Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

When Friends Become Family: The Importance of Prioritisation, Values, and Experiences in Work

There’s nothing more important to me than my family.

I recently organised a family reunion for my cousins to visit me, my wife, and three children (ages 13, 9, and 5) at our home in the countryside of the Netherlands.

My extended family is located across the entire country of the Netherlands, and we haven’t all gathered together in years. At our reunion, we cooked, we dined, we laughed, and we reminisced. At 43 years old, I’m the youngest of my cousins, but despite age, we still establish strong bonds with each other.

As a present to my cousins, I gave them boxes of fresh strawberries from a local farm. My cousins aren’t used to the rich, juicy quality of farm-grown strawberries since they live in more urban areas. As a result, these strawberries created a “wow experience” for them - something that they weren’t accustomed to in their daily lives, so it was a special surprise when they attended the reunion. I love creating special moments for my personal family and even my work family because it deepens our relationships.

I’m very fortunate to work at a family-oriented company called Bullhorn, the global leader in CRM and operations software for the recruitment industry. I previously worked for another recruitment technology provider that Bullhorn acquired in September 2017. I’m lucky to call so many Bullhorn colleagues family.

My first official introduction to Bullhorn was in January 2018 at the company’s international sales kickoff meeting in London. It was the first time that I met all my new colleagues, and it was evident that my new team displayed enthusiasm and passion for not only their customers, but also their company. And that was important to me. I felt like a friend, but Bullhorn treated me as family.

Find Businesses that Prioritise Employees

What matters the most to me in working for a company is that it focuses on its employees. As a father and husband, I’m constantly prioritising my wife and children. To be a successful family, we must help each other - whether it’s with chores, projects, or schoolwork - because we care deeply about each other. If my children need help with their school assignments, I’ll immediately sit down with them and work through their questions. And if my wife needs me to pick up something for her, that’s absolutely getting done. The more we come together as a family, the stronger our relationships will be with each other.

The same is true about work - Bullhorn prioritises its employees by allowing us to work remotely when needed and take time when needed to rest and recharge. It’s the type of environment that allows individuals to grow their careers and help customers worldwide solve their biggest business complexities. This work culture allows employees to create strong relationships with each other because it demands teamwork. We must support each other to complete our jobs, and we must work cross functionally with other departments to urgently solve our customers’ challenges.

Embrace Companies’ Core Values

In our home, we boast the following family values: be honest, be true to yourself, be respectful, never be judgmental, and always put your family first. These principles guide our at-home lifestyle and help our children view the world positively and become better people. My wife and I ensure that we practise these values daily because we set the example for our children. If they see us being respectful and not judging other people, they’ll learn to view society the same. We believe this is extremely important because it sets our children up for success.

All businesses must display core values that employers want their employees to embody. That’s critical for creating an engaging workplace culture, which allows everyone to thrive and work toward shared goals. At Bullhorn, we have the following values: ownership, be human, speed and agility, energy, and service. All employees are scored on these values in quarterly reviews, illustrating the importance of them. Embracing these values is so important to me because it shows that I care about my job and my customers. After all, we’re working to help our customers grow their businesses.

Create Incredible Customer Experiences

Whenever I’m gathered with my family, I like to create “wow experiences” - memories that will last a lifetime. These moments establish commonalities between us family members and give us another reason to deepen our connections. That’s why at my recent family reunion I gave my relatives those farm-fresh strawberries since they were visiting the countryside. I’ll never forget their smiles and expressions on their faces, even from something so simple such as delicious fruit.

At Bullhorn, we have a core purpose: to create incredible customer experiences. This means that we’re strategically thinking of ways to delight our customers and continuously prioritise them so they can maximise their operations. We create these incredible customer experiences through deepening prospect or client relationships and striving for excellence in developing innovative products that will help recruitment firms become more efficient and productive in their work. Companies can have great technology, but they also need to have great people behind the technology. We have great people on my team who always go above and beyond for prospects and customers because they always put them first.

People are the unique fabric of every business. These individuals are a company’s greatest advantage. And they are family. When your friends become family, you foster the strongest team possible that can work together to exceed any goal.

Ruud Claasz Coockson is a managing director of global accounts for Bullhorn, the global leader in CRM and operations software for the recruitment industry.