HR & Culture / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Jamie Finnegan, Global Head of Talent at Finder

Jamie Finnegan is the Global Head of Talent at Finder, an Australian comparison website, where he is responsible for hiring across the globe, including the United States, United Kingdom, and more.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

After touching down in Sydney in 2012, I began working in a marketing role for MitchelLake where I soaked up as much as I could about the tech startup space. With offices in San Francisco, London and Singapore, I soon realised just how powerful tech can be in shaping the way people work in global organisations.

I attended meetups, networked with people in the tech startup space and then along came Finder. In conversations with the co-founders, I realised the company shared my ambitions for global growth and for scaling people and culture.

In my current role as Global Head of Talent at Finder, I’m responsible for the growth of Finder’s team (we now have over 400 crew globally) while designing and driving business initiatives to enhance Finder’s culture. Since joining Finder, I’ve scaled operations in the US and the UK and more recently in Canada and New Zealand.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Every day is different!

Yesterday, I spent the day reviewing hiring plans with our co-founders, doing a quarterly review of our engagement scores on employer branding platforms and meeting with our internal diversity workgroup.

A recent project we’ve worked on has been creating a video series to showcase Finder’s unique environment that allows the crew to feel comfortable, valued and empowered.

Throughout the week, I work on strategic initiatives such as defining company org structure and implementing the best tools and systems that allow us to deliver this.

I attend as many community and industry events as I can, and I’ve been a key organiser for the Men Championing Change meetups. I also represent Finder to identify opportunities where we can support and sponsor relevant events.

I try to leave at 4:30pm each day so I can do a boxing or circuit class at the gym; it’s a great way to clear my mind after a busy day. I then jump back online for a couple of hours which works well if I have calls with crew across different time zones such as the UK or Poland.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

At Finder, it’s not about the hours you work but the results you produce. The flexibility at Finder is second to none; it’s part of our business ethos and it’s accepted that you don’t always need to be physically at your desk to be effective in your role.

The global nature of my role often requires flexible hours and depending on my schedule I’ll start earlier or later based on the country meetings I have scheduled (such as with the US or Canada).

I typically work from home at least a couple of days each month, which helps me put a laser focus on a particular task. The crew are often encouraged to work remotely, and in the past, I’ve worked from New York while still remaining connected with the Australian crew in the evenings.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

With technology at our fingertips and the ability to always “be on”, it can be difficult to switch off. However, I think work-life balance can be achieved by being passionate about what you do and also by taking the time to recharge.

Work-life balance means I can place boundaries between my personal and work life. For me, this means being mentally present when spending time with loved ones and not being distracted by Slack messages or emails.

5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?

Prioritisation and focus are two areas I’ve improved on to achieve the right outcomes.

It may sound simple but I use my calendar to help prioritise and set timeframes for completing tasks (and I colour-code by the task type or theme). I often break up tasks into micro-tasks as I feel a sense of accomplishment if I’m regularly ticking off things on my to-do list.

If I need to zero-in on a task, I plug in my headphones and turn off notifications on Slack. I then try to find a space away from my desk – a change of scenery can unlock greater productivity.

I make sure I get out of the office every day by going for a walk, grabbing a coffee or finding a sunny spot in the park, which allows me to reset and refocus.

6) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

A couple of classics I’d recommend reading are The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande and Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull.

Currently, I’m reading Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell, which explores the dynamics of human interaction – another interesting read!

7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

I disconnect for a few moments each day so I can return to whatever it is I’m doing feeling refreshed and energised.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall. I saw her speak at LinkedIn Talent Connect in Dallas in 2019 and she was inspiring. She spoke about her journey to becoming the CEO of the Dallas Mavericks and how she managed to do this while raising a family and shining a positive light on those around her.

She has persevered through so many setbacks in life. She was the victim of racism in the workplace, endured her parents’ violent divorce and survived cancer. And she went on to become the CEO of the Dallas Mavericks where she transformed the culture from one of harassment and violence to one of belonging – it’s pretty exceptional what she’s done.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Life is constantly changing, so if you want to truly achieve work-life balance, you need to assess and evolve to ensure equilibrium exists.

If you’d like to have a conversation with us about how you balance the grind, get in touch with us!

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.