£70m Technology recruiter bucks downward industry trend with 5.4% growth attributed to learning and development initiative

When industry pundits predicted that £5 billion would be wiped off the value of the UK recruitment market this year, instead of making cuts and redundancies, Havant-based Advanced Resource Managers (ARM) decided to invest more in its staff, with a clever business development strategy supported by a ‘Way Forward’ training initiative encouraged by a leadership management grant from Train to Gain. The result for the company is an impressive increase of 5.4% in turnover and the creation of 19 new jobs to bring the total number of employees to 115. ARM has divisions specialising in transport and infrastructure, technology and science, manufacturing, construction and energy, and when the gloomy predictions first surfaced, feedback from its clients showed that they were cutting their recruitment budgets and putting projects on hold. MD Mike Gawthorne, who joined founder Paul Huntingdon in 2000, said: “The board decided to take preventative action with a far more proactive approach to finding new business.” With a staff turnover of just 16% compared with an industry average of 54%, it made sense to free senior managers of some of their responsibilities to spend time developing new business, rather than recruit sales people. They decided on a 6-month programme culminating in a CMI qualification for 13 team leaders to take over what senior management had been doing, and find and train a new ‘talent group’ to take some of the overspill from the team leaders. GBS Corporate Training was engaged to deliver ‘The Way Forward’, which consisted of four workshops, self-study and a post-course assignment per delegate to demonstrate application of the skills. A spokesperson from GBS commented: “We were impressed by the high quality of assignments submitted and this was confirmed by 100% pass rate with no referrals for improvement.” -End- Words: 308