Callum McCormick owns two technology businesses, what we like to call the “Barclay Group”. We have us, Barclay Anderson, an IT Recruitment Consultancy he started in 1997. He also owns Barclay James, a Web Design Company which has been running since 2011.
As you can understand, Callum’s a busy man. But we did get him to sit down long enough for him to answer a few questions. Here’s what he had to say.
What made you want to start your own business?
I started Barclay Anderson because I was invited by Powergen (now E.ON) to change my career from a senior recruitment consultant to a Poacher – turn – Gamekeeper role as the corporate Recruitment Manager. In this role, I was allied to a very major programme of IT work sitting on the IT Management Board. I recruited over 700 contractors and permanent staff over a 4 years period via a number of IT Recruitment Agencies and I built up the strong “Big Picture” of how clients really operated inside large corporations. My skills, experience – and more importantly enthusiasm – was at boiling point and to keep my sanity as a business man, I started my own IT Recruitment Agency.
What’s been one of your most memorable moments in Barclay Anderson?
The most memorable was being offered £4.25 million once from a large international corporation to buy us. I did actually accept however this was one week before Lehman Brothers went bust in 2008 and the recession took hold across the globe. The deal never happened.
What have you most been proud of?
I have had a number of proud moments during my tenure of owning and running an IT Recruitment Agency, however my proudest moments are when a new recruit places their first candidate with a new customer. This is closely followed when we promote our staff into more senior positions. Staff have to come first in the Recruitment Industry and watching our recruitment consultants develop into first-class people constantly makes me proud.
Where do you see the company in 5 years?
Our future is extremely bright, with a strong culture of employing young people from the local community and offering them NVQ qualifications in Recruitment. Recently we appointed one of our first apprentices to the Management Board as a Recruitment Manager. Clearly our training works and our amazing staff enjoy their work.
What makes Barclay Anderson stand out from other Recruitment Agencies?
IT Recruitment Agencies like to think they are all different. In reality, most do the same churn everyday. Management measure numbers of CVs and numbers of interviews per recruiter. It forces recruiters to send more and more CVs to clients, reducing their quality and effectively destroying their credibility. We have never measured staff on weekly numbers like this. I am more interested in the number of quality business relationships each recruiter has. Not too many, not too few. It so happens that naturally, we have a culture of quality. Quality candidates, quality clients – and quality staff. When these three components come together, it makes a successful IT Recruitment Agency.
What advice would you give a Recruiter who’s just starting out?
I once told my boss that it was unlikely that I was going to do a “deal” that month. Upon discussion, it transpired that my life really did depend on me picking my game up so that I could earn my commission – and pay for my daughter’s nappies (who had just been born). For fun, he suggested that since my life really depended on me doing a deal, how about we agree that at the end of the month, if I hadn’t done a deal, he’d shoot me stone dead. Weirdly I agreed. I was interested in how I might perform under this secret pressure. I did a deal. My advice to young recruiters is that until you feel the pressure, you won’t know if you’ll cave in – or over-perform. Therefore, treat everyday as an adventure and make sure you over-achieve at everything you do, from your work through to play.
This is not a rehearsal.
– Millie McCormick