The F10 Group, Ask the Experts, and Smart Recruit Online win Chambers of Commerce Business Excellence Award 2011

Milton Keynes based company, The F10 Group, snatched first prize at the 2011 Chambers of Commerce awards, for the Most Innovative Use of Digital Media in Communications. This is a new award introduced this year by the Chambers, to reflect the growing importance of digital communication strategy within business.

Company owners Mark Stephens and Mark Flawn have expressed their delight at being honoured with the award that they say is “Justified recognition for the ground breaking work that we are doing within the digital space”.

The F10 Group, who started life as a recruitment consultancy in the technology arena, over ten years ago and now consists of 3 main business functions, F10 Recruitment consultancy (established as 1 of the UK’s leading technology recruiters), Smart Recruit Online (the very first fully automated online recruitment toolkit)and Ask The Experts (a technology focussed media communications platform).

Two years ago, F10 extended their interests into the social media space, with Ask The Experts, a unique site that combines social networking with news and articles about the very latest developments across each of the technology arenas. From a marketing perspective, F10 have invested some serious resources, in order to establish such a comprehensive communication network across all their business interests, using Ask The Experts as their central platform, from which to channel most incoming and outgoing communications.

The Founder of Ask The Experts, Mark Stephens, explained “The way that we communicate with our target audience has totally changed in the last few years. You have to win people’s trust, by demonstrating that you deserve to be taken seriously, as a genuine expert, offering real value. Direct marketing in the digital world is so highly competitive, even in the social space, so to do something extraordinary is very challenging. We are combining high value content through our site, alongside genuine world class services.”

F10 have also launched the first ever fully automated online recruitment service, Smart Recruit Online. Stephens told us, “There is a paradigm shift taking place and the movement is towards more ‘in house’ recruitment activity in an effort to reduce recruitment costs by companies effected by the economic downturn. The combination of this attitude and the increased accessibility of the job boards, directly to clients,  has made this much more appealing and many recruitment companies are attempting to adjust as they see the lower salaried business and mainstream roles disappear. The effect has been a massive increase in ‘low cost /fixed price offerings’ to clients as recruitment agencies attempt to recapture the business that they are losing. In truth, most of these companies are just offering a watered down version of what they did before, at a lower cost. This is not innovation and is not really an evolution of what existed before. However, Smart Recruit Online is totally unique in that it completely automates the whole recruitment process using three very clever tools that we have developed ourselves”.  

F10 are not looking to stop here. They are already working on two future ‘major’ online global product launches within the recruitment arena and according to Stephens, “The combined impact of what we are doing is going to completely change the way that both Recruitment companies and in house recruiters work to resource staff”. He added, “Across all our development work, what has been particularly pleasing is that the business community and specifically the Chambers, have recognised what we are doing and have been very supportive and complimentary of what we have achieved to date. We hope that the imminent success of these projects will place us firmly on the map for what we are doing within the recruitment space.

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Ask the Experts is a multi functional site for business professionals and technology enthusiasts. They aim to create a strong social community around the core sectors and assist in the careful selection of relevant information and news. The site operates as a hub where its members can select what detail they want to receive. Information is summarised so that you can decide quickly what is important, relevant or interesting to you.

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