For our latest Member Series, we interviewed Rachel Murray of ORS, a prominent multidisciplinary construction consultancy. ORS are a large national company with offices throughout Ireland, and Rachel and her colleagues based in Dublin are set-up at Iconic Offices, South Point. Rachel is Head of Marketing and Employee Experience, a dynamic role which combines her previous work experience in marketing and HR perfectly. We caught up with Rachel to find out more about ORS, what gives them their competitive edge, and Rachel’s career to date.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT ORS?
At ORS, we deal in the built environment, advising our clients on all aspects of building design and construction. We take a project from start to finish and we’re involved in all stages of the process, offering a blend of nine distinct services. ORS offer design, planning and management advice that is supported by expert guidance in energy efficiency. We have a team of highly skilled designers, consulting engineers, planners, scientists, and surveyors.
ORS is one of an exclusive number of Engineers Ireland CPD Accredited Employers in the country, and we’re also officially recognised as one of the Best Workplaces™ in Ireland 2021 – the highest placed building consultancy in our category. This was our third successive year to be listed and is a testament to our strong mission, vision and value set, which revolve around a people-centred culture.
WHAT PROBLEM IS THE BUSINESS SOLVING?
No other company in Ireland offers the blend of services in the range that we do – civil & structural, project management, infrastructure, health & safety, building surveying, assigned certifier, fire safety, energy management, and environmental. Although some clients may only need one service at a particular time, the support from our other specialist fields provides significant value to our clients.
We appoint a project coordinator on projects that require multiple services from the firm. This avoids disconnect between project team members and the client. We do this to ensure the highest standards in quality and efficiency for our clients.
WHAT GIVES ORS A COMPETITIVE EDGE?
The firm has three primary sources of competitive advantage, our multidisciplinary service, which I touched on above, client relationships – we focus heavily on our client relationships, emphasising responsiveness and dependability of delivery, building long-lasting relationships. Finally, our culture. We cultivate a unique work environment centred around trust, autonomy, and flexibility. We have a low attrition rate and a strong organisational culture. This results in a more consistent service delivery to our clients. Our leadership team is guided by our values of quality, sustainability, learning, communication and honesty. We are results and values focused, delivering on our promises to clients, applying creative thinking to develop original and practical solutions.
HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC AFFECTED THE BUSINESS?
We faced many complex decisions with a team of 55 and multiple offices across Ireland. While we were in a strong position because we already operated a hybrid working model, many of our projects were on site in various locations. Some of our clients had not experienced teams working remotely or the IT infrastructure. We are very proud of how our team responded and adapted to the unprecedented challenges resulting from the pandemic.
As a team, we managed to turn things around to ensure everyone at ORS was kept safe and well without interrupting our clients’ operations. Despite the pandemic, we’ve enjoyed strong organic growth and hope to double our workforce by 2022.
WHAT SET YOU ON THE ROAD TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW IN YOUR CAREER?
I’ve been lucky to enjoy a varied career so far. I started in publishing and became interested in digital marketing, which led me to a job at Dublin Zoo, where I led the digital strategy for their Widlights event. I then got sidetracked into an engineering company where I worked in HR and loved creating a company culture where people can enjoy coming to work. My role at ORS as Head of Marketing and Employee Experience combines my skill sets perfectly. I get to be creative with the brand and be the driving force behind attracting and retaining great talent. I wanted to work in a company that put people first, and I’ve found that at ORS.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
Life is all about managing expectations – most of all, your own.
WHY DID YOU FEEL ICONIC WAS THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM?
The sense of community. The team are always so friendly, helpful and warm. I viewed a number of different options in the city centre, and nothing came close to the level of service and flexibility offered by Iconic. We have a small Dublin team here which are based with Iconic, and the rest of our team are dispersed between multiple locations throughout Ireland. Our team here in Dublin find Iconic a really nice environment to work in, and we’re looking forward to inviting clients to South Point.
HOW DO YOU UNWIND AFTER A BUSY WORKDAY?
Yoga is most definitely my go-to to unwind. It helps me to slow down my mind and my body. I love taking my time with poses, and eventually, they fall into place. I’m really looking forward to getting back into the studio.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD DO AT LEAST ONCE IN THEIR LIVES?
Step outside your comfort zone. Take risks, be unpredictable, try something new, push past your boundaries.