The EMEA Recruitment podcast was pleased to welcome Alex Hunt, Divisional Finance Director at IMI Hydronic Engineering in Switzerland.
“Hire for talent, because that talent will get up to speed, even if they don’t have experience right away; their talent and drive will make up for that.”
Alex spoke to Paul Toms from his office, where he has been working flexibly during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an approach that has worked well for IMI, which has seen high, “if not higher”, productivity levels than pre-pandemic.
Alex reveals how his team has bridged the gap between remote working and having those impromptu chats in the office. It’s something that he feels everyone is still learning to do, but has enjoyed the slightly more comical moments along the way.
Despite his career success, Alex doesn’t feel that his journey is complete. He’s been loyal to companies during his career, but has always rotated roles and geographies, taking opportunities to develop himself. It’s a mindset that came from moving a lot as a child and having a clear career path, defined through work with his mentors.
Alongside his drive, Alex is humble enough to share the areas that are not his specialty. His advice for filling the gaps in his team? Hire for talent. He feels that an individual’s talent and drive will make up for any lack of experience. Nevertheless, Alex reveals how making the wrong hire can have “huge reputational damage” and destroy trust within an organisation.
At IMI, Alex has been working on the company’s approach to business intelligence (BI) and data. Although he’s looking for professionals who can leverage digital, he also believes that the business needs a strong foundation in controls and accounting.
Being honest, open and frank with his team is the “only way to operate”, according to Alex, who also learnt from a mentor that a good sense of humour ensures you stay humble.
We end the conversation with Alex’s latest book recommendation. Although it pushes him into an “uncomfortable space”, he’s planning ahead for the business of the future.
If you’re looking for a particular part of the episode, please use the timestamps below:
01:17: How flexibility has worked for IMI 02:46: The impact of COVID-19 on Alex 04:20: How to foster a personal connection remotely 10:14: A funny Teams call moment 11:54: Does Alex feel he has “made it”? 15:35: Taking up opportunities in your career 19:00: “Change is alright” 21:33: Hiring the best talent into your team 24:20: Why Alex chose Finance 26:17: How IMI is preparing for BI & Data 29:21: The skills needed for the future of Finance 31:37: The huge reputational cost of the wrong hire 34:16: How Alex remains authentic 36:52: The mentors and books that have shaped Alex 41:32: Connect with Alex
If you’d like to connect with Alex, you can find him on LinkedIn.
The EMEA Recruitment podcast is brought to you in partnership with Operation Smile, an international medical charity that provides life-changing surgery to children and adults with cleft lip and palate. If you’d like to find out how you can support this cause, please visit: emearecruitment.com/operation-smile
This episode was hosted by Paul Toms, Founder of EMEA Recruitment, and Rose Jinks, our Senior Marketing Executive.