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Self-taught John is excited about the future with TechCare.
You know about TechCare’s dedication to excellent service, our passion for everything tech and how much we care about our customers. But every so often we think you might like to learn more about our people. That’s why we like to bring you regular interviews with members of our team so you can find out all about their background, what led them to us and what makes them tick. In our latest TechCare Team Spotlight interview, it’s the turn of John Hoey, TechCare’s new SEO Executive.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about your background?
During this time, I started my own freelance business, as well. I was carrying out web development for companies, both B2B and B2C. From there, I found a lot of companies were looking for help with SEO because they wanted to be at the top of Google. So I thought I’d give it a go and teach myself. So from there I began working with clients on SEO and then the breakthrough came with a digital marketing agency in Staffordshire where I did a few bits of freelance work which led to a full-time position as SEO Manager. Then I got to know Karl, the MD of TechCare, through them after meeting at several networking events, and then a few weeks ago, we began the conversation about me coming on board with TechCare. It’s all happened very quickly!
Q: Have you always had an interest in technology, and if so, why?
A: Yes, definitely. I’ve always loved figuring out how things work. My Dad is a Business Improvement Manager, and so he’s done a lot of work on operational excellence and similar things, and so it’s very structured in breaking things down to a process level. I like to think about things in that way, asking how does it work and why does it work? Anything from computers to guitars, I’ve always been a bit of a gadget geek – I like having a good play around!
Q: Do you have any significant professional goals you’re still aiming for, and if so, can you tell us about them?
A: Yes, of course. The word ‘guru’ gets thrown around a lot in the SEO business, and although I wouldn’t necessarily say I want to be a guru, I do want to be the subject matter expert for TechCare. I want people to see that I have a good reputation and a good grounding, and I’d like to be able to build on the trust I have with clients to be able to offer this type of service. I want people to come to TechCare and me for help with improving their Google search results. And then from there, I want to expand onwards and upwards to other areas and help the team out where I can, with things such as UX and web development.
Q: What excites you about the future with TechCare?
A: Speaking to Karl about the thoughts he has for the future. He has some big plans, especially in the area that he’s brought me on board for and so that’s exciting for me. With Covid-19, we’ve seen a significant shift lately with people’s digital footprint. There’s a lot of companies coming online now that probably relied on a more retail-based plan rather than the digital side of things, and I think it’s perhaps brought forward a lot more companies’ plans to move towards a digital platform than 6 months ago. We’re seeing across the board that a lot of people are starting to build new websites and build up their digital marketing experience, plus we’ve also seen a lot of people asking about SEO contracts over the last 5-6 months and I think that’s only going to increase as we move forward.
Q: In your opinion, is education or on-the-job experience more important for someone who wants a job like yours?
A: It’s always good to work with people who have experience. Other people may have expertise in areas that you don’t, and you can learn from that. Everything is interlinked in marketing so there’s going to be things that you can take from SEO for example that you can implement in other areas of marketing. Also there are parts of general marketing that you can use in SEO, like customer personas and things like that. You really can’t beat on-the-job experience to teach you how to be proactive as well as reactive to various situations and client needs.
Look out for our next TechCare Team Spotlight interview where we’ll be sharing insights from another team member very soon!
Here at TechCare, we like to think of our team as a family, that’s why we want to get to know them properly. And we believe you would like to get to know them too! To that end, every so often we like to have a chat with our members of staff to find out a little about their role and what makes them tick. This month we chat with Debbie Toombs, our Executive Assistant.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your role?
A: I have worked at TechCare since October 2018, and my role has developed significantly over that time. I predominantly look after Payroll, HR, Cash Flow, Accounts Payable, Staff Training and Health & Safety. So as you can imagine, my job is varied, busy and I rarely have a dull moment! I try and make sure that the whole team can carry out their roles without having to think about the smaller details.
Q: What’s your favourite aspect of your job at TechCare?
A: Multi-tasking and problem-solving. I love the variety of the role and taking on new challenges.
Q: Tell us about your team. What’s it like working with them?
A: Having worked for several years in a variety of roles within administration and business management this is, without doubt, the most dynamic team I have ever worked with.
There is a culture here that no one is above anyone else, and everyone is positively encouraged to contribute freely. It’s a friendly, positive and highly-skilled team with the same common goal – providing excellent customer service and making TechCare the best! It is an absolute pleasure to work with them.
Q: How do you like to spend your time when not at work?
A: I adore my family and have two granddaughters who I spend as much time as possible with. They often spend weekends with my husband, Paul, and I in Stratford.
I am an avid reader and particularly enjoy crime fiction. I am currently reading the work of Karin Slaughter. As a child, I loved Enid Blyton and the classics.
