New Directions (Recruitment) Ltd

Origins

New Directions was developed as a ‘head-hunting’ recruitment firm securing jobs for boardroom appointments, senior managers and professionals in specific sectors. Relocating to Cardiff in 1993, the business occupied an office in the city centre, from where it began its development into more ‘specialist’ sectors. Extensive feasibility studies were initially undertaken to identity and evaluate the staffing needs of service or industry sectors in Wales where there were shortages of qualified professionals to fill positions, such as teachers and social workers. Having identified these needs and a growing demand or shortfall in some professions, New Directions subsequently put together a hand picked team of recruitment professionals and supplemented it with qualified staff from the specific sectors it intended to recruit in. The company brought in qualified and experienced teachers, social workers and lawyers who had first hand knowledge of the sector they would subsequently recruit in, i.e. Education, Social Care & Legal. By infusing experienced recruitment consultants with sector professionals both market place and marketing prospecting was greatly enhanced. Competitors were soon overtaken by an adherence to providing a first class, dedicated bespoke service to sectors where New Directions had people who had ‘been there and done that’ in the workplaces themselves – affording customers and candidates alike that they were dealing with people who could ‘walk the walk’ as well as ‘talk the talk’..

Success Factor

The business has grown organically and consistently since the setting up of the bespoke education and social care divisions. Having ventured into market places where there was very little quality opposition and by applying the principle of having accomplished sector professionals recruiting like minded individuals, the business was able to develop and increase its market share built on professionalism and specialist knowledge. In what truly is a ‘people business’, people do business with New Directions because they are confident that the people they are dealing with are in tune with their way of thinking and not just ‘selling’ a service to them. Team building and employee retention has been another contributing factor to the business’ success, with the majority of staff who have joined staying with the company and building their own careers within the structured set up. Team spirit is at the epicentre of New Directions’ ethos, and some members of staff who began their career at New Directions as consultants are now divisional managers, increasing their earning potential and the profitability of the company because of their greater understanding of the role, the business and its market place. Finally, the company has developed innovative online recruitment processes via its group and bespoke sector websites, allowing clients and candidates to post their vacancy or applications for positions online. Candidates are able to view vacancies online in ‘real time’, while clients can view from a selection of available candidates that are on the New Directions database. Having invested well in excess of a half million pounds on ensuring that the company keeps up to date with the latest technology and software New Directions is and will continue to be at the cutting edge of the recruitment industry. An in house IT division and communications initiative has delivered enhanced presence on the internet, optimising the websites search and find presence to get high listings in the main search engines without the need for advertising or paying for placement on the search engines. Development of the websites as interactive, user friendly places where candidates and clients can register and search for what they are looking for, with audio assistance for visually impaired users, means that New Directions offer an enhanced all round service that is unique in the recruitment market place.

The Future

The objective for New Directions is to achieve its ambition of ultimately becoming "the most profitable company in Wales", based on turnover and profit percentage measured against the number of salaried employees in the company. Business growth and development will continue to be a primary focus, along with the determination to provide the best possible service to customers and candidates new to or already dealing with New Directions. The innovative approach of offering full time contracts to some supply teachers and locum social workers has been very successful during 2003-2004 and will be expanded further during 2004-2005, affording even stronger links between New Directions and its customers throughout Wales. New Directions has recently incorporated a Professional Training and Ongoing Development division to deliver accredited training courses for people in the education and social care sectors, improving standards of the people New Directions employs and works with. The company has also achieved City & Guilds accreditation as an approved Training Centre and is a corporate member of the CIPD.