What attracted you to the recruitment sector? The fast-paced nature of the role and the fact that no two days are ever the same. I like being able to help organisations capture top talent and place people into life-changing careers. After my degree in business management in 2008 I went to a recruitment company to find a job and ended up working for them. Did you always want to run your own business? I think I probably had it in me as my dad has always run his own business, a market stall selling jewellery in Blackpool, so my entrepreneurial nature comes from him. I really enjoyed working in the business I was in before but there was no more space at the top. I was also coming up to a big birthday – 30 – which was a little bit of a catalyst: if I don’t do it now, will I get the chance again? I told James Caan about my business idea and before I knew it I was presenting a business plan to him. He backed my idea. How did that first day feel? The first day with my company Venatrix [it means huntress in Latin] in October 2015 is one I will never forget. I had taken the jump, creating an exciting graduate tech sales recruitment firm. I had experience, a plan, a vision, but I had no staff, clients, graduates or IT system. I was shell-shocked, it was scary, but I was soon pitching to clients and got three on board that day. How did you find the graduates? From the internet at first and then someone messaged me directly, I interviewed him and he became my first member of staff. Once there were two of us it was OK, it was hard, but we managed. Now I run a weekly assessment centre for 20 graduates seeking jobs in the tech sales market. We only recruit for technology companies – that’s our USP and it makes us stand out. Is recruiting for yourself different from recruiting for clients? No – when you see the right person you know. I look for people for us at the same time and there are seven of us now.
What is your greatest achievement?
Hiring a quality team as that’s what drives everything else. If you get that right, everything else falls into place. We’ve placed 70 candidates so that’s 70 people whose fortunes we’ve changed. It’s always dynamic and changing but of course there is lots more to be done.
My biggest focus is attracting high calibre talent and developing my staff. Fostering a fun culture at work is also important as it makes people want to work for you.
Any low moments?
All the time, it’s a rollercoaster! You can have good mornings and bad afternoons but you’ve got to be positive and focus on what’s going well as it’s up to me to keep everyone smiling and focused. I want to have doubled in size and be the No. 1 graduate technology sales recruiter in the south east by the end of 2017. It’s important to have goals so every day is planned on a micro level. By visualising your targets you make them a reality.
What have you learned about yourself?
That I am really resilient and that if you are having a tough time you just have to get back up and carry on.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Hiring the right people. Don’t compromise on this – that’s James Caan’s mantra.
What would you say to someone thinking of starting their own business?
To go for it. Before I started I was apprehensive, thinking of all the risks. I’d thought about it so many times but never quite done it and now I have actually done it, I would do it again – any day of the week.
'IT'S IMPORTANT TO HAVE GOALS - VISUALISING YOUR TARGETS HELPS THEM BECOME A REALITY'