Everyone who joins our team has the chance to make a real impact and difference to Orbis.
Quality is the backbone of what we do and developing our staff is no exception. You are in charge of where you want to go and every member of the Orbis team has a tailored learning and development programme, specific to their goals and aspirations.
Our promotion criteria is clear and undisputed. You will benefit from extensive training and development from our Managing Directors and ex-industry professionals, who don’t shy away from the team behind closed doors. Our open office space is a collaborative environment, but you will be given full autonomy and accountability. You'll excel on ambition and performance, not date-restricted criteria.
We love all things tech and to give our consultants exactly what they need to excel, we use the latest recruitment platforms, CRM, Cloud phone system, job boards and each consultant will be given a LinkedIn Recruiter licence. This goes alongside in-house marketing, events and personal branding support. Plus a dedicated accounts and contractor care team.
Our team are an eclectic mix of characters, with a fun synergy and friendly office. Whether you are an experienced recruiter, a graduate or you’re looking for a change of career; we're extremely interested in hearing from any background.
WeWork benefits & members portal
Unlimited budget to attend / host industry events, meetups & training courses
Lunch clubs at top 5* restaurants & Breakfast on Mondays & Happy hour on Thursdays
Office music, office drinks fridge, weekly treats & early Friday finish
Incentive trips abroad & across the states
Weekly PT sessions
Cycle to work scheme
The latest tech equipment, programmes & platforms
Birthday day off
Work from home
What does a flexible working policy look like at Orbis? Flexible working is whatever you want it to be, so ‘flexible working’ for you could involve going to the office five days a week, whereas ‘flexible working’ for me, could mean being at home every day. It's our choice. We still have a structured working day, depending on what region we're focusing on. When the office space becomes available again, our plan is to have complete flexibility on where you do your job with compulsory end of day meetings, assuming you're available. There are weeks where I would like to work from home, and somewhere I would like to work from the office. There are certain characters that will be in the office more than others, and certain characters who work better from home. Giving people the choice, I would expect to see a mixed bag and I would expect our office to be 30% to 40% on any given day. There will be certain days that I would expect to be busier than others. I'm equally prepared to be completely wrong on that, that's not an expectation, that's just what I think. It will be what it will be, is the simple answer. As a leader within the business, do you have any fears about the flexible working policy? One could be the lack of a full office; the team might want a culture where everybody's in the office five days a week. I think that that would worry me slightly. Is there something that we can do as a business to combat that? Even the most hardened, committed, office-based worker would honestly admit there are days when they don't want to go to the office. I think the reality is very different. I'd encourage the team to find colleagues who feel the same, then create that environment together. When you enjoy the office environment, you don’t enjoy the entire day, you enjoy the patches of the day when there is the buzz and the energy. We can coordinate activities across the business, different divisions and different teams, when everyone's got a focus and encouraging those people to come in and do that together during the course of the working week. So, you’re getting that fill of energy that people talk about, which may define part of our culture. You're still getting your fix, therefor you don't miss it as much. Personally, I think anything you're made to do on a consistent basis, leads you to resent it. Whether you liked it or not in the first place. We've already had experience with people who are really missing the office, however when we've allowed those people to go back into the office, they didn't go in every single day of the week. How is it going to affect our culture? Maintaining the culture isn’t the question, it’s ensuring that we continue to improve our culture as opposed to maintain it. We’ve retained values like collaboration and the human approach. As a group we socialise on occasions and these occasions are more special. Productivity has improved and I don’t feel any less connected to anybody in the business, I feel more connected to everyone. That’s also the case across the board and most noticeably cross borders. From the US to the UK and managing Europe. Originally I thought it was interrupted by the time difference, but looking back on it, it was actually our communications. We would use the phone whereas now we’ve enhanced our tech and we use video. I feel I have a closer working relationship with the US team, so much so, I don’t feel like they’re in a different country anymore. How would you define our culture? Culture is how we communicate, how we work together, how we celebrate our successes. I mean, culture isn’t how often you go out as a collective group and have beers. Then again, just because we have a flexible working policy doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate success. It doesn’t mean we can’t meet each other or enjoy lunch