Welcome to the fourth in the series of our Meet the Team features, this time focussing on Senior Partner Byron Beatty. Byron sat down with friend of Drayton Chris Rickaby, and talked proudly about his Gaelic roots, idyllic rural lifestyle and his passion for divining exactly what makes the perfect team.
If you’ve ever seen John Ford’s classic film, The Quiet Man, you’d recognise Byron immediately. Or, at least, think you did. As he sits down amongst the polished steel and chrome of Drayton’s city centre meeting room Beatty looks, every inch of him, a quintessential Irish gentleman. Even though he is, in fact, English it’s hard not to feel he’s just walked in off the set of Ford’s movie; only moments after falling into a little light conversation, inside Pat Cohan’s bar, with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. No surprise then that, it turns out as we talk, his family has strong Gaelic roots. His grandmother ran a bar just off Newcastle’s Scotswood Road – once famous for having more pubs per mile than any other single street in the world – where she served pints to some of the 20,000 men who worked at Lord Armstrong’s nearby armament factory.‘Sometimes there were fights, she told me, of course there were. But my Irish grandad had been a boxer in the army, so most times just the sight of him rolling up his sleeves was enough to put a stop to them.’
‘In a way you ended up in the family profession then?’ I ask. He smiles at the question. ‘Yes, I suppose you could say that.’ Byron started off in marketing at Scottish and Newcastle Breweries before moving on to Coors and then Red Bull in a national sales role. A job he was passionate about. ‘I really loved building the sales teams there. I’m motivated by putting people together and developing the culture to make things happen – creating a unique team chemistry. I suppose, in the end, that’s what drew me into recruitment. And I’m still focussed on the drinks industry. It’s undergone a real renaissance in the last five years. Almost every category has seen dynamic change. Been revolutionised by innovative disruptors like BrewDog and Fever Tree. ’
Now a senior partner at Drayton, specialising in the consumer goods sector, his eyes light up with enthusiasm as he continues to talk about teambuilding. ‘I am fascinated by motivation and the potential impact people can have on organisations,’ he says. ‘What I truly love about executive search is trying to crack the cultural fit for a company. Find the very best person for the job – always looking at values, always looking at character. Is there a true synergy between the candidate and the client? That’s the way to get exceptional people on the short list. And the way to make the list, itself, exceptional.’
When not working, Byron lives with his wife and two children in Rothbury, a picturesque Northumberland village not entirely unlike Cong, County Mayo, where Ford filmed The Quiet Man. He loves to cycle out into the surrounding countryside, ‘riding for miles on the Otterburn ranges,’ and, occasionally, finishing up with ‘a cold beer amongst friends’ in the Newcastle House, a favourite local pub. ‘I really enjoy being part of the village,’ he says, ‘part of a small community. At the moment I’m trying to organise the building of a cycle park for the local kids which is really rewarding.’
So, there he is then, Byron Beatty. A true family man who likes to help his rural neighbours and gets ‘excited about a selection brief and being able to pass that excitement on to others.’ One word of caution though. If his Irish grandfather is anything to go by, it may be wise to take a small step backward if you ever see him rolling his sleeves up.
With special thanks to Chris Rickaby January 2018