Award-Winning Bespoke Recruitment Agency Seeks Cash to Realise its True Potential

Exclusive Ltd owner Mark Ions and his team know a thing or two about one of the most competitive industries in the UK. All of Exclusive’s senior team have previously managed recruitment teams and businesses, so understanding what makes the two elements of the recruitment process, the client and the candidate tick, is central to Exclusive’s ethos.


“Recruitment can be a transactional industry”, says Mark. “I’ve found the best way to deliver results that make everyone happy – that’s the client, candidate and recruiter, not just the guy who has pocketed the fee – is to invest time into every part of the process.

“Some recruiters can see candidates as a commodity and the means to earn a fee. We work with candidates to make sure we’re working in their best interests; this includes giving them career advice and taking an honest approach. We try to maintain a 50/50 balance in the way we approach clients and candidates and always ask ourselves whether we’re making ethical decisions that serve everyone involved.”

While every business is a numbers game, Mark and his team don’t prescribe to the idea of consultants phoning twenty clients a day and firing out mailshots all the time: “I’ve been there and seen that it doesn’t work, while all the time your reputation is cheapened. I would much rather sit down in front of a client for an hour and truly understand their strategy and why they’re recruiting people.”


It’s a stance that has served Mark well as the company looks set to expand with a new office in Aberdeen, a city with a high wealth per capita ratio, and new divisions, including executive search, engineering and technical teams.

To maximise the potential of the exciting new ventures, Mark is looking to borrow cash to promote the new services and office: “I want to move the business forward by investing in job boards, attending exhibitions, networking and generally spreading the word about Exclusive so we can build more long term relationships with clients and candidates.”

The investment opportunity

So why should investors look at Exclusive? According to Mark, Exclusive has everything in place to make an investment a great one: “We’ve never missed a payment for a start and we’re building a sustainable business because the quality of our service means clients keep coming back. About 75 per cent of our business is repeat orders. With so many competitors, that’s a rate I’m very proud of – it shows the value our clients and candidates put on good quality service in areas that we’re specialists in.”

And it’s not just Mark who thinks Exclusive is a well-run ship. It was highly commended in the North East’s Culture for Success Awards 2012 in the small business of the year category, an independently verified award where clients and candidates spoke openly to judges about the team’s approach.

A familiar story

When asked why crowdfunding is his chosen finance vehicle Mark is clear in his reasons: “You just can’t get anywhere with the banks. They’re not interested in who is running the business or what you’re plan is, they won’t come out and see you, and all they care about is your balance sheet. So if you’re a service company like ours and you don’t own machinery, they want to secure loans against company directors’ houses instead.”

Mark will also use part of the loan to refinance away from an existing bank overdraft, so the improved terms will give the business a better shot at reaching its full potential. He’s also looking to build a connection with’s community so future ambitions can be realised too.

It’s the sort of story is familiar with so we’re giving profitable businesses poised for growth, like Exclusive, the platform to raise the finance it needs.

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