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Almost 70% of recruiters say that they prefer a sustained partnership approach from someone working within the business to help them with growth and exit strategies. Thats according to a survey undertaken on behalf of HB RIDA, the investment and business support vehicle run by Helen Reynolds and James Caan.
The survey of 525 owner managers of SME recruiters asked a range of questions about business support and advice. 68% of respondents said that they preferred an ongoing business partner with a stake in the organisation that could provide advice or input at any time.
There are a lot of forums, networking clubs groups and support groups around but they tend to be peer to peer. While they have their place there is nothing like having a really experienced mentor who also has a financial interest in your business - contributing to your decision making day in day out, said one respondent.
When asked about the value of Non Executive Directors almost half of recruiters (54%) felt that they had their place but that often they were too light touch. Its always good to have another pair of eyes looking at the business but not just once a month at board meetings, said another respondent.
The survey clearly shows that what todays recruiters want is someone who will work closely with both the directors and the team, creating shared insight and vision as well as realistic and achievable goals. Weve never endorsed the one-size fits-all model and do not have an "off the shelf ready made solution" that every person and business must fit, What I believe we do have is a passion for ensuring that our investments thrive and our transparent programmes have strict milestones and measures at every step of the way. While pour critics may talk of our investments having to sacrifice equity, all the organisations in our portfolio recognise that 100% of a lifestyle business versus a majority and controlling shareholding in something that will get much bigger is a no brainer decision!
When looking for strategic advice for growing and/or exiting your business, what would be your preferred route?
Strategic investment partner with recruitment experience 68%
NED 25%
Networking Groups/Forums 7%

Thinking about NEDs which one of these statements would you most agree with
NEDs can have a narrow approach based on their own company/experience 12%
NEDs have their place but tend to be too light touch 49%
NEDs are not close enough to day to day operational problems 15%
NEDs add value and are the best way to get experience onto the board 23%
None of the above 1%
Do you feel that the various recruitment trade bodies provide the necessary level of support and advice needed:
Always 12%
Never 31%
Sometimes 57%
If you answered sometimes or never, what particular advice is lacking?
Exit Planning 24%
Growth strategy 32%
Operational issues 28%
Mergers and acquisitions 12%
Other 4%


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