marvellous character called Mike Pegg, look him up!

(Found Us? It is a business about people, an area I have excelled in both work wise and personally. The consultancy revolves around supporting people in their work and personal life with the following: head hunting centric to the advertsing industry, consultancy services, and mentoring/training. Generally speaking the business focuses on senior people. What is senior? Well they don’t have to be old farts, it is about experience, growth, where people are in life. Work and personally. It is about encouraging people going somewhere to maybe go somewhere else. Yes head hunting is recruitment, but so what? You do not have to treat people as a commodity or clients, or chuck CVs all over show. I distill a lot of advice with over 20 years of working in the business blended with worldly advice. I am known to be a bit fluffy and always try and do what is right, and I am probably the world’s worst recruiter because I care, and tell people what they need to hear, and this telling people to stay where they are. I love workrking for free with up and coming young things who are referred to me. It is not about the money for me. Not any more. What is YOUR picture of success? It does not have to be money and status. It can be giving back and not taking. Thanks to Mike Pegg )

(I very rarely put roles up, so if you visit Found Us website don’t expect to see any! I prefer to chat to people, as is norm with senior people, and NO RIFF RAFF.)

Basil's gourmet night doesn't get off to a great start when he's introduced to Colonel and Mrs Hall.


Penmaenmawr fell race and Rhoscolyn Beach...

The weekend just gone saw Peter and Claire from Found Us racing in the Penmaenmawr fell race near Conwyn; third time in a row, and never ceases to amaze…

Rhoscolyn Beach at sunset

The Saddleworth Runners piled over to an old favourite venue, Outdoor Alternative, next to Rhoscolyn beach on Holy Island, next to Anglesey, organised by Howard and Jo chambers, and also their way of saying goodbye before they relocate to Greece to live. It was poignant, but good fun, and I think a nice way for Jo and Howard to wrap things up with everyone; it is not a goodbye by any means.

Outdoor Alternative

The Penmaenmawr fell race is a 10 mile endeavour with 1.7k feet of cumulative climb. It is a special race for the Saddleworth Runners who run it every year traditionally in fancy dress to a theme, with this year being cops and robbers. There is a long climb to Penmaen Mawr (a quarried hill overlooking the A55 and sea) from the beautiful village of Capelulo, then a lovely run across the tops to beneath Foel Lwyd, and a lengthy fast undulating grassy run back to the village. There were 152 runners (bit low on previous years) and I finished 30th overall, and 12th in my age category - so very happy, as I had some “juice” left in the legs and had not pushed it to the limit. I was roughly two minutes up on the time last year as well, which was good as we all faced a strong headwind over the tops, that certainly would have affected times.

After the race it was back to the outdoor centre at Rhoscolyn for good company, a trip to the pub via the wonderful beach, then food. Early night for me as I was shattered by 10pm.

The White Eagle at Rhoscolyn

The morning saw a fine 5 mile run along the coastal path to the north of Rhoscolyn with wonderful views, then a clean up, and back home to Mossley.

Found Us after the Half Term Break, and The Highlands.

Well it back in the driving seat after a break in Arisaig in The Highlands. Team Found Us enjoyed the spell away; Claire, Ted, and myself crammed in a mixture of work and pleasure. So, there were calls and e-mails blended with fell running, beach wandering, exploring, eating and drinking. All of which under the gaze of wonderfully unique, and remote scenery.

Chairman Ted of Found Us

Moving into Christmas we are focusing on client side roles and client side candidates, one of the specialist areas in media and advertising we work in. It is an area we are successful in possessing strong experience of offline and online media.

We are also cultivating our expertise in sales and commercial work as consultants with our looking to expand on work with clients to enhance their sales practice and results.

The mentoring and senior training side continues apace working with our partners.

Recruitment is and shall always be a funny old game, but this is what we like - the challenge of working with people, helping them, taking the rough with the smooth, and we still keep going after four and a half years of business.

The website? We work in senior search and selection and don’t post all our roles or candidates, so it is always worth contacting us to find out more. The approach we take is one to one and so can’t be encapsulated in a website.

So, if you fancy giving us a try, then please don’t hesitate to contact Peter Cobley. We work with Sales and Marketing Directors across to Heads of PPC.

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Longlands, Cartmel, Turner Landscape, Grange-over-Sands.

Well we are now in Scotland loving the hospitality of Claire's parents in Hamilton after travelling up from Cartmel, after a morning breakfast in rainy Grange-over-Sands.

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Friday saw us head up to Cartmel for a last minute booking via Sykes Cottages at an undiscovered gem called Longlands, walking distance from the village, where we stayed for three nights in the old Coach House. A much needed break after a hectic week which saw Claire and I start to sort Dad's affairs, me work on the business, and Claire help out.

Cartmel is mostly famous for its racecourse and races, and despite this the village does offer a place to wander via curiosity and vintage shops, see the medieval priory, and hark back to an older Lakeland England of narrow streets, cobbles, tea and scones, and not really giving a fig as to the outside world.

Friday night we bedded in and had a relaxed meal at The Pheasant in Allithwaite; highly recommended and Ted friendly, with lovely staff. Saturday was race day for Claire at the Turner Landscape Fell Race from Turner Hall Farm in the Duddon Valley. A Lakeland classic and in the English Champs calendar for 2018, and thus over 300 runners. Roughly 11 miles and 3k feet of cumulative climb on what was a warm day with little breeze. Claire, Sandrine, Monica, Tanya, and Chris all competing from the Saddleworth Runners.

