Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
3:38 AM 8th April 2020

10 In 10: Kirsty Carter Solutionize Global

Kirsty Carter
Kirsty Carter
Kirsty Carter, Chief of Staff of Wakefield-based cloud and technology services and solutions provider Solutionize Global, is the latest regional business professional in the hot seat as The Yorkshire Times gives her just 10 minutes to answer our 10 burning questions.

What does a typical working day for you involve?
This begins with a whiteboard session with my Exec Support team to review ongoing projects and align expectations for the day. I love that any obstacles have been addressed, everyone knows their goals for the day, and we all feel like we are in it together – all by 9am.

As we are scaling quite dramatically at the moment, interviewing talent is occupying the majority of my time. I try to give every candidate the best possible experience even if they are not quite the right fit for the role because I always want them to leave thinking, ‘wow, what a fantastic business’. In a competitive marketplace, reputation is everything and you never know if their skillset might be required in future.

I also meet with the C-Suite on a daily basis to cover topics such as people and business strategy. We’re an extremely close-knit leadership team which is actually my favourite thing about working for SG. We’re so fortunate to have such a wealth of experience and knowledge amongst a small number of people and we collaborate beautifully – it’s something our CEO has got ‘just right’.

What makes your company special?
Although we are growing exponentially, we maintain the family feel. It’s difficult to believe, but everyone at SG loves coming to work. Yes, we have challenging days, but we address them with agility and work through together.

I always ask for feedback from candidates that have been through the recruitment process and many comment on how the energy is infectious and the passion we have for our jobs is both refreshing and unique.

Do you have any business rules that you swear by?
Having open and honest conversations – it sounds simple but, in practice, so many people find it difficult. In my experience, if you don’t address a problem it grows like a weed until it’s so big, it takes energy and manpower to remove.

Nearly all problems can be resolved in the early stages with an open and honest conversation – and that doesn’t just mean it should always come from the top down. I request feedback from my team on a monthly basis with a simple form covering questions such as: ‘what has it been like to work for a manager like me this month?’ And ‘what would you like me to do more, or less, of?’ The feedback is always fascinating and really strengthens my working relationship.

Do you dress up or down for work?
I always dress up – I guess I’m a little old fashioned in that way. I think it’s important when I’m greeting visitors or interviewing candidates that I mirror their dress code because you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

What piece of advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
Every job that you take, and every accomplished task, is a development opportunity. Don’t accept labels and let anyone put you ‘in a box’ and say that’s all you’ll ever be – believe in yourself, stay humble and keep reading.

What’s your favourite Yorkshire venue for an event or team away day?
I like Xscape at Castleford – Snowzone does a great tobogganing team building session, and there’s bowling, the climbing wall and plenty of restaurants. From a practice point of view too, it’s easy to find, and has a train line and ample parking.

How do you prefer to travel for business?
I consider myself really fortunate because these days I rarely have to travel for work. I’m responsible for keeping things ticking over at our offices in Wakefield, however, if I do visit our offices in Mayfair, I enjoy travelling by train – it’s so convenient as I can catch up on emails or listen to an audio book.

What’s your favourite place in Yorkshire to relax?
It’s actually my favourite place that I’ve ever been to – Sun Hill Lodges in Constable Burton. My husband and I go for a week every December with our Cockapoo, Elsie, and have an ‘early Christmas’.

The setting is stunning, and the lodges are absolute luxury. There’s nothing quite like packing up the car with all your favourite food and drink and driving up to the snow topped hills – and there’s always a Christmas Tree awaiting our arrival.

Where is your favourite place to eat in Yorkshire, and what dish do you recommend?
My husband and I love The King’s Arms on The Heath – their Sunday lunch is outstanding. And Elsie likes the leftovers.

What do you miss most about Yorkshire when you are away?
This answer is probably not very unique, but I miss how friendly everyone is. In my hometown of Pontefract, everyone smiles and says hello.