IT all started above a shop on Leeds Road, Bradford with a yellow pages and ads in the local newspapers in 1991 but one of Yorkshire most successful people connectors is celebrating 25 years in business.
Craig Burton’s first full day as a self employed recruitment consultant was nerve wracking as he spent the day waiting for the first editions of the Yorkshire Post and Bradford Telegraph & Argus to hit the streets and the phones to ring.
“I had put adverts in both asking for tradespeople not knowing what would happen. Then it was a scary wait because there were no mobile phones or emails so you relied on newspapers and telephones,” said the MD of The Works Recruitment.
But his leap of faith into self employment paid off, the phones never stopped and he ended the day with more than 80 names to sell to companies needing staff.
Today Craig and The Works Recruitment team are based in more comfortable offices in the centre of Leeds at Canal Wharf but the man who is first choice recruiter to engineering, manufacturing commercial and construction still majors on personal connections.
“We’re people connectors helping our clients find the best people for their recruitment problems,” he said. “We keep in touch with all our candidates and are always on hand to offer them career advice at any stage in their professional lives,” he added.
Craig puts the success of The Works Recruitment down to his approach of being a responsible recruiter.
“Effective recruitment is all about connecting the right person with the right business to do the right job. It is more than the skillset they have; it is about personality, ambition, opportunity and the right environment. Companies will come to us and immediately an individual springs to mind. But if we start a conversation and discover they are happy and doing a great job my philosophy is to leave them where they are.
“It is all about playing a role in career and business management. To move a happy employee doesn’t benefit them, their existing employer or potential employer who may not be the right fit. Recruiters should say ‘No’ more often.”
But often Craig can’t say ‘No’ and aside from connecting people he has been an NED and mentor for Impellico Refrigeration services, a mentor for the Goldman Sachs programme and part of Common Purpose which aims to develop leadership skills and provide opportunity for all no matter what their background.
As he looks forward to the next 25 years his aim is to continue making a contribution and connecting people to grown businesses.