We recently caught up with Chris Batters, Associate Director for Technology, to find out more about his move and his focus on the Technology division across London and the Home Counties. Click Here to hear more from Chris in this video.
“Tell us about you and your background”?
I have been with Broster Buchanan since 2016 and earlier this year I was given the opportunity to move to London to focus on the Technology Division. My recruitment life started 12 years ago, having always specialized in Technology, Change and Transformation across all sectors, so it is a market I know well.
Pre Broster Buchanan, I graduated from University in Criminology and Law, which then obviously led me into a career in recruitment. My wife and I recently had our first child (who’s just started crawling!) so its safe to say it’s been a busy 2019 so far.
“Can you tell us about your journey with Broster Buchanan so far”?
I joined the business in 2016 as employee number 7 shortly after the business began trading. The majority of us had all come from corporate recruitment backgrounds, so going from suits, ties and boardroom meetings to working from your bedroom for the first 6 months was interesting to say the least. It doesn’t seem that long ago yet now we enjoy the luxury of nine offices across the UK which is testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire team for how far we have come.
I have worked with our MD Kevin Moran for many years and he brought me in to help build our UK wide Technology division from scratch; a big move at 28 years old but it has worked out well – we like to remind the team at Broster Buchanan every now and then that we have been the most successful division in the company for the past 3 years! In response to our success and a growing need from our clients and candidates we decided to open the London office and invest in building out this division, across all sectors.
“How did you find the transition from the corporate recruitment world to start-up mode?”
Interesting to say the least, as I said, we all came from large organisations with thousands of people and unlimited resources, to then just a handful of us. The most eye-opening part for me was going from a well-known business that everyone had heard of, to an unknown entity which we had the chance to build up from scratch. I remember the first few calls I made to the London market and speaking to people who had never heard of us. But once we told our story and what we were trying to do, along with what our mission was, people became very ‘pro Broster Buchanan’.
I credit the amazing support that we have had from our clients and candidates to the fact that we are all experienced in our field, everything we do is hinged on honesty, transparency and building relationships for the long-term, and because we are more boutique in our approach we are able to enjoy the benefits of agility and innovation with no red tape getting in the way.
Fast forward 5 years and we have a great selection of key accounts (from SME businesses to large corporations) and we have built solid relationships across the Technology & Transformation market with both clients and candidates.
What areas do you cover?
We recruit across the entirety of Technology & Transformation within the UK (both interim and permanent). Specifically in London I recruit for the following,
– Senior/Leadership roles CIO, CTO, CDO, CISO, IT Director
– Data Science / Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
– IT/Cyber Security
– Change & Transformation
– Business Intelligence
As a wider business we also recruit within Finance, Marketing, Sales, Energy & Infrastructure, Temps & Interim and Executive level appointments.
How do you think your regional recruitment experience will help with being successful in London?
Funnily enough I was asked something similar with a client recently. Over the years I have had a UK-wide remit, so I have significant experience of the London market which gives me a solid idea of the terrain and a good network of people as a foundation.
My outlook on recruitment has always been to focus on building relationships and then deliver on what is required. Over time, once you have built these relationships and the trust is there, you can start working in even more of a consultative capacity and that allows you to offer your best possible service and ultimately make your clients and candidates lives easier.
From the feedback I have received so far from the London Technology market, it seems the relationship element in London is a big factor, and transitioning that into a delivery aspect means you can offer real value in quite a saturated tech market.
What are your growth plans for the division?
We are looking to bring in a handful of hires into the London division, and something similar on the Finance side of the business, which should get us to around 8+ people within the next 6-12 months.
I will be looking for people to head up both the Change & Transformation market and the Big Data market initially, as both are where we have a lot of opportunities and growth potential.
In my opinion the people that will do best at BB are the ones that want full autonomy, have expert knowledge in their field and the entrepreneurial mindset to help build something from the bottom up.
Where do you hope to be in the next 3 years?
With the support we have had so far, my vision is for us to have at least 20 heads in the Technology division alone, and of course to retain our standing as the most successful division in Broster Buchanan! It will take a lot of talented individuals to get there, but I am confident that we can make this as much of a success in London as we have done previously across the UK. From there we will have the opportunity to open up new office locations, and even look outside of the UK.
With the ever-changing elements of recruitment and market saturation, standing out to candidates and clients is key. As I’ve mentioned before, we’ll start by building a relationship and offering a bespoke service. Building trust and rapport by demonstrating sector knowledge, offering additional marketing resource or an inhouse offering, combined with the determination to be the go-to consultancy will be key.
Clients are looking always for additional support, and we have systems and products in place to satisfy this. We have partnerships with interim consultancies to help with contractor invoicing, video interviewing and marketing products and our management consultancy division, Orbbis. Delivering management consultancy through industry experts, this new division offers a suite of individually respected leading practitioners in their field, helping our clients pivot towards a digital infrastructure that is flexible, on-strategy and defines the future of their business.
Finally, do you have any events coming up?
I’m glad you asked, yes I am working alongside my colleagues Owen Myers and Jenna Mackie to run our next ‘Future of the workplace’ event in London. As we have done for the last few years, it is a roundtable event for thought leaders across all sectors (CIOs, CFOs, Transformation Directors etc) to enjoy good food and share ideas around this topic, co-hosted with our Agile expert.
We also have IR35 specific events and webinars happening in October and November; something we are very keen to front in partnership with our legal teams and interim consultancy supporting partners.