Project Good Boss

Nikki Beaumont on People-First Purpose

September 17, 2020 Bambuddha Group Season 1 Episode 3
Project Good Boss
Nikki Beaumont on People-First Purpose
Chapters
Project Good Boss
Nikki Beaumont on People-First Purpose
Sep 17, 2020 Season 1 Episode 3
Bambuddha Group

An unwavering people first philosophy, where people are nurtured and motivated to achieve their personal best for the business and more importantly, for themselves. That's what Nikki Beaumont brings to the table. She is passion personified, so listen to learn more about this standout industry leader, her accolades, her current projects and her enormous love for and dedication to the impact sector. 

Show Notes Transcript

An unwavering people first philosophy, where people are nurtured and motivated to achieve their personal best for the business and more importantly, for themselves. That's what Nikki Beaumont brings to the table. She is passion personified, so listen to learn more about this standout industry leader, her accolades, her current projects and her enormous love for and dedication to the impact sector. 

Intro :

You're listening to Project Good Boss, the podcast, with your host Anna Sheppard.

Anna Sheppard :

Project Good Boss is a podcast dedicated to understanding the business benefits of kindness in leadership. We cover topics including and not limited to: leadership, equality, psychology, social impact, decent work and economic growth, all delivered with a little splash of good vibes. On this episode of Project Good Boss, I will be spending some time with Nikki Beaumont, who is the founder and CEO of Beaumont People. Possessing over 30 years recruitment industry experience, Nikki founded Beaumont in 2001, and from the very first day of operating Nikki's success has been down to the investments she makes in her people. A people first philosophy where people are nurtured and motivated to achieve their personal best, not only for the business, but most importantly for themselves. And in 2019 Beaumont people were also recognised as one of the best places to work in Australia. Early this year, 2020, they actually came number four for Best Places to Work for companies with under 100 employees. This validates even further Nicky's unwavering dedication and belief in placing people first. She's so passionate about the nonprofit sector and in the peak of the global crisis, in 2019, Nikki actually founded a non for profit division in order to both amplify her contributions to the sector, way beyond just corporate donations and volunteering efforts. And in 2019 Beaumont was celebrated for having saved 320 charities, more than 20 million in recruitment fees through this model alone. Nikki has been recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the RCSA and was ranked as one of the top 10 entrepreneurs in 2018. But above all, Nikki is recognised as a standout industry leader with a very, very big heart. Nikki's also on our advisory council, and has been a massive support and contributed to Bambuddha along the way. So we're super proud to have you on the show today. Hello, and welcome to Project Good Boss. I'm so excited today to be here with Nikki Beaumont, who, I don't know if you have heard of Nikki, is quite an inspirational leader here in in Sydney. Hello Nikki. Welcome to Project Good Boss.

Nikki Beaumont :

Thank you very much, Anna, delighted to be here.

Anna Sheppard :

So we're going to give you a few questions today because the word on the street is you've been doing some awesome stuff. Not just for your people, because we know that you put People First, but also the community and your whole business model's based around making the world just that little bit of a better place. So I'm going to ask you a few questions today just to dig a little bit deeper on who is Nikki. Because we've seen the Nikki of Beaumont People. And I've personally learned a lot more about you the past couple of years and, you know, seen your life up in Byron, and your, your city girl with a big heart that's also really into the great outdoors. So I just want to open with a little question maybe to understand you a little bit more, about where you actually from? Where are you from? And actually, what's your go to order at your favourite hometown restaurant? Just to get the ball rolling.

Nikki Beaumont :

Where am I from? Well, I'm currently from New River, which is in northern New South Wales in the Byron hinterland. And we've lived here for four years. Previous to that, 16 years in Sydney, but previous to that, North of England. Just like yourself, Anna.

Anna Sheppard :

Oh yeah!

Nikki Beaumont :

I'm a Yorkshire lass/ Lincolnshire lass - sort of lived on the Yorkshire/ Lincolnshire border. And avourite restaurant? I thought about this I don't have a one favourite local restaurant. I've got lots of favourite restaurants. But anything tapas always appeals to me. And I think my most frequently visited restaurant would be either Lex Thai at Lennox head, which is my daughter's favourite, or the Bangalow pub. I just love the Bangalow pub and my local pub because it's a good Aussie local pub and you'll always meet a local in there and it's just a fabulous place to go and hang out for a little while. I'm missing those, I have to be honest at this time. But we don't have the restaurants and bars to go to. I'm really missing just a wander down on a Friday night to our local pub.

