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Change Recruitment Group Rides Out the Economic Storm

Change Recruitment Group Rides Out the Economic Storm

The recruitment sector is seen by many as a reliable barometer of the economy being the first to benefit from an upturn in economic activity and the first to feel the impact of any deterioration. This is borne out by the almost immediate impact of the world banking crisis on the recruitment sector in 2008, particularly those firms with exposure to the financial services and professional sectors both domestically and internationally. Those businesses with a strong presence in such markets have seen a marked deterioration in business levels over the last two years.

Change Recruitment Group, one of Scotlands leading recruitment consultancies and the largest Scottish recruiter within the financial services sector, as well as being arguably the largest UK based International recruiter within professional services and the oil & gas sector, is one such company.

Suzanne Ramsay, Chief Executive of Change Recruitment Group commented: As with all other recruitment businesses, our industry was faced with a massive challenge due to the change in market conditions. In order for Change to remain competitive, we had to adopt strategies which would enable us to drive down our break-even sales levels to reflect market conditions, whilst maintaining the capability to benefit from any upturn in markets and increase in business confidence.

Added Ramsay: While these were challenging times, we benefitted greatly from our strong client base both in Scotland and overseas, as well as having an immensely strong team of highly experienced and tenacious recruitment consultants who remained engaged throughout the recession.

After a turbulent 18 months in both domestic and international markets the company is now seeing the benefit of the actions it took to strengthen the business over the last two years. Indeed, it has seen 58% fee income growth in the first eight months of its latest financial year.

Commenting on the companys financial performance, Brian Robinson, Finance Director of Change, said: We are showing strong growth. Our turnover in the eight months to December is already higher than our turnover for the whole of the previous year. Fees from temporary recruitment, which historically is usually stronger in times of uncertainty when permanent job placements fall, was up 71%, while permanent recruitment was up 40%.
Although the companys performance to April 2010 has been adversely affected by the world banking crisis and the deterioration in the UK and global economies, the firm was well placed to take advantage of a continuing improvement in the market.

Leaders within financial services recruitment, since 1992, Change has been experiencing rapid growth through bulk recruitment in investment banking and asset management both in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The company is also witnessing success in overseas markets with the Change International division responsible for approximately 50% of the companys turnover..

Despite the economic downturn, international business has increased and the company has created a competitive advantage in new lucrative areas such as Africa, as well as volume recruitment roles in historically profitable locations such as Bermuda and the Caribbean. In addition, its Oil & Gas team, the most recent addition to the division, has more than trebled in size in the past 8 months.

Although times have been challenging and the credit crunch has clearly interrupted growth plans for the Group, this is one company that has made a remarkably quick recovery due to its strong market presence, the calibre and commitment of our staff and its continuing investment in its people and markets.

Looking to the future, chief executive, Suzanne Ramsay, is confident that further business will be through continuing organic growth, investment in new locations and acquisition.


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