This is possibly the best endorsement a recruitment firm can have - the managing director left school with no qualification but has just celebrated 25 years in business running his own firm.
When two female colleagues told a young Craig Burton that it didn’t matter whether or not he enjoyed his job working at a mill in Guiseley or not - it was his job. But, he had other ideas so he quit.
It was his next step which led him to where he is today - an office in the upcoming Canal district of Leeds, with 15 members of staff and being the boss of The Works Recruitment.
He recalls: “I just did not like it. I couldn’t talk to anybody. The two women on the machines asked me why I packed it in and said ‘it is your bloody job’.
“I thought ‘crikey’. I want a job I enjoy and that I want to turn up for.”
Even at that young age he knew what job he wanted and which one might pay well, and he says in 25 years and more that still hasn’t changed.
He told City Buzz: “I realised quite quickly there was only one way that I could start a business and make money. It is still the same now, there is one profession that is held in high regard that I have seen people make fortunes from and do it with a smile on their face and that is business development, sales and recruitment.”
A failed job interview at the Yorkshire Post in sales and working for an employment agency that didn’t share his ethics and values led Craig to getting a grant from Bradford Council in 1991 for £1,000.
With that he sourced three telephones, some desks, a second hand photocopier, a carpet and a unit in Little Germany in Bradford, when the city was more popular than Leeds.
He relocated the business to Leeds five years ago after doing more work in the city and to reflect the changing preferences of workers.
He fits job hunters to employers in the following sectors - Commercial, Engineering, Construction and Manufacturing.
Craig said: “It is like a fancy sales job, you have to be mindful of what people want and what businesses want and how to match the two.”
But, he hastens to add, it is not always that easy.
“To get someone to work in Bradford who is from Leeds is more difficult than the other way around. It depends how you pitch a job to somebody.”
So, 25 years later with almost a quarter of a million candidates on The Works database and nearly 2000 employers, Craig must be getting it right.
He added: “Our industry is growing and we are busier than we have ever been. It has just gone crazy and has a very clear basis for getting your own new business off on the right footing.
“The recruitment industry is worth £31.5bn per year and by 2018 that is expected to be £39bn but it is the opposite in Europe. The best part of the job is when you place someone in a job and see them grow, learn and develop and see some of my clients I helped 25 years ago and you see how they are doing now and they are good people.
“The first 20 people you employ sets the DNA for the future of your business forever, so it is important to get that right. The right people in your business is the most important thing.”