If there’s one thing I’ve learnt working in the technology and recruitment industries it’s that they never stand still, not even for a second, and neither can Talent – you do so at your peril. These industries by their very nature are always pushing the boundaries of the possible.
Here at Talent, we work hard. We have to, to keep pace with the industry and because we want to innovate, grow, challenge the norm and be recognised as market leaders. We want to provide our customers with solutions they may not have considered, even if that means walking away because they aren’t ready to transform the way they are doing things. I was with a customer in the Midlands before the Christmas break presenting to their CEO, COO, CTO and CIO, and the advice we provided meant Talent backing out of the opportunity however the advice we gave them changed their thinking and the direction they were taking. In business you have to provide impartial advice to customers even if the outcome goes against you; our integrity as a company is critical in the long term.
I always talk about wanting to take people to an ‘impossible place’. When I say that, I don’t mean the top of Mount Everest. I mean offering them a level of customer service or advice that is so high it takes their breath away. That is never easy to achieve, it takes time and understanding on both sides of the relationship.
Three years and counting
Although Talent only have a three-year history in EMEA, our depth elsewhere in the world stretches back over 20 years. We have made some serious headway across EMEA in a very short period.
I’ll start with our growth figures, which I believe currently position us as the fastest growing recruitment company in the UK. Revenues have grown to around £30 million, increasing year on year by a staggering compound rate of well over 100%; customers don’t do business with you if you’re not doing the right thing and the competition in our sector is immense.
I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved so far. We set the bar very high and everyone in Talent has risen to meet the challenge. We have also invested heavily in learning and development and our unique consultative approach (which I mentioned earlier) with our customers is helping set us apart: it’s not how we do it, it’s much more about why we do it. I believe we will exceed expectations again next year, we have a very clear strategy that is well communicated and understood by everyone in Talent and that drives everything we do.
I am also incredibly lucky to work with an exceptional leadership team in the UK, both in our front and back office functions. Their dedication, unwavering support and belief provides a very joined up team approach which is critical, again without a leadership team that is joined up and communicates effectively you won’t succeed, there is a brilliant book by Bob Garratt called “The Fish Rots from the Head” which challenges, clarifies and integrates the roles and tasks of the director, and I would suggest that anyone in a management role would benefit from reading this book. Companies who have to keep recreating strategies and can’t clearly communicate their strategy always fail, I see it far too often in business.
However, more important than strategy, is the culture of the company. That is something that we focus on day in, day out. Creating a culture that is supportive and understanding of every individual’s needs and aspirations and that is aligned to the overall objectives of the company is critical, especially in people businesses, and this is at the forefront of our thinking here at Talent.
At Talent, we work together, we’re aiming to keep up the momentum, working towards our objectives and evolving as the industry changes. At the same time, we are weaving our own “disruption or magic” into our overall service offering. The launch of Talent Engage, our technology platform for our contractors, candidates and clients has made a major impact. Secondly, our continued investment and organisation of the global Talent Unleashed Awards (2016 highlights below) has surfaced some remarkable companies and individuals who are at the forefront of transformation and change within the technology sector. This game changing awards programme has allowed us to attract the likes of Sir Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak to the judging team and says something about the credibility and forward thinking at Talent. Finally, our own Foundation, Talent Rise, supports disadvantaged youth around the globe and provides them with support and training to transform their own lives and enter the technology world. We are a passionate bunch who care deeply about our business and the impact and legacy we leave behind.
Our key strategy: global expansion
In terms of strategies, they don’t come much bigger than global expansion. However, I believe that if you’re going to have a business strategy, you might as well think big.
Our results for the financial year 2016 prove that we’ve been right to set our sights high. We have seen a 10% increase in revenue to $385 million, growth that’s been driven by strong performances across EMEA and Asia-Pac. As we enter 2017, we now have the addition of North America into the portfolio, the joint venture with Coit Group, a leading US based Recruitment Process Outsourcing provider in San Francisco provides a very solid base for our expansion plans in the largest market for our services in the world. From San Francisco we will expand into Austin and New York to service both the North East and South West.
The expansion into mainland Europe started twelve months ago, we have been servicing the German market from the UK and we are now ready to move the team to Berlin. The office in Holland is building well, the team is based in Amsterdam and are working closely with both the digital start-up community and the larger digital and technology customers in this exciting tech city.
Add to that the fact that our EBITDA increased by 25% year-on-year across our global business and it’s clear to see why we think the future is looking so bright.
The future of recruitment
At Talent, we are as committed to matching the top tech and digital talent with forward-thinking companies as we are to offering a truly unique, unparalleled level of service and care. Over the years, we have made a conscious effort to ‘break from the pack’ and make sure we add one part innovation, two parts adventure to everything we do.
So, what does the future of recruitment hold? It’s hard to say. Taking what I have gleaned from the media recently, the future of recruitment is everything from big data to video games (Pokémon Go, anyone?). Whatever it is, it’s going to be action-packed.
The future of Talent
One thing we can be sure about is the direction in which we want to take our business.
I know for a fact that our desire to grow will not change. Neither will our commitment to the recruitment industry, nor will our dedication to all things tech. From tackling youth unemployment and engaging with contractors to supporting the technology sector, we won’t stop until the Talent brand becomes bigger, better, stronger – and a recruiting force to be reckoned with, as well as a natural place for our customers to turn to for advice and support.
If you’re keen to join a team of recruiters who think, act and work differently from the rest, visit our EMEA careers site today.