SDW Recruitment Ltd was founded in August 2002 by the current owner & Director Steve Wyeth. Steve at the time was only 23 years of age, with the company’s first office being on slightly bigger than a broom cupboard in Currie House, Western Docks – which unfortunately got knocked down a few years ago.
The SDW story, so far – told by Steve himself….
Prior to starting SDW, on leaving college I accidently fell into shipping after applying for a Trainee Dock Runner Role with Allport Freight in Southampton (now of course Allport Cargo Services). Those too young to remember, the role of the Dock Runner was to lodge Customs entries, both Route 1 and 3 within the timeout period (or there would be hell to pay!) at the Long Room at Customs House. I still remember the almighty bang the time stamp machine made to this day. A Dock Runner would also drive around the Port and Shipping Lines, lodging Bills of Lading & Phase 1 Removal Notes – along with other duties such as picking up sandwiches, newspapers, cigarettes and anything else the guys back in the office wanted. I thought this was a fantastic job, and still look back with fond memories and with plenty of stories I could share, but probably best not.
After showing initiative & enthusiasm, I was promptly promoted to Trainee Import Customs Entry Clerk, where I was trained in all aspects of Customs entries, tariff classification & various Customs procedures. From there I progressed to Senior Freight Forwarder level. where I handled a number of large retail key accounts.
From Allport, I joined Jardine Logistics (now Toll Global Forwarding) as a Senior Import Freight Forwarder, managing again a number of key accounts, from origin to final destination.
What became clear at both companies, was the difficulty the managers were having when recruiting. The managers would engage with a number of recruitment agencies, mostly generalists – they would come in, not really understand what the company did and then send completely irrelevant CVs. If a candidate was a keen canoeist, this to them was shipping experience, and they felt that they had found the one!
Then came the light bulb moment – I could offer a much better service, fully understanding what the different shipping & freight companies did and what experience each role required – SDW Recruitment was born!
Then on the first Monday morning of trading back in August 2002, the penny dropped – I had started a specialist recruitment company with, okay yes, a wealth of shipping & freight forwarding experience, but no actual recruitment experience and never having ever recruited anyone directly or indirectly! I don’t think many gamblers would of backed me back then.
From the very first day, I wanted to ensure that SDW offered something different. I wanted SDW to stand clear from all the other recruitment agencies, not just by the fact we specialised solely in shipping & logistics and had previous industry expertise – but in the way we operated , the core values behind the business and what we stood for.
Honesty – Professional – Approachable – No Hard Sell – I wanted SDW to be seen as an extension of our clients business – a trusted recruitment partner. This is still our core values today. We are here for the long-term. We want to build long lasting relationships, and not looking for that quick, short-term win.
Our aim is also to provide a fresh approach to the way we communicate & treat our candidates. A lot of recruitment companies provide a really poor candidate experience. At SDW we strive to be different – we aim to provide regular updates, feedback, offer friendly & honest advice. whilst providing a full pro-active, tailored & confidential service. After all, a recruitment company is only as good as their candidates!
Since our inception back in 2002, SDW has steadily grown over the last 14 years and is now recognised as one of the leading specialist recruiters to the shipping & logistics industry. We have established excellent & trusted working relationships with the majority of Shipping Lines, Freight Forwarders & Supply Chain Solution companies. We also work with a number of Transport & Distribution companies, Importers & Exporters and Fulfilment Centres. Plus we are currently establishing ourselves as the ‘go to recruiter’ with many of the local Port & Vessel Operators, Commercial Marine and Maritime companies.
In 2008 we opened our Felixstowe office, which has grown considerably over the last 8 years, and we are now recognised as the ‘go to’ recruiter in Felixstowe & Ipswich for the shipping & freight forwarding industry. I am certainly looking forward to building the brand further in Felixstowe over the coming years.
This year (2015), we have also developed a specialist Transport & Distribution division, that specialises in transport, logistics, distribution & warehousing roles within Hampshire, from demand planners, goods in / out, warehouse managers & stock control etc… This division is growing fast, in the main due to our flexibility in the services we can offer. We listen to our clients and mould a service around their requirement, albeit our full sourcing service, a database search or our fixed fee solution – eRecruit. We understand that every clients requirement & budget is different, and we always aim to present a solution that is a win-win for everyone.
I am very much looking forward to the future and taking SDW to the next level of expansion. We have a great team & we are fortunate enough to work with great clients and place fantastic candidates.
As we head into 2017, we are entering our 15th year in business, in which we are very proud of and I feel this goes some way to show our commitment & passion for logistics.
I am always happy to discuss anything shipping / logistics, or recruitment related or a combination of both. Please do not hesitate to contact me either at the office on 023 8033 6633 or by email email@example.com or connect with me on LinkedIn by clicking on the below logo.
Founder & Director