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Dear onezeero... an open letter to my former employer

No company is perfect because no person is perfect, and companies are just the people that work there.

At onezeero. you listened, you supported, you gave me absolutely everything I needed in order to do my job, and you fully saw me as a three dimensional human being and not just a name on a sales spreadsheet.

Your Director, James Davies, is incredibly approachable and it is clear that his personal values of fairness, respect, and mutual recognition run deep through the business. The values are consistent up the chain of management and while running a company isn’t easy, you made it look like it was.

The most common association with the recruitment industry is that it’s ruthless, cut-throat, and brutal. At onezeero. however, I witnessed senior management treating people with compassion and respect time and time again. There was demonstrable time and care taken to create bespoke training plans, have regular communication, make sure promises were always kept, and an outstanding training programme delivered by an expert in the field, Jane Colenso. Staffs were routinely contacted for their thoughts, opinions, views and suggestions. Commission schemes were changed based on Consultants' feedback and I cannot emphasise enough just how much Derek Mackenzie, the MD, went above and beyond for his team. Incredibly accessible at all times, Derek's approach was honest, kind, professional and inspiring. If he'd have asked us to follow him into battle, we probably would have done.

One thing that really stands out in my mind is just how far you went to be inclusive of all faiths and religions. Common practice in Recruitment is to have incentives and 'Lunch Clubs' that are based around alcohol and food and going out. This if you drink, is great. If you don't drink or follow a religion that doesn't permit drinking, you're instantly left out of the fun. At onezeero. we went clay pigeon shooting, got taught how to graffiti by a professional graffiti artist, went to the comedy club several times, and were constantly asked what we wanted to do with the budget. It is the most inclusive company I have ever worked for and I would describe the culture as incredibly welcoming, regardless of race, gender, orientation, religion, ability, or age. If you're looking for a sexist boys' club, don't apply to onezeero. because that's not what they're about.

To any recruiters looking for a new role, if you ever get the chance to work for Chris Ashton, absolutely grab it with both hands. I struggle to think of a man-manager with a stronger commitment to your professional and personal well-being. Chris is the kind of manager that puts your needs before his own, is more pleased when you achieve than when he does, and will push for you to get promoted. He’s not much to look at but definitely knows his stuff.

As I stand on the brink of a very scary but very exciting new challenge, I can only hope to emulate the way you treated your staff and ran your company, because in my humble opinion, it is absolutely exemplary. 


A very grateful ex-recruiter

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