A life at EY - empowering Euan to succeed
As an EY “Lifer” since 2004, Euan’s career has spanned multiple roles across HR and Resourcing in both Birmingham and London. Now, Head of Resourcing Centre of Excellence, he reflects on his time and the firm and what makes EY a great place to be.
“I studied Business Management and the majority of classes I enjoyed revolved around HR and organisational behaviour. I was keen to join an HR function and EY’s reputation for its strong people-focused culture was obviously appealing – to this day it’s one of the main reasons I’m still here.
My key strengths are around process optimisation, use of technology and team leadership and what I have found is that I have always been supported in finding stretching opportunities that both play to my skill set but also develop me in new directions.
It can be viewed as a challenge to develop and progress within in a Support Services function, however the opportunities for building a career here are vast. My advice to anyone joining Support Services is to keep an open mind to how you can grow in new and challenging roles. I have taken numerous sideways steps and not always focused on the progression ladder within any given function.
For example, I started out in our Onboarding team in Birmingham. It was an exciting time for us because a lot of our processes were transitioning into a centralised function – I soon moved into a more operational role and project managed a number of key initiatives to implement some of our HR Systems.
After a period as a Manager in the Graduate Recruitment side of the Onboarding team, I decided the time was right for a new challenge. I delivered a huge change management programme for the centralised Resourcing team before joining them in the London office as a Resource Manager.
Our Resourcing function plays a vital role in the firm’s vision and purpose, as we are the heart of building teams that serve and meet our clients’ needs while also ensuring we are providing our people with the experiences they need to develop themselves and their careers at EY.
Since joining Resourcing I have had the chance to fulfil my leadership potential. I progressed to become Head of Resourcing for Tax & People Advisory Services, and I am currently leading on an initiative to transform the function through better use of technology.
I have also been fortunate to participate on the firm’s accelerated leadership programme (now known as EY Edge) which provided me with some career defining experiences and development opportunities. What really stood out was having to perform an inspirational speech on a West End stage as part of the programme. Pushing myself so far out of my comfort zone in a completely alien environment has given me the confidence deliver presentations with more impact to large audiences. Whereas presentation used to be something I dreaded, it’s now to something I really enjoy and get a lot of satisfaction from.
I believe a large part of my development and progression within the firm has been achieved through flexible working, which is actively encouraged across the business. My wife also works and we have two young boys, so I work from home two days a week. This flexibility allows me to balance my work and life in a way which allows me to build higher levels of resilience and, ultimately, perform better.
As a team leader, I want to ensure that individuals have the right environment to focus on strategic activities that add real value and not getting too bogged down on the transactional work. Working from home is a great enabler for this; almost all of them work at least a day of the week from home and many also have more formal flexible working arrangements. As a result I have seen the team become more productive and to get more balance in their lives.
It all comes back to the firm’s people-centric approach. The fact that I have been given the trust to deliver – and develop – in my roles while balancing my personal and home life commitments is a fundamental aspect of EY’s culture, and something which I aim to instil in my team day-in, day-out.