Pioneer Profile: Meet Sam Merron

19th Feb 2024

It’s time that we recognise the people behind the evolving world of work. Our working lives have shifted to being more inclusive, more people-centric, more flexible, and just plain better for both employees and companies. 

These changes didn’t just happen: they were put into place and upheld by individuals and teams working to create a better working future for everyone. 

So we’re finally putting the spotlight on the people who make great companies great: the people-people.  

People-people are crucial to the success of every company. They find you the talent that drives you forwards, and they’ve taken on an increasingly strategic role in the past few years – often taking on responsibility for mental health, diversity and inclusion, culture, EVPs, Employer Branding and team happiness. 

Read more about the Pioneers List and go behind the scenes to understand how and why we’ve selected our Pioneers.

We’re delighted to introduce you to Sam Merron, Talent Acquisition Manager at LYTT and one of our 2024 Pioneers. Read on to hear all about his career, his experiences with flexible working and building great company cultures, and his hopes for the future of work.

Let’s dig in! 

Tell us a little bit about your career history, and how you got to where you are now. What were the key milestones?

I am approaching 15 years in Talent Acquisition which started, like most TA people, in the world of agency recruitment. I really enjoyed my time in agency world, met some amazing people and learnt a lot but there was always something missing. That piece was career development, so I made the move to go inhouse and have never looked back. Looking back, it’s something I should have done early on in my career as I absolutely love my job. Some of my best highlights are seeing people that I have hired go on to achieve great things and be recognised by the company I am working for as great employees. To have played a part in that success is a buzz that will never go away.

Most recently I have built talent functions at Bboxx and LYTT where I currently work. I am proud of the achievements here as both companies are relatively unknown in the UK market compared to some brand-named companies so hiring & attraction means I have to be creative and when there is success, it always feels like a special achievement.

When did you become interested in flexible working, EVPs, Employer Brand, and the future of work?

EVP & Employee Brand has always been a focus ever since moving in house as it’s so important to tell your story from a personal & company point of view. I have been attending events, hosting events, worked on various marketing campaigns and worked with many partners in this space. I love it. It’s a great feeling when you can make a hire off the back of some work you have done on EVP & Employee Branding.

Flexible working became a big part of my life when my son was born, prior to that my time & whereabouts wasn’t that important to me so long hours & commuting was just part of life. Being a present parent and husband is now the most important thing in my world so having a work set up that supports this is vital. Covid also changed everything, we were all forced to adapt to a way of working that had been important to me for years so in those difficult times it felt like something important came from them.

What is the most impactful change that you’ve implemented?

When I joined LYTT we had a loosely based remote working policy, our contracts stated we would be based in the office but allowed to work remotely. Working remotely was very important to me and I knew it was the same for others, and by speaking to many candidates during the first few months I was able to feedback to the company that most people are looking for more flexibility. Remote first at LYTT was born.

We still have an office where people like to go and spend time together, but we give our people the choice of where they want to work. No one is forced to be anywhere. It works great for our current employee and also a great incentive when speaking to candidates who are interviewing at LYTT.

What’s the biggest impact flexible working has had on your own life?

I get to spend more time with my family. Simple but so important.

I still feel some guilt for those early years spent on a train and in an office where I wasn’t with my family so having a remote first role I feel like I am getting that time back.

Doing the school run twice a day and having lunch with my wife is something I treasure. I would also like to add that being able to exercise daily has had a huge impact on my mental health.

What's the biggest challenge of being in your role right now?

The uncertainty of the talent acquisition market has been a huge challenge, seeing so many people affected by redundancy is tough. We all feel it but being in a people focussed role I feel like you feel it more. One of the best things that I have done in 2023 has been available to help others out looking for work. By utilising my network of talent acquisition people, I have been able to make some connections that have led to interviews and hires. I encourage others to do the same. Your network is valuable and caring for people even more so.

What do you think the next big trend is in working culture?

I am seeing a lot more companies making people come back to the office, full time or hybrid. For me it doesn’t seem like an inclusive future. Sure, hybrid can offer some flexibility but what about those people who cannot make it into a big city a few days a week. Skilled people are being overlooked. It makes me really happy to see the work being done by Flexa and other companies flying the flag for flexible & remote working. Giving people choice is the way forward.

On a personal note, having flexibility and trust from my employer gives me confidence and drive to succeed.

Take a look at the other Pioneers who made the list, and subscribe to our newsletter to get updates on new Pioneers, guides to help you navigate your strategic role, and exclusive invites to webinars and events