QuickFire 10: James Mitra – JBM

QuickFire 10 is a series interviewing Recruitment leaders for the inside scoop on their back story; why they got into recruitment and an idea of what’s to come. Straight from the horse’s mouth. This week we interview James Mitra of JBM Consulting, an executive search firm based in Bank, London.

  1. How and Why did you get into recruitment?

Like most people I fell into recruitment after chatting to a rugby mate who suggested I’d be good at it. I knew I wanted to get some exposure to the corporate world and ultimately learn Sales.

I’d be lying if I thought it would a job for life when I started but I quickly realised I enjoyed the pace, variety and the opportunity to make a bit of money (which was much needed after 3 years of student life!)

  1. Why did you start JBM?

I was working for an industry leader but became disillusioned with the job and was fed up people at dinner parties rolling their eyes when I said I was a recruiter!

I saw a huge gap in the industry for an honest, truly consultative recruitment business that was solely focused on building genuine, long term relationships with both candidates and clients. I also wanted a fun, entrepreneurial challenge and I’ve loved (almost) every second of it…

  1. You say you wanted to do things differently, how do you do that?

Every interaction for JBM is valued and we take a long term view to it. The business is centered around word of mouth. In fact, 50% of the people we place is from referrals and recommendations. This makes us unique. We don’t just sit on job boards.

What we’re doing is not just about saying we’re different. When people join JBM we train them how to become a consultative, career coach to our candidates. This helps us to become long-term partners for both candidates and clients. Not just a touch point every 3 years or so. When we can’t help, we’re honest about it. We’re advisory and will go above and beyond to add value and tell them what we think.

  1. What challenges have you faced setting up JBM? Has anything surprised you?

We’re very picky about who works for us. The key thing is not diluting our message as we grow so finding people who have the right blend of experience, skills and values is not always easy. We’re not like other recruitment consultancies and therefore hiring for us will always be a challenge.

Business development has actually been easier than initially expected. People like the personal touch and being able to grow through word of mouth has meant we’ve never struggled for new business.

  1. What’s one thing that’ll keep you up at night?

Both Tim and I have had babies recently so to be honest, they do! Business so far is going well so it’s just a timely (normally about 4:30am) reminder to make sure that continues. We’re always conscious to not get complacent so we’re always looking at how we can improve.

  1. What advice would you give to people wanting to start their own recruitment business?

Well we’re still small and that’s helped us to be dynamic. I’d say don’t try to do too much too early or you could burn out. Above all offer a USP. If you’re not different in an already crowded market you’ll really struggle.

  1. What’s the one thing you look for in hires?

An appetite for a challenge and a willingness to roll up your sleeves. Working for a small business isn’t for everyone and we want to make sure that anyone joins JBM is ready for that journey.

Having a sense of humour also goes a long way! If you’re not able to laugh at yourself you probably won’t fit into the business – or recruitment in general for that matter.

  1. What would you be doing if you weren’t a Recruiter?

My idea of a ‘dream job’ growing up was either a rugby agent or a Sky Sports presenter. I suppose a rugby agent isn’t too far removed from my job now only with a slightly calmer clientele if things don’t go to plan.

  1. What’s your 5 year plan?

The 5 year plan has actually just been written so it’s a timely question. We’re planning to extend the service offering and ideally grow ten-fold in size. We want to become the best boutique search firm in our sector whilst ensuring we retain our culture and values.

  1. What productivity hacks do you use and what do you promote?

In terms of tech we use Cube19 which gives us a great insight into activity and ways to work more effectively. In terms of being productive, we genuinely view health and well being as really important. We’re a close-knit team and look after our staff, with gym memberships and our fully stocked ‘Wellness Box’. If we need a hit of vitamins or some fresh fruit it’s there for us!

JBM Cheers

Thanks to James from JBM who are hiring at Researcher and Consultant/Manager levels now. Take a look at their live jobs here.