Hobnobbing with Steven Rawlingson, CEO of Samuel Knight

posted by 5 years ago in Hobnobbing
Steven Rawlingson

How did the idea for the business come about?

I’d been in recruitment for 10 years prior to starting Samuel Knight and having worked in both a corporate and start-up businesses I believed I could truly create a market leading recruitment business based on my knowledge and experience.

When was the company first established?

It was launched in March 2014 and named after my Grandpa.

How is the business doing?

The first year was difficult as is any new business but once the initial start-up phase had passed we channelled all our energy into becoming a market leading manpower provider across our core market sectors. Within 4 years we have gone from a standing start-up to a c20 million pound business with 60 staff and 3 UK locations. We have further growth plans to open up a Germany and US operation early 2018. To say we have exceeded my expectations from the 1st day to current is an understatement; Samuel Knight is on course to reach 50 million turnover by 2019 breaking 5 million EBITDA.

Since the company began, what has been the biggest challenge?

The first year Samuel Knight were issued with a tomlin order from my previous employer as they were scared of what we could achieve if they didn’t put the shackles on us for a period of time. This ultimately stopped us from trading for a period of 8 months which hurt us in the early days.

What makes you stand out from your competitors?

It has to be the staff, we have a strong sense of team work, honesty and integrity, everyone is working towards the same vision of creating a 100 million pound recruitment firm before we are 10 years old. The ethos and culture of Samuel Knight is second to none which means our clients always get the best out of our consultants.

What’s been your best business decision?

Not to give up in the early days, it was so hard to get the business established with everything that was going on with my past employer but I kept on pushing myself and found inner strength to break through the dark days.

What is next for Samuel Knight?

To take over the world haha…. My grandpa always used to say don’t tell anyone your plans, show them your results instead, so we’ll have to see what’s next for Samuel Knight but I’m sure whatever journey we’re going on its going to be exciting and challenging.

Our big focus for the next 12 months is to get the best out of the investments I’ve made in the new London office and USA. Develop the graduates we have hired, implement a management training programme and position the business as a truly specialist world-class provider of recruitment solutions.

If you could help one business now with a single piece of advice, what would it be?

Work hard in silence and let your success be your noise.

Finally, what is your favourite biscuit?

It has to be a chocolate hobnob!