In conversation with the Brigad team: Jack
‘I only want the best for the hospitality industry. They are the hardest working people I’ve ever met.’
Jack joined Brigad in September of 2021, jumping into the role of Senior Business Development Executive. He’s a man at the heart of the Brigad office who spends his days 'running from meeting to meeting, left to right,’ heading team talks and empowering his colleagues, eager to support them in whatever way possible. Teamwork is a core value of Brigad, and success is always felt as a team effort.
Jack hasn’t always been in the office - before joining Brigad he earned his industry stripes by working in restaurants in Normandy, at a four-star hotel in Cheltenham, and then a Michelin starred restaurant in London. He tells us that he’s ‘dedicated five years of my life to learning the hospitality industry inside and out.’ He confesses that working in the hospitality industry is his passion, and with the Brigad team he can help the industry more than ever.
‘I realised that Brigad was genuinely trying to make the world a better place by breaking the traditional mould.’
Jack worked at a recruitment agency before joining the Brigad family - he tells us that he was impressed by what Brigad achieved in so little time: ‘Brigad was a new company that was still growing - what they’d achieved since 2016 in the U.K market was incredible. Naturally, I was interested in what else Brigad could do.’ At the start of 2021, Brigad would provide 100 businesses a month with staff, and in February 2022, that jumped to 400 businesses. Jack saw Brigad’s values as aligning up with his own and decided to come on board. ‘My passion is for growing the hospitality industry, I saw that same belief in Brigad’s mission.’ He hasn’t looked back. ‘It couldn’t have been more of a perfect opportunity,’ Jack says that the prospect was perfect both for him professionally and his family, as he moved out to Paris with his wife - he has found security and stability in his new role at Brigad.
What was the perspective you had of Brigad? How was it like coming to the company?
Jack quickly learned that Brigad is so much more than an agency.’ Once Jack began talking to other Talents he learnt what set Brigad apart from recruitment agencies. ‘I realised that Brigad was genuinely trying to make the world a better place and trying to break through the agency mould. Brigad is bringing a fresh change that is going to help the industry grow and become the best version it can be - Brigad is going to make things better for everyone - workers and businesses alike.’
Jack says that it was tough to break out of the habits of a former agency worker. The new structure at Brigad was something he had to get his head around, ‘at Brigad we are working with freelancers, and that is a very different thing to temporary workers. When agencies reach out to people, it is for employment with zero-hour contracts. Of course, they aren’t even guaranteed work.’ Jack talks of how agencies have control over these workers, too. ‘I used to be able to pick and choose where the workers would have to go, what hours they would have to work, what days, regardless of if they liked it or not.’ However, Brigad works with freelancers, which gives the workers freedom from this control. ‘They are their own bosses with their own independence. They have the freedom to work, and the freedom to choose.’ This is the same for businesses, too. ‘At Brigad businesses can now connect with the workers, communicate and work together in a more equal way. Brigad is just a better way of doing things - everyone has better freedom and access to the working life and conditions that they want.’ Jack calls Brigad’s vision: ‘revolutionary.’
Can you tell us about your journey with Brigad so far?
Jack joined the team as a Senior Business Development Executive and was tasked with growing key accounts in the London market. ‘Brigad had already done a lot with small and medium businesses, we needed to get the large businesses on board to give the company a solid base.’ In the Brigad team, Jack found success right away and managed to make connections with amazing clients, bringing them into Brigad and getting them to adjust to Brigad’s vision. ‘From there, I was promoted to a team lead’ - Jack now oversees level 1 business developers in Brigad, people who are often new to the industry - Jack loves this part of his job and relishes the opportunity to train his team - he knows more than anyone the value of teamwork at Brigad. ‘I’m responsible for onboarding and all of their training - and really just showing them how we work differently at Brigad, showing them how we consult with businesses and giving them the tools needed to grow within the company.’ As Jack says, Brigad is a space where workers are given room to develop - Jack is testament to this, having grown within the Brigad team and developed new skills.
‘It’s always great seeing someone I’ve trained come up and succeed in the company. At the end of the day, we all want Brigad to succeed, so we all want to push the company forward.’
When describing his normal working day, Jack’s first thought is to talk about the energy in the Brigad office. But Jack handles being busy well and runs like clockwork - he’s punctual, and can’t stand being late to work. ‘I was taught to be at work ten minutes early - I like to have everything set up before the day has even started, just to know that I’m ready.’ But Jack knows the importance of refreshing himself and is always taking himself out of the office for lunch. ‘I’m a sucker for a poké bowl.’ Once he’s back in the office, the rest of his day is spent supporting his team, where it’s offering training or boosting morale. At Brigad, Jack has learnt to take the time to invest personally in his team, adding to the communal spirit in the Brigad office. ‘Part of my role is to make sure my team has got everything they need to do their jobs well. I need to be sure that everyone is getting their questions answered, whilst pushing boundaries and getting us to the next goal.’ Talents know the value of teamwork - Brigad may be empowering independent workers, but working together is at the heart of Brigad’s vision, the belief that we can make the industry better for everyone.
