Paul Mizen is Managing Director of The Recruit Venture Group.
With over 21 years’ experience of working in the recruitment industry, Paul has both personal and practical knowledge of recruiting within many industry sectors and has been instrumental in the development and growth of 42 + independently owned UK recruitment businesses which receive ongoing support from the group.
Tell us a little more about The Recruit Venture Group and the team
The Recruit Venture Group funds and supports entrepreneurial start-ups in the recruitment industry.
Our joint venture business model provides 100% funding and a complete back office support package with no financial set up fees, giving a recruiter everything they need to get their business of the ground and the freedom to grow.
From our office in Norfolk, our team of experts currently support 50 joint venture partners and their employees everything they need to run a successful recruitment business: Payroll, Credit Control, Financial Accounting, HR, IT, Branding, Marketing, Mentoring and guidance support and more.
How was it formed and when was it established?
First established back in May 2011 as Recruit Ventures, our business was the brainchild of our Chairman, John Buckman, who believed recruiters possessed the ideal qualities to launch their own businesses.
Having himself launched Jark Recruitment (a joint venture), in 1996 and grown it to become a successful network of recruitment branches across the UK, John knew what he was talking about and took the decision to transfer his branch-network of 22 recruitment business to become independently-owned recruitment companies.
He empowered many of his existing branch managers to become business owners.
This was to be the catalyst which unified Jark Holdings, the parent company of Jark Recruitment with Recruit Ventures to form The Recruit Venture Group in April 2017.
What noticeable changes have there been since the restructure?
Since the restructure, I have noticed significantly how the owners of the Jark businesses have become more driven and focused on growing and developing their own businesses. They are evolving into true business owners, more conscious of costs and focused on maximising margins and minimising debt.
What is the single biggest thing you believe makes The Recruit Venture Group different from other operations helping start-up companies within the industry?
It is our unique no-risk business model – nowhere else can you get the level of funding and support, service you get from us to launch a recruitment business. We provide them with the autonomy to develop and grow their business whilst the ‘rest of the stuff’ behind the scenes is taken care off.
What key attributes do you look for when considering helping a recruiter launch their own business?
Past performance and experience can be measured but that’s not all I believe makes them a good candidate. I consider their personality, do they have the important traits I believe they need in order to become a success. Are they determined enough? Do they have desire and passion behind their plan and are they committed to do whatever they need to do to grow a business. Ultimately I can be based on feelings. Do I believe they will succeed and do I feel I can work within them to grow a business?
What do you expect a recruiter to bring to your first meeting if they are serious about going it alone?
A broad understanding of what their business will look like and the reasons they want to do it.
I don’t expect a detailed business plan as we will work within them to put that together but I need to be convinced that they are wanting to launch a business for all the right reasons, that they are confident in their plan and that they truly understand it takes a lot of hard work and effort to get a business off the ground.
What do you believe are the top four stumbling blocks recruiters are likely to meet if launching on their own?
- Having the finance they need to launch, develop and grow.
- A good knowledge and understanding of the sector they want to grow.
Some recruiters believe that just because that their skills are transferable, that they will become a success in another businesses sector they have limited knowledge off. Unfortunately this is not the case and many will fail delving onto unknown territory.
- Support – many recruiters come from a big company where they had the support of a team to help them along -cross-selling and motivation. When you are on your own, this support is no longer there and suddenly it becomes a very lonely game. You are responsible for everything which can become overwhelming, especially when you have to manage the administration of the business as well.
- Understanding of cash-flow – One of the main reasons that many recruitment business go bust is a lack of understanding of their cash flow.
If you don’t allow the time to manage your cash flow or have support within your business to help you, you will struggle to keep on top of the financial side of your business which ultimately will cause you to fail.
Why do you believe recruiters are ideal to run their own businesses?
Recruiters are ambitious, confident individuals with a real determination to succeed. Their outgoing personalities, the way they interact with others and an in-built nature to chase a sales and make money places them as the ideal people to start-up a business.
Recruiters can struggle to keep on top of the administration side of a business, so this is when additional support can be beneficial. It allows them time to concentrate on what they do best, whilst remaining confident and reassured that their cash flow is managed, IT is running smoothly , compliance is above-board and their business remains on the right track to develop and grow
What advice would you give to recruiters seriously considering going it alone?
I would advise them to do their homework, understand their business area, have the money to do it properly from the beginning and always start as you mean to go on.
Think big but always stay on track, it is easier to digress into other avenues as a way of generating more income but sometimes this is not the best approach. Base every decision you make on fact not emotion and always believe 100% in the vision you had at the beginning and constantly refer back to this thought.
Do you think Brexit will have a major impact on start-ups in the UK recruitment industry?
Yes Brexit will have an impact on our industry but the level it will have, is still unknown as the government continues to unfolds their plans.
There will be challenges for recruiters to attract and retain skilled candidates from overseas, especially as some return back to their home countries where the labour opportunities start to become more attractive than to those offered in the UK.
However, recruiters should also see this as an opportunity. It will allow them to become smarter in their approach to business, capitalising on the loyalty they already have with their clients, to become smart with their rates for skilled workers and focus less on sales growth but more on margin to retain loyalty.
What are your plans for the next five years, and where do you see your challenges and opportunities?
We plan to continue on our journey to become the largest Joint Venture recruitment operation within the UK and fulfil our ambition to open between four and eight new recruitment companies each year. I am sure there will be challenges on the way but I believe that I have in place a strong a dynamic team behind me to remain on track and succeed.
What do you think will be the biggest issue facing the UK recruitment business for 2018?
Skill shortages will remain a high concern within our industry during 2018, but the true level of its impact is still uncertain, as we move through the transition of become independent from Europe.