Strange goings on around lunchtime at the Blayze Group office at St. James' Park on Thursday… What sounded like "Hit!", "Hit!", "Hit!" emanating from consultant after consultant initially left me confused.
"KPIs" explained Harvey Gretton - MD of Blayze Group. "We are always keen to be involved in sporting and social events and when the two combine in support of our industry's favourite charity - LandAid - we are first in the queue. But of course, the work comes first - you don't get to a market leading position in property and construction recruitment without putting in the hard yards."
So that explained it… consultants were hitting their KPIs before heading off to represent Blayze Group at what has become one of the summer highlights in the Property industry calendar - the LandAid 10K Challenge!
Having done our bit for the global economy, there was just time for a quick team photo before the Blayze Group team headed off to join hundreds of other property industry professionals at Clapham Common for the LandAid 10K Challenge 2016.
Now in its 20th year, the LandAid 10K Challenge is a fixture in the calendar of many of the leading companies in the sector. Savills, Land Securities, Gerald Eve, Cushman and Wakefield, Knight Frank and more were well represented. It was great to meet up with clients old and new in an informal setting on what turned out to be a glorious June day. Lucky for the spectators, but perhaps a little too warm for some of the competitors!
After registration, there was just time for a quick warm up and some last minute tactical discussions (What's the quickest way to the beer tent? Do you have to hand your timing chip back before you get your free beer?) before it was time to gather at the start and test our mettle against the property industry's finest.
Blayze Group's star runner was Linus Hornsey-Pennell - mild-mannered recruitment consultant on the Architecture Desk by day, but fleet-footed athlete by night (it is normally dark by the time we let him leave the office!). After Linus' podium finish on the stair climb at the LandAid TowerAthlon Challenge last year, we had high hopes for him at the LandAid 10K 2016.
It seems Linus rather fancied his chances as well, going so far as to rehearse his sprint finish down the home straight and victorious crossing of the finish line at the end of the first of the two circuits of the course! (An additional donation to LandAid will be forthcoming if anyone can provide footage to corroborate).
Harvey Gretton - Blayze Group MD - is always a willing participant in this kind of sporting challenge and is a keen supporter of LandAid events. We've not had a chance for a full debrief yet, but not being able to break the hour barrier (or pass your EA) does suggest rather more time spent in the boardroom than on the treadmill over the last few months!
To be honest, training for this year's event hasn't gone as well as it might have. There did seem to be a lot of 'urgent' client and candidate calls that 'had to be taken' as the planned training sessions loomed. There was more than one occasion when training session drop-outs at Blayze Group were more common than Premier League footballers' injuries the week before international friendly fixtures.
Events like the LandAid 10K challenge are great fun and help with a great cause - but recruitment consultants are a competitive breed and it's nice to take some silverware. As largely deskbound knowledge workers, we know our limitations on the sporting front, but we do like to stand out in our specialist sector - Property and Construction Recruitment.
We were hoping for "fastest team from a recruitment consultancy", but we didn't quite make it (grudging congratulations to Solution Recruitment). Although we did work out that if we had had our four fastest finishers in the same team we could have taken the title!
Inspired by this, we worked out some other titles that Blayze Group can lay claim to (subject to ratification):
Linus Hornsey-Pennell - Fastest Property Recruitment Consultant (with Architecture degree and double-barrelled name)
Tracy Comerford - Fastest Property Recruiting Company Finance Manager (Overseas Female)
Harvey Gretton - Fastest Property Recruiting Company MD (please check)
Claire Jared - Fastest Property Recruiting Company Executive Assistant (with Equity Card)
Leo Gee - Fastest Property Recruiting Company Associate Director (Consultancy Desk, Bearded)
And these are just the highlights… as it turned out, everyone was a winner - even if some of the titles are a little hazy in the aftermath of the celebrations!
There were some great performances on the day - in particular Michael Wright from Watts Group (with a time that many would be pleased with for 5K), the winning Bilfinger GVA team and a special mention for Emma Huepfl of Laxfield Capital with the performance of the day - not just quickest in the Female over 45 category, but the first woman home in a time of 43:05. Many congratulations to all the individual and team category winners.
As we always say (when we come away empty-handed) it’s the taking part that counts! The LandAid 10K 2016 was a great day out, a good challenge that everyone seemed to enjoy (up to a point - around 5K for most!) and most importantly, a great way for the property industry to help LandAid's mission to end youth homelessness.
Remember - it's not too late to donate to Blayze Group through our individual Just Giving pages or the company mydonate page.
Or you can donate directly to the LandAid 10K Challenge 2016 donations page.
Thanks are due to all the LandAid staff and volunteers who helped to organise the LandAid 10K Challenge and of course the sponsors Bilfinger GVA and all the great property people who gave up their time for the cause.
At Blayze Group we are already looking forward to next year - with perhaps a little more training, a slightly faster MD and some clearer instructions for Linus!
LandAid brings the property industry together to support charities delivering life-changing services for young people who are or have been homeless, or who are at risk of homelessness in the future. LandAid's goal is to end youth homelessness by 2026.
You can see more details of some of the great projects LandAid are funding here.
About Blayze Group
When not running, cycling, playing football or abseiling down towers to help the Property industry's favourite charity, Blayze Group consultants provide a range of award-winning recruiting and talent management services to the Property and Construction sector. Find out more on the Blayze Group website.