In Profile: Dan Barfoot

By Anita Jaynes on 28 June, 2017

CMD Recruitment is an established local recruiting service, specialising in placing commercial and industrial roles. With offices in Calne, Devizes and Melksham, this growing company is helping with the recruitment needs for businesses around Wiltshire and Somerset.

We met with operations director Dan Barfoot to find out more about him and the business.

What did you do before CMD?

Before working at CMD I spent 11 years in the army and then two years working as a contractor in the Middle East, before moving into the world of recruitment.

How did you get into recruitment?

My brother Tim and I had a discussion whilst I was home on leave from a rotation in the Middle East and the seed was sewn, so I bought a SAGE user course and a few books and then prior to us opening, I did some studying and then we started our journey.

What do you love about your job?

For me, a good business doesn’t just focus on money, the recruiters at CMD love the service they deliver whether a fee is big or small and that is exactly how I feel about my role. We enjoy placing people as we are giving people a future and we like helping other businesses grow with the right staff working for them. The other day, I received a thank you card on LinkedIn from a candidate and it made my day.

We spend most of our lives at work so it’s important to be happy and enjoy what you do. This is as true for us at CMD as it is for the candidates we are placing.

What’s different about CMD?

It’s interesting because CMD is one of the larger recruiters in the area – in that we have three offices in Wiltshire, but we still have a genuine ‘family feel’ to the company. That’s never been lost in translation when scaling up. I am proud to say we grew by 31% last year and with a team of 27, but we will never lose our identity as an independent operator, where people talk to people and it’s not solely about the digital way of doing things. For example, Tim and I run desks and place people, so we appreciate the highs and lows of recruitment and all of us at CMD believe the personal feel is so important. We like to get to know everyone we are involved with and we are not a faceless, cold, corporate business.

Is the world of recruitment changing? How is CMD evolving to deal with client/candidate needs?

The pool for temporary candidates is dwindling, as more and more businesses are employing people, so we need to advise clients of this and offer more long-term solutions as opposed to short-term ones.

Clients are more aware of the high cost of replacing people who decide to leave, so this is where counter offers are on the rise, or people are simply going for another role to get a pay rise. My advice to some candidates going for another role just to get more pay, is that they ought to go back and talk to their employer first – if they are happy with the job they do, of course.

In my eyes, recruitment agencies need to invest in the right tools for recruitment consultants to help them do their job. If I were a client, the very first question I would ask is ‘how will you find people and what tools do you have?’ Any company can place their own job adverts but are they market aware enough to know which job board is the best for their role? Recruitment is a specialism and as such, if you don’t know where you should look, how to cast the right net and how to vet response, then you can lose out on good candidates.

We recently saw your post about the recruitment industry being the most connected on LinkedIn. You decline random requests as you don’t see value in them. How do you build your network?

I build my network by reputation and by keeping in touch with the people I place, as after being in recruitment for over 12 years, some of my candidates I placed are now clients and I find it very rewarding to then recruit for them.

What industry is recruiting the most at the moment, in your experience?

I saw a stat the other day that said this is the automotive and hospitality markets, but I think in general the market is busy but it’s just getting harder in a shrinking pool of candidates.

What skillsets are missing in the marketplace?

I think everyone can say apprentices, but the government is really trying to turn this around with the levy having just come in. Time served skills, especially in engineering, are slowly dwindling out and now companies are having to address skillsets directly with more training and development internally.

Tell us something we wouldn’t know about you

I’m a bit of a speed freak and love to race my motorcycle in a support series for the British Superbikes, and my aim this year is to have a finish in the top 20.

To find out more about CMD Recruitment visit:

Follow them on Twitter: @CMDRECRUITMENT