The fastest growing business in DBS history!
Today I was lucky enough to meet with Helen Charteris, Managing Director of Charteris Global Search – a company based at DBS Castle Donington, who in the space of 2 short months have grown as a business at such a rapid rate, they need a bigger office! In such uncertain times politically, I decided to meet with Helen to find out what she believes was the key to her success.
Charteris Global Search was initially launched in January 2015, born out of an extremely hard time for Managing Director and entrepreneur, Helen. Helen has worked in recruitment for over 30 years, accruing wisdom, skills and a keen eye for opportunities, but it was an event 4 years ago that really tested Helen. Following the sad and unexpected passing of the Director of her previous company, Helen was soon to learn that further issues within the company meant she had no salary and left her in dire financial straits. Never one to be beaten, Helen sourced investment to begin her foray into business once more, only to learn valuable lessons about trust, and which areas of business she needed to prioritise her attentions to – her accounts. It was only through the due diligence of her former colleague (who has since joined Helen as part of Charteris Global Search), Fiona that Helen was alerted to fraudulent activity within her accounts. So, after alerting the relevant authorities, Helen was yet again forced into potential financial difficulty.
What followed was (as Helen describes) a phoenix rising from the ashes. Whilst many people would have given up their hopes for a business and perhaps sought out a safer option, such as employment, Helen used the lessons she had learnt (however painfully) to create what we now know as Charteris Global Search – a recruitment company specialising in the utilities and power sector, recruiting senior figures within international companies with salary expectation of £60K +
In January 2018, Helen took the plunge and committed to a 3-person office at DBS in Castle Donington, and as of March 2018 Chateris will be moving again – this time to a larger, 5-6-person office! Due to this rapid expansion, Helen is looking to recruit 2 experienced recruitment consultants (applications are welcome, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org).
I asked Helen what she felt made Charteris so successful in such a competitive market, modestly she praised other recruitment services before explaining the key to her success is great candidates, she currently holds a database of over 6k approved candidates. Helen also attributes success to her approach to recruitment, not prone to rely on emails, Helen ensures that a member of her team always meet at least once with a potential employer before recruiting for them, and says she asks both herself, and her staff, if they are not on the phone – are they doing their job? Helen is adamant that it is important to call candidates and employers alike and keep that personal channel of communication, which is so often lost in emails. At Charteris they also offer bespoke searches, ensuring they know their sector better than anyone else – ‘no one can beat us on how quick we fill a role’ – Helen rightfully boasts.
Helen also credits DBS with helping her to achieve the level of success she is experiencing:
‘When you’re a new business, you need flexibility. I knew we couldn’t risk leasing an office where we’d have no option to move for a fixed term of 12-18 months. I needed to know that if the business suddenly struggled we could downsize our office or services, but also that if we expanded the office space could grow with us – which has happened here, we’re moving offices within 2 months of moving in! Not many providers would offer that.’
Previously, Helen had been an office client at the DBS Ashby De La Zouch site, and got back in touch when looking for an office for Charteris, I asked Helen what it was that attracted her to return to DBS:
‘There are many reasons really, the staff are great – I really like Julie [Julie Vallance, General Manager of DBS] who has always been great. I love that the office is all inclusive, so we don’t have to guess our monthly expenses, we know that all our utilities etc are included in our rent so can accrue for this with confidence. I love the location, it’s central and close to East Midlands Airport so it’s ideal for candidates to reach. It’s also got some great little shops and a fantastic restaurant within a minutes’ walk! I’ve always found DBS to be truthful, upfront and honest, which I respect in business, but it’s not just business talk, DBS is like a community where you can network, or grab a 5-minute chat over coffee’
When I asked Helen if she felt we could improve on our services, she gave it careful consideration before nodding enthusiastically:
‘Coffee, we should have coffee on tap….’
I reminded Helen that we have fresh filter coffee available throughout the day…
‘Yes, but I mean delivered to your office continually, or just set up an intravenous line, that would be great!’
We do listen to our clients, so of course this recommendation will be passed on to those in charge, but I would not suggest Helen get her hopes up!
When asked about her future plans, Helen said she hoped to have a flagship office in the UK (with DBS!), plus a European office, as well as offices in Canada and Dubai. She wants to build a business that people can trust, create a brand that inspires confidence in her clients. Yet despite her plans to dominate the recruitment world, Helen has no plans to maintain her position in the company, planning to sell the business in 5 years to establish her current passion – the creation of an academy that trains people in recruitment and sales. It’s clear that this is something Helen has spent a long time dreaming about, as she excitedly tells me how she’d offer a 12-week course that trained future recruitment consultants – her way of giving back to the sector she’s worked for, for so long. It seems like these sales skills are in the genes too – with Helen’s son Jake being ‘a really fantastic salesman!’ it may be somewhat laced with motherly bias but given Helen’s success, I’m inclined to believe he truly is. Daughter Morgan however tried her hand at recruitment briefly, before returning to her passion – football coaching, and if she has her Mother’s strength and determination I’m sure we’ll see her managing the English Women’s team within the near future!
So, from all of us at DBS – we wish you every success Helen with your continued growth, and we look forward to supporting you every step of the way.