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The Launch of ACM Resourcing

Thursday 17th July 2018

The Launch of ACM Resourcing

We recently spent some time with Alan Milliner about his experience launching his new recruitment business with SSG. Here's what he had to say:


The Launch of MG Talent

Friday 13th July 2018

The Launch of MG Talent

We recently spent some time with Marshall Gee about his experience launching his new recruitment business with SSG. Here's what he had to say:


The Launch of Clinical Selection

Thursday 28th June 2018

The Launch of Clinical Selection

We recently spent some time with James Moloney about his experience launching his new recruitment business with SSG. Here's what he had to say:


Having been fortunate enough to have helped hundreds and hundreds of recruiters start their own recruitment agencies over the years – we’d have to be idiots to have not picked up a couple of things when it comes to advising Recruitment Entrepreneurs about how best to go about starting their own agencies. So I thought I’d put that statement to the test and examine what you really “need” to think about when it comes to starting a recruitment agency

Having been fortunate enough to have helped hundreds and hundreds of recruiters start their own recruitment agencies over the years – we’d have to be idiots to have not picked up a couple of things when it comes to advising Recruitment Entrepreneurs about how best to go about starting their own agencies. So I thought I’d put that statement to the test and examine what you really “need” to think about when it comes to starting a recruitment agency


The Launch of DGL Recruitment

Tuesday 19th June 2018

The Launch of DGL Recruitment

We recently spent some time with David Mead of DGL Recruitment about his experience launching his new recruitment business with SSG. Here's what he had to say:


The Launch of Brownlee Dean

Monday 11th June 2018

The Launch of Brownlee Dean

We recently spent some time with Peter Walker of Brownlee Dean about his experience launching his new recruitment business with SSG. Here's what he had to say:


4 sure-fire signs it’s time to start your own business

Sometimes you just know, you know? You know what I mean? You just know that deep down you know that you know that really what’s going to make you happy isn’t what you are doing right now but that thing you’ve been thinking about for the last 5 years? Sometimes you just know when the timing is right, you know?


Stuck in a professional rut? Follow these 4 steps to get back on track!

Have you ever had it where things are just flowing? Plates are spinning, things are happening, things are progressing and opportunities are as fruitful as Mo Salah is for Liverpool FC. Things are flying and it becomes so hard to even imagine things not being that way. Have you ever experienced that? Chances are, being the successful recruiter I am sure you are, you’ve experienced that euphoria in your career a fair few times.


How to crack LinkedIn as a recruiter

If you’re a recruiter, chances are you spend a good proportion of any given day working your network on LinkedIn. If you’re a recruiter, chances are you attach your identity to the number of people that view your profile during any given 90-day period. If you are a recruiter, chances are you are utilizing the fantastic LinkedIn platform to some degree already. So, I am not going to approach this blog from a stance of trying to introduce you to LinkedIn and how best to then optimise your profile. I don’t think you need that. I don’t know you personally yet but I am going to assume that you don’t need to hear about how having a professional profile picture will increases your chances of engagement (the business kind) on LinkedIn 17 times over; or that having a cohesive and succinct profile when it comes to your experience history is as obvious as making a peanut butter on toast sandwich at half-time of any Super Sunday football game.


3 reasons why recruiters start Recruitment Businesses?

What has always been a very fascinating topic to me & was part of the reason why I felt that SSG was a very good vehicle for me to build upon that passion, is understanding what motivates people &, in turn why people do what they do. Apply this to recruitment & in particular investment into recruitment start ups & you have this – a blog about my take on why recruiters start their own recruitment businesses. So, without trying to position this topic into a neatly generated anecdote about how starting a recruitment agency is a lot like riding the underground (for want of a better example) let’s take a look at some of the motivations that I, having had the great fortune of talking to 100s of recruiters about potentially starting their own businesses, feel are persistent motivations for becoming a Recruitment Entrepreneur.


How to Start a Recruitment Business: Step 5

So last time we explored the wonderful world of accounting & examined some key areas that you, the Recruiter, need to think about when starting your own recruitment business. We spoke about a few primary areas but appreciated that without launching into a monologue to rival the great “War & Peace”, we couldn’t possibly explore every single aspect of the accounting infrastructure that you need to be aware of when starting your own recruitment agency.


Recruitment MOT and Service

Thursday 22nd March 2018

Recruitment MOT and Service

I took my car in for its MOT & Service the other day. True story. After begrudgingly agreeing to the astronomical repair bill, “It will be ready for you to pick up by 5pm, Mr. Bennett”, I sauntered on down to the local grease monkey. Guess what. It wasn’t ready. So, I waited…and waited…and waited. And so, I mused. If recruiters are the engine, then clients and candidates must be the fuel, right? They are responsible for keeping a [recruitment] business running. Is it time for a ‘Recruitment MOT’? Let’s have a look under the bonnet, shall we?


The Launch of DuffyMac

Monday 19th March 2018

The Launch of DuffyMac

We recently spent some time with Dara Duffy of DuffyMac about his experience launching his new recruitment business with SSG. Here's what he had to say:


Step Four - List - How to start a recruitment business

Welcome back to this blog series – thank you very much for joining us again to continue our journey through starting your own recruitment business.

Over the last few months we’ve explored the importance of understanding why you are looking to start your own business, overcoming the financial hurdles when starting your business & we’ve made ourselves aware of (some) routes available out there to motivated recruiters to really help them create & build their agency in the way they want.

This time I felt it was important to look at one pillar of your recruitment business that, without it, I don’t care how many placements you make, how many staff you have & what your growth plan is for the coming year, your business is going to fall short at some stage. & that pillar is, of course, the Accounting & back office side of your business.


Help SSG to identify budding Recruitment Entrepreneurs

We are now looking for a key player to join our investment division. This individual will be responsible for promoting & presenting what SSG has to offer to the Recruitment Community. Based in our lovely Berkhamsted office, with ample parking in the surrounding areas, your role will consist of sourcing, talking & working with recruiters looking at the SSG offering.

We Are SSG are looking for a motivated, friendly, outgoing individual to join the team here. Ideally someone with a passion for sales, a love for people & that famous “can do” attitude. You must be dynamic, keen to learn & focussed upon the task in hand. We want someone who is interested in the world of entrepreneurship & feels comfortable on the phone.


Step Three - List - How to start a recruitment business

Welcome back to part 3 of this mini-blog series around starting your own recruitment business, with the objective is to give you a step-by-step guide to starting your own agency. So far we have explored how important understanding your personal “why” is & then, with that understanding, we’ve attacked the “Money Puzzle” – how are you going to financially support yourself before your new business generates the revenue you need.


The Launch of LTF Recruitment

Friday 23rd February 2018

The Launch of LTF Recruitment

We recently spent some time with Richard Beaumont of LTF Recruitment about his experience launching his new recruitment business with SSG. Here's what he had to say:


Step two - list - How to start a recruitment business

Now last time out we spoke in detail about how important it was to really understand your why when it comes to launching your own recruitment agency. Not only why recruitment, but why now & for what reason are you looking to venture out & become your own boss. As we were talking about before, despite seeming like a relatively “simple” task, truly understanding why you are looking to start your own agency is sometimes a lot tougher than one would expect & therefore, the rewards of taking the time (whether it be an hour, a day or a week) to really hone in on your why are really important why you are then looking at progressing the business you are created.


Lonely man standing marooned on an island - very sad

We have all been there … you are having a rubbish day at work, you have already worked countless additional hours this week, your boss is on your case, your colleague’s sense of humour is driving you insane and you are informed by a member of the team who appears to have spent most of the day updating their social media that it’s your turn to do the tea run… this is the point most of us start to think what it would be like to work on our own, right?!


Recruitment Agency Expo London 2018 - SSG will be there!

The Recruitment Agency Expo is the UK's number one industry event. Complete with seminars, exhibitions, featured suppliers and a diverse spectrum of industry leading experts. A free to attend event, with plenty of recruitment and business specific activities, there'll be an abundance of knowledge shared through the free seminars, demonstrations of useful products and services, and key updates focusing on the use of technology and AI in recruitment, physical and digital marketing and the introduction of GDPR.


The Launch of Vet Locums

Friday 26th January 2018

The Launch of Vet Locums

We recently spent some time with Aaron Leemans-Kennedy of Vet Locums about his experience launching his new recruitment business with SSG. Here's what he had to say:


Step one - list - How to start a recruitment business

What were you doing on Wednesday evening, say around about 7:30pm? Now, I am sure many of you were just sitting down after a very hard but successful day to tuck into a nice hot meal before perusing Netflix to find a good film/documentary before heading to bed & getting ready for the next day. For me, it was slightly different. I was with a recruiter. I had the pleasure & the privilege of sitting with a motivated recruiter who was clearly very focussed around starting their own recruitment agency. I knew the lady through a venture we already supported & therefore really valued having a few hours with her to talk about things. One of the consistent questions she had, quite understandably, was how do I start a recruitment business? How do I get from where I am now, to where I want to be in the next 5 or 10 years? & obviously the answer is an odd one really. On the one hand it’s immensely specific to that individual & yet on the other hand there are certain “things” that are constant – regardless of recruiter, ambition or aspiration.


2018: Are you in control?

Monday 15th January 2018

Are you in control?

Happy New Year! How’s your New Year working out for you? I know it’s early, it’s January 15th . But I wanted to write this blog this afternoon, while sitting on the 15:39 from Exeter to Paddington, to check in with you. Statistics have proven over the years that January 15th is the cut off point – statistics show that those of us conscientious enough to make New Years Resolutions would have already broken them come this day. That in fact this day, 15 days into the new year, is the most popular day that people break those resolutions.


What right do SSG have to tell someone if they “should” or “should not” start their own recruitment business?

It’s a funny question to be honest. What right do SSG have to tell someone if they “should” or “should not” start their own recruitment business? The short answer is none. We’ve been very fortunate to have been launching & supporting recruitment agencies for the last 15 years & in that time it’s always been clear to us that starting a recruitment business is a very personal aspiration, one that can (& more importantly, should!) not be something you are talked into or out of for that matter.


The Launch of STK-iTech

Tuesday 9th January 2018

The Launch of STK-iTech - a new recruitment business

We recently spent some time with Stuart Kennedy of STK-iTech about his experience launching his new recruitment business with SSG. Here's what he had to say:


5 Reasons NOT to start your own Recruitment Business

Here at SSG, we have the opportunity to talk and to get to know so many top-quality recruiters. and, given the nature of our offering, those conversation are always unique. You could speak to somebody who has been thinking about the idea for 10 years and over the last week that desire has turned to an absolute must and they are now talking to SSG about how best to get them from where they are to where they want to be. But then equally, you could have the opportunity to speak to a motivated recruiter in the very early stages of toying with the idea; committed but cautious of making the leap and of course the conversation is, rightfully, very different.


The Launch of Findrs

Friday 5th January 2018

Findrs Logo

We recently spent some time with Chris Booth of Findrs, an exciting new venture which has launched with the help of SSG. Here's what he had to say about the experience:


Engaging with candidates

Achieving the right communication balance can make the difference between keeping a candidate engaged and thoroughly irritating them. With that in mind, I’ve drafted four methods to keep you at the front of their minds without seeming desperate.


6 signs you are ready to start your own recruitment business

The recruiters that SSG usually have the pleasure of working with share very similar characteristics & over the years, these characteristics have been very constant in every venture we have been able to support. They’re exceptional at what they do (of course), they have at least 2-3 years 360 experience behind them in the market they are looking to create their own agency in (it’s an “investment must”!) & finally, they are “so ready” (as my sister would say) to start their own business & become their own boss. Very similar characteristics & ones that SSG can identify with, sympathise with & relate to. But what is always so unique about every recruiter we support is when they felt “ready” to start their own agency. & I thought, if you’re reading this today & some part of you was toying with the idea of building your own recruitment agency, I’d take the time today to explore some of the obvious signs that might just prove to you that you are in fact ready to start your own agency.


