Kate Baird and Jo van Riemsdijk founded CX Talent Ltd in 2012 as a specialist Customer Experience recruitment agency.
Kate and Jo are childhood friends and as they both wanted to build a business that fitted around their young families, CX Talent was born. As our families have grown, so has our business, and we feel very lucky to work in such a vital, interesting and fast growing sector.
We were drawn to the idea of starting our company for a variety of reasons. We realised we couldn’t have jobs we loved as well as daily commutes if wanted to be reliable for our families. Our original idea had been to draw from the pool of talent who, like us, needed to create a balance away from the traditional 9 to 5. We also recognised that working for yourself brings its own rewards!
We came to Customer Experience after a request from a contact at a large Canary Wharf based bank to find a team of CX Directors. While we didn’t know what that involved, we were intrigued when we quickly realised that neither did their HR team.
We decided to find out more – we researched the sector, talked to many practitioners across different sectors, and finally decided to specialise in this wide ranging and growing space.
Jo’s excellent memory for small detail comes into play during client briefings. An ability to recall relevant conversations with candidates means that between them Jo and Kate usually have at least two or three people in mind as soon as they’ve been briefed about a role.
Frank and straight-talking, but also approachable, warm and reliable, we work to form strong working relationships with both candidates and clients, who are often one and the same.
We have had the chance to talk to a huge range of clients and candidates all with the Customer Experience mindset at the core. CX people are creative, tenacious problem-solvers whether they come to the space from Customer Service, Marketing, Operations or UX, and have consistently been a pleasure to work with.
We care about doing a good job for our clients. We care about our candidates and want to make sure – whether we place them or not – that they are given the very best advice and support to secure their next role.
Following rapid expansion we consult and recruit for blue-chip companies across a wide span on sectors including financial services, utilities, charity, consultancies, retail and aviation.
We now advise and represent some of the brightest and most successful talent in the CX world.
We enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of helping our candidates develop careers championing customers across the UK.
With over twenty years of sales, account and general management, marketing and operational experience, we are both completely committed to developing CX Talent Ltd as a vital resource for this exciting sector.
In Jo’s words “the bigger highlight of my career has been launching a successful business with an old and very dear friend. When I say old, I don’t mean she’s ancient, I mean I’ve known her since we were about eleven.”
Coffee. School run. More coffee. Then the first call of the day between us to discuss the daily plan. There is sometimes a bit of gossip and perhaps a topical debate as we put the world to rights. Then on to calls, emails, CVs and precis to clients. Soup for lunch. Dog walk sometimes with a husband who may be working from home. School pickup followed by more emails and calls. Dinner with family and perhaps a glass of viognier or rhubarb gin.
LIFE BEFORE CX TALENT
Jo van Riemsdijk
Following sales management and Account Management roles at the Image Bank and ITN, Jo became Business Development Director of The Profile Group for five years after being Head of Account Management for 3 years.
She successfully headed up and developed the sales, marketing and commercial operations of the business. Leading a team of 18, Jo was responsible for formulating and implementing sales and marketing strategies. She also introduced processes and procedures to successfully increase new business sales and improve client retention and sales year on year. She then left to join The Bridgeman Art Library as Head of UK Sales and successfully made the UK operation more commercial, efficient and profitable before starting a family. She founded CX Talent with Kate Baird in 2012.
Kate started her career in theatre marketing working for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, becoming Marketing Manager at the Playhouse Theatre before moving into Event Production for Mask Entertainments. In this role she designed, budgeted, sold and produced high profile and large-scale events for blue chip, entertainment and private clients. She then returned to theatre as director of Guy Chapman Associates, a role that concluded with the merger of the agency with Target Media Group. Kate then managed the Arts Theatre in the West End for Kingdom Entertainment Group and ran a series of large scale concert events at Historic Palaces across the UK. Since starting her family she continued to work as an independent theatre producer, presenting a UK tour of a children’s show Book It and a series of celebrity interviews called Face to Face at the Arts Theatre, before founding CX Talent in 2012 with Jo Van Riemsdijk.