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2017 – Year of the hybrid model


It’s that time of year again, when everyone reviews 2016 from a slightly different angle.  Best films, best sporting events, best musical moment (Nocturnal Animals, Danny Willett’s Masters win and Muse at Glastonbury for me in case you wondered!).  Personally, when I look back on 2016 it is the year of change and that is teeing up a very exciting year for 2017.

In October 2016, I started a new role with a new company after eight and a half years with my previous employer.  Previous employment before that had lasted 18 months (unless you count two years working in a petrol station as a teenager, it was thrilling) so this was a big move for me personally.  As I come to the end of my first three months I can safely say that I made the right move, not just because of the group of people I have joined but also because we are very well positioned to service customers using a hybrid consultancy model, something I have been excited about for some time.

When I started in change and transformation almost a decade ago, customers were a lot more limited on how they delivered their programmes and projects.  If you didn’t have the internal capability or capacity you almost always went to the mainstream recruiters or the traditional management consultancies.  You’d end up with a number of contractors from a number of agencies, after sifting through hundreds of CVs.  Or you’d go down the Consultancy route and be reliant on who they have on their bench, which wasn’t always the right team.  

I don’t want, or need, to go through negativities associated with “recruitment” and “management consultancies”. The truth is they are both susceptible to poor service and both have some brilliant people in the industry.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t around when the first consultancy was launched as a business, or the first recruitment agency.  Call me naive but I do like to think that both were founded to provide a service to their clients, over the years that has been lost with the sheer numbers (financial and people) that now exist.

Both have their place in the world but I passionately believe there is a middle ground and we have seen that grow in the last few years with the birth of the hybrid, or alternative, consultancy.  My own journey in this space started 6 years ago and since then I have seen it done well and not so well, which led me to where I am today.

To use my own company as an example (obviously) – we are passionate about disrupting the traditional consultancy space.  Partly that will be down to our offering, but largely it will be down to the service we provide and the people we choose to represent our brand.  The attraction for me to join Ameo was the way they were set up; co-owned by someone with 13 years experience recruiting in the change space and a guy who was ex-big 4 consultancy but realised there was a different way to approach client challenges.  Both of them have the same passion – helping customers focus on their agenda rather than ours and building long-lasting relationships (rather than a short-term land & expand strategy).  

As someone who has worked in Recruitment for 6 years and then Consultancy for 3, the opportunity to build something where we take the best of both (and lose the rubbish) was too attractive to pass up.  Too many companies in this space start this journey too late (recruiters tagging on Consultancy business or vice-versa) and build siloed organisations which become internally focused, rather than focusing on the needs of the customer.

The model we are driving only works if you’re on the same page from the word go and if you respect each other.  That’s what I found with Ameo – the Recruitment side respect the fact that the Consultants are able to build solutions when customers don’t quite know how to get to the end goal.  The Consultancy side recognise that the Recruitment side are best at finding and building teams of the very best talent – the good recruiters look at skills, experience and cultural fit, the latter often forgotten which is dangerous in a change initiative.

This is why I am excited about 2017. For the first time in my career I can sit in front of a customer and understand their agenda and what they want from a change partner, knowing we can service them with any one of our three offerings.

To our Customers – talk to us about your challenges and you’ll get honesty, if we can’t help we will tell you.

To our Associates, prospective or existing – I hope we work together in 2017 and if we don’t, we will speak I am sure.

To our Competitors – we all have a responsibility to provide the best service and work hard to ensure this model works in the industry, let’s learn from mistakes made previously.

And to all – merry Christmas and a happy new year.

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