As 2023 draws to a close, Rowlands Managing Director Georgina Moehle, takes a moment to contemplate the events of the past year and delve into the profound significance of long-term legacy planning for the business.
This year marks a significant milestone for Rowlands. Georgina Moehle, who has been an integral part of the Rowlands family for nearly a decade celebrates the completion of her first year as owner and MD. The company is also fast-approaching its 50th anniversary, marking its long history of successful business, accompanied by substantial growth.
In this exclusive interview, we explore into Georgina’s multifaceted journey, the breadth of her contributions and the unique perspective she brings to the recruitment landscape. Jeralie’s legacy has been embraced and embodied by Georgina, and the business has continued to prosper with her at the helm.
It is her professional background and profound understanding of all aspects of the recruitment market, as well as the inner workings of the business that has made it a “natural step” for her to transition from company director to owner a year ago.
Relocating to Jersey in 2012, and holding a psychology and counselling background, Georgina initially set her sights on a permanent role within the realm of HR, however it was Rowlands’ values and ethos which consequently led to her choosing a role within the business as front-of-house. While Georgina’s initial position at Rowlands was temporary, her employment with the firm was anything but. Little did she know what a remarkable career move that would prove to be!
“It’s been an exceptional ten years in which I’ve been fortunate to work across all areas of the business, in both front line recruitment and operationally, from picking up the milk to placing candidates in their dream roles and, now, focusing on the longer-term strategy of the business, ensuring that, as a teamwe continue to build on the outstanding service that we offer to the Jersey community” Georgina explained.
Those values, and the culture that first captivated Georgina, still ring true today, and are shaped by Rowland’s 11-strong team, which, as Georgina told us, has been key in cementing its reputation for understanding both the businesses and candidates with which it works.
Georgina further explained that Rowlands’ strong position in the market should also be attributed to how the business challenges common misconceptions of recruitment agencies, as she outlines: “There is a misunderstanding that all agencies operate solely on a transactional basis, engaging in a numbers-oriented approach. At Rowlands, we believe the opposite to be true. Our focus is on service excellence and ensuring it is effective and time-saving for both clients and candidates. Quite simply, we believe in quality over quantity. When we put a candidate forward for a role, we do so because we believe that person is the right match not only for the job but also the company and culture.”
“Central to this approach is listening to candidates and recruiters”, and, as Georgina explains, "This is a fundamental aspect of the partner's role that develops over time. We love bringing jobs to candidates who will excel in them, but for us, it doesn't end there. We work with people, both employers and employees, providing guidance, advice, and partnership through their career”. Georgina adds “People like to say they keep coming back to us for their next job; we prefer to think that they never really leave!”
“We pride ourselves on really understanding each business and the position they want to fill, something which goes beyond looking at the job description. We build long-term relationships with our clients and we get to know them, the company culture and values, aspects of which have become increasingly important to many jobseekers,” she emphasised.
“Just as importantly, we spend time really listening to, and getting to know, the candidates, going beyond the black and white of the CV to understand their personality and characteristics. We want to know what drives and motivates them as a person and not just a job seeker.”
The importance of accurately matching individuals with their next company cannot be understated, as Georgina discusses, recruitment has become one of the biggest challenges facing nearly all sectors.
“Jersey’s island status and limited population means that finding people with the right set of skills and values can take longer than it would in an area with a larger talent pool to call on,” she admitted.
In the context of the finance industry, this primarily stems from the industry's rapid growth outpacing the rate at which people are acquiring the necessary skills. The island benefits greatly from the growth of these companies, a situation that has really put Jersey on the map, particularly in sectors like funds and trust. As an island of just nine miles by five, we don’t have the population to keep up with this rate of expansion.”
Despite the challenges, though, there are, as Georgina says, many “silver linings” for firms looking to take on more staff.
“Digital innovation has definitely brought the world closer because, while nothing replaces sitting down with someone face to face, communication has been enhanced through the use of technology,” she commented. “There is also scope for people to work remotely, so some businesses have been able to hire people based in the UK if they can’t find the right skills locally.”
And while the landscape has changed – several times – in recent years, Georgina says that, it is still predominantly an employees’ market.
“The market has definitely been on something of a rollercoaster,” she reflected. “In 2021, we saw ‘The Great Resignation’, characterised by substantial numbers of people changing jobs. That chapter was followed by a more settled period in 2022 and now I think that both businesses and people are more in tune with what they want.”
Today, however, sees “firms more focused than ever on their cultures and workplaces,” Georgina outlines. “The consequences from this means that both businesses and people are more dedicated to taking the time to find the right candidate, or job for them. While it is still an employees’ market, it is certainly more balanced than it was.”
And it is not only the market which is recovering its equilibrium as Georgina has also had a huge amount of “balancing” to do herself since taking over the firm.
“When I signed on the dotted line this time last year, I had a four-year-old daughter and was five months pregnant with my son, and let’s not forget my two energetic dogs, that have also become part of the Rowlands family” she smiled. “Therefore, while taking over Rowlands felt like a very natural move professionally speaking, it was a big decision to make on a personal level.” Georgina felt confident in making the decision to inherit Jeralie’s role and legacy, due to her amazing, like-minded team at work, alongside her incredibly supportive family. These two factors combined, “enabled me to focus on the children, knowing that the business was in the safest hands. Secondly, I had incredible support from my husband, Tim and family,” she said. And while Georgina is the first to admit that it can be hectic juggling work with looking after Hettie (5) and Jack (nine months), she says that the team ethic “makes all the difference”. “The culture at Rowlands is one of tremendous empathy and understanding. Whether you have children or not, most people are juggling incredibly busy lives and we all understand that there are times when your personal life has to come first,” Georgina affirms.
A year on, as Managing Director, Georgina and her team continue to accommodate this, as she outlines their empathy and understanding are something extremely special, that stems from the environment of trust created by Jeralie.
Georgina has already had a massive impact on Rowlands, and maintains a very hands-on role - recruiting at a senior level, remaining an accessible figure within the business. Looking ahead, she described to us the importance of adapting to market changes and staying ahead, to ensure Rowlands continues to deliver the best.
“I am thrilled to be at the helm of a business which has such a big impression in Jersey” Georgina concludes, “My goal now is simply to take Rowlands to the next level! In the ever-evolving landscape of talent acquisition in our sector, I am deeply committed to pioneering a future where our company leads the way with innovative solutions, unwavering ethics, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.”
It is clear from our interview with Georgina, that her genuine and extensive approach across the last decade, has made lasting impressions not just within the company, but in the small community Rowlands is so respected by.