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Senior promotions underpin important changes and record growth for recruiter

Leading Yorkshire HR specialist, Relay Recruitment has appointed Laura Cousins senior business manager, while Kate McKendrick has stepped into her shoes by taking over as business manager.

The moves come as Relay prepares to remodel its entire operation, moving away from a branch network to multiple strategic local hubs.

Laura will take on some of managing director, Steven Street’s responsibilities, freeing him up to concentrate on client relationships and a board role with parent company, Stafforce.  She will also oversee the growth of a new Permanent and Search business, under the Nicholas Associates banner, an established, respected Stafforce brand.  This will concentrate on senior middle management in supply chain, warehousing and procurement. 

In her eight years with Relay, Laura has helped establish and run the highly-respected Relay Academy, which is nurturing an emerging generation of industry-leading talent.

With this in mind, she has mentored recent Academy graduate, Kate McKendrick, to take over her previous role, managing the new Regional Hub, which has brought together Relay’s York and Leeds teams.

The centre of excellence will administer a host of Local Strategic Hubs – dedicated onsite and hot desk operations hosted by key partner clients across Relay’s Yorkshire operating footprint.  Currently working out of the company's King Street centre, in Leeds, Relay claims that an incubation period will see the new combined team moulded into a credible, cohesive working unit.


Formal handover to Kate will take place when the group moves to permanent, hi spec premises at Thorpe Park Business Park.  Situated on the M1, to the South East of Leeds, it is at the heart of Relay’s operating footprint and ideally positioned to support ambitious growth plans in North Yorkshire and the North East.  Crucially, these will link Relay’s territory with parent company, Stafforce’s established East Coast business.

Kate joined Relay York four years ago, coming on board as a trainee consultant after a spell as one the office’s top supplied staff.  

After a methodically planned programme of improvement and development at the Relay Academy, she became the York customer relationship manager a year ago and has gone on to become the company’s single best producer of new business this financial year.

As the Regional Hub business manager, she will oversee all day-to-day operations, including, planning coaching, training and mentoring directing the combined team of consultants client care and retention and new business.

Kate’s accounts have been among the first to be serviced from hot desk and permanent onsite arrangements within the York team’s strategic partnerships.  These include Yorwaste, Craven Storage and Concise.

The promotions come as Relay has announced record financial results, with anticipated growth of over 54 per cent on last year.  A dramatic rise in the numbers of people placed and margins of 17.5 per cent have driven a forecasted &pound1m increase in profits up to &pound1.7m from &pound774, 483.


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