Int. Women’s Day is an amazing way to celebrate the achievements of women all over the globe. Check out how we ‘Made it Happen’ at Prospect.

By Colette Brown, Co-Founder, Prospect Resourcing Ltd.

First up, Emma and I are in no way suggesting that we are ‘up there’ with some of the world’s most inspirational women. We haven’t braved a war zone or become CEOs of FTSE 100s, but as most of us probably haven’t, we thought we’d share our simple story on how we ‘Made it Happen’ at Prospect. 

Why did we #makeithappen?

Having been in PR Recruitment for several years in 2002 we decided to go it alone. There were a pile of reasons why, ranging from just wanting to do a good job and give a great service in an industry where many fail, to wanting at some point to have families and strike that all important balance that many women who wish to work full time don’t have.

How did we #makeithappen?

There’s the scary moment of ‘this is it’ as you take the plunge and have a rush of self-doubt around making it work. Having recruited for the comms industry for such a long time, we were both fairly hopeful we could make it a success but you never know until you have actually taken the leap. We put a slug of money in to the business to get it going and gave ourselves 6 months to get off the ground. It was an interesting time and we learnt a lot very quickly. Everything from naming the business (to this day people still don’t realise that we wanted something that began with PR!) finding our home and doing the sums, a trip to the Royal Courts of Justice to fight through some non-compete clauses etc etc. All of which just makes you more determined that it’s going to work. We also made it happen because we had very supportive families who backed us all the way and were very happy to provide the entire loaf of bread to our measly beans!

What did we #makeithappen?

We started a recruitment business that specialised in PR & Communications and made it happen. 

We‘re very proud of Prospect and 13 years later, we are still going and growing. Being a specialist in a niche market means we are never going to be a business of 5,000 consultants round the globe, but our aim was to always be the best we could be and a trusted talent partner to our clients and candidates. From the feedback we receive, we think we are there. Almost.

We made it happen in Asia too as Emma uprooted her family to move to Hong Kong when we spotted a gap in that emerging market. The office in Singapore then followed. So with London and Asia under our belts it means that we can service a number of markets.

Making it happen is not just down to the two of us. We have a great team around us who have been instrumental in Prospects’ success. We’ve been fortunate enough to get our own recruitment right and built a team of experts that we are consistently proud of so we also try to make it happen for them. We provide a working environment that is supportive and collaborative and empowers people to make their own decisions and feel that Prospect is as much theirs. It’s essential that the team feel valued and that we lead by example; not one rule for us.  Because we understand that pull of life outside work, whether its nativity plays or a broken boiler, we can provide an environment that is grown up and trusting, which reaps its own returns.

Still #MakeItHappen

We’re still sweating it out at Prospect on a daily basis and wouldn’t have it any other way. We are in a different market from the one in which we set up the business; one where things are generally harder and tougher and which means you have to be all the more determined to make it work. Some days are easier than others and 13 years in, we continue to make some terrible decisions alongside some cracking ones. Being small means you are everything to everyone; the MD, FD, CMO and HR Manager but with that comes a lot of colour and variety in your working life. We are both still pretty hands on with clients and recruiting and also try to take the time to step back and think about what’s next. Emma mentors in Hong Kong and we both try and speak at industry events whenever we can, evangelising at every opportunity about the issues with talent in the PR industry and where we can add value. 

Key to us to continue to #makeithappen and to keep being the best we can be are the longevity of our relationships with clients and candidates, new introductions, a great team and of course a first class and unconditionally supportive business partner.

To learn more about our story, view our animation here.

Check out how the co-founders @ColetteB18 @EmmaDale72 set up #Prospect #makeithappen #IWD2015


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