This month we chat with catch up with recruitment boss and chair of BPS Birmingham Future, Rebecca Simkiss
Please introduce yourself?
I am Rebecca Simkiss, co-founder and joint managing director of award-winning recruitment firm SimkissGuy Recruitment. Birmingham born and bred, I’m passionate about supporting city talent and am also chair of BPS Birmingham Future and an ambassador for LoveBrum charity.
What does your company do?
SimkissGuy Recruitment is an independent office support and graduate recruitment consultancy based in the Colmore Business District. We work with a range of clients from professional services and SMEs to iconic local arts-based organisations.
Is Brum a good place to do business?
Definitely! It’s such a diverse and dynamic place. I’ve been working in Colmore Business District for 12 years and am amazed at how much it’s evolved during that time. I also believe it’s the people that make it such a good place to do business. Most are really supportive and keen to encourage positive growth. That’s one of the reasons SimkissGuy founded our four Colmore Clubs, to give people the chance to connect and build their own networks of contacts within the city.
What are your biggest gripes with it?
I don’t believe we’re good enough at banging our own drum on a national scale. The recent architectural and retail developments have helped but I think many overlook the amazing things being done by organisations such as LoveBrum, BPS Birmingham and the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). With the expansion at Birmingham Airport we’re now competing with a global market, so we need to get better at not only shouting about our successes but also looking at ways in which we can all better collaborate.
How do you feel your clients see the city?
With a number of head offices relocating here and strong social, retail and cultural offerings we’re interviewing more and more people from across the UK looking to make a permanent move to Birmingham. They see it as a dynamic and highly progressive place to do business.
Does Birmingham offer any particular advantages as a destination for business?
We have five fantastic universities and a plethora of outstanding colleges on our doorstep. These bring a huge wealth of talented young people into the city with many choosing to stay and work after they graduate. As chair of Future, I’ve recently launched the Future Mentoring Academy to connect students and young professionals with senior leaders within the city.
What should our priorities be as a city?
Birmingham is evolving at an incredible pace and we must continue and build on the great work already started. Good examples of this are developing an atmosphere of collaboration between existing initiatives and supporting new business growth, and the continued investment in infrastructure. We also need to create a real sense of civic pride.
If you had £1bn to spend on improving Brum what would you do with it?
Continue building on the street cleaning initiatives the BIDs have begun – it helps to create a sense of pride among the people who work here. Anyone who knows me knows that I love my shoes and there’s nothing more frustrating than tripping on uneven pavements! On a more serious note, I would also continue investment in creating a transport system to be proud of – enabling people to move around the city easier – whatever their footwear!