An Early Christmas Gift from SSG

Friday 22nd December 2017

Connect Winter 2017 Edition

Amongst the mince pies, mistletoe and merriment of the forthcoming festive period, we’d like to give you an early Christmas present - a preview of the contents of the Winter 2017 Connect Magazine!


The Launch of Aspiria Recruit

Thursday 21st December 2017

Aspiria Recruit

We recently caught up with James just a few weeks after she started her own recruitment business with SSG – here’s what he had to say...


How Healthy is your Talent Pool?

Tuesday 19th December 2017

How healthy is your talent pool?

For many recruiters, it’s getting tougher and tougher. Rising skill shortages, coupled with the possible impact of reduced international talent means it is likely to get worse. I believe one way to address these serious challenges is to ensure you have a healthy talent pool. What I mean by this is NOT dumping a load of CVs into a CRM and then blasting them with poorly matching jobs! I’m talking about segmenting a market by critical roles, then getting to understand the motivations of the people that work in these types of roles.


How to build the most talented team for your recruitment business

For those of you who know me personally, you’ll know a little bit about my brother – a few years younger than me, but twice as good looking, twice as “big” & two hundred times better than me at football. Well, his academy team had a FA Youth Cup game last week & one of their “star” performers were injured for the big game.


How to survive as a recruitment entrepreneur

According to a study conducted at the start of this year, in the year 2016 – 91% of startups failed after just one year of trading. Now, of course, this is across all sectors, & not entirely accurate when it comes to the recruitment market but it’s still a staggering figure. Compounded by the statistic that just 40% of small businesses are still trading after 5 years, it’s not just staggering, it’s scary! It makes you question the very idea, doesn’t it?


The Launch of Nautica Resourcing

Tuesday 28th November 2017

Nautica Resourcing logo

We recently caught up with Sarah just a few weeks after she started her own recruitment business with SSG – here’s what she had to say...


How do I launch a recruitment business?

Tuesday 21st November 2017

How do I launch a recruitment business?

How long have you been thinking about starting your own recruitment business? Why do I ask that? Because I believe no one in their right mind would use the most valuable resource they have, their time, & invest it into reading a blog like this today – unless some part of you was toying with the idea of working for yourself & becoming your boss within recruitment. So, how long have you been contemplating the idea of working for yourself?


Why are you ready to start your own Recruitment Business?

How long have you been thinking about starting your own recruitment business? Why do I ask that? Because I believe no one in their right mind would use the most valuable resource they have, their time, & invest it into reading a blog like this today – unless some part of you was toying with the idea of working for yourself & becoming your boss within recruitment. So, how long have you been contemplating the idea of working for yourself?


The Launch of Harris Personnel

Monday 6th November 2017

Harris Personnel logo

We recently caught up with Jeanette just a few weeks after she started her own recruitment business with SSG – here’s what she had to say...


5 ways to start your Own Recruitment Business

So, picture the scene, I’m standing in the middle of a car showroom, slightly overwhelmed by the amount of options available to car buyers at the moment. I mean gone are the days of just merely buying a car outright! Now you have the option to take out a weird and wonderful finance scheme, you can lease, part exchange, part own (strange) & so on. It just seems a little bit overwhelming to me.


Why Email isn’t Effective in Recruitment

Tuesday 17th OCTOBER 2017

drowning in a sea of emails

Lately, I'm finding that email is becoming less and less effective. Of course, we all still use email at work, but many of those conversations that once took place in email have moved to other platforms. From LinkedIn In-mails to WhatsApp to Facebook Messenger. I’ve even heard that SnapChat is making waves for some recruiters! The point here is that the way we’re communicating is forever evolving and because of this, we’ve changed the way we work, engage and search for jobs. Our conversations are more of an interactive experience than an exchange of monologues, our attention spans have been shortened and we’ve come to expect that the information we need will be right at our fingertips. That’s is just the way we are now.


The Launch of Starboard Personnel

Friday 13th OCTOBER 2017

The Launch of Starboard Personnel

If you want temporary or permanent staff in the Barnsley area – look no further than Starboard. Di has been in the game for 14 years. During all this time Di increasingly felt that the needs of the candidate were being left behind in the recruitment process. So often the key part of the recruitment process, the candidate, was often being treated like a commodity by the agency. This doesn’t help the client and it certainly doesn’t help the candidate. So Di decided to branch out on her own and create Starboard Personnel.


Recruiters, what makes you so different?

Thursday 12th OCTOBER 2017

a crowd of different recruiters

Generally, most recruiters feel they need to have a good USP or something different than their competitors. I’m sure you’ll have an elevator pitch or something that you think makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd. It’s important to know what makes you different because if you’re promoting your business on this basis, it’s crucial to know what is tangible and also beneficial to your clients, your candidates and your business.


a list of mistakes a start-up business can make

Over the years SSG has seen first-hand the many pitfalls and hurdles that recruiters are met with in their own agencies and we’d have to be idiots not to have picked up a few tips and tricks when it comes to avoiding them. But even before that, we need to identify them. Here are 4 common mistakes that every start-up recruitment business can be guilty of during the initial stages of their development.


carrot on a stick

First day back. New pants (thanks Mum), you’re pumped up and focused on smashing your annual target. A target which has left you a victim of your own success. You were runner up on the leader board last year and over target by 23%. The new target is inequitable but you’ve dusted yourself down and ready to hit it. Hard. There is one place no one wants to be however and that’s at the end of the year having fallen short of target. Candidates are not responding, hiring managers are stalling and every day seems the same. In my experience, there is only one way to get back on track.


The Launch of Future Levels

Thursday 5th OCTOBER 2017

The Launch of Future Levels

SSG have gone and done it again. We've helped another recruiter launch their own business. This time it is Martin Sandford and his new business Future Levels. I caught up with Martin to learn a little bit more about how he came to be the owner of the latest recruitment company in the south!


Improving the morale of your workplace.

Nobody wants the mood in the office to stink. There could be 101 reasons for this (if not more), it doesn’t matter. That negative feeling in the office can have a significant effect on the output of the team. It doesn’t matter if you are a junior member of the team, or the boss – this is not good for anyone. It’s time to turn that frown around and here is how to help put on a happy face!


The Launch of James Rhodes Exec Search

Tuesday 3rd OCTOBER 2017

The Launch of James Rhodes Exec Search

SSG caught up with James Rhodes - the founder of James Rhodes Exec Search, another business that SSG has helped to launch.


Recruiting Passive Candidates: Is there a better way?

As a top performing recruiter, it's tough to stay at the top of your game, especially when part of your strategy is recruiting passive candidates. It's a slow burn process but by engaging and communicating effectively with this community of rich and untouched talent, you can be sure that your billings will improve over time. So trust me, it's worth making the effort!


The Launch of Parker B Associates

Thursday 28th September

The launch of Parker B

SSG have gone and done it again, we've helped another recruiter, another budding business owner set up their own recruitment business. This time it's Ben Parker who is the proud own of Parker B Associates. Ben has just completed what we call the launch phase of the business, where SSG provide the new business owner all the tools they will need to start building a successful business. Before Ben hit the phone and started contacting all his client and candidates, he spared me a few minutes to explain his story so far.


The launch of Market 36.

Market 36 Recruitment is an independent recruitment agency based in Essex, working with clients and candidates across East Anglia. Founded by Luke Simpson and Sam Lachwacki - Market 36 have many years recruitment experience across a wide variety of sectors.


Find out which Game of Thrones character you would be

So - how about you? What type of Entrepreneur are you? What type of recruiter have you been and what type of recruitment entrepreneur do you want to be?


The Launch of Arlo James Recruitment

Wednesday 20th September

The Launch of Arlo James Recruitment

Arlo James Recruitment are the latest company to be launched with the assistance of SSG. Sara Sangster, the founder of Arlo James has been working in recruitment for over 10 years.


The importance of being...

Tuesday 19th September

The importance of finding candidates with the right character traits

Some people just have the knack to do certain things. You can train and coach staff to do certain tasks, certain skills, but under that, you have personality traits that you just can’t teach. Some people have them and some people don’t. When you are on the search for a new member of staff you will need to look out for these traits. If you are looking for a sales person you might be looking for them to be quite forward and go-getting. If you are recruiting a legal secretary you are probably looking for a person with an eye for detail.


How to hire the best recruiters for your recruitment agency

As a business owner, manager or team leader, your team will make or break your company. So, it's no surprise that recruitment businesses put so much time and effort into hiring the best. From making sure there is the right cultural fit to using social media, there are many tips to hiring the best recruiters. The most reliable strategy is to accumulate the facts before, during and after hiring. This lets you match candidates with your objectives and needs. It provides you with trustworthy knowledge and helps you find true recruitment champions. In just 7 steps, you can harness the power of knowledge-driven recruitment.


Social Connections to build a recruitment business

So, do you know that made me think about writing this blog today? Come on, picture the scene for me if you would – I’m sitting in my study, writing this blog, it’s 8:30pm on a Wednesday and the gentle warble of “Chris Country” in the background is slowly but surely causing my focus to wain and my eyes to drop. I need some energy and while my partner would probably dis-own me for making a coffee at this un-earthly hour (she drives a hard bargain that one!) I need something to wake me up, get these creative juices flowing and write a blog that, while it wouldn’t rival Oliver Twist, it might give Fifty Shades of Grey a run for its money when it comes to value-add! (sorry).


Social Connections to build a recruitment business

Ignoring the benefits of social media as a digital shopfront for your recruitment services is more than a missed opportunity, and more a backwards step. As the world continues to move onward, and progress in technology and communication continues to be made, standing still is no longer an option. New skills and techniques are required to connect with new clients, candidates and maintain the relationships which keep your recruitment business ticking over. First, some facts...


Reclaim your productivity with Pomodoro

Wednesday 13th September 2017

Reclaim your productivity with Pomodoro

Businesses, governments and economists alike have been debating the cause of the UK’s ‘productivity crisis’ for over a decade. With productivity in the UK languishing 30% lower than the USA and 35% lower than Germany – it’s a slide which cannot be ignored. Whilst the brain-boxes tackle the issue from in front of their whiteboards, here’s a not-so-secret technique which will revolutionise the way you work. You’ll get more done in less time – all thanks to a tomato.


Company Culture - where is your happy place?

What does your Happy Place look like? Like Mr. Gilmore, would it include your better half holding pitchers of beer or your Nan winning the lottery and your best mate impersonating Richard Carpenter on a grand piano? Great company culture can become a reality if you really want it. It is easier than you might think to build one so how about starting with these 10 tips...


How to: NOT hire staff

Monday 11th September 2017


Starting your own recruitment business is easy, isn’t it? Leaving the security of paid employment, taking the risk and starting your own recruitment agency? Pfft… that’s the easy part. Am I right? Of course I’m not! Starting your own recruitment business is tough work, it’s not as simple as handing in your notice, abiding by your restrictions from your previous employers and then recruiting in your own business – I am sure we all wish it was!


Why Recruiters Need Professional Indemnity

Wednesday 30th August 2017


Any organisation that offers their knowledge, skills or advice as a service to clients opens the doors for complaints and compensation claims. If your client believes that the recruitment services you provided have led to financial loss or reputational damage, they may choose to take legal action against your agency. Despite your best intentions and all that time spent working to get a clear and complete brief from your client, mistakes can still happen.


Be Like a Dog

Wednesday 17th August


I think a dog would be an awesome recruitment consultant. Obviously not an actual dog, that would be ridiculous (or would it? They might get a bit more love on LinkedIn). But there are many traits from man’s best friend that I think ring true in recruitment.



It is right to feel scared when it comes to starting your own recruitment business? Is it right to feel nervous? Cautious? Apprehensive? What has become clear to SSG over the years is that, if a recruiter(s) does not feel these types of emotions – something is drastically wrong. Sounds odd, I know.

