10 Questions With Dan Davis
Dan Davis is the owner and Managing Director of D&A Recruitment. For our 10th Birthday, Dan sat down with us and answered the 10 questions on everyone’s lips about how D&A started and the plans going forward.
When and where did you start D&A Recruitment?
I started D&A in 2012 with my business partner, and after two years I bought their shares and became the sole owner and director of D&A. I started D&A in Cambridge, having worked in recruitment before, I knew I could create a company that was better than others out there, and served both candidates and clients even better.
What has headcount looked like over the last 10 years, and what has contributed to growth?
We’ve employed dozens of people over the years, but we started out at just the two of us. It has grown steadily over the last 10 years and we’re now at over 25 staff across multiple offices across East Anglia.
I ensured we invested in the right people from the start, which has been one of the main contributors to our success and fast growth.
How does D&A support the local community across Cambridgeshire?
We’ve been a partner of Cambridge United Football Club for a couple of years now, and this year we’re also partnering with Peterborough United Football Club too. Our partnerships with these top clubs in our area mean we can help thousands of football fans across the region find work through the exclusive events we put on for the clubs.
D&A have always been good at raising money for charity, with numerous bake sales, dress-ups, and awareness days. We also like to support our clients in charity events they’re participating in! Lately, we’ve taken that up a notch with our contribution to SLEEPOUT in aid of Wintercomfort and the Cambridge United Community Trust where we raised over £1,500.
A new perk to celebrate our 10th Birthday is that we’re giving all staff the opportunity to volunteer one day per year, fully paid, for a charity of their choice in Cambridge or the surrounding area. I can’t wait to see what the team gets up to!
What are your ambitions for 2022 with D&A?
Our 10th year is going to be our biggest yet. We’re most well known for our logistics and driving division, where we help dozens of logistics companies get drivers on the roads and in their warehouses. This year we’re expanding our services into other sectors, most notably construction and commercial.
As well as pushing into these areas, we’re keen to keep building on our Recruitment Training Programme which is helping ambitious people get into recruitment and grow their careers fast with our stellar mentorship.
How will the next 10 years look for D&A?
I’ve got big goals for D&A over the next 10 years. First, I want us to expand our presence with a new office each year in the town centres and key areas. Secondly, I’d like our team to grow by at least 10 people a year.
This will make D&A one of the largest independent recruitment agencies in the region, and something I’m determined to achieve to help even more people find their dreams jobs.
What was the catalyst that helped D&A grow so rapidly?
I invested in the right team from the start, and many have stuck by me for the last 10 years. Jayne Neal, our HR & Finance Director has been essential to our success as well as Lewis Nash, our Strategic Director, and also Jordan Minet, our Driving & Logistics Director. There’s other hugely important people in our team, but I’d be here all day if I named them all!
If you could pick your dream client, who would it be?
I was lucky enough to land my dream client in 2016, with Hotel Chocolat. They’ve been with D&A ever since and we’ve helped hundreds of local people find their dream job with them.
We also work with some leading logistics companies in the region, and they’re all fantastic. However, we wouldn’t have any clients if it wasn’t for our candidates who apply and trust us to find them work.
I love hearing about how one of my tremendous team have helped someone in the region find a job they love. I think that’s one of my biggest motivators.
Would you say that recruitment is a good career?
I’d say it is, yes. But you need to be driven and want to succeed. It’s not an easy job, lots can go wrong, and sometimes it is long hours. However, the job satisfaction is amazing and it’s a job for anyone who likes working with people.
Recruitment is a good career for progression too. Jordan, our Logistics Director, started as an entry-level consultant, but has grown into a Director-level role through hard work and determination.
What does it take to be successful in recruitment?
It takes grit, dedication, and thinking out of the box for your candidates. You need to know how to read people and understand what motivates them, only then can you place them in the right position for them.
Extra effort goes a long way too, so we’re always looking for people who go the extra mile and we reward them hugely.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone starting their own business?
Again, determination. Stick at it, it does get easier over time. Invest in the right people, and be careful who you choose to listen to for advice!
If you surround yourself with people who also want to grow and succeed, you will also, and that’s something I’ll always live by.