Reddin Group Welcomes Helen Butler
2020 has seen countless organisations waiting on tenterhooks for normal operations to resume. For Helen Butler, the present moment is a golden opportunity to reshape the Australian workforce for a healthier future.
“If COVID has been a blessing in any respect, and I know it’s a stretch to consider a global pandemic to have any silver lining, but I believe it’s in setting up organisations to work from home.” Helen says. “Managers are increasingly compelled to manage by output or KPIs, not presenteeism. We’re also seeing a huge shift in technological capability of our workforce.”
This impulse to create healthy, flexible, productive work cultures took shape in the early days of Helen’s career. As a young recruiter, she noticed that recruitment efforts were often guided by statistics and activity, rather than relationships and building rapport, understanding and trust. It didn’t take long to realise that her vision was different.
“So much HR and recruitment activity was driven by stats, numbers, and silly marketing days at global firms. I couldn’t help feeling it wasn’t an authentic approach. It lacked care, professionalism and value. I knew there had to be a different way of doing things.”
Her solution was to build her recruitment practice around the core value of putting people first. Creating a national portfolio, she cultivated long-term partnerships across a broad range of industries. Clients came to know her as a champion of flexibility and a master of organisational fit.
These core values, of true partnership and working to deliver flexible, tailored and creative solutions that drew Helen to Reddin Group where she is now a Partner.
David Reddin, Reddin Group’s Managing Partner, sees the combination of Helen’s creative, tenacious and collaborative approach combined and her diverse professional network as a huge advantage to clients and the Reddin team alike.
“In a time of change, Helen’s insight into the shifting recruitment landscape is invaluable addition to our diverse list of clients – and to our colleagues at Reddin Group” he said.
“Helen’s experience working with teams across the entire performance spectrum from grossly dysfuntional to high performing means she’s seen it all. From teams that were bitterly divided due to poor communication, missed promotions, or dysfunctional work cultures to understanding that the process of improving or restructuring an organisation, cultural and technical improvement are equally vital”, David emphasised.
It is this experience, and Helen’s commitment to examining the entire picture that reinforces the need for a holistic approach – one that aligns to the client’s brand, balances technical needs with cultural aims, and prioritises the human element in organisational development.
“The typical recruitment model is run by a heavy stick rather than a carrot,” She explains. “We’ve never been stick people. Our business is built on relationships – on being caring, smart, intelligent, honest. That’s how we earn the trust of clients and outperform RPOs who play a statistical game, as opposed to true partnership.”
Even today, countless organisations entrust recruitment efforts to overseas RPO firms who take a mechanised approach to human resources. This choice may come with an attractive price tag – but in so many cases, it fails to generate the long-term successes leaders want. The impulse to save a dollar can trigger massive issues with wrong hires, performance management, and poor retention. Helen wants to steer organisations away from these costly pitfalls.
“My approach is empathetic, caring, creative, and collaborative. I take a holistic view of the person’s overall career, and their trajectory within the organisation. It’s critical to have short-term and long-term plans, and to find candidates that fit, both technically and culturally. This is the key to bringing about the best value, and the best outcomes, for a given organisation.”
Delivering value is, of course, a collaborative effort. One of Helen’s great career lessons has been that the value of a partnership can be measured by its depth. As trust develops, the consulting partner becomes an extension of the business. This requires a meticulous, logical, people-driven approach.
“I have a passion for people.” she explains. “It gives me great joy to build teams, to match the career and lifestyle of a candidate to the technical and cultural need of an organisation. Making these connections is one of the great joys of my professional career.”
But what kinds of people do organisations need to thrive in the 2020s and beyond? Is there a proven formula for high-performance teams? Not exactly, says Helen – this is where the concept of ‘fit’ looms large.
“We need those who have the flair for ideas and creativity; but we also need people who can execute on those ideas and bring them to life. Great managers quickly adapt to the strengths and weaknesses of their team, playing to strengths and providing opportunities to address gaps. This ensures career development, continuity, creativity, and collaboration within the team.”
To her clients, Helen stresses the importance of trust: “Trust me to follow your protocols, but also trust me to do the right thing by your organisation. The last thing you want to do is have someone represent your business incorrectly, waste your time, and get the fit wrong. An enduring relationship with a commitment to best practice is the way to optimise value and performance.”
For all the drama 2020 has created in the business world, the opportunity to build better organisations is clear. And for all the logistical challenges presented by this unusual year, the Australian workforce has a singular chance to blend lifestyle, community, family, and work.
“We have to flex and evolve.” Helen says. “I love the change, and I love that we have to change. Joining Reddin Group has been part of that for me. It’s offering my clients, and me, the opportunity to really expand the work we’re doing with organisations and their people” she said. “It’s about me being willing to walk the talk about looking at things in a different, more flexible way to bring even more value to the table”.