Having worked in such a large corporate environment prior to establishing ALS, it was clear that very few recruitment agencies offered a genuinely specialist solution backed up with high levels of strategic account management and added value services. There was clearly an opportunity for growth in this sector as well as a burning desire from the directors to deliver on their strategic vision. Outside of the potential financial incentive for establishing a successful start-up, the pride in developing a brand, product and more importantly a talented team were critical factors to taking the “leap of faith” and leaving a secure and established business. Market exposure was difficult in the early stages and the firm had to adopt a ‘scatter gun’ approach to winning work to cover overhead costs. Outside of personal relationships, there was no brand per se so prospective customers had to trust in the individual that it could deliver what it was selling. As the service levels were strong, organic growth was a key factor in the first two years until it could establish some of the collateral marketing material and have a brand presence. Gradually, ALS started to establish a presence in specific geographical areas and started to in-fill with new business to increase profitability. It prides itself on service levels and kept recruiting talent into the organisation with a view to future growth which restricted operating cash, but now the loyalty, passion and potential in those staff is really starting to come to the fore.

Success Factor

ALS has recruited some phenomenal talent into the business in the last four years and implemented structured training and development plans across the board. It has empowered staff to become line managers and demonstrate their own entrepreneurial flair, supported some through degree level qualifications and it’s been great to see those develop into the future leaders of the business. Customers have seen this progress and continuity within the business and developed strong relationships with the team helping to ensure they do not lose customers. In addition, the business has to what it knows and does well and its customers are benefiting as ALS adds value in other areas and engages with them at a strategic level. It is also able to tailor the service to their needs, offering higher levels of account management than traditional recruitment agencies to ensure they remain ahead of the market. Finally, ALS prides itself on knowing its customer markets, understanding their pressures, the impact and improvements on their processes that it can influence, and helping to shape product offering to suit their needs. This industry knowledge has helped the firm to integrate with its customers and develop collective strategies which have inevitably helped growth.

The Future

ALS plans to maintain sector specialisms as customers really enjoy the benefits that brings, and it intends to expand in both these sectors, but also exploit the obvious synergies within the markets it serves. The business is already on a recruitment drive to increase the team to provide additional services for customers, as well as targeting a number of high profile prospects to further strengthen its position in core markets and increase profitability.