TalentRocket’s Chris Platts on Heart in Business


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What heart in business means to me and how TalentRocket helps people find roles in more heartful companies ­ by Chris Platts, Founder and CEO TalentRocket

“Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.”

I was 28 years old and in the space of 2 short years I lost both my parents. At the time I was working for a recruitment company, I’d successfully set up a London office and had hired a team of 12 people working for me. But after losing my parents, both quite suddenly, I thought about life through a different lens. I was changed forever, no longer satisfied with what I had done. It made me count the days backwards and ask myself whether this job was my true purpose, whether it was what I was meant to do?

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

I starting thinking about the impact I wanted to have in the world. In Leo Tolsoy’s book The Death of Ivan Ilych, a man who hated his job and his life turns round to his wife on his deathbed and says, “what if I got it wrong”. I was struck with fear that I was living a life that wasn’t the one I was supposed to live. Since graduating I’d been working in recruitment, and it had been the perfect fit for my mentality. I left university with a huge debt owed to my parents and was desperate to repay it as quickly as possible by getting a job that paid well and that secured my future financially. I think many graduates feel this burden.

But after they passed away I realised that life is not about getting; it’s only about giving. It’s about creating value not just capturing value. The people who attended my parents’ funerals were people who they had given their time, love, friendship and compassion to, not taken things from. I knew that working as a recruiter was limiting the impact I could have with others; I thought there must be a way I can use my skills and contribute on a wider scale. So I started TalentRocket.

“Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.”

With so much misery and indifference at work my vision is a world where everyone can find their perfect work environment. It is a deeply personal quest for me. A large part of my father’s suicide was down to him losing status after he was forced into an early retirement from his position as a company Director. We often define ourselves by what we do for a living and I had experienced the impact of unhappiness or loss at work can have the hard way.

“There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love. There’s only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.”

I knew that whatever business I set up it had to contribute to the world in a positive way, it had to have impact and I had to love it. TalentRocket lets people discover amazing places to work and receive culture updates and job alerts from the companies they love. People only look for

jobs when they’ve reached a threshold of unhappiness at work, so they tend to look for and take jobs with the mindset of “anything is better than this”. I knew that by helping people see what’s out there earlier then more of us would be able to find our perfect work environment. Because of this we took the decision to only feature companies with great cultures. People can select what types of culture they want to work in and get curated recommendations on which companies to follow. For example one of our 6 culture badges is “it’s all good” which lists social enterprises that are making a positive change in the world.

“When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out, because that’s what’s inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside.”

This is one of my favourite all time fruit related quotes! When we’re put under pressure we show our true colours. This is as true in people as it is in companies. At TalentRocket we help companies find people that fit their culture, people that are the orange juice to the company’s orange. Heartful businesses are ones who fill themselves with open and honest people that want to contribute to the company’s mission and make the world a better place.

Quotes by Wayne Dyer

With Heart,

Chris Platts