- WHEN DID YOU START THE BUSINESS?
I have always worked in sales and for as long as I can remember I always wanted to run my own business. It was during the last three years before starting Lucid Recruitment that I realised there was a gap in the Welsh market for a recruitment firm specialising exclusively in Sales and Marketing. So, in April 2015, I took the proverbial plunge and opened up a recruitment business to do just that.
- WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO START WHEN YOU DID?
Whilst in my previous role, I could see that a lot of the consultants were not quite as comfortable (or confident) working on sales roles as much as they were on other disciplines they managed.
Having spent my entire career performing a range of very different sales roles, from direct sales and telesales to managing sales teams and latterly recruitment, I perhaps understood the requirements of each role better than most – simply because I had worked, or at least managed, such roles myself when I worked on the client side.
- WHAT MARKETS DO YOU SERVE?
We are the only specialist Sales and Marketing recruiter within the region, yet despite our location we cover roles throughout the UK; it’s what we are able to do for clients that is most important, not our location. It’s about trust – clients know we will do our best by them because of our approach to business and the specialist expertise we provide.
- HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF FROM YOUR COMPETITION?
Recruitment should not be viewed as a sales role and we are not what many people may perceive to be ‘sales people’. HR managers receive dozens of phone calls daily from recruiters all claiming to be the best and to have the ‘perfect’ candidate, but it’s nonsense.
Recruitment is a simple concept and everyone does the same as each other, in terms of the actual process. But it is the way we do it that differs.
We invest the right amount of time in our candidate search, rather than send off a dozen or so CV’s to a client within hours of us speaking with them. And, there is the added value we bring – our previous experience and our knowledge means we understand what each role entails. In fact, because of this, we now help other recruitment firms to recruit sales consultants for themselves!
Recruitment is about consultancy, understanding what that client really needs and only engaging them when you are able to offer something that could add real value – we’re building relationships. It’s about people, not KPI’s or numbers.
- HOW TO YOU GET YOUR NAME ‘OUT THERE’?
The first thing we did was to think about how we wanted to be perceived in the market. Despite being specialists in our field, that is no guarantee that we will be the automatic choice for clients for their sales and marketing roles. It was important to have a strong brand that stands out visually.
We are updating the website by adding a blog, which we see as a great way to better engage with candidates and clients. Elisabeth [Rilatt], who recently joined us as Recruitment Director, has substantial experience in running a successful blog, and we want to adopt her natural, conversation-style and personal approach to our own blog – it’s a better reflection of Lucid’s ‘personality’ than the corporate tone that many firms use…that’s not quite us.
- HOW ELSE DO YOU PROMOTE YOURSELF?
In addition to our website, we are very active on social media, particularly Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram as well as email marketing. It’s about understanding the demographic we are working with and communicating with that audience in the right way. And of course making sure we get our branding visible in the places where our clients and candidates are spending their time online.
- WHAT HAVE BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGES YOU HAVE HAD TO OVERCOME?
It was learning all the various tasks that are essential to running a successful business that fall outside the remit of what being a recruiter is. I had to learn how to do social media and do it well, and how to market a new business when you don’t have the power of a well-known name behind you. I have become an accounts assistant, credit controller, debt collector and everything else in between.
Richard Shorten was interviewed by Paul MacKenzie-Cummins