Fastest-Growing Staffing Firm Executive Interview: Harry Youtan, Group Managing Director, Americas, Phaidon International

In Fastest Growing Staffing Firms, Interviews by Caitlin Delohery0 Comments

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Global staffing firm Phaidon International was recently named one of 2016’s top 10 fastest-growing staffing firms by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA). Harry Youtan, Group Managing Director, likens Phaidon’s culture to a rocketship that propels internal and external employees alike into lasting, mobilizing careers. How do they do it? Read on.

Why did you join Phaidon International?

Since 2004, we’ve grown into an international business with just north of 400 staff across North America, Europe, and Asia. Phaidon has always been an organic business where talent, ambition, and direction are in abundance. Those were the reasons I joined the Phaidon Rocket Ship.

In the markets we operate there’s always going to be a need for highly skilled staff to do highly skilled jobs. Our proactive approach to sourcing individuals means that we have continued to grow exponentially in the end markets in which we source and place STEM talent.

Since its inception, Phaidon has always leveraged strong relationships to ensure we are in tune with our verticals and can continue to deliver the very best talent to organizations. In fact, 77% of our business is on repeat, a stat that shows the level of service and delivery we offer our clients – and one that we hope continues to grow.

What were the main factors that drove your success over the last year?

We’ve been successful for a few reasons.

We are not trying to be the master of everything. We operate within thin, deep verticals (financial services, energy, technology, and pharmaceuticals), so our ability to offer value to clients and candidates through the knowledge we possess is high.

Furthermore, our business model is strong. We look to create long-standing, strategic relationships with clients and to deliver. As a result of our organic growth, we have been able to drive our model and the core values of the business extremely effectively. This has led to a high-performance sales culture and, in turn, fantastic results.

We also make sure that our employees remain very engaged. We’re in a business that has people at its core and people as our product. So, we believe it is important that staff see progress and investment in them. We make sure they know that they are fundamental to the success we have and continue to create. As a result of some of these strategies, we have only a 3% attrition rate in some of our locations, like North America. We tend to hire motivated, driven graduates who want to work in a sales environment and believe that the Phaidon Rocket Ship is a place for them.

What are your biggest day-to-day challenges?

In general, the increase in MSPs and RPOs makes them a more significant source of competition for us. They are constantly trying to pull business from recruiters. So, we focus on ensuring that our verticals are highly skilled and highly sought after, where the need for specialist recruiters is crucial for success and where we can still partner directly with hiring managers.

You have to be dynamic and innovative to thrive in our business. The sought-after skill set changes rapidly over the space of just a few years. We seek not to diversify our focus but instead to continually evolve.

Our other challenge is technology. As the result of increased recruitment technology like LinkedIn, companies can source directly far more effectively than in the past, and candidates are being picked up quickly. Our view is not that technology is bad, but instead something we must embrace and use effectively to create a competitive edge for us, our candidates, and clients.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I think that in recruitment in general, there’s a tendency for leaders to choose a more dictatorial leadership style. I don’t believe that style works for the business we operate in or for the world of recruitment if you are truly going to grow or scale.

Instead, I focus on coaching. We show people the way and coach them to be what we need and what they want. We work with people rather than through them. Our values are very clear and reflect our management leadership styles – Character, Loyalty, and Ability. Those are the values our staff live and die by and that shape how we lead our business.

What inspires your team?

Our employees view us as a rocket ship. If you are offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask which one, you just get on. That belief and the motivation of our staff creates the momentum we have had over the last few years.

Our team is motivated by the pursuit of excellence, by being the best out there, by wanting to deliver the very best candidates to our clients. And the best thing about each of those motivations is that the line in the sand constantly moves further on, which is why our staff and our leadership are so confident about the journey we are on.

What do you think sets your company apart?

We have a clear vision and we strive to be inspirational for all of our employees. Phaidon truly is a rocket ship that moves forward with incredible speed and clear vision every day.

Along with that, I really work with the best people in recruitment. The talent we have is unparalleled – they are always striving for bigger, better, more. To have that exist across all our employees around the globe is a wonderful thing. To see everyone moving in the same direction every day is incredible.

About Phaidon International

Phaidon International is a global staffing group with 8 micro-specialist recruitment brands. They help organizations identify, attract, and secure the best talent for their requirements across 4 key market verticals: Financial Services, Energy, Technical, and Professional Services.

Since Phaidon was established in 2004, the group has enjoyed a compound annual growth rate in excess of 30% year on year, achieving over a decade of profitable growth. Since its inception, the business rationale has been to anticipate and then serve industry sectors which depend on and value rare talent. Today they are proud to deliver excellence to clients in over 60 countries through 8 niche brands who have won over 54 independent awards.

Looking for more? Check out the entire fastest-growing staffing firm series.

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Caitlin Delohery is the Editor-in-Chief of StaffingHub.

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