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The girls delivered a sterling effort for team Saddleworth whilst Ted and I dragged ourselves up a long Walna Scar Road to watch from Dow Crag, and it was a climb and a half with us both not realising it is over 2k feet climb from Turner Hall Farm to Dow Crag over 3 miles. That said we sat down and enjoyed the runners trotting by, to then make our way back down.

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Dinner was fish and chips in an absolutely rain drowned Grange-over-Sands, nice mind you, and then back to the cottage for sleepy Claire to rest her head in the four poster bed that we decided was "indoors camping".

Sunday was relaxed and we commenced a walk to the top Hampsfell that Longlands sits directly under, aiming for the Hospice that was build years ago by one of the previous estate inhabitants. It's a tower with a view, and shelter with a heath for weary walkers and on top you can use the equivalent of a compass to see all the major fells as you look into The Lakes. Cartmel technically sits outside of The Lakes, situated close to the sea and out of the fells. A potter then occurred, with a brief interlude to hide from the rain as we headed for Cartmel to sample the shops and a visiting antiques fair, with a bite to eat and coffee. A cross country walk back across fields saw us back at the cottage with only one incident involved Ted being chased by a cow protecting its calves; it was noteworthy to see how fast Ted can shift when he wants to, mind you it was one big cow that had taken a dislike, and unusually for Ted he did not query or ignore size in this clearly one sided instance.

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A dinner at the cottage then saw us bed down for the night, before the drive to Scotland, first taking in breakfast and then a wander in Grange-over-Sands at the rather (but dog friendly, as long as you observe the rules) posh Hazelmere. The wander was good as Ted and I escaped The Boss to bimble off onto the Salt Marshes, chatting to a local, well he comes originally from Milnrow, about the sands and the tides. He explained he was waiting to watch tidal bore and so we waited with him transfixed at what was to come; while all of this was going on (in the rain, but armed with a brolly) we watched as his female collie decided Ted was a sheep that needed herding. Ted was not happy.

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The tidal bore, whilst not wild or high, was frighteningly relentless as it moved toward Arnside. A huge volume of water, faster than a man can run engulfed the sands and you would not have stood a chance if out there as the sea would have consumed you or trapped you with its vicious currents. It was fascinating to watch but chilling. It is true what they say about the sands of Morcambe Bay, they are lethal.

Flickr photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmgMez9j

 

Recce of Saddleworth Round, Navigational Jinx, and the Cracken Edge Fell Race

Last week saw some action packed running antics, Monday 30th July was a recce of the Saddleworth Round fell race, Tuesday was a navigational race with club members, and Wednesday saw the Cracken Fell Race from Hayfield.

Monday, Claire and I ventured out on what was a hot day, hot with a bit of cloud, to recce the Saddleworth Round, a new fell race being organised by the Saddleworth Runners. We started off above Uppermill and Diggle at Running Hill Gate and Running Hill Lane, and made our way to the summit of Alderman above Dove Stone Reservoir, dropped to Dove Stone, then up Ashway Gap which was hot and humid to then head for Fox Stone, with a fast run down to Dove Stone. Weather still good. The climb up to Chew Reservoir took a while, and so we began to cross to Laddow Rocks, at this point the heavens opened with driving rain, that changeable, which required cags to keep warm. It's a long old drag to Black Hill, and then a long run down from Black Hill via the old Pennine Way route to the Holmfirth Road. You then cross to pick up the Cotton Famine Road to head back, which proved to be quite a long drag on tired legs as the race is over 16 miles with 3k of cumulative climb. A good experience and recce before the race on Sunday.

Tuesday was the traditional club night with a difference. Jim Butt kindly organised an orienteering event around Dove Stone (back there again) utilising the fixed orienteering locations. All in all good fun, but if honest I was out of practice, running solo, and rushing too much which led to some terrible navigation and thus timekeeping within a 1.5 hour allowance, suffice to say I ended up mid-way down the scoring. But had a good run. Matters became complicated on realising as I headed back to the finish that I had lost my mobile phone when taking a tumble at a checkpoint above Dove Stone in ridiculously deep tussocks and grass (note to self, where were the sheep?) I borrowed Ron Gilmour's iPhone to find the exact location and off I ran with fading light leaving the others behind. On getting back to the tussocks it became apparent that whilst I might be in the right location, finding the phone was the proverbial needle in a haystack... Thankfully I remembered my Garmin watch is able to get the iPhone to make a noise. So after wandering about to Bluetooth connect both, I pinged the phone and luckily found it buried in a tussock - very lucky indeed.

Wednesday Ted and I went on an adventure to head back to the same site, with my having lost a Staedtler pen when trying to find the phone; a comedy of errors. No pen could be found and Ted had an ordeal in the grass.

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Wednesday, having the taste for running led me to head for the Cracken Edge Fell Race over in Hayfield at 7.30pm in the evening and run by the Kinder Mountain Rescue Team as a fund raiser. I arrived there later than planned and was the last runner to sign up, with a dash to the start, of which I had no clue; by the time I arrived the runners were formed, over 200 of them. I was a good 50 metres away when the horn sounded... I was literally the last runner. There was no choice in stiflingly hot weather but to leg it past runners up an initially tight track. Plenty of "excuse me" and darting between bodies. I ended up finishing 86th out of 220 runners, so I managed to pass 134 runners, all in all quite pleased in tough conditions on a fast race, but I won't be repeating that again. The race is 7 miles with 1.5k feet of climb and as I said fast.

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(Whilst all of this was going on, in the background was the knowledge that my father had been in hospital since 23rd August, having picked up a serious infection.)