Here at TwoScots Recruitment, we don’t just place people in a job, we place them in our company. 

They become a part of our team. Their career, happiness and success, becomes linked to our own. Quite simply, we #giveascot about the candidates we place and the clients we work with. 

Welcome to the second installation of our mighty, new blog series in which we chat with some of the most influential, successful Chief Financial Officers in Australia. Today, I’m taking two minutes with Charlotte Hayes, Chief Financial Officer for the Invictus Games. 

As sport lovers, our team rallies behind everything the Invictus Games stands for. An international sporting event for wounded, injured and ill veterans and active service personnel, this goes far beyond ‘just sport’. Held in Sydney this year, the Invictus Games demonstrates the power of sport to inspire recovery, rehabilitation and wellbeing. Above all else, these games have inspired a greater understanding of the heroes that have served their country and the role played by their families and friends in the recovery process. 

When quizzed on her key to success in this incredible role, Charlotte attributes it to “energy, and lots of it!”

“Really, it’s about building strong and trusted relationships. My portfolio includes not only finance, but technology, workforce, HR, procurement and insurance, so my team was right at the centre of everything in one way or another,” she says. 

CFO of the Invictus Games, Charlotte Hayes.

We all know trends come and go, but being able to stay ahead of the game in Charlotte’s industry sector comes down to managing two overarching and ever-changing challenges. 

“There’s always the same BIG two pressures: money and people. Ensuring you have a sustainable budget to deliver a great event satisfying all key stakeholders is always front of mind. Given the temporary nature of most of your workforce, making sure you have the right people in the right place with the right skills at the right time to get the job done is crucial.”

Being able to adapt to allow for growth in a career challenge is vital for reaching your full potential. Charlotte transitioned from a subject matter expert, to an inspiring team leader. 

When asked how exactly she managed the evolution, Charlotte notes that “just because you’re skilled at something does not mean you will be great managing others doing the same thing.”

“I have found the transition into management hard at times and have certainly made a whole load of mistakes, but have resolved to learn from them and move on. Leading with authenticity, transparency and vulnerability has served me well.” 

A refined skill set grows over time, with problem solving serving as a paramount tool in Charlotte’s role. She admits that assembling a team to attack a difficult task or issue is an “everyday” routine, and one that should be embraced rather than dreaded. 

“An immovable deadline in the shape of an event makes time-bound ‘challenges to overcome’ (no such thing as problems!) a daily occurrence. I have been fortunate to be surrounded by the most talented group of people – all experts at their craft – which makes life much, much easier.” 

Founded on notions of inspiration, resilience and understanding, it’s no surprise that Charlotte’s main reserve of motivation comes from the Invictus Games itself. 

“The Invictus Games Sydney 2018 was an emotional one. Seeing the impact of participation in the games on the competitors and their families and friends is an experience that will never leave me, and I can’t quite do it justice with words when trying to describe some of the stories and experiences that I now draw strength from,” she recalls. 

On work life balance and the all-important (but undeniably hard) task of ‘switching off’, Charlotte suggests that like most of us, she “probably doesn’t do this as much as [she] should.”

“When I do, it’s spending time with the kids, family and friends, or reading a good book. Having had the wonderful opportunity to work from home for a considerable amount of my time with Invictus Games Sydney 2018 meant that the work and home boundary [was] very blurred.”

“Equally, this role has taken me away from home completely for considerable amounts of time. I am passionate about what I do, and that means that work is an integral part of my life. But if I’m happy at work, I’m generally happy in life.”

For a freshly minted, qualified Accountant looking to embark on their first job in the industry, we turned to Charlotte for a parting piece of golden advice. 

“Do something that you believe in. Work for an organisation that practises values that align with your own. Stay true to those values. Have conversations, build your network, smile and enjoy it!”

That marks the end of our second TwoScots Takes 2 with Charlotte Hayes. If you’re holding out for another insightful read, stay tuned! There’s more chats with industry greats to come…