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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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?
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.
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.
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).
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...
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 - whether you work in recruitment or in any other industry. You’ll get more done in less time – all thanks to a tomato.
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...
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.Read more...
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.
Are you the super-duper Accounts Superstar that SSG are looking for? Come & join the growing team of SSG & become part of our wonderful journey
★ 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!).
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?
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.
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.
► 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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
So, at the start of this week I had a chat with Sharon Phillips.
Sharon is Managing Director of Garth Wills Recruitment & after 25 years in agency employment Sharon decided to make the tantalising leap from employee to “Business Owner”.
Here’s what we discussed when we had a chat at the start of this week…
1) Why did you decide to launch your own recruitment business?
I had thought about it, debated and dreamed of it on many occasions during my 25 years in recruitment. I felt frustrated that in an average week so much time was spent not doing “Recruitment”, It was spent on everything else but! Meetings, reports, meetings about reports and meetings to discuss the next reports! I guess I got to the point where I thought it’s now or never, and decided to take the leap.
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.
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…
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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”?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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 (!).
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 (!)
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.
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.
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”.
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!
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?
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.
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?
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?!
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.
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.
As you know, we recently launched our brand new Training Portal, packed full of interesting content from a number of recruitment trainers. Well, the excitement doesn’t end there are we’ve been continuously updating and adding to the portal over the months since the launch, with fresh new content from James Gage, Mike Walmsley and from the team here at SSG. With videos and podcasts being added monthly, on current topics such as pension auto enrolment, Office 365 and Windows 10 updates, as well as performance coaching and sourcing candidates why not head over and check it out today?
We’re also excited to be planning our very first SSG training workshop, led by James Gage, for January so watch this space for more details!
We wish a warm SSG welcome to our latest recruit, Ashley Bennett, who joins us as New Business Director. Working alongside David, Ash will be taking responsibility for identifying experienced recruiters, who want to run their own recruitment business, and talking them through how SSG can help them achieve their goals.
It’s a big role, but Ash comes to us with a veritable recruitment pedigree, having been in recruitment for about the same time SSG have been in business. Ash has worn different hats as both temps and perms Recruitment Consultant on the agency side and has successfully run in-house recruitment teams.
With unique experience across a number sectors, including general commerce & industry, media & entertainment, finance & accounting, construction & property and IT & telecoms, we are positive that Ash will make a great contribution to, not only all those in the SSG team, but also to the many recruiters he will work with as they start their journey on the road to entrepreneurial freedom.
SSG are recruiting! We are looking for an experienced Accounts and Payroll Assistant to join our friendly, committed team here in sunny Berkhamsted. Interested?Find out more here...
We are delighted to be working with one of the recruitment industry’s leading software providers in order to bring you an unbeatable recruitment technology needs.
Recruitive provides recruitment professionals with innovative software aimed at streamlining the recruitment process; making it quicker, easier and altogether more cost effective to post jobs and manages your candidate responses. Their award winning products, each designed to work on their own or tightly integrated together to provide a complete solution, will save you significant time and money.
For more information about Recruitive and their products please visit their website: www.recruitive.com
It’s here! We’ve been busily working away on our new Training Portal and we’re excited to announce we are now live! The portal is your entry into a world packed full of recruitment training videos, podcasts and resources from experts including Mike Walmsley of recruitmenttraining.com and James Gage of Fully Engaged. Available exclusively to SSG clients, the training content is suitable for anyone from newbie recruiters to fully fledged recruitment business owners, and everything in between.
Ready to dive in? Contact Max on 01442 200946 or email email@example.com to get your exclusive access.
New Member of the Team
Meet the latest member of the SSG family, Max Jones. Max joins the team to cover Leanne whilst she is on maternity leave and assist our clients with all their advertising and support needs. Having recently graduated from Southampton University with a degree in History and Archaeology, Max is more than ready to get his teeth into the ‘world of work’ and we’re sure he will settle in quickly.
So, if you’re having problems with job boards, need a ProveIt test or want to set up a weekly Innovantage reports then Max is your man. Feel free to give Max a call on 01442 400 946 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And we have a winner!
