As Head of Resourcing Business Partnering & Senior Hiring, John’s biggest passion is seeing people grow and thrive in their roles. We speak to him about the future of HR and what makes Deloitte such a unique place to work.
After more than a decade performing as a contemporary ballet dancer on some of London’s most famous stages, a career in Human Resources might seem like an unusual choice. But John has thoroughly enjoyed the transition. “After I retired from professional dance, I turned to HR when I was 28,” he explains. “It’s a real people-focused job and gives you the opportunity to solve complex problems creatively, while helping others to thrive.” He began his second career in the field of recruitment in investment banking, before considering a move to Professional Services. When the opportunity came to join Deloitte in 2016, he had other offers on the table, but our people won him over. “The people I met really stood out at Deloitte. I clicked with everyone and there was this great rapport, even when we were having challenging conversations. I think that people focus is really what makes us so unique and attracts so many others to work here.”
Building the future
While his new career hasn’t quite matched the physical demands of professional dance, there’s still plenty of room for excellence. “One of the strengths I bring to Deloitte is adaptability. I’m here to prove that if you want to do something you can as long as you have the right capacity for learning and growth. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done before, because you can always learn to do something different if you have the ambition, desire to do so and a little bit of luck. HR is so different to dancing, but you want to see that same level of achievement and excellence in everything you do.”
Since joining Deloitte, John has had four roles, most recently as a Director and UK Head of Resourcing Business Partnering & Senior Hiring. His job is to work out how to set up our Resourcing Business Partner and Senior Hiring teams for success, both now and for the future. There’s huge autonomy in the role and he has enjoyed being able to shape the service offering, scale and size of the resourcing teams. Although having responsibility for 31 people comes with its challenges, John brings the passion and energy the business needs to help us stand out from the crowd. “To win the race for talent, I truly believe that a resourcing function needs to be proactive as well as reactive and that’s what sets Deloitte apart,” he explains. “At the moment, for example, we’re working collaboratively with resourcing business partners to predict hiring demands for the next few years, then ensuring that we have the right amount of people to deliver those hires and campaigns to achieve our business goals for critical skills and talent. It’s all about partnering with the business and asking the right questions to make sure we’re well equipped to do this.”
A better place to work
Good HR is about far more than bringing the right new talent into the business. In addition to leading the way in recruitment, John is ensuring that flexibility and inclusivity are more than just soundbites. “As an openly gay man from a working class background who lives with a neurodiverse partner, I know how important inclusivity is. I believe it’s important that the culture starts at the top and feeds down through the whole business.” He’s made it his mission to make sure that everyone feels valued, both within the resourcing teams and throughout the wider organisation. “Sometimes it’s about making small amendments to the way people work in order to help them achieve the best they can,” he explains. “I’m really passionate about helping people who might need a bit of extra support and seeing them grow and develop. I love to see people thrive, especially when they have faced challenges before.” As well as offering truly flexible working, where there’s no obligation to attend the office and people can work around their private commitments, John makes sure everyone feels included from the very start of the recruitment process. “For example, one of the things we’ve done is to develop a guide for recruiters to support neurodiverse candidates,” he explains. He also led the Black Action plan programme within HR from 2020 until mid-2021, something he’s extremely proud of. “One of the outputs of the work we did was creating equality for Black people in the Deloitte hiring process when compared to other ethnic groups,” he explains. “Leading by example and ensuring we’re developing diverse teams is another USP here at Deloitte.” By understanding and valuing the different skills people can bring, it’s helping to build teams that better serve clients across the entire business.
In addition to his creativity and adaptability, John is resilient and loves working collaboratively with others. For him, HR is the backbone of the company, supporting the entire firm to achieve its wider goals. “If we get the resourcing right then the rest of the business has the tools it needs to succeed. We’re a people focused business and ultimately I am in this role because I like helping people,” he says. “We’re in the process of transforming the way we do resourcing, to future proof our offering. It’s really exciting and there’s never been a better time to join us.”
If you’ve got experience in resourcing and would like to join our dynamic team, check out our current opportunities in HR.