club and incentives. We can still enjoy the benefits. One size doesn’t fit all and what might be justified as a great culture to some people, isn’t for others. We have lots of company meetings, cross divisional meetings, cross geographical meetings, account meetings, and any one person is part of two or three meetings. For an individual in the business, a week of meetings will involve a collection of different people, which means they're gaining exposure and experiences of working closely with more people. In order to be effective, we've adopted new ways of working, flexible working being one of them and I see much more positives than I do negatives. It prevents cliques because the right people are involved in meetings, regardless of whether they have more social interaction or less social interaction with those people. When you're in an office, there is a danger that people will segregate themselves. You’ll have one group go to lunch together, and another go to the gym together. This new way of working has put that to a stop. I’m sure those people can still maintain their friendships, but it’s not at the extent of leaving other people out. I feel this creates a more inclusive environment. It's improving people. I’m seeing people with better work life balance, better energy, being more insightful and creative. It's not to say that I don't like office space working, I love the opportunity to go into the office and see people, but I look forward to it now. We're rethinking what good culture looks like in this world and then asking questions about what makes our culture great. How is it going to affect individuals? I think it shows people up for who they really are. You get a better view of who they truly are and what they truly want to be and how hard they truly want to work. Simple as that really. We all need a pat on the back, we all need a strong word every now and then, but not being in the office doesn't eliminate that. Within the office environment you can drag people along, but you can't drag people along in this world. It would feel highly intrusive for me to constantly video call somebody to see where they are and what they're doing. I don't want to have to do that. It becomes magnified when you put it in a remote sense. You have to make sure people understand what flexible working is and that it's going to suit them. They have to ask themselves some questions, like how hard would they work? When you're working from home, all you've got is the evidence of your outputs. When you're in the office, you can just appear very busy. Are there any negative connotations with flexible working that you would agree with? I think this might lead to other things, but I'll leave it here… I love the city of London and if everybody moves to a flexible working model, the city will disappear as it exists. We’ll move back to a much more community approach and there will be smaller pockets of the industry, in terms of localization. We’re moving away from big city type hubs back to a more community-driven type of world, which has got a further reach, a lot more knowledge and a lot more capability. I'd be very sad to see the city disappear as a culture. That’s from a personal perspective, some people won’t miss the city at all. Some people will be glad to see the back of it! I’ve enjoyed the city and all it brings.
Working on a flexible basis and eradicating traditional working models has been trending for a few years amongst all sorts of industries and organisations, from starts ups to large corporations. Flexible working is the way of the future as more companies come to realise the benefits that come with it. Orbis have recently introduced a flexible working structure to the company. To give us an insight into how we are doing this, Ryan Orton discusses the importance of having a human approach to managing a team and exploring trust with flexible working. What experiences have you had so far with a flexible working structure? When I’m working from home, I’m probably more productive because I’m more focused, there aren’t any social distractions that come with an office environment. Working from home comes with its perks. I put my laptop down and that is my workday done. I can also control my diet and exercise a lot easier. So, when you start to think about the possibilities and the things that you can do, working remotely has plenty of advantages. The biggest challenge for working from home is maintaining energy and enthusiasm, because differentiating work from home is difficult and you can get cabin fever. When does work stop and home life begin? Well the truth is, they don’t anymore, they coexist. I think we’re still getting comfortable with that, not feeling bad about not working every minute of the day. I appreciate the challenges are different for everybody but recognising and understanding the challenges of the individual you are working with is important. How are they finding it? How are they feeling about it? What do they find personally challenging about it? Then actively working with the team to find solutions and share ideas with people that might find work for them too. How are we effectively introducing a changing working structure? We are continuing to be malleable and flexible. We are constantly adapting. I think these are all important key points for a successful change in structure. You need to communicate changes clearly and flexible to individual needs. If you’ve got a workforce who aren’t a part of the change, or involved in this new way of working, then you're really going to