Category: Recruitment Agencies

Phaidon International has been acquired by Quilvest Private Equity, the private equity arm of the Quilvest group. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Phaidon International operates globally across offices in 10 locations including London, Zurich, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Singapore. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in London, Phaidon has grown organically since its inception to over 500 employees and through its portfolio brands, DSJ Global, EPM Scientific, Glocomms, LVI Associates and Selby Jennings, identifies talent to place in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors.

Quilvest’s investment will continue the development of Phaidon International. Under its new ownership, Phaidon will remain focused on expanding its five brands into existing office locations, while maintaining its high standards of delivering hard-to-find talent and building long-term partnerships.

Harry Youtan, CEO of Phaidon International, said, “I’m very excited to be partnering with Quilvest for the next chapter of the Phaidon business. Quilvest stood out because of its international relationships and reach, as well as the quality of its team. I have no doubt that they will help us to fulfil our vision of becoming the go-to partner of choice for STEM partners worldwide. I would also like to pay tribute to our founder, Adam Buck, who will be stepping back from Phaidon following the transaction. Adam has been instrumental in building Phaidon into the successful business it is today.”

Jay Takefman, partner at Quilvest Private Equity, commented, “We are delighted to announce our investment in Phaidon International. We see Phaidon as a unique player in a highly attractive, fast-growing sector. We are excited to partner with CEO Harry Youtan and his impressive management team to continue building on the progress that they have made to date. Over the coming years, we intend to further support the company’s growth, both in existing and new markets internationally and across its portfolio of renowned brands whilst staying true to its values-based, meritocratic culture.”

Adam Buck, founder of Phaidon International, added, “I am proud of what we have achieved with Phaidon over the last 14 years. I wish Harry and team all the very best in the future, and look forward to hearing about their successes moving forward with Quilvest Private Equity as their partner.”

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Tiger Recruitment has appointed Roxie Hanlon as head of its temporary division in the City office.

Hanlon is covering maternity leave for Kat Martyn, director and head of the City office. She heads up the team which matches candidates with business support roles; her clients include FTSE 100, global blue-chip and finance companies.

Emily Jacobs is the latest addition to the firm’s marketing team. As content editor, she creates digital and print content aimed at Tiger’s employees, clients and candidates.

This recruitment drive comes alongside Tiger’s recent announcement about the appointment of Amy Butler as Head of Middle East and North Africa (MENA), who is developing the agency’s business in Dubai and across the region.

David Morel, CEO and founder, commented, “At the end of 2017, Tiger reported a 68% rise in company revenue. As a result of our swift growth, we are delighted to welcome our fantastic new team members on board, who are building on Tiger’s existing success in placing the best support candidates with clients across London, regional UK and abroad.

“Each recruitment consultant brings a fresh approach to the business, while our administrative staff ensure that our day-to-day operations run smoothly and efficiently.”

Pictured: Additions to the Tiger Recruitment team

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PMP Recruitment, part of Cordant Group, has developed and launched a web application that allows candidates to register with the company from home. Cordant Connect will also dramatically cut the time it takes for candidates to go through the on-boarding process within the PMP operation by up to 90%.

Up until now, job seekers wishing to register with the agency have visited one of PMP’s 20 branches across the UK. Designed to increase convenience and accessibility, Cordant Connect speeds up the registration process for candidates seeking work placements, whilst also allowing PMP’s in-branch teams more time to focus on the candidate experience and match job seekers with most suitable employment opportunities, especially in the lead-up to the busy peak season.

The web application – which is optimised for smartphones and tablets – also gives candidates the option to automatically upload photographic proof of the necessary ID documentation online, rather than photocopying their passports or driving licences in branch. Following the online registration process, candidates will only require a short face-to-face appointment with PMP staff to verify information ahead of any work placement.

Designed by a team of in-house developers, Cordant Connect has been initially rolled out for PMP, ahead of a more extensive implementation across Cordant Group at a later date. Moving forward, the development team will also increase the functionality of web application to include live-time and attendance reports, scheduling of rosters and dynamic work availability management.

Jamie Reynolds, managing director of PMP Recruitment, said, “It is our intention to make the registration process as easy and simple as possible, offering job seekers increased flexibility. Cordant Connect is a fantastic online tool that will significantly boost candidate engagement, whilst driving increased efficiency across our business. We have worked in close collaboration with a number of colleague forums within our sectors, taking on-board their vital feedback to shape and finalise a tool that will make a substantial difference to our business on a day-to-day basis.”

