Back from Bahrain, Barry Prost’s recruitment firm Yala gives SMEs the same capabilities as corporates when it comes to attracting talent.
In 2010, Barry Prost moved to Bahrain and set up a recruitment company with his business partner, Jamie Groom.
Business was booming, but in 2018 the duo and their families decided it was time to return home.
“Back for business gave me valuable mentorship thanks to my Lead Entrepreneur, Brian Crowley, whose positivity was contagious and who always made himself available for queries even outside the ‘core’ hours”
“Myself and my business partner both had young families and the decision to move home was driven by grandparents and getting the kids into the school system in Ireland, which is one of the many things you appreciate about Ireland when you’re away.”
After moving back to Dublin with their families, Barry and Jamie decided to set up a new recruitment company called Yala.ie.
“When we came back to Ireland, I noticed that there had been relatively little innovation in the recruitment industry, that the existing model of companies using 20 agencies to fill their vacancies on a ‘success only’ fee basis was broken and no longer delivering value for the client or the agencies.
“Back for Business gave me the opportunity to meet entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds and get feedback on growing my business”
“We felt there was an opportunity for a new type of recruitment company working on a monthly subscription basis to deliver a recruitment service to SMEs and also provide a service that showcases the company’s brand as an employer.
“Research shows that 86pc of candidates today won’t apply to a company that does not have a strong employer brand. To help start-ups and SMEs compete for talent against large corporates, we produce, publish and host videos, pictures and authentic stories on ‘Yala Connect’ to allow our clients to connect with candidates in a more impactful way.
“There is no other company offering a platform like this specifically for SMEs in Ireland. We provide candidates with a ‘window’ to the company, with an emphasis on videos and pictures, so they can see what it’s really like to work there.”
Making the move
Yala Consult started out with a team of two in 2018 and had grown to 15 by 2019. The impact of Covid-19 meant they had to reduce staffing levels to 10, but the aim is to double the size of the team in 2021. They are also hoping to sign up 100 clients and expand to the UK and Europe.
With three boys under the age of seven, Barry and his wife Ciara appreciate all the extra help they get from their families in Dublin and Barry is also very grateful for the support Yala has received from Back for Business.
“Back for Business gave me valuable mentorship thanks to my Lead Entrepreneur, Brian Crowley, whose positivity was contagious and who always made himself available for queries even outside the ‘core’ hours. Thanks to the regular structured roundtable meetings there was direction and accountability in terms of doing what you said you were going to do.
“Back for Business gave me the opportunity to meet entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds and get feedback on growing my business. The programme is delivered by industry leaders which gives it significant value and legitimacy. Even with the considerable disruption of Covid-19 at the beginning of our cycle, we were able to seamlessly pivot the sessions online.”
Main image at top: Barry Prost, managing partner, Yala.ie
This is the fourth year of the very successful Back for Business developmental programme, which is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Since the call for applications was launched in mid-December by Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora Colm Brophy, TD, there has been great interest in the initiative. To learn more click here
Published: 19 January 2021