Spend five minutes with our Senior Manager, Joseph O'Sullivan

In this "Five minutes with ..." article, we give you the chance to get to know our consultants and how their specialist knowledge and experience can help to support you.

What is your role within Pure?

I’m based in Pure’s Norwich office and I’m responsible for the recruitment of Executive level finance roles across Norfolk, north Suffolk and the Waveney Valley. I specialise in recruiting senior interim and project-based roles including board level CFOs, Financial Directors, Financial Controllers, Finance Managers and Project Accountants. I also have a particularly strong track record in recruiting permanent and interim roles for charities and the public sector. 

What was your career history before joining Pure?

After graduating from the City of Birmingham University in 1986, I quickly joined Rover Cars as a temp in their accounts department. I wanted an immediate job which would help me to start paying off my student overdraft! It was a trip to a recruitment agency which was the start of my career in this field, beginning with a role with a national recruiter based in Birmingham. I then moved to Norwich in 1987 to help this organisation set up a new branch in the city and what was an untested market for them at that point. As one of three employees who set up the office, and built the business, I went on to manage the Norwich and Peterborough offices. I was then asked to go to Dublin to help establish a new business there, where I spent four years setting up and managing the banking and offices teams and growing the accountancy and finance teams. When I moved back to the UK in 2002, I worked in Norwich, Cambridge and Birmingham for three years helping establish Procurement and Supply Chain recruitment for East Midlands and East Anglia. 

When did you join Pure?

Having become disillusioned with the share-price driven focus of my previous organisation, I jumped at the chance to join Pure and to be able to get back to what I felt were the real aims and objectives of successful recruitment consultancy and to what I loved about the work. Pure had been running for three years from our founding office in Cambridge and I was asked to help set up the Norwich office, which was the next to open in 2005. We started out with just four of us working out of one room in a serviced office in the city, specialising in accountancy roles only. Since then the business has grown to over 80 employees, spread across four offices, and we now specialise in Executive, Accountancy, Human Resources, Technology, Marketing and Digital and professional office roles.

What is important to you when working with clients and candidates?

I’ve spent over 30 years working in the recruitment sector, the majority of which has been in Norwich and Norfolk, and I’ve found that a focus on relationships, integrity and personalities are the key. I’m delighted to say that my work has enabled me to develop some great, long-standing relationships which have also gone on to become some of my best friendships. I love being able to make a positive impact on people’s careers, their lives and their businesses. We get an amazing number of referrals and it is always incredibly fulfilling when I hear from customers and clients who have not needed recruitment support for many years but, as soon as they do, they come straight back to us to continue the partnership.

What is your biggest achievement to date at Pure Executive?

It’s satisfying to be able to say that there are too many to mention and that it is really hard to pick out specific highlights. Looking at just some recent examples, my highlights include recruiting a new FD into QMS International a new, private-equity acquired, Norwich-based SME. Plus, with support from JDC, and working with my colleague Jodie Woodrow, running a full campaign to recruit the first FD for Cornwall Insight, a new private equity investment which is now an award-winning, local business. I’ve also been able to successfully recruit a number of high-quality interims who have been able to completely turn around struggling businesses faced with cash, systems and control challenges.

 Joseph O'Sullivan profile picture

Written by

Joseph O'Sullivan

As a Senior Manager in our Norwich office, Joseph has over 30 years’ specialist recruitment experience. He joined Pure in March 2005 and recruits for executive and accountancy roles. He also specialises in partnering with charity and not-for-profit organisations as part of our Pure Executive team.

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