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Recruitment opportunities driving London small business

Kristen O’Connell, Founder and Director of Superlative Recruitment talks to Denise Beedell in the eleventh of a series of articles featuring the winners from the FSB Celebrating Small Business London Area Finals held on 19 March.
Originally from New Hampshire in the US, Kristen worked in Field Sales after graduating University with a degree in Marketing. She began building her sales team in Boston before moving to London in 2007.
She started her recruitment company in the UK in 2008, with just one client paying her £50 per week to write job advert content. Overnight, she grew her client list to 10 through her original client’s connections. 
As many will remember, 2008 was the time of the global financial crash, so suddenly there were a lot of job hunters out there chasing any job.
Kristen was able to help small firms understand the recruitment process and optimise their job advert content to ensure applicants with the right skills and experiences made it to the shortlist. This helped her clients grow 20-30% faster whilst also reducing their recruitment costs by 10-15%. 
Since that time, she has grown the company and worked with over 200 SMEs in 90 cities in 12 countries on four different continents.
Kristen says, “It took a while to adjust to the cultural differences between the US and the UK, especially British humour.
“I relied on body language to help me overcome the difficulties, as well as my experience and reputation in the recruitment world, but if I did it again, I would hire a PA and begin offering training workshops and coaching services sooner. 
Kristen continues, “Having been self-employed since my early 20’s, I love the flexibility that being my own boss gives me. I have a young family and I like being able to choose when to work and get the job done.
“I’m also pleased to be able to provide opportunities for others in the business to work flexibly and achieve a good work life balance.”
Not only is Kristen continuing to expanding Superlative Recruitment’s operations, she has also written a step-by-step book to help other freelancers, which is due to be published in August. 
She now lives in East Dulwich and she has a real soft spot for much of her adopted city.
Kristen says, “London is a fantastic place with a great city vibe; I love so much of it, especially the area around London Bridge and Borough Market, and of course it’s so easy to escape to the country or coast.
“To relax, I’m a big fan of spa weekends and I enjoy regular family holidays – without much tech - back in New England where I grew up.”
Superlative Recruitment won the Micro Business of the Year award in the 2018 FSB London Area finals.