struggle. The team are not going to suddenly change direction for you. I’ve learned a lot about human nature. People want to help people. I think remote management is no different to office management. It doesn’t need to be treated any differently because you manage people by whichever means you can. Working remotely has given me assurance about people in the environment in which we work. When working in a flexible working environment, how do you avoid teams forming cliques or individuals segregating themselves? If there are members within the team who are introverted and more inclined to stay at home, or friendly groups that coordinate their schedules, how do you manage that? The team have multiple channels of contact with the leadership team, for various projects as well as social interactions. We have set up sub-teams based on market demographics, a specific client project, new initiatives, or marketing campaigns. Within these separate sub-teams, people can gain interaction with smaller groups of different leaders and people outside of their own teams. I think this is what we do particularly well at Orbis, which prevents anyone in the team from feeling isolated. Otherwise team members tend to have one channel of contact to one leader, and to be frank, that would become very depressing for anyone! Within these groups they are being held accountable to their peers, to their seniors and themselves to do their part of the job. These small groups and pockets offer a sense of purpose, a key part to success and an addition to daily tasks. Otherwise, it would become a dull existence! When working in a flexible working environment, to avoid teams forming cliques or individuals segregating themselves, these sub-groups help to manage introverted individuals, or teams coordinating schedules around each other, combatting diversity challenges and cliques forming. As leaders, we have to make sure that there is the right balance, that we instigate the integration of different teams to different people. We've been creating sub-teams, projects and workshops to ensure that people are involved in two or three different groups, not just their allocated team. One thing to focus on in staff reviews is to ask the team what their purpose is outside of their day-to-day role, do they have another purpose? Whether that’s producing a new piece of content with the marketing team, leading a new service offering, or D&I initiatives. I think that’s really important. You’ve had new starters join the team on a remote basis, how did you ensure they had a fluid integration into the team, maintaining existing team morale and boosting culture? Our new starters have never been to our London headquarters, they’re currently in their third month with us and their performance is high. I’m sure they want to meet us all in person at some point but I feel my working relationship with them as a direct manager has been accelerated because of this way of working. I've spent much more one to one face time with them, than I might have in an office working environment. When I'm talking to my team one to one remotely, I'm not being distracted or pulled away. I'm focusing on them and I'm not hearing or seeing things that are going on around me. Nothing’s annoying me, getting me excited, or worrying me. You're not being distracted and therefore that time spent with the team is much more valuable. We have built a close working relationship quickly, and I feel I know them better than I would do if we were still working consistently in the office. The one to one time with the team is a safe place for them as well. Other people aren’t listening, they’re not being judged as the new person, they can be completely honest with what they’re struggling with. They can focus on understanding our expectations and what they need to do. I can then equally understand their wants and needs, and it feels a lot more effective. In regard to the wider team, new starters have good interaction with them through sub-groups and various Slack channels. We have multiple day to day chats going on in various groups. There is a lot of encouragement and collaboration amongst the team that way. The new starters see what works for the existing team and vice versa. They’re not on their own. With the recent new starters, the team have been nothing but a positive influence. We have lots of video chats, and other leaders will jump in on these to catch up in the week. They run through what they’re doing, discuss their challenges and successes, then get input directly from other leaders. I think that’s a really important part of allowing new starters to feel part of the business. Do the wider group take part in video chats with leaders, does this continue through the team? That’s what we’ve done really well, everyone gets face time with leaders. No one feels ostracized or left on the outside. For instance, Wayne will jump on a call with a member of the team just to catch up and ask how they’re getting on. I’m sure in some businesses, there may be some anxieties when the ‘big boss’ is giving you call out of the blue. You don’t have that anxiety here, because you know they’re only calling to help and communicate. Ultimately, these calls are seen as a good thing and the team can be assured of their relationship with the senior leaders, because that relationship does exist. Do you maintain a level of trust for your team when working remotely? I know that I'm trusted, and I trust my team. Why don't we overview leadership and culture in the same way? We all value trust and we all value a human approach. I'm just being the best manager I can be and hopefully that's good enough. But, being an effective Team Manager is more than mentality. It's got to be a position where you want to help and see people succeed, thrive and grow as professionals and people. You can be especially effective to their progression if you've been on some of the journeys that they are going on, whether that’s in life or work. That’s the advantage of a few grey hairs…
