George Reed is a popular figure at Hampshire Workspace. He’s friendly, enthusiastic and full of energy- as his regular jogs around Winchester testify. It seems he needs to run just to keep up with the success of his oil and gas recruitment company Thorold Dewling.
As George puts it, ‘I find the people who find and produce oil and gas.’ The industry is on a roll. The North Sea is having a resurgence. Oil prices are high but also new technology is enabling the extraction of previously unobtainable gas and oil. In addition, shale gas and the decommissioning of oil rigs are presenting more opportunities for Thorold Dewling.
‘There’s such a lack of people,’ says George. In a market where demand is exceeding supply, George is the man companies turn to. ‘We work with various large global operations, finding them interim and permanent staff. One of our clients has announced the largest industrial investment in the UK this year, which is going to be exciting for Thorold Dewling.’
‘Recruitment is a very competitive market,’ observes George. What sets him apart from many of his competitors is his approach. Although he worked in oil and gas recruitment in the City, it was his time in the charity sector that gave George a special insight into the way to do business.
‘I have brought the charity ethos into this sector,’ he explains. ‘It’s a business service but we do it in a more ethical way than some others. I provide salary benchmarking and career advice, so that I find people not just the right job but the right salary package and character fit.’
What also makes George stand out is his technical knowledge. ‘People need to know I know what I’m talking about, so I have to keep my knowledge up-to-date.’ The marketing provided by George’s wife and fellow director is impressive too.
It’s taken five years for Thorold Dewling to get to its present position. ‘It took a while to realise we needed to specialise,’ explains George. Add to which, he turned down private equity ‘because I wanted to grow it the right way.’ After a year and a half at Hampshire Workspace, the company is poised for expansion.
‘I’m looking forward to 2014,’ says George. ‘We’re going to be hiring staff next year. Ideally we’ll have an office in Aberdeen by the end of next year.’ In the coming years, George expects to be opening offices in Houston and Perth, the other capitals of the oil and gas industry.
For all his global ambitions, George remains a local boy and a family man. ‘I come from Alton,’ he says, ‘and I like being in the centre of Winchester. I love the view of the Cathedral from my office.’ Being based at Hampshire Workspace means he is close to the major transport links, including the train station for visits to London and Southampton Airport for regular flights to Aberdeen.
It’s hard work and long days for George which is why he values being close enough to home to be able to cycle to and from the office.
‘My children come first and I’m always there for bath time.’
This blog was written by Paul Lewis, owner of the marketing consultancy The Lewis Experience and online retailer Your Life Your Style, both based at Hampshire Workspace, and former Head of Marketing and Operations at The Mayflower Theatre. You can connect with him on Google+ and LinkedIn.