My adventure with recruitment started back on July 4th1984 when I joined a small accountancy recruitment company that had 5 UK offices. Not sure if you’ll have heard of them…Michael Page. My manager back then was the single largest influence of my recruitment life, a guy called Terry Benson who went on to become the CEO of Michael Page Plc. His style was blunt sarcasm in the extreme, but it worked for me. Every time he walked past my desk, if I weren’t on the phone, he’d pick it up, clean it and tell me he could afford the bill, so use it. If I were thinking about whether to speak to this client or that candidate, he’d tell me whilst I was thinking about it the competition were doing it, so either do it or get out! (or words to that effect).
I spent 3 happy years there but having seen the change from a private to a public company decided to strike out on my own with an ex-colleague Nick Stephens, and Nicholas Andrews was born. After 14 years and having established NA as the largest UK independent accountancy recruiter with 16 offices and 150+ staff we sold to Manpower and I retired.
I took 2 years off before realising I was too young to retire so started up again ably assisted by many ex- NA staff. Within 5 years we had grown to 5 offices and 60 staff. At this point I decided to pursue other interests and sold the business to another major worldwide recruitment company and retired.
I was happily enjoying life when I was approached by Jo Faria, who worked with me in my previous two businesses and whom I had successfully sold on two previous occasions (the things I’ll do to get rid of people!). At that time Jo was working for a small marketing recruitment business that had problems and asked if I’d get involved and provide some additional support. The owner of this small recruitment business, at our first meeting, told me, ‘that they had no intention of ever having any timeout from the business and that they were totally committed”. Very soon after my investment went into the business – this person for various reasons then took a sabbatical for 8 months! Being somewhat taken aback I set about making a plan with Jo to re-strategise the business and as a result of this, we turned a £50k loss into a £50k profit within 6 months by focussing on the existing staff and taking simple steps forward. We also reduced the factored debt to zero and produced positive cash flows. Unfortunately, the owner didn’t agree with the strategy that we had in place and ramped the debt back up, destroyed the cash flow, so enough, I walked away.
Then back in 2016, Jo approached me for a reference as she was leaving to pursue a new opportunity. We got talking and we quickly decided to start our own business and TMRG was born.
The last few years have been challenging beyond belief, but we have survived and become stronger for everything that we have overcome. We have a vision at TMRG and a belief in strong values around our team and how we support them ensures we will succeed, we will make it happen.
We have recruited some exceptional people who are enjoying the journey with us and they, in turn, are now taking up the reigns and building their own empires under the TMRG banner. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing individuals flourish and surprise themselves by what they can achieve with a little support and encouragement.
Business is fun and I just try to encourage everyone to make their own decisions and learn from any mistakes they make. After all, I’ve never met anyone that hasn’t made a mistake at some point in their life, including Mr Benson!
Away from work I enjoy road running, typically doing two/three runs a week, and am still playing my drums every now and again. Missed opportunities? well – I still get asked if I ever regret not joining Dexys Midnight Runners back in the ’70s just months before ‘Come on Eileen’ was number one…. Honestly, no, not at all, had I followed that path, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to enjoy the amazing world of recruitment and meet some incredible people who are still with me today.