The Weekender: Better to finish strong…

…than to start fast but fade away.

It feels like only yesterday when we were in the cold of January, kicking off the year, but as the evenings draw in it’s hard to believe that there are only 79 days until Christmas. We are in the final straight.

2017 has seen the Dartmouth team achieve successive record quarters and in Q3 we increased our headcount by 20%. It’s the busiest recruitment market since 2007. The recruitment market is hot. We are hot.  But is it all a bit overheated? How do we maintain momentum? How do we not only finish fast but also set ourselves up for an even stronger 2018? These are questions that have kept me up at night in the last few weeks.

I’ve spent the last 18 months speaking internally about the importance of sticking to the basics and retaining discipline. In a busy market, it’s tempting to cut corners and far too easy to focus on short-term gains. We all enjoy success and whilst a candidate driven market creates a different set of problems, there’s always a solution to be worked out if you stick at it long enough. Whilst it would be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our booming market, our priorities remain the same. We’re a service business but we want to build #fansnotcustomers. We don’t want to fall into the trap of excessive pride or arrogance. The time of the hard-sell recruitment consultant is over – our clients expect more than that and I expect more from my team. We’re not here for the hard-sell, we’re here to solve human capital problems. Through our Classroom to Boardroom model, it all starts with an often ignored population: Graduates and Analysts – and we work upwards from there. We put the same care and attention into the early generation as we put into our more senior searches. After all, many of my clients were people I was first speaking to a decade ago who were also just starting out. It’s not the easy way, but I firmly believe it’s the right way.

As we celebrated Dartmouth’s fifth anniversary yesterday, I had a few moments to reflect on what we’ve achieved. From nowhere we’ve created a brand that stands up well against our more established competition. We’ve helped over a thousand people find new roles and career paths and advised many thousands more along the way. We’ve helped build hundreds of teams and firms. We’ve ruffled a few of our more established competitors’ feathers along the way and I’ve received some threats from people I’ve previously respected, one of whom vowed: I will “pour my energies into disrupting your firm in any way I can”. Sadly, our industry is still living up to the grubby stereotypes we try so desperately hard to avoid. Thankfully, I’ve also made some good friends in the industry along the way, some are even competitors – there seems to be no reason why we can’t all do well.

As important as all that is to me, the thing that I’m most proud of is the team we’ve assembled and built. It’s always a work in progress as we all strive to get better each day. I enjoy the company of my colleagues both inside and out of the office. This is my team. We are Dartmouth Partners, and we’re changing the game. Come join us.


Have a great weekend,

Logan Naidu, CEO


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