Smart50 Awards 2015

42 Lawson Elliott Recruitment

Revenue

$5.3 million

Growth

127.90%

Founders

Craig Du Rieu, 33

Head office

New South Wales

Year founded

2009

Employees

11

Industry

Recruitment

Website

lawsonelliott.com.au

The founder of Lawson Elliott Recruitment, Craig Du Rieu, is a chartered accountant and all of the staff in his recruitment firm have worked as accountants. It’s this in-depth knowledge of the accountancy and financial services sector that has been the bedrock for the growth of the company since it was founded in 2009.

Du Rieu says the business was developed in response to what he saw as a dearth of quality in the area of finance professional recruitment services.

“Whilst the market is saturated with recruitment companies, our competition were either large agencies with accounting and finance operating as one division amongst many, or a one-man band working from home,” Du Rieu says.

By focusing on this specific area, Du Rieu says the firm has been able to quickly establish itself as a knowledgeable and trusted partner when it comes to recruitment. He says the barriers to entry in the recruitment sector are low, so competition is always fierce.

“It is becoming more and more competitive and given there are few barriers to entry, it has meant there are a lot of new ‘one man band’ type companies, which dilutes our sector,” he says.

One of the biggest challenges the firm has faced has been finding and retaining the right staff. Du Rieu says getting the team mix right has been fundamental to helping the business get on a sustainable footing for growth.

“In the past, we were too reliant on a low number of staff which obviously increased our risk should they leave,” he says.

“We solved this through investing more heavily in employee growth and contributing profits back into the business to fund this area.”

The firm is now looking at consolidating its presence in the Sydney and Melbourne markets, as well as expanding into Brisbane and Perth, and eventually into Asia.

Du Rieu says one of the canniest pieces of marketing the firm has undertaken was to sponsor a corporate box with AFL club Sydney Swans.

“As a result of our corporate box sponsorship, I was invited to join an exclusive network of Sydney Swans supporters comprising of prominent Sydney businessmen and women – a great avenue to forge new professional relationships,” he says.

Perhaps betraying his accountancy background, his advice to companies looking to supercharge their growth is to take a steady-as-she-goes approach.

“Try and be as conservative as possible with regards to your expectations and outcomes of the business and don’t take on too much too soon by way of financial investment,” he says.

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