Written by Gavin Dilkes, the Founder of Synergy
10 Years of Synergy Personnel Services
Game of Thrones premiers, Pope John Paul II is Beatified, Novak Djokovic wins his first Wimbledon title, News of The World publishes its last paper, and Synergy Personnel Services was born.
When I look back at the last 10 years and think of what we have achieved as a company it astounds me.
The idea to ‘go on my own’ was born out of an idea that I could do something better. I know how incredibly arrogant that sounds, (at the time, I was working for the biggest recruitment agency in the world), but I genuinely did think I could do things better.
In a corporate setting, as a recruiter, you have targets for every piece of activity you do. It is a really good way of managing trainee/ junior people, the idea being that the more numbers you have (on the board) the more placements you will make, and ultimately, the more fees you will get. It works, it really does, but I was always one of those consultants who was a bit more ‘efficient’ at what I did, I never hit the big activity numbers, but always got the same (or better) result. The idea of sending a 4th candidate to an interview, when they were certain not to get the job, just so I could hit my activity target and earn (a little bit) more commission didn’t quite sit right with me, and so after moaning to a friend over a few beers, I decided to set Synergy up.
It’s all in the name.
I didn’t want to call it G Dilkes Recruitment (or some incarnation around my name), and so I started researching team names that had been used for the UK Apprentice, and the name Synergy stood out for me. I studied Business & Economics at University and understood the idea of 2+2=5 and thought it would fit quite well with what I wanted us to achieve as a business.
Then came the next bit, Personnel Services. I didn’t want it to be ‘Synergy Recruitment’ – It was a sure certain way of getting hung up on by every receptionist in the land and so after careful consideration, I settled on Personnel (not, as some people think Personal!) Services (That’s a totally different Service indeed!!). Mainly for the fact that I wanted to make sure we worked very closely with our candidates and clients to be more than just a recruiter.
The next 9.5 years are all a bit of a blur.
The company was started with me resting a really old laptop on the arm of our 2-seater sofa. After a few months, I moved to the tiny spare room, then a house move actually gave me an ‘office’, but then, I had this crazy idea of recruiting people (that was never the intention), and so I had to move out of the home office, and start wearing a suit every day, instead of my joggers!
The first office was freezing cold, (but it did mean that I got to buy a Dyson Hot & Cold fan, a necessary business expense!), but after a year, a bigger move was necessary, and we (3 of us and the dog), moved to the bright lights of Leicester City Centre, to an office that allowed us to grow, and set up two new Divisions.
Fast forward to where we are now, there are 12 of us within the company, working within 5 different sectors (Construction, Office Support, Social Care, IT and Warehouse & Industrial), we have placed over 400 people into permanent positions across The Midlands, over 1000 temporary workers keeping the cogs of industry turning and have raised over £10,000 for charity.
I look back and reflect on the lives we have changed. Internally, staff have moved on from us, but I hope they have left as better people than they were when they joined us, we have had 4 ‘Synergy Babies’, another dog, 2 house moves, 2 cars written off and 1 marriage proposal.
Externally, we have changed so many lives of our workers too. People have upskilled, engineers are now managers, companies have grown, and I believe we have helped to facilitate this.
As I sit here writing this letter, I honestly could not be prouder of what we have achieved and would like to thank You for your support throughout the years. I always say that our job is very simple. It is about two things: Candidates and Clients. I try not to complicate it any more than that and You are one half of that equation.
Who knows if there will be another 10, but if there is, hopefully it will be as good as the first 10.
Watch this space…….