Unknown Speaker :

And that's a very North British British thing isn't it. Just popped into the pub on a Friday night for a bit grub and a nice cheeky beverage. So yeah, well welcome and I am very glad we bumped into each here in Australia. A lot of the Northerners would say we're incredibly passionate about being from the North of England, although we all seem to leave and move to the other side of the world, which is quite interesting. But you've done some amazing stuff over the past couple of years, Nicky. And regarding business, what actually drives and motivates you to run a business as consciously as you do. And when we're talking about consciousness, we're talking about, you know, being a leader that's really aware of the impact that you can have. So tell me the story about how you decided to create your business.

Nikki Beaumont :

Hmm, okay. So, I have a recruitment business and I've been in recruitment now actually 32 years all up. Which just sounds like an awfully long time, isn't it? And I used to work for some of the big recruitment names in the UK many years ago. And before I came to Australia, back in the 90s. And, you know, one of the things that I realised very early on as a leader was that my success as a leader, my success in business, my success in the role that I was in at the time, was, my people that were at the frontline, you know, the people at the coalface, the people actually doing the work, were by far the most important thing to me. And, you know, my job I learned as a leader was to look after them. You know, my job was to, you know, support them, help them out, you know, make sure that they had all the tools that they need to be successful. And I learned that is it as a as a relatively young leader and working for the big corporates as I was at the time, what I found, unfortunately, was that decisions are often made at a higher level that impacted the people in a negative way. You know, and I don't think that was their intention, their intention was to make decisions that were making the business more profitable. But it was often at the cost of the people, you know, whether it be capping commissions for people as some new measure that was coming in, despite how successful people were being or what salary they were on, or whatever. So I became actually very passionate about looking after my people more and more as decisions were made that weren't putting people first. You know, noone wants to be a little bit awkward. I was the one who was like, you know, this is right, you're gotta look after the people and those decisions are all about making profit and you know, it'll turn out you know, on its head for you, if you don't consider the people that are out here in the branches where came away. So I always vowed that when I opened my business, it would be based around placing people first that I would do the right things, that I wouldn't change things for the benefit of the profitability of the business, and at the detriment of the people. So that's kind of where my inspiration came from. I was always going to open up my own business. I mean, I was I started my first business when I was about 16 years of age. Probably younger than that, actually. So having my own business was naturally always going to be there. My parents both had their own businesses. I was always an entrepreneur from being a child. And I always you know, I'm a bit I like to do things my own way you know, I don't I'm not very good at a corporate handcuff. You know, I'm a bit bit left of centre like to do things a bit differently, you know, like to try something new. I'm not very risk averse at all. I quite like risk you know. So they were all natural things within me. But it's always been centred around, doing the right things by your people and caring very much by your people, has been for me the most important elements.

Anna Sheppard :

Yeah, and you can really see that within everything that you do. And it's definitely something I've noticed over the past couple of years, having worked as a partner with Beaumont is just how absolutely dedicated you are to the detail of looking after the people that come into contact with you, not just your own staff. But also coming on to what you do that makes the world a better place. Can you tell me how much money you've managed to save charities and non for profit since you opened Beaumont People, because this absolutely blew my mind when I saw this figure.

Nikki Beaumont :

Yes. So it will probably be that $21 million now actually, which is quite a bit bigger, isn't it? Yeah, we celebrated in September last year reaching the $20 million milestone. And look, I mean, the simple way that we do this is that we set the charity division up 10 years ago through the GFC, actually 11 years ago now. So during a really difficult time then 10 years ago, we set out to support charities with recruiting for the minimum absolutely base cost of operating. So we charge them just enough to cover our cost. And we don't aim to make money out of charities whatsoever. It's the idea is give them a recruitment service at no cost, keep their fabulous money in their charity pockets doing the right things that they do. So the inspiration came because I was always doing various fundraising for this and fundraising for that, and I was always, I don't know, disappointed with the amount that I could fundraise. I can work really hard on trying to get a trivia night up and running and all we would raise would be $15,000. You know, and it just seemed to me that it was never enough. So I always wanted to support charities in a bigger and better way. I didn't necessarily think I'd get to the $20 million mark. And look, there's plenty more, plenty more to come in the future. But that's how we do it. So we provide them with a recruitment service that cost, and the 20 million is the difference between what we charge them and what we would charge them or what our normal commercial fees. So it's the savings that we make.

