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.
“Just” 12 months old, Dom has already grown Jazz Personnel from the ground up & had the pleasure of expanding his team at the turn of the year. I had the opportunity to sit down & have a chat with Dom over the last week to talk about the opening period of his business & the experiences he’s had. What was really clear was his addiction to understanding everything, whether that be a back- office component of a perm’ invoice or how to effectively market Jazz Personnel on LinkedIn – for SSG, he’s one of the most rewarding ventures that we work with.
A northerner full of passion, focus & drive & we’re privileged to be part of this unfolding story. Here’s what we managed to discuss when we sat down:
1. Why did you decide to launch your own recruitment business?
I decided to start my own recruitment business as I have always been very ambitious from an early age and I want to fulfil my potential in the industry I am very passionate about. In addition, I want to make my family and friends proud.
2. What had stopped you in the past? (What concerned you about starting up on your own?)
Nothing had really stopped me in the past, from the minute I did my first deal in recruitment I knew then that I eventually wanted to start my own recruitment agency. I knew I just had to bide my time, develop excellent relationships in my market and listen to the training I received before taking the leap. Naturally I had a few concerns such as missing the buzz of the office environment and wondering if I could establish a brand-new agency in the North-East in what is already a highly competitive industry.
3. Did you look at other options before deciding to launch with SSG?
No. I researched SSG’s offering in detail and it suited me completely. After a meeting with David in Manchester we did the deal and I haven’t looked back! The support you receive on a daily, weekly and monthly basis from SSG is second to none. For example, it takes 30 seconds to send a perm invoice, this is exactly how it should be. The back office support allows me to focus on the most important aspect of recruitment, speaking to clients and candidates.
4. How did you find the launch process with SSG?
Absolutely class. The launch day in January last year was one of the proudest days in my career to date. The journey home from London to Hartlepool seemed to fly over I was that buzzing that I was now the Director of my own recruitment business! In terms of the day itself you quickly realise that all the team at SSG are specialists in each of their departments which reassured me and instilled confidence that my new business would be a success.
5. What challenges have you faced being a Recruitment Entrepreneur?
Lots! It’s a very challenging experience as you’re balancing the role of a recruiter and a business owner so as well as filling vacancies and temporary bookings, I’m also responsible for cashflow, VAT Returns, marketing, social media etc. The main challenge for me is adjusting my lifestyle. Sometimes it’s hard to say no to nights out, holidays etc. This has been a learning curve for me as I now know that sacrifices are crucial to building and scaling up a successful recruitment company.
6. What elements have been easier than you thought?
Funnily enough, winning business! It’s a candidate’s market out there and on a couple of occasions, Jazz Personnel a 9 month old start up recruitment agency has been able to shut the door on a couple of national recruitment agencies simply because we have been able to access better talent and we have combined this with delivering a better service than some of our competitors.
7. What advice would you give someone thinking about starting up on their own?
Just go for it! To use a football analogy, if you don’t have a shot, you won’t score a goal! The highs and lows are the same as in an employed role however the rewards for your hard work are much better and the sense of pride and achievement is a great feeling too.
One of the most important investment criteria for SSG when we are looking to invest into recruiters is – “do they want to do it?”. From our first meetings with Dom, it was clear that this was a big, fat YES.
Consciously, Dom bided his time before making the leap – understanding that the experiences gained in an agency environment become invaluable as you progress within your own business. This last year has been a positive challenge for SSG, as Dom has tested us with his focus & dedication to understanding everything element of his business.We wouldn’t have it any other way!