Anne was approached by a large not-for-profit (NPO) organisation to help with recruitment. In theory this was a fairly simple undertaking, given the generally positive performance of the company to date and the overall contentment of staff. However, when Anne began to delve deeper, it became apparent that the current cultural climate of the business, though popular among its staff, might not be best suited for the focus the company needed to implement to maximise its fundraising. She decided to go back to basics, and build up an accurate picture of the company as it stood, before examining how best to go about recruitment.

As an NPO in the children’s healthcare sector, this client was performing fairly well. It was well-established, and had consistent year on year performance. However, competition in this sector is rising, with more businesses competing for charitable funding and donation. Coupled with rising socio- economic issues in the broader society, the management team became aware that they needed to raise the bar, and become even more productive and sales-driven.

However, the personality types who tend to be attracted to working in the charitable sector are not necessarily those typical of a “hard-nosed” sales team. The environment is more relaxed, behaviours less combative, and there was little demand for change. People liked working there, and, perhaps understandably, did not want to become more corporate and commercial.

When she was initially approached, the idea was to use Facet5 in recruitment to select a slightly different personality type for new employees; ones more naturally comfortable in this driven, commercial environment. With an increased need to be tougher dealing with clients when collecting money, it was felt that some additional impetus might be needed to help the current team to optimise all the opportunities they encountered.

Large not-for-profit organization wanted help with recruitment in the children’s healthcare sector.

The personality types who tend to be attracted to working the charitable sector are not necessarily those typical of a “hard-nosed” sales team.

Tools & Approach

Anne began by carrying out Facet5 profiles on the fund raising team, in a system of individual meetings and group workshops. The results were very positive: everyone involved enjoyed the personal insights they gained, and felt more unified as a team. The honesty and openness that comes from talking freely about seemingly awkward or difficult subjects helped the team to feel more confident about themselves and their interactions with others.

The process had such a positive impact on the team that the head of communications requested it for his team; at which point the head of the whole organisation stepped in and took a big decision: Facet5 was to be rolled out across the entire company.

Everyone involved enjoyed personal insights gained. Enabled openness and honesty to talk freely about awkward and difficult subjects.

Facet5 was to be rolled out across the entire company.


Throughout the following months of collaborative planning, individual meetings and group sessions, Anne built up strong relationships across the business and helped each individual to better understand themselves and the wider teams. Her style is very positive, always looking for the benefits of a particular behaviour. Because Facet5 uses a consistent and universal language, it gives groups and individuals the structure to openly discuss difficult subjects. Using non-emotive language and neutral perspectives which do not judge but simply evaluate and observe, it leads to understanding rather than competitiveness. In this way, the less definable area of culture could be addressed in a non-confrontational way.

Anne gradually worked with the group to understand a fundamental underlying attitude: they liked how the business was run, and they didn’t particularly want to see it change. However, by sharing views and opinions more openly, they came to realise that however little they might want the changes, they were becoming more and more necessary. And so, starting from a context of unified understanding and mutual objective, it became easier to work on changing the behaviours which stood in the way of improved performance.

From that point, Anne was able to begin recruitment, and even now is called upon for all new appointments. Facet5 helps managers to understand each employee’s motivators and drivers, and to flex their approach to best suit them. The organisation is going from strength to strength, with a more business-focussed attitude and better proactivity.

From a simple recruitment exercise to a whole company undertaking lasting over 18 months, Facet5 proved invaluable in breaking down the barriers which lead to confrontations and resentments, and establish a common, non-emotive language to make difficult subjects easier to resolve. The project was deemed an enormous success on all sides, and the relationship continues to flourish today.

Non-emotive language and neutral perspectives which do not judge.

Leads to understanding rather than competitiveness.

Key Learnings

  • Ensure you properly understand your client’s needs. Those needs may be different to the ones they tell you about – you need to look beneath the surface of an organisation’s more obvious challenges to reach the root of the problems. Only then can a proper solution be found.
  • Deliver excellent service at all times, build good relationships, and keep them fresh. The more front of mind you are with your clients, the more likely they are both to call on you when they need help, and to recommend you to other associates. Word of mouth is the very best marketing tool.
  • Develop a knack for spotting an opportunity, and don’t be afraid to go for it. A simple scenario for a company could lead to other things if you think about the wider needs. Taking a proactive stance and making suggestions for further improvements or ways of using Facet5 can often lead to longer, more complex, and more beneficial engagements.
  • Have passion for what you do, and do it wholeheartedly. Clients will be carried along by your belief and your commitment, so have faith in your ability and show others what you can do.

Continue the conversation

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