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The Resilient Recruiter

Jun 18, 2021

In this interview, you’ll learn how Logan Naidu built one of the fastest-growing recruitment companies in the UK based on a core set of corporate values: Excellence, Partnership, Knowledge, Diversity and Kindness.

You’ll also hear Logan’s amazing story of resilience and how being diagnosed with cancer at age 31 was the catalyst for a significant change in the trajectory of his recruiting career.  Plus he shares his insights on learning and development, assessing culture fit, and successful business models.

Named by The Sunday Times as one of Britain’s 500 most influential people, Logan is the founder and CEO of Dartmouth Partners. Over the last 8 years, they've grown from a start-up to one of the UK's fastest-growing recruitment companies, have received private equity backing, and made their first acquisition, Pure search.  Today the group operates as a multi-brand, multi-niche player, 180 employees across 5 Geographies and are listed as FT1000 fastest growing companies in Europe and are set for tremendous continued growth over the coming year.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [2:05] Logan’s amazing story of resilience and source of motivation.
  • [13:22] The ‘Classroom to Boardroom’ model.
  • [17:32] Logan’s approach to assessing culture fit.
  • [22:30] Success as a Billing Manager - how Logan was able to balance making placements, training a team, and running a business.
  • [27:34] Should the top biller always be promoted to a leadership role? Hear Logan’s deciding factors.
  • [30:52] Kindness as a corporate value? Hear the two aspects of how kindness can be applied in the context of a recruitment business.
  • [35:37] Unlocking real sustainable growth with learning and development - Dartmouth’s world-class aspirations.
  • [46:21] Scaling your business - Logan shared his experience on the constraints and how he overcame them.

Million Pound per Year Biller 

I asked Logan why he left the first business that he co-founded.  He explained that despite being a million-pound biller for two consecutive years, certain life-changing events made him redefine his purpose and ultimately led to some business decisions. 

I can’t help but be astounded and inspired by Logan as he shared his journey. At the age of 31, he experienced three life-changing events - getting married, being diagnosed with cancer a day before their first anniversary, and having a child six months after being diagnosed. 

These combined experiences made him realize that although he’d been successful as a big biller in a small boutique, “Life is super short … I don’t want this to be the rest of my working career.”

From a personal development perspective, he was more motivated by “business” than by “billing” and wanted to grow a large business. This ambition wasn’t shared by his partners at the time who were happy running a boutique, so he exited his first company to launch Dartmouth Partners.

Kindness as a Corporate Value

Dartmouth Partners corporate values are Excellence, Partnership, Knowledge, Diversity and Kindness.

The one that jumped out to me from this list is ‘kindness.’ I can’t remember seeing this word in a recruitment company’s values statement before. Yet it’s one that resonates with me personally. So what does kindness mean in the context of a recruitment business? Logan explained how kindness could be applied in the way we treat others both external and internal.

From an external point of view, Logan elaborated, “Listening to them [candidates] and taking them seriously is really important. I think we forget that in the industry because we think about deals and transactions but this is, fundamentally, a very human job and that’s a real privilege. Actually, you get to know your candidates really well, a lot of them become friends over time and they really trust you.”

On an internal relevance, kindness is definitely needed when dealing with your team. “The bit internally, I think talking to people and ultimately treating them in a grown-up manner. Recruitment companies tend to go down the route of micro-management and KPIs. But actually, if we hire bright, good, hard-working people and train them in the right way, you can give them an awful lot of freedom. You don’t need to micro-manage them.”

Logan Naidu Bio and Contact Info

Logan is the founder and CEO of Dartmouth Partners. He has a notable track record in recruiting across financial services but with a particular focus on M&A and Private Equity. While running the firm from a strategic perspective, Logan uses his recruitment expertise to guide consultants in the execution of roles. He continues to work on the delivery of more senior advisory and investment mandates.

Logan studied to Masters level at the University of Birmingham before entering the City in 2000.

He began his career at JPMorgan and PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Corporate Finance. Logan co-founded the Cornell Partnership in 2005 before leading a successful exit of the financial services and graduate business to form what is now Dartmouth.

Logan has a desire for individuals and businesses to work together to mutually flourish and to enjoy shared success and this is reflected internally at Dartmouth. Dartmouth’s success is partly due to Logan’s drive to succeed. It has also been recognised in numerous industry accolades:

  • Debrett’s People of Today (2017)
  • The Sunday Times as one of Britain’s 500 most influential people (2016)
  • Shortlisted as Recruitment Entrepreneur of the Year and GB Entrepreneur of the Year in the services industry (2015)
  • Growing Business “Young Gun” Awards (2013)

Outside of Dartmouth, Logan is a trustee of Thrive Youth Trust, the partner charity to Thrive In Work, a social enterprise enabling young people to gain employment.

A committed Christian, he is the father of three noisy children, husband to one ever-supportive wife and a serious tennis and fitness nut.

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