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Wendy Alexander | 1 October 2018

My top three lessons learned after a year growing a start-up

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we launched Kin and what a year it’s been.

In the 12 months since we stood on our own feet as a separate legal entity, away from the shelter of our sister company Humankind, I’ve experienced the best and the worst of days. 

If you’re familiar with the recruitment industry, you’ll know that the highs can be euphoric, and the lows can be spirit crushing, and sometimes you can experience both in the same day. It’s enough to turn a person crazy; unless of course you’re a life-long optimist and have a passion and belief in the benefits of good recruitment.

The impact on any business when you hire the right candidate can be incredible. It can create positive change within in your team and enhance your bottom line. On the flip side, when you make a poor hiring decision, you’re faced with a world of pain and a bunch of negative business impacts.

Over the last year I’ve learned many new lessons and been reminded of others that I’ve intrinsically always known. As we approach our first birthday, here are my top three:

Surround yourself with the right people

I am blessed to have an amazing business partner in Samantha Gadd. She shares my vision for a creating a purpose led company with a fresh take on recruitment. She embraces transparency (anyone who knows me, knows that I’m all about openness), and trusts that I’ll give my all to growing our company. Our partnership is something I am thankful for every day.

And Kin would not be where we are today if it weren’t for our incredible crew of Talent Specialists. From day one I have been blessed to be joined by an exceptional team who are ‘all in’. They’re amazing at what they do and go the extra mile every day. I am so grateful for their input, wisdom, energy and loyalty.

Hold onto your unshakeable belief

There can be no half measures if you’re going to start a company. The stakes are high. It would have been challenging to ride the highs and lows of the last year without the fundamental and absolute belief in what we were creating. Being a disruptor in an already crowded market can be lonely. At times we have navigated our way through unchartered waters; it’s often exhilarating, and sometimes scary. Underpinning it all is our absolute belief that the future of recruitment is changing (god knows it needs to) and we want to play a lead role in this. Employers deserve a better and more transparent deal, and candidates deserve a better experience.

Make friends with ambiguity

If I wasn’t friends with ambiguity before, we now know one another intimately. Much as I’d love to say we’ve executed to our business strategy every day; the reality is we haven’t. Our first year of trading has often been reactive; crazy busy one month, contrasted with worryingly slow the next. I’d like to say I’ve been in the driver's seat for the whole journey, but the truth is, sometimes I haven’t even felt like I’ve been in the vehicle!

I love being part of a small and nimble company. We turn on a dime, try new things almost every day, embrace failure, and constantly strive to improve our business model and client experience. We’re now at a point where we have a solid foundation from which to scale. If client and candidate feedback is anything to go by, we’re on the right track!

I’ll leave you with a few words from our brand story; words we live by every day and that we know will serve us now and into the future.

We understand the human need to belong and to work alongside others who share the same ambition. We know the value of working as a team. That’s why we nurture relationships, make connections, and bring people together. We feel the kinship of heart to heart. We are a new generation recruiter. Trust us. Turn to us. We are Kin.