Anna Sheppard :

And that's a really good example. Because, you know, what we're trying to do throughout these interviews to all these leaders is look at what is the correlation between successful business and leaders that are, you know, unapologetically leading the way through different business models strategy through doing things slightly differently. And while giving to charities are brilliant concepts and, you know, makes the world a better place, the sustainability and the longevity of impact, is something that you find quite interesting with you, Nikki. Your very business models been based around that change and does manage to save such a massive amount of money as a result of that. Do you think there's business benefits to having a purpose led brand and a purpose, you know, for purpose business?

Nikki Beaumont :

Oh, absolutely. There is, you know, and when I set this up 10 years ago, so I didn't even think of it as a purpose, you know, without the words that we use, it's only more recently that I've realised, actually, that's what I've been doing for all these years. But I mean, the benefits that I've enjoyed over the years, you know, for one, besides that, it's actually been really beautiful to be able to make such an impact across so many, so many different charities. The team that work within the charity sector absolutely love what they do and they love the impact that they can make and learning about different charities and you know, all that goes on out there is, is really quite incredible. So it's really beautiful for the team that work on it. It's something different that we do, as far as I'm aware there is nobody still in Australia that has copied our model and does what we do. Well, why would they? You know, we don't make any money out of it. You know, why would they? So it's quite nice to be unique. And then on the commercial side of my business, you know, the, the team on the commercial side, they get to work with the charities by showing candidates, they get to share the story. So everybody feels the impact of it. And, you know, companies choose to work with us over and above working for other with other recruitment businesses, not just because we provide a really great service, which we do, but because of the story around the impact that we we make and the stuff that we do for charities and saving money is only a part of what we do. We do so much more so much other value added stuff, what our mentoring programmes that we've done over the years and we share our office space with a number of charities who come in and use our boardroom. And we provide lots and lots of free training and value added events so that the list goes on and has continued to go on. You know, as we've got a closer relationship with charities, we found lots of other needs. And so we found lots of other ways that we can help and we can partner with charities to help make a difference in things like letting them use our boardroom for a day to run their training or to have board meetings. You know, that saves them a couple of thousand dollars, hiring some space elsewhere to do it. So you know, all those little things, they all add up and they all make a difference. And they all give us the chance to really partner and you know, offer our support, which we love. You know, we love doing that it makes us feel good.

Anna Sheppard :

And there's a correlation isn't there between, you know, leadership that that do good for the world and that correlation between well being and feeling good. And that kind of takes me on. When I first met Nikki I was like, "Oh, this is a you know, corporate high flyer and she's, she's really got it together and she's this awesome leader and so inspirational." And actually until I visited you in your home turf, I had no idea how much of an outside, countryside kind of girl you were and and how important that was to you. So, would you like to share with me your relationship with nature? I know that's quite specific. How does nature help you be good balanced and support your leadership style in anyway?

Nikki Beaumont :

Yeah, no, I am absolutely an outdoors girl. And always have been. I was brought up in the countryside in northern England as you know. So I've always been an outdoors girl. The first time I ever lived in the city was when I moved to Sydney, you know, I'd never really seen high rises before. I lived on a farm in England before I came to Australia and then lived in an apartment in Sydney. And four years ago when we moved up here to New River to finally you know, move out of the city and live in the country. So we have 100 acres, we have cattle, we've got donkeys, we've got horses, we've got alpacas, chickens. And so I spend my time outdoors, you know, with with the animals, obviously, we've got plenty of firsts to look after. But just, you know, helping on the farm. Whether it be digging in the garden waiting, you know, growing our own vegetables. It is important to us to be outside, to be outdoors and to bring our daughter up, who's 12, very much in an outdoor environment. So she spends her time outside with the chickens, climbing trees, swinging on a rope over over a creek and camping as we did last weekend or the weekend before even though we're in isolation. So we were out there camping, building a fire. And you know what, it's a really nice balance. For me, to be outdoors in nature, in the fresh air to sitting here in front of a computer on a Zoom meeting. And so for me, it's, it's, it's about balance, and for me, both of them give me joy in different ways. But I do need a bit of both. I do need to be outdoors and I will take every opportunity to be outdoors so you'll never see me sitting on the couch, watching Netflix that's not not in my makeup at all. If I can be outside, I'm outside.

