Daisy Betteridge joined Recruitment Entrepreneur as Operations Manager in 2015, progressing to Head of Operations in 2017. She oversees and manages all operational activity within the Recruitment Entrepreneur portfolio. In this interview, we discuss the importance of building strong business foundations, career milestones, and the challenges and rewards of the role.
What does your role as Head of Operations entail day-to-day?
Fundamentally, I am in charge of making sure that all of the businesses operate efficiently. What that actually entails is very broad. Encompassing everything from HR and GDPR to CRM, I procure and look after the shared support services that all of the portfolio uses, as well as manage the onboarding of all new JV businesses. Operations is often overlooked, particularly in a forward-facing sales environment, but the systems and processes we implement underpin everything that a business is built on.
How have you seen the portfolio evolve over your time at RE?
The growth we’ve experienced is really phenomenal; I’ve seen it go from a handful of people sharing a bank to 27 founders, 17 businesses and 20 global office locations. Each business has grown its own culture and DNA, and it’s great to witness them maturing and establishing themselves. There's a real sense of strength in numbers, which translates across all the things we do. As well as having economies of scale, there is a collegiate environment between business directors, encouraged by events such as our regular CEO forums. All businesses go through the same growing pains and now the older businesses are able to guide and advise the younger ones within the portfolio.
What is your most precious possession?
A leather jacket; it was the first thing I bought from my first pay cheque when I moved to London. I saved up for it for months and I still have it now.
How did you progress within RE to your current role?
I was working as James Caan’s assistant as RE was being set up so I moved laterally across. They had no operational body within the office and I jumped at the opportunity to set it up.
Since joining RE, the portfolio has grown massively so naturally I am much busier than before. Our onboarding process now is much slicker and more advanced. When we first started, we had key people who had a huge amount to do. Now we have fully-fledged teams with their own function, from marketing to the finance team, which has tripled in size.
What’s the first thing you notice about someone when you meet them?
I think it’s incredibly important to present yourself well and have a good handshake. Nobody likes a limp hand.
In your opinion, what makes a successful start-up?
Start-ups which start off with a clear identity of their brand and company structure. Also, people who attract other good people – where talent goes, revenue follows.
Daisy (middle) at March's CEO forum at LinkedIn HQ[/caption]
Which aspect of your role are you most proud of?
The onboarding process of a new business is really rewarding. You experience the excitement alongside the founder as you start with a blank canvas and build the whole thing with them. That’s what RE is about at its most fundamental level. Further along down the line, supporting the businesses as they expand into new offices, for example Meraki Talent's recent relocation to London, reinforces how much they've grown as a company.
What is your idea of a perfect holiday?
Being horizontal, baking in the sun and reading 10 books.
What are you currently reading?
Stephen Hawking’s Brief Answers to the Big Questions. It’s all his theories and ideas condensed into 10 questions; it’s quite a heavy read but very interesting.
What has been the biggest milestone in your career so far?
I am genuinely thrilled with the current implementation of JobAdder, the new CRM system. As the portfolio grows, our needs change; now that there’s an international element in everything we do, our systems and processes need to evolve with us to meet our demands. JobAdder are so tech-forward with a huge development team and have been a dream to work with, so I feel proud to have championed them.
Are you a spender or a saver?
A spender, 100%. I’m like a magpie – if I see something shiny, I want it.
What is the biggest challenge of your role?
Daisy with Chairman James Caan CBE on an incentive trip to Monaco[/caption]
Being agile enough. The portfolio moves quickly and is a very fluid environment, meaning you have to keep up with the pace. There are intricacies and differences across the portfolio, which we have to account for to ensure we offer a bespoke approach to each business. One size definitely doesn’t fit all.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
Running the London Marathon in 2014. I ran it for charity - it was honestly the best and worst day of my life! I’ve now got my sights set on the Three Peaks challenge, although I’ve heard that’s really extreme.
What was your favourite childhood book?
I was nine years old when Harry Potter came out so I was totally obsessed. I used to queue to get the latest book with a scar drawn on my forehead.
What are the highlights of your time at RE?
I was voted by the portfolio as the person who added the most value in a non-sales role, for which the prize was a trip to Monaco where we went on James’ boat for a lavish lunch. Looking back, another highlight is the first proper Christmas party we hosted with the portfolio. We had it at the Kensington Roof Gardens and we filled the venue – it was the first time everyone was gathered together and I realised what a large group we had become.
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