But launching a recruitment business is no easy feat and it would be ignorant of any recruiter, no matter how experienced, to not feel apprehensive to some extent. It’s a daunting process, massively exciting don’t get us wrong, but daunting. That’s not to say it can’t be done, won’t be done and won’t be successful – it’s just simply showing that the understandable apprehension you are feeling is not mis-placed.



The recruitment industry can sometimes seem like a minefield. With different types of candidates, varying contracts, terms of business and more, it can be hard to be sure of the risks that your business faces and liabilities that your recruitment agency is exposed to. All these factors influence what you need from your recruitment agency insurance. 


Accounts Superstar

★ Up to £35,000 per year
★ Wonderful opportunity for a AAT qualified or qualified through experience accountant  
★ Friendly, encouraging & motivated office environment

Stuck in a role which doesn’t challenge you? Had enough of going through “the motions”? Want to be part of a close knit team in a genuinely growing business? Or as Monthy Python used to say - Do you like the idea of something completely different?...

If so, how about ditching all of your career woes and coming over to ‘The Dark Side’?

SSG have a fantastic opportunity for an number of Accounts professional to join our committed team, working out of our beautiful and unique offices, based in the very heart of Berkhamsted (near Hemel Hempstead).

You will work with our client base (who are all small recruitment companies) to generate Monthly Management Accounts (and all the weird & wonderful “things” that come with it!). 


The Launch of Logik Source

Wednesday 12th July 2017

Logik Source

Tell me about your recruitment background?

I started working in Technology recruitment around 19 years ago, initially in a support capacity working on the only PC in the office (the office was DOS based), my responsibilities were to write all the adverts and upload them onto the website, however my role quickly developed. 

Not long after this I took my first role as a Recruitment Consultant with a company called SWP, working a market of my own, this was Scotland and I covered every technology area from Software, Hardware, Optics, Engineering and Semiconductor technologies.  I quickly made my mark and was very successful.



So – congratulations. About 5 years ago you took the leap of faith and started your own recruitment business. You left the security of the office environment, the support of your current colleagues and decided to start your own recruitment agency. Originally growing it from your back bedroom, you have been able to grow an agency full of billing consultants and admin staff that have allowed you to position yourself at the top of your agency with a view to now sell this business.

You’re living the dream!…

But how have you done it? How have you gone from a seemingly “OK” business to one that’s being now valued at £2/3/7million+? How have you done that? What steps have you had to take to get yourself to that stage? Is it luck? Commitment? Experience? Knowledge?


The 5 Ps to Recruitment Success

Friday 7th July 2017


So, as you can imagine, we receive quite a lot of enquiries here at SSG Towers. With them come many questions, ranging from that of the standard nature to the completely random! One of the most common is on the subject of success, for example, “Who is your most successful client?” Cue bragging rights! Don’t stress, I’m not going there. But in all honesty, why should it matter?

It’s a tricky question because success is subjective and only you can define what it means. A Recruiter in his 8th year of working for himself, billing £250k a year on his own and working from a home office could be more successful than another who is in their third with a team of 6 consultants consistently billing with a multi-million-pound turnover.



For a small business, putting together a Company Handbook can be a daunting task – with so many policies and procedures to choose from, deciding what is relevant and how best to structure each can be off-putting.

So, why is a Company Handbook so important, for businesses of all sizes?

1. Legal protection for both employer and employee. Valuable legal protection is provided by defining clear procedures (e.g. those for dealing with disciplinary or grievances) as well as protection for employees in the form of policies such as bullying and harassment. Ensuring your handbook is present, accurate and up to date will mean your business is compliant with current legislation and reduce the risk of employee claims.



Whether you’re starting your first online marketing agency, or starting your first recruitment business; generally speaking, what will stop you from succeeding in the vain that you aspire to will not be the lack of knowledge you have, industry focus or command over the sector – but instead the professional and personal challenges that come with being an entrepreneur.

Although many might think they want to be entrepreneur, thinking and doing are drastically different. So before you embark on what will be the most enjoyable but challenging event in your professional career to date, have a look at some of this advice when it comes to being a “first-timer” in the game of Entrepreneurship.



GDPR is due to come into force on 5th May 2018. It is already causing ripples with recruiters.

There are a number of essential requirements to the new GDPR legislation, which is designed to safeguard personal data. Recruitment agencies will need to consider these when handling and processing personal information provided by their candidates and workers.



A competency can be defined as the ability to do something successfully. I believe great recruiters require the same set of competencies to recruit talent but their strength in skills differ.

For the purposes of this article, let’s think of skills as one of many facets that make up a competency.

Whether you are an agency or in-house recruiter, you are still responsible for finding, cultivating and building talent. Agency recruiters might be naturally stronger in certain competencies than in-house recruiters (and vice versa) owing to their skills composition, but essentially the core competencies remain the same.

So, what are these core competencies?



Has someone taken your hummus from the fridge? Do you have a loud desk eater in the office? Or did your boss just employ someone who is a pain in the backside?

We’ve all been there – the annoying colleague. Luckily it doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, it can make life in the office a little awkward. Well, unless you’re their boss you can’t sack them, so here are my tips for dealing with “that guy”:

1: Be direct

Honesty is the best policy. Front out the issues right away and deal with your annoying colleague:

“I’m really sorry Tristian, but I’m finding it hard to concentrate whilst you are listening to Grime music in your headphones on full volume. Would you mind turning it down a touch?”

Be polite, professional and friendly – you don’t want to create a negative environment for them either.



We’ve all seen the adverts – the big, hairy, purple creature being studiously ignored by employers and workers alike.  But how much do you really know about auto-enrolment pensions and the effect they have on you, the recruiter?

For all employed recruiters there is the obvious – you will, at some point when your employer reaches their staging date, be enrolled into an eligible pension scheme and begin to pay deductions from your salary.  At this point, you have the option to stay in the pension scheme, pay monthly contributions (which are matched by your employer) and start building a pot of gold for your retirement.

The savvier amongst you might decide to opt out, saving your hard-earned coffers yourself or, for the more flashy, just carry on spending it!


Joe Halliday Recruitment

Wednesday 31st May 2017

Joe Halliday Recruitment

With over 15 in years in recruitment and after the birth of her third child – Michelle Lightfoot decided that she wanted to create a work-life balance that she controlled whilst still working in recruitment. Tired of being an employee – Michelle took the leap to being a business own and so Joe Halliday Recruitment was born.

Michelle’s business is proud to be from the North-East. It’s a company founded on passion, honesty and integrity offering a range of services that includes temporary & permanent recruitment.



Recruitment is a business development job.

It is the key constituent of being a successful recruiter and it’s crucial that you are always seeking out new opportunities to ensure that your pipeline is full – but top billers know there is far more to it than that…

Recruiters are skilled networkers, expert consultants, black belt marketers, slick interviewers, brilliant strategists and sharp problem-solvers. The best recruiters are also master relationship builders. These guys know that something else is just as important; client retention.

If you think about it; if you’re not spending a large portion of time servicing your key clients each month, you’re giving other recruiters an opportunity to start flirting with them.

So, what’s the key to retaining your clients? Go above and beyond the call of duty to become a top biller.

If you’re doing what they want you to do, i.e. finding them the right candidate for the right job at the right time then great – congratulations! You can be satisfied that you’ve done a good job, your client is happy, you’ve got numbers on the board, you’ve hit your target and so on to the next month. You’ve earned your keep, kept the wolves from the door and your boss is off your back.


The Launch of LS Trent Recruitment

Wednesday 24th May 2017

LS Trent Recruitment

Tell us about yourself and how you came to launch LS Trent Recruitment

Hi, I’m Liz. Originally from Cambridge, I moved to Nottingham 18 years ago. I’m a proud mum to Aiden who is all grown up at 19 now and wife to Eddie for the past 17 years. Four years ago I stumbled into recruitment and realised that although I had loved my previous roles that I had found my calling – my dream career.

I love to get to know my clients and find out what they are looking for and I love to get to know my candidates and help them on their journey to find a great new career. Building long lasting relationships is what I do and I am extremely proud when a candidate updates their LinkedIn profile when they start their new role and I know that I was involved in that happening.

Nothing makes me happier than walking into the office each morning to the Thank You cards on the window sill, this brings a smile to my face every day. I see myself as a wider part of my clients’ recruitment team as I am a Brand Ambassador for them when I am discussing their roles with potential candidates. I am very proactive in sourcing candidates for my clients, ensuring that they only have the best available in the market.

What makes me different, I think it is simple but effective: I care…

I will be open and honest with clients and candidates if I think that I can help them and I genuinely love going on journey’s with each of you, it’s not about hitting a number, it about a client getting a great new long-term addition to the team and a candidate having the opportunity to grow within a company.



Warning minefield ahead!!

If there are two subjects that can really strike a nerve, it's politics and religion (with maybe football coming in a close third). That's not surprising really as it's the two things people go to war over.

Jeremy Corbyn looks like a Geography teacher who thinks he’s still down with the kids (maybe he is?), Theresa May eats public sector pensions for breakfast, and as for UKIP and Boris Johnson… well they’re sure to come up with some more comedy gold before long.

So, is it ok to talk politics in the office? It’s going to be tough to avoid at the moment with Brexit and a General Election on the way. Who knew I was such a natural politician at heart - because the answer isn't going to be a simple yes or no!

The truth is, it depends. It depends on the subject, the level of seriousness of the conversation, the views of those involved as well as a huge number of other factors. 


The Launch of Simply Trinity

Wednesday, 17th May 2017


Tell us about your recruitment background?

I kind of fell into it! I had been working with an exhibition company organising car and motorbike shows all around the country which I loved but I knew there wouldn’t be a proper future –we worked hard and played harder and not only was I burning the candle at both ends the middle was being burnt also … ☺  

I saw an ad in a local newspaper (this was the late 90s!!) – ‘Unromantic Turtle Scent’ –did you know that it is an anagram of Recruitment Consultant? This was from Reed – and so my career began. I started as a Temps Controller and moved on to a Permanent desk and then Business Development. I went through their rigorous training, did all their employment exams but as much as I respected Reed’s reputation and corporate image I wanted something more specialist, more personal – more freedom. We had to wear either red or blue with a special Reed tie for the boys and a scarf for the girls – I used to make my Manager laugh with innovative ways of wearing it!


The Launch of Atkinson Moss

Friday 12th May 2017

Atkinson Moss

Tell us about your recruitment background?

Angie: I started my Recruitment career year at the tender age of 21! Like most recruiters (I’m guessing!) it was not my obvious career choice initially. I registered with a Recruitment Agency in Norwich after returning from Travelling. The Director of business happened to be in the office when I was registering and they offered me a position there and then to work as a trainee consultant. I spent the next 8 years working an extremely busy temporaries Industrial desk. I have to say, whilst it was very grueling at times and a 24-hour service (Literally) this really did give me a good work ethic and how to time manage my time. I then decided to look at a different sector and joined a Global recruitment company specializing in Finance and Accounting. I spent 5 years with this firm before moving to an independent Recruitment business, again specializing in Finance and Accounting for a further 7 years until now.



Bullish, brave and brainy.

Risky, resilient and resourceful.

Passionate, patient and proactive.

Focussed, fulfilled and fixated.

Clear traits of all successful entrepreneurs – yes?

Surely, you need all 12 characteristics to really “make it” as an entrepreneur in today’s market? 

Look - while you might not see all these traits within yourself right now; let’s explore five signs that you are no doubt, an entrepreneur in the making:

1. Proactive: You don’t just “take action”, you act!

How long does it take to make a change? Seriously, how long does it take someone to make a change in their life? A year, 2 years, a week, a minute?! Starting your own business is something that you can think about and think about and think about. Until you just decide to act, you’re not changing – you’re stalling!  

