Gravitywell Meets: We are The Loves
In this series, Hugo chats with some of the tech world’s most exciting startups and services. Next up is Jules Love, Co-founder of We are The Loves, who bring your culture to life through compelling film, photography & design.
Jules, lovely to meet you! Why should a tech startup take notice of We are The Loves?
At We are The Loves, we know that getting the right people to join your organisation and then keeping them there, is one of the biggest challenges facing every new company. As an employer branding agency, we help companies demonstrate their culture and values and how they deliver a brilliant employee experience, and use that to help attract great candidates and inspire their existing staff. Because, ultimately, the performance of any business can only be as good as the quality of the people that work there.
Absolutely. What’s been the biggest milestone in your journey so far?
Setting up our business! After 20 years working independently as management consultants and creatives, we realised there was an opportunity to combine our skills and do these things better, and We are The Loves was born. So many companies struggle to tell their story well, and when they do they use bullet points on their website or PowerPoint slides. We know there are better ways to do these things, and we help companies do it.
Please, anything but PowerPoint! So, why do companies struggle to attract and hold onto talent?
People today have different expectations and priorities compared to even just 10 years ago. Employees today often prioritise work-life balance, flexibility, meaningful work, career development, and a positive culture over salary and benefits. And staff who don’t feel engaged and aligned with the company's purpose and values quickly become disenchanted and fail to perform at their best. So companies that are not focusing and delivering on these things are struggling to hold on to their talent. And companies that are not constantly talking about how they are delivering on these things are finding it hard to attract them in the first place.
It’s been a change for the better, without a doubt. What’s the best thing about working at We are The Loves?
Getting to combine our left brain and right brain thinking. Our superpower is being able to use creativity to solve real business problems, and that’s really intellectually stimulating while also just being great fun.
36 years later and I’m still trying to use half of my brain effectively. Right, at what stage of their journey should startup founders think about their future team?
Right from the start, really. At the beginning, startups are quite rightly very focused on improving their product or service and growing their customer base. These things can absorb nearly all of the founder’s time and energy. But from the moment you achieve product-market fit and the business begins to grow, you need to hire. And these early hires will be hugely influential to the future company, so you need to get them right. A couple of years down the line they will be seen as the ‘village elders’ and will have had an outsized role in shaping your company’s culture.
We help companies really think about what their values are and then activate them in your business, ensuring the people you bring on board are a good fit for the journey you’re on, and that once they arrive they want to stay there.
Agreed, the right fit from Day 1 is crucial. What can a company expect from your Launchpad programme?
In smaller businesses, employer branding can fall in between marketing and HR, with no one person focused on it, meaning it can fall between the cracks. So Launchpad gives you a clear place to start, and for these functions to come together. Through a series of interviews and workshops with your team, we help you understand what you want to be known for as an employer, and what you need to put in place to get that message out there — both to new recruits and your existing teams. For companies that are starting to think seriously about how to attract talent, it’s a great place to start.
Sounds awesome. So, in your opinion, what does a great workplace culture look like?
Companies can come up with all sorts of lofty statements about their values, but, ultimately, a great culture comes down to nurturing a workplace where your people treat their colleagues, customers and suppliers as they would like to be treated themselves – with enthusiasm, dignity and respect. Sometimes, in the pursuit of business goals, these things get forgotten, and that’s where a company’s culture can start to become and liability instead of an asset.
A few giant tech companies spring to mind… Now, your team has a wealth of experience across film, photography and graphic design. Do you have a favourite discipline?
My background is as a photographer first. But over time we’ve done more and more filming and telling a story through film can have a real impact and create genuine emotional engagement. I love it. Emma’s background is as a designer, so she might have other ideas!
Ha! Finally, what’s the best-kept secret in Bath?
If I told you it wouldn’t be a secret any more! 🙂 But genuinely, for me it’s the neighbourhood where I live and work – Larkhall. It’s like its own village inside Bath, with a wonderful high street of local shops and cafes, a couple of pubs, a theatre and a coworking space, and a real laid-back community feel. It's also packed with creatives. I wouldn’t live anywhere else.
A huge thank you to Jules for being interviewed.