Take a look at the tool here.

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A report by McKinsey revealed that 70 per cent of customers reduce their commitment to a sale following a negative customer service experience. But, customer service isn’t just important for the retail sector. Here, Claire Leigh, director of commercial and financial specialist recruitment agency, Brampton Recruitment, explains why good customer service is essential at every interaction for all businesses.


Recruitment consultants are in constant contact with both clients and candidates and must be aware of the need to deliver outstanding customer service to both groups.


Recruiters often talk about candidate’s communication skills, but it is their own skills that are at the forefront of ensuring customer satisfaction. The importance of managing expectations, alongside staying in touch with clients and candidates, cannot be overestimated. Good customer service doesn’t just have to be a phone call. An email can work just as well in ensuring a customer’s experience is a good one.


Brampton Recruitment’s website’s job alert function means candidates can choose to receive updates within 24 hours of a job becoming available, enabling them to be ahead of the crowd when applying for competitive opportunities. A fast turnaround is also advantageous for the client, who often needs the vacancy filled as soon as possible.



Although similar skills are used to ensure clients and candidates have positive experiences, how they are used differs.


Excellent client experiences centre on building a relationship with the client to understand their business goals and objectives, which in turn allows us to find the right candidate.


Specific ways in which we provide this at Brampton Recruitment include working later on a Tuesday and Wednesday to ensure we are reachable outside of office hours, in addition to consultants being available even when they are out of the office. These tactics mean our clients are confident they can always get in touch with a consultant if they require advice or need to follow up on an interview.




It is not a revelation to suggest the best way to provide exemplary customer service to clients is to provide them with outstanding candidates and vice versa. Building relationships by providing excellent customer service when interacting with candidates is just as important as for clients.


Plentiful resources designed to aid job seekers are found on our brand-new website, including dedicated guides to CV writing and interviews, processes we know candidates worry about. Alongside a powerful search function, allowing candidates to see only the jobs which are relevant to them, either by location or skill set, the website gives a complete solution for job seekers.


Despite a wealth of information online, some candidates prefer to meet recruiters face to face and so running events such as CV workshops and refer-a-friend events are invaluable as they allow us to build a relationship with the candidate. This means we are able to place the candidate in the ideal role, best suited to their individual needs.


Recognising the individuality of each candidate and client is also integral to delivering a positive customer service experience. Some candidates, such as those currently in work, might prefer to carry out as much of their job application online as possible.


This is why, in addition to searches, job alerts and online guides, our new website includes an option for online tests. Traditionally, any online tests required by a prospective employer would have to be completed during an interview, or at their recruitment agency’s office.


With the online test function on the website, a candidate can securely take a test at their own convenience in their own home, reducing the anxiety and inconvenience often associated with testing.


Ensuring both clients and candidates receive a high level of customer service is integral to the success of most businesses, including recruitment agencies.


The ultimate goal to find the perfect candidate for the role as quickly and efficiently as possible, is the holy grail of recruitment and centres around customer service. In order to achieve this, agencies and individual consultants need to have customer service at the forefront of their mind.

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Lucy Tarrant, managing director & solicitor of Cognitive Law

Pretty much every recruitment company I act for encourages its consultants to use social media to promote their business. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn; consultants seek out and make new contacts and connections as a fundamental part of their business activity on a daily basis. LinkedIn has even developed its Recruiter tool to capitalise on the way consultants now do business.

But what about if your consultant leaves? What happens post employment to all those LinkedIn contacts? Who owns what and what you can do to protect what you own?

When an employee leaves your company, LinkedIn could be a huge potential threat to you as your ex-employee can notify all their contacts at the same time of their new position, just by updating their profile. It would simply appear on their contacts’ LinkedIn news feed. There is no better or more immediate way for an ex-employee to simultaneously notify all their contacts of their new role, which could well be in direct competition with you.

Before the world of social media and networking sites such as LinkedIn existed, the position regarding ownership of a company’s contacts and databases was fairly straightforward. On the whole materials created during the course of employment were of a confidential nature and deemed to be the employer’s proprietary information. However, when it comes to contacts made via social media the position has not been so clear cut.

