Rethinking Recruitment: The Ellis Mack Story

by: | April 27th, 2017 | Ellis Mack Blog, Ellis Mack News

Describing who Ellis Mack are is easy. Directors Chris Black and Simon Wright form the nucleus of the company, aided by a team of dynamic recruitment consultants, all of whom share backgrounds in hospitality and a common love of their industry.

Describing what Ellis Mack are is harder. The short answer is they’re a recruitment company. The slightly longer answer is they’re a recruitment company specialising in the hospitality sector. But to fully explain what Ellis Mack are, it’s necessary to start by explaining what they aren’t.

As Simon recalls, “I always thought recruitment was about more than just clients and billings. I thought it was about jobs, careers and actually helping people.”

Chris agrees, noting, “When I first got into recruitment it was very corporate, very hard sales and I wasn’t into any of that sort of culture. Simon and I share similar values, and we believed it was possible to do take a different approach to recruitment.”

When the idea for creating Ellis Mack crystallised, it made perfect sense to the pair. Up until then, however, becoming Scotland’s leading hospitality recruiter wasn’t part of the master plan because, well, there wasn’t one. Chris had a variety of previous business & hospitality experience including spells in deep sea fishing, the exotic world of private yachting in the South of France & running his own catering venture.

Simon, meanwhile, also found himself in the same sector as he studied for a maths degree at university. By second year, he’d realised that hospitality, not numbers, was his real passion, and begun to manage a series of bars and restaurants. His first experience of recruitment was as a candidate, when he was struck by how samey the various agency interviews were. A year later, the tables turned and Simon found himself playing the role of recruiter. In the process, he met his future Ellis Mack partner; Chris was responsible for his training and induction.

The pair bonded over their shared views of what was essentially a broken industry, and the first seeds were sown. Thanks to their vision, Ellis Mack has grown to become one of Scotland’s most respected recruitment firms, but Chris still recalls their humble beginnings: “In the early days I remember working out of Simon’s flat with extended lunch breaks and the occasional game of basketball” he laughs. “We quickly went on to create a more professional operation!  We’ve built a good reputation within the catering sector in Scotland and solid foundations from which to expand.”

When Ellis Mack sprang up, it was with a mandate to serve as a sort of anti-recruitment company: one that put client and candidate satisfaction above all else. One that recruited not only the best talent, but the most interesting, standout talent, for as Chris acknowledges, “Hospitality’s interesting. There’s a creative side to it; it’s less corporate and you come across real characters”.

Simon backs him up, noting, “I love it when you meet an interesting candidate, someone who’s got that spark, that fire in their belly. If you can bring in great clients, coupled with interesting candidates, you’re onto a winner.”

Over the last 9 years both Simon and Chris have built with their team a solid, trustworthy reputation and have grown to become one of Scotland’s most respected and consistent recruitment firms. ‘By studying and identifying industry trends and plugging skill shortages across the hospitality sector, we are doing our bit to help a valuable, vibrant industry to make the most of the sum of its parts,’ concludes Simon. ‘At the end of the day, we aim to provide a different kind of recruitment service; one where personal success needn’t come at the expense of the client.’