HR & Management

Running a transatlantic business is no easy task

6 min read

02 November 2016

From video job interviews to ceding responsibility, building a transatlantic business has not been without its difficulties for Lee Biggins.

So, after an absolute whirlwind of a month, I’m finally back home in Fleet. In all honesty, I feel like my feet have barely touched the ground over the last few weeks, and there are a lot of developments to catch up with – all part of leading a transatlantic business.

CV-Library is the dream come true, and it’s all the more exciting now that Resume-Library is really taking off across the pond. But, as with all things new and exciting, it hasn’t been without its challenges. It’s certainly been an interesting few months, and it’s made me reassess the situation and run things in a way that’s still relatively new to me.

I suppose the main difficulty has been running two companies on two different continents – a transatlantic business. As someone who likes to have a hold on to things and be involved in the day-to-day activity, it’s been a challenge to spend so much time away from the UK offices, and to put even more focus on the brand internationally.

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We’re still in a phase of transition at the moment, and it’s been a real eye opener – running a Resume-Library team based out of our UK office and a team out of our US office, dealing with the time difference, encouraging teams to work together despite the fact that they’ve never met…the list goes on.

I also think that for me, personally, the last month or so has forced me to become more trusting and happier to delegate to my senior team. As much as I might want to, I just can’t do everything. We always knew that opening up an office and continuing our recruitment for the Resume-Library team would bring new considerations and a new way of working, especially as we’re sourcing and interviewing from the UK, but I genuinely believe that the business as a whole has done a great job of stepping up to the challenge.

On a side note, with a transatlantic business it’s hard to avoid the increasing popularity of distance interviews, whether they’re through FaceTime, Skype or another carrier. While I have to admit that I do prefer a face-to-face meeting, particularly if it’s the first time that I’m speaking to someone, I also know that we’d be lost without the option for video interviews.

I’ve always thought of myself as a good judge of character, and I can generally suss out a person within the first few minutes of meeting them – this has always made it easy to know whether or not they’ll work well within, and be a good fit for, the business. But when it comes to interviewing for the Boston-based Resume-Library team, it’s been much harder to rely on these instincts, as meeting someone through Skype and building up that relationship is much more difficult.

Having said that, now that I’ve spent some solid time over there and really got to know the team, it’s just confirmed to me that face to face interviews aren’t always necessary, and that it is possible to build up a reliable, trustworthy team from afar (3,269 miles to be precise!). It was great meeting the new members of the business for the first time, and catching up on the last couple of months with the guys who’ve been there since May. There are definitely exciting times ahead for us in Boston, and I have no doubts that I’ll be back over there before I know it, no doubt meeting even more new members of the team as we continue to run a transatlantic business.

Now that I’m back in the UK, I’m looking forward to catching up with the CV-Library team, and making sure that we work hard to keep pushing the brand, and coming up with new products and ideas. So far 2016 has been an incredible year for us so far, and every day I’m proud of how far we’ve come.

I’m determined to take the business global, and I know that the next few months and even years will push us to the limit, but I’m excited to see what more lies ahead for both CV-Library and Resume-Library. There’s plenty in the pipeline, and I look forward to sharing more with you next month.

This article is part of a wider campaign called Founders Diaries, a section of Real Business that brings together 20 inspiring business builders to share their stories. Bringing together companies from a wide variety of sectors and geographies, each columnist produces a diary entry each month. Visit the Founders Diaries section to find out more.