Manchester-based Amoria Bond Ltd have a habit of winning awards. Their latest includes Best Company to Work For (up to 150 employees) at last year’s IRP Awards.
Recruitment Matters editor Michael Oliver talks with one of the company’s founders and managing director Gareth Lloyd about building a winning culture.
It sounds like you’ve had a great year?
It was our tenth year of trading in December 2016, and we’ve picked up 10 awards. You can't ask for more than that. Some of the accolades we were very happy to pick up, particularly the IRP Award – that’s a tough one to get traction in since the competition is so abundant and stiff.
What sets you apart from other recruitment companies?
We've focused on developing our people. I know it sounds basic, but we really do put that at the heart of what we do. Twenty-one of our 23 leaders started at the bottom. Everything we've done has been grown from the ground up and it's created a really good culture and a really loyal workforce.
How do you create that culture?
We employ 20 different nationalities, but we get everyone together they're Amoria Bond people. That's probably why there's a real mesh of long serving individuals. Recruitment has a reputation for losing staff in the two-three year period of their career, but we very rarely lose our top performers.
How do you operate?
We've got contractors in 39 countries. One of the successful thugs is we didn't open a lot of locations, we spent our time building tight regional hubs to ensure we keep our culture. By having what we call super offices rather than lots of offices, it means people are able to share our way of doing things and stick to the Amoria Bond way. We've always had a clear vision and a clear mission so everyone knows where we're going and what we're doing, and we've got a strong set of values too.
How is that culture evolving?
One of our core markets is technology - 50 per cent of our revenues are through that space, and we're always looking to use technology to improve our client and contractor experience. Every recruiter has a video phone - that’s how we talk to contractors. Everyone's got Skype or Facetime or Whatsapp. In fact, a lot of our consultants send audio messages to their contacts if they don’t get a hold of them.
Where does candidate experience fit in?
We've got a contractor literally flying in from Indonesia and he can't get into an office space. So he's going to be us working 4-5 days. One of our consultants will be in charge of picking up from the airport and taking him to his hotel. It’s the sort of thing that guarantees repeat work from our people.
How would you describe your business model?
We've always based our business on delivering on what others can't deliver. It's a strategy from day one - when you're three people sat in a little office in Manchester, you're ringing up a blue chip company you're not going to get a big account straight away, so the simple thing was getting the stuff that other suppliers can’t get. What we’ve had to do is ensure all our guys can headhunt, network, and apply referral techniques to deliver resource. Our mantra of filling hard to find positions is a part of us. Market-wise, we're not too concerned if other recruiters are in there because we tend to fill the niche stuff that a lot of our competition can't fill anyway.
What does an Amoria Bond person look like?
We're looking for entrepreneurial go-getters, highly ambitious, driven individuals. Our top performer in the group was a straight grad with no sales experience, but a high achiever. We’ve had a lot of top performers with no degree and zero year’s sales experience. It’s always been about the attitude, work ethic, ambition, desire, and it still is today.
What defines a successful recruiter for you?
If I think about all the top people I’ve worked with all the years, its hard work that separates the good from the great. You won't find a successful person in any industry who doesn’t work exceptionally hard. Second point is being a complete self-starter. It really won't matter what market you put them on, they will find a way to make it their own. When I got into a recruitment as a rookie, I didn't really know what goals were. But over the course of the next 12 months I knew to get ahead I had to set some personal targets. All our guys have vision boards on what they want to achieve, and they have business plans with those targets. The last thing is having that personality that people want to deliver a result for you. You’re a trusted advisor.
How do you take Amoria Bond to the next level?
There's huge challenges in scaling any business. This year, we've already had a really strong start. Things are starting to settle down in the economies we work in thanks to Brexit and the presidential election in the US. I think people were a little more cautious during the middle of last year, but people feel it's onwards and upwards in the market now. I think the plan is to get the business to £50 million in sales this year and continuing to develop the people to run and grow their areas.
Can you see your company in Amoria Bond's shoes as a Best Company to Work For IRP Award winner?
Enter the 2017 IRP Awards now - we've got an early bird rate of just £99 + VAT per company entry until 30 June.