Young entrepreneur Charlie Walker is looking for people to follow in his footsteps
FOLLOWING IN CHARLIES FOOTSTEPS
Young entrepreneur Charlie Walker is looking for people to follow in his footsteps.
Just three years after setting up his international recruitment consultancy in London, turnover stands at 7 million with 1.6 million profits.
The 27-year-old Yorkshireman is now looking for other like-minded young graduates to join him as he expands his company.
And with successful candidates predicted to earn up to 50,000 in their first year and 120,000 in the second, it could make light work of clearing student loans.
Charlie, who studied modern history and politics at Oxford, launched Vivid Resourcing in March 2008.
He gave up a 150,000 salary with a leading recruitment firm in Bristol to set up Vivid, working 13 hour days alone for four months before setting up a small office in Farringdon.
I had a great time with my previous company but I always had the desire to work for myself in London.
To start with all I had was a couple of desks and computers and phones. The financial climate in 2008 also didnt do us any favours, but I never doubted it was going to be a success.
Vivid Resourcing focuses upon providing contract and permanent staff for the ICT, finance, engineering, public service and new media sectors.
The firm employs 14 consultants, and this month relocated to bigger offices (designed by company-commissioned architects) in St Johns Street, with scope to employ up to 42 staff
Charlie who studied modern history and politics at Wadham College, Oxford, considered entering politics or the civil service after graduating.
But even while he was studying he realised he yearned for a more entrepreneurial career path.
I was frustrated that without huge parental financial backing, most of the careers I had in mind were out of bounds. Even if I could have afforded to work unpaid internships, promotion was three to five years away, regardless of how I performed.
Recruitment offered me the kind of career development path thats unheard of in other sectors. Being able to pay off my student loan within my first 12 months was also a great perk.
Vivids present team of recruiters includes an ex-professional cricketer, a Cambridge English graduate, and graduates from a broad range of disciplines including Engineering, Business, French and Law.
Charlie is currently looking for twelve young graduates to boost his consultancy team.
Im not concerned by peoples background. Its really more a case of whether graduates can display the raw competencies and attitude needed to develop into successful consultants.
People who excel in this area are almost without exception great verbal communicators, intelligent with ambitious financial goals. Were not interested in your stereotypical cheesy sales types.
Charlie believes the secret of his firms success is employing the best talent in the market to ensure the highest service levels to clients.
We are very, very selective and spend a lot of time finding the right person. We dont take a gamble on people and take on roughly only one candidate per 40 we interview. As a result, weve recruited and developed an exceptional team which has provided the foundation of our growth.
We want to separate ourselves from the revolving door model of graduate recruitment where companies take a punt on 10 people and then only take two following probationary periods.
For many of our employees, working for me is their first job and we have responsibility to make sure that both parties make it work.
Charlie says Vivid has one of the finest training programmes in the sector with a structured career development path for staff.
We believe its vital to invest in the company infrastructure and believe this is an important factor in our success. Its one of the founding principles of our company that we will grow organically.
The quality of our staff is our main competitive advantage so even as the business continues to grow, Ill ensure that I retain a hands-on role in training and development.
Our main focus is to secure long-term relationships with our clients and candidates and ensure they get trustworthy, high-quality advice. We can only guarantee this if our staff are developed in the correct way.
Training involves an initial 13 week programme of classroom sessions and on the job training.
Charlie is the son of two school teachers and won an academic scholarship at Oxford, having attended his local state school in Huddersfield.
Before moving into recruitment Charlie ran a specialist record shop in Huddersfield and managed own off-shoot, running CD stalls at festivals across Europe.
He also played trumpet and sang with various groups, including four years with BAFTA-nominated actor Riz Ahmed.
Charlies goal is make Vivid one of the top 50 fastest growing UK businesses in under five years.