That difficult first year in business…a Scottish success story

19 July 2015

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It’s a well-known fact that most businesses fail in their first year. But, fortunately for the economic well-being of the country, not all do… 

Be-IT Resourcing’s first full year ended in March 2015.  Turnover was £2.15M and projected to increase to £6M+ next year. Profits are good for a first year.  Staff numbers, from a base of two, are now 10 and expected to rise to 15 by the end of 2015-16.  There are 80 clients on the books, anticipated to grow by an additional 40-60.  The original office is now feeling the squeeze (or rather the staff are), and new premises will have to be sought soon.  A second office, in London, is on the cards. If this is a difficult first year, then it doesn’t sound like one…

Yet it has been a taxing time, for all the reasons that any entrepreneur would recognise. When Gareth Biggerstaff set up Be-IT, drawing on his considerable experience in IT resourcing, he was well aware of the challenges. Getting the website and branding right was vital (especially for a business working with IT people): finding the right colleagues was even more important, as was attracting clients and providing them with services that are intuitively in sync with their staffing needs. Not to mention spinning more plates than the average circus performer sees in a lifetime.

So what’s the secret (other than hard work)?  Well, the days when a recruitment consultancy simply traded candidates against jobs are fading. The key, Gareth says, is having consultants who are genuinely client and candidate-orientated and understand highly complex service offerings.  Nowadays, with so many major skills shortages in IT (which are not going away any day soon), a recruitment firm must be able to contribute to every aspect of any client project, from full-blown transformation strategy to ad hoc project management.  Of course, there is still the business of matching talent with jobs – those square pegs in square holes - however, the aforementioned skills shortages mean that fewer companies are prepared to trust only one recruitment firm with all, or indeed even one, of their vacancies.  Risk is reduced if the load is shared around a PSL, but of course this is a double-edged sword, frequently leading to a race to the bottom as the less fastidious recruiters desperately punt the hopeful/hopeless cases from their databases, just so as to be seen to be in the game.  Of course, ‘distress purchase’ recruitment occurs all the time but increasingly IT recruitment is better planned and as a consequence better delivered.

Technology underpins so much of the modern economy and this is only going to increase. The massive growth of government digitalisation offers challenge and opportunity alike.  The need for Support Desk, Business Analysis, Project and Programme Management, and Programme Management Office (PMO) Managed Services, has taken recruitment onto a new plane, where recruiters need to be (almost) as conversant with the technology as the candidates and where inside market/people knowledge is the most valuable currency around.

Be-IT has an inner core of integrity that is not always associated with the world of recruitment. Yes, candidates come to Be-IT because they employ some well-kent and trusted faces.  This is reflected in a referral rate of c. 12-15% in the last year, better than many competitors can boast.  But ultimately no firm prospers without having the best available talent.  Great people make great teams and great teams get great results. When allied to a positive vision of the future that is underpinned by a recognition that the IT/computing world changes faster than any other - and that recruitment services must do likewise - then you have the recipe for the success Be-IT has enjoyed thus far.  Let’s see what year two brings…

Comments

Great work Gareth and team! Delighted for you!
Posted on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 07:56 by Martin Kay - rec2rec
Amazing journey so far guys well done x
Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 19:43 by Wendy mcdougall

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