UK Enterprise Awards 2018

SME NEWS / UK Enterprise Awards 2018 35 had risen to £7.7 million, an increase of 18.1% and that gross profit has soared to £2.7 million, with Pre-tax profits rising by 98.8% to reach over £1 million. The growth has been linked to a range of factors, including the launch of Love PAs, which enabled the firm to attract a substantial number of celebrity and HWNI clients. The team’s approach is built on transparency, honesty and efficiency, with the firm’s director’s continually monitoring its strategies. Risks and uncertainty are swiftly identified and mitigated via interim financial reporting. Around 40% of Love Success staff have been working with Julia and Jane for over 15 years, having followed them from other companies. Many have even given up vast salaries and bonuses, taking sizeable risks to become part of the Love Success team. They are now all shareholders. Jane says the Love Success approach is far from the norm in the recruitment industry, saying the firm offers a range of benefits other recruitment services fail to provide. “We do offer truly flexible working without compromising on bonus earnings for our staff. We are able to offer this in return for long-term commitment. We have been through several births, marriages and divorces and we care greatly about our staff providing support whenever they need it.” Jane also tells us that the firm is happy to provide time away from work whenever it is needed, for instance for family support and personal situations, saying this is reciprocated “tenfold in their commitment to us”. She tells us many firms allow nothing other than full-time working, which she says “is incredibly limiting and doesn’t promote commitment or longevity within the talent force.” Recruitment after Brexit Love Success is now working with thousands of clients annually, which its owners see as evidence that companies believe in and rely on the services being provided. Surveys are frequently conducted to ensure quality remains at an optimal level, with clients being regularly visited so their standards can be maintained. Though the UK’s decision to exit the European Union has sent shockwaves through a host of companies, the business has become inundated with requests for help since the result came through. Jane admits to experiencing anxiety over the Brexit result, worrying about the impact it may have had on London, particularly its professional and banking services. She tells us the referendum result has only impacted the business in two ways. “We have seen that office rental rates in the city have taken a dip which is a slight indication of the concern within the City businesses, but other than this, we have not been affected in our business. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite!” Since the referendum result, the company have won multiple awards and reported record turnovers. Julia expects businesses to adjust to Brexit over time. She informs us that she has survived several recessions during the past three decades and remains confident that the UK will get through the current period of economic uncertainty. She does, however, express concern over recruitment companies with small client bases who are likely to experience catastrophe should one or two clients withdraw their custom. The Love Success business model is built around supplying candidates to a large number of clients, which helps the company retain its stability. The role of social media Julia also tells us that social media has a pivotal role to play when it comes to survival in the recruitment industry. She says recruitment firms must carefully select the right social media channels for their needs and avoid negatively impacting their brand’s reputation through their use of such networks. She believes different social media sites offer different plus points, associating Facebook with fun, Twitter for swift communication and responses, Instagram for visual communication and branding and LinkedIn offering various professional networking benefits. However, she says businesses shouldn’t rely solely on social media for growth. “We use (social media networks) to enhance our offering but it doesn’t deflect from the success we have in relationship building with our clients from visiting them in person. We also ensure that we meet all our applicants before working on their behalf or sending them out temping.” A people-based business Jane says modern technology is no replacement for “the face-to- face reality” of “uncovering the real applicants and their strengths and skills” . Describing recruitment companies as “people-based businesses” , she tells us “computers cannot convey an applicant’s personality or passion or even persuade a client to see a wildcard person for example”. The Love Success approach to identifying the most suitable candidates is built on getting to know them and gaining their trust, nurturing, advising and supporting them throughout their relationship with them. Jane says this process of engagement provides the team with a genuine picture and enables them to find the most suitable channels for their talents. Julia is confident that those with sufficient drive and determination can succeed, especially in the capital. “Anybody who wants to get on in life with a burning desire and ambition will do well. There are so many companies in London and the South East - it’s a great place to be.” She tells us that first-class degrees are not necessarily the only ticket to success, emphasising the importance of “the person, their approach and energy” . One recent Love Success survey found that only one-fifth of top PAs has a degree. This means those only considering “degree- educated PAs” are automatically overlooking 80% of suitable candidates. Julia tells us that clients normally change their minds when they are informed about the results of the survey. Clients are also asked whether they require the candidate with the best CV or the most impressive one overall. Jane tells us that too few young people are specifically targeting careers in recruitment, saying becoming a consultant is rarely the first career choice when studying comes to an end. “I don’t know anybody that has planned to be a recruiter from day one. For me, the idea was actually sold to me by a work colleague.” When she first approached a well-known London agency, they initially declined to see her due to her lack of sales experience. However, she told them her willingness to drive from Manchester to London purely for an interview was reason enough for them to consider her. “They did, and the rest is history!”. Love Success Plc g Company: Love Success Plc Contact: Jenelle Clifford Address: 1 Lancaster Place, London, WC2E 7ED, UK Phone: 020 7870 7177 Website: