The Ri5 profile: Neil Walsh, Crunch Simply Digital

The Ri5 profile: Neil Walsh, Crunch Simply Digital

Neil Walsh is director at Crunch Simply Digital, where he helps organisations to navigate their way through the world of online media. A well-known face who has worked in the recruitment industry for years, he might also sort you out with a bit of beef if you ask nicely…

How did you first get into the industry?

I left university, returned to my home at the time – Warwick, and got myself a job for a regional newspaper. I then began working as an advertising manager, dealing with sales, page planning and print for an HR magazine called Management Skills and Development and then decided to make my move to London. I got a job at in January 2000, where I stayed for six years, and which is where I would say my digital recruitment career properly began.

Would you do the same again?

Yes, I can’t change it!

What would you do if you didn’t do this?

Something in the countryside.

Who are your favourite people from the industry?

Probably Ray Coking. I met with Ray at a Penna event in December and after not seeing him for about ten years, was reminded of how much of a legend he his. His years in recruitment at different ad agencies has contributed to his wealth of knowledge about the industry. He manages to balance his expertise with an approachable, holistic manner. Seeing Ray also reminded me of how long I’ve been in the industry (although I’m not as old as Ray!).

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?

Be yourself.

And what piece of advice would you give somebody starting out in the sector?

Set yourself clear goals and don’t sell out your values. Recruitment is transparent and people can recognise hard working people.

What’s your favourite recruitment ad?

Penna’s Aldi advert.

And what’s your favourite non-recruitment ad?

I love the Peter Kay John Smith’s series of adverts…have it!

You’re entertaining industry contacts. Where do you take them, and why?

Back in the early 00’s while working for and having access to a corporate AMEX, it was always Hakkasan. Nowadays as it comes out of my own pocket – McDonalds! Although I do love Hawksmoor and it’s generally the venue I would take clients to for a lunch.

What are you reading at the moment?

I don’t really do books, just read everything online nowadays.

And what are you listening to?

My business partner Richard Purvis’s Spotify Playlist – not the best taste in music... 

Which five guests would you invite to your ideal dinner party?

Keith Floyd, Sir David Attenborough, Jonathan ‘Jiffy’ Davies, Adam Henson, the old man.

What are your top three films?

Twin Town, Zulu, Pride.

Something or someone for Room 101?

Plastic rugby fans.

What items do you never leave home without?

A tidy attitude and manners.

What’s your biggest achievement – career or otherwise?

Working for the last eight years with Richard Purvis on the slowest start-up ever and finally biting the bullet and getting real-life offices two years ago - subsequently growing from a team of three to 14 full-time plus retained consultants. I’m extremely proud of Crunch. Key to that is the hardworking people who contribute to Crunch’s development and achievements – did I say I was proud?

Who’s your biggest hero, and why?

Terry Holmes, he took over from Gareth Edwards as the Welsh scrum half (my position) and was hard as nails.

What is your ideal holiday?

Somewhere with plenty of shade or below 25 degrees

Three words to describe yourself?

Welsh, proud and driven

Your best and worst habits?

Being me…

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Not guilty!

What single fact would surprise people the most about you?

I have a pedigree herd of Welsh black cattle and other beef cattle -121 in total.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

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