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Meet the Team: Q&A with Briony Robertson, Head of People

Posted on 18 February 2021 Read time 3 mins
Author Tillo

Hi Briony, thanks so much for joining us today as we celebrate your two year anniversary at Tillo, congratulations!

No problem, good to catch up, and thanks! The last two years have flown by.


During that time the business has over doubled in size, what are some of the challenges you’ve found with this rate of growth and how have you overcome them?

Sheer volume has been such a huge challenge, recruiting consistently for almost a year now, across all our departments and at all levels. I have become a pro at video interviews! But keeping the focus on our culture has made the process easier, looking for those people that embody the Tillo values, not just the ability to do the job is key. When you find someone who is like-minded and shares our vision you find the job of recruitment not that hard of a job.

The support of the Senior Management Team and the hiring managers has also been invaluable - working together to make the recruitment experience for the candidates smooth and enjoyable.

Finally the impact of the pandemic on people seeking work has had to remain at the front of my mind during all the recruitment, my workload couldn’t impact the time I gave to those seeking work and wanting these new opportunities.


How did you manage the impact of the pandemic in 2020 and the move to remote working?

I remember well sitting with the Senior Management Team back in March 2020 trying to put plans in place for what, at the time, was quite an unknown. I remain forever thankful that we have the Senior Management Team we do who lead Tillo to flourish in a time of such uncertainty. We were fortunate not to have to utilise any schemes such as furlough to support our team and instead faced other challenges with a workforce with challenging workloads and managing that remotely.

I like to think we have faced these challenges well, we have onboarded, remotely, over 25 staff (with more to come!) and have maintained our culture and sense of fun as a team. We have introduced social channels on Slack, had weekly quizzes (I know these may seem old but some of team Tillo love a quiz!), had personal trainers join us for private sessions, all sorts to retain engagement. But ultimately we trust one another, we know and appreciate how hard everyone is working, we see it and we acknowledge it. We know the value of a ‘thank you’.


What's the most important thing you learned?

Just how important values and culture is - it has been vital not only to keep the existing team motivated and focused but with the recruitment of new employees. I am so proud of the team we have and the culture we have created together, every single employee plays their part in making Tillo the success it is and it makes me excited for the future.


Can you tell us a bit about your rewards and incentives activity at Tillo? How do you use the tools at your disposal and how does it fit into your overall employee engagement strategy?

This has been so important over the last 12 months, we like to make our team feel seen and appreciated and I really enjoy thinking of new ways to reward the team. I think it is so important, perhaps now more than ever, to ensure employees feel valued. We are lucky at Tillo to have leaders who also push me to continue to find ways to reward the team and engage with them, they are never short of ideas and play an active part in all aspects of our employee engagement strategy.


As we settle into 2021 and finally start to see a path out of lockdown, what do you see as the biggest challenge facing HR departments in what is hopefully soon to be a post-pandemic world?

I can imagine there may be some resistance to returning to full time office working, I think people have adapted and now see this as a way forward - but equally I know I am hearing from our team that they are more than ready to be in the office, with the team and having social contact. I think ultimately companies are going to have to find that balance in order to retain talent.


With regards to your people strategy, what do you hope to achieve at Tillo in the coming months?

I am so excited for what 2021 holds at Tillo. We have still got a period of recruitment that will likely be ongoing until the start of the summer, and we have the onboarding that goes alongside it. As we grow our numbers I want to ensure I can work closely with our managers to make Tillo an employer of choice for anyone seeking a role, retaining our focus on the individual, and the opportunities at Tillo for them and their career. There will be challenges as we grow and although I am confident in our ability to prepare and face them I will be working on internal strategies to address the growth.

But mainly for 2021 I am also excited to be back in the office with the team and to organise a big summer party!


Finally, what is the best part of working for Tillo?

The people (obviously!), this group of people are some of the most inspiring, driven, hardworking and kind people I have had the fortune to work with, from the top to the bottom, they are the best!

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