Andy Farr, Midlands-based recruitment professional and Managing Director of TMR Group, has nurtured and developed TMR Group to more than triple in size in less than 3 years, using his decades of recruitment and business management experience.
Andy has a great talent and a wealth of experience in supporting up and coming or established recruitment businesses and he is now looking to invest in experienced recruiters, or recruitment companies to help them maximise their potential.
We Interviewed Andy, to bring to you his career achievements to date and just how he is looking to offer investment, to support the future of small recruitment businesses.
So, Andy how did you get into Recruitment?
In 1984 I was training to be an accountant with Cadburys and had been there 3 years. My colleagues started to find new opportunities through a company called Michael Page, so I arranged to go and see them myself. At that time Michael Page had a total of 5 offices with 5 recruiters working in the Birmingham office. I was interviewed by one of their Consultants who asked if I’d ever considered working in recruitment, which I hadn’t. He got the Manager to meet me and I was offered a job with them.
Why did you set up on your own?
Having spent 3 great years at Michael Page and witness the company go through dramatic change from a privately-owned business to a PLC I decided the time was right for a new challenge. I went to work for their largest competitor at that time, Robert Half. During my time at Robert Half one of my ex colleagues (Nick Stephens) from Michael Page had started working as an Executive Recruiter at a firm of Accountants and called me with two positions, which I filled. He suggested we meet for lunch. So a boozy lunch and a couple of late-night drink fuelled sessions later resulted in Nicholas Andrews being formed in February 1987 with just the two of us. 14 years later we had 16 offices, 150+ staff and were recognised as the largest independent accountancy recruiter in the UK. This growth attracted the attention of Manpower Inc which resulted in a sale of the business in 2001.
After two years out I missed the excitement of business and the people, so I decided to start up again and in September 2004 Andrew Farr Associates (AFA) was born. After a very short period of time and some lengthy discussions with Vedior (11 bn euro t/o recruitment group) they invested in the company and within 5 years we built the business to 5 offices and 50+ staff. Then, in 2009, the Vedior Group was itself taken over by Randstad at which point I decided to sell my shareholding and retire.
After enjoying a brief period of “retirement”, I received a call from Jo Faria (who I worked with at Nicholas Andrews and Andrew Farr Associates) asking if I would consider investing in the company she was working for at that time as they needed strategic input and financial support. During my time with this business between us Jo and I turned a loss-making operation into profit within 9 months, removed the need for factored finance, generated positive cash flows and gave the business stability. Having completed what was needed I left and returned to retirement, or so I thought… I then received a call from Jo asking if I would provide her with a reference as she had been offered a new role in a different company. We met for a coffee and the result was me coming back out of retirement and starting TMR Group with Jo and here we go again! (The fourth time we have worked together)!
What do you find the most rewarding about managing your businesses?
Starting something with an idea of making a difference and seeing the people who work in it develop and grow. Every business I have started I have encouraged and supported people to make decisions, whether they be right or wrong is less important, but make the decision. If the decision was proven to be right, great, if not learn from it for next time.
Every day is different, you never know what challenges you will face and, as stressful as it is, it’s equally rewarding. I just love it.
What qualities would you say a great recruiter needs?
Honesty, never say die attitude, total commitment, focussed on service delivery to both clients and candidates.
What are the biggest challenges a start-up business will face?
- The biggest single challenge is focussing on delivery of fees whilst trying to balance the continual flow of invoices that need paying.
- Administration, dealing with all the legalities of offices, HMRC, VAT. etc. etc.
- Marketing – Getting the business name out to market.
What support are you looking to offer to recruitment start-ups or those recruitment businesses looking for investment to further grow and develop their business?
Investment. This comes in terms of cash, time and support. We will provide the necessary cash resources to ensure financial stability in the formative stages;
We can provide the full administration support, or whatever is required: –
- Marketing support
- HR facilities
- Payroll systems,
- Dealing with HMRC, PAYE, VAT
- CRM system
- Management support as required.
What we are offering is full backing for entrepreneurial individuals that want to own and run their own business without any financial risk to their own capital, or businesses seeking a capital injection to take them to the next level.
What better opportunity could there be? If you are looking to make a move out on your own or you have a small start-up looking to take the next step. This is the perfect opportunity to do so with absolutely, minimal risk. With all the support you could require, from someone who has been there and lived it several times, with great success!
If you would like to discuss career or an investment opportunity with Andy please complete the form below to get in touch.