As with other social medial services, when an individual opens a LinkedIn account it requires them to enter into a contract with LinkedIn agreeing not to transfer ownership to any other person and to keep the password confidential. Your employee will therefore own the LinkedIn account and is not permitted to give ownership to you as their employer. The question is not therefore who owns the account, that’s clear – it’s your employee, but who owns the contacts. Are the contacts obtained during employment classed as confidential information owned by the employer? Or are they owned by the employee because it’s their account?

The first case in the UK to bring to the fore the risk of appropriation of company confidential information via online networking sites was Hays Specialist Recruitment (Holdings) Ltd and Ions [2008].

Ions was employed by Hays from 2001 to 2007, when he left to set up his own rival agency. He was suspected of using confidential information concerning clients and contacts copied during his employment from the social networking site, LinkedIn and breaching restrictive covenants in his contact of employment. Hays inspected Ions’ email account once he had left and found evidence that he had invited two of Hays’ clients to join his LinkedIn network and they had well-founded suspicions that there were more.

Hays sought an order from the High Court for pre-action disclosure of Ions’ entire database of, and communications with, business contacts made whilst employed by Hays. They claimed that this information was confidential. In response, and in relation to contacts he had made on LinkedIn, Ions argued that once the contact had accepted his invitation on LinkedIn it ceased to be confidential. The Court rejected this argument and ordered Ions to disclose all his LinkedIn business contacts as requested by Hays, plus all emails sent or received through his LinkedIn account from Hay’s computer network. The view taken by the Court was that even if the contacts were uploaded with the consent of Hays, such authorisation was likely to be limited for the purposes of employment.

In this case the law made a clear distinction between ownership of an account such as LinkedIn and ownership of the information within the account, the latter of which was retained by Hays.

Another similar and more recent case, albeit outside of recruitment, is Whitmar Publications Ltd v Gamage, Wright, Crawley and Earth Island Publishing Ltd [2013]. This looks not just at contacts made on LinkedIn but at Groups too.

The Defendants Gamage, Wright and Crawley left Whitmar Publications to pursue their own business – Earth Island Publishing Limited. In its case against them, Whitmar alleged that the individual Defendants had taken steps to compete against the company while still employed by it. Whitmar alleged that they had misused Whitmar’s confidential information, its database rights and breached their terms of employment. Within that confidential information fell LinkedIn Groups which had been managed by one or more of the individual Defendants.

In relation to the LinkedIn Groups, Whitmar claimed that whilst they had been managed by Wright on behalf of Whitmar during her employment, the Defendants had used the Groups for the benefit of their competing business (Earth Island) while still employed by Whitmar. Whitmar sought an order from the High Court for an interim injunction to prevent the Defendants from using, exploiting or divulging to any third party any of the information contained in these LinkedIn Groups.

The Court agreed that Whitmar had a strong case that the individual Defendants had been actively competing against Whitmar while still employed by it, in breach of the terms of their employment.  Further, the Court rejected Wright’s claim that the LinkedIn Groups were personal to her and merely a hobby. Wright was responsible for dealing with the LinkedIn Groups as part of her employment duties at Whitmar. The groups were operated for Whitmar’s benefit and promoted its business, as evidenced by the fact that Wright had used Whitmar’s computers to carry out her work on the LinkedIn Groups. The Court also agreed that information contained within the LinkedIn Groups appeared to have been used as the source of the email addresses used to publicize an Earth Island launch event.

Ultimately, the court granted an order requiring the Defendants to facilitate the exclusive access, management and control of the LinkedIn Groups to Whitmar. It ordered the Defendants not to access or do anything that would prevent Whitmar from accessing the Groups. The order prevented the Defendants from using, exploiting or divulging to any third party any of the information contained in the Groups. So we can see that the contents of Groups created by employees on LinkedIn during employment also amount to confidential information belonging to the employer.

The cases above demonstrate that as different online networks become more and more important to certain businesses, employers should make it clear to employees which LinkedIn and other social network resources, blogs and online forums are operated by the employees solely in the course of their employment; and to what extent the information in such accounts belongs to the employer, in contrast to what remains personally owned by the employee.

So what can you do to prevent your recruitment company from suffering like Hays or Whitmar? We have established that the law states that private contact information gained during the course of employment can constitute confidential information belonging to the employer, as opposed to general contact details available from the public domain cannot.

