The Staffgroup Story

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The Staffgroup Story over the past 11 years is a unique one. Our brands Eurostaff and Earthstaff have had many highlights over the years and is looking forward to an exciting future. We're ready to write the next chapter...

Text of The Staffgroup Story

  • 1. RECRUITMENT INTERNATIONAL September 2014 40% *4 K The Staffgroup Story is ready to write its next chapter Staffgroup I Eurostaff I Earthstaff
  • 2. Paul Flynn Staffgroup may be contemporary, but it doesnt lay claim to an edgy brand. What it does offer is a focussed, no nonsense approach to offering services in its specialist areas of technology and nance, delivered through its Eurostaff brand, and energy, provided through its Earthstaff brand. Staffgroup was created by coowners and managing directors of the two brands, Mark Znowski and Paul Flynn, as a parent group for the two businesses in 2012, following 9 years of operating as a single entity. One of the objectives behind this was to enable new global business, without using European focussed branding, Paul says, "It was important for our oil and gas business to have its own identity and also a parent brand to position ourselves slightly away from the two brands. If we were to develop our technology offering in the U. S. then obviously we wouldnt be able to do it via Eurostaff. We needed to add another grand identity in there. The creation of Staffgroup also helped unify and streamline its two brands, which in London, are both based in the same ofce boasting 100 staff. Eurostaffs alternative expansion Bucking the trend in its atypical geographical pattern of expansion, Eurostaff, the oldest brand launched in 2003, stands out amongst other recruitment businesses ofits generation. Rather than follow the traditional www. recruitment-internationa| .co. uk Mark Znowski interview The Staffgroup Story By Rebecca Jeffrey, Recruitment International 1;: STFIFFGROUP recruitment pattern of establishing a London office, expanding throughout the UK and then entering the European market, the business deliberately aimed to break into Europe rst. Before creating Eurostaff, Mark and Paul had both gained invaluable experience of the European market while managing European-focussed divisions in recruitment companies. This| edthemto set their sights on using that experience to break into the European markets straight away, a pivotal decision which proved to be vital in shaping the path of their future success. Fully entrenched 1; EUR on the continent, the business now has fully staffed ofces in London, Berlin and Zug (just outside Zurich) with a presence in Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and Munich. Eurostaff (or European Staffing Solutions as it was known) was set up at the beginning of2003 by Paul and Mark with the help of three others, in a basement ofce complete with a resident rat. 1; En RTHSTFIFF Working 15 hour days, including weekends, were the norm, Paul and Mark also plunged their savings into the business, bolstered by the use of credit cards and no salaries for the first nine months. This trend has continued throughout the company's history as as it has grown organically with no external investment. An ofce move after nine months afforded Eurostaff the space to increase its staff numbers. This was a stressful time which truly tested the sales skills of the company in enticing new people to take a gamble on a start~up and buy into the vision of the company. The gamble paid off and by 2005 the company numbered 20, a year fondly remembered as the class of 2005 because it was then that many of the people, currently running the day-to-day operations of the business, were hired. With steadily increasing revenues and recognition in the form of industry and national awards, including a Sunday Times Fast Track 100 listing in 2007, Eurostaff was well on its way to becoming a major European player. Just before the recession hit in 2008, Eurostaffs revenue peaked at around 15m, but naturally during the recession working hours increased while income dipped. However, the company stayed STFI FF in prot and continued to hire and develop people. The business made it through the rough economy in 2009 and went on to become the robust brand that Eurostaff represents today. It also earned a place in the Recruitment | nternationa| Top250 Report2012, which lists the top 250 recruitment companies in the UK by turnover. Paul says, The number of hours and stress we had to take on at that time was enormous, but we're relentless characters and we were RI UK -September 2014 Q
  • 3. The Staffgroup Story By Rebecca Jeffrey, Recruitment International supported by a team with similar traits. While everybody was talking about the recession, we were saying wheres the business? If you look at the reality, 20 per cent of people move jobs every year, a recession doesn't mean people are no longer going to hire. Vou've just got to work a lot harder to nd out where the hirers are. Grounded in Germany With over 10 years of experience of the IT market in Germany, Eurostaff established a permanent base in Berlin in 2012. Eurostaff GmbH has seen excellent results since the launch and its rst year of operation generated over 870,000 net fee income. Over 30 per cent of sales and 40 per cent of Staffgroups prots are now derived from Germany and Staffgroup expect it to continue to be a high growth area in the next 18 months with the aim of eventually having 200 contractors working through the Berlin operations. Eurostaff will also be raising its prole as the sole recruitment sponsor at the biggest IT developer conference, Code. Talks, in Hamburg, Germany this October. With all 33 staff in the 60-capacity ofce being German nationals there are no language restrictions, which the company place great importance on. Staff from the London ofce regularly RI UK - September 2014 visit the Berlin ofce to touch base with staff and keep up to date with the day to day activities of the business. A London-based recruiter was recently appointed as contracts team manager there, while a senior manager will also be moving to take up the position of director to establish Eurostaffs nance offering throughout Germany. Both appointments aim to help guide its development and assist with strengthening the synergy between the German and UK ofces. However, Paul and Mark stress that giving trust, autonomy and opportunity to its staff in the Berlin ofce to grow Eurostaff is their preferred method ofoperation and one which has garnered great success. Earthstaffs growth and imminent expansion While Earthstaff was launched as a brand in February 2012, renewables has been a business focus for ve years, meaning the new business began with plenty of experience behind it. it won a Recruitment International Rising Star award in 2012 and was nominated again the following year. Earthstaff's 2013 turnover increased by over 220% on 2012 to 11.8m with gross prot reaching 3.4m. Operating prot for the business was over Elm for the rst time and in only the second year of published accounts. Earthstaff places contractors in 31 countries and primarily focuses on Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with additional business in the America's and Asia, Paul says We have been able to achieve this by putting in the miles, meeting clients and suppliers in over 25 countries and travelling over 500,000 miles in the process. We have sought solutions to the challenges of deploying people in frontier environments and learned from the feedback our clients have given us about the industry. What we have now is a strong core to support our realistic expansion into North America and the Middle East where we see the most signicant opportunities in the next three years. Earthstaff will be opening its rst ofce in the USA, in Houston, this November to establish itself in the region. Cautious of the difculties that some recruitment companies have faced in the wake of the industry's dash into the U. S. market, Earthstaff aim to have a steady and stable presence in the country. It is also due to open an additional ofce in Hamburg at the beginning of October to focus on the expanding power generation market. While the company does very little business in the UK, like Eurostaff it already does a signicant amount of business in Germany and Hamburg was decided on as a base because ofits rich geographical landscape and its extensive engineering trade. A solid contracts business In addition to their drive to achieve, Paul and Mark also attribute Staffgroups success to the security that their solid contracts business gives them. 65% of gross prot is generated from the contracts business, which Staffgroup www. recruitment-internationa| .co. uk
  • 4. believes puts it in a leading position and Mark says, "We are in a wonderful position where the contract business nearly pays for the running of the business on any given month. That gives us stability because we know where we stand. We haven't cut commission or made any redundancies in 11 years. If we have a horrendous few months we won't be happy about it, but we know that the low side can only be so low because we have a regular income. " Grassroots management Working alongside Paul and Mark, the management teams for Eurostaff and Earthstaff are predominantly organically grown, with 80 per cent of management staff having worked their way up from trainee consultant level. This has helped facilitate a unied company brand with an inherent knowledge of the aims and objectives of the organisation and a set of embedded values. It also enables management staff to more easily identify and deal