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  • Writer's pictureShubham Parse

Tyler Swan, Co-Founder / Director at Clarrow

Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Tyler Swan:The other co-founder, Steve Bielby, and I were managing the Sydney office of a business unit under a group of companies. Suddenly the overall group announced that they were going into administration. It was quite a shock to us given how well our unit was doing. Our business unit was the most profitable business unit so the decision was made to sell off that side of the business. It was a very difficult time as you don’t know who will buy, what their culture will be like, what the new business’ values will be. Also, you don’t want to walk away from the team you built, the clients you know and love, but there is a lot of fear and unknown. We met with several potential buyers and as we went through that process, we started to think that we may be better off going out on our own. Like any start-up, there was hesitation and fear. But excitement about what we could build, what we could do better, outweighed the fear and that is how Clarrow was born.

Great Companies: What are the various services provided by Clarrow

Tyler Swan:Clarrow provides recruitment and professional services specialising in Technology, Digital, Sales and Marketing. We help build the teams that build, delivery, market and sell innovative technology.

Great Companies: What makes Clarrow different from hundreds of other similar service providers?

Tyler Swan:I think this is one of the hardest questions to answer for any business. I don’t think we have re-invented the wheel, but I do feel like there are some core values that we focus on that has led to our success. The first and foremost is providing quality delivery, we always say that if you are doing a good job and providing next level service to your clients then they keep coming back to you and recommending you to others. Nothing is more powerful than word of mouth marketing and a good reputation. For us, that means both in terms of the candidates we work with again and again as well as our clients. Secondly, we try to stay on the forefront of the technology available to us when it comes to finding top talent. Finally, we work hard to create a great place for our employees to work, which has allowed us to benefit from employees that want to do well and reduces our turnover within the business. All are challenging to get in place as you grow a start-up but this is what we do well compared to our competition.

Great Companies: What were the struggles and challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

Tyler Swan:Creating and scaling a start-up is nothing but challenges. From initially getting your name, brand, and reputation in place, to growing the number of clients you work with, to scaling your business while ensuring processes, culture and structure don’t completely fall by the wayside. It seems to be one challenge after another. I think the biggest challenge Clarrow faced was that 4 months after we launched Clarrow COVID hit. We watched as our industry made make massive redundancies and many companies hiring and projects came to a screeching halt. We were thinking to ourselves “what luck”. It was a challenging time for everyone and every business and trying to keep the hope and motivation alive across our employees during this time was definitely a challenge. There were a few key things that we did during this time. First, we gave our employees peace of mind, letting them know that everyone’s jobs were safe and making a commitment to allow the business to go into a loss to ensure they didn’t fear that their jobs were on the line. It was a big commitment from the business that had just started to generate revenue to make that kind of commitment. It did pay off in the long run though. Clarrow was nominated by APSCO as a top 3 finalist for best performing agency over COVID based off the number of people we helped find jobs over that period. It was a big accomplishment given that we had just started our business and feel like it came down to our consultants working hard in appreciation for what we did for them. This also put us in a good position for when the market turned around.

Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line Clarrow?

Tyler Swan:I think if you asked me that 3 years ago when we first started, I wouldn’t have envisioned that we would have been able to accomplish what we have in such a short period of time. So, I’m looking forward to 5 years from now as we continue to surpass our goals. I will say that we are currently looking to expand our presence to Singapore, Japan and another office location in Australia in the short-term. Longer term there is the possibility of moving into other locations across APAC and possibly Europe. We are also looking to continue to scale our business across Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Kong. We want to present career development opportunities to our staff and further improve our ability to service our clients needs.

Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Tyler Swan: I have had plenty of good pieces of advice given to me throughout my career, if it just had to be one, I would say hire right. It is why I got into recruitment initially, after running my first business I became very interested in how important hiring the right people was and the impact it made to the culture and success of the business. So, when I was interviewing for another role at a recruitment company when I first moved to Australia and they asked if I would be interested in recruitment 12 years ago, I jumped at the opportunity. Then throughout my career in recruitment I have watched as my teams have helped businesses make hires as they scaled as a start-up or tried to deliver difficult projects as an established business and the positive impact the right hire makes. Hiring the right people is the key no matter what business you run or what industry you operate in, it’s the one universal key to success. Make sure you are building a strong EVP, hire people that others want to learn and grow under and make sure you have a structured yet fast interview process.



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