The best form of protection for an employer is to have clear provisions in its employment contracts and a Social Media Policy. Recruitment companies need to make it clear how their consultants should use such online tools in the course of their employment and implement clear policies that set out precisely what data they retain as their own property and confidential information.

Other provisions in the consultants’ employment contracts and the company’s Social Media Policy should include that all new LinkedIn contacts’ details will be uploaded to the company’s client database, that contacts made during the course of employment constitute Confidential Information belonging to the company, that the consultant must delete all LinkedIn contacts made as a result of their duties when they leave the company and that LinkedIn contacts cannot be used for the purpose of competing with the company. Those provisions can be reinforced in Job Descriptions that also state that an employee is to establish LinkedIn connections for the employer’s benefit.

Obviously none of this is fool proof and the cynics amongst you will recognise that even if all the provisions in the world are artfully crafted into employment contracts and handbooks there will always be a consultant who will flout them and run off with that data. That can’t be stopped. Unfortunately that will always be within human nature. What you can do though is make it a lot harder for the errant consultant to do that and a lot easier for you to stop them.

Cognitive Law’s solicitors fully utilise their wealth of experience gained working within the recruitment industry, and are well placed to assist if you think your Social Media Policy or Confidential Information provisions in your employment contracts require shoring up.

Cognitive Law T 0333 400 4499

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

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By James Caan

Taking a job spec is a fundamental part of the recruitment process and in my view most placements that fall at the last hurdle do so because of the information, or lack of, that you received at this stage.

In this piece I’ll explain what techniques to use to identify a job opportunity and also how to qualify the brief too. If you ask the right questions, in a friendly and efficient manner, you will set yourself up for success.

One technique I’ve often found useful over the years is to compose a list of excellent candidates for your field of expertise and use them as a hook to open a conversation with a potential new client. For example, when a new client answers the phone, open with a friendly line and introduce yourself. Explain why you’re calling and outline the skillset of your ‘top grade’ candidates and explain that they are looking for opportunities with a business such as theirs. Then ask if they have any vacancies at present for candidates at that level. If they do not you can still make good use of the conversation by asking what levels they are looking for at the moment.

To be a successful recruiter, you must use each conversation as a means of expanding your network, and even if the client is too busy for you to take a proper brief then, ensure you arrange a time to call them back and spend at least 20 minutes so that you can understand as much as possible about the opportunity.

A client who will not take the time to discuss the brief properly with you might also not be worth the time you’ll invest in searching for the right candidate for them because you won’t have enough information to fulfill the brief and meet their expectations for the role. Transparency is key during this stage in the process.

Once they’ve agreed to give you the briefing slot you need to take all the details, you can then take the brief in detail.

Key things you’ll need to learn from this conversation include:

  1. Job Title
  2. Package: salary bracket and staff benefits
  3. Determine if the package meets current market trends and candidate expectations
  4. Check if the budget has been signed off for the role and whether they will consider more senior or junior candidates
  5. Ask what recent event led to position being open and if this is a new role then it’s an even more exciting opportunity for a candidate to consider

There are some more detailed questions you can cover too which will help find the right cultural fit for the organisation:

  1. Top five companies they would like to hire from
  2. Where have the last 3 hires come from and also ask why they were successful
  3. Working environment
  4. Team structure
  5. Chain of command
  6. Where does the new hire fit in?
  7. Is it a fast-paced role?
  8. What will they use to measure success?
  9. How many people work for the organisation?
  10. Information on the team:
  11. Size of department
  12. Mix of experience in the team
  13. Team dynamics
  14. The client’s ideal personality profile

The key thing here is to establish the key requirements for the role and this is the most important question you will ask when taking the job spec.

Don’t forget to ask if anyone else is involved in the hiring process. I’ve often gone through the entire process and then there is a final hurdle of an additional decision maker who I have had no contact with throughout the process who needs the same level of detail and time to ensure they feel happy with the decision to hire my candidate. This can cause delays and end up with them losing the candidate to another employer. Therefore it’s worthwhile ensuring you know who all the key players are from the beginning.

When you have all the information outlined above you can begin closing the call. Reassure your new client that you’re in a good position to find a candidate that will fit their requirements and the culture of the company. Also, don’t forget to cross sell within your business and offer the opportunity to hire a freelancer for the interim while you search.

