“Always be yourself and have confidence in who you are.” 60 Seconds With: Lynda Barnes, Managing Director of 360 Search

60 Seconds With, Business | Tue 6 Nov | Author – Business & Finance
Lynda Barnes, Managing Director of 360 Search

Lynda Barnes, Managing Director of 360 Search takes on the Business & Finance 60-second interview challenge.


Q. What was your first job?

My first paid job was working in a family friend’s tearooms. I took up the mantle of sandwich maker and ate more tuna cheese melts than I care to remember for an hourly rate of £3.75.

Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

Setting up a recruitment firm in 2010, in the midst of an economic recession with a 14% unemployment rate. More recently, to have secured investment from Dragon’s Den star, James Caan – a serial entrepreneur and highly revered business mogul in the world of recruitment. 360 Search actually represents James’ first investment in Ireland, as part of a growth strategy to develop post-Brexit business opportunities in Ireland.

Q. In three words or fewer, how do you define success?

Secure, proud and content.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Always be yourself and have confidence in who you are. My Mother has always instilled a sense of self-confidence and self-worth and I think this is why she herself is such a keen negotiator – I learned from the best! As a result of a strong sense of self that I’ve cultivated over the years, I am never afraid to seize opportunities or, indeed, walk away from business that does not suit our business.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your team?

I listen. Listening is so important when it comes to working as a team and also taking the time to understand what is being said, which by rights should go hand-in-hand but quite often don’t. By listening and understanding each of my team member’s needs – whether it be personal, financial or simply be a chat over a coffee on a day that has been unkind – I can better relate to shaping an individual approach to keeping them motivated.

Q. If you could step into the shoes of one business person for the day, who would it be and why?

I would love the opportunity to step into the shoes of Airbnb founders – Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia. As an entrepreneur myself, I admire their foresight and drive to seize a business opportunity that has effectively revolutionised an industry. I would love the opportunity to experience the Airbnb creative environment, as I also like to take a creative approach to how I do business and, like the Airbnb team, like to think outside of the box for new angles and avenues to success.

Q. How do you relax?

It may sound counter-intuitive to some, but exercise is a big stress reliever for me and helps me relax. Depending on my work and travel schedule, I train with a personal trainer, 3-4 days a week. I am a poor sleeper, so I try to meditate before bed and listen to classical music to help me wind down. In my downtime, I love spending time with my husband and two-year-old son.

Q. What’s your motto?

Plan ahead. Visualise what the net result looks like, establish what you want and work backwards from there. When it comes to business, living each day as it comes means you only ever operate in the short-term, so I find working on a weekly or even monthly plan of how to get closer to your goals means they never feel insurmountable.

Q. What are your aspirations for the future of your business?

For 360 Search to continue to grow, both in terms of size and market share. We are currently in the process of setting up our London office, which we aim to establish in 2019 and which will effectively treble the 360 Search team within the next 18 months. We are also exploring how to further evolve our turn-key Brexit solutions division.

Listening is so important when it comes to working as a team and also taking the time to understand what is being said, which by rights should go hand-in-hand but quite often don’t.