Intro’s roadmap to success for small business.
The journey begins
Reaching an anniversary or business milestone is cause for celebration, especially considering that 60 per cent of small businesses don’t make it past five years and eight out of ten recruitment companies fail within their first year.
So, it’s no surprise why we are proud to celebrate five years of Intro Recruitment Solutions.
Intro’s founding directors, Michael and Brendan come from the big names in recruitment. They know what works. But in 2015 they decided that maybe they could make it work better…
Beginning with a phone call between two friends, Michael and Brendan discovered they were both at a crossroads. They weren’t happy with how the recruitment industry was being run and began discussing ways they could improve it. The pair then started thinking about getting their own show on the road.
Michael and Brendan brainstormed Intro in Brendan’s backyard passing a footy. They called clients and contacts to glean advice and support while checking the cricket score at Michael’s place. They were done with the daily grind of the CBD. Ready to change direction, they hit the ignition and started up on their own.
Equipped with only an iPhone, a whiteboard and a solid recruitment ideology, they kicked off in traditional fashion working from their kitchen benches.
The team has since gone from strength to strength, with the inclusion of some more rough heads welcomed in the office and a veteran third director, Lyndon.
With more than 40 years’ combined experience recruiting in the construction and infrastructure industry, Michael, Brendan and Lyndon set up Intro differently. They split the business into blue and white-collar sections managed by Brendan and Lyndon respectively, with Michael as GM.
The trades and professional recruitment models differ from one another, so separating work streams mean our consultants are solely focused on their respective job markets. Intro staff have more direct tools and experience to better service our clients with their in-depth industry knowledge and understanding of candidate availability.
No longer a test drive – we’re here to stay
Our core business objective always has been and always will be to provide outstanding construction and infrastructure recruitment services.
Construction and infrastructure in Australia accounts to 9.6 per cent of our total workforce and statistics show in the past five years, employment in the industry has increased by 13.9 per cent. With numbers like that, it is no surprise that since beginning, Intro Recruitment Solutions has placed well over 1400 candidates with more than 150 companies. Intro has placed personnel in every state and territory across the country.
Our new model has worked – Intro Recruitment Solutions’ turnover has increased by an average of 75 per cent year-on-year since inception. Since 2015 we have outgrown three office spaces (not including those kitchen benches).
Intro has created a new standard for the industry. One that provides an educated, authentic service with competitive industry rates (and keeps its consultants happy and well-supported at the same time).
Our team continuously work towards providing the highest level of quality service. We hold a number of relevant memberships and partnerships including the Recruitment & Consulting Services Association, Civil Contractor’s Federation, and Master Builders. We are ISO-accredited in safety, quality and environment systems.
Last year we went even further by obtaining our QBCC licence by partnering with an experienced local builder who acts as our auditor. For us, it not only separates Intro from our competitors, but has enabled us to achieve more market share, and offers even more reliability for our clients.
Our QBCC licence coupled with our ISO accreditation proves that even though Intro is a small and relatively new company, we can provide an even better service than our competitors.
But what has made Intro Recruitment Solutions so successful in such a short time?
It’s simple – our team and industry knowledge are unparalleled. We are big on ensuring our staff are happy and healthy, are working efficiently and feel supported in the workplace. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice and offering a heart-thumping, high-fiving, goal-scoring, bell-ringing environment for everyone.
Intro’s General Manager Michael believes that having a team you can trust coupled with a clear mandate to stay small and be clever with your cash is key to making it to five years and beyond.
Motoring through the first five years:
- Hire people you know and trust – Intro has found this to be a great way to bring the right team together.
- Cash flow is king – Intro’s directors didn’t pay themselves a wage for their whole first year in business. Starting up requires you to have a good established support network to allow this and ensure money stays in the business.
- Focus on making money – looking the part on social media may seem important but the reality is you need to focus on what you’re good at (for us it’s relationship-driven recruitment). Grand scale marketing won’t help if your core business offering is flawed.
- Only work with quality clients – if a client seems like they are too good to be true they probably are and you may need to investigate. Given the nature of some of our contracts (where we pay our candidates first then our clients pay us back later) we need to be extremely cautious about who we work with and trust they can pay their bills. Some of our competitors have been stung for large amounts of money, with companies even going broke because of this lag. Here at Intro we turn away business that doesn’t feel right. Our best advice is to go with your gut and only take measured, sustainable risks.
- Keep it small – don’t increase your numbers internally if you don’t need to or are concerned about the quality of your clients. Stay as small as possible until you’re really ready and capable of looking after more staff.
- Avoid lending money – if your business isn’t capable of growing with your existing cash flow you should consider the need to grow at all.
Whether you’re an employer or employee looking for some advice on how to make the transition, contact the team here at Intro. We love helping our clients and candidates perform their best when things may seem at their worst – we are all in this together.
Heading for the grand prix
As the first five years passes and we head into our sixth year of operation, Intro Recruitment Solutions looks towards the next five and beyond.
As a business, we will strengthen our brand and create more opportunities for our staff. By 2024, our vision is to introduce new offices in Cairns, Sydney and Melbourne and grow our consultant team to 40 full-time staff. Plus, we have our eyes set on developing an international partnership program with other small to mid-tier recruitment businesses throughout Asia, UK and the US.
Along with growing our business, we are continuing to strengthen our involvement throughout the community. Intro Recruitment Solutions currently sponsors eight community teams/organisations. We never shy away from investing in people/organisations that we believe in and can endorse.
Michael is also preparing to play a role within the QUT Alumni, presenting to students looking to gain industry knowledge and experience. Intro Recruitment Solutions will continue to partner with such programs and help play a key role in guiding the future for our industry.
Our roadmap to success has been fun. Intro’s directors are excited by the future and can’t see themselves looking back.