One of the best parts of my job is talking to SSG clients. To understand their story and how they came to be where they are now, at the head of a successful recruitment business, is fascinating – and always inspiring. It’s a privilege to explore the serendipitous twists and turns through a lifetime and career which led to success, to dig into the motivations and reasons behind why they transitioned from a leading billing career in employment to one of business ownership.
I was therefore delighted to catch up with Matt Cooper – who launched CooperGrey with SSG in June 2021.
For Matt, this was something which was always in the pipeline and part of the plan, but the time just never seemed to be right. So what made Matt decide that now was the right time? Find out below:
Thanks for joining us today Matthew. Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m 49 years old and live in North Somerset with my Cockerpoo. I love cooking, Italian red wine, going to the Cinema (when allowed), Football and Cricket. I go and watch live games as often as I can.
How did you become a recruiter? Was a conscious decision, or did you end up a recruiter by chance?
I got into recruitment by chance when a consultant, who had successfully introduced me to a few companies in Bristol, and in a catch-up conversation casually asked if I had ever considered Recruitment. 3 interviews later and I was a junior Recruitment Consultant!
What sector do you work in?
I work in Financial Services and the majority of my career has been working in or recruiting into this sector. Although I have also worked in Accounting & Finance, Marketing and Temps.
What’s your favourite thing about that sector?
It’s a sector that has changed a lot over the years and there is always something new to learn and understand. Fintech is an area that I would like to develop my understanding and expertise in.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is consistently being able to demonstrate my knowledge and understanding of the sector and apply this to matching opportunities to the right candidates.
What do you consider the biggest challenges facing recruiters today?
I believe the biggest challenge to the recruitment sector is AI and automation. I continue to try and understand how I can incorporate this into my activities and use it to my advantage.
You’ve just launched your new business with SSG. Why did you want to become a recruitment business owner?
Becoming a business owner has been something that has always been of great interest but it never felt like the right time. The pandemic and being furloughed for the majority of the time of the scheme gave me the opportunity to reflect and think about what I want in the coming years.
As you now know, running a business can be like trying to keep a lot of plates spinning. What was it about working with SSG which made you choose us?
I know a few people that had discussions with SSG about partnering with them and I was recommended to do the same and see where things went from there. I also spoke with 2 or 3 who offer similar services and SSG seemed like the right fit. It has been a good experience dealing with people who have excellent and relevant knowledge to share and provide the right support in setting up my business.
What scared you the most about running your own business before you took the leap?
The scariest thing is definitely the finances. I went from an employed Principal Consultant role to a business owner & having never been self-employed previously. That was, and remains daunting – but also a great opportunity to create a successful and profitable business.
What was the best part of seeing your new business come to life?
The best part was coming up with the business name, how I was going to operate my business & seeing some ideas of mine, and others with far better creative & technical credentials than myself, come to life.
Where do you see yourself (and your business) in 12 months time?
I would like my business to have established a strong foothold in the sector in the first 12 months. To then be in a good position to build on this into the second year.
What would you like your business to be renowned for? What sets you apart from your competition?
I would like my business to be built on honesty and professionalism in order to achieve consistent results.
If everything goes to plan, what ambitions do you have for your business?
My plan and focus is firmly concentrated on the next 12/24 months. The past 12 months has been so tricky for everyone I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. That doesn’t mean I’m not ambitious to grow my business – just to concentrate on one step at a time.
How can people learn more about your business, and get in touch with you?
You can visit www.coopergrey.co.uk or feel free to call me. I always welcome a conversation with potential candidates and clients alike.
It’s been an absolute delight to welcome Matt and CooperGrey into the SSG family – and we’re beyond excited to see what the future holds.
If you’d like to reach out to Matt directly, you can find him on LinkedIn here.
If you’ve been inspired by Matt’s story, speak to a member of our Investment Team who’d love to hear your story.