Our Stanton House Story: Lee Costello
Posting date:27 Jan 2021


To celebrate Stanton House’s ten-year anniversary we have profiled the unique journeys of some of our employees. Every one of their personal successes is an accomplishment for our whole business and we want to celebrate these. The My Stanton House Story blog series looks at what they’ve learned, why they love what they do and how they have progressed their careers. 

   Taking the leap to join a startup 

I joined Stanton House in 2010, when the company was only three months old, and celebrate 10 years with the company this month. I had been in conversations with Neil (CEO) and Nick (Co-Founder) about the possibility of me joining the company a few months prior. I was inspired by their enthusiasm and energy and was sold from the moment I heard their plans.

I had been working in Finance recruitment for five years and was ready for my next big challenge. Although joining a brand-new company was a daunting prospect, I was excited by the opportunity to build, grow and run my own business unit out of Reading. 

Leading a business unit into growth 

Our business across the South-East has evolved and grown organically - which I have absolutely loved. Initially, it was just me and Kevin Culverhouse (now Chief Customer Officer) building our client base and candidate network from a small serviced office in Reading.

By the end of our first six months, we had hired a graduate and two experienced consultants, from our network, to strengthen our Finance practice. We grew to a team of three covering the permanent market and two covering the interim market.

My abilities as a leader and recruiter grew, most notably in business development where my mindset became very focused around the customer experience and nurturing relationships for the long-term.

I am proud to say, that we were profitable within six months and from that point on, we achieved year-on-year revenue and NFI growth with the exception of 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Although 2020 was incredibly challenging and a year like no other, it is probably the year I am most proud of since I joined. We really came together as a business, supporting one another and delivering some excellent results for our customers.   

Riding the ‘highs’ and the ‘lows’  

The last ten years have been a rollercoaster - during which I have always tried to take a measured approach and maintain a level-head. So, although I do enjoy the highs, I also try to remain pragmatic and remember that something unexpectedly bad could be right around the corner. The global pandemic being one of these!

But that is just the nature of the recruitment profession for you – there are often market conditions or macroeconomic impacts which you cannot control. You must learn to enjoy the ‘highs’ and ride out the ‘lows”.  It has been a timely reminder in recent months to celebrating the small wins.  

In fact, I really enjoy the ‘up and down’ nature of recruitment and I believe it is a profession where you can genuinely create your own future. I have always felt empowered at Stanton House, the business has never held me back and has always supported my ambition. 

Learning resilience 

My learning curve has been steep. Often, I have been thrown into the deep-end and found a way to get through it, however I have hugely enjoyed doing it that way. I have learned to value feedback from others, learn from failure and adopt a growth mindset. In these difficult times, I appreciate how hard it has been for everyone and am incredibly proud of how our teams have demonstrated their togetherness and resilience. I believe we will come through this global crisis as an even better business and more resilient as individuals.

As we enter the New Year, I am optimistic about the market and incredibly excited about the next phase of my journey at Stanton House. I am a few months into a new role, this time running the Accounting & Finance and HR practice across the UK business. I get to work with some really talented people and together I believe we will achieve great things over the next few years.

To start your journey with us and to find out about the current opportunities we have available please contact Meg Appleby,, 0779 590 9781.