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5 minute read

[Podcast] Iain Blair: The Journey From Corporate Giant to SME Recruitment Agency Owner

For this month's podcast, Wendy is joined by Iain Blair - Founder and Managing Director of specialist technology recruitment agency, Revoco. In this episode, Iain tells the story of his entrepreneurial journey from founding and managing a recruitment corporate giant to then starting up a specialist SME recruitment agency in Bristol.

Podcast image - revoco.fw.pngWith more than 20 years working in the recruitment sector, Iain has loads of invaluable tips and insights for recruitment businesses at that vital growth stage, and a really great story to share!

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Show notes

[1:30] Iain's Background: Learning the trade at Best as a resourcer, then consultant, then team leader and finally heading up their Bristol office. Moving on to Resource Solutions Group and then starting a brand new business called 'Rethink' in 2005. Grew to scale quickly. Using a lot of investment cash in year one to hit 50 staff.

[4:10] What was it like building a business in three locations. How did you keep the three as a single entity?

[5:30] Growth was the name of the game in the beginning. Focusing on getting to that critical mass so you can build a culture.

[6:30] How to determine your critical mass as a company. And what the costs are of getting growth wrong.

[7:20] Burning through 900k in their first year getting up to scale in order to turn profit in year two.

[9:20] What happened next after a second year that exceeded expectations. What milestones does Iain define Rethink's progression with?

[11:15] One of Iain's regrets: Making the decision to float Rethink on the AIM market in 2009. 

[13:50] What is it to go from working for a private company to a listed one.

[15:25] Making the decision to leave Rethink and start a new business in Revoco. Creating an SME that will expand at a steady pace.

[19:50] What are the differences when competing as an SME  in comparison to competing as a corporate?

[23:00] How as SME's you source tools that allow you to be stay nimble and make big decisions.

[25:30] Where Iain sees Revoco going, and how he's making it a different recruitment business.

You can connect with Iain via LinkedIn, Twitter (@iainBlairUK) or the Revoco Instagram account.

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About the Author: Wendy McDougall is the CEO of Firefish Software. With just under 20 years experience in the recruitment industry, Wendy is on a mission to inspire the next generation of recruiters and help challenge the traditional recruitment agency model of doing things. In her spare time, you’ll find her enjoying some down time with the family, playing squash and feeding her inner geek with all the latest technology!

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