As the recruitment landscape faces new challenges, with dynamic workforces, evolving technologies, and shifting employee expectations, it’s clear that HR needs to adapt and evolve too. We understand that this can feel overwhelming. To navigate this new era successfully, we as HR professionals must embrace innovative strategies and disrupt traditional practices.
Our People and Culture Manager, Jamie Smith, joined our parent company RGF Staffing UK early 2023. Having worked in operations before moving to HR, he has a unique perspective in what HR practices can be used to develop a continually improving culture.
In this article, Jamie will explore the ways he has helped the business he has worked with, including Crone Corkill evolve and adapt.

Discovering “Disrupting” HR

I’m Jamie, the People and Culture Manager here at RGF Staffing. I’ve worked in HR for around 7 years. I’ve been part of traditional HR teams as well as progressive HR teams and when I took on my first role leading a HR team, I had questions about the way we do things.
I discussed some of the questions I had with a friend who also works in HR and they recommended “HR Disrupted” by Lucy Adams. The book looks at HR holistically, challenging HR norms, and providing insights on practice from around the globe.

Some of the Key ideas presented in “HR Disrupted” that really helped when looking at my recruitment strategies are


The book addresses the value of treating colleagues as individuals, which in turn creates inclusive and engaging workplaces. This is important an inclusive culture supports, attracts and retains key talent

Candidate Experience

The significance of providing a positive and engaging candidate experience throughout the recruitment journey is discussed. It’s the first time you’ll meet your team and their first experience with you, so make it count.

Embracing Technology

It’s important to use technology to streamline recruitment processes. Technology such as applicant tracking systems, artificial intelligence, automation, and data analytics, all help attract and select top talent

Agile Recruitment

HR professionals need to be flexible, adaptable, and responsive to changing market dynamics and talent requirements. The book provides insights into agile sourcing, candidate assessment, and onboarding practices.

Personal Growth and Career Impact

I’d like to think of myself as a progressive HR professional. I’m really passionate about celebrating individuality and getting to understand our people so the decisions we make are informed and relevant. “HR Disrupted” helped me hold the mirror up to myself and question what could I do differently.

One thing I took from the book is to get rid of our employee handbook.

In my opinion, handbooks have no relevance. It is one of the first things that sets the tone about your new organisation and usually the handbook says, “we’re so pleased to have you on board” but then goes on to make you read reams of policies that say “if you break the rules you’ll be dismissed or owe us money”. It doesn’t set the tone does it?

We of course have policies that colleagues can access as and when they need them. However, we trust our people to do what is right without being issued every policy to read and sign.

The Ripple Effect

Every day I’m thinking of ways we can improve things by breaking our HR norms. I actually have a note on my phone of all the ideas I’ve picked up from the book.
We’ve had some great traction since the start of the year, shown in our monthly Happiness Index. We ask our colleagues to score on a scale of 1-10 how happy they are at work that month and ask what we need to do to improve their happiness at work. Our changes have seen our overall happiness score increase by 11%.
As I’ve said, I’ve always thought of myself as a progressive HR professional but reading the book has helped me realign and has offered a new perspective to help shape how we do things.

Jamie’s approach to HR has already shown its influence at Crone Corkill. Seeing first hand the positive effect this has had on our business makes us even more passionate about using these learnings to help find your new hire that really fits well in your company culture.

Ready to learn how you can disrupt HR in your business?

Get in touch today