5 Minutes with... Martin Burkitt

Martin recently joined Freedman International as an HR Director. He talks about his background working with digital, tech and creative agencies, importance of a practical approach and what he loves to do in his free time.

 

  1. What’s your role at Freedman?
    I joined Freedman in November as HR Director, with a remit to in-source the HR function and implement a range of new processes to support the growth and development of our amazing team. I’m still new but have loved getting to know the business so far, everyone here has been so friendly and welcoming!

 

  1. Tell us a bit more about what you were doing before joining Freedman?
    The same really. I’ve spent 15 years now working with digital, tech and creative agencies to establish robust HR functions and processes that both help the current teams reach their full potential, while also supporting the future growth of the business. I’ve worked mainly in younger and smaller agencies which has helped me gain a strong understanding of business operations, something that is really important for HR to understand in order to do their jobs effectively.

 

  1. What superpower are you bringing to Freedman?
    I doubt there’ll be a Marvel comic about this, but I have found my practical approach to be most appreciated by the CEOs I’ve worked with. My dad is an engineer and I’ve inherited a very logical approach to everything I do. Coupled with the business acumen from working closely with entrepreneurs for so long, I tend to bring highly practical solutions to people challenges. I have little time for abstract HR theories really, I much prefer getting stuck in with sorting things out and continuous improvements.

 

  1. What’s your secret to success?
    Tailoring my experiences to the teams I am working with. Every agency is a unique blend of people and personalities and there is no one-size-fits-all approach that you can copy and paste from agency to agency. The key is getting to know your team on an individual level. Find out what motivates them, what their goals are and then set about removing whatever the barriers might be. If you have hired the right people, then everything else is fixable.

 

  1. When you’re not working at Freedman you are
    Hiding out in my garden shed playing the drums. I’ve always been into music and have wanted to learn drums for years, but only the first lockdown in 2020 gave me the push I needed to actually buy a set and properly start. Almost two years on and I’m still completely hooked and looking forward to the day I can start my own proper mid-life crisis band! Otherwise I’ve played golf my whole life, love football and most sports and (I’d better not forget!) spending time at home with my wife and our two corgis!