We talked to Scott Parsons of Forsyth Barnes on how the platform offers a personal, and dedicated service in the executive appointments market and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Scott Parsons: Yeah very well, compared to most of the world we’re holding up well. Fortunately, the kids are still able to attend nursery so feel very lucky.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Forsyth Barnes.
Scott Parsons: I’ve always been entrepreneurial, from running small online businesses through college & university to launching & growing a chain of milkshake & smoothie bars whilst at University. I got into executive recruitment in 2010 and I’m always thankful for the opportunities it afforded me, from picking up a really wide rounded business skillset to managing people, opening offices, and experiences acquisitions & mergers. But I always thought the recruitment sector was still built on principles & processes born in the 1980s. By utilizing tech to automate the process side of the role, we could really focus on relationships & experiences with our people, clients & candidates. We are tech-led innovators with pioneering solutions offering an award-winning service in the Senior Appointments market. We’re proud of growing the business completely organically, to the current day featuring in the Financial Times 1000 as the 222nd fastest growing business in Europe (Fastest growing in recruitment).
How does Forsyth Barnes innovate?
Scott Parsons: Pioneering innovation is 1 of our 4 key values. It’s a big part of our why. We’ve developed an open culture where innovation & ideas are always heard and implemented if they suit the business’s value & mission. We’ve grown from a recruitment company to having a tech-led business, an RPO organization, a consultancy & now a tech platform for our VC/Equity clients to benefit from.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Scott Parsons: Initially, a shock. However, we doubled down on work & innovation, injected huge positivity into the market, and fortunately with a great can-do culture at all levels, and a focus on executives within tech businesses, we went onto have a record year; exceeding our initial 2020 target set pre-Covid.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Scott Parsons: Fortunately not. Initially, we utilized the furlough offering for newer members of staff but brought people back as soon as possible, and most of the team still worked throughout. The only financial/HR decision we made, as a result, was for my business partner & I to take a 100% paycut from March-August, as a precautionary measure.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Scott Parsons: I think this was a huge positive that we re-dressed as part of our reaction to the pandemic. As a fast-growth business, part of the growing pains involved me personally not having as much customer face time with our clients as I would like/used to. Coronavirus re-purposed that to ensure it’s at the forefront of everything we do. So much so that we’re on the lookout for a newly created role for a Client Relations Lead – solely focused on ensuring only amazing service. 7
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Scott Parsons: Furlough initially. Less Covid provided grants but we have had an active involvement with growth/upscaler programs for creating more and more jobs across our offices.
Your final thoughts?
Scott Parsons: Incredibly proud of the business we’ve built here at Forsyth Barnes, and prouder still of the tenacity our whole team has demonstrated throughout the pandemic. Not just for the business, contributing to a record 2020, but for themselves: learning languages, fitness classes, volunteering, supporting charities, and having a positive impact on society during a really difficult time. Excited for 2021 and beyond!
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