You can agonise over business plans, prior-planning and have all the “pillow talk” you like, but what will make the difference between thinking and doing is you! Having a perfectly crafted business plan, a cash flow forecast as long as your projected pipeline and the “perfect” time to start your own business is a utopia that will never happen. Funnily enough, an entrepreneur knows that.

An entrepreneur knows that sometimes you need to think on your feet. and while you should never unknowingly run into anything without thinking, problem solving, resourcefulness and just acting on your initiative is far more valuable than anything else. 


5 Ways to Win Valuable Clients

Wednesday 3rd May 2017

Social Reach

Expert recruiters will know how essential it is to sell yourself effectively in interviews so here are some tips you can apply to your business pitches to win and develop valuable client relationships.

1. Ensure you do your research and know as much as you can about their business.
Before you even think about dialling their number, find out who their key competitors are, recent industry updates, in-vogue trends and the latest movers & shakers. To get a grasp of the company culture, visit their social media channels and read their blogs to attempt to get an inside feel for who they are (or who they are looking to portray themselves!). You could also read their LinkedIn profiles; not just the individual client you’re pitching but other key decision makers as there may be some further common ground.

2. If it’s a first call you’re making, try not to be too bullish.
You will achieve a lot more out of the relationship longer term if you approach them at a more moderate pace, developing the relationship through sharing their blogs for example and subtly making yourself known. This may all seem like a great deal of work, perhaps even laborious - however good clients are extremely valuable, both to your company and your professional career.


The Launch of Graphein Recruitment

Wednesday 5th April 2017

Graphein Recruitment

SSG are proud to announce our latest launch with Nicola Puttock – the proud owner of the creative consultancy Graphein Recruitment. 

It is always a pleasure to speak with Nicola with her boundless enthusiasm, here is her story so far:

What was your motivation for starting your own recruitment business?

Starting my own business like others, has always been something of a 'dream'.  I'm proud of my career choice to be a recruitment consultant, I take pride in my work, building relationships with clients and candidates and ensuring the process is seamless for both.  I started out as a 'wet behind the ear's' consultant, through hard work, dedication I progressed through the ranks and my last position was an Associate Director.  Due to personal life changes, ambition and of course opportunity, I set up Graphein Recruitment.


Recruitment Cover

Let’s start with the basics - the sections of cover that are legally required. All employers (and this is the definition of employees used to determine who is an employer) are required to have Employers’ Liability insurance. Employers’ Liability protects your agency from claims made by your own employees that arise due to your negligence. Another legally-required insurance is, if you own and operate motor vehicles on public roads, you are required to insure those vehicles.

Public and Products Liability is recommended from day one of operating as a business. Public Liability provides cover for claims made against you by third parties for accidental damage or injury; Products Liability covers you if a product you sell or supply causes injury or damage. These insurances are often packaged together.


Recruitment Cover

A Recruitment Agency – like any business – must manage its risk. And whilst the risks that a Recruitment Agency faces may be similar to those of other businesses, there may be differences due to the nature of your industry and the fact that you provide a professional service to clients. Therefore, diligent and comprehensive risk management is vital for protecting your business.

There are many approaches to risk management, but most important in your risk management process is that you approach the subject with a clear head and an objective mind. The fundamental questions that you should be asking yourself are what you may lose or suffer (the event), how likely it is that the event could materialise (the frequency) and the extent to which you can afford that event occurring (the impact).

Insurance is only one stage in the risk management process and irrespective of insurance, risk still requires careful and considered management.



Help SSG grow their recruitment network of budding Recruitment Entrepreneurs who would like to start their own business

Up to £22,000 basic
Wonderful opportunity for a recent graduate 
Friendly, encouraging & motivated office environment

If you are a recent graduate or in the early stages of your career & you genuinely want to do something challenging, creative & progressive; then maybe (just maybe!) this is the right opportunity for you. Who knows!

“WeAreSSG” provides a completely free recruitment business launch & on-going support facility for motivated Recruitment Consultants. Since 2003, SSG has launched over 250 new recruitment businesses across 34 different market sectors. We are experts in all things recruitment & nothing else. Don’t ask us to build you a car, we’d be terrible! But a recruitment business…! We are not a Recruitment business – we are a support business for Recruiters.

We are now looking for, what we feel, will be an invaluable asset to the growth & progression of our merry band. We are looking for an individual who will be responsible to building & managing a database of motivated recruiters who might (one day!) want to start their own recruitment business.



Welcome back! How’s your week been so far? Tell me – have you had a chance to think about the business you want to create?

You might remember last week we rambled on about how SSG has committed to enabling recruiters to launch their own recruitment agencies for the past 14 years. You might also remember that SSG commits to not only launching that agency, but also supporting that agency as it naturally progresses towards whatever end goal that particular business owner has in mind. & having had the privilege of supporting more than 300 companies, from over 34 sectors, SSG appreciates that the specific tools & support each venture needs, is very unique to them.

SSG have also been able to identify that the “Money Puzzle” often stops recruiters from making the exciting leap & restricts entrepreneurial recruiters achieving the long-term ambitions they have for themselves, their friends & their family. Last week we were able to present a clear plan for any recruiter who is looking to find out how much money they would need to put aside in preparation for launching their own business. In this week’s blog, we will attack the age-old question – how do we solve the Money Puzzle? In other words, where is that “hard cash” going to come from?



During the opening conversations with a prospect who is looking to start their own recruitment business, one of the most common concerns is always around personal cash flow. There’s always a rightful anxiety around the subject & it would be ignorant & naïve of SSG to not to respect & understand that.

And honestly no matter how clear it might be, to both parties, that SSG can enable the recruiter to achieve all that they want to in their own business, whether that be providing all the tools they need to go out & “do it” or provide all the expertise & support necessary, or a wonderful combination of both; without a clear financial plan to support themselves in the opening months – the need to pay the rent, eat, keep warm & keep the kids clothed will always stop a quality recruiter making the exciting leap.

So – how much money do you need to set aside to cover the everyday demands of life, while your new business ramps up? Once you understand how much money you need, we then need to understand your MAP – in other words, where is this “hard cash” going to come from? But for now, let’s focus on what you need.


The Launch of Fillip Search

Friday, 10th March 2017

Fillip Search

Fillip Search is SSG’s latest launch. We caught up with founder Tom Lee to find a bit more about him and his plans for the future.

Tell me about your recruitment background.

I have 11 years’ experience in IT recruitment. I’ve worked for two companies in that time. One global agency and another with less than 10 consultants. This contrast has given me a good overview of the recruitment industry and how a business works. I’m sure I’ll need to use all my experiences, good and bad to make a success of my own business!

What was your motivation for starting your own recruitment business?

I have a young family and I was keen to spend more time with them. Commuting for 4hrs a day wasn’t sustainable and I generally wanted a better balance between family and work.

What sectors do you cover? What roles do you specialise in?

I specialise in IT, the roles most common are those associated with the software development life-cycle eg Business Analysts, Developers, Testers, Project Managers. Graduate through to Director/senior appointments.



Have you ever wondered how a supposedly “normal” recruiter can go from being relatively unknown to amassing thousands & thousands of followers across multiple platforms & being one the most influential in this new wave of “social recruiters”? I know I have.

Heck - I have often wondered how anyone, whether they’re a recruiter or a “YouTube Blogger” can go from seemingly zero “reach” to being the one of the most followed individuals on the face of LinkedIn, YouTube or even Twitter – A true ‘zero to hero’ type story!

With the rise of social media & the focus that agencies are, rightfully, putting on the social platforms, the modern 2017 recruiter must start to appreciate that building a personal brand is key. Gone are the days where a candidate’s first impressions of you were simply off the back of the first telephone conversation (or fax correspondence depending on when you joined the wonderful industry!). We live in an exciting period of change where candidates & clients know so much about you (in some cases, too much!) before you even think about approaching them.



As part of the on-going support network here at SSG, one of the areas that we tend of get heavily involved in during the lifetime of any recruitment venture is the legal & compliant aspects of running a business. The popular stigma attached to the legalities of running an agency are that it’s very tough, very tricky & that’s it’s easier to understand how Leicester City have gone from winning the Premier League to fighting for relegation within 9 months, than it is to understand the ever-changing legalities surrounding growing a business. 

In our experiences, while seemingly every day we are met with a brand-new challenge from one of our fantastic ventures – there are certainly two areas that we tend to deal with above all others.



There’s literally advice out there for everything isn’t there? There’s advice online about “what to do when you have no wifi” OR “what to do when your bored at home” & even “how to get a rhino to walk down stairs”.

And over the last 13 years, SSG have seen their fair share of recruitment problems & solutions. With that in mind, I thought I’d give some advice around some of the most frequent questions we get from our budding recruitment entrepreneurs & see if any of you out there can relate?

If Barcelona FC did technical advice…

“In a race between my laptop & a tortoise, the tortoise would win every time. What can I do to speed it up? I’ve bought it a membership to David Lloyd Gym but this doesn’t seem to be working. Help!”

I’m sorry to tell you this, but it may be that even David Lloyds Gym and the famous Stair Master can’t save your laptop now. He’s spent too many long nights & early mornings on your lap, desk & the sofa. Although there may be hope for him yet. No one wants to have the chat with their laptop about their fitness & I appreciate that so surely there’s a better (& less offensive) way to speed the little fella up!



Gavin fell into recruitment while trying to find work as a trainee quantity surveyor on a cold March morning in 1994. Like the proverbial duck to water establishing himself as a talented recruiter in process, automation and control disciplines and hiring communities within hydrocarbon, pharmaceutical and marine development sectors. Gavin believes his success is due to a fundamental grasp of both the candidates and client’s needs. This led to Gavin being promoted to management and then a board level within NES.

In 2011 Gavin decided to make the move to a smaller, leaner business with a return to hands on recruitment in 2011.

Gavin is a true veteran of the world of technical recruitment, who thrives on delivering a solution.  After 23 years of providing 360-degree recruitment, training and mentoring of some of the best recruitment professionals out there as well as developing and implementing recruitment strategies in countless campaigns he began pondering his next move. Was that going to be more of the same?


Jazz Personnel – A Year On…

Wednesday, 8th February 2017

Jazz Personnel

Over the last 13 years, SSG have seen their fair share of passionate recruitment entrepreneurs. We’ve seen the best construction recruiters addicted to business ownership & we’ve seen the best accounting & finance recruiters addicted to business ownership. & out of all the 300 or so ventures we’ve supported over the years, they don’t tend to come more motivated, driven & entrepreneurial than Dominic Nelson. Dom is Managing Director of Jazz Personnel, an innovative start-up based in the North East with a specific focus within the Accountancy and Finance, Digital, Engineering, Industrial, Legal, Office Support, & Sales and Marketing sectors.


The Burford Recruitment Company

This week sees the launch of The Burford Recruitment Company – the latest recruitment company supported by SSG. Jodie and Chris popped into the office and I had chance to ask them about their story.

Tell me about your recruitment background.

Jodie went to school in Burford and has lived and worked in West Oxfordshire all of her life. With a strong sales background, Jodie has spent the last 13 years working in recruitment in Witney and the wider Oxfordshire area. During this time, Jodie has come to know the local market inside out and has built and managed successful recruitment teams covering Office and Professional, Industrial and IT sectors.


The launch of Process 11

Friday 3rd February 2017

Process 11

We have recently launched Process 11 – Rob Hardy’s own recruitment business. Rob is flying already, but took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to explain how he become the owner Norfolk’s latest recruitment company.

Tell me about your recruitment background
As with most recruiters, I kind of just ‘fell into it’! After having many years’ experience working within production, engineering and sales/customer service environments, I utilised those skills and experiences into the recruitment sector. I began by managing large scale temporary industrial contracts within the food processing sector and then moved onto my last position, where I built up a successful division covering both permanent and temporary placements in the engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors. I think my previous background has always helped my recruitment career by having a good understanding of how all the processes work and what type of candidates fit into different organisations.


