When You Can't Do It All Yourself Anymore, You Need To Build A Team
When your business starts to thrive and expand, you have a new problem. You can’t do everything on your own anymore. But how do you find the kind of staff who will do things the way you would yourself?
Simon Brooks, founder and Director of Dorset-based Seventa Events, found himself in that position as his company grew.
The business, whose motto is "We create incredible experiences", really took off after he organised a summer event for Britain's biggest friendly society - LV=.
“I knew I’d found what I was really good at,” he says.
“LV= put their faith in us to organise a small summer party, 150 people in Bournemouth. We worked incredibly hard in producing a memorable summer event and from then on it organically grew."
But Simon was trying to do it all himself.
“It worked until you realise there are 24 hours a day and seven days a week and you can’t do everything," he adds.
“Also, in the industry we are in, you need to recruit experts in your fields. You learn a lot as a company owner. You are very resourceful and you lend a hand with everything but ultimately you need to employ experts that really know what they’re talking about in each division of the business.”
Finding People Who Live Up To The Brand
Simon hired Seventa's first few staff himself before bringing in TeamJobs
“We may be running catering or beverage at an event and suddenly you need 40 to 50 staff," he says.
"Who in Bournemouth can supply 40 to 50 staff of the same quality as our events team and the brand we’ve worked very hard for?”
Staff are carrying the reputation of his brand with them.
“I need to make sure they are of our brand quality” Simon adds.
“I know TeamJobs interview every member of staff and that they will not send me anyone who I will flatly refuse to have.’’
“I have had agencies in the past where I have flatly refused their staff. They have turned up scruffy, they have turned up late, they have turned up to the wrong addresses. No, it is not happening, you’re done."
The hiring process can vary according to Seventa’s needs.
“Say we need 30 core waiting staff. They will cherry pick the 30 they feel are suitable and they’ll send them across and we’ll approve them.’’
“If it’s more like we need a forklift driver because we have a big event we need to load in and out, they know the type of people we would like to have, that are confident and listen to everything I say and they will send us a person and we’ll approve them.
“They also listen. When we tell them the people we like, they’ll note that down and send them again, so we create that relationship and rapport with temporary staff.”
What’s Wrong With Recruitment Agencies?
“Not every recruitment agency will supply candidates who do Seventa’s name justice’’ says Simon.
“Once I’ve chatted to TeamJobs and told them the brief, I know they’ll understand it" he says. We’ll say ‘We have a high net worth individual that requires the smartest of staff. If someone turns up with an untucked shirt they’re not going to work’
“Other recruitment firms I have had in the past don’t listen and they send untidy, unkempt staff. With TeamJobs I know that once I’ve said something, it’s listened to and it’s actioned.
"What else puts me off is recruitment agencies hassling us and phoning to see if we’ve got more jobs or more work. TeamJobs allows us to get in touch when we need to get in touch."
Building An Award-Winning Team
“Our clients use us because they get on very well with us and they trust us to do an incredible job” Simon says.
“We have a very strong staff retention rate in our business. We need the same from any suppliers we use. Our clients are used to speaking to the same account managers and such’’
“It is the same with TeamJobs. The fact that they have a good staff retention rate, because they treat people well, is important to us too.”
Seventa’s ethos was recognised when it was named Team of the Year at the Dorset Business Awards in 2016.
“Finally, the team was recognised,” says Simon.
“We fade into the background a lot at our events because we are on site to help our clients, we are not at the forefront. So for our team to be recognised was really good. It boosted staff morale hugely and it also helped to raise awareness all over Dorset for the business itself.”
“We are nothing without our team and it’s absolutely vital that we have the right people in our business – because in an events business, we are with our clients more than you’ll be with a client in any other business.
“We will get phone calls at 11pm from our clients and we will spend days and days in meetings and creating a brief. The right person for the job is critical for the success of any company .”
Simon admits he rarely thinks of anything except his business. But it’s vital that he can trust his team and the ongoing relationship with TeamJobs as it’s helped him find the right people.
“Our team members have to completely buy into our business because it is a very stressful industry and you are up against it. It is very fast-paced” he says.
“The business could survive without me because of our team. I am 100 per cent involved in every decision – but more in a supporting role in certain areas now.’’
“I think I give our team quite a lot of freedom now because they’re the right team and I employ them for their skills. If I don’t listen to that, if I override them, then what’s the point in having them?"