Teleflex is what vice president of global human resources Cam Hicks calls “a seventy-six-year-old start-up.” For most of the company’s history, it served within the medical, aerospace, and industrial markets. But twenty years ago, it recognized the fruitful future of the medical technology industry and decided to fully invest in the domain. Soon enough, growth within the field expanded exponentially, putting Teleflex in a position where it had to restructure its identity to parallel its new ambitions. Hicks was ready to take on the task of building a new brand. When he joined the company six years ago, Teleflex’s movement toward the medical device industry was in full force. He saw the need for the company to adjust its old practices and focus on building a new reputation. Though this is no small task, Hicks wanted the opportunity to build the company into something great.
Luckily, Hicks is no stranger to the medical resource space. Prior to coming into Teleflex, Hicks moved from Toronto, Canada, to Lincoln, Nebraska, to assume a human resources role in the pharmacy space, then on to Indianapolis, Indiana, to stand as executive vice president of human resources for a 24-7 laboratory. Not only did he learn the personal value of courage through these moves, but he also learned how to channel this courage into business endeavors, using data as a way to quantify advantageous risk in a company.
Within these roles, he became acquainted with the quantifiable measures of business, using growth statistics to determine the success of the company based on talent management factors and profit. More importantly, he realized the merit of building a team that enables a company to prosper. “Everything begins and ends with talent,” he says. “It’s important to introduce the right talent and let them do what they are gifted to do within a company, so both parties thrive.”
Within Teleflex, Hicks stands as the company’s vice president of global human resources and employee communications. His knack for building a team that works to bolster the success of the company helped move Teleflex toward its new endeavors. Hicks believes that attracting the right talent starts with the right leaders. “Leaders cast long shadows,” he explains. “Employees are shaped by the constituents handed to them by their role models. So we must develop our leaders to model the behaviors we want to see.”
Hicks and his team use a thoughtful talent acquisition process to support this idea—one that is based strongly on an alignment of core values between the company and the contender. After reevaluating Teleflex’s core values based on its new identity, the company has taken great strides to weave these new beliefs into its fabric. “Teleflex has become much better known as an investment and company, rather than just a ‘house of brands.’ We revised our core values to reflect the values of our investors globally and use them to carry forth everything we do.”
“It’s important to introduce the right talent and let them do what they are gifted to do within a company, so both parties thrive.”
In addition to ensuring the right talent is in place, Hicks has made an effort to establish a platform that unites Teleflex’s network of employees across the globe by creating a digital, global HR system. His “Teleflex Connect” digitalizes the administrative function and allows its widespread employees to access information easily. “Teleflex Connect is a cloud-based system that unites our 50,000 employees around the world,” Hicks illustrates. “The goal is to heighten the employee experience by making information more available and even matching employee interests with different opportunities within the company.”
As the program goes live, Hicks hopes that this resource strengthens Teleflex’s global brand even more. The second phase of the Teleflex Connect initiative aims to heighten talent retention and attraction while keeping valuable players anchored in the mission of the company. As Hicks and his team work to improve the system, they also plan to use the HR function to improve benefits packages, strengthen the executive team, and use its diverse community to develop talent from within.
Already, the company has witnessed immense growth since transitioning to its new arena. Hicks says, “Before moving into the medical device realm, the growth of the company was relatively flat.” But, since making the transition, the company has become a “high-growth company”—increasing its margin between 6 and 7 percent. Hicks believes that his contribution to the success of Teleflex comes from an innate desire to “build a great company” as much as he wants to work at a great company. He works across the globe to ensure that Teleflex’s partners receive the same respect and attention that those at home do, staying conscious of simple details like the time he schedules conference calls and constantly making an effort to “be visible as much as reasonable” by leaving his office to see how other parts of the world work. In all, Hicks serves as an example of the success that occurs when we have the courage to step outside comfortability and welcome the change that comes.
We congratulate our friend Cam Hicks for his outstanding contributions to building organizational excellence at Teleflex. We are honored to partner with Cam on his innovative people and talent strategies and look forward to many more years of collaboration and success.
The Humphrey Group Inc. www.thehumphreygroup.com