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Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?

LLEP Collaborate Project - Stephen Brown talks about his experience.

Stephen Brown

Last month was our 22nd anniversary of being in business.

In 1996 I left a moderately well paid job in engineering (at that time I think all jobs in engineering were moderately well paid) to start up a technical recruitment company. Mainly because I could see a real need for a recruitment service that could think like an engineering employer and to be quite frank, my mates and I were fed up of the way we got treated by recruiters whenever we had to deal with them.

So working on the principal you either shut up or do something about it, I decided to start up on my own in the spare room with strict values around looking after our customers, in particular candidates.

Specialising in high growth, high tech businesses we have been expanding in line with our key clients ever since.

This year our own headcount will reach 25 people and 96% of our business will come from repeat customers. We have also since diversified into recruiting business professionals, executive search and we operate in a much wider range of sectors.

It’s great to be part of a growing business but one of the things we recognise is that growth and change for an established business of 22 years is very different to the early start up days and can be quite messy. It requires a lot more planning and management, especially if you also want to maintain your core values and culture and the continued goodwill of your people.

We were therefore delighted to have had the opportunity to work with a consultant through the fully funded Collaborate Project, who really helped us through what would have otherwise been a very difficult period of rapid change. I added up 24 new projects that we have fully implemented so far this year. You can imagine the pace of change with an average of one new project per week.

Whilst these projects were very much our own, Collaborate was essential in helping us take everyone on the journey with us and galvanising the team around a common vision.

It was really hands on too, with 3 off-site meetings led by the Consultant and around 20 face to face interviews, plus catch ups with me in between. The value of this is immeasurable, had we had to pay for it we would expect to have paid over £12,000 and as we come to the end of the support I have no doubt in saying the Collaborate Consultant leaves us in a much more cohesive, resilient and stronger place than she found us.

We are looking forward to our next 22 years, and we are certainly ready for the next 5 following this support and I cannot recommend Collaborate or our Consultant, Joanne Bekis highly enough.

Photo Credit: Beth Walsh