Skip to content

Entrepreneurs Panel

Jennie Johnson
Jeremy Roberts
Michael Oliver
Julie Meyer
Laura Tenison
Tony Caldeira
Steve Purdham
Brian Hay
Debbie Pierce
Charlie Mullins
Richard O'Sullivan
David Pollock

To hire or not to hire?

Debbie Pierce

The former market stall worker founded the Bury Black Pudding Company on the web in May 2002 on a budget of £1,000. The firm completed its move to a major production facility in 2005 and now churns out more than 20 tonnes of black pudding a week to cater for demand over the internet, at its longstanding stall in Bury Market and from its distributors including Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Iceland and Londis.


I need to hire some more sales staff. I have a new operations director who wants to let a recruitment agency do all of the work but I’ve always done the hiring in the past. I quite like doing my Alan Sugar impression. What shall I do?


The first thing I would look at is what’s your track record like with the staff you have hired?

If you’ve recruited some good people and don’t have a high turnover of staff then that helps your case; if your track record isn’t good then you may have to consider giving the agency route a try.

I would ask their reasons for wanting to change to a recruitment agency and why it would benefit the company. Are they doing it because your time is more valuable doing something else within the business which takes priority?

I would also ask a long-standing colleague to answer you honestly if they think you hiring the staff has worked well or whether the company would benefit from trying an agency.

Obviously you can’t keep doing it just because you like interviewing: it has to be right for the company too.

There are cost implications when using agency but it’s cost effective if the time you are taking to do that job is seriously affecting the business in other areas.

It really does depend on their reasons for wanting to change but if you can prove that you have a good track record and you have back-up from other colleagues who also think that you doing it is better for the company then I would put your case forward and try to keep it within your role.

  • Kathryn Parsons, co-founder of Decoded, started with little more than faith and determination, but four years later it’s grown into a global business. Ahead of her appearance at Accelerate 2015 in...

  • Author, writer and marketer Ryan Holiday on how entrepreneurs need to interpret failure.

  • Sue Vizard, business coach and author of Jump Start: The Start-up Book for Your Dream Business, looks at some of the questions solo entrepreneurs should ask themselves.

  • Ian Wright, founder and chief executive of, is bringing together SMEs and NEDs - without the hefty recruitment fees.

  • Former professional golfer turned entrepreneur Colin Stevens has had a busy 18 months. The Better Bathrooms founder has increased turnover at the firm, secured a multi-million pound investment and...

Five Minutes With

Reputation is everything when it comes to running a successful business, according to Sacha Lord-Marchionne and Sam Kandel, founders of the Warehouse Project (WHP), a series of club nights featuring DJs from all over the world, which was launched back in 2006.

After travelling the world in a corporate role, Mike Wheeler decided that he had had enough of living out of a suitcase and so got a job running a small family business.