Nick Barker

Co-founder and Director

Sector: Network Engineering

Established: 2014


Core reasons for joining Sonovate:

  • Ease of setup: very simple process to fund contractors without any pain
  • Invoice profit released: evaluated Sonovate against two other products, one we looked at only released 70%
  • Time saving: process to fund placements is very straightforward
  • Enables us to scale: we’ve been in business five years and have only just taken someone on who’s dedicated to operations
  • Shared vision: we align ourselves with businesses that are in a similar growth phase and share the same vision
  • Cash flow: when you work for big businesses, you hit targets, get paid commission and don’t think about what happens next. When you run your own business, people rarely pay you on time! Then you’ve got VAT, NI, payroll, all other financial elements to consider. From a balance sheet, you can look great from one position but unforgiving form another

My business partner, George Barnes and I founded Hamilton Barnes in 2014, with the core objective to be the leading network engineering recruitment consultancy.

With a number of years experience in the contract recruitment space at large recruitment businesses, we knew exactly what we would need from finance and support to scale our business.

We shortlisted Sonovate against two other products, evaluating each provider against speed to set up, time to process and cash released into the business. Sonovate outperformed the rival products in all aspects.

However, a key reason that sold us on Sonovate was the similarities between our businesses. Both companies were at an early stage in their journey, hungry to scale quickly and had a shared ambition

Key elements we enjoy from Sonovate include:

Simple functionality: the placement process you go through in Sonovate is very similar to what many recruiters with contract experience will be familiar with

Visibility: everyone in the team has their own account to add and manage their placement cycle. From a business owners perspective, the dashboard gives us visibility of business performance, placements, contracts, timesheets, credit and payments

Efficiency: making multiple placements with the same client is really simple. No need to rekey information, just add the placement and get going

Scalable: Sonovate’s product solves startup pain-points and has enough flexibility to scale as we grow our business

As Hamilton Barnes continues to scale, our relationship with Sonovate is continually evolving. We’re now at 22 heads, with ambition to reach 35 by 2020. A bigger team increases our funding and process requirements

We look to Sonovate to continue developing their product to keep pace with the industry and regulatory changes. Key areas for Hamilton Barnes as we scale are risk, reporting and increased connectivity to our CRM and account software to speed up placement to funding cycle.

Today, Hamilton Barnes has achieved a record year (44% increase on 2018) and are set to grow our UK and international business further over 2019/20. We’re evaluating physical presence in east coast of U.S. or mainland Europe

Our first five years with Sonovate has been really good. As both businesses continue to expand, we look forward to working with Sonovate to provide input and bring ideas to life.