Hamilton George

Recruiters get their fair share of bad press. I know I’m not the first person to suggest this & I know I won’t be the last. Business Owners, equally, come under fire from time-to-time on main stream social media & business platforms. So, when Greg Southern came to SSG in 2013 with the desire to start his own R2R agency – some might have suggested he was entering the most disliked & challenging area of both recruitment & business. 

SSG wouldn’t agree.

And although I can’t speak for the entire recruitment world, I can speak for SSG when I say that our relationship over the years with Greg & his team has been as far from “unlikeable” as possible & as rewarding as taking the top of a yogurt, “yogurt free”. I had the pleasure of having a conversation with Greg about the last couple of years, at a rather exciting time for him. At the end of last year Greg moved into his brand-new offices in the heart of Manchester & has also brought on a new consultant. & therefore SSG felt it was a perfect time to grab 10 minutes with him to understand a little bit more about what had brought him to this exciting stage in his life.


Hill & Jago Recruitment – Two Years On…

Thursday, 20th January 2017

Hill & Jago

Just last week, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with Catherine Tassano from Hill & Jago Recruitment about her last 2 years of Business Ownership. It was a pleasure to hear even more about Catherine & why she wanted to become her own boss & create the lifestyle she had always wanted.

What was evident in talking to Catherine was the personal connection she had to her business & I know it sounds simplistic but one of the major drivers for anyone when they’re running their own business is that they feel the success & nature of that business is a direct reflection on themselves. That personal connection, alongside a passion to promote a brand as an extension of herself is clearly what has helped Catherine get to where she is today. Not to mention she’s a top-quality recruiter as well!...


Newton Colmore Consulting – Two Years On…

Thursday, 12th January 2017

Thomas Lee

With the new year in full swing, SSG had the opportunity to sit down with the dynamic duo at Newton Colmore & explore how they have found their first 2 years of working for themselves. From an SSG standpoint, it was really rewarding to hear from two very capable recruiters how the support of SSG has allowed them to start their own business & do what they do best – find top quality candidates for rare, niche & high value opportunities. Alongside this, we were able to understand further how important timing was for Matthew & Andrew when contemplating this exciting leap.


Thomas Lee Recruitment – A Year On…

Thursday, 5th January 2017

Thomas Lee

In the run up to the Christmas (what seems like many moons ago now!), I had the pleasure of catching up with Mark Hopkins, Managing Director of Thomas Lee Recruitment. SSG have had the privilege of supporting Mark & his venture for a year now & I felt it fitting to sit down with Mark & talk about his experiences over the last year or so & how he has found the transition from enthusiastic employee to motivated Business Owner.


The launch of Revision Recruitment

Wednesday 4th January 2017

Revision Recruitment

The new year has just started and it begins with a new recruitment company launched with the help of SSG. 2017 – meet Kris Feaviour of Revision Recruitment! Kris is a great example of an SSG launch, so here is the story of how Revision Recruitment came to be.

Tell me about your recruitment background.

My recruitment background is fairly recent as, unlike so many others, I came into recruitment at a relatively late stage in my career. My first role in recruitment started in my early thirties after 10 years of packaging sales, and I knew after a short while I had found my calling.

I’d never experienced a role in which you were so intrinsically linked to people you worked with on a daily basis – be it the clients, candidates or colleagues with whom you spent so much of your time talking to. I found myself making friends and forging long standing relationships from day one, and I still count many individuals as good friends even from those early days.


Develop the New You

Tuesday 3rd January 2017

Break Free

New Years Resolutions. New Year, New You? I have some bad news people, it’s probably not going to happen. I’m not trying to be mean here; it’s actually based on science. We’ve all heard the expression that madness is doing the same thing again and again but expecting a different result.

If you want to achieve something different in 2017 then you really need to do something different this time around. Going into 2017 with a renewed sense of purpose is great, hit the ground running. But then January rolls into February, then its spring and before you know it you are in the same place you were last year.

If you work in recruitment and you are successful, your boss will want you to carry on being successful, maybe even more successful to make them even more money. That’s not new, it’s the same but just more placements and higher billings.

If you really want 2017 to be different, significantly different, then you need to make some major adjustments. But how can you do this as a recruiter? Well SSG might just have a late Christmas present for you - do what you do best, but….. be your own boss.


Desire Recruitment Solutions – A Year On…

Thursday 22nd December 2016

Desire Recruitment Solutions

Last month, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with one of our ventures, Desire Recruitment Solutions. Desire is headed up by the experienced Sam Barnes, & has been trading now for just over a year. Sam & I had the opportunity to discuss how she has found the first year of trading & the challenges & successes those last 12 months have brought her.

1) Why did you decide to launch your own recruitment business?

I was at the stage in my life when I really needed a better work/life balance due to family commitments.  I was also inspired by my partner’s family members, who had already successfully run their own business for over 20 years. Honestly, I just felt really undervalued in my previous role so with all this combined, I decided the time was definitely right for me to start my own business.



When you’re starting your own recruitment business, deciding where to dedicate your time is one of the key skills you need to pick up quickly. With no marketing department, admin team or resourcer in your business, you can soon find yourself pulled from pillar to post and becoming a master of all trades.

The obvious priority is recruitment – after all, that’s what is going to make your business money and ensure it is profitable, as well as being able to pay yourself. After recruitment though, is social media a priority for your business? Especially when you are considering longer term goals and how to build your business.

Were I to post this as a question on any social media platform, LinkedIn particularly, I’m sure I would receive a flurry of responses – ranging from resounding yes’s to defiant no’s. It’s a topic which seems to divide opinion.


Violet Executive Search – A Year On…

Thursday 15th December 2016

Violet Executive Search

Over the last week or so, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with one of our ventures, Violet Executive Search. Headed up by the experienced Mark Jackson, Violet have been trading for just over a year now & have been a valuable client of SSG since their incorporation back in 2015. Mark & I had the opportunity to discuss how he has found the first year of trading & how the relationship between Violet & SSG has developed over the last 12 months.

1) Why did you decide to launch your own recruitment business?

I left my employer for a new role which turned out to be not what was advertised in the slightest and that left me at a crossroads. I had a choice between building a new desk for someone else or building something for myself, it was a no brainier to do it for myself!



When do we think about the unthinkable?  And no, I’m not talking about your most recent VAT bill or the lump of Corporation Tax you need to pay in a few months. 

Over half of small businesses have not thought about ‘the unthinkable’ and more than 1 in 10 business owners estimated their company would cease trading immediately following a death or critical illness of a key individual within the business.  This is particularly concerning for small businesses, who are often reliant on one or two people to produce income and keep the business operational.

And in the case of bereavement or serious illness, family and dependents will be grieving or perhaps caring for the business owner and so worrying about how the business will continue to function without them, how to deal with shares or how they can maintain some income can be particularly stressful at an already difficult time.



One of the questions we often get asked is ‘what is the best way to grow my recruitment business – to specialise in one sector or to diversify and cover a number of sectors?’

The answer really is, it depends.  And no, that’s not me sitting on the fence – it depends on what your end goal is for the business and is different for each company.  So, what should I be considering to help me make that decision?



How many recruiters breach their restrictive covenants when they leave an agency?  5%, 10%, 50%?  How many are encouraged to do so by their new employers?  And is it a different story if you’re setting up your own recruitment business?

With numerous cases in the courts, it’s clearly a common practice (especially as we know that only a small percentage of cases even make it to court, given the costs involved in bringing and defending such claims).  And we’ve all heard those tales – be it the recruiter that left and took all their business (seemingly getting away with it!) to those who have had their fingers burned by ex-employers throwing the rule book at them.

What’s the reality?  And how should approach this potentially thorny issue?


1st Birthday Celebrations

Thursday 1st December 2016

Straight Forward

Everyone knows when they were born, don’t they? For me it was the 24th February & for years on that day has been a day of celebration, presents & the occasional “blurry” night… I am sure we have all had our fair share of them during our years.

For many, birthdays are the one day of the year you always remember. The one day of the year that means something to you, to your family, & to your loved ones. Your 13th, 18th, 21st, 30th… all important dates that undoubtedly mean a serious amount to you.

But what about your first? It’s funny, your 1st birthday is, arguably, the most under-rated birthday you have. Do you remember anything about it? What did you get? What did you do? Who was there? What cake was there? All seriously important questions, I know you can’t answer.


Lessons from my weekend escape

Friday, 25th November 2016


Over the weekend I took part in a unique and fun, but challenging event – Escape from Meriden (find it here).  The premise is this: start at midnight on Friday night in Meriden (the central most point of England) and, in 24 hours, escape on foot as far away from Meriden, as the crow flies, as you can.

A fantastic concept and a change from the usual half, full or ultra-marathons where the distance and route are pre-set.  Although, huddled together at the ancient stone cross in -3 degree temperatures waiting to be released into the night, it didn’t seem half as appealing.  Needless to say, one can do a lot of thinking in 24 hours and this post is the result of those ruminations and transferring those ‘lessons learned’ to my professional life. 


Chrome Plugins

I had a very strange dream last night that I wanted to share with you today. I was in some sort of city, much like the one we see in the “Truman Show” – do you know the film? I hope you do.

Anyways, I was walking along a paved street & car after car was driving past, & each car was exactly the same. Each car was the same beige saloon car, all going the same measly pace, along the same road, in the same direction, & to the same destination. The biggest difference – well…not much. Shows how wild my imagination is hey!

And this was the dream for about 5 or so minutes, until a jet black monster truck (5 times bigger than the rest) came driving along the same road, crushing every other car in its path on route to a destination it was clearly more eager to get to. This car was different, bigger, faster, stronger & clearly much, much more effective in “Max’s dream world”. For some reason that was enough for me & I woke up in the middle of the night, a little bit confused & not aware that this would becoming the introduction to a blog about talent sourcing…


Is it time?

Whilst it’s easy to lose track of the number of articles espousing the theory that the traditional job boards are now dying, killed off by the likes of LinkedIn, the reality remains that many recruiters view them as a valuable part of their arsenal in their quest to source the best talent for their clients.

In fact, according to Social Talent’s 2016 survey, 26% of recruiters say job boards are their primary source for finding candidates who are ultimately hired (read more here) and, whilst that is a significant drop from previous years, it’s still a significant percentage.


Christmas Worry

Now I am sure when Bob Geldof sat down alongside Midge Ure back in 1984 & started brainstorming lyrics for the soon-to-be most played Christmas song ever, recruitment consultants were not in the forefront of their minds.

I am sure they did not intentionally look to ostracise every recruitment consultant in the world by suggesting that the Christmas period meant there was “no need to be afraid”. For all you recruiters out there, I’m talking directly to you. What does December mean to you? Gut reaction – what’s it all about? Now while I’m not there with you, I can’t see personally what you wrote down, I can assume terms like “slow”, “winding down”, “a BD month”, “quiet” have been written?


Job Boards

Whilst it’s easy to lose track of the number of articles espousing the theory that the traditional job boards are now dying, killed off by the likes of LinkedIn, the reality remains that many recruiters view them as a valuable part of their arsenal in their quest to source the best talent for their clients.

In fact, according to Social Talent’s 2016 survey, 26% of recruiters say job boards are their primary source for finding candidates who are ultimately hired (read more here) and, whilst that is a significant drop from previous years, it’s still a significant percentage.

So, they’re good for something, right?


Snow White & the Counter Offer

Wednesday, 9th November 2016

Counter Offer

About a month or so ago I shared something quite personal on this news feed about a certain Year 4 relationship that never quite materialised. While that clearly didn’t emotionally scar me, because I don’t talk about it on blogs at all (!), what did emotionally scar me as a young boy was the Old Witch from the 1937 classic – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

I assume you’re all familiar with the classic but just in case you aren’t, the main premise is around a princess called Snow White who was “the fairest of them all”. This didn’t sit too well with the step-mum (who also happened to be the Queen) who proceeded to spend the entire film trying to poison Snow White under the guise of an old lady.

