It was great to check in on Cagatay Kulekci of Noktada, his brand-new, London-based recruitment agency that the 3R Start-ups team helped him to set up and grow.
Cagatay had worked in the recruitment industry for over eight years. He knew the business inside out, including internal recruitment, compliance and HR, with the all-important customer success stories to prove it.
With a new niche sector under his belt—Workday, a cloud finance, HR and planning software system—and with a network of key players to support him, he was ready and able to take his experience and expertise to the next level and fly solo.
What were your biggest concerns when deciding to start-up a recruitment business?
“I had the idea for Noktada for quite a while and was asking around to try and work out the best way forward. I was referred to 3R Start-ups pretty quickly, so the company obviously has a proven brand and reputation. This was reassuring as my experience of a back-office and finance provider wasn’t that positive.
Marketing, networking and prospecting were my primary concerns, as my market is so niche. I needed a streamlined back-office/CRM system so that I could focus on securing business. 3R have delivered on every level. They strike a good balance between permanent and contract processes. The systems are intuitive, especially for contract processes—it’s not just a permanent system with a contract function tacked on.”
What gave you security and peace of mind about starting up a new business?
3R made everything easy and simple. It’s always a two-way conversation and tailored to fit my business model. Everyone I dealt with was responsive and up-front.
“I found the structure of the 3R proposal really useful. It flagged up additional services I had not considered. I had some great conversations with their Director, Mike Bowler—he helped me be realistic with my business plan.”
How did using the CRM impact your start-up business?
“Without doubt the 3R CRM system made the biggest, most positive impact on Noktada. It doesn’t dictate how you should work. It’s easy to use and saves me admin time. It’s also clear and quick to add placements, etc. I like that there is no unnecessary information in the wrong place. I can also tailor the CRM and search for clients/candidates, using my own groups and create tag-lists.”
How did using the Back-office impact your start-up business?
The back-office tech is super intuitive, which isn’t the case with 3R’s competitors – some of which I have worked with. Everything is just one click away and the dashboard displays all you need, but there are other ways to find the information you require. Relevant information is flagged up so I don’t miss anything, and best practice is covered at all times. They provide an excellent service to my contractors. I’ve never had a situation where a contractor is in placement without timesheet logins.”
How did outsourcing benefit your recruitment business?
“I’ve been working with 3R for over nine months now and the whole team gives me total confidence with my service offering. Every interaction is professional and they do what they say they’ll do. Information is in real time, invoices are sent, contractors are paid quickly. 3R have built processes that suit recruiters and our clients – they make it as easy as possible for everyone involved.”
How did working with 3R help you grow your agency?
“The systems and infrastructure have saved me so much time. This in itself has supported my business’s growth. 3R always do what they promise. They provide an excellent service to my contractors, their advice is always sound and the technology has been massively helpful. The CRM and back-office show me everything I need, clearly and concisely, to run my business successfully—and more.”
What was your biggest learning curve in Year 1?
“I would say to welcome conversations and different opinions. I’ve learned to listen more and to be open to other points of view. As an agency recruiter I had one way of working, but as a business owner I had to take a bird’s eye overview.
Also, put in the hours! You can’t rely on previous relationships and goodwill for long-term clients. Never take your eye off the ball with business development.”
“Believe in yourself. It takes a while to get used to the culture change of working for yourself. Reassure yourself that you’ve made the right decision. Having 3R on the journey with me has given me huge peace of mind.”
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