Ex-Police Officers Jan & Chris broke barriers in their careers – Now they help others to do the same.
In 2021 we introduced you to friends and former police officers Jan Scrutton and Chris Farrell, and the story of their recruitment start-up Careers in Blue.
Jan and Chris served 30 years respectively for Merseyside Police. From being the only policewoman on the section to the first promoted within the department, the inspiring pair broke barriers throughout their career.
After retiring from the force, Jan and Chris found they had itchy feet. They realised that with their unique knowledge of the training and recruitment in the police force, they could guide others through the process and give something back to the profession they loved so much.
In 2021, Careers In Blue was formed. The initial concept was to provide help and support to private clients wishing to get into the police force. Since then, Jan and Chris have shown remarkable adaptability and tenacity in pivoting their offering to suit their market.
Two years (and two books) later, we are thrilled to revisit their story and share their success.
Since we last spoke, how have you grown your business?
At the start of the business, we had clients that had been referred to us from family and friends who knew our skills and knowledge around the recruitment process.
We worked diligently to promote our business via social media – a completely new concept to us. (Jan and Chris undertook business skills training courses with Enterprise Hub Skills via The Women’s Organisation.)
The business began to grow and we were getting more and more clients from across the UK.
You have shown a remarkable agility as business owners, tell us about the changes to your business plan?
We noticed that our clients were mainly students studying Law, Criminology and Public Services both at universities and colleges that had very little help around the police recruitment process.
With this in mind we correlated our workshop books with additional information and advice, around the police recruitment process. This book is called ‘Police Recruitment Start to Finish’ and has been a game changer not only for our private clients but for both university and college students preparing for the recruitment process.
We also noticed that we were getting clients applying for ‘non police officers’ roles – police staff, teachers, local government etc. We then released a second book entitled ‘Application Forms and Structured Interviews’.
Our aims are to see a growth in the purchasing of both books as more people begin to use them and hear about Careers In Blue.
We also offer ‘free services’, namely a weekly chat and email around the recruitment process. This is to capture students from colleges and universities that are provided advice around the recruitment process, more importantly continued support when they leave college and university also new private clients that will pay for our workshops. … and it works!
Were there any particular challenges you faced?
An ongoing challenge is social media – although we are getting much better at it! We have found LinkedIn and Twitter to be our most successful platforms for finding clients.
It was extremely hard work at first as we are not from a ‘business background’. With the help and support from family, friends, business networking groups and The Women’s Organisation we have learned so much over the last 18 months. Business Advisor Paul Rittenberg ensured we were placed on the respective courses to improve our knowledge. We cannot thank him enough.
What advice would you give to someone starting a business?
If you have a dream then go for it. Our mentality is to keep ‘chipping away’ at ideas. We have a ‘business catch up’ meeting every week. This we find works as it gives both of us a clear plan and objective what needs to be done and what we want to achieve.
Starting a business is hard work and you must be prepared to spend a lot of time discussing every process to ensure it meets what you want to achieve.
- Review everything and ensure that the information is current and up to date.
- Make sure that you have a marketing strategy that allows you to keep focused on what your business vision is all about.
- Research your competitors and see what they are doing. What can you do differently?
- Always review your business plan and see what works and what doesn’t. Remember – it’s a flexible document.
Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself, your journey, your business, and your future?
We are proud to say that our success rate is second to none, with a 100% pass rate for the Online Assessment Centre and 96% pass rate for the Police Structured Interviews. Non police interviews have seen a 100% pass rate. The sales from our book have increased by 500% and presentations to colleges so far have hit last year’s target and are increasing month on month.
We feel that we now have credibility within this field from colleges and universities we have worked with. We offer several presentations that suits colleges and universities needs that can be ‘in person’ or ‘online’ that have received excellent feedback from students and lecturers alike.
Fancy a future in the force? Find out more about Careers in Blue via this link: Linktr.ee/careersinblue
You can read our original Careers in Blue case study here.