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In The Spotlight With Matthew Ord From KMS Partners

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Tell Us About Your Role At KMS Partners

I am the director of business development, sounds great, right? Well actually it’s a lot better than that. I play golf very badly for a living and, as the girls would say, “he just schmoozes with clients”

How Did The Business Start?

 We all slept together…………………true story, I headed up the CEO Sleepout 3 years ago, we all met there. I knew Keith Miller from ECCO Finishing and I had previously worked for Melissa Thompson for a short while back in 2008. Melissa was effectively looking for some support to set up her own business and I knew that Keith was looking for investment opportunities, marriage made in heaven, right? It was just perfect timing for everyone involved. At this time, I was working at the North East Chamber of Commerce, effectively dealing with the region's exporters. Mel asked me to join the business very early on but in her words “She couldn’t afford me” ……. After a couple of months of running the business, Keith called and between them they persuaded me that the time was right for me to come in and take development to the next level.

What Are The Biggest Challenges To The Business?


We have had a fantastic first year and even made some money. This year looks even better and we are absolutely flat out, so we do struggle to find time to look at the bigger picture as a result. We're a small team. Bringing in new staff is a challenge as we have known each other for a combined 20 years, so we know each other’s strength and areas where we need support. Between us we are so focused and driven it will ultimately be someone similar that joins us.  We know what we want from an individual and it’s a big ask.

Growing is a great position to be in but you have to commit time to new starters and that luxury is difficult to come by when every day is relentlessly busy.

What Are The Biggest Achievements For the Business?

Knowing our clients love what we do in pursuit of perfection. We don’t have to talk about how “different” we are, clients just get it.

Continually striving for bigger and better, we never rest on our principles, we don’t have sectors at KMS we are “Client Specific”. This means we will do what it takes to ensure our clients get the right result and we give candidates the right role with the right business at the right time in their life. We are not like others at all, recruitment is a terrible industry, lots of recruiters not doing what’s necessary and ultimately that makes some companies look at other options aside from recruitment 

What Did You Want To Be When You Were At School?


Then I realised that I was only good at smashing a ball really hard and taking people down, maybe I should have taken up Rugby or American Football.

P.S. I’ve not given up the hope at 37 and if my body can start to do what my mind thinks on the pitch I think I can still make it.

What Was Your First Job?

I cleaned cars at South Cleveland Garages during the 6 weeks’ holidays during my last 2 years at school. I was paid £80 per week for working 6 days a week doing a 12-hour shift, cleaning cars. I loved the money but I was destined to use my natural people skills rather than display my terrible manual labour abilities.

What Job Would You Like To Have Other Than Your Own & Why?

Estate Agent – No idea why. They work weekends and late nights and the wages are terrible. Something about showing people round their dream house and making the deals excites me.

Everyone says to me I have the best job in the world and if I ever leave they want my job. I know I’m very lucky and I take nothing for granted.


What Do You Love Most About Working In The North East?

The people – I like to think I work hard and treat others like I would like to be treated. I have always been direct and I find business people really appreciate this approach. I am a proud Middlesbrough man, I never say I am from Teesside or Tees Valley or the North East “I am Matthew from Middlesbrough” and I’m ferociously proud of that.

Being from Middlesbrough is like having an ugly sister, I’m ok to call her ugly but if someone else does I’m likely to be less than happy. Same goes with this magnificent town we live in.

What Do You Love Most About Living In The North East?


Business is full of it and the people are too. Go to London for the day, you will soon return.

What Do You Do In Your Down Time Away From The Office?

I sit in my front room with no phone, TV or laptop on and do nothing. I don’t think, I don’t ponder, I don’t talk………….I simply sit and do nothing for maybe 10-15 minutes. Today’s world is constant, everything is available 24/7 and the pleasure of doing nothing is nicer for me.

I also play golf, football and I enjoy playing games with the family. We’re a very competitive family, it’s sometimes very tense.

What’s Your Number One Piece Of Advice For Anyone In Business?

Listen, but always make your own decision. I am a big believer in advice and questioning people but I will always make my own decisions. If they are wrong I will live with it, but if I am influenced by people and the decision ends up being the wrong one I will be more annoyed.


I did it my way.


Would you like to take part in our 'In The Spotlight' series? If you think you stand out from the crowd please email us with the following information:

Your full name, the business or charity in which you are involved and why you would like to take part.

If selected we will be in touch to interview.