This is Steve Ritson, a CNA Franchise Partner. Here is what he has to say about himself and his experience setting up a franchise with CNA International.
How many years have you worked in recruitment?
I have worked in recruitment for 19 years and really love the industry. My career has developed over this time and I’m happy to now be expanding further with CNA.
What were your work experiences prior to joining CNA?
I worked at Hays Financial Services for seven years as a National Account Manager as well as in a variety of other roles. After this, I spent two years at CNA as a Regional Sales Manager, so I have some experience of working within the company. Most recently I ran Head Forward Recruitment for ten years, a specialist Financial Services and Banking recruiter. From January 2017 this will merge with CNA International to form CNA Financial Services and Specialist Banking.
What qualifications relevant to your current position do you hold?
In 1998 I graduated from The University of Wolverhampton with a 2:1 in Human Resources and Marketing. I am also a member of the IRP at Fellowship level (FIRP).
Why did you decide to start up a franchise with CNA?
Having worked with CNA in the past I knew the business to a certain extent, but ten years had elapsed and I was intrigued to see what had changed. I was working in a very solitary environment for a long time and felt that I had reached the point where I needed to grow a real business. I knew that the CNA training, coupled with the business support at Pertemps Network, was frankly going to be second to none, so it was the perfect opportunity.
What ambitions do you have for the business?
Over the next year I am hoping to grow the franchise to include two recruiters and a number of approved supplier agreements for executive search. Throughout 2017 and 2018 I will be looking to acquire new clients within the FS and Banking Space; specifically, operational functions such as; Risk, Financial Crime, HR, Marketing, Legal, and Business Development.
What type of roles are you currently recruiting for?
Regulated Financial Advisers, Mortgage Advisers, Financial Crime (Banking), Digital Marketing, Specialist Banking roles at £80-110,000.
What does it mean to you to be a part of CNA and Pertemps Network Group?
It’s a big brand that can open doors! The best analogy I can think of is that it’s like being small child, playing with others your own age but you have the knowledge that your big brother is close by to look after you in the playground. Part of my role will be to secure national contracts for CNA as well as my franchise and indeed other franchisees. Having the branding gives me the kudos I need to be credible. It also means that the business will be able to deliver on the promises we make because it’s well run and well backed.
What do you bring personally to the recruitment industry and to CNA?
That’s a tough question… Passion I think. After nearly 20 years of the recruitment industry, I’m still excited about picking up the phone and helping a candidate secure the job of their dreams. I have never seen myself as anything other than an intermediary, putting employer and employee together.
What do you see as the biggest challenge to your business and how will you overcome these challenges?
Well, a challenge can be a negative or a positive and I see most challenges as a way of improving my situation. I guess after 10 years of working in isolation, the biggest challenge I face is working with other people, but as my default setting is teamwork, I am hoping this will not be too much of an issue.
What advice would you give to other recruiters thinking of setting up a franchise with CNA?
Make sure you have completed your due diligence and you have the finances to carry you through the first six months. Work hard and work for long hours, it really is the only way to ensure success. Be prepared for failure too. Recruitment is a tough but rewarding business and you really only get out what you put in. Meet your clients face to face and treat your candidates well – be an adviser not a salesperson.
So to finish, tell us a little bit about your personal life - How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
I am married to Shelley, who is currently studying English and Professional Writing at University and have two kids, Guy and Liz. Guy is an Area Manager for an international online shopping company and Liz is a Student Nurse. My passion is motorbikes. I am learning to ride again after a long period of not riding and plan to take my big boys bike test in the Spring of 2017. Having this passion and my family around me are the two things that allow me to enjoy a good work/life balance.