Steven Rawlingson, Managing Director
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Behind the Business with Samuel Knight International

Bdaily goes behind the business with Steven Rawlingson, Managing Director of Newcastle-based specialist recruitment and project man-power provider, Samuel Knight International.

What does your organistation do?

Samuel Knight work on some of the world’s most complex engineering projects offering full recruitment and man-power solutions to our clients around the globe.

What key challenges has your company recently faced?

1)We payroll over 500 contractors and one of the key challenges we faced was getting a larger factoring / lending facility from our bank, not forgetting we are only 2 years old, however their confidence in us aloud us to increase this by 100% allowing us to continue with our growth rate.

2) Another challenge was merging a complete new business into Samuel Knight Rail mid 2016. This would allow us to offer a complete project service offering to our rail clients. This took patience and time and we now have a fully compliant rail team that works across the complete rail spectrum from engineering to track safety.

What is your biggest achievement over the past 12 months?

Opening up our second office in Bristol and third office in London and seeing both teams overachieve on budget.

What is your most important focus for the coming year, and what do you hope to achieve?

Continue to grow (whilst also protecting our EBITDA) we look to open up a New York office and double our T/O to 26 million

What excites you most about your industry and business?

My industry is forever changing with new tax laws or international working policies. Its one of the most exciting industry you could work in because businesses from around the world need employees and that’s what Samuel Knight is,, a people business we help our clients win the war on talent, be it Google, apple, Siemens or network rail without the best people their businesses wouldn’t survive.

What excites me about my business, EVERYTHING about Samuel Knight the people I employ all have the same vision, to create a company that works in partnership with our clients and candidates helping them achieve their own and individual aspirations. To see a company go from a standing start to 10 million turnover in less then 3 years just shows the dedication my team has for our great company… We have a saying “teamwork makes the dream work” and that’s what we do, work together and this will remain the same even when we have 250 employees at SKI. We are a family that has formed a special bond and we’re all extremely proud of what we’ve created and achieved. Steve Jobs once said… Great things in a business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people…

What do you wish you’d known when starting out?

How difficult setting up a brand new company was going to be. You need a very thick skin and patience when starting out and I’m still learning that Rome wasn’t built in a day however I’ve got better and I’m a lot more patient nowadays and a lot greyer for that matter…

What will be the “next big thing“ in your industry, and how do you plan to handle it?

We have lots of new projects kicking off in 2017 - HS2, Transpennine, Riyadh Metro, Hinckley just name a few… Samuel Knight is used to working under strict timelines in a highly pressurized environment that’s why clients use us, because we always deliver. With conviction and confidence I have no doubt in my mind that 2017 will be a huge year for Samuel Knight International.

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