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Manchester-based business celebrates 5-year anniversary

Recruiting for arguably one of the industries worst hit by recession, the residential and property sector, would have been a challenge for an established business, but At Source has managed to survive and thrive thanks to what its managing director Mark Noakes says is a more unusual approach for a recruitment agency.

“My clients love the fact that we offer something that perhaps they haven’t been used to in the past – the personal touch. We endeavour to meet every one of the candidates we put forward and all of our business so far has come from recommendations and referrals as they clearly like the way we work,” he said.

Noakes, 40, set up At Source at the beginning of 2009. Already working in property and construction recruitment, he saw the recession as a rare opportunity to fill a gap in the market and fulfil his dreams of running his own business.

“When the recession hit, it actually seemed like a good time to set up a business and provide something different,” he explained.

Under the circumstances, it may have seemed like a daring move but, for Noakes, it was a case of not letting the opportunity pass him by. In under three months of setting up, a high profile placement was secured at a company that At Source still works with today.

At Source’s one-to-one approach leads to better quality candidates and therefore clients are keen to stay loyal to the firm. Mark believes that making an effort to understand each individual, find out what their skills and interests are, and matching them to the office culture is extremely important to achieving that long-term placement.

“Our ethos is & lsquo;Integrity, Trust and Partnership’ and I firmly believe that we work to that every day. We like to work hard, we like to be successful, but most of all we like to be able to provide our clients and candidates with what they need, a recruitment company that works in their interests,” he said.

The ethos must be working as clients, predominantly in the North West but wider afield too, have repeatedly turned to At Source.

With the upturn in the property sector, spurred on by new financial initiatives and a generally more positive market, Mark says At Source has been in the perfect position to respond to changes, and seeing them coming, can help housebuilders and construction firms get back on their feet with quality staff.

Although maintaining a high quality talent pool hasn’t been easy in the current climate, with cutbacks to management schemes and fewer degrees in the housebuilding sector, Mark is confident that he has the contacts and the experience to help companies and job seekers find and fill the right role.

At Source’s success is illustrated in its fee income which, approaching the end of the financial year, is so far up 38% on 2012/13 (year ending in March) which was up 42% on 2011/12.

And it is growth that Noakes is keen to build on with two new recruits just started and a new Executive Search service planned.



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