After working in recruitment for more than 13 years, Laura Gillespie has started her own recruitment agency and is off to a flying start matching people to the right jobs.
Gillespie Recruitment, which is based at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), opened for business at the start of May this year and has since placed several candidates in new roles and appointed two new members of staff itself.
Laura, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the North East business community, working in recruitment, media sales, marketing and fundraising, said it was working from home during the pandemic that gave her the push to start up her own business.
She said: “Over the last year and a half – probably for a lot of people – it makes you realise that if you can do it from home, you can do it for yourself. I thought if I don’t do it now, I never will.”
When looking for an office space for her new business venture, Laura turned straight to the BIC as she was based there with two previous employers.
She said: “The BIC was the first place I thought of. They have a great business team and you know you’re going to get the right support from the people here, which is why it’s so successful.
“I often speak to Louise Hardy. She’s a good mentor and a great sounding board, as anyone setting up a business feels a little apprehensive.
“The offices at the BIC are affordable for start-up businesses, and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful when I moved in. Yes, I could have worked from home, but I wanted a professional environment, and the space to add to my team moving forward. It’s a lovely office too, on the riverfront with beautiful views out the window. It’s a really nice spot to be in.”
She added: “We had an IT issue recently which I didn’t anticipate, and I didn’t have IT support at the time. The BIC IT team came to the rescue and quickly resolved the issue. They really do go over and above for you.”
Since moving into the BIC, Gillespie Recruitment has grown faster than expected, working with clients from a range of sectors including marketing, sales, digital and IT. They are committed to finding the right candidates for the job, whilst matching top talent with roles that suit their personalities and skillsets.
Laura said: “There wasn’t a plan to take anyone on until September, but we’ve been really busy, so I’ve brought in two part time recruitment support staff. I want to give clients the service they expect from me, which is why I need that back up support in the office.”
Donna Surtees, centre manager at the BIC, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Laura and her new recruitment agency to the BIC. It’s great to hear that we made such a good impression when Laura was based here with previous employers, so much so that she has returned with her own business.
“Gillespie Recruitment is proof that you can start a business at any stage in your career, and a great example of how the pandemic is making people reassess the way in which they work.”