Zachary Daniels is 10!
What our clients say:
5th May 2022
String out the bunting. Crack open the beers! And give us just a few minutes to get a little emotional. We’re ten years old, and co-founder and MD Danny Monfea has some thoughts (and feels) about that.
“In 2012, two men and a dog (literally) saw an opportunity to create a very different recruitment consultancy. Starting small, we applied the same traits that built the business to the way we recruited. It was an approach that struck a chord with clients who loved the fact that we listened more than we talked. That we worked with a sense of urgency. And that we always, always, always did what we said we would.”
That’s the start of our story. We’re still doing it.
And it’s a big part of why we’re celebrating a really big milestone for Zachary Daniels: we’re ten years old.
It’s always the people
Here’s another reason we’re still here and going from strength to strength: the people we work with.
I hate it when businesses say ‘our biggest asset is our people because it’s such a cliché. But in our case, it really is true. Zac [Clements, our other co-founder] calls it our ‘no whoppers’ rule. Actually, he doesn’t call it that exactly, but because it’s unprintable, we’ll go with it.
It’s a rule that means we’ve always looked for people who fit our culture and values. It’s not that everyone here thinks the same way (because that would be weird). But everyone here shares the same drive, work ethic and the desire to really make a difference. Life’s too short to work with people who make your day harder than it should be. So we don’t. And that applies to more than our recruiters.
We’re still working with clients today who first worked with us (as clients or candidates) eight, nine or ten years ago. They may have moved on in that time, but they’ve kept coming back to us because they trust us, they like the way we work, and they know we deliver.
And we’re still working with lots of the people who’ve helped us along the way. Every business (and every business leader) needs people they trust behind them. Zac and I are very lucky to have suppliers, mentors and business partners who are also friends.
So to all our clients, partners and friends, whether you’ve been with us for 10 minutes or the whole ten years, thank you. It really has been – and still is – the thing we both enjoy most about Zachary Daniels. It’s always the people.
Still a boutique recruiter
A few years ago, Zac had a call with a big retailer we were pitching to, who said that we were the big recruiter on their list and they still wanted to talk to a couple of boutique ones. Zac was shocked. How could they think of us as a big corporate?
It made us stop and think. When you’re a small recruiter trying to get established, you deliver boutique services because that’s inevitably where you can offer something different to the industry’s major players. Most businesses have growth ambitions, and they’re probably quite happy to ditch the ‘boutique’ when they get big enough.
But we’ve never felt that way. Yes, we’ve grown – we’re a team of 40+ right now. But growth wasn’t the plan – it’s just what happens when lots of people like what you do and you need more people to help with the workload.
In our heads, we’re still boutique, even though we punch well above our weight. We’re certainly not the biggest. We don’t want to be. But we do want to be the best.
One of our latest additions to the team is Ben Hands (buying and merchandising), who recently joined us from one of those big recruiters we don’t want to emulate. When we asked why he joined us, this is what he said:
“You guys are absolute specialists. Three other guys from [my former employer] joined ZD five years ago and they’re still here. To me, that says an awful lot. I’ve come up against them in competition and I know how they are viewed in the market. They have a fantastic reputation.
“Now I’m speaking to clients I’ve never spoken to before and who have never worked with Zachary Daniels before, but they know of our reputation and they’ve only heard good things. For a boutique business, ZD’s reach is astonishing.”
It’s easy to get on with the day job without ever really realising the difference you’re making. That we’ve built a reputation the whole industry knows about is down to everyone on Team ZD always going above and beyond. Our people have always taken responsibility and acted as though this was their business. So this year, we did something about that.
Earlier this year, we became Employee Owned. That was something that was really important to me and Zac because we wanted ZD to stick close to its roots. We didn’t want to become some big corporate thing that’s responsible to investors and shareholders – that’s not who we are. We wanted to stay accountable. We wanted to keep doing what we do.
Zachary Daniels isn’t just mine and Zac’s anymore. It belongs to everyone here.
Ten years and counting
Ten years ago, we saw an opportunity to change the way recruitment was done. A decade later, we’ve done it. That’s pretty amazing.
We’ve changed lives too – of our team and our candidates – which is even better. We’d like to keep doing it.
However you’ve connected with Zachary Daniels over the past ten years, thank you. And here’s to the next ten.
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