THINGS couldn’t be going more swimmingly for Adam and Victoria Dyson.
The husband and wife team behind up-and-coming agency The Clever Fish Recruitment are combining the demanding role of running a business with the equally important job of bringing up their two-and-a-half year-old daughter Amelia.
And the couple, who set up their business just two years ago, have already won a business award.
They work from home, an arrangement that has several advantages. “We have to watch our costs like all businesses, so we don’t have the overheads of office premises,” says Adam, “And we are lucky to be able to spend more time with Amelia.
“When we first set up the business and Amelia was born, we were always thankful for hands free phones so we could change a nappy and take a call at the same time!”
Adam and Victoria met when they were both working for the same recruitment agency. Together, they have over 17 years’ experience recruiting in the industrial and commercial sectors across Kirklees and Calderdale.
Victoria, who hails from Marsden and attended Colne Valley High School, says: “When I left education, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I started working as a receptionist for a recruitment agency in Huddersfield on a part-time basis. I trained as a consultant and after a lot of hard work I worked my way up to be a branch manager.
“I started working in industrial recruitment, then moved into commercial and office recruitment.
“I enjoy working closely with clients to understand their requirements and interviewing and coaching candidates throughout the whole process.”
Adam, who grew up in Lepton and attended Kaye’s College, worked in casinos in Huddersfield and Bradford for a few years before becoming casino manager for Princess Cruise Lines – a job which took him to the Caribbean, North and South America. He also worked in London for five years as a casino inspector and trainer.
However, after 12 years, the lure of the bright lights began to pall. “It was all about people losing their money, smoking and drinking,” he says. “It was interesting to work abroad, but it involved unsociable hours and long days. You had to think on your feet and work out complicated bets in your head. I did all right, considering maths was never my strongest subject!”
While working in London, Adam got chatting to someone who worked in recruitment and became interested in the sector. He answered a newspaper advert for a trainee recruitment consultant in Huddersfield, and thanks in part to his management experience in casinos, he was offered a branch manager position and “fast-tracked” to become a branch manager.
Adam quickly turned a struggling branch around and within 18 months was promoted to sales and operations manager.
Victoria and Adam married in 2007, but discovered on return from honeymoon that Victoria was being made redundant due to branches merging. Adam left a few months later to work for another local agency as a team and on-site manager. Victoria spent the next two years working for a local agency as commercial manager.
In 2009, Victoria was made redundant when the company she was working for closed down, so with Victoria being seven months pregnant the couple decided to take a gamble and set up on their own.
While the agency’s name inevitably makes would-be clients curious, The Clever Fish Recruitment had no problem “hooking” new clients. And companies, who had dealt with Adam and Victoria in the past, were getting in touch to recruit for them.
“We have been thankful for their support,” says Adam. “They believed in us. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
Says Victoria: “We were forced into setting up our own business. Who was going to give me a job when I was seven months pregnant? But this is something we had always dreamed of doing.”
Adam didn’t need to be a casino manager to know that the stakes were high. “We didn’t have any doubt that it would work,” he says. “It had to work because if it hadn’t, we would lose everything including our home.