What are the skills you used when you moved into your new position as team lead?
‘My experience in the hospitality industry informs everything I do here. I genuinely care about all of my team and want them to succeed.’ Jack always encourages his team to come for him for support, no matter what problem they have. ‘I need to be approachable, my job would be impossible if I wasn't. I’m here to help my team.’ Brigad has taught Jack the power of motivation: ‘I’ve come from sales, so I know the importance of motivation. But everyone is different and responds differently. It’s important to me that I find a way to motivate everyone - something I’ve figured out is just how important it is to have the whole team be involved in the journey, have them in on the process from start to finish. That way, everyone is on board - they can see the vision and they want it to succeed.’
Being considerate of everyone’s opinion is a value shared across the whole of Brigad. ‘I saw this first hand when I joined. I was new but everyone listened to what I had to say, nobody shot me down, that really made me feel involved and listened to.’ Brigad has created an environment that allows its team to grow and thrive, leading to personal successes and company-wide successes.
Joining Brigad in Paris
Jack says that coming to Paris was always on his radar. ‘Of course, my wife is French, so we were always looking for the opportunity to come across. I wanted to do something in hospitality because that’s my passion. I know the industry inside out.’ Then Brigad came along, ‘a great company in a great city - it all aligned.’ Brexit made his move difficult, but Jack tells us that he ‘was lucky to have Brigad to help me along. They supported me a lot and helped where they could. Brigad really do want to make it as easy for their employees as possible.’
‘Paris is totally worth it. Paris is amazing.’
Jack tells us that however complicated the paperwork was, he couldn’t be happier at Brigad in Paris. ‘There’s a lot of pride here, in the city, and you can really feel it.’ He says that Paris is a convenient city, and much easier to get around than London. ‘You can walk anywhere. You know, my commute in London was about the same distance as here in Paris, but in Paris it takes half the time.’ Jack enjoys taking in Paris by cycling, too. ‘It’s a very scenic city to get around, and all the routes are set up in a much better system than London. Did you know that the city is being converted into a cycle-friendly city?’ A great company, in a great city. What more could you want? Brigad has it all.
Taking the next step - career progression
Jack has been at Brigad for three months now and he is aiming for a management role. ‘It’s something I’ve always wanted to do - Brigad is putting me through courses to learn and understand more about people management, as well as the company strategy. I’d like to get into management this year - but that might be ambitious. I still have a lot to learn!’ Ambition seems to be something shared in the Brigad office. Jack says that Brigad is a great environment for career progression ‘the fact that I was promoted in my probation period is a good example of that. The company wants its people to succeed - but of course, it's not going to happen by magic, we all need to have the drive to succeed and put in the effort to get there.’ He tells about the vast array of opportunities at Brigad and says that there is no set avenue for Talents to follow, something that Jack finds freeing: ‘I’m UK sales, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. There are so many different pathways that you can follow and find space to grow. Brigad is always growing too’ - both the company and its team are developing simultaneously; a personal win is a team win and a company-wide win when everyone believes in the Brigad vision.
What skills are required for someone to be successful at Brigad?
Jack tells us that in the Brigad team, you need to be driven, and motivated. ‘Brigad has a startup mentality, which means work hard and play hard. People who come here come driven and ready to hit the ground running. But Brigad is also very welcoming, so you feel like a part of a team when you get here. You’ll walk into a room and fifty people will come and say hi to you. It’s that kind of place, and that’s what makes Brigad such a nice place to work.’ Jack’s second skill he thinks Talents need to bring is curiosity, an intuition to look into different avenues. ‘Although we’re in hospitality and healthcare, there are so many different ways the Brigad platform can be used, having someone come in with the intuition of curiosity to seek out those opportunities is amazing.’
Would you recommend working at Brigad?
‘Yes, definitely. I love working here and feel very lucky to have the opportunity. Oh, and of course, the rewards benefit is through the roof. But, besides that, what Brigad is doing for the hospitality industry really is a good thing. Hospitality will never die. People will always want to eat out, go for a coffee - have a drink with friends. The industry deserves this change, and Brigad only wants to help.’
Do you have any advice you can give to someone looking to join Brigad?
Jack tells us that ‘believing in the mission is the most important thing - understanding what Brigad is trying to do. You’ve got to ask yourself - is this for me? You have to want to make a difference. At Brigad, we’re all about making a positive change.’
Are you looking for an exciting role in a dynamic and exciting company that is changing the future of work? Are you driven, ambitious and motivated? Then why not think about joining the Brigad family. You can find everything you need here. Get in contact, let’s connect and have a conversation.
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