Flame Health Associates – An Interview with Scott Liversidge

We talked to the director of current loan applicant, Flame Health Associates, to find out more about the company.

Hi Scott, thanks for sharing your journey, how did you come to start Flame Health, what’s the back story?

I was working as the UK operations manager for a specialist optical recruitment agency, when I was headhunted by a specialist recruiter in 2001 that presented me with an opportunity to start a healthcare consultancy. 

Optometry was our launch sector and then we continued to diversify our offering into dentistry, then pharmacy, medical devices and then GP’s/nurses within primary care, community care and urgent care.

I purchased the company in 2011 and have continued to develop and improve our range of services ever since.

How is recruitment in the health sector different to other sectors?

The main fundamental difference is the in-depth process required around the people we are recruiting and clients we are recruiting for. Not only do candidates have to meet the required criteria from an operational and now often a commercial perspective, they also need be qualified and registered with their respective Governing Body. 

We have to ensure all candidates are qualified in the UK or meet UK standards and be able to legally practice in the UK and ensure references and DBS are all available and or completed, so it is significantly more complex than most other sectors.

It is also extremely difficult to engage with candidates, given the nature of their work they are normally with patients or customers, so timing and trust are vital.

How is Flame Health different to other agencies?

Created as an antidote to the traditional recruitment agency approach we have become a recognised international resource business with a firm emphasis on consultancy and quality. 

As a consultancy, we operate across a diverse range of expanding healthcare sectors and  we consistently provide a diverse range of recruitment solutions, to a wide variety of market-leading, niche healthcare & medical device organisations across the UK and Ireland,

We fully understand just how challenging recruiting the best talent can be in today’s competitive market and what is required to ensure suitable candidates are secured, which is imperative in such a candidate driven market.

Our activity goes a long way into extending the search beyond our initial database and advertising activity, we utilise all of our experience and expertise to ensure that we find the most suitable candidates available for our clients.

We have over 150 combined years of experience within Flame Health Associates, coupled with a thorough understanding of how recruitment strategies have evolved over the last twenty years and which direction they will take over the next twenty years.

As an organisation, we are fully compliant Corporate Members of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and are committed to its Code of Professional Practice.

As a final indication as to the success of our strategy, over the last 8 years, 80% of candidates we place are sourced through our own web/social and database initiatives, I feel the combination of everything I have just mentioned is the real differentiator over our competition. 

What are the big changes that’ve been happening in your industry lately?

The pace of recruitment has changed dramatically over the last 10/20 years, mainly with the decline in the sector-specific trade press and the introduction of the web and social media. We have also seen a trend of larger organisations trying to build internal recruitment teams as a result, together with the introduction of GDPR, the recruitment sector has changed beyond recognition and is certainly much more complex.

We are seeing a trend, that our clients are looking for significantly more than just a CV! They are looking for a combination of sector-specific experience, a proven, progressive recruitment process, an in-depth hiring and criteria selection process an understanding of a candidate attraction strategy and guidance on how we can protect their employer brand throughout the sometimes long and lengthy process. 

With the battle for the best talent never been more competitive, it is vital for companies to ensure they do not dilute their brand and lose control of the consistency of the employer brand and corporate message they aim to deliver. 

Ultimately, we become a trusted partner and an extension of their strategy.  

Any big opportunities on the horizon?

Yes, always, we have an ongoing business development strategy that is consistently generating new business as a result across our network, just this week we have signed terms with a new dynamic and expanding healthcare provider in the South that managers and runs NHS contracts, together with private healthcare clinics, that are looking for us to support them recruiting Specialist GP’s, Pharmacist and Nurse Prescribers together with a vast amount of other vacancies.

In addition, we generate new clients and have new vacancies coming into the business on a daily weekly basis, across our network, ranging from dentists, optometrists, pharmacists, GP’s, professional services, sales, marketing and operations. 

We continue to diversify our marketing business across the whole Flame Health network with us securing three new accounts this quarter with an additional three pending before the end of the quarter.

How’s Brexit treating you?

Brexit has certainly made things more challenging, however, unfortunately, since the global economic crash, then recession, now Brexit, over the last decade businesses have had to react accordingly and continue to modify their strategies and cost base in order to ensure they are in control of their business and in effect continuously preempting the uncertainty of Brexit and any other uncertainties they may be presented with.

I feel we are in a strong position, given the sectors we specialise in, the robust and diverse client base we have together with an ageing population, over the years we have definitely proven that we are resilient to change and uncertainty.

From my perspective, we feel the final part of the jigsaw is to implement the new platform across the business, benefit from the reduction in our cost base, whilst allowing the company to be significantly more competitive and strategic and grow over the next five/ten + years and become a highly profitable, dynamic healthcare consultancy able to react to market conditions, in an ever-changing, expanding and progressive healthcare sector.

As you can see from last year’s results and current YTD, together with additional cost savings waiting to be implemented, coupled with a buoyant market, I am extremely positive and confident about progressing the business in 2019 and beyond.    

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Scott, and best of luck with your fundraising campaign.

Read more about this company and visit their current application for funding here   

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