While closing the conversation take down some final key details to help your search by asking what the candidate should expect from their interview process. Identify all the timings involved, number of interviews and agree next steps.  This is also the best time to agree or negotiate your fee.

Be sure you are familiar with your terms and conditions of business and send them over for the new client to sign before you conduct your search. Don’t forget to organise a client visit too, this will really support your search especially when cultural fit is so crucial for the hiring process today.

Ultimately, the taking of a job brief will lead to a successful placement if you are thorough and build rapport. The more information you have, the quicker you will source the candidate. Cutting corners will only lead to delays and frustrations later in the process. Let your personality shine through, you will experience a much easier, more efficient and much more enjoyable road towards success.

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The London Stock Exchange has published its 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report, confirming that 53 recruitment companies were included in the list this year. The report is a celebration of the UK’s fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses.

To be included in the report, companies needed to show consistent revenue growth over a minimum of three years.

The recruitment companies included are listed by region below.

Dillistone Group Plc
Falcon Green Personnel
Futureheads Recruitment Limited
Gravitas Recruitment Group Limited
MSI Group Limited
Odgers (Group) Limited
Parallel Consulting Limited
Pario Group Limited
Phaidon Holdings Limited
Plan B Healthcare Plc
Premier Work Support Holdings Limited
Shilton Sharpe Quarry Limited
Staffgroup Limited
Total Assist Holdings Limited
VGC Group Limited
Your World Recruitment Group Limited

South East England
Abacus Employment Services Limited
Interact Medical Limited
Nakama Group Plc
Swanstaff Recruitment Limited
The Red Eagle Group Limited

South West England
O’neill And Brennan Construction Limited
People Source Consulting Limited
Source Personnel Holdings Limited
Star Medical Limited

West Midlands
A M 2 P M Recruitment Solutions Limited
Jonathan Lee Contracts Limited
Teacheractive Limited

East Midlands
C.K. Associates Limited
Encore Personnel Services Limited
Fresh Start Recruitment (Uk) Ltd
Industria Personnel Services Ltd
Rtc Group Plc
Vincentstokes (Holdings) Limited

East of England
Hales Group Limited
Multitech Site Services Limited
Quanta Consultancy Services Limited
Sanctuary Personnel Limited

Yorkshire and the Humber
Gatenbysanderson Limited
Integrated Results Limited
Linear Recruitment Limited
Prestige Recruitment Specialists Limited

North East England
Gem Partnership Limited

North West England
Amoria Bond Limited
Heads Recruitment Limited
Liquid Personnel Limited
N.R.L. Group Limited
Sellick Partnership Group Limited
Worldwide Recruitment Solutions Limited

Renown Consultants Limited

Northern Ireland
First Choice Selection Services Ltd

Jonathan Lee, chairman of Jonathan Lee Recruitment, said, “I was delighted to hear that we had once again been included in the London Stock Exchange 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain.  Whilst we have benefited from a fairly buoyant engineering and manufacturing sector, our continued growth has been largely due to our diversification into a broader range of industries and services, such as our digital design office in Hatton, Warwickshire that supports manufacturing clients by providing pre-product concept work.

“Our flexibility, coupled with the hard work and continued customer focus of our 100-strong multi-talented recruitment and support teams results in 85% repeat business.”

Gareth Lloyd, co-founder of Amoria Bond, commented, “We are proud that once again Amoria Bond has been placed in the top 1000 high growth companies within the country, this is an accolade we are particularly proud of, especially given that there are 3.6 million businesses currently registered in the UK “

Nick Simpson, CEO of MSI Group, said, “Here at MSI Group we have long been committed to the ethical recruitment of professionals into the NHS and other healthcare organisations. While some other recruitment consultancies have historically taken advantage of the NHS’s desperation to maintain safe staffing levels by charging extortionate rates, recent legislative changes mean that now only the most principled and compliant recruiters are thriving.

“We are incredibly proud to work within every single NHS approved framework agreement, and our appearance on this list is testament to valuable work we have been doing with Trusts to help migrate ‘off-framework’ spend to ‘on-framework’ spend since new government legislation was introduced in 2015.”

Wayne Hodgson, MD of Red Eagle, says he is immensely proud of their success and puts it down to identifying and acting fast on growth opportunities and having a fabulous team to help build the business.

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