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Happy Birthday!

Posted 03/10/16

An overview of our first year from Andrew Hooker, Director @ Andersen James

One of my (many I’m sure) shortcomings is a propensity to indulge in a little quality time when making a decision. On this occasion however, writing our first year anniversary blog proved remarkably straightforward.

Two simple questions sprung to mind. Has it been a success? What had we achieved? Answers in brief – yes and lots!

So how best to summarise a whirlwind twelve months? Well that’s easy, through our values; not just a collection of catchy buzz-words but a genuine reflection of what we want to be recognized for, as lived day in, day out through each invaluable member of our business.

James and I spent a great deal of time reaffirming what was important to us and appreciate the insight given from other start-ups, be they from the recruitment industry or otherwise. There’s no doubt the last twelve months have brought in equal measure challenges and reward. Nothing in life worth having ever comes easy of course but the eye opener for both of us has been how enjoyable the challenges we’ve faced have been, and more importantly how much they’ve ensured we never fall back into an overly comfortable, ‘lazy zone’.

Below are a few highlights of the year and we’re so proud that we can genuinely say that we’ve lived and breathed those values that are so important to us, as individuals and business owners.

Innovative Partnerships – Recruitment and so much more

James and I agree wholeheartedly that undoubtedly the most satisfying element of running our own company is the complete freedom and satisfaction that result in forming partnerships with like-minded people. Partnerships that have a common goal. Partnerships that at times can be challenging (all relationships need to be continually worked on!) but ultimately are fun and rewarding.

In the last year we’ve partnered with a select number of organisations (Construction companies, Social Housing contractors, Housing Associations, Charitable organisations, Marketing agencies, financial and legal firms – some big, some small but all in mutual support of each other’s endeavours.

Our range of support has varied from enabling business growth through retained assignments to attract and deliver high calibre candidates for existing or new markets, or working with HR Directors to deliver a bespoke suite of role profiles and person specifications. We’ve partnered with Charities directly and indirectly through a series of different platforms and we’re incredibly proud to have hosted a hugely successful Charity Golf Day, held at the world-renowned Brabazon course at the Belfry.

In developing our ‘brand’ we’ve worked with creative agencies but we believe it’s the nitty gritty stuff that we do day in day out and the way we conduct ourselves that really defines a business’s brand.

Customer Commitment – A Committed partner – motivated by excellence

We’re consistently reminded about the skill shortage within construction or construction-related fields. It would be all too simple to encourage clients to take whoever they can get their hands on, in some instances just ‘plugging a gap’ to make a quick buck.

We’re delighted to work with the organisations that we do (we’ve chosen each other as we have the same outlook), and in such, we see no value in delivering anything but the best possible solution, be it through our product or service.

In the last twelve months, we’ve filled 68% of the vacancies assigned to us. 44% of those have been delivered in a retained capacity, further highlighting, we think, the mutual respect between ourselves and our partners, in ensuring a robust, detail-conscious process is followed thus maximising our client’s reputation and PR in the market and also minimising any risk elements involved with the recruitment process.

Again, we’ve come out of our comfort zone offering client’s a holistic, ‘whole-house’ solution as we believe that in understanding their culture and values we can source anyone for their business. This has been achieved through spending a significant amount of time with our customers and making sure our level of service goes above and beyond their expectations. In such we’ve filled roles from Managing Director to Office Manager, from Finance Director to Site Manager, from Head of Learning & Development to Procurement Manager, from Project Manager to Planner, from Business Development Director to Quantity Surveyor.  

Industry Ambassadors – Proud to serve the Housing industry

We were delighted to announce our partnership with The Booth Centre a couple of months back and In November the entire team will be taking on the challenge of sleeping out on the streets of Manchester to highlight some of the hardships that homeless people have to face every single night.

We genuinely believe that we all deserve the right to be housed appropriately, and are all too aware of the positive impact that good, safe and warm housing can have on our education, health and communities in general. Whilst we’ve a combined total of 25 years’ worth of experience recruiting within the Housing industry we consistently want to embrace that industry and not just fall back into ‘filling jobs’ mode. We’re honoured to be working with the Booth Centre over the next twelve months and look forward to playing our part in helping them achieve their goal of bringing about positive change in the lives of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

As a collective we’ve attended many CIH conferences over the years and always enjoyed catching up with clients and friends but were delighted to host our inaugural CIH Manchester event in June, held at the up and coming, award-wining Gotham Hotel. Over 70 guests attended and the feedback we’ve had subsequently has been exceptional. A big thank you to all who came and made the event the success it was. We must also, of course, mention the highly talented magician Dominic Anthony who left more than a few of us a little bewildered with his tricks and slight of hand!

Legacy through Inspiration – Inspiring the next generation of talent

We appreciate we’ve plenty still to do on this one and would never be arrogant enough to assume upon ourselves a legacy of any sort but we have certainly started making significant in-roads in promoting the industry to a wide range of people and have loved every minute of our time working with universities and talking to the future stars of the industry at networking events and graduate fairs.

We’ve also worked in partnership with two growing construction companies in developing their graduate recruitment programme and are pleased to see the results of those efforts now paying off.

Through our own organic growth we’re always mindful of developing talent and also bringing in fresh pairs of eyes to challenge our way of thinking in an entirely meritocratic environment. We’ve enjoyed many a game of ping-pong with Neil, Nicole and the rest of the team at Prime and value their input and support in assisting our development.  

On reflection we all know that success is defined differently by each person and that point is never lost on us. Of course business is about being profitable but success cannot purely be measured in monetary terms. Success, to us, is about consistently challenging ours and our client’s ways of thinking, about building something incredibly fun and sustainable, about adding value and making a difference, about creating the time to balance work and family life in appropriate measure, about recruiting great people and rewarding them, whether that be through flexible working, individual and team incentives or investment in learning and development.

Sincere and heartfelt thanks to all those who have supported Andersen James Group in whatever way over the last year. For many start-ups just making it through year 1 is the ultimate goal so to have reached our twelve month anniversary with 6 wonderful team members and 2 lovely offices we’re naturally thrilled. We’ve no doubt this is the first of many a successful year ahead.