Recruitment Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

From failure to fortune: meet the 22-year-old founder of not one but two rec firms

Whilst starting up your own recruitment firm is hard work, the basics of it are simple...
From failure to fortune: meet the 22-year-old founder of not one but two rec firms

Whilst starting up your own recruitment firm is hard work, the basics of it are simple: bill as much as possible, plan ahead and partner with clients you can trust.

That element of trust is crucial to Bradley Gough, who has been brave enough to open not one, but two recruitment firms in his career. With his first agency sadly no longer operating, with its demise due to unscrupulous clients, he was undeterred by misfortune. Now Gough, aged just 22, is the Managing Director of Think Staffing solutions.

“The key is to believe in yourself,” he says. “Be prepared to work after hours on all sorts of stuff you’re not used to doing.”

 

"Cash is King"

However, his main piece of advice to himself, is to keep on top of credit checks and outstanding debt to avoid the same fate, as to keep a business afloat “cash is king.”

Gough explains: “In December 2016, I had the dreaded call that a client was months overdue with payment. It was such a stressful and difficult position to be in. We had supplied one of their sites over in Amsterdam and even received a testimonial, saying how much they appreciated our hard work.”

However, a month or so later, Gough found that the client took on two of his candidates as permanent employees – without telling him. The worst part of the incident was, after chasing the firm for months, Gough was hit with a reality - they weren’t going to pay. The client managed to get away with it by starting a new company.

“A lot of people will be in this position of uncertainty with businesses like, Carillion for example, going under,” Gough says. “But, non-payers don’t only ruin companies – they ruin family Christmases, dreams, and jobs.”

 

Create a happy workforce

Fast forward a year, and Gough is back with a brand new venture, complete with an ethos and culture intrinsic to its success. “People make a business and as a business owner, it’s about bringing in and retaining talent with the same philosophy,” he explains.

"My plan going forward is creating a workplace that is happy, motivated and stands out from the crowd.”

On top of that, Gough adds that his five-year plan is to bill £7.5million, employing 10 staff across 2 offices. In the words of Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher: “Big results require big ambitions”. And that’s something Gough is not short of.