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Starting up with SLR Recruitment Solutions

May 3, 2023

Please tell us about yourself and your company 

 My name is Sarah Roads, and I founded SLR Recruitment five and a half years ago. I decided to start my own business after I’d had my first son. I’ve been in recruitment for 15 years and quickly realised that there was no such thing as flexi-time in the recruitment industry. 

How did you start your business? 

 When I was 19, I joined P&O as a seafarer.  I worked on the fast craft ferries. After that, I moved on to LD Lines.  I did that for eight years. When I came off the ship, I fell into recruitment but quickly navigated myself back into the marine sector.

What are the challenges you have faced so far?

 A key challenge is spinning plates as a working mum. One of the main reasons why I started the business was because I didn’t want to put my children in full-time childcare. Therefore, I wanted to be able to take them to and from school, while still running a very busy business. So that’s certainly a challenge that mentally I have to work on all the time to keep positive because my well-being is very important.

How has the Portsmouth Council’s business support team helped you?

 I came in contact with Kim Pellet from the council’s Economic Development team in the last year or so at a networking event. SLR is attending a lot more of the events that the council are involved in. There are so many business networking events! The council has been sending us invites to events, information, and newsletters, and keeping me informed on what might interest my business. 

We are also part of Shaping Portsmouth and have taken part in their annual conference, their apprenticeship programme, as well as their skills and employability programme. This has opened SLR to more networks. 

What is next for your business? 

 The next step for us is to be able to work together with the local people for the better of the city. We want to do that by really drumming home that we are about local jobs for local people. We want to talk to as many people in the city as possible and want to be known as the number one recruitment agency in Portsmouth. We have a lot of roles in Portsmouth’s dockyard as well as surrounding areas and not necessarily all marine.

We are also open to construction companies, mechanical, and electrical companies. Overall, we are all about growth, local jobs for local people, and connecting with as many people as possible.

What is the most thing to remember as a business owner? 

In my view, the most important thing as a business owner is looking after the team’s well-being and our own mental health. We have got to make sure that we take time out. For me personally, it’s waking up early, it’s exercising, and it’s just keeping myself as positive as I can. Not just for me, but for my team as well as my family. 

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