Absolutely terrifying. Google it, you’ll see.


Should you be addicted to Growth?

Monday, 7th November 2016

Addicted to Growth

In the world we live in today, the word “addicted” has such negative connotations doesn’t it. If you’re addicted to smoking cigarettes, you’re seen to be consciously killing yourself. If you’re addicted to “The X Factor”, you’re seen to accepting social suicide. & if, like the average 15 year old of today, you’re addicted to FIFA then chances are your social life is low but your integral 4-1-2-1-2 formation with Barcelona is unbeatable.

So, should people be addicted to anything? Well, like anything, it all depends on the detail.   

A well-known “motivator” once said that if you’re not growing, you’re dying. Now I don’t know you personally yet, but I could suggest that the idea of growth is something that excites you. If, like many successful recruiters, this does then a life addicted to growth is one that will lead to a life of true abundance – whatever that might look like for you.



Having launched over 300 recruitment businesses since 2013, here at SSG we like to think we know a thing or two about getting entrepreneurial recruiters from the idea of running their own recruitment business, to the reality.

But, we know we’re not the right option for everyone – in fact, so keen are SSG to encourage you to consider other possibilities, we devote a whole page on our website to it.  In this post, I want to cover one of those options, franchising.


New Office

When you envisage running your own business (be that in recruitment or in a different sector) I would hazard a guess that you don’t imagine sitting in a corner of your front room, surrounded by children’s toys, listening to the washing machine whirring and staring at your magnolia walls all day. 

I know I imagine a beautiful office, perhaps in a Victorian town house, with a stylish glass plaque outside.  Or a lovely open plan set up with a buzzy atmosphere.

But, the reality is, for most start-up businesses, an office is not a necessity. 


The Name Game

Friday, 21st October 2016

The Name Game

Your company name is really important, it’s who you will be as a new business, who you will be as a brand. It’s the name people will remember. It’s going to be your website, your email address – it’s going to be EVERYWHERE! Now for some lucky people, this name just pops into their heads and they love it. This is either magic or witchcraft – I don’t know how they do it, but I am seriously jealous!

If you are struggling, spend 5 minutes to read this article and then have a play with some of these ideas. This isn’t a “new company name generator”, but rather a way of getting the creative juices flowing to help you develop a name for yourself.

We have all seen the Facebook posts “get your own Star Wars name”. Take the first 2 letters of your mother’s maiden and then add the last 4 letters of your first pets name etc. I am now Jedi Master Matwoo Tiem.


Business Owner

If you were to take a two-week holiday with your family, what would happen to your business while you were gone? Would you spend the whole time on your phone or laptop answering emails and putting out fires? Would your ‘holiday’ cause you more stress because you’re not in the office?

Have you ever had that experience? If you can relate then I’d like you to get a piece of paper & pen, & write down the following statement about yourself: “I am a Business Operator, not a Business Owner”. Done it? Thanks. Now get that same pen & put a big “X” through that to make sure we never do that again.



Often start-ups find funds in short supply – after all, getting your new business set up and off the ground can be costly and time consuming, via some avenues more than others.  Many new business owners find themselves wearing many different hats at many different times, and don’t have the time or energy to even think about bettering themselves (it’s all about just getting some money in the bank) or about developing their first hire (it’s all about just getting them to get some money in the bank) let alone spending money on training – be that 1-to-1, group workshops, webinars, online training or even access to a resource library.

But, what if I said a small investment in training would result in an increase in productivity and employee retention?  And what if you could utilise training any time, any place?


Unrequited Love

Thursday, 13th October 2016

Unrequited Love

I’m going to share something with you today that I haven’t shared with anyone for a good 10 or 15 years. Something that has never seemed reasonable or applicable to talk about until now. So here goes… Do you feel privileged?

Back when I was 10 years old, around January to be precise, I fell in love with a girl. & for the sake of this example, let’s call that girl Susan. Susan was in my class at school & she was amazing, resourceful, popular, knowledgeable & all the things a young 10 year old boy would want in their first crush. She also had a wicked pair of light up trainers.

In my head, we were a match made in Miss Toppings Year 4 class & this would be the start of a beautiful relationship. So naturally, with Valentine’s Day just a month around the corner, the young romantic within me went off & planned ferociously for the next month or so to make sure that on the 14th I would sneakily place a card in the desk draw of Susan & the rest would fall into place…

How wrong was I.



You’d be surprised at how often I get asked that question!  Or maybe you wouldn’t…..after all, we’ve all seen those adverts: ‘No money, no experience, no problem!  Start your own guinea pig grooming business now’

But in reality, we all know that starting your own business in an arena you have no experience or knowledge of is a huge risk, especially when that business makes money from selling a service, like recruitment.  It’s not just Tufty the guinea pigs mohawk at stake here, it’s potentially someone’s career, your professional integrity, considerable sums of money and more. 

Having set up over 300 recruitment businesses since we first launched in 2003, SSG are uniquely placed to understand the role that recruitment experience plays in successfully starting a recruitment business. 

And we believe, unequivocally, it’s an important one!  Why? 


Dancing Robot

For those of you out there who are familiar with the 6ft 8 ex-England centre forward, Peter Crouch, “the robot” & therefore the title of this blog today will stir up some unfavourable memories for you. For that, I am sorry. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of watching Peter Crouch (a man whose physic screams out everything but world class footballer) celebrate a goal by doing what can only be described as a feeble attempt at some sort of “robot”, you won’t have known, but you will appreciate that football & robotics do not go hand in hand…

Another area where the influence of robots are becoming increasing stronger & up for debate is in the world of recruitment.

Technological growth, the rise of social media & the emergence of functions like LiveChat are influencing the way recruitment professionals work & see their role in the recruitment process. There is a concern that the rise of technology & the automation functions that are available nowadays will dehumanise the recruitment process & essentially make the role of the 360 recruiter, redundant. This concern is misplaced.


The Launch of H9 Technical

Thursday, 6th October 2016

H9 Technical

Following on theme of catching up with recruiters who have recently launched their own recruitment business with SSG, we look at Mark Hunt’s story and how he came to “be his own boss” with H9 Technical.

Mark left university with a mountain of student debt (like almost all Uni leavers) and wasn’t sure what came next. In Mark’s own words – he stumbled into recruitment. Luckily for Mark (and us) he found himself working in recruitment for Huxley Engineering in Manchester at an office that was doing fantastically well at the time. It wasn’t long before Mark was flying in the office, and then being flown to Athens on a work reward trip. This was the point when Mark realised he’d been bitten by the recruitment bug and he liked it.


Golden Ticket

I’m a cinema fanatic. Period. I try & go to the cinema as much as I can, not so much for the films but because popcorn, ice cream & those “Tango IceBlasts” are my absolute crux. The film is just an excuse to pig out if I’m being honest.

So last weekend I was sitting there watching the latest blockbuster film, tucking into a bucket of popcorn that could fit a small child in & an ice cream tub that you could have mistaken for a milkshake, thinking – this movie is awful. Woeful in fact, so my mind was wandering. & I found myself thinking about recruitment (I know, strange) and how many of the most iconic films ever are really all about recruitment.

Having read various blogs & posts around the subject, clearly I was not the only one to think this. So instead of going through & compiling a list of my “Top 5” best films about recruitment, instead I wanted to explore one film in particular. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (& yes I’m talking about the original!). A piece of cinematic beauty, a classic that transcends time & space, & a film that has indirect nods to the recruitment process throughout all of its 89 minutes of gold (if you pardon the pun).


Sourcing Superstars for Start-Up Success

Thursday, 22nd September 2016

Sourcing Superstars

We all know the score, let’s not pretend. You’ve made the tantalising leap from employee to business owner & you haven’t looked backed since. While on the one hand, the reality is full of freedom, autonomy & (hopefully) excess capital; on the other hand, you work from home (generally speaking) & the most face-to-face interaction you have is with your cat. Usually feeding them for yet another time, no wonder they’re getting fatter by the day. You’re a little lonely. Not only that, but you want to progress the business, you want to grow, succeed & get to the dizzy heights you know you can reach.

You’re in the fortunate position to have a business that has made a few quid since it started & now you’re looking to put some of the capital to good use & attract a proper billing consultant to join you, Otto the cat & your successful start-up.

Right so you know what you want: a proper biller. You know why you want it: to grow the business from strength to strength. Now we need to understand the mechanics. How do you attract someone “worth it” & someone who is actually “worth it”?


Part 3 – Has Chubs Survived?

Thursday, 15th September 2016


I know what it’s like. Waiting for the final instalment of this 3 part blog series around the exciting topic of selling your own recruitment business, is as worse (if not worse) than waiting a whole year for the next instalment of Games Of Thrones. So I thank you for your patience, & while there will be no fire breathing dragons, no manic Kings & no White Walkers moving south of the wall, we will finally know what happened to our good old friend – Chubs, the Business Owner.

A catch up…
It’s now two years since Chubs respectfully declined an offer from Peter Jones to buy his recruitment business with a P.E of 3. After 2 long years of change, re-structuring & strategic application, Chubs is now eagerly waiting to meet with Mr. Jones once more.


Selling a Recruitment Business – Part 2…

Thursday, 8th September 2016

Searching for a Customer

If you can cast your mind back to last week for me just for a second, back to the latter stages of Summer 2016. Ah I miss it already…Not only was no one talking about Christmas (I think I saw a “meme” yesterday celebrating 18 Fridays until the fateful day which was slightly premature to say the least…) but we were also exploring the opening stages of selling a recruitment business (which you can read here). If you haven’t yet had a chance to have a look at that, please do. Make sure that before you delve into “Part 2” today you understand where we got up to when it came to selling your fantastic little recruitment company for literally millions of pounds.


A Big Wallet

I’m sure you’ve sometimes wondered how it is that an apparently ordinary Recruiter can casually walk away, having sold a relatively small recruitment business (which they just so happen to own!), with literally millions & millions of pounds in their back pocket. I know I have.

& if you’re anything like me, you can’t sleep until you find out how they did that! How do these seemingly “ordinary” Recruiters go from nothing to £2/5/7m+ in the blink of an eye? How have they done it? Who actually buys recruitment companies & what do they actually buy? I know that sounds simplistic, but do they buy the recruiters, the database, everything? Where’s the hidden Aston Martin that makes the company worth millions?


SSG - A Bakers Dozen

wednesday, 24th August 2016

A Bakers Dozen

SSG has been helping recruitment consultants start their own businesses for around a “Bakers Dozen” years now & over the last 13 years it’s safe to say we know a little bit about what it takes to be a Recruitment Entrepreneur. While there is not one tried & tested recipe in creating the perfect candidate, there are certain elements that I wish to explore today & perhaps you can see similarities between our recipe & yourself.

I mean if, like me, you religiously watched “The Great British Bake Off” on the BBC last Autumn, and I mean religiously – I mean your Wednesday was never anything other than sitting in front of the TV at 8pm sharp, watching Paul Hollywood (and that questionable goatee) waltz around that tent & longingly urging him to give just one more Baker that famous “Hollywood Handshake” – then you’re probably having Bake off anxiety, am I right? Worried that the dizzy heights of last year will not be surpassed by this year’s fresh batch of Baking Recruits.


The Launch of Theory Recruitment

monday, 20th August 2016

Theory Recruitment

Well, what can we say about this dynamic duo? We’re so excited to be working with Lewis Erskine and Ben Hamilton-Jones in their new venture, Theory Recruitment. This refreshing new recruitment agency focuses on the Education sector, with a particular emphasis on Further Education. Their theory (get it!) really is simple; to offer a bespoke personal service through an unrivalled client and candidate focus. That means building strong and lasting relationships with all and providing a slick end to end service, whilst ensuring compliance and speed of delivery. Offering temporary and permanent staffing solutions in the Education and Training Sectors throughout the UK, we think this pair on one to watch for the future.


