- Anna Scott
Recruitment agencies form a diverse sector. Running the gamut of large multinational, multi-sector staffing businesses, medium-sized companies with offices in a range of locations and smaller-sized enterprises with one or two branches, the industry embraces all kinds of organisation.
It also celebrates entrepreneurial talent, and the sheer number of start-ups doing great things is testament to this. This week has been a busy one for recruitment entrepreneurs. Founder of Spencer Ogden, David Spencer-Percival, has been named Smith & Williamson Entrepreneur of the Year at the National Business Awards. Fellow nominees included another recruitment entrepreneur, James Caan. Spencer-Percival’s business launched four years ago in two locations; it now has offices in eleven countries across five continents.
This week has also seen Huddersfield-based E3 Recruitment announced as finalist in the government’s Ready For Business Awards 2013. It has already claimed the Best B2B Start-Up award in the regional category for Yorkshire and Humber.
Many of these companies are experiencing rapid growth; moving from entrepreneurial start-up status to multi-location businesses. But recruitment businesses that remain small are as vital to the industry’s success, diversity and vitality as those who expand. Particularly as they often foster huge levels of innovation among employees.
However this becomes difficult and they often operate under a great deal of pressure, because of an ongoing issue that should really be easy to resolve: late payments.
And this is why another recruitment entrepreneur, Beatrice Bartlay, managing director of agency 2B Interface, has this week become a signatory to the Institute of Credit Management’s Prompt Payment Code (PPC).
A great deal of damage is done to small businesses by late payments from clients and customers, and it’s an issue the government is looking to tackle.
Bartlay has called for every business in the UK to join the code to demonstrate that they will practice what they preach and pay suppliers on time. The EU introduced a voluntary 60-day payment period, but nothing has been done to change the culture of hanging onto cash for long than is necessary, she says.
The PPC has 1,500 signatories from businesses of all sizes and sectors across the UK, and aims to spread the word on the importance of paying suppliers on time and give clear guidance on payment procedures.
Having a stamp of approval that you will pay on time as set out in individual payment terms will, as Bartlay suggests, boost your public profile and allow smaller organisations to better plan on the basis of what they are owed, which is vital for their success.
Without a range of small businesses in the sector, it will lose its diversity and dynamism. It may become less fertile breeding ground for the budding entrepreneurs that bring character and innovation to a recovering, and increasingly buoyant sector.