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Neil Stephenson is set to disrupt with new business, Tetrad

South Tyneside entrepreneur, Neil Stephenson, has launched his much-anticipated first venture following the sale of the Onyx Group last year for £65m.

Tetrad Recruitment Group which will break with convention by only employing people with no previous experience in the recruitment sector, will be an industry disruptor aiming to achieve revenues of £10 million in three years.

The company will focus on sales, marketing and technology, the three areas that Neil has specialised in during his career to date. It will initially concentrate on the North East market but will scale to become a national business.

Neil, 45, said: “Having taken some time out to reflect on and research what the next big thing is for me, I identified a gap in the recruitment market which I aim to fill. Onyx was fundamentally a tech business that we scaled and grew very quickly and I believe that the knowledge and experience I gained in growing that operation can be transferred to other business models, such as the one we have in place for Tetrad.”

While CEO of the Onxy Group from 2006-2016, the business grew annual revenues from £1m to £30m and a headcount that increased from 25 to 180. During that period Neil won Tees Valley Business Executive of the year 2010 and has been listed several times in the Times ‘Fast Track Tech 100’.

Neil said: “Tetrad aims to help businesses recruit sales and marketing staff, something they traditionally have difficulty with. Most businesses are keen to sell and market better, especially with marketing moving more online and the need to grasp digital marketing becoming critical to business success. In the tech market skills are in short supply and as such businesses are keen to work with agencies who can identify and attract unique talent.”

With five staff currently working for Tetrad, the ambition is to have 10 by the year end and 100 in three years as the business rolls out across the UK.

Neil said: “Tetrad has a narrow sector focus and we will be experts in our field. Businesses are weary of recruitment companies sending candidates for job interviews that are not suitable for the role and, in some cases, haven’t even been briefed as to who the client is! We want businesses and candidates to enjoy working with us and to save both parties vital time which is often lost when candidates are blindly sent for interviews. We will have a different culture and model and for that reason we will not employ anyone with a background in recruitment.

“Our goal is to be a disruptor in the sector. Traditionally, recruitment companies have one team that looks after everything but we believe the way forward is to have two separate teams – an internal team focussed on talent identification and an external sales team working with businesses that need talent.”

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