When it comes to starting a new venture in business, the timing of when you take action can be critical to the success of the business. It’s always easy in hindsight to look back and see when exactly the best moment would have been to invest in something, or move to a new technology, but much harder to see the trends at the actual time.
Back in 2002 Doug Bates and Chris Mason wanted to move on from their jobs in IT recruitment for City investment banks. Both men wanted to team together to form their own recruitment business but they wanted to focus on recruiting for the new emerging and exciting – and at the time relatively unknown – areas of digital marketing and eCommerce.
So Doug and Chris created the St Albans, Hertfordshire-based recruitment agency Intelligent People, which immediately attracted what are now giant global eCommerce corporations, but at the time back in 2002 were fledgling online retailers, just starting out and unaware of the huge way in which the shopping public would embrace Internet shopping.
“At the time the whole area of internet marketing and eCommerce was a grey area and not many recruiters felt comfortable about working in them,” Chris explains. “Companies looking for employees with knowledge and experience of selling or advertising online came to us for help. Most of these initial clients have stayed with us over the years, and meanwhile have grown into household names. Both them and us have done very well out of that earlier vision and foresight, where our clients knew what skills they needed, and we knew where and how to find qualified potential employees.”
“It kind of snow-balled,” Doug continued, “because we began to have a growing reputation for being the pioneers of recruiting for these areas, so attracting more clients as the industry grew and an increasing number of companies were adopting online approaches and new media technologies.”
It was a natural progression for Doug and Chris to bring on board more recruitment consultants who had worked in these industry areas, so they had first-hand knowledge of what skills and talent the clients were looking for, and were up-to-date and fully versed in job roles that were evolving as technology became more sophisticated and applied in a number of varying ways.
“We pride ourselves on our industry knowledge and all our recruitment consultants stay ahead of the game in developing technology and job roles that are emerging as a result,” Doug says.
Successful businesses these days have to be aware of and competing in a huge range of online and mobile marketing, including one of the first and still popular method of email marketing, search engine optimisation and search engine marketing to drive more traffic to online sites, loyalty marketing which has moved online and onto mobile devices mainly in the form of apps, and the latest types of location-based marketing, which geo-targets prospects when they enter a specific geographical location.
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“There are so many digital channels these days in which an organisation should market, or at least be aware of,” Chris mentions. “And monitoring, tracking and analysing results from all the available channels is in itself a new sphere of job opportunities, called multichannel strategy as part of the overal digital job spread.”
Do Doug and Chris have any advice on timing your next business move to ensure it’s successful? Doug smiles and says, “You could say we were lucky to be in the right place at the right time when we founded Intelligent People, but maybe there’s more to it. After all we were both looking for a challenging new direction, and so deliberately moving away from conventional job requirements and looking towards a possible future. And our forecasts included a growing involvement of the internet in commerce and marketing.”
Look to the Future
So maybe the answer is not to always accept the conventional way of doing things, but stay alert and anticipate industry change, especially as science, technology, and communication moves forward to affect society as a whole.
“Sometimes it can just be an inkling that a revolutionary shift in technology is coming,” concludes Doug, looking smug as he leans back in his chair. The busy lively office of recruitment consultants all around us energetically searching for the best skilled and talented people to become their clients’ next new employee is testament to the fact that Intelligent People is a thriving recruitment agency. If Doug and Chris are smug about their success, I’d say that they have every right to be so.
Go to http://www.intelligentpeople.co.uk/ for more information on eCommerce, product management and marketing recruitment specialists Intelligent People, or check out this extensive deep market artilce on Online Marketing Jobs