By Neil Young, written November 2021
In 2005, for about a year, Young had an office in Swiss Cottage. Over the road was a recruitment firm run by Barry Collins. We got to know Barry and used his services, we worked well together – recruited some great people. We stayed in touch. A few years ago he set up his own firm – Collins Property Recruitment. It was something he’d been planning for a while; he should be proud of what he’s created.
At Young, when we set up companies, as with many things in life, we set up mini goals. These range from first website, first customer, first year, etc. Then it’s aiming for great customer service feedback, Net Promoter Score trending upwards and strong financial results.
Barry has been through this over the last few years. He has a good reputation and has an innovative business model which he wants to grow. I know the position he’s in. When I set up Young about 20 years ago, I was lucky that I had experience around me from my investors to fellow Directors. I also had an (informal) advisor/mentor who I’d met when CFO/COO at executive search firm Highland Partners. He had been a senior executive at the marketing firm Saatchi and Saatchi in the 1980’s. We’d meet quarterly. It was really useful to have someone not involved in the day activities of my business to speak with. He helped me think about the business and its opportunities in different ways – it was invaluable.
When Barry called me recently and asked if I’d be interested in helping challenge him and help take his firm to the ‘next level’ I thought it sounded interesting. We discussed how this could work. He explained the current business model and where it could go. We discussed some new ideas and the conversation flowed. The model considers the strengths and weaknesses of recruitment firms. Fundamentally what does the customer want and how best to resource it? Don’t be tied to the traditional methods, play to people’s strength and desire for a more agile way to work, creating a better life balance. It’s a great business.
Collins Property Recruitment has grown strongly over the last few years. Barry has a good team, they like the way the business operates. I was eager to get involved. There’s opportunity to grow it further and focus on what the client wants in the years ahead.
We’ve since had an initial conversation with a branding consultant I’ve worked with for many years. It’s exciting how we can move the firm forward, building on a solid platform.
So, I’ve agreed to come on board as a Strategic Advisor and see how I can give support, challenge and strategic direction to Barry and help him take Collins Property Recruitment to the next level. It’s exciting, watch this space.