Sheffield is delighted to welcome Larri Wallbridge into the team. Larri has been working in the Wellington office on contract for the past six months and has now joined us full time. Larri can be contacted here.
Tell us about your background?
Coming from Africa (the infamous Zimbabwe!) the best word to describe myself is 'displaced'. In the 're-homing' journey, my background involves England, South Africa, Australia and now finally New Zealand. My admiration goes out to the farmers from my homeland who lost everything, in most often traumatic and tragic ways. Many of my learnings have come from human courage and resilience in the face of such adversity.
What are you looking forward to about working with Sheffield?
Firstly, the people! Beneath the professionalism and hard work, I have found an underlying spirit of kindness and generosity. Additionally, I have been drawn to Sheffield due to its strong brand and having the ability to deliver a broad range of professional services across the country, from three distinct city locations. #Powerful!
Where do you see the future of recruitment heading?
Large parts of the process will be automated further with advancing technology and AI (Artificial Intelligence). However, there will always be a need for the human touch albeit the perceived need for this intervention will be increasingly challenged. Automation will unlikely attract the best candidate nor will it uncover the critical leadership qualities such as motivational drivers, EQ, strategic thinking, interpersonal skills and style, etc. Hence new tools and technologies will aid further aspects of the process in the future, but the human evaluation will remain forever crucial.
What are the biggest challenges facing employers these days?
With the continual drive to acquire new customers, in an effort to increase revenue and ultimately profitability, there is a tendency to overlook the 'internal customers'. That is, the staff and those individuals central to the success of the business. If the strategy is a customer-centric approach, then 'walk the talk' by taking care of their own people first.
What's something that more businesses should start doing?
Report from a more holistic view of the business; not just on the financial health but also the mental health of the organisation. Organisational mental health will involve in-built structures and processes that facilitate wellness in the workplace.
For example, with technology advances, work hours easily creep up invading personal time, resulting in higher possibilities of stress and burnout.
About stress, I can personality vouch that exercise lends itself greatly to mental health. I also read that the French government introduced legislation that gives workers "the right to disconnect" allowing employees to take time off and stay healthy. However, the challenge is understanding the discipline of 'disconnection' is as much internal as external. Some of us will find it hard to disconnect whatever legislation requires!!
What's something that more businesses should stop doing?
Where possible, reduce the focus on management and enhance leadership within an organisation.
Management consists of controlling a group or a set of entities to accomplish a goal. Leadership refers to an individual’s ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward organisational success. Influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control.
Favourite business book
'Dare to Lead' by Brene Brown. Based on new research conducted with leaders, change makers and culture shifters, this is a book about empathy, connection and courage – brave decisions and courageous conversations – with the heart involved. It is for anyone ready to choose courage over comfort, to make a difference and lead.
Three words to describe you
Resilient, Optimistic and Energetic!
What advice would you give to your 20-year old self?
Make a conscious and well-informed career decision and more importantly, incorporate what inspires you.
It’s not so much 'what you do', but rather 'what you impact'! Also, what makes sense to you and has meaning?
The effort invested to seek this out and uncover it, will reward you in the long term.
Your strengths should not necessarily define your career but rather use them to open the door into an area that energises you. This is in reference to my lifelong desire to make a difference to animal welfare and then not proceeding with my veterinary degree as I could not speak the language of the course. Afrikaans in this case
“The greatest act of courage is to be and to own all of who you are — without apology, without excuses, without masks to cover the truth of who you are.” - Debbie Ford.