As we write this, there are over 10 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide. Since March 2020, organisations have been advised to work from home, putting employees into a sudden remote working situation. The actions of leadership teams in the midst of this pandemic and worldwide crisis will significantly be a telling determination of their strength. Not just the fate of the company’s success, but also their team’s wellbeing and engagement. 4 months deep into this unique situation, I sat down with Ryan Orton to discuss how he’s leading the team through these extraordinary times. At the moment we're in the midst of a pandemic, a global health crisis and financial uncertainty. Have you personally ever dealt with something like this before? I’ve never in my career had to deal with anything on this scale before. Don’t get me wrong, I have experiences with massive periods of change, but not a global crisis such as this one. Looking back, I survived the.com. Bubble. I was actively working with the tech industry when that happened. There was the millennium, where no one knew what was going to happen when the clocks went to 2000, because nothing had been programmed to deal with the century. Everyone thought their computers would blow up and it was basically Armageddon. People stopped spending money on tech because no one knew what was going to happen to the systems. It’s memorable, because you remember going through it at the time and it just sounds ridiculous now. Then 911 happened, which was just surreal. It was shocking and had quite a few knock-on effects, especially within the banking industry. Then later we had the financial crises as well. I wasn't managing a team at that time, but my mentality was that we had no choice but to get on with what we had to do and what was in front of us. Have you learnt anything from this lockdown experience that you’ll want to take away? Everyone is still learning through this experience. It still feels like a daydream. It's still hard to know for sure whether the approach any of us are taking is right, because we haven't had long enough for it to be proven successful or not. I think we’re being very brave as a business and I’m confident in that we will prove to be doing the right things. One of the key learns we’ve had is to put the right people in the right place. The right people, treated in the right way, communicated with correctly on all subjects, will result in a positive outcome. Whether you’re in the office, out the office, underground, in the air, it doesn’t matter. People wonder about trust, and I think we’re a trusting organisation, but our immediate response on lockdown was to explain to the team that we’re going to need to monitor much more, due to the lack of facetime in the office. We would need to understand what they were doing and why they were doing it. We started out with a lot of touchpoints. I would call everybody in the team every morning, then again at lunchtime, then again at the end of the day. We were tracking team activity daily. But as time goes on, we have been doing less of that and the team’s performance hasn’t changed, it’s either stayed consistent or actually improved. When you talk about trust, you’re not trusting someone to do the job, you’re trusting their character. You are trusting the reasons you hired them, the strong relationships we’ve built in the team. Why wouldn’t we trust their ambition, desire, and character? Do you think transparency and being upfront with changes, such as an increase in touchpoints and activity tracking, gained better understanding from the team? They’ve seen immediate benefits of working from home. Saving money on travel, getting up a bit later, whatever floats their boat. So it’s no surprise that most people understand the situation and have accepted it. Now I consider whether the structure we had at the start of lockdown was necessary. Different people require different amounts of time, communication, help and support. That’s not tied to their seniority or intelligence, it’s down to the individuals. Some of the team will reach out two or three times a day, others may only speak to you once or twice a week. That’s fine if that’s all that is needed. If they know what they are doing and that you understand their ambition, their goal and what their strategy is, you don’t necessarily need to speak to them, because you can trust they’ve done it. If someone isn’t feeling great or if they’re not on the ball for a day, that’s just human nature. Even if we were all in an office, people would be hiding their ‘off day’, they would still feel the same. They would take longer coffee breaks, stare into the abyss and their mind might be elsewhere. That’s going to happen whether you’re in the office, or not in the office. I think accepting that and giving people that trust is important. Just because they’re not under your watch in the office, they’re not going to suddenly crumble and become bad people. It would be very egotistical to think that your business and your leadership team are the only reason they are motivated. You can help