Technology SME case study
Kyero is an online property portal for people looking to buy or rent property in Spain. The business was established by Louise Dell with her husband in 2003. Forward-thinking, the Dells embraced the remote working philosophy early in their journey, taking their business entirely online in 2009. Reduced overheads and streamlined performance had a huge impact. Soon enough, Louise and her husband were looking to grow the business further, which is when they got in touch with Kate at Artemis Clarke. Specialising in placing finance professionals in roles where they can make a difference, Artemis Clarke was a natural fit for Kyero.
We spoke to Louise Dell, to get her take on the experience of working with Artemis Clarke and the impact a part-time FD has had on her business. Here’s what she had to say:
The challenge: finding a finance professional on the same page to achieve aggressive growth
What was the challenge Kyero brought to Artemis Clarke?
“We were looking for a part-time FD consultant who was tech savvy, comfortable using remote-working tools such as Google sheets and Xero which are a daily part of our business. Not only that, we were looking for someone who was a good cultural fit for our company. Finally, and perhaps the most important thing, we needed someone who would be proactively involved as we had aggressive growth plans. We needed hands-on help with things like spreadsheets and forecasting, for instance.”
Navigating the landscape of FD recruitment without an SME expert
How was your experience of the FD recruitment market?
“Artemis Clarke was providing part-time FD consultants and that was exactly what we were looking for. Before finding Artemis Clarke, our other options were either recruitment agencies or other finance recruiters that didn’t seem to understand our needs.
“We’d had some success using large agencies when recruiting for other consultants, such as HR. However, we were feeling increasingly frustrated with FD recruiters and part-time FD service providers – none of them seemed to listen to our requirements, sending us candidates who didn’t understand remote work, who were very ‘traditional’ in their approach and/or totally out of touch with the latest software / online tools etc. They didn’t take the time to understand our business and they seemed to just send us candidates who were available rather than taking care to select those most suited to our role.”
The benefit of working with a specialist financial recruiter who understands the SME market
What was your experience of working with Artemis Clarke?
“I related to Kate, the founder, much better – she listened to what we were asking for. We had a lovely meeting and I connected with her on a personal level, and in terms of values and culture too. Kate seemed to genuinely want to help us as a company, rather than just place one of her candidates. Kate does take care to listen to what you want and match the candidates to what you’re looking for. And she definitely got it right! The FD we ended up working with is great. The process has been outstanding – absolutely outstanding. I’d award Artemis Clarke 11 out of 10.”
What has been the business impact of working with Artemis Clarke?
“The FD we’ve got has revolutionised our financial planning. Had we not had Myles on board, I think the pandemic would have been quite a different experience for us – he has helped a great deal. From the point of view of understanding where we’re at with the company – he blows us away every time we interact with him. He gets us.
“We’ve achieved amazing results with Myles’ help, he’s incredible. He works three days per month now and goes above and beyond in every possible way. He’s really impressive, and lovely to work with.
“One of our main concerns was finding an FD that was a good cultural fit. Myles feels as though he’s part of the company. He’s fitted in incredibly quickly, he’s a perfect culture fit.”
What did Artemis Clarke do that was particularly helpful?
“Persuaded us to use Myles! At first, we were a little unsure whether Myles was the right candidate. We saw 3 or 4 candidates and we quite liked all of them. Myles wasn’t our first choice – he didn’t fit exactly the box we wanted to fill, but Kate helped us, gently, to see he was going to be the best one for us. I think that’s where the time and care Kate puts into listening pays off. Myles is incredibly efficient and proactive. He was really keen to help out during COVID – he was right there with us.
“Artemis Clarke and Myles have been a delight to deal with from start to finish.”
Artemis Clarke’s take on recruiting a part-time FD…
Culture is as important as financial acumen
It’s been a pleasure to work with Louise and her team. Together, Kyero and Myles are a formidable force and it’s wonderful to see the business achieve the success it deserves.
The culture of SMEs is quite different to bigger businesses, so it’s vital that our clients work with an FD who understands the culture of small and medium enterprises. That doesn’t mean compromising on quality or service, as the relationship between Kyero and Myles demonstrates. To make an impact, your FD has to ‘get it’ – not just by understanding your business and your numbers but also your culture and your aspirations.
This is especially true for businesses operating remotely. Though Kyero was ahead of the remote-working curve, it’s something we’ll see more of post-pandemic. From a personal point of view, remote working has had a big influence on Artemis Clarke and we’re excited to partner with more organisations that embrace remote working in future.
How to get the best FD for your business
As with any commercial decision, it’s vital to recognise what the business needs and who can best support that. Kyero put a lot of thought into where they wanted to take the company and were generous enough to share that with us. As we had such a clear picture of what the end goal was, we were able to hone in on candidates that would be a good fit.
It’s a great rule of thumb for anyone thinking about taking on a part-time FD: the clearer your goals, the greater the chance that your FD can help you achieve them. We offer a Finance Team Diagnostic Session, to help business owners get crystal clear on where they’re going, and how an FD can help.