Do you remember when, in the first book of the Harry Potter series, Harry & The Dursleys were driven out of their home at Number 4 Privet Drive by what was essentially an angry postman. They left sunny Surrey & sought refuge in a slightly remote island off the coast of England in a dire attempt to run from the magic of Hogwarts. Although as we all know, you can never run from Hogwarts. If you dare try; a 9ft tall, bearded figure waving an umbrella will come, break your door down, turn your silly cousin into a Pig & tell you what you already knew - you’re a Wizard…

Of course I’m talking about Hagrid & Harry. And much like Hagrid awoke a sleeping giant within Harry that he always knew was there but was never quite sure how to harness, becoming an Entrepreneur is very similar. I am yet to talk to a recruiter, who we end up supporting, who could say with absolute certainty that they hadn’t always felt they were capable of becoming a Recruitment Entrepreneur. My aim today is to be your Hagrid. To be the guy who talks to the “little man” on your shoulder, who has always tempted you & teased you about becoming your own boss but who you have always disregarded for one reason or another.


One Pound

In today’s market, what can £1 buy you? Well, it can buy you a Galaxy cholate bar, a pint of milk, 40 pairs of Primark hair bobbles, a snickers bar & now it can buy you BHS…

Yes just over a year ago now the large retail chain, that first opened its doors in 1927, was sold by Sir Philip Green to an array of investors for the total price of a snickers bar. Having been bought back in 2000 for the total price of 200 million snicker bars, there has been close examination not only of how Sir Philips waist line hasn’t expanded to the size of Chicago over the last 15 years, but more around where all the investment has gone over the last 15 years.

I appreciate this is a rather complex & intricate study so while it may seem like I am “rushing” through it all today in this blog, I simply want to get the core details across today with the hope that if this is of interest to you, you pick the phone up & have a chat.

So, where did it all go wrong?


Ready or not. You CAN go!

Monday, 8th August 2016

Magic Roundabout

I was driving along last night after a long but productive days’ work &, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the scenic route between Berkhamsted & Watford, but there’s a set of roundabouts in the town of Hemel Hempstead, infamously named, the “Magic Roundabout”. If you’re an adrenaline junkie like me, but too scared to jump out of a plane, abseil down a cliff face or bungee jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, then I would highly recommend visiting the roundabouts in HP1.

Why? Well quite simply, the sheer thrill & unpredictability of navigating your little box on wheels around not 1, not 2 but at least 5 roundabouts just to get to your exit, suitably increases your adrenaline so much that you’ll either be crazy enough to go that route again or NEVER travel in Hemel Hempstead ever again, ever. Much like the two degrees of emotion you tend to find people experiencing when they decide to leave the shackles of agency employment & venture out and start their own recruitment business.


See-saws & Social Media

Wedensday, 27th July 2016

See Saw

Remember when you were a kid & you used to go hang out at the park after school? I’m sure we all did it & if you didn’t, you were probably mightily fed up of missing it because of yet another piano lesson organised by your mum or dad, in a feeble attempt to mould you into the next Stevie Wonder. But, if like me, you turned your back on the musical arts as quickly as you could say piano, then you knew the park was the place to be.

After all, it was the ultimate hang-out spot. & one of the most fascinating things about it was, that even in that 30 by 30 square foot enclosed area, there was a microcosm of society. If you were sitting on the swings, you were a certain level of popularity. If you were sitting on the roundabout, I’m afraid you were perhaps just there for the ride. But the see-saw was the place to be. This was where David from football used to hang out. He had all the resources, all the friends, all the looks & all the girls (!).


Live Chat – This summers must have

Wedensday, 20th July 2016

Live Chat

In light of the mini-heatwave that has brought Britain to as much of a standstill as the great snow of 2009, I decided to seize the opportunity to do some online clothes shopping, After all, you can never have too many pairs of shorts or flip-flops can you (or the latest trend, those slider things!).

So with that in mind & the promise of even hotter days to come, I went to a popular online shop based out in America to order some clothes. Once I had filled my basket up with enough clothes to mean I’d have more month at the end of my money for the next year, I proceeded to confirm a delivery date. Woah – BIG mistake. The earliest time of arrival from America was 2-4 working days, 2-4 days. I would have to twiddle my thumbs & rehash old outfits that would make me look like I had as much variety in my outfit choices than Bart Simpson, for 2-4 days. No way Jose!



Ah…here’s a question I assume nobody reading this wants to think about, let alone answer (& no, not how do you feel about Brexit!); who out there has ever FAILED? I mean failed, I mean you were a failure. You weren’t just mistaken, but you absolutely, positively, categorically failed. You were a loser. Have you ever had this experience?

See for me I’m quite lucky. I can count on my right hand how many times I’ve failed, although my right hand is slightly odd in the fact that I have 1,524 fingers on it, but that’s beside the point.



Words have such a powerful meaning don’t they? No words have more of an emotional meaning attached to them than those like money, politics, religion, & so on, wouldn’t you agree? But what about Brexit…

What meaning do you associate to the word Brexit & the events of the last week or so?

In the wake of the UK’s Brexit (exit of the EU for those who may have been living in rock for the past year or so!), the pound fell to a 31-year low of £1.31 on Monday June 27 - the lowest level since Manchester United beat Everton 1-0 in the FA Cup Final (1985!). Surely that would have a negative impact on the recruitment market & especially the manufacturing sector. After all if the pound falls, import costs go up, & if import costs go up, inflation goes up, & if inflation goes up, the cost of day-to-day commodities goes up which causes a fall in people’s real income (!)


TVH Marketing Solutions

This week, we are excited to announce the launch of TVH Marketing Solutions. Covering London and the Home Counties, TVH Marketing Solutions are a specialist Marketing recruitment agency, who focus on sourcing candidates in the Digital Marketing arena for permanent roles. Headed up by Tony Virgo-Harris, who has many years’ experience and a large network of contacts within his sector, TVH Marketing Solutions offer a well-rounded professional service. We’re confident this fledgling business will be one to watch for the future.

Clark & Cox Recruitment Services

Clark & Cox Recruitment Services are a new Recruitment Agency, recently formed on the basis of wanting to provide a more personable kind of approach to recruitment solutions. Led by the experienced and endlessly enthusiastic Mandi Cox, who has many years’ experience within recruitment, along with Hazel Clark, Clark & Cox cover a variety of sectors and offer permanent recruitment solutions to their clients. We know that this recruitment business is guaranteed to always go above and beyond what is expected by both their clients and candidates.

The Launch of Cercare

Friday, 1st July 2016


We’re pleased to welcome specialist Healthcare recruitment consultancy, Cercare, to the SSG network. Headed up by Jillian Fraser, who has over a decades experience in healthcare recruitment, and focussed on permanent recruitment in Scotland, this bespoke business are passionate about providing a high quality solution to their clients and candidates. With a caring, honest and transparent work ethic, we’re confident that this fledgling business will quickly develop.

The Launch of TeachTech Solutions

Friday, 24th June 2016

TeachTech Solutions

We are pleased to welcome a dynamic new agency to the SSG network. TeachTech Solutions, headed up by the passionate and professional Keshia Stewart, is a specialist recruitment consultancy in the teaching of Information Technology sector. This niche sector amalgamates the two worlds of teaching and technology, and Keshia’s impressive knowledge of the sector, as well as her inherent integrity is already standing her in good stead, with placements already in the bag. This energetic new business is definitely one to watch for the future and we look forward to working with Keshia as the business grows.

Congratulations Lisa & Chris!

Monday, 20th June 2016

Congratulations Lisa

Congratulations to the lovely Lisa Smith, owner of Borehamwood based Commercial agency, Crisp Recruitment who was married on Saturday at a beautiful ceremony surrounded by friends and family. We have been working with Crisp since the business began in early 2012 and we are delighted for her and her new husband Chris. We wish them a lot of love and laughter as they start their married life.

Be a Chunky Monkey

Thursday, 16th June 2016

Chunky Monkey

You’ve all heard of the infamous “to-do” list I’m sure? & don’t worry this isn’t another peppy up-beat “ditch the to-do list & live in the moment” type blog that I’m sure you (& I’ve been guilty of this too) have found yourself reading time & time again over the years.

Instead I wanted to explore what really makes a business owner, heck any type of professional, feel stressed, pressured or anxious in their daily lives. I’m sure if you were to write down the emotions you feel on a constant basis during any given week, verbs like stressed, overwhelmed & the like may appear once or twice – would you be willing to agree with that?

If you’re one of us normal people & you do feel these emotions from time to time - what do you do? Let me give you a personal example, because I don’t know you personally yet, but for me whenever I felt overwhelmed or stressed, I used to make a “to-do” list. But in all honesty, it never worked. Ever.


Marcus Hale Consulting

Thursday, 16th June 2016

Marcus Hale Consulting

SSG are pleased to continue working with Marcus Hale Consulting who, having been successfully incubated, have decided to remain part of the SSG network as the business develops. We're really pleased we are able to be part of the ongoing journey for this very focussed recruitment business.

The Wheel of Focus

Wednesday, 8th June 2016


Even the greatest business owners in the world know, deep down, that there is a gap between where they are right now & where they want to be in regards to the progress & growth of their business. Isn’t it true? Now, I know if you’re reading this today you’re an achiever. You’re either a fully-fledged business owner living the life of a recruitment entrepreneur, or some part of you is debating making the tantalising leap. So surely you can relate to the idea that any great business owner is never content with their current position (no matter how outrageously excellent it may be!). 

To be a success in any area of business, it’s all about focus. Achievers like yourself know that whatever you focus on, you will achieve. But all business owners (SSGs M.D. included!) have been guilty of focusing on one aspect of their business more than another at some stage in their careers, leaving other areas to fall at the wayside & paying the price.



I’m sure you’re all aware of the “AI takeover” theory – you know, the hypothetical scenario in which artificial intelligence (AI) becomes the dominant form of intelligence on Earth & us mere-mortals become slaves to the robot generation. Well, according to the ex-CEO of McDonald’s, such a day may be closer than we think…

Despite the fact that McDonalds have denied claims made by its former CEO that it plans to recruit robots in place of staff in an attempt to cut costs, the hysteria around the potential robotic revolution is still becoming stronger each day. This all came about through claims made by the ex-CEO, Ed Rensi that a rise in minimum wage to $15 an hour, may cause McDonald’s to replace its workers with robots. It was a “common sense” alternative to employing people on minimum wage, said Rensi. Rensi argued that recruiting employees on at least $15 (or £10) an hour would make no sense whatsoever, when a cheaper alternative would be to buy a $35,000 robotic arm that could do the same job. & arguably a lot quicker, without turning up late, ill or feeling a little worse for wear after the night before. Despite the criticism, Rensi was quoted in the Daily Mail suggesting that the shift was “going to happen whether you like it or not”.


The launch of Caballo Recruitment

Friday, 27th May 2016


We wish a warm SSG welcome to Caballo Recruitment, who have recently joined the SSG network. An exciting and dynamic new recruitment business, set up by Natalie Hyde, who boasts many years’ experience in recruitment for some top notch companies. Caballo Recruitment provide permanent solutions to their clients in the Office Support and Financial sectors in the Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire areas. With a fabulous new website and a strong drive and ambition to succeed, we’re confident Caballo Recruitment is one to watch for the future!

Virtual Reality

Now, if I’m being honest I’ve been very reserved about this piece of technology since it exploded onto the scene a couple of months ago.  And that’s not because I’m a cynical “techno-phobe” (I’m not one of “those”) but because of one of the accountants here at SSG. That’s right, I’m blaming an accountant! The “Obi Wan Kenobi of numbers” in question will of course remain nameless, but he’s the reason I’ve been sceptical about Virtual Reality (VR).

Before the release of the Samsung S7 they were offering anyone who pre-ordered the phone, a free VR headset. Sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it? But when you’re sitting next to your accountant & all they talk about is their brand new VR headset, it’s a little bit grating on even the most patient of people – I’m sure you can appreciate this!


