When I was growing up I thought I was going to be a rock star.
That’s me jamming out at a rehearsal studio. 2005 is my best guess.
…that didn’t happen in the end, but music did help me to get here.
I was very lucky to go to a good school and receive a good education, but the truth was that education wasn’t for me at that time. At 17 I was playing gigs around the country with various bands and we were amassing a (small but committed) following. I just didn’t feel like university was for me, so I left school after my A-levels and got a job while my friends all went to university.
I balanced various jobs over the following few years whilst we tried to crack the big time – bar work and coffee shops, call centres, desk top publishing, retail. During this time my jobs weren’t always the most glamorous but I always applied myself as much as I could. During my time in retail I got promoted a few times and ended up managing a smallish store – this led to my first role in sales (for a local newspaper) and that experience got me my first job in recruitment. I sort of fell into recruitment but in digital marketing, I fell into a market that I found a love for.
Throughout most of this time I was also juggling a weekend job playing bass for a function band (which is where I met Nicola) and it was the money I’d saved up from years of gigging that helped me to set up this business, to get our first website developed and to keep the lights on at home during the early stage of the business. It’s funny how these things work out.
I started recruiting into digital at a pretty good time – this was back in 2006 and it was a time when the market was growing explosively. I got to know a lot of people and thanks largely to a genuine interest in the market coupled with a healthy competitiveness and an inquisitive and geeky nature, I quickly picked up a strong understanding of digital and started to build a respectable reputation. After 4 years of working fairly autonomously I got to a point where I wanted the remit to steer the course of my own ship.
I set this company with a fairly simple belief – that recruitment is not a complicated business, but that people are complicated things. Simplicity is everything we stand for – honesty and transparency, keeping promises and investing in the market that we work in. It’s about doing things differently. We’re a network-driven business and we get most of our business through recommendation and advocacy – it’s the reason we train in coaching and not in sales; it’s one of the reasons we invest so heavily in graduates and it’s the reason we do so as a not-for-profit part of the business.
These days I’m pleased to have many friends in the digital market. I tend to look after the more senior positions across our main areas here, but I’m always on hand to help graduates and school leavers too.