Anna Sheppard :

Lovely. And I mean your daughter, I met your daughter and she's she's turning into a sustainability warrior and a young entrepreneur herself, isn't she?

Nikki Beaumont :

Oh, yes, she is. Yes, she's

Anna Sheppard :

Not fallen far from the tree, as they say in Yorkshire?

Nikki Beaumont :

Yeah, that's true. That's true. She is. So she's an absolute outdoor lover, but she's very passionate about animals and about the climate. So, yeah, I tell you, I mean, you've seen the good side of it. But you know, she, she's forever giving me a hard time if I forget to turn the light off or don't recycle something that should be recycled. So she keeps us all in check. And in terms of the right things that we should be doing, you know, her generation is, luckily much wiser than my generation was. So yes, I'm learning from my daughter all the time.

Anna Sheppard :

And a great example of the next generation and the expectations the next generation are going to bring to the workplace as well. Which we're going to cover in a whole other topic in a whole other podcast. But I just want to talk you before we go. I'm going to do a quick fire round with you in a minute and get and get under the lid with Nikki. But how do you deal with pressure and challenges? You know, to keep being a conscious leader in business? Tell me tell me an example of that. Like, you know, business is such a stressful place and look at the current situation now with COVID. You know, you're constantly under pressure. How do you maintain that level of kindness and leadership? How do you keep yourself composed? How do you keep striving forward? When you are under significant pressure and you are dealing with a massive amount of challenges?

Nikki Beaumont :

Yeah, look, I definitely naturally go to the - I'm a positive person. I do have a very positive mindset. So you know, I always look for the positives in any situation. I think I'm one of these people that could be quite annoying, you know, someone's talking about a problem, I'm looking for the positives and I'm pointing out the positives. And they just weren't really want to get out the fact that there's lots of negative stuff. But I do tend to be always looking for the positives in any situation anyway. You know, and even now, in COVID, you know, the positives are that, the new world of work could be a whole lot better for a whole lot of people. Let's just take that simple list of needing more flexibility to work from home that people have not had before. Well, guess what, I think there's gonna be a lot more of that available moving forward. So, you know, looking for the positives for me, it does come naturally. And I do have a good cracking northern sense of humour, which helps. So a couple of weeks ago, I I decided it would be really funny to jump into our company-wide meeting when everybody's always, you know, still worried about what's going to happen. Our job flow is, you know, 10% of what it was a matter of months ago. I thought it'd be really funny if I found a wig, a fancy dress, dressing up, wig put it on my head and came into the meeting incognito. What I did wrong though was I actually jumped into somebodies interview instead of jumping into a company meeting.

Anna Sheppard :

Like, really badly done Undercover Boss. Undercover Project Good Boss. But you just ruin somebody's interview. It's like, well, this is the leader of this organisation. Brilliant.

Nikki Beaumont :

Oh the screen! So the consultant was like, hang on, is that Nikki? But it, oh, and she realised what was going on and was like, "What is she doing with that wig on and those sunglasses, coming into my interview. But quickly kicked me out of the interview and then just managed to compose herself. But I think she spent the next three days laughing. That's my example of a sense of humour, positive mindset. And you know, first first and foremost, it's got to be placing people first. If you think about the people, you know, think about the people in your organisation or outside of your organisation, the clients, candidates. I was just saying earlier that, you know, where we're picking up the phone and speaking to our clients and our candidates and saying how can we help? We realise you might not be recruiting, we might not have jobs to help you with at the moment. But we're interviewing candidates and we're asking how we can help them by giving people advice, etc. And we're looking for the positives through this time, so, yeah, yeah, that's some of my tips.