And we have a winner! Congrats to Jim Clarke at Service 1st who is the first to claim his prize of a £25 Love2Shop voucher. Are you a winner too? With more prizes as yet unclaimed, it could be you. Turn to the back page of your Summer 2015 issue of Connect and scratch to win.
There is only one way to get from a No to a Yes...
& that is through a Maybe
I think that after almost a million years of working in recruitment I have finally understood that the only way to turn a No into a Yes is to go via a ‘Maybe’.
When I was a kid, my mantra was to demand whatever it was that I wanted. I wanted an instant result – to ‘win’ and for whomever to ‘lose’. If I was tough and unforgiving, my opponent would just give in – right? As I grew a little older, I guess I toned it down a little but still wanted an instant result from any negotiation. In fact, as a Young Buck Recruiter, I still believed that persistence really meant playing ‘hard ball’ and never backing down. It was black & white, a Yes or a No.
But I have finally realised that the quickest way to get anyway is to take your time. This is never truer than when running your own business. You have to think long term and to try and visualise where you want to be in a year or two years or even further out.
Dividend reform – not all doom & gloom!
Yesterday’s Budget announcement by Chancellor George Osborne bought an unwelcome reform to dividend taxation which is predicted to hit small business owners (like us all) in the pocket. Because we all draw our income from our businesses as a mixture of salary (PAYE stuff) & dividends, the Chancellors headline numbers sounded pretty scary, but having worked out the reality of the numbers, we are feeling much more relaxed now!
The actual wording suggests that from April 2016, the basic rate of tax on dividends will be 7.5% and the higher rate will be 32.5%. The new rules allow for a £5,000 dividend exemption, but it is not yet clear whether this will apply to all dividend income or be conditional upon dividends taken. On the other hand, the good news for us ‘little business owners’ is that there is to be a reduction in corporation rate tax to 19% in 2017, followed by a further reduction to 18% in 2020.
Keeping Your Cool
As the mini heatwave brings the UK the hottest day since records began (well, actually in the last nine years apparently) and some seriously grumpy faces in the SSG office as a result, the discussions have turned to how best to keep your cool.
Of course, we all know the classics – drink plenty of cool water, have cold baths or showers, wear loose clothing, stay out of the sun in the heat of the day…
A Rubbish Start To Your Day?
OK – I need you to be honest. Really honest. How would you react if you arrived at your office especially early on a Monday morning determined to start your week with a flourish of positivity only to be confronted by endless bags of household rubbish strewn across your car park entrance? Not only that, but a number of your fellow early bird Recruiters had already arrived and simply driven over the stinking, rotten, dripping piles of garbage!
A) Follow the lead of your colleagues and plough through the mess cheerfully assuming that it was beneath you to clean it up OR
B) Reverse your car and nip off to Costa for a coffee hoping some other sucker would do the dirty work OR
C) Stop, get out of your car, get down on your hands & knees and clean it all up...
A Satisfied Customer!
You remember the old Fawlty Towers sketch when Basil suggests that they ought to have their ‘satisfied customer’ stuffed, as satisfied customers were so rare? Well, this is nothing like that! But, why not have a look at one of our latest videos in which Taf Usher (the founder and owner of Peritus – a fabulous healthcare recruitment company launched by SSG a couple of years ago) explains a little about how he got started & why he decided to work with SSG?
From our perspective, we are so happy that Taf feels that we have made some small contribution to his success. For Taf and his business, SSG just seemed to provide what he needed. So, if we helped Taf to create the opportunity, then there is no doubt that he and his team have exploited that potential. Significant growth, genuine financial results and huge potential abound as Peritus continue to make their mark – very impressive indeed. Well done Peritus.
Unlike Basil however, we do not advocate having satisfied customers stuffed, but it is nevertheless very rewarding to at least have their opinion regarding SSG on the record!
Job Boards Still Number 1
June and July are always funny months at SSG – this is the time of year when we review our Job Board provision and sit down with our Job Board partners to renew our annual agreements (or not!)
The bottom line is that any deal which we broker with a Job Board will simply reflect how well that particular job board works for our Recruiter Clients. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters to SSG is that our Clients are able to source the candidates that they need. If they can, then not only do they make money but so does SSG.
What is 1lb worth to you?
