Q&A WHAT IS YOUR MOST DIFFICULT TASK? Keeping staff motivated can often be a challenge, both on the permanent and temporary sides of the business. With full-time staff, we put KPI-based incentive programmes in place to ensure continued motivation, and continually develop them with the help of our training partners FXL. There’s also a personal element to motivation, where people need direct interaction to drive them forwards, be it an arm around a shoulder, someone to vent to, or a firm push in the right direction. We have team meetings every four weeks where we can deal with issues together, and share best practise across all members. We also have regular one on ones with all our sales reps, to ensure not only that they are doing everything we need them to, but also for them to give us feedback on our own performance.
In the Hot Seat Martin Rice, senior account manager at Contract People TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I’ve been working for Contract People for five years, initially coming in as a contract resourcer and working my way up to senior account manager. I gained my experience working for a recruitment company in London, before moving back to Belfast and stepping into field marketing. I had previously operated as part of Contract People’s tactical team and, as a result, knew how the business worked, as well as the people within it. I’m happily married to my childhood sweetheart Clare and we are expecting our first child. WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY INVOLVE? Each day is different from the last, and plans are quick to change, but every day starts with a strong cup of coffee and a review of my plans for the day ahead. I currently work across different sectors, including FMCG Sales, Refrigeration, Mystery Shopping and Tactical Promotions/Merchandising and, at the start of every day, my team and I run daily updates to see what was achieved the previous day. Reports are then built from this data and sent through to our clients. If any issues flag at this time, we feed back to our teams to ensure these are dealt with immediately. A large part of my job also includes management of a fluid tactical workforce. To ensure our quality of work stays at the level we expect, we meet each of these staff 42
members before they go out to work, give a full briefing on the activity ahead, and take them through the reporting systems we have put in place. This can be a timely process, but streamlines procedures across all staff members, and ensures we know each and every candidate’s strengths and weaknesses before sending them out. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? I’m in a privileged position where I actually enjoy going to work in the morning. It’s a cliché, but we really are a close knit, welloiled machine in Contract People. Many of the people here have been in the company for well over 10 years and, with the low staff turnover in the office, everyone knows each other really well. We work very well as a team, and everyone has a common goal of moving the business forward and making it as successful as we can. Weekends are much more enjoyable without the Monday morning dread. I also love the variety. No two days are the same, and that keeps the role fresh and exciting. We’ve recently become part of the PRL Group and, with their help, we will continue to expand into new sectors, meaning we continually have to learn new things to keep up to date. This variety can be challenging, but in terms of personal development, it’s been invaluable.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED? We have a quote from Albert Einstein hanging in the office which says: ‘Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new’. We always drive people not to be afraid to make decisions and be proactive in their ways of working. If mistakes are made, we use them as points of learning. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST GRIPE? People not answering their phones. We’re a business reliant on communication, and when we can’t get in contact with people, it delays our processes and has a knock on effect on workload. WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE? Languages! I did French in school but went to Paris for the Euros and quickly discovered that ‘Je joue au football’ just didn’t cut it. I also have Italian family and always felt bad that when I went there, the younger children spoke to me in English. WHOM DO YOU MOST ADMIRE? My parents have always driven me to make the most of myself in and outside of the workplace, so they’d be top of any list like this. Within Contract People, Allan, Russell, Niall and Tom have consistently grown the company throughout the years, and you can’t help but admire their ways of working and dealing with people. WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE? I love good food, so in terms of Belfast my favourite place would have to be Ox, which has revolutionised the restaurant scene here. Outside Belfast, I enjoy regular trips to Italy where we have a family home in Massino Visconti. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD PRODUCT? Does Guinness count?