Life at handl Group – what’s it really like being part of our team?

Life at handl Group – what’s it really like being part of our team?

Published 24.06.24


Starting a new job is pretty stressful. In fact, it’s been ranked as one of the 10 most stressful life events, along with losing a family member or friend, divorcing, or buying a house.

And things can get a little more stressful when you don’t know what to expect. For most businesses, things seem fairly clear. You’re working at a bank, you deal with money. You work in a hospital, you deal with patients.

But what if you work for a buy and hold investor focused on supporting companies in the health and social care, legal and insurance sectors? What does the day-to-day look like?

It’s a question everyone here’s faced at some point, and one that anyone considering joining handl Group will ponder. So we’ve gone and asked for expert insights from members of the team to explain just what life is like here at handl.

We’ll hand over to Emily, Pete and Krishna, three people from different parts of the group, with different experiences.

Pre-joining nerves – what do people worry about before joining the group?

Nothing makes us all more nervous than meeting new people. Especially when those people happen to be in very senior roles. How you’ll be managed is a key consideration, especially if – like Senior Executive Assistant Emily Brown – you’re going to be working closely with decision makers.

My biggest worry was the management style. I’ve worked places with a micromanagement culture, and nothing will limit your ability to flourish and show off your skills. I think no matter the role, the company’s culture is more important than your job title or even your pay.”

Now imagine how that stress increases if you’ve not moved to handl after applying for a job. We acquire companies, and for people like IPRS Group’s Krishna Naidu, that can be a worrying experience.

I had a young family, I was trying to progress my career, and all the words going through my mind that were synonymous with buyouts were euphemisms for massive change. Restructuring, integration, rebranding. Did that all mean we’d be another opportunity swept up by a larger group? I’d seen it happen at other companies – a short honeymoon followed by a quick reality check. But then maybe handl would be different. Would leaders ride in on unicorns to transform our business for the better, support our vision and ensure we’d remain employed?” 

It doesn’t matter what stage of your career you’re at – those jitters never go away. Just ask Mind Right’s Clinical Services Director Pete Clark.

I’d heard of handl Group and I’d worked at one of the handl brands’ competitors for a decade, so my biggest fear was moving from an established business to a start-up. It wasn’t a worry about handl, as much as a worry about the potential failure any new start up is exposed to. I needed to know this opportunity would be supported.”

Will my bosses give me room to succeed? Will my job be safe after an acquisition? And will I be able to act on my ideas for growth?

All three of these worries might sound familiar. But it’s fine. All of these questions were quickly answered, and in reassuring ways.

Overcoming worries – how life starts at handl Group

Family. Job security. New management. Of the three worries outlined above, Krishna’s seem the most stressful. But fortunately, they were addressed very quickly.

As soon as the sale had gone through, our handl Group CEO made a presentation. Things weren’t going to change. We’d be supported and backed, but we’d be allowed to make decisions based on our expertise. Soon after, I got to work closely with group CCO Chris Chatterton. I can’t tell you the difference it made to have a senior executive that you could call or email instead of some faceless investor in the shadows. I almost found myself thinking, ‘surely this couldn’t be true?’”

That sounds good, but IPRS is one of handl Group’s biggest acquisitions to date. Would a start-up get the same hands on treatment? Did Pete have a similar experience?

My worries about launching Mind Right were overcome by conversations. I must’ve had ten or more conversations with Chris Chatterton about how we’d get things off the ground, who else we’d work with. He made it clear that the whole group was behind us.

And then meetings followed with Graham (Pulford, CEO), Ian (Robins, CFO) and Dan Franklin (CSO). Straight away I felt there was real support all the way. By the time I was actually offered the chance to launch, it was a foregone conclusion. There was no way I could say no!

But what about coming into the group itself, rather than one of the brands? Emily might’ve discovered that while handl’s directors are great to the businesses they buy and back, they’re workplace tyrants. Of course, she found the opposite to be true.

I work for the board of directors here, and they encourage me to be myself and make my own decisions. There’s no micromanagement and a lot of trust. And that’s been true from every one of the directors since the moment I walked in the door.

Any surprises in store?

Hopefully the experiences of Pete, Krishna and Emily will have reassured any worries you have about working with handl Group. But that doesn’t mean there won’t still be things that you weren’t expecting. We asked all three what the biggest surprise was about working with handl Group:

For Pete, the group’s structure came as a surprise.

The group’s structure is so accessible. The board is supportive of my team, and everyone is approachable. It’s easy to help each other, and to challenge people in the right way when it’s needed.” 

Emily found herself pleasantly surprised by the communication.

There are over 20 subsidiaries within the group and yet it’s still so easy to get an answer from any senior managers. There’s no jumping through hoops. It’s all quick, smooth and productive.”

And Krishna was taken aback by the amount of support on offer.

What’s the best part of life at handl Group?

By now, you’ve hopefully built up a picture of what life is like here at handl, whether you’re joining our team like Emily, work for a company we’re investing in like Krishna, or have an idea to launch something new like Pete. 

But no matter what role you fill, or which of our brands you work for, you’ll find something’s true for everyone here.

What’s the best thing about working with handl?

The people who work for handl. 

Emily: “Being seen as a person. Everyone here is so approachable. Nobody’s a number. We’re all people who are comfortable in this workplace.”

Krishna: “The people here are the sounding board that I’ve always wanted. Everything makes you feel like part of a larger team. It’s created a real sense of security and belonging.”

Pete: “The people. Everyone here wants to see the group succeed.”

That’s life at handl Group. When we say your growth is our goal, we don’t just mean the growth of your business. We mean your growth as a professional. As part of our team.

Now that doesn’t sound stressful at all!

We add all of our latest vacancies to our careers page. Make sure you check back if you’d like to be part of our team.

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