Over the weekend, whilst watching England labour to a win again Slovenia & against a background of criticism of Wayne Rooney (he is too slow and a little over weight cried the assembled masses), I got into a pretty stupid but nevertheless serious discussion with a delightfully rotund (but not particularly ‘fat’) 40+ desk-bound Recruiter whom I have known for years.
A good friend of mine, he claimed that he would happily pay £300 for every 1 pound of weight he could instantly lose if all he had to do was to physically cough up the cash. No questions asked, he would simply have to hand over the money and he would immediately drop a few inches from his waist line. A perfect exchange rate of a 1lb for 300 pounds sterling.
Work with SSG & Get a Porsche?
Well, not quite!
But you have to say what a wonderful, well deserved extravagance Justin of Liberty Vets has earned for himself. I am not jealous. I am not wondering why I haven't got one & I am not wishing that I was Justin - having said that, he is considerably younger than me and… well, anyway, let's not go down that route. I am perfectly happy in my 75,000 mile, 5 year old 4x4… really.
So, Liberty Vets was established back in January 2013 by Justin and his equally impressive business partner Adam. They now employ a dozen or so Recruiters in their super office in Exeter. There are an extraordinary bunch with a great business and an even more impressive reputation. For SSG to be part of that success story is fantastic and we are proud and grateful for the chance to launch & support such an innovative organisation.
Liberty Vets continue to expand and will no doubt hit their 2015 multi-million pound revenue goal (after all, they have smashed every other target they set themselves). They place Locum and Perm staff within the Vet and Animal Health sectors and have recently begun to investigate expansion into fresh markets.
What next for Justin and Adam? A super yacht? A premier League Football Club? Who knows. We will keep you posted!
Welcome to the team Richard!
Meet the latest member of the SSG family, Richard Lee. Richard joins the Creative and Technical team to assist our clients with his vast technical support knowledge. With over 20 years’ experience, Richard has answered every query from email management to server installations to ‘Help, I’ve spilt a crisp and floral Chardonnay on my laptop, darling!’ He is also a web wizard, having coded his own websites for years now.
So, if you’re having problems with anti-virus, your Nokia 3310 isn’t receiving email, or your Commodore 64 won’t load Emlyn Hughes International Soccer then Richard is your man. Feel free to give Richard a call on 01442 400 955 or email email@example.com.
What motivates recruiters to set up their own business?
Recruiters are an entrepreneurial bunch! With over 4000 new recruitment businesses launched in 2014 (according to research by Sonnovate), and 2015 set to surpass that, not only is the sector booming, but more recruiters than ever are making that leap to ‘go it alone’.
Why? What is inspiring these experienced recruiters to want to run their own business? Well, having launched over 200 new recruitment businesses since 2003, We Are SSG have a unique insight into just what motivates them.
My Only Famous Friend
What do you think a person on a basic salary of over £5,000,000 p.a. does every day?
Yep, I did say £5,000,000 p.a. (which is a monthly basic wage of £417,000 by the way, in case you were reaching for your ‘Casio Schools’ calculator). Now I don’t want to name drop and I don’t want to suggest that I mix in the elevated circles of the Nation’s high achievers but I am very fortunate to know just 1 famously super business Superstar!
Our New Website Launch Video
To coincide with the launch of our brand new website, we've made a short video to explain why we felt it was time for a refresh and a little of the motivation behind our re-brand. In the video, you'll meet some of the talented team behind the launch and hopefully gain an insight as to why it was time for a change.
And after you've watched our short introduction to the site, feel free to browse wearessg.com to see some of our current clients and what we've done for them!
About Support Services Group
As the largest, most successful & enduring Recruitment Business Incubation Company in the UK, we provide a free business launch & ‘on-going support facility’ to driven Recruiters. 12 years in & with 200+ business launches behind us, we still love it!
Finance, expertise, practical help & day-to-day moral support represent the foundation of our provision but at the heart of it all is a resolve to remove any obstacles which might stop you from achieving your goals.
A Few Legal Questions
A few legal questions arising this month that have kept our legal team occupied – subject access requests under the Data Protection Act, visa enquires and client sponsorship, contract disputes, tier suppliers and MSPs, tenders and proposals, court proceedings, share transfers, trademark objections to name but a few! We were kept busy helping ventures out both in-house and with reference to our solicitor when needed.