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    I started in recruitment when I was 19 years old, a schoolboy with no real understanding of what I wanted to do or what I wanted to achieve. 

    What I did know was that I liked socialising, I was competitive and I wanted to make something of myself. I stumbled into recruitment (as most people do) and it took me about 6–9 months until I started getting to grips with it. I struggled at first, but eventually, it clicked and then I rapidly went up through the ranks. 

    I went from training consultant to sales manager within a period of two years. In between, I led a team of six consultants with a European focus, specialising in placing commercial talent in the life science industry. 

    I stayed in that role for around 4 years before setting up Apsida.

    The beginning of Apsida

    Apsida began in Ben Pearce’s living room, where Ben, Jamie and I sat around his son’s whiteboard, trying to think of a cool name for a recruitment company, starting with the letter A! 

    The first meeting we had was a tongue-in-cheek comment of “let’s set up a business” which then led to us asking ourselves serious questions: Why do we think we could be successful? What should the business look like? What do we want to achieve? 

    Over a period of four to six months, we met with multiple investors and in May 2019, the business was officially formed. Our official launch to the World followed in October 2019.

    From early on in recruitment, Jamie and I flirted with the idea of starting a business together. Throughout our time in our first company we grew closer to Ben and realised the combination of our skill sets and what we could bring to the table as three founders.

     

    The story behind the name “Apsida”

    We came up with the name by trying out different things. We quickly established that we wanted it to begin with an A, purely for the fact it’s the top of the alphabet! From a selfish standpoint (as I’m Greek) I was trying to chuck in Greek names – and we stumbled across Apsida pretty early. 

    Apsida got written on the whiteboard early on and we thought it sounded good – but we wanted to avoid making it a knee-jerk decision. We circled back a few weeks later when it came to crunch time and the brand ‘Apsida Life Science’ began to take shape.

    Apsida is the Greek translation for arch, which really resonated with the three of us given its strength, stability, and support system. We felt that between us, we had what it took to replicate that for our candidates and clients alike and in turn we’ve been able to embed that meaning into our day-to-day office culture.

    Looking back at almost 4 years now, we think we made a pretty good decision!

     

    Our brand

    What makes our brand unique is our people and our culture. Everyone says it and it is a bit of a cliché, but it’s the truth. Our leadership team have been through the trenches together and formed relationships inside and outside of work over the last decade.  Ultimately, that’s allowed us to build a culture which is truly collaborative, supportive, and most of all – understanding how difficult this job can be. 

    Therefore, we feel that we put in the necessary measures to give everyone equal opportunities, regardless of how different their pathway to success can be. In terms of what sets us apart, to be brutally honest, is that we are world-class recruiters in the verticals that we specialise in. We’re also very up-front with our clients about our capabilities and therefore our completion rate and lead time on searches is an industry-leading standard.

     

    The Pandemic

    When we started the company in 2019 and were immediately thrown into a pandemic, it definitely made things interesting. I remember being sat around my kitchen table with Ben and Jamie and we were looking at each other thinking, what have we done? We’ve set up a company in a relatively saturated market as it is and now all of our clients are staying at home! So, navigating that was tough but once we realised that we had picked the right industry and what we were doing was right, we knew we’d made the right choice in starting up Apsida. 

    Being in and out of lockdown throughout 2020 and 2021 was difficult, especially because we’re a people business and the people and our culture is so, so important. Dealing with working from home for the first time whilst also onboarding new starters, going in and out of lockdowns and working with glass screens in between computers when we were in the office was all challenging. 

    But, I do look back at it all fondly because it was a new experience that we’d never had to go through before, and we’ve come out the other end of it better than ever!

     

    Our culture

    We wanted to focus on our culture and look after our people by creating a really positive working environment as well as excellent training. When you have a great culture and people feel looked after, the by-product is always going to be better performance as well as being able to retain the talent because they feel happy at work. 

    Our training and development programme has enabled us to reward people across the business with promotions, currently, we’ve given 24 – with the vast majority of these promotions being awarded to individuals who have never worked in recruitment before. 

    I love that we’ve given so many people a platform to build long-term careers, it’s absolutely our biggest achievement.

    Something else that I’m really proud of is opening up an office in Boston and ultimately establishing a presence on the other side of the pond. Being a lad that grew up 5 minutes away from where our HQ is in England, it’s mind-blowing to me that we have an office in the USA.

     

    The Future

    The future is exciting. We always spoke about Boston – we know replicating what we’ve done in the UK will be tough, but we love being the underdog!

    We’re also going to look at more offices locally and in the long-term, Global expansion.

    Another core focus for us is D,E&I. In recruitment, it can be particularly difficult as it’s a male-dominated industry, and we know that there can be certain stereotypes of who enters this line of work. We are very focused on getting more female leaders into our organisation, whether that’s hiring experienced talent or training up some of the incredible women we already have here at Apsida. We know to flourish, grow and have a better working environment we need to focus on our gender and cognitive diversity. 

    That’s a huge focus for us now – and I think it always will be! We want to set ourselves apart from other organisations in the industry and we know that diversity is crucial for us to achieve that.

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