Anna Sheppard :

And I want to I want to just cover a few of your achievements before we hotseat you. You've supported 320 charities, 21 million in recruitment fees for them alone. You funded in full, a non for profit leadership mentor in programming. you've provided hundreds of complimentary TND events with industry leading speakers for charity professionals, but you've also been given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the RCSA. And if that's not enough, one of the Top 10 women entrepreneurs in 2018. Like, in all honesty, I think all of that's pretty well deserved. And I'm not just saying that because you're one of our advisory board members, you are really genuinely a good boss and a leader and an inspiration for others to really follow suit. Because you do business well, you look after yourself well and you look after your people and that's what's really proven successful. Now I'm going to hotseat. You now? Are you ready? As a leader, what is the one thing you could change in the world if you could?

Nikki Beaumont :

It would have to be our impact on the environment. I mean, I know across the world, but incredible impact that we are having and we have had the environment. So more or less positive about COVID, that that's happening already out there. So there's one positive.

Anna Sheppard :

What do you wish you had known when you started out?

Nikki Beaumont :

That's an endless list because I made I've made all the mistakes that there are every single one of them. But I think one of the Big learnings for me, looking back is, focus on what's critical what needs to be done and don't get tied up with all the other fun stuff. You know, designing this and getting that set up, just focus on what's actually going to bring in business. Focus on what's going to result in sales. That's what you need to get your business up and running. And I wasn't very good at doing that at the very beginning. I was busy designing brochures and all sorts of lovely things.

Anna Sheppard :

What has been your proudest moment as a business owner, Nikki?

Nikki Beaumont :

There's two. The $20 million to charity so far, or 21 million. The other one is last year, we were voted ninth best place to work in Australia, which was amazing, very exciting.

Anna Sheppard :

Applause. What's your biggest failure, Nikki.

Nikki Beaumont :

I've had lots and lots and lots of lots and lots of little failures. Like, I mean, I've made them all, you know, there's no doubt that I've made them all. But I don't tend to think of them as failures. I think tend to think of them as learning opportunities probably so maybe that's why I couldn't think of one. I've done loads I mean I've done them all, I really have.

Unknown Speaker :

That was a very good recruitment answer well done, Nikki. What should we expect to see in the future from you?

Nikki Beaumont :

Just a new world of work, I'm excited to see how that changes. I'm excited to see how we all embrace technology differently, more flexibility in the workplace, more opportunity to employ people from different places you know, what's to stop me. We're working perfectly well from home at the moment got you know, 38/40 people all working from home and it seems to be working pretty well. We're all communicating etc. So I think, you know, I can employ somebody from Broken Hill now and they can add to the team and Perth without necessarily worrying about it. So maybe the Melbourne we'll finally really get a focus on Melbourne. But a new world of work I'm really very excited about with more opportunities for everybody.

Anna Sheppard :

Well if you heard that loud and clear everyone Beaumont People is going to be expanding into all sorts of nooks and crannies across Australia as a result of the current crisis in hands. They're friendly. They're beautiful human beings. And they absolutely place people first. Thank you for your time today, Nikki, thank you for your ongoing support for Bambuddha, and we'd love to check back in with you later down the line just to see how you going. Thanks again and take care.

Nikki Beaumont :

Thanks very much, Anna. It's my pleasure. Big Love to you too. You do a great job. Thank you so much.

Anna Sheppard :

Thank you for listening to this episode of Project Good Boss. Bambuddha Group is a social enterprise, providing leadership coaching for corporate leaders, business owners and operators. We believe in a future where every leader is committed to creating a sustainable world of equality and opportunity for everyone. If you are a game changing leader, and you have an amazing story of how your business is making the world a kinder and a better place, we would love to hear from you. Visit bambuddhagroup.com or slide into our DM's. And finally, you should know, for every paid member we have in our network, we provide scholarships to reduce inequalities in leadership and business. Thank you to Sonic Union for editing this episode, Lo Roberts for writing and performing Project Good Boss and design by Flare Creative. Thank you for being kind today. Thank you for tuning in. And we'll see you again next time.