Our Finance Director and his career so far at Extrastaff

We recently spoke to Ian Thompson, Extrastaff’s Finance Director. We wanted to hear more about his first 2 years at Extrastaff, what he loves about the company and what made him join us.

For most of Ian’s career, he has been a Finance Director at various recruitment companies. Not in the same specialist areas but just before he started with us, he was working for a logistics company so he does have some experience in our sector. Ian said, when asked about how he came to work for us ‘I just got a call one day with the opportunity and it seemed to make a lot of sense'.

Extrastaff has doubled in size in the last 2 years and when Ian joined it was smaller than some of the other companies he had worked for but he spotted the growth potential. A lot of his role is similar to other positions he has held. Especially as it’s temp recruitment generally which is a fast-paced industry with lots going on so you need to be really well organised and on top of everything. We asked Ian what it was that made him join us and he said ‘meeting Tim, Danielle and Steve, the calibre of people they had in the business and just the overall look and feel of Head Office’, he went onto say ‘Extrastaff had a setup of a much bigger company mindset, fantastic and advanced IT and thinking and that attention to detail and professionalism made him see it was a very advanced team with lots of plans to grow.

Ian’s heads up the finances of the business and his day to day role includes looking after the various finance teams, who ensure the payroll for temps gets completed every week, 52 weeks per year. He’s responsible for the financial  reporting for the rest of the board and his input into planning and decision making is essential. He makes sure everyone has got the right management information to be able to make decisions in the business and just picking up any ad-hoc bits that come his way.

Ian said ‘that the biggest change has been a lot of the good work we have done with our bespoke IT system, EFOS and the back office system. We’ve upgraded a lot, from candidates to reporting, management information and just generally professionalising all the back office. We are also just about to launch our new  payroll system.  
High growth businesses require constant upgrades and since Ian started 2 years ago, most of the financial procedures and systems have since been improved to cope with that growth. When asked about growth Ian said ‘I can see us expanding the branches geographically probably further up north in the country. We’ve got a lot of new opportunities on the onsite side of the business too, leveraging our abilities and experience there and our state of the art IT systems to continue our success. Just having the right dashboard and data to be able to look at trends and what is going on in the business is very helpful. When I joined back then, you could detect some little trends but not everything had expanded. We are now able to notice things much quicker and dig into it. As we say we’ve got the data “at our finger-tips” and we are able to take immediate action on stuff. I just have to say that we couldn’t do what we did and build our on-site capability from scratch during lockdown without having the EFOS system, without having our online registration process etc. Having had that infrastructure has helped massively. The app which is going to launch soon too will make it easier for candidates to join us and sign-up’

Ian likes the variety of his job. He likes the team. Everyone just knows what they are doing and Ian is just helping them by guiding them and making the decisions.

2 years since Ian joined Extrastaff has literally doubled every metric, profits, number of employees etc. He joined in the middle of the first lockdown so it was a challenge but also an interesting time to join a growing business.

Ian says ‘a lot of the impact he has had is behind the scenes, just modernising and professionalising the back office and getting the processes right. The board members have been in the business for longer than me, so I think someone new like me joining the business from outside with experience in different industries, fresh eyes and a fresh perspective and ideas is nice.

If you want to join our fast-growing recruitment company, then please email sam.myall@extrastaff.com.
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