When Karen our new Recruitment Resourcer & Administrative Assistant met Deborah, Founder and Director of VisionFR they laughed a lot, but what did Karen learn?
What should I call you? Debs is fine, Deborah is very formal, but Debbie is a NO, NO.
I know you set up VisionFR 11 years ago, but can you give me a bit of history about the company?
I founded VisionFR in 2010 specifically to place finance people in creative businesses, but conceptionally it was in play another 10 years before when I did my consultancy. My consultancy got agencies ready to sell as I had a lot of M&A experience with my previous employment as Commercial and Finance Director within the sector. When I was doing my consultancy, I noticed how badly the finance teams were run in small independent agencies and I started filling these gaps from my own contacts. I decided I was quite good at doing that (modesty rules) and I set up VisionFR as a financial recruitment agency.
I love the name but where did VisionFR come from?
My consultancy was called VisionFD. I was a Financial Director and hoped I could add Vision to the Companies I worked with. At one time I was running both companies in parallel and therefore I thought I would stick with the Vision brand because I think as a company, we are forward thinking in the way we go about our recruitment.
What makes VisionFR unique?
I can tell you exactly why we are unique! We are all qualified accountants who have trained within the sector, so we know exactly what it is like to be employed on the other side of the fence as the employer as we have done the roles and the jobs and understand first-hand the issues of both the clients but also the candidates and from that perspective, I think we are more visionary and consultative in our approach to the companies we work with.
I understand HR was introduced 2 years ago, how did this come about?
It was a new one for us as we had only done finance and a few admin roles. It was through a client asking me to find them an HR Director. I was nervous about this to start with, but I have always worked closely with the HR teams and part of my role in some of my former FD positions covered off HR. We had also just put Clarizza through her CIPD and it was a good platform to take her through the HR roles as she is not only an accountant but CIPD qualified.
How did Covid impact VisionFR and how did you survive when others didn’t?
Like with everybody it fell off a cliff in March 2020 but having extra time available it gave us a great opportunity to keep in contact with our clients and make sure they were all alright. We were not trying to sell them anything, we were just here to support them or give them some financial guidance. Hopefully we were just a friendly voice at the end of the phone. We actually picked up some amazing roles which we filled during covid, some really surprising positions such as an FD for an Event Agency and a CFO for a Theatre Company, companies we originally thought would not have been hiring. We really enjoyed working on the roles we had during Covid and now we are back to normal if not busier.
I now know more about the Company VisionFR but tell me something about you?
Three things! I have two adorable spaniels. I love cooking, so as soon as we are allowed, I will do a fair amount of entertaining because I have missed that a lot. Thirdly, I ride a horse Millie who, since our recent move, I can see more of because she is so much closer to home.