Shaun Barratt is the founder and director of Salt Recruitment Limited, an HR recruiting company that specializes in digital recruiting and is responsible for a number of key innovations that have allowed it to offer such a comprehensive range of services. In 2003, Mr. Barratt opened Salt’s Auckland, New Zealand, office with the goal of providing highly personalized recruitment services capable of addressing each individual client’s unique needs and distinctive challenges.
Mr. Barratt’s company now boasts a strong international presence, as Salt Recruitment Limited has enjoyed immense growth over the past 13 years. The company is able to claim offices in New York, London, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Sydney, in addition to its original operational base in Auckland, New Zealand. The global success achieved by Salt Recruitment illustrates the potency of Mr. Barratt’s entrepreneurial vision, not to mention his irrepressible enthusiasm and tireless work ethic.
Entrepreneurial success did not necessarily come easily for Mr. Barratt. Before founding Salt Recruitment, Mr. Barratt had to first overcome personal tragedies and economic hardship. He accomplished this by mostly relying on the strength of his will and determination along with his unwavering belief in a vision for the future.
After a stint as a professional chef in a highly regarded local restaurant, Mr. Barratt enrolled in Massey University, where he studied accountancy. Mr. Barratt then leveraged his academic success into a professional opportunity with Goodman Fielder Wattie. Although he excelled in this position, Mr. Barratt never abandoned his larger professional aspirations and ultimately created Salt Recruitment, the company for which he now continues to serve as director.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
Over the course of my professional career, I always possessed an uncanny ability to recognize uniquely talented individuals perfectly suited for a specific position, so I decided to leverage this skill as a means for creating an entrepreneurial opportunity.
How do you make money?
We offer our clients permanent, temporary, and contract recruitment services, along with other forms of HR support.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
Our goal was to become profitable within the first 12 months, and, as I recall, we were profitable after just eight or nine months.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Between my confidence in my vision for the business and the confidence in the team I assembled to bring that vision to life, I had no concern about the viability of the business.
How did you get your first customer?
Our first customers were secured through a combination of marketing and networking.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
We utilize a diversified marketing strategy that ensures we reach the clients most likely to benefit from our services. This includes traditional marketing strategies as well as strategies that leverage the audiences of influencers across all social media platforms.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
With our recent expansion we have had a lot of opportunities for promoting from within, so choosing between so many highly qualified individuals presented some unique challenges.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I understand that no business can be successful without the contributions of an entire team or professionals, so I place a great deal of value in the people I choose to work with.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Overseeing our international expansion plan was incredibly satisfying and provided a sense of vindication regarding the efficacy of our efforts.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I am excited about future opportunities to further expand our international presence and to work with new clients who will benefit tremendously from our services.
What business books have inspired you?
“Conscious Capitalism” was quite inspiring and reaffirmed my belief in the idea that the most profitable outcome is typically the one that is as close to universally beneficial as possible.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
Although I am quite fond of sweets — not to mention Smith’s Crinkle Cut Chips — I have invested in ensuring that our offices provide healthier dietary options.
How do you prefer to use your time away from Salt Recruitment?
I enjoy spending time with my family and, of course, cheering for the All Blacks.