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Andrew Michelmore explains why he still loves the world of finance recruitment

15 years since the relationship started, Paul Thompson catches up with Andrew as they find their feet in their new Reigate office.

How are things today?

In a world of job-boards, online CV databases, social recruiting and LinkedIn, you’d expect independent recruitment teams to be finding it a bit tough - but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s a great time to be in finance recruitment, according to Andrew.

Byron Finance – Building a brand and securing a future in finance recruitment

Competition today comes in the form of a newly introduced slow and cumbersome RPO process or the promises of an internal recruiter. There is plenty of space left in the market for the true recruiter, but it’s a skill that’s becoming harder to find. Expansion at Byron Finance is only really limited by our ability to find like-minded team players who share our passion for ethical, strategic recruiting.

Headhunting a strategic hire or securing a Finance Director for their next role takes real effort and skill, but you can hedge your bets by following some simple steps to ensure you’re on the winning side most of the time.

Building a brand is key to a successful career in recruitment and to do that you’ll need solid foundations from which you can grow.

Andrew’s top 5 tips to a career in recruitment

Be honest - Telling a client that you can’t help them can hurt, but in the long-term they’ll appreciate your honesty.

Be transparent – Share your recruiting process openly and you’ll be able to justify the fee, build respect, rapport and reaffirm your differentiator from the competition.

Embrace the change – Change can be fantastic for a recruitment team, don’t see everything as a threat. The GDPR (with Voyager’s help) has given us a real differentiator and had virtually no impact on our time.

Work/life balance – Refresh, recharge and recruit is my new mantra...

Enjoy the journey – Life is short. Enjoy what you do and surround yourself with like-minded people but do it well.

What’s different about Byron Finance?

If we offer a good service people will come back – it’s not complicated.

We’ve recently placed a Group Finance Director 12 years after we placed them as a Junior Finance Assistant - we work hard to remember that.

While most recruiters aren’t even looking 3 weeks ahead, we take a 3 year view on all we do. It’s brave when you start in recruitment to think like that, but it’s worked out for us.

Everything from phone calls, emails, SMS messages, newsletters, registrations and more are automatically logged, tracked and reported on. We tweak our processes continually to ensure we’re offering a great service and we celebrate our successes whilst reflecting on our failures.

We’ve increasingly found that job boards don’t work for us. Text searching for strangers on CV databases isn’t a big part of our strategy moving forward. Our recruitment CRM is the heart of the business and contains real value – it’s a true platform from which everything can grow. Facebook and Google Jobs have very little impact on the service we deliver. We’re not typically helping the unemployed, we’re helping professionals take their next strategic step to enhance their team or to take the next step in their own career.

We’re a traditional recruitment company with old school values, but use cutting edge technology to deliver a personal service.

Our recruitment CRM, Voyager Infinity, has also meant we’ve been able to turn the mundane to our advantage. An example of that would be GDPR. The GDPR have had a huge impact on our industry, but for Byron Finance there was virtually no impact. The tools Voyager delivered managed compliance under the GDPR for us expertly.

Our best advert is our service and the relationships we hold – that is what we sell.

Byron Finance – What flexible working means at Byron Finance

Flexible working at Byron goes a little further than most employers.

A lot of time is spent on the phone getting to know people, but recruiters can be found working in our new office, at home or at the coffee shop. It’s hard to beat the family feel and buzz we’ve built in the new Reigate office, we’ve also done all we can to be accessible to our customers outside of normal hours.

Most of the staff here are shareholders in the business so we’re all working for the great good of our customers, our families and the future ahead.

Returning to our roots on the high street has also had a hugely positive impact on the team and it’s been great to hear the feedback from our customers.

Voyager Infinity, our CRM along with the mobile app Infinity Connect, and our supporting partners has meant that recruiters today benefit from a truly flexible and mobile working environment. Whilst we all love the office banter and comradery, the benefits of reducing a commute for more time with the family has far-reaching health and wellbeing benefits – we work smart today.

There is a place at Byron Finance for KPI’s, but we’re a grown-up business and so those KPI’s are focused on conversion ratios and quality rather than activity levels.

Looking ahead we’re toying with the idea of opening a walk-in clinic to increase the engagement with customers on a Saturday morning. Monday mornings can be a dead time and so we’ve got the flexibility to shake things up a little.

I can’t see us opening an ‘on-call’ recruitment service, but I do think there is space in the market for a more flexible recruitment service. If the market dictates there is a need, we’re well equipped to changing our working processes to meet demand.

The world of recruitment is forever changing, but we’re flexible enough to keep up and 15 years on we’re still offering a fresh experience for customers.

Andrew offers some advice for those starting out in recruitment

1. Life’s short, enjoy what you do.

2. Automate anything that distracts you from key recruitment tasks.

3. Old school values in recruitment is a differentiator.

4. To enjoy your recruitment journey but focus on the horizon, not your feet.

5. Find like-minded people who share your vision on the future (staff and software partners).


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