A customer perspective

We offer plenty of advice via our website and in-person through our consultancy team, but sometimes, there’s no real substitute to hearing from someone who’s been there and done it. So we’ve asked a customer of ours – Vincent Gurney Ltd – to share some insights into how they set up, what challenges they faced, how RFS helped them and what advice they’d offer to others contemplating setting up their own recruitment business.

Who we spoke to

We had the pleasure of speaking with Tom Vincent (Managing Director) and Johnie Gurney (Director) of Vincent Gurney Ltd.

VGL logo
Tom Vincent
Tom Vincent
Managing Director
Johnie Gurney
Johnie Gurney

Ready to find out more?

What made you want to start your own recruitment business?

Tom said:

I have been working in recruitment for over 7 years specialising in the construction sector. I had only ever worked for one recruitment company where I spent seven years, starting as an apprentice and worked my way up to manager of the entire organisation. Five of the seven years spent with the company where I worked, I was their top biller, breaking billing records year on year with my record year billings of over £470k in gross profit. Having made that much money for a small organisation with only one branch and not so many resources, I had a vision where I could not only just make that money for myself, but to invest it into building an organisation with branches throughout the UK covering various recruitment sectors.

Johnie said:

I started working in recruitment around three and a half years ago for a company that specialise in the construction & engineering sectors. I started as a trainee recruitment consultant/resourcer and worked alongside Tom who was my line manager at the time. Within the first 5 weeks of being there Tom went on holiday and I was left to manage his business where he had over 100 candidates working for him at one time for several different companies. On Tom’s return I was promoted to being a full consultant and I was motivated to build a business of a similar size. I therefore worked hard to try and make this happen, ensuring I was the first into the office every day and one of the last to leave. I developed a close working relationship with Tom and we had similar ambitions of building a successful recruitment organisation of our own. We both had financial responsibilities including young children and a mortgage/rent so failing wasn’t an option, and here we are now.

2. Can you give us a brief overview of what your business does and the journey you have been on to get to where you are now?

The sales blurb: Vincent Gurney Ltd, also known as ‘VGL’ is one of the UK’s leading providers of blue and white collar staff to the Construction industries, covering both temporary/contract and permanent vacancies nationwide. Working with some of the UK’s largest and most reputable organisations throughout the Construction & Fit Out, Mechanical & Electrical, Ductwork & HVAC, Civil Engineering, Demolition & Groundworks industries, we strive to be the very best in the service we provide.

VGL offers both clients and candidates a simple and friendly experience. Having specialist consultant’s cover each sector we believe we have the expertise to fully understand our clients and candidates needs and fulfil their requirements. We are known for building long-term relationships with our clients and candidates and aim to provide everyone with a first-class service. We are located in Basingstoke, Hampshire but we operate throughout the whole of the UK and can supply candidates within an hour’s travel of most areas. We also have candidates that are willing to travel further afield and stay away if required (throughout the UK and overseas).

VGL was founded by Tom Vincent & Johnie Gurney in August 2018. Tom and Johnie had worked together in recruitment for over 3 years and both had similar ambitions to create a recruitment organisation which they could grow to become a leading organisation in there specialist sector.
Within VGL’s first 6 months they have traded with over 50 clients and are consistently running over 60 contract runners between the 2 of them on a weekly basis, as well as generally running VGL as a company on a day to day basis. They have two Recruitment Consultants scheduled to join their growing team in early April 2019. Starting VGL out of a spare bedroom we signed on our first office in December 2018 which could accommodate up to 12 workers.

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3. What obstacles have you encountered during the early stages of running your business?

Since starting VGL we have encountered many obstacles such as:

  • Starting with nothing but mobile phones and a laptop each, we have invested in CRM system with no contacts whatsoever which now has over 3000 candidates and 1000 clients. Our database is now growing healthily on a daily basis.
  • Working from home isn’t the easiest to concentrate with many distractions including a 2-year-old running around the house but we kept our focus and would be glued to our mobile phones and laptops 9 hours per day/5 days a week constantly to create revenue/profit and achieve our goal of office space within in our first 6 months which we managed to achieve.
  • Having no database of candidates made it very difficult to fill vacancies we receive from our clients, but we made use of free/low cost resources available which we found via social media sites etc. and have managed to successfully succeed in filling over 80% of vacancies we have received.

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4. How helpful have you found RFS to be throughout the process of setting up and running your business?

RFS has been a massive asset to VGL since we have started the company. Having worked closely with members of their organisation in the past via our previous employer it was a no brainer to work with them again as we know the way RFS operate and they understand the way we operate as individual consultants, so would know the way we would want to operate VGL as a company. RFS’s procedures and systems are very easy to follow which makes our job easier to do.

They have a great team who are all massively helpful, each in their own way. They come back to us with solutions and answers very quickly and manage our invoicing/back office duties brilliantly which we are more than happy with and our clients are too.

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5. What advice would you give to anyone else considering setting up their own recruitment business?

  • Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, make both short term and long-term goals
  • Have a process in place you want to work to from the off which all of your employees will work to when they join your team
  • Stay focused
  • Get in contact with RFS. The advice and service they provide at fair cost has played a massive part in VGL having such a great start. The jobs they carry out on your behalf, freeing us up of so much time, has been invaluable.

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6. Where do you see the business being in five years’ time?

Having had such a brilliant start, we have many goals we wish to achieve. In 5 years’ time we aim to be working in much larger office space and have much larger internal team, our goal is to have in the region of 30 internal staff. As our internal workforce grows which should create better revenue/profit we have aim to invest in other recruitment markets, not just construction.

In 5 years VGL will be a well-established recruitment organisation and will have great internal working teams in hopefully several offices across the UK. We will be known for being one of the very best at what we do in all of the recruitment markets we work and will be the first point of call for our client’s requirements and candidates when they are looking for that new role. We intend for VGL to be a recruitment brand that people are recommending nationwide.

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What we offer

Recruitment Funding Solutions works with recruiters and recruitment companies of all size, helping provide funding and service solutions. As this case study with VGL hopefully demonstrates, we can help in a big way and we’re in this for the long run. We want to be a preferred partner that you can trust and rely on, and know that we’re here to support your business and its growth.

So, to discuss how we can help you, please call us on: