Neil Harvey interview
You’re a relatively new recruit for LV= – what made this role attractive for you?
When I started thinking about the different challenges I'd face, the idea of joining LV= became really appealing. More specifically, the challenge of recruiting from a shared brand perspective. How do I sell this complex business structure into candidates? How do I attract the right people? There was a lot to think about, for sure.
Sharing a brand is not unusual from a commercial product perspective, however when it comes to careers, how do you reflect this through the candidate journey? That is very exciting and just one of the reasons I joined LV= General Insurance. Along with the culture, of course. It's really special here and something I've never experienced before in previous roles.
Can you tell us a little bit about your career to date?
I started my recruitment journey back in 2005, working onsite for a global supplier of office products and services. It was a great experience as it enabled me to grow my resilience, and understand the difference between blue and white-collar recruitment while learning the basics.
Since then I have worked both sides of the fence – first for a specialist recruitment agency and then in-house for the UK’s leading DIY and garden centre retailer. More recently I worked for a leading provider of advice, investments and wealth management products, where I built the internal recruitment function from the ground up.
Can you describe how important the role of a resourcing team is to an ambitious business like ours?
Recruitment has changed dramatically over the years. It’s no longer just about putting a ‘bum on a seat’. In-house resourcing teams are more aligned to the overall business strategy and are considered a commercial function.
My team often hear me say ‘we are NOT an order-taking service’. We are here to add maximum value, making sure we identify the right talent for now and for the future.
One of my favourite quotes is from Sir Richard Branson: ‘Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to’. I think it sums up the importance of what we do perfectly.
What’s the most exciting thing about the future at LV=?
We’re passionate about pushing boundaries and constantly wanting to know what’s next. And our dedication and commitment haven’t gone unnoticed. We’ve been named Insurer of the Year and we’re a Which? recommended provider of home insurance. It’s a great time to be part of LV= GI.
Once the L&G acquisition is all wrapped up, LV=GI will generate around £2bn in Gross Written Premiums, with around seven million customers, making us the third-largest personal lines insurers in the UK. Combining this with our strategic partners Allianz makes it a great time to be part of the journey!
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever given or been given?
Great question. My last HR Director used the term ‘staying out of the weeds’. It basically means don't get bogged down in the little details all the time – it's a much healthier approach to focus on the bigger picture.
What career advice would you have given yourself 20 years ago?
Think big, have no fear and follow through on your decisions. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am married with two beautiful children, and I'm a massive sports fan – especially football! I also LOVE red wine (to the point that I actually brew my own).
Where’s home for you?
Andover, Hampshire. A small market town with great links into London and south coast.
Tell us something that would surprise people about you
I was named after Neil Diamond and love UFO documentaries...
What do you enjoy doing outside work?
Sounds corny, but I love spending time with my family. The saying I have used for years is ‘like your job but love your family’, generally meaning make sure you get your work-life balance right.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Caffeine followed by my children screaming ‘Daddy’.
Which four people would you invite to a dinner party?
Stephen Hawking, David Beckham, Prince Harry, Walt Disney.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
Rome. An amazing place and it's where I proposed.