Hard to believe that our business is 18! It only seems like yesterday that Kim and I decided to leave our jobs, put everything on the line and start our own business. It was a big risk but I believe that had we not have taken that path neither of us would still be in the industry. Recruitment is a rewarding and relentless profession, and sometimes not overly professional! With two sets of customers, it is often impossible to meet everyone’s expectations.
When we started electronic job boards, social media and electronic networking did not exist. I was never convinced that these new developments would mean the death knell for recruiters, as many in the business community predicted. In business you have to adapt and reinvent yourself and leverage new developments to maximize your opportunities, and technology has given recruitment that.
I believe that to remain relevant you have to have your foundation – which to me are my values. These include (but are not limited) to quality, responsiveness, empathy, professionalism and trust. Back in 1996, Kim and I felt like our industry just wasn’t offering much of that, and that we could address that by starting our own business. To a large extent we have succeeded and stayed true to our values, even when sometimes that drove people working for us crazy as we are not prepared to compromise. You can’t keep everyone happy.
Kim and I have always been accused of not stopping to “smell the roses”, and over the 18 years I have learnt that relying on what you had last week is dangerous. Two of the best decisions we have made in business was to leverage relationships and move into different recruitment specialisations. The other was to not heavily gear ourselves and be beholden to the banks. Growing organically is a more conservative way to go, but with low debt you can sleep at night.
Ultimately I think anyone who is in recruitment for the long term sticks at it because of the people. I have been fortunate to meet a huge number of people working in all sorts of organisations and in every profession. I love hearing their stories (sure some are more interesting than others) – but the relationships you build over time are precious. It means a lot to me when I get a referral and I love the fact that many of our foundation customers still do business with us.
So thanks to the candidates, the employers and our team, because your support and encouragement fuels our fire.