Meet Mike...

Mike McNeill is the Founder and Managing Director of We Build Recruitment.

Just over a year since the launch and We Build have 2 new offices, clients all over the country and already surpassed goals they had in mind for year 3. A genuine success already and creating a real impression in the market. We interviewed Mike to try and find out the secret to his success…

1. A family man, business man and man about town, how do you find the time to run such a successful business?

To be honest, this is one thing I really struggled with and still struggle with to this day. I have put my everything into setting We Build up and trying to get us in a position where people recognise the name and branding. I was working 13/14 hour day, 7 days a week and nothing else mattered which affected everything around me but luckily my family and friends are very supportive and can see the journey I am going along to get us to the top so in a kind way ‘they put up with it’. Recently the business has grown and some internal changes have seen promotions which has solidified the management structure in the business which has given me more support and allowed me to take a little step back.

2. If you were a superhero who would you be and why?

Superhero, my boys already think I am one haha, super powers, I would love to be able to read peoples minds, I think people hold back from what they really want to say for whatever reason, I think things would move forward a lot quicker if people were honest from the outset.

3. How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

I have worked in recruitment since I left school (19 years ago) and have worked for some of the biggest and smallest agencies out there. It was my business mentor Matt Tyson who kept asking me the question “why don’t you do it for yourself? Look at the experience and success stories you have had with other businesses” but if being honest it wasn’t something I had looked in to. When working at WRS along with the team we built the division to level where it warranted to be a stand alone business in its own right (£10m turnover in 2nd full year) and this is what prompted the management buy-out.

4. What was your mission at the outset? Has this changed now that you are a year in?

The mission has always been the same and don’t think it will ever change, become the biggest and best Construction Labour Provider within the UK.

5. How many employees do you have and what has been the biggest challenge with recruitment?

Currently there is 14 of us (including directors) spread across 2 offices (Manchester & Liverpool). The biggest challenge has been finding consultants who can deliver on their promises. I have met many of people who promise the world but under deliver which has a huge knock on effect on your business as not only does it end up costing you money, it knocks your forecasts out when projecting the year ahead.

6. What do you look for in a new recruit?

Over the years I have only ever wanted people who have construction experience but most recently I have been more open minded and this in turn has helped finding the right people for the business.

7. What separates We Build from the rest of the industry and competition?

Recruitment is a simple thing, hence the reason there is so many agencies, it’s the staff you employee and the service they give which separates you from the rest. At We Build we pride ourselves on being honest and telling clients if we are struggling but more importantly why we are struggling (whether it be rates, area etc) and I think this helps us retain clients as we don’t waste there time, we are straight to the point and effective.

8. If you had to describe We Build in 3 words what would they be?

Effective, Honest & Relevant

9. Looking back on the eventful year that was 2020, what have you guys found most challenging? How have you overcome this?

2020 was a difficult year for everyone in the world never mind in recruitment. The challenging thing for us was sites slowing right down meaning our numbers dropped but with the solid client base we had if any agency was needed then we were the ones to supply them.

10. What’s the goal for 2021?

2021 has started off like a bullet out of a gun, we are busier than ever which has seen growth within both offices. The goal for 2021 is to break the 500 runner barrier and turnover between £12m-£15m (which we are currently on target to deliver).

11. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

My advice would be to give it your all, if you fail, then fail trying but if you put the effort and hours in then there is no ceiling to where you business can go.

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