enhance, channel and remind people, but the fundamental DNA of those people was there when we hired them, it was there when we stuck by them in a tough period of time and it will be there when they progress with their career. I think all in all, people hold themselves accountable to a level of performance. We're all aligned in what great looks like as well, because great is different now than it was six months ago. I think it’s now time to start challenging ourselves and each other to reach the pre-Covid peaks again, start looking forward and planning for the future as a company, and as individuals. Our careers, in some cases, have been put on hold or they’ve changed, but now is the time to take advantage and be amongst the first to improve and develop. How have the team coped with the crises? Some individuals adapt better than others. Some people enjoy change, some people do not. I think it's a real mixed bag. People get used to the new normal, and then they adapt. I mean humans are incredibly resilient, right? It sometimes takes something catastrophic like this for us to realise just how adaptable and resilient we can be in the right environment. I think the challenges we’ve faced as a team have all been overcome. We all know there's an end in sight, we all know that we're going to see each other again, we all know it's not forever. As every week goes by, we will be closer to a return to normal. Interestingly, our new ‘normal’ will be different to the old ‘normal’. We will have the flexibilities to do what we want to do, when we want to do it, with our new flexible working structure. Looking into the future, people say, ‘look after today and tomorrow looks after itself’. I think it's allowed us to put much more value on what we're doing today because you don't know what tomorrow is going to bring. Knowing business could vanish in the next month, at any given time, does put that intensity and urgency into being proactive and providing a better service. This crisis has intensified everything. So with that in mind, people aren't stupid, we don't need to put further pressure on them. On a day to day basis, the team understand the importance of performance in the current market. Today does look after tomorrow, absolutely, it does. I think we're now moving to the point where we're starting to go, ‘Okay, well this is where we are, we don't know whether it's going to get worse, get better or stay the same.’ We have to plan for our careers and our future because what we have proved, is that we can survive and thrive in this economy and in this market working in this way.
Joanna Jewitt - Operations and People Director, talks about Orbis becoming a signatory for the UK's Tech Talent Charter, our diversity agenda and commitment to a more diverse workforce. What is your role at Orbis? It splits into two parts, one side is Operations, looking at how we can ensure that we continue to deliver to our clients, candidates, and the tech community. Are we doing the right things? Are we challenging the industry? We know we deliver a brilliant service but as a business we do believe we can always do more especially when it comes to diversity and inclusion, not just within the technology industry but also within the recruitment industry. The second part is People. We have a culture that allows everyone to bring their true self to work every day, for me that is really important. You can’t be happy (and successful) when you are pretending to be someone else. And why should you? We want every single person to want to come to work, to enjoy what they do and feel comfortable with the people around them. What is the most important thing about diversity? Absolutely everyone needs to be treated equally and given the same opportunities. Great things come from diverse teams – hearing different opinions, being challenged on your own, seeing things from different points of view open a whole new world of possibilities. Historically the minority might not have had their voice heard, so it’s important that they are given the spotlight on them to do so. Everyone has a part to play. “Bring your whole self to work.” How are you going about improving diversity within Orbis? What are the challenges within the industry? Too often the staffing industry are just focusing on making a placement, what they need to do is think about how they can truly add value to their clients. I don’t believe you can represent everyone unless you have a representative of everyone in the business. You can empathise and try to understand but you can’t do it on other people’s behalf. When you’re trained to be a recruiter, you are trained to judge, you are trained to look at a CV, look at the person’s education and judge their background. To be a champion at diversity you need to escape that mould and explore various demographics, different backgrounds and profiles. What recruitment business’ can start doing is growing communities, getting to know the people instead of using CVs for a tick box exercise. This is also where recruitment consultants outweigh technology – You need people in this role, recruiting on values, creative solutions and looking forward at the potential, rather than a mathematical equation of the past. THAT is where you can unlock something different. Staffing agencies are so important, rather than relying on a job board and technology, which limit your talent pool. If you work with a dynamic agency, they’ll be able to offer a diverse talent pool. We want to get to know our candidates really well, we want to understand what their needs are so