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Joe Olenka Promotion

Posted on March 2023

male recruiter promotion
Congratulations to Joe Olenka on his promotion to Senior Manager of our London Estates & Facilities, HR and Healthcare Commissioning & Operations teams.

We spoke to Joe about his career with us.


Embracing the challenge

During my nine years at Venn Group there have been various challenges (mentoring with our Executive Director Stan for my first promotion to Executive Consultant is right up there!) however the last few months whilst I’ve been working towards this promotion have been a real test. In November we welcomed our beautiful second daughter into the world, so naturally I wanted to be fully involved and doing everything I could at home, without relenting or losing any momentum at work. Finding the balance that lets me be the best dad and husband, whilst also giving the best of myself in the office is an ongoing challenge, but one I am enjoying and using to motivate myself.

I’m still driven by my own milestones and achievements, but since becoming part of the leadership team, I’m invested in the careers of the consultants I manage. It’s a genuine pleasure to watch them reach their milestones and celebrate these achievements with them. Promoting Rob Waugh and Lucy Hertzberg to Managers of their teams has been a big highlight of my career to date. I hired both as Associate Consultants several years ago and have seen them work very hard to reach this level. Identifying and developing future leaders is central to how we operate, and Rob and Lucy’s successes are an inspiration to observe who is showing signs of being a leader and working with them to prepare them for the future.


Investing in supportive teams

My biggest advice for new managers would be knowing the individuals on your team and what they respond well to, so that you can get the best out of them. The answer isn’t always there straight away, but as you get to know your team better and tailor your approach, you will get better results from them individually and as a collective. The talented consultants on my teams are either on track or ahead of their Pathways & Milestones, so it’s important that I understand how I can to continue to support and motivate them to go further.

I’ve been fortunate to have the same management team of Simon Hardy and Robert Bowyer since day one. What I really appreciate about their leadership is they’ve always made it very clear to me what I need to do to get to the next step or have greater success on my teams. Everyone has things going on outside of work, and the support they’ve both given me and my family has been amazing; I can’t speak highly enough of them for that and it’s something I’m determined to make a part of my own management style. I’ve also had invaluable mentoring sessions with our Executive Directors, Stan and Avtar, and very formative training with Jocy and her team. It is also great to be able to lean on the experience and knowledge of some excellent colleagues in the wider management team at Venn Group for advice and support.


Making a positive impact in our markets

The people we place make a big difference to how our clients operate their businesses. For example, within Estates, Facilities Management and Capital Projects, we do a lot of work in the healthcare and education sectors. Key operations up and down the country cannot happen if hospital facilities are not maintained and made safe. We are also regularly recruiting interim professionals for key public sector projects such as the redevelopment of education facilities.

I started managing the Commissioning and Operations team last year, and while we do not work on clinical roles, we’re involved with the operational management of hospitals and health services. The roles we place greatly support the ever-evolving and improving services of the NHS and private health organisations, an example being the provision of teams for the Covid vaccination hubs and our continued work on programmes for healthcare needs within different localities.

We started the HR team from scratch, and it’s become a high-performing team that we’re continuing to grow; we’re already a market leader in the healthcare sector, and there’s a lot of potential for further specialising and adding value to clients from other sectors.

I always ask for feedback from my management, consultants, clients and candidates, but the important thing is then using it to tweak my processes and my teams’ approach. We’re spending more time visiting and hosting teams from around the business to observe and share best practice, for example if one team is having success with an area of a market that others aren’t. We attend conferences and networking events to listen to industry experts; the more we know about the market, the more credibly we can take roles to the market on the client’s behalf.

Reputationally, I’d like all my teams to be considered the market leaders in their sectors, this rests on our continued exceptional quality of service. When our clients are looking to recruit, I want their first thought to be, ‘I need to give Venn Group a call.’