Interview with Director Tommy Love

Social Personnel is arguably one of the fastest growing social care recruitment agencies in the UK. Starting from scratch in 2014, it’s founder Tommy Love has taken the business from strength to strength, and along with his dedicated team is producing impressive growth year on year.

Tommy really is one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met, his drive and determination is extraordinary. So, I pinned him down to find out just what the key to his success is, as well as having a bit of fun and getting to know him that little bit better.

LB: Hello Tommy, and thank you very much for giving me some of your time today

TL: You’re welcome, slightly nervous about the grilling you’re going to give me but I’ll do my best to hold under pressure.

LB: Promise I won’t go too hard on you. You were a hugely successful consultant at your previous employer, you’d climbed the ladder and were I’m sure reaping all the benefits, what inspired you go solo and start up business yourself?

TL: After a certain amount of time you just think why can’t I do this myself? I had a big enough client and candidate base who liked the way I did things, my way of working, and there is only so long you can work in someone else style. I had my own ideas of how to run an agency and what I would do differently and I thought I should do something about it.

LB: If you hadn’t started a recruitment business, what other industry would you have liked to start up in?

TL: I did always want to be a Stock Broker, until that crashed and burned. I think it would have always been a sales based business, I like a good chat.

LB: What product/service would you have been selling?

TL: Hmmm I’m a big car fanatic but don’t really see myself as car salesman, well maybe in the luxury end.

LB: Where do you see yourself in 5yrs time and how do you plan on achieving it?

TL: Exactly where I am now, but with many other avenues off of the agency. I don’t see social care as the be all and end all, it’s the market I’m making head way in now, and want to make my mark on, but I’m looking at breaking into other sectors too, I’d love to move into healthcare as a whole, care homes…it’s a lot of work and at least a 5yr plan if not more, but I’m excited to expand on what I’ve already created. I’ll do it by using the network that we’ve already created through SP and building upon that.

LB: Clearly you owe some of your success to the rest of the SP team, how do you bring out the best in your staff to achieve greatness?

TL: The reason my staff do so well is because I’ve come from a consultant background myself. So I know what used to motivate me and make me want to work for someone, or not work for someone. So it’s working out what makes someone tick, and it will be different for every person, and homing in on that to get the best out of them to get them to do the best for the business. Also making sure everyone feels part of the company, you’re not just a number, I know who you are, and I care, so in turn they then genuinely care about their work and what a difference they can make to the company.

LB: What has been your proudest moment to date in your working life?

TL: Where we are now. I started the agency over 3yrs ago in a kitchen with a friend and 2 laptops. And now here we are with 25 staff, sitting in plush offices in the heart of London. So very proud of that growth.

LB: That is definitely something to be proud of, huge growth in such a short time. What has been your proudest moment to date in your personal life?

TS: Probably helping my Mum and Dad buy their house. Being able to give back to my family, it’s so nice being able to help them after all the years they helped me out so much. I love being able to give some of that back.

LB: Ah you big softie! Who is your hero and why?

TL: Captain Jack Sparrow – he’s just got it all worked out hasn’t he, he just sails through life…literally!

LB: Tell me some of your likes?

TL: Simply Red, Fishing, treating staff to nights out and a good clean haircut

LB: Dislikes?

TL: Lateness, Lloyd’s taste in music for the office and chipped nails

LB: You favour a smart look then! If a book were to be written about Social Personnel’s journey so far, what would it be titled?

TL: Blissful Chaos

LB: How beautifully poetic! Maybe we should look into getting that written. Ok, clique but got to ask, describe yourself in 3 words;

TL: Ambitious, approachable and light hearted

LB: Do you have any hidden talents?

TL: I can peck dance, like muscle men do…is that a talent?

LB: Interesting, but no need for a demonstration there! Your house is on fire and you can only save one thing, what is it?

TL: My cats…can I save both? Not sure I could take just one.

LB: Oh of course, that’s fair enough, I won’t make you choose. And finally, if you were starting SP again now, with what you’ve learnt about running a business, what would you do differently?

TL: I’d take on less, grow slower, and trust the right people.

LB: Tommy Love, it’s been a pleasure, thank you very much.

So there you have it, a little bit of an insight into the man behind the business. I look forward to interviewing Tommy again in 5 years time to see if he has got to where he hoped…something tells me he’ll have probably achieved even more!


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