Thirdly I love a game of golf and was honoured to have been the lady captain of Walmley Golf Club. At my lowest handicap, I was off 8 and currently playoff 11. It’s such a fantastic way to spend a day, especially when the sun is shining, and there is a nice cold beer at the end of the game.
Q: If you could sum up your job at TechCare in 3 words, what would they be?
A: Rewarding, supportive and friendly.
Look out for our next TechCare Team Spotlight interview next month!
As part of our new Spotlight Interview feature, each month we’ll be catching up with members of the TechCare team to explain a little more about their role, what they do every day and what they love about working at TechCare. This month we’re talking to Oliver Aleksejuk, our Head of Operations.
Oliver, who joined TechCare last summer and has been instrumental in helping the company on its journey of growth. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: How long have you worked at TechCare, and what attracted you to the company?
A: It’s been just over 12 months since I joined and to be honest, it was mainly Karl who attracted me to the company. I’d known Karl for around 7 years. He tried to get me on board when TechCare was young – about 3 years old. But at the time, it wasn’t a fit for me, so I accepted a role from another company. But Karl and I kept bumping into each other from time to time, and he always said to me that I was ‘the one that got away’!
Finally, after having spent seven years as Head of Infrastructure at a sizeable commercial catering spares company in Cannock, I was ready for a change. I ended up catching up with Karl, and he told me where TechCare was at and what they’d been up to, and then within the next month, I was working at TechCare! The prospect of joining the company at such an exciting time was what attracted me to the business. Karl wanted my experience in terms of knowing what a larger company wants from IT, to help TechCare on its journey to the next level, and that really appealed to me.
The last 12 months have been exciting, and we’ve changed quite a lot. The service desk has changed significantly. I don’t think Karl envisaged what it would look like in 12 months, but we’re really on the way to meeting some key goals now. We are in a position now to help companies that we wouldn’t have been able to serve a year ago.
Q: Can you tell me a little more about your role at TechCare and what it is you do day-to-day?
A: When I joined TechCare, Karl was doing everything – technical escalation, operations management and marketing. As with a lot of small businesses, the Managing Director ends up wearing a lot of different hats. He recognised that we couldn’t grow the business by doing that, and he understood that we needed to have people on board that he could split those responsibilities across.
So my role takes care of some of the more technical aspects of the business. I’m the person who takes control and tells people step by step how to rectify things when things go wrong. I also help with the operations side of things. We’ve got some engineers who are out on the road, and I make sure everyone’s got what they need to move forward and do what they need to do. There’s also the customer side of it, which was my main focus. Ensuring that our customers’ tech is exactly what they need is my primary drive.
For example, a business will come to us and say ‘I’ve got X amount of users, what do I need?’ Then I can tell them what they need and what’s cost-effective. It’s that top-level advice that doesn’t beat around the bush by telling people what their best options are that makes us stand out. We are honest. We don’t believe in just giving people the cheapest option, so we’ll tell them that although something might be a little more expensive, it will actually last them X times longer than the cheaper choice. We put solutions in place that will go the distance.
I do a lot in this role, but we’re like any small business, we’re focusing on growth – Karl is looking at it from an external point of view, whilst I’m focused on the internal growth, not only with technology but also with staff and processes.
Q: What’s your favourite aspect of your job at TechCare?
A: It has to be building solutions for customers, as I mentioned before. I love going to someone and telling them what they can do with the budget they have, and in what ways it will improve their business.
It’s about telling them the important things, like how much their return on investment with certain solutions will be, and how it will increase efficiency. I love letting them know new and improved things we can add, as things are developing all the time. That’s what they want from their investment in TechCare and being the facilitator for that is exciting.
Q: Was there any part of your role at TechCare that you were apprehensive about at first? If so, how do you feel about it now?
A: Yes, the main one was about getting involved with small businesses. There’s always the worry that a small business won’t respect IT, and therefore won’t want to invest in it. But, it’s been a pleasant surprise. Of course, you’re always going to get those businesses that feel that way, but at the same time there are a lot of companies out there that want to invest in IT, and that’s one of the things I’ve enjoyed seeing.
With the pandemic, the shift towards IT has been massive. People have had to invest in it, and now they’re reaping the rewards – people are working remotely and realising that they can do business from anywhere. Technology has become a facilitator for companies to increase sales, improve reach and just about anything they want really!
Q: Finally, what tech gadget could you not live without?
A: It’s got to be my phone; I could not live without it. I think it’s just because of my role – I use it for everything. I get my emails on it, our ticket system app is on there, even the server monitoring is on there, so I’ll get any alerts on there. It does make it impossible to switch off from work, but I’d rather that than wake up in the morning and find that there’s been a problem I didn’t know about!
In the Spotlight next time is our Executive Assistant, Debbie Toombs.