LWS Recruitment Services

This week brings a fantastic new business launch – LWS Recruitment Services. This specialist agency offers services within the waste and recycling sectors and, owner Sarah Lewis, has many years’ experience within this area as well as a reputation as one the best senior-level head-hunters within the industry. Sarah has now decided to follow her dreams by starting her own recruitment business and we’re absolutely confident that she will make this a success in a rapidly growing sector.

Elliott Recruitment Solutions

We’re pleased to announce a new addition to the SSG network of companies – Elliott Recruitment Solutions. Based in the North East and recruiting into the commercial sector, this exciting new company is headed up by Louise Roberts, who has a wealth of experience within her field. Priding herself on building long-lasting partnerships with her clients and possessing a broad network of highly skilled candidates, we’re confident that Louise’s consultative approach will pay dividends in this dynamic new venture.

Honest Abe (well, 37% of the time)

Wednesday, 18th May 2016


I’ve got a little task for you today on this wet Wednesday afternoon & I’d be really interested to see what you come up with. I’d like you to answer the following questions, sounds pretty simple:

  • How old are you?
  • What football team to do you support?
  • Do you like the new HR structure that’s been implemented at your company?
  • How many kids do you have?
  • How are you feeling about work today?
Now without me being there with you, or knowing you personally yet, I would assume you answered these questions pretty quickly & without much thought. But, like most things in your personal life, your health & even your recruitment business, speed is not the goal – accuracy is. How honest were you in answering these questions?



Invest in V.A.M!

Friday, 13th May 2016

Value Added Marketing

I’m sure you can all appreciate that the emergence of recruitment start-ups are becoming as common as rain in the once acclaimed “summertime” of May (which I’m sure we’ve all been victim of this last week!)  And, much like the inconsistent British weather, the rise of recruitment start-ups doesn’t look like it’s going to halt any time soon. Which is really quite exciting!

Yet, many budding recruitment entrepreneurs see the market becoming increasingly more crowded & unfortunately, stress levels increase, competition becomes stronger & candidates become even more precious than before! So how would we suggest reacting to this? Is there a way of using this to our advantage or, heck, should we all pack up our bags and go back to working for someone else? Of course, the answer lies in the former.

The market being how it is really allows recruitment companies to focus on one thing & one thing only – adding more value than anyone else. I know it sounds simplistic but it’s true! To be the market leader & elevate a recruitment company above the parapet, it needs to understand the importance of Value Added Marketing.  


The launch of Limelock Recruitment

Tuesday, 10th May 2016

Limelock Recruitment

We’re pleased to announce the launch of Limelock Recruitment, a specialist recruitment business with a focus on Transport & Logistics, Industrial & Manufacturing, Technical & Engineering as well as the Building services industries. Offering temporary, permanent and contract recruitment solutions across the Midlands and West Midlands, Limelock Recruitment aims to make recruitment solutions simple for both clients and candidates.

FollowerWonk – use Twitter better!

Tuesday, 3rd May 2016

I’m sure we can all appreciate that Twitter is an important tool in procuring candidates in today’s tech-savvy market. However, how many of us (& we’ve been guilty of it too here at SSG) actually use Twitter on a regular basis? My guess is between slim & none!  And while I bet we can all acknowledge its importance in recruitment, until we start using it effectively and efficiently we’re literally wasting our time. After all knowledge is power, but only if we build upon this knowledge & use Twitter effectively.

Twitter is a lot like running, isn’t it? One of the most talked about elements of health & fitness, and one that is used day-in day-out as a barometer of your physical fitness, is how quickly you can run a mile – isn’t it? For some reason this has become the benchmark, to which all budding health freaks (!) out there compare themselves to one another.  And I guess the point I’m trying to make (emphasis on trying…) is, we should view “how many followers do you have?” as the Twitter equivalent. But while there is a known science in increasing your 1 mile PB, is there such a science in increasing your Twitter following?


A New Face on the High Street

Friday, 29th April 2016

Those of you in Norwich might have noticed a new face on the High Street. We recently completed the launch of Straight Forward Recruitment and we’re pleased to say they’re open for business – great offices on Norwich’s High Street (a fabulous location) and with a brand new recruit on board, Straight Forward Recruitment are ready to provide temporary staff to the local area in the Industrial, Commercial and Engineering & Technical Sectors.

The launch of Barker Phillips

Monday, 25th April 2016

Barker Phillips

SSG would like to wish a warm welcome to Barker Phillips, whose new business launch has been completed this week. With experienced recruiter Matthew Barker at the helm and specialising in Technology, this dynamic new company offers a range of quality recruitment services to both clients and candidates. We’ve been particularly impressed with Matt’s ability to successfully place across a number of technical disciplines whilst sticking to his core beliefs & commitments. With his first placement in the bag already, we’re confident that Barker Phillips is one to watch for the future.

Should we be becoming even more social?

Friday, 22nd April 2016

Heineken Campaign

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years (& if you have, then congratulations. I’ve never found any on the market with the space I really wanted, so I might have to give you a call after this!), the call for employers to "go social" is becoming a talking point of meetings, phone calls & even skype sessions! Yet even then, it’s a phenomenon still very much on the peripherals of the recruitment world, but should it? Should we instead become even more social, after all tweeting & "facebooking" can’t be all there is?!


The launch of YOU search & select

Monday, 18th April 2016

YOU search & select

Mix an executive search recruitment agency, the Marketing, HR and Business Development professions, a bespoke service, video interviewing and the unique ethos of Fitability and what do you have? The newly launched You Search and Select – a boutique agency specialising in the placement of director level, executive and senior management candidates within Marketing, HR and Business Development across all sectors. Owned and founded by Robert Kenward, You Search and Select pride themselves on being that little bit different. Their ethos is underpinned by the concept of Fitability, which uses detailed profiling and video interviewing to give a 360-degree insight into the candidate’s personality as well as their skills and experience.

The launch of Jazz Personnel

Monday, 11th April 2016

Jazz Personnel

We’re pleased to announce the launch of Jazz Personnel, an innovative agency based in the North East. Headed up by the extremely driven Dominic Nelson, Jazz Personnel recruits into a wide range of sectors including Commercial, Industrial, Engineering and more. Dominic has a relentless work ethic and this, along with his integrity, is permeating every aspect of this new venture. We’re confident that this super business will be one to watch for the future.

The launch of TechNichols Resourcing

Monday, 28th MARCH 2016

TechNichols Resourcing

Led by the experienced and enthusiastic Wesley Nichols, TechNichols Resourcing is a specialist Engineering and Manufacturing consultancy. Wesley brings over 10 years’ experience to the business and works closely with both candidates and clients to provide an exceptional recruitment service. Priding themselves on knowing their market inside out, as well as having long-lasting relationships with a wide network of contacts, TechNichols Resourcing is one to watch for the future (in our opinion anyway!).

Straight Forward Recruitment

We are excited to welcome Straight Forward Recruitment to the SSG network, having recently completed the launch of this dynamic new business. Based in the heart of Norwich and headed up by experienced recruiter, Simon Wooden, Straight Forward Recruitment provides bespoke recruitment solutions to the Industrial, Commercial and Engineering & Technical Sectors on both a Temporary and Permanent basis across East Anglia. With a clear development plan for the business and an ambitious and driven owner at the helm, we’re confident this new recruitment agency will be one to watch for the future.

The launch of Thomas Lee Recruitment

Friday, 4th March 2016

Thomas Lee Recruitment

We’re pleased to announce the completion of the launch of Thomas Lee Recruitment, who specialise in the recruitment of Technical/Engineering Professionals of all levels in the UK, including Engineering and Technical Sales Professionals. Headed up by Mark Hopkins, who has a wealth of experience both within recruitment and a background as an engineer himself, Mark is uniquely placed to understand his market. Priding himself on the values of reliability and honesty, Mark has woven this through the fabric of his new business and we’re confident that he will make it a success.

The launch of Desire Recruitment Solutions

Tuesday, 16th February 2016

Desire Recruitment Solutions

We are pleased to announce another completed launch and wish a warm SSG welcome to Desire Recruitment Solutions. Spanning a variety of sectors, at all levels from entry through to senior and executive management, and across both permanent and temporary recruitment this exciting new business works on a consultative basis with their clients and candidates. Owner, Sam Barnes, prides herself on strong work ethics, excellent customer service and loyalty and this permeates throughout the entirety of her new business. We’re looking forward to a successful working relationship with Sam over the coming years.

The launch of Brooklyn Recruitment

Tuesday, 16th February 2016

Brooklyn Recruitment

We’re pleased to welcome Brooklyn Recruitment to the SSG network of companies, having completed the launch of this exciting new business. Recruiting into the Engineering and Manufacturing sectors, Marie and the team work with a wide variety of clients throughout the UK. With a focus on the traditional values of building long-lasting relationships with clients and candidates alike, as well as listening and learning to best understand their needs, we’re confident that Marie will make Brooklyn Recruitment a huge success.

Rob Machin

Following the recent departure of Richard from SSG, who has sadly left us to deal with some personal issues, we are delighted to welcome Rob Machin to the Technical and Creative team.

Rob takes on the illustrious task of acting alongside Chris as first port of call for any IT and Technical Support queries and will happily assist you with anything (even vaguely) IT-related. Need your email setting up on your phone or advice on which 3-in-1 printer to buy or having problems sending or receiving email or think you have a virus on your machine? Speak to Rob. We're not saying he has a magic wand to fix all computer-related problems, but he will certainly try his best to find a resolution for you or point you in the right direction for a third-party solution.

Rob joins us with a prestigious background in IT and Technical Support including roles at Ashridge Business School and Which? (the consumer champion). His cool, calm and collected manner has already impressed us here at SSG and we're confident that his ability to turn 'techie speak' into layman's terms will help all of our ventures quickly and painlessly overcome their technical challenges.

You can reach Rob on 01442 200955 or email rob@wearessg.com.

SSG Training Workshop

Friday, 22nd January 2016

SSG Training Workshop

We’re really pleased with the first ever SSG Training Workshop, which was run last week and presented by James Gage. It was a fantastic day, with some brilliant feedback from all attendees. We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended for being so enthusiastic and forthcoming during the session, and of course a massive thank you to James for keeping us all on track and introducing us all to lots of new concepts and tools, which we’ll be making great use of. We must also give a nod to the venue, De Vere Latimer Place, for keeping us well fed and watered and offering a great service in a beautiful location. We’ll soon be planning the next session so keep your eyes peeled for more information coming soon.

SSG continue with Landmark Faith Recruiting Solutions

Monday, 18th January 2016

Landmark Faith

We are pleased that Mike Duggan of Landmark Faith Recruiting Solutions has been successfully incubated and would like us to be part of his continuing journey. We are excited to be working with Mike as he develops the business in this next stage and we are really chuffed to be helping him along the way.

Charge Recruitment

Monday, 4th January 2016

Charge Recruitment

We are pleased to announce another completed launch and wish a warm SSG welcome to Charles George Recruitment t/a Charge Recruitment. Spanning a variety of sectors, including Legal, Marketing & Media, Accountancy & Finance, HR, Reward & Training, Professional Services, Hospitality & Leisure, Scientific & Pharmaceutical and IT Services, at all levels from entry through to senior and executive management, this dynamic new agency brings over 15 years’ experience to the market. Lisa hopes to combine a refreshing approach with traditional values and we’re confident she can do so successfully to build a prosperous business.

New Year, New Start

Monday, 4th January 2016

Newton Colmore

"New Year, New Start" rings around so many offices today and none more so than for the guys at Newton Colmore who move offices today. The company has been in existence for less than a year and is already bursting out of its existing offices and so a move around the corner in Birmingham City Centre is called for.

With beautiful views over the city and close to a great bar, we are hopeful that the growing team will be happy and successful in their new premises.

We look forward to visiting them soon!