After finding the perfect job for thousands of candidates around the world, North East recruitment expert David Gallagher has finally landed his own dream role – as his own boss.
A 15-year career in the recruitment industry has seen David develop the prospects of professionals in far flung places.
Now he’s focusing on fulfilling his own ambitions, having launched a specialist recruitment agency with the help of start-up experts at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) in Sunderland.
His new company S&G Recruitment, set up in Washington with business partner Steven Roberts, specialises in the supply of staff to the engineering, automotive, manufacturing and professional service sectors.
David said: “The idea of working for myself had been percolating in my head for a long time but once I’d decided to do it, it came together really quickly.
“I went from having nothing but a business pitch to having a fully formed company in just a few months. That’s in no small part thanks to the support I had from the BIC.”
Within just weeks of launching, the business had already won a series of significant contracts – an achievement David attributes to his technical background as a former Royal Navy mechanic and Steven’s experience working in manufacturing, engineering and security sectors.
David said: “It makes the world of difference to clients when you’ve worked in the field and actually know the jobs you’re recruiting for. We are so confident about the quality of our work we actually provide a 12 month guarantee to clients on each and every candidate we find for them – that’s way above the industry standard of three months.”
David’s journey to self-employment started after leaving his previous employed position and seeking help through Jobcentre Plus. He was referred to the New Enterprise Allowance Programme, which is part funded by the European Social Fund and aims to help people who are out of work to set up a business by providing practical and financial support.
Through the scheme, David was introduced to the BIC’s start-up adviser Ron Anderson and together they planned the launch of the S&G Recruitment.
David added: “Having never been through something like this before I was a bit skeptical about what kind of help there’d be available to me. I worried it might just be a ticky box exercise that didn’t really add any value but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
“Ron took me through my business plan stage by stage, carefully considering our competition and how we could differentiate ourselves. It’s fantastic to now have such a clear plan – to have everything laid out in front on me to keep me focused and on track.
“He also suggested specific workshops to improve skills I’d not developed as an employee. Money is obviously a huge worry when starting out so it was very reassuring to cover issues like payment terms and survival budgets in case things didn’t work out and I needed a Plan B.”
David is now focused on developing contacts with local employers and aims to expand S&G Recruitment into business premises with a team of recruitment consultants.
And it’s a plan Ron Anderson has no hesitation in supporting. He said: “To be successful in business you need to have a niche in the market and a way to connect to customers. David has all of that sewn up. People are willing to pay for his knowledge and skills are in great demand. The potential is there and I’m confident he’ll do incredibly well.”