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Our new Finance Director, Stephen Herniman talks about recruitment from a different perspective and tells us why he wouldn’t leave this exciting industry.
A successful recruitment company is built not just by its founders and a team of dedicated recruiters but also their support; our foundations at Meet come in the form of ‘The hub’; the Operations, L&D, Finance and Marketing departments who look after the nuts and bolts of the business.
The most recent addition to the team is Finance Director, Stephen Herniman, who has been working in the recruitment industry for the last 8 years.
Steve started his accountancy career at a small firm in North-West London. After qualifying in 2009, he began looking for the next step in his career and came across an opportunity at a European focused IT recruitment agency: “I didn’t really have a clue what recruitment was, but I fell in love with the organisation and was very bought into the culture there, which came from the top down.”
As part of his ACA training, Steve had visited a range of different clients in multiple industries conducting audits. This experience gave him an insight into the environment and culture of a variety of businesses, most of which offered very few incentives or perks. So, in comparison the recruitment industry really stood out.
8 years’ later what’s Steve’s opinion of the industry? “It’s a fun industry” he says, “I was asked when I started looking for a new role if I wanted to move out of recruitment - I said no. That’s because I can genuinely say in 8 years I didn’t once get up and think I don’t want to go to work today.”
“It’s the buzz! Ultimately, it’s a sales environment, which is exciting; whether that’s the atmosphere created by celebrating deals or the social aspects which are so important to the culture.”
It’s also a very dynamic industry. When Steve joined his first recruitment company in 2010, it was just 40 consultants working out of 1 office based in London. The finance team was Steve and one other person. Working closely with the 2 founders, Steve was heavily involved in supporting the growth of the company.
By 2018 it had transformed: “When I left, it had a contract book of 520 freelancers, 130 consultants and offices across Europe including Berlin, Hamburg, Paris, Oslo and Stockholm.”
During his 8-years there, the company was bought out, giving Steve a new challenge and the taste of working for a corporate: “I got to experience opposite ends of the scale; working with founder members, then after the sale, a big corporate.”
However, at the beginning of this year, the time was right to move on, “I felt as though I’d come to the end of this particular journey.”
His skill set is more suited to SME size companies, which is one of the motivations behind the move to Meet: “The reason I liked Meet is their entrepreneurial culture and the opportunity to be working closely with the owners.”
And it seems like Steve wasn’t the only one who thought it was a good fit, he told us that, “When I announced I was joining Meet on LinkedIn I got a great response; what people said more than anything was that the owners (and by default the company) have a lot of integrity.”
Currently, our finance department is 3 strong. Steve’s role is to guide the exponential growth of the business in the future. But in addition to Steve we also have the team who look after the day-to-day running of Meet’s finances. That’s Alina, our credit control manager and Ryan, the Finance Associate who works closely with our contractors.
We’re now looking for someone to run that department autonomously; “They will be managing and looking after the systems, processes and day to day transactional elements of the finance team.”
Additionally, they will be working with Steve to produce cash flow forecasts and the monthly board pack, “We need to be providing timely and accurate management information to the management team so that they can make informed decisions around the growth of the business.”
One of the things Steve enjoys most about recruitment is working alongside the sales team and being challenged by them. What he is looking for is “A Financial Controller who wants to get involved in the culture and work with the consultants.”
“The juicy thing about this role is it’s high growth, involves running the team autonomously and it has an international outlook.”
For Steve the international element of the role is particularly significant, “The USA and Germany are the best markets for recruitment at this moment in time. Any recruitment company looking to grow will set up in either location; Meet already has a foothold in both markets.”
Interested in supporting the exponential growth of an international recruitment company? Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to hear more about becoming Steve’s number 2!