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Andersen James turns 5

Posted 02/10/20

October is a very special month here at Andersen James as it’s our birthday, and this year Saturday 3rd October marks a special milestone, five years in business.

The last five years have certainly been a journey, as we became one of the leading housing and construction recruitment consultancies in the UK. While we’ve secured contracts, grown the team and won awards, we’ve also had some laughs doing it. From golf days, to Tough Mudder and team forfeits, the team have had lots of fun and also fundraised for various charities along the way.

Looking back at what’s happened since 2015 there are memorable moments, team highlights and challenges that have made Andersen James the business it is today and we thought we would share a few. 

 Five years in a snapshot

  • In 2016 we contributed 126 hours of volunteering in the community
  • In 2017 we were finalists in 2 award categories and raised £5878 for charity (which included taking part in the Manchester Sleepout for the Booth Centre)
  • In 2018 Ralph (our office pooch) joined us as Head of Happiness
  • 2018 marked our first placement in New York 
  • 315 total placements so farAndersen James team
  • 387 clients met since 2015
  • 1115 candidates met since 2015
  • 12 promotions across the current team
  • We’ve carried out consultancy work for clients such as J Tomlinson, United Living, Riverside and Urban Splash, including bespoke salary surveys, job description writing, graduate schemes and in-house recruitment management.

How it all began

Back in October 2015 James Leighton with his then business partner, Andrew Hooker, founded the company using his extensive experience in the housing, construction, FM, property and energy sectors. We then secured our first piece of consultancy work with a national UK construction company, delivering a 6 month campaign to attract some of the best talent in the industry while retaining their existing team following a restructure. Fast forward 3 months and we opened two new offices in Manchester and Nottingham, which then paved the way for our growing team and success over the next five years. 

In early 2017 we had established our four core divisions – Housing, Construction, Executive and Consultancy, and a number of large contract wins followed that year. 

By 2018 the team was 10 strong, and we’d secured our first piece of work in the US, in none other than New York City! The very start of operations and placements stateside for the business, which helped end the year on 25% turnover growth.

Despite the threat from a global pandemic in 2020, Andersen James has gone from strength to strength with the promotion of AJ veteran Steph Sloane to Head of Delivery and the hiring of a new Non Exec Director as well as 4 new recruits. This was followed by a new contract win with Riverside to help them recruit more senior level candidates while also delivering a BAME talent strategy, which has already seen fantastic results. Furthermore we have secured a strategic partnership with Urban Splash to provide consultancy and recruitment services until December 2021. 

However, we are celebrating more than just the company’s success and growth within the market. We are celebrating the great people who have been part of the ride for the last five years, as without our team we wouldn’t be the business we are today. Let’s hear from some of our long standing team members on their time with AJ…

What’s life really like at Andersen James?

Andy Merrills – Managing Consultant

“I have worked for Andersen James for over 3 years now, starting with no experience in recruitment and very little in sales. Since then, I have been given more support than I could have imagined to succeed in an incredibly difficult and volatile industry. The best moments that stand out for me are..”

  • Edinburgh Christmas do in 2017 (quad biking, hover-crafting, shooting, Michelin Star Meal, being sick on James’ car from the window in the centre of Edinburgh)
  • James taking me suit shopping to give me more confidence in my appearance and help me tackle my first client meeting
  • Probably the worst moment but walking the busy streets of Piccadilly in the Cone of Shame as a forfeit
  • Each promotion felt incredibly special, having been laid out for me since day one knowing that the business honoured their word
  • James helping myself and my girlfriend find our dream home in Manchester City Centre

Andersen James fancy dress

Rick Ollerton – Operations Director 

“I joined Andersen James in March this year (literally three weeks before lockdown) and I’ve not looked back since. 

In a period which has seen uncertainty and working conditions we’ve never experienced, James has constantly looked at ways in which we can improve, develop and constantly add value to ourselves and our clients. The team culture we have is one I’ve never seen before, we all pull together to achieve a common goal. We all share the same DNA and we all go above and beyond for one another. 

The plans we have for the future are incredibly exciting and ambitious and one I can’t wait to be part of! #AJLife”

Tom Rosbottom – Senior Consultant 

“I’ve worked for Andersen James for just over a year and it’s a company like no other. The amount of backing and support I’ve had since day one is unrivalled with all the tools and training in place to maximise your potential. Recruitment is a tough gig but when you have a culture like ours, you forget it’s a job. The team has always felt like a family with everyone working towards the same goal – in what’s been a tough year where we could have taken a step back – James keeps everyone motivated and driven even throughout lockdown and it’s been our best year yet.

The best moments for me are…

  • Promotion to senior consultant (what global pandemic?) – having all the support I needed to find that extra gear
  • Dublin 2019 – signing off a cracking first few months with the business with a few days of ‘culture’

And to all the ‘couple of pints at Oast House’, to the Team 5-a-sides and the Zidane headbutts, to the Wheel of Forfeits and California reaper chillies. Here’s to the next 5!”

Steph Sloane – Head of Delivery

“I have worked with James for most of my career, and he is the big brother I never had*. He is brilliant at his job and is loved by so many. Being the character that he is, he has led Andersen James to make a real difference to the world of recruitment as we can say with conviction, that WE DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY. James is the reason I come to work daily, and I am still here nearly 5 years on.

Working for Andersen James is like working for your family. You feel stimulated to come to work every day, you never get the “Sunday dread” and it never feels like work. The entire team is supportive on both a professional and personal level and every single person is willing to go the extra mile for each other. I am proud to work for Andersen James and I am proud of the team and culture that has been created – I will forever have orange blood.**”

*Slightly awkward because I actually do have a big brother

**Even though there was a small blip along the way. Ts & Cs apply. 

AJ team night out

What’s next for Andersen James?

We have just moved into a new office in Lowry House in Manchester and are investing heavily in infrastructure, tweaking our business model in order to increase our service offering to clients. This includes strategic partnerships to provide outsourced internal recruitment , not only saving our clients money but delivering world class recruitment to their business. 

Investing in our team is also a key focus over the next few years as we aim to achieve our three year business growth plans, this began during lockdown earlier this year with virtual training and we will continue to develop our staff in the future, whether that’s virtually or in person when we can return to the office. 

Finally, we’d like to say a huge thank you to all our loyal clients and awesome staff for sticking by us over the past half a decade, even through a global pandemic. Here’s to the next 5 years!