Meet the MD: Craig Burton of The Works Recruitment

Meet the MD: Craig Burton of The Works Recruitment

Craig Burton loves his job as MD of The Works Recruitment so much he has retired and returned - twice. He talked to BQ about what makes a great leader, his pet hates in the office, and his hopes for the future of the business.

Describe your role in no more than 100 words.

I bring people together.  My network is so diverse after 25 years in business in Yorkshire that I know many business leaders and the people they ned to meet to grow their organisation.  That aside I also love connecting people to make the world a better place.


What is it the company does?

We are a fun, personable recruitment agency and business, providing temp and permanent people to a diverse business community.


Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

I started The Works in 1991, retired twice and missed it so much I came back! I studied at Leeds Business School and Bradford Management School, as well as University of Pau in France.

Now I’m a recruiter. The best I know!


What do you believe makes a great leader?

A great leader is aware of their influence, they are brave, they lead by example they use the words ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ – and they smile a lot!


What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

Staff are always a challenge. My industry is the only place someone can earn as much as a consultant surgeon but with no qualifications. That comes with a big bag of monkeys to help people understand recruitment is a craft; a skill and a very responsible role when done properly. It can ruin careers if done badly.


How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

My stressometer is calibrated to an almost coma-style state. I don’t do stress, I’m a carrier… but seriously, I imagine what’s the worse that can happen, build on that and then remember there’s always a solution. Always.


When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

They say if you can remember the career you wanted when you were four years old, that if you are 100% happy in your role now, it somehow relates to that role. I wanted to be an actor or a teacher, I’m now both.


Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?

I hate that people don’t care about their environment. I see people sat next to a dead plant, walk past dirty mugs, throw things into a sink instead of the dishwasher grrrrr! Oh, and ‘phone shy’ folk.

I tidy around people, water a plant, and lead by example, I’ll talk to anyone on the phone and have lots of fun.


Where do you see the company in five years’ time?

I see The Works in someone else’s leadership, a person better than me, with more energy and bigger smiles who cares passionately about the business, their colleagues and their wonderful clients and candidate, by skype or on the news!


What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

My advice to any business leader is to surround yourself with great people, have a plan, take time in the recruitment process, but move swiftly. Your first twenty hires sets the DNA for your business, never compromise on hiring the right people. If your gut tells you no, it’s a no. Check references, fire fast!