Profile: Paul Howe
Position and name of company: Managing Director BRC (Building Recruitment Company)
Sector: Housing, maintenance, engineering, Construction
Size of company: 30 employees
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Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Born: Newport, Gwent
Educated: University in Bristol (BA Economics)
First job: Recruitment Consultant, Capita
Influences and inspirations: Human endeavour and enterprise, belief can allow dreams to become reality. I'm not talking about a rags to riches tail, simply that people underestimate how much they can achieve in all areas of life – and with confidence can surprise themselves.
Irritations: Greed and the perception that the world owes individuals a living. Lack of work ethic in some areas of society.
Hobbies: Sport, fitness, wine, the local.
What first inspired you to become involved in business?
I felt that the human enterprise and spirit is often destroyed when working within large organisations and wanted to take the best of all business culture and create an environment to allow people to flourish without the politics of a modern workplace. Also, the cost of supporting others often means that success cannot be rewarded fairly, which I found in my previous position.
Looking back is there anything you would have done differently in the course of your career?
I can list endless examples of when a decision was wrong or ill-judged. However, I believe we have made more right decisions than wrong and I feel that we are better equipped having made some poor choices in the past. As it is, is as it is!
What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Helping the guys I work with achieve and develop their skills, enabling them to help and support the clients and applicants we assist. Allowing people to develop over time is the most satisfying thing any organisation can provide.
What is the key challenge facing business in the UK today?
Business confidence due to the difficulties in gaining short-term financial support. In addition, there is a real problem with the long-term working population, especially with those currently under 25, who are unrealistic about their work aspirations and many of whom are ill-equipped to deal with the modern workplace.
What can Government do to help businesses thrive?
Stop changing policy. In order to allow business to thrive in the long term, we need to have a settled set of financial, legal and employment conditions in order to allow business plans and strategy the chance to develop and succeed. This is especially pertinent in tax legislation and employment law.
What one piece of advice would you give to anyone considering setting up their own company?
Don't do it alone! A problem shared is a problem halved. My partner and I (Andy Kew) didn't always agree on every issue, however, the decisions we did agree on were pretty much always the correct ones. The sharing of stress, pressure, success and failure, is vital as it allows you to have a break, which is definitely important.