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How and why we redefined our company values

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How and why we redefined our company values

This year is Forward Role’s tenth anniversary and we’ve come a long way from humble beginnings in Bolton, to an award winning, national recruitment agency based in Manchester city centre.

Our values have always stood us in good stead, but as our quest to become the biggest and best in our space across the UK continues, we felt that we should revitalise the values that will drive our approach for the next ten years and beyond…

Forward Role Culture

The starting point was to review our existing culture and we engaged with a brilliant company called Macawly, that use a bespoke online assessment tool to help businesses define their culture and core values.

Every Forward Roller filled in the assessment, reviewing lots of different areas of the business; from our drive for results and customer focus, to things like immersion and recognition. From the results it was evident that we already had a strongly defined culture that was consistent across the business, from team to team and across different levels of experience and seniority.

This was fantastic and knowing just how aligned in all of our key messages we were already, put us in a really strong position to create our values.

The Values Project

To start the values project we had everyone fill in a detailed Values Questionnaire, supplied by Alison Humphries of Recruitment Leadership Ltd. With an extensive range of questions about behaviours that our team find important, what we do well, our hero stories and future aspirations, we were able to come up with a focussed shortlist of values.

With Alison at the helm, we then held a number of workshops with small groups from across the business; discussing the different values and ranking them in order of importance. At this stage we decided on four themes that we felt we could work into core values for the business.

Following on from the workshops myself and our MD Steve, along with Jo Lee from Marmalade Marketing, worked on finessing the four values to ensure they were in keeping with the Forward Role brand and tone of voice. We needed to make sure that they delivered a strong message externally to our customers and also internally to every member of the team.

So what was the result for Forward Role?

We came up with four core values that define the way we will perform, behave and operate, with all of our customers and in all of our activities, both internally and externally.

  1. Investing in excellence

As a modern recruitment business we will invest in the best learning and development for the team, our existing training processes will be matched by engaging with the industry’s best trainers. We will also use the latest recruitment technology to make sure that we remain at the forefront of our industry ecosystem. Internally there will be a focus on everyone investing in themselves and continual improvement across the business will ensure that everyone is hitting their personal goals and therefore our business goals.

  1. Being an expert

Ultimately we are a sales business and the industry we operate in is fast moving; a mixture of technical and creative but always very commercial. The whole team will immerse themselves in their relevant markets and understand the peculiarities of everything from ecommerce to analytics; UX and CRO to software development. Additionally, recruitment itself is ever changing and we will continue to adapt our approach to the needs of a candidate poor market – providing flexible solutions, genuine consultation with clients, added value and building professional relationships.

  1. Wowing the customer

Despite the bad press recruiters often get, customer service will always be the differentiator in a service industry and therefore there needs to be a genuine and honest approach to everything we do. This is the value which ties in all of the technical competencies of recruitment, all of the experience and expertise gained from immersing ourselves in our markets and then the behaviours needed to ensure we do things the right way.

  1. Being generous

Simply put, this is finding the time to go the extra mile for all customers and other Forward Rollers. By adding value to candidates and clients; from CV and portfolio support, to advice on organisational structures, growth and hiring plans, we can be more than just a recruitment middleman. Internally, the culture and teamwork we have fostered and are renown for will only continue from looking out for each other.

With the four values firmly in place we’re now working hard to bed them in to every part of our business, as an integral part of the Forward Role DNA. Our values will help us hire the right people, train and develop with the right approach and engage externally with our candidates, clients and suppliers. They will drive us to reach our vision of becoming the UK’s #1 marketing, digital and technology recruitment brand, epitomise the Forward Role attitude and will hopefully see us in good stead for the next ten years!


Brian Johnson, Director at Forward Role, is responsible for the strategic management of the business; leading on sales, commercial activity, environment and culture. To find out more about Brian take a look at his profile here.