Tom Morris

Helping TDM Achieve 83% Growth In Net Fee Income Within 15 Months

Tom Morris


TDM Recruitment Group was formed by Managing Director Tom Morris in 2009 and is a leading recruitment name in the residential built construction sector.

Tom started the business having enjoyed 4 years of success at a specialist niche search firm in the house building industry; then the recession hit. While many recruiters may have considered walking away from recruitment at that time, Tom decided he would set up TDM from his kitchen table and grew the business to £330k within 3 years with a team of 4 Consultants; which during a recession is no mean feat.

At the time Tom regarded the business as a ‘lifestyle’ business which afforded him an enjoyable
life with an ‘ok’ income. However, by 2013 things were not going so well for TDM Recruitment and it was around this time that Tom reconnected with Nicky Coffin whom he first met in 2010.

By early 2014 TDM Recruitment almost folded due to the impact of one employee, to the point where Tom became ill due the to the stress of the situation.

Having speedily regained his health Tom decided to get the business back on its feet. In the late summer of 2014 Tom decided that if he was going to rebuild and grow the business, it could no longer be a lifestyle business and in fact he no longer wanted this. Tom’s desire was to become a professional (almost corporate) style organisation. A company that he would want to work for himself and not one that was just financially successful. Yet Tom knew from recent past experience that he couldn’t do this alone and needed help. In the late summer of 2014, Tom started working with Nicky Coffin and Centredexcellence.


As a result of that first conversation with Nicky Coffin the agreed solution was for Tom to join the six month Become a Great Recruitment Manager Training Programme . This involved a combination of workshops, online learning and 1:1 coaching calls with Nicky.

As a result of attending the monthly training Tom returned to the office and implemented his learnings from each workshop which were as follows:

  • Moved away from working every job to adopting an approach where jobs were prioritised according to potential using the Centredexcellence system. Tom’s first task was to disregard 70% of the jobs on his desk the day he returned from his first training day as he realised his current approach wouldn’t work long term.
  • Having implemented the above approach in the last quarter of 2014 and demonstrated success, Tom’s team adopted the same approach to working jobs with coaching and support from Tom.
  • A key factor in the growth of the business was that Tom needed to recruit a team around him to take his recruitment work load, enabling him to focus on growing the business rather than being the ‘star’ billing manager.As the business was based in Canterbury and Tom couldn’t afford to recruit experienced head hunters and recruiters, and on the advice of Nicky he set up a trainee academy.
  • While it has taken 9 months, two academy recruits have taken over responsibility for Toms
    billing assignments.
  • A career development path has been introduced for managers and those who desire to maintain a billing career path.
  • Two managers have been internally appointed to support the team of consultants.
  • A performance managements system has been introduced so all Consultants have
    KPI’s, and are supported to achieve them with weekly and monthly reviews.
  • Consultants have been trained to understand and work with KPI’s. Twelve months ago no one including Tom really paid attention to their numbers. Today everyone knows their figures and when they are having a good week or not and importantly the figures tell them why not.
  • Despite originally thinking coaching was ‘mumbo jumbo’, Tom embraced the idea of coaching and managing his team as individuals. He learnt to coach, empower and trust his team members.
  • Tom invested time understanding the individual strengths and motivations of his team and subsequently developed an organisation structure that allows opportunities for everyone to develop.
  • While team members are eligible to bonus based on their achievements against targets, the last 6 months have seen the introduction of individual and team incentives to drive activities and behaviour. With monthly awards or employee of the month.

Due to rapid expansion and to ensure the same small group don’t win everything, a team incentive system has also been introduced that includes non-billing staff. Here teams can earn and lose points for a variety of activities with a vouchers, a team away day and even an evening out is available for the winning team.

If you have a business that has yo yo billings and your team are not billing at the level you do
and you are frustrated that the business isn’t growing how you want then I would recommend the Become a Great Recruitment Manager Training Programme.
You will have the business you want if you do what Nicky says. If you take on board what is right for you and your business, you will end up with the company that you want provided you go with an open mind.
Nicky is a genuine person and talks plain language which I like. She doesn’t tell you how to spend your money or what to do, but makes you consider the choices that you make and whether they are right for your business. At times Nicky was quite frank and sometimes disagreed and I appreciated her directness and being challenged. When you own your own business you aren’t used to people standing up to you.
Thе words ‘debt’ and ‘gratitude’ come to mind when I think about what Nicky has done for me and the TDM Group. She is one of the 5 most influential people in my life. Without a shadow of a doubt I would never be where we are now, I think I’d still be churning along as Tom’s merry band of men.

The Challenge:

To develop a leading built environment niched professional and corporate niched recruitment company. The key objectives were:

  • To create a culture and company that Tom would want to work for
  • To grow a business that was financially stable and avoided Yo-Yo billings
  • To develop a professional rather than lifestyle business


The Outcome:

  • In 2013 the business turnover was £281k up from £237k in 2012. By the end of 2014 the business grew to £511k; 60% of those billing were Toms and the team at this point was Tom plus 4 Consultants.
  • In 2015 Tom set a goal of £1m. After only 15 months of working with Nicky Coffin, the business grew to £935k and TDM now has 12 billers, this will increase to 16 by the end of May 2016.
  • Tom has a support team in place comprising a PA and marketing manager.
  • The company has undergone a major rebrand and launched an innovate new website, continuing to invest in marketing and public relations.
  • A new contracting division has been set up including the recruitment of a Head of Contracting. This division has generated a £100k of fees on the board in 6 weeks.
  • Two new divisions are the next priority.
  • A fully developed 8-12-week training programme with accompanying manual. This means that new team members can be trained without the involvement of Tom. The team all know the milestones that new recruits are required to meet.
  • As a result of its rapid growth, the company has taken over 3500 square feet of new office space to accommodate their planned continued growth.
  • Nine months ago, 80% of Toms time was invested in billing. Today his sole focus is on running and developing the TDM Recruitment Group with two stars from the Academy
    having taken over all his billing responsibilities.

Transform Your Business and Your Results!

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Following on from Nicky’s course, my team increased their results by 84% – and extra £320k. One of the things Nicky suggested completely transformed my pipeline of new business. This year, we have increased our sales again by 38%. The main reason for this increase in billings is going on Nicky’s course. It was great to be in an environment which encouraged the sharing of best practices, taught me how to plan strategically, how to train members of my team and how (and what) to delegate.

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