29th January 2021
The last year has been an interesting one for us all. While the pandemic has had an impact on how we all live and work, it hasn’t hindered contractor management services demand. In fact, in the last 12 months we’ve seen a real increase in enquiries from recruitment agencies looking to ensure contractor compliance is maintained in overseas markets.
And with this uptick in demand comes a number of changes within the 6CATS International team.
Promotions in light of contractor management services demand
We’re really pleased to announce a number of well-deserved promotions in the team. Amy Dunn – who has been with the company since 2010 – has been promoted to Operations Director, while Stefanie Cook will now take on a Sales Director role following several successful years leading business development for the organisation.
And with demand growing for compliance consulting services, through 6CATS’ latest venture, 6CATSPRO, Jon Clarke has also taken on the role of Group Compliance Director for 6CATS International and MD of 6CATSPRO. In this new position, Jon will utilise his 20+ years’ tax compliance experience to support the provision of consultative services to UK recruitment agencies working internationally.
Kirsty Henning, who joined the team in 2014 as Finance Director, will take on the role of Group CFO and will work closely with Michelle Reilly, CEO, to grow the 6CATS footprint across Europe and the rest of the world.
An interview with our new Operations Director
At 6CATS we value every member of the team and provide them with the best possible chance to really progress and excel their career. And who better to explain how beneficial this approach can be than our own Amy Dunn who joined us straight out of school.
We spoke to Amy about her journey with 6CATS:
Where did the 6CATS journey start for you?
For me it all started at school. I was 16, I’d just finished my GCSE’s and I was looking for a job over the summer holidays. I posted on Facebook and my uncle commented to say that his friend (Michelle) may have some admin work that I could do. So, I pulled together my CV, sent it over and within a few days Michelle called and offered me a four-week work experience role. My original intention had been to work the summer holidays and then go to Sixth Form to study childcare – or at least that’s what I thought would happen!
And you hadn’t even worked in an office before joining us – what was the experience like for you?
I was really excited. I hadn’t had the experience of being in an office or even working. I’ll admit, I did have high expectations. I’d only seen a work environment on TV so I had this picture in my head of these amazing big spaces and brilliant views.
I’ll admit that on my first day I was a bit surprised. It wasn’t what I expected – you didn’t have the views, you had what everyone experiences in a normal office – I just didn’t know that was the case at the time. But I loved the work itself. I was so pleased to have the responsibility to do set tasks and learn in a professional setting. It was a great environment and I enjoyed having that opportunity to essentially be a responsible adult.
It was a real contrast to the environment I was used to. I went from being at school to contributing to a team in an office and having my own responsibilities and I absolutely thrived on it. I just knew once I had the experience that I didn’t want to go back to school – I wanted to keep working and develop my career within the company.
Talk us through how your progression – how did you go from four weeks’ work experience to Operations Director ten years later?
To be honest, it still blows my mind when we talk about it! I started in a basic admin role and then when I realised that I didn’t want to go back to school, Michelle offered me a position on the Contractor Care team under an apprenticeship role. After a year of my apprenticeship, I then became a full-time member of the team.
As part of my Contractor Care role I spent time speaking to and looking after our contractors on a day-to-day basis regarding payments, timesheets and anything else they needed help with. My role then progressed to manage my own Contractor Care team where I still had the day-to-day involvement with contractors, but also oversaw the team myself.
I really enjoyed my role and loved the opportunity that’d I’d been given, but around 2017 Michelle approached me and asked me if I’d be interested in a sales role. If I’m honest, at the time I was nervous and apprehensive as it was something I’d never been involved in before. But I had reached my limit in my position at the time. I’d done what I could in Contractor Care and I wanted to progress through the company so it made sense for me to continue to another team. I was working with the Contractor Care team for seven years and I wanted a new challenge and new goals to push myself further.
My main responsibility within the sales role was to speak to the internal contractor referrals. Where we’ve got the business development team generating referrals, it was my job to speak to the contractor, give them the full outline of our services and ultimately sign them up with 6CATS International.
The transition was quite a leap because you really had to pick up a lot more knowledge on the solutions and the countries we operate in.
And what about the company, what have you learnt over the years about 6CATS?
I’d say the biggest thing I’ve learnt is the fantastic progression opportunities that are available for everyone. There’s always the chance to do and learn more. As a company we always look at our existing people before we look to fill roles externally. We make sure that we don’t already have someone with the right skills or motivation before we look elsewhere – and that really does include everyone. If it means someone needs to be moved across then that’s what we do. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the opportunities that Michelle and 6CATS offered me.
As you’ve gone through your career, how has your ambition changed?
When I first started at 16 I didn’t think I‘d still be here now let alone as Operations Director. I’ve always wanted to progress but it’s definitely been the last couple of years where I’ve focused on really developing myself and aimed for that senior management role.
How has the company changed over the years?
We’ve had a lot of change – including a management buy-out and subsequent name change. And that did lead to a restructure of the company. But we have also had some people come and go and we’ve moved offices which was a real welcome change for me. We’ve now got the big open space and loads of windows I first dreamed about! But there are still the distinguishing features that made it special from day one, in particular how caring it is as a company. We really are a family. Everyone looks after each other and that will never change.
What about the future – what does it hold for 6CATS?
I just want us to continue to be as successful as we’ve been. We’ve won awards in the past and I want us to continue to build our contractor and agency base and keep providing amazing service to our agencies and their international contractors.
If you want to find out more about the 6CATS International team, contact us today.