we can match them to the right business, as opposed to CV matching. Otherwise you risk missing out on an entire talent pool. “Too often the staffing industry are just focusing on making a placement, what they need to do is think about how they can truly add value to their clients.” What attracted you to the Tech Talent Charter? There is no judgement – you don’t have to be perfect to sign the pledge you just have to be committed to making changes in the right direction. What are the next steps for Orbis's diversity agenda? We recently began working with some new clients to help solve some of their diversity challenges – putting together bespoke partnerships and agreements. Also working with them on their employer brand. We’re running events with different business’ so we can open their doors to new communities. We want the voice of our clients out there, so we can get to know the people behind business’ and so our community can get to know them too. Sometimes there’s stigma attached to certain clients, as if you have to be a certain kind of way to work there, or the company branding might be dated. We can communicate their true voice, that could attract differing people. We want to shine a light on what it’s really like to work in that business. Within Orbis, we want to take a responsibility to really think about diversity, from networking to every shortlist we create. Have we done enough? Are we going for the ‘easiest’ option? We will be looking at creative ways to source candidates, looking at our network, connecting with them in different mediums and formats. We need to actively question ourselves, have I put together a diverse shortlist or could I spend more time on this? Talking about it more, training, create an environment where it is okay to challenge each other if we don’t feel diversity is at the top of the agenda. We’re going to champion people that are taking the time to do something about it. You can find more information about Tech Talent Charter here. The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) is a non-profit organisation leading a movement to address inequality in the UK tech sector and drive inclusion and diversity in a practical and uniquely measurable way. Our ultimate goal: that the UK tech sector becomes truly inclusive and a reflection of the society which it represents. We work at scale, addressing the tech ecosystem as a whole to drive change. We focus on the how, not just the why of inclusion and we bring communities together and support the underrepresented. Signatories of the charter make a number of pledges in relation to their approach to recruitment and retention. Although it is very much an employer-led initiative, the TTC is supported by the UK Government's Digital Strategy.
If you are looking to progress within your role or move to a new opportunity, it is now more important than ever that you are preparing for interviews. Current uncertainty in the market means fewer projects are being kicked off, as budgets and new initiatives are first to be questioned within businesses. See our best tips for project and programme manager interviews below: Suss out the reporting lines – The easiest way to suss out the level of a PM is to recognise who reports to them and who they report to. If they report to a Programme Manager, they are a PM (Project Manager) If they report to the head of department, they are likely a Programme Manager. PM’s should be managing multiples resources of things like BA’s directly. Back up your competency with examples: You can relate most competency questions back to a few examples (and you should always have an example). The best ones include dealing with difficult stakeholders, turning around a failing project, a time you failed on a project and what you learnt from it. All competency questions will come back to examples – ‘tell me a time you are proud of’ or ‘what would you of changed’ or ‘tell me about a front to back delivery’…etc. Know your projects: If it is on your CV you have to know it front to back. Budget, timeline, resources. Achievements: if someone asks for your achievements a ‘delivery’ is not one of them! A 'delivery' is your job, an 'achievement' is something that wouldn’t have happened without you. When did you take initiative? Did you put a new roster in? When did you go above and beyond? Budgets and tools: PMs should have control of their budget so you need to know what the budget is and how you manage it. You also need to make sure you are structured in how you track your budget - think of tools you have used – for example, Jira etc. Stop talking – PM’s are concise - interviewers will not reply straight away when you answer. Don’t drone on. They are pretending to be difficult stakeholders to see how you react to the situation. Be hands-on: Firstly, say ‘I’ not ‘we’. You run the project, don’t make it seem like the team ran it for you. However, you need to be ‘hands on’. A good PM will have examples of how he gets stuck in when needed with aspects, like requirements. However, you also don’t want to be getting in the way. You need to say you will trust people to do tasks. The best PMs I have worked with always say "the hardest thing about being a PM is trying not to get too heavily involved and doing everything yourself"
Orbis is home to innovative recruiters who believe in building trusted relationships and strong communication. Our integrity to invest in people and community is unwavering. If we have piqued your interest, please get in touch to have a confidential chat. We look forward to hearing from you!