JR Veterinary, where to start? We know we are very lucky to support the recruitment businesses that we do; despite knowing professionally how to support any recruiter in what they are looking to do & despite knowing personally the challenges that come with running your own recruitment agency, every business we support is unique & JR Vets is unique. Janks is not only a fantastic recruiter but also a perfect professional & we have been exceptionally lucky to be able to be a part of her journey so far. Recently we had the opportunity to take a step back from the day-to-day support of the business & understand more about the motivations she had around JR, why she did what she did & the vision for the business going forward. Janks is a real business owner, experiencing the highs & lows of running your own recruitment business & we’re very excited to share our conversation with you.


So, tell us a little bit about your recruitment background.

I started my career in South Africa within the Casino Industry where I worked my way up to Management within 4 years. Part of my duties within my Role as a Tables Shift Manager was to recruit Croupiers and Supervisors to join my team. I thoroughly enjoyed the HR side of this role so did a HR certificate alongside working full time.

I decided the UK was my next adventure and here I am 7 years later running our own Recruitment Company. During the 7 years of getting to owning and running our family business with Jane (AKA Mum) I have had numerous opportunities within the Recruitment Industry. I started with my first role with a Veterinary Recruitment Agency and progressed in the 5.5 years I was with them to a Senior Consultant within 3 years. I spent just short of 3 years as a Senior Consultant with the company when I decided I needed to make a change and spread my wings.

I joined a fantastic Aviation Recruitment Company as their Permanent Recruitment Manager; this is a family run agency with amazing core values and taught me a lot of what I wanted for our Business.

Having the experience with both Permanent and Locum (AKA Contract) Recruitment we thought let’s open our family run business. WHO WOULD DO IT DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC?? Yip JR Vets did.

& when would you say you initially started thinking about the idea of one day starting your own recruitment agency?

I think I have always had the desire to be my own boss. When I seriously started thinking about my own agency was the backend 2017. I am the type of person who likes to know the entire process which then enables me to jump in when someone is off sick, and probably just a control freak and a busy body. So knowing the entire process, successfully billing, working hard and playing hard I started to seriously consider doing something for myself and my family. Only took us 3 years to get to the point we are at now😊.

What made you “make the leap” & decide to start your own recruitment agency when you did? Was there a particular professional catalyst? Personal landmark? Tell us.

MADNESS? I think COVID19 has shown everyone that you need to put yourself and your family first. With everything going on in the world we wanted to do something for us. I personally missed the clients and candidates in the Industry. Even though I had thought of it for a good 3 years when I left my previous agency this was never on the cards. I wanted to make a change and to push myself out of my comfort zone, but something kept pulling me back to the Veterinary Industry.

What were the motivations for you to start your own recruitment agency?

Family. Think the entire world was split into the I LOVE WORKING FROM HOME , and the I NEED TO GET BACK INTO THE OFFICE groups. I honestly love the flexibility it gives me. I am able to do things I never used to and even if that means sorting out a contract at 10pm when I get home from Netball. I get to spend more time with my family and that was the entire reason around doing something for us.

Tell us a little about JR Vets. 

JR Vets, well we are a Family Run Veterinary Recruitment Agency. Something I had spoken to Jane and Gary about for so long that I don’t think they every thought we would be here. Honestly all we want is to help and support clients and candidates during the Recruitment Journey. We want to build lasting relationships, not promise the world and underdeliver. We pride ourselves on being transparent and working collaboratively with both clients and candidates.

If you could paint a picture of what the business looks like in 3 years time, what would the business look like?

Well first steps first let’s get out of the Pandemic. At present we want to be successful, everyone does. Ideally in 3 years’ time we would have built the business up to a point where we would have a few employees.

In two months, we have been up and running we have already got a fantastic client base as well as candidate base. Our aim is to keep the family business feel, building those relationships and ensuring we keep to our moto.

A lot of people or driven by numbers and money, and those are great motivators and benchmarks, however the first couple of years are always the trickiest. So as long as we are still standing, bringing in a steady income, ensuring our clients and candidates are happy that would be a great 3-year start.

& what pulled you to work with Isotope to help you in your recruitment business?

Well well well…. MR Max Jones.

When you speak to someone that pretty much gets your personality as he is probably just as much a control freak as me. On a serious note before reaching out to Isotope I had read and re-read and re-read their website. I had done all my homework and then reached out to Max. I wasn’t an easy task. I had loads of questions and going back and forth of yes/no/maybe.

But overall Max and Laura answered all the questions and they understood what I needed as well as our vision for JR Vets. They just seemed to get it, so that was the reason we went with Isotope. They have been there every step of the way, answering emails at 10pm on a Friday night ( sorry Max), celebrating the wins and listening to the rants.

What has surprised you most about working with Isotope so far?

They just know. You have a question and they just know. The support has been amazing, that reassurance of when you know what you are doing is right and they back you, or when you are pushing the boundaries and you know Laura would not allow you to do it but you push the boundaries anyway. Overall, they are just a great team to work with.

What would you say to a recruitment consultant reading this today & toying with the idea of starting their own agency?

Do not make the decision in the heat of the moment.

Be ready for the challenge.

Yes, you have the flexibility but its hard work getting everything set up.

Make sure you know your market and you are personally and financially ready to do it.

There are going to be ups and down

You get out what you put in

Things don’t just come to you, and you know those recruitment “gods” they are still there when you run your own company.

If you feel it’s the right time and you want to do it then do it. I am loving every minute, ok well not every minutes, but overall its been a great experience.

& in an alternate universe, a universe where recruitment did not exist – what profession would you be in?

I loved working in the Casino Industry, would go back in a heartbeat if I did not have to work nights😊 or if I thought of it early enough a Psychologist.

We’re so lucky, proud & focussed on supporting Janks, Jane & JR (try saying that quickly!). It’s been great to see the vision they have develop into something tangible & while I know they will always be striving for more (because they’re just like that!) they have already been able to build a business in the image of what they set out to build. Something professional, family-led, empathetic & focussed on providing an exceptional service to the veterinary community. Learn more about JR Vets over on the website: check it out here.


Becoming a Recruitment Entrepreneur: Could you be next?…

Further Reading

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