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Emergent Group leans into the future

As the world shifts around you, there are several paths you could choose. You could go with the flow, following whatever trends pop up or you might decide to stand resolute to do what you’ve always done. Alternatively, you could back your own experience, determine where you can make a real difference, and then make your move.

The directors of Emergent Group realised that the business landscape and employment market had both shifted post-COVID. They decided to tackle these business challenges on several levels.

Firstly, the business is only as good as its people, so they set as the Group’s highest priority to attract and retain the best talent. Secondly, they examined what makes them attractive to current and prospective employees and how this could be enhanced. In addition to this, they assessed whether the current suite of services they offered was meeting the changing needs of industry and society.

Managing Director of Emergent Group and its flagship consultant company Advitech, Steven Smith, believes to stay relevant and competitive in a changing environment, a company must evolve accordingly.

“It’s been a very challenging couple of years for individuals and for businesses and there’s been something of a mass reassessment of what’s important to people,” said Steven.

“We had to pay attention to what job seekers were looking for in an employer and examine our own practices to see how we measured up,” he said.

Emergent Group has just concluded a three-month recruitment campaign they called ‘The Network Effect’. The campaign was based on network theory, which is all about how inter-connections between entities, in this case people, multiply and amplify the outcome possibilities.

Through social media and other publicity, members of the public were invited to recommend someone for a job with an Emergent Group company. Significant financial rewards were offered to the recommender if their nominee was employed or even made it to interview.

As a result of the Network Effect several people were appointed to vacant and newly created positions.

“This campaign, which seemed a little crazy to me at first, has really paid off for us.

“We’ve appointed highly talented people to our offices in Newcastle and Mackay, Queensland,” said Steven Smith.

Emergent Group has just been through the process of exploring the factors that make their companies attractive places to work. Following consultation with their employees, they have now defined their Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

The new EVP has a particular focus on supporting employees to achieve a satisfactory balance between work and home life. As such, Emergent Group companies offer employees access to a range of financial and non-financial rewards and benefits in addition to statutory working conditions.

The EVP outlines a range of non-financial benefits such as career development opportunities, flexible working conditions, access to modern technology, positive work culture and wellbeing support. Responding to employee feedback and external research by recruitment companies and others, the newly defined benefits include flexible hours and schedules, wellness activities, loyalty leave and healthy lifestyle vouchers.

Emergent Group now offers additional leave days to permanent employees with three or more years of continuous service as a reward for loyalty to the company. The loyalty leave offering is 5 days of leave per year, pro rata for part time employees.

Wishing to support its employees to maintain their health and wellbeing through an active lifestyle, and recognising that everyone’s preferences are different, the company offers employees ‘vouchers’ in the form of rebates for health and wellbeing activities.

Through the Network Effect and more traditional means of recruitment, Emergent Group companies have employed some very experienced people who are taking the Group into a broad range of new areas of activity. With a new leader of structural and civil engineering and a specialist in sustainability among other new recruits, Emergent Group is solving the problems of a whole range of new clients in the defence, agriculture and sustainability sectors, together with our traditional business.

The new skills brought into the Group have allowed its engineering and environmental consulting company Advitech to strengthen its offerings in the clean energy sector, including work on battery energy storage systems and carbon capture.

“We’re really proud to have served the Hunter region for over 30 years, and now with our renewed work practices and great new talent, we’re set to lead engineering, science and technical consulting into the future,” said Steven Smith.

This article is adapted from the original published in The Hunter Business Review, September 2022, p.20

Emergent Group flagship company Advitech has expanded its service offering and has produced an animated promotion video