What is the ethos and the atmosphere of the company?
“The short answer is we’re ambitious, passionate and we like to make it fun.
Leading from the front is absolutely central to our culture. The directors (including the founders Simon and Scott) are some of the biggest billers in the company and so they lead by example which helps to maintain our winning mentality.
We also treat people as grown-ups. They work hard because they want to – not because they feel they have to. There’s no culture of “8am to 8pm” – in fact “just deliver” is the simple message. The founders Simon and Scott together with a number of the directors all have young families and understand the need for a work/life balance. We’re proud to have a number of returning mums who not only find fulfilment in their family and their career but also who add significant value to our continued success.
Career opportunities are bespoke – nobody is encouraged to take a role which benefits the company rather than the individual – and promotions are based on merit rather than your face fitting or playing the game.
We love competing and yet we respect our competitors – we know that we don’t always have all the answers and on occasion we can learn from others. After all, a great idea is a great idea whatever the source.
And perhaps most surprising of all, even though there’s bags of ambition, confidence and ability, there’s a refreshing lack of arrogance – there’s no place for egos here.”
How is the business unique?
“What we do isn’t unique so the way we deliver it has to be. This relies on us having the right people in the right seats doing the right things. Our track record of growth throughout both good and tough economic conditions is testament to the quality of our people. At the end of the day our USP is us.”
What does Investigo offer to its clients?
“We work in the ultimate people business. We see a world of opportunity based not only on what we know but also on who we know. We engage with like-minded professionals who believe in the power of relationships. We prefer clients to use us because they want to not because they feel they have to. We’re recruiters who like to make a difference – and in order to do so we believe we have to offer our clients a combination of insight, understanding and expertise together with the commitment to building a partnership based on trust, integrity and enjoyment.”
What immediate plans does the company have?
“First and foremost we want to continue to grow our existing business streams as we strive for market leadership. To be frank, if we don’t believe we can be a top 3 player in each of our chosen markets, then what’s the point?
Secondly we will explore new markets – both in terms of new locations and new professional disciplines. Once again, this has to be on the basis that we can be a top 3 player. In the last three years we have opened new offices in Hong Kong and Milton Keynes and launched new business lines in Property, Procurement, Supply Chain and HR.
Thirdly we want to make sure that we engage with our clients in ways which help us to sell across our whole portfolio of services.
Next, I want us to provide a clear lead in the service that is provided to candidates. We all know that the candidate is the client of tomorrow so for me this is a “must-have” rather than a “nice to have”. A recruitment company will only ever place a small proportion of the candidates it chooses to register, so the implications for any ambitious company who gets this wrong are simply enormous.
And lastly – and most importantly– we want to provide fulfilling and rewarding careers for our people.”
What are the directors’ thoughts on the current marketplace for recruitment and in general?
“The market in recent years has been challenging and has almost certainly contracted due to two phenomena: a stuttering economy and the proliferation of in house/RPO teams. Despite this over the last 3 years we have grown from 60 to 150 people and happily there are now signs of growth in the economy.”
What are the longer term strategic plans for the business?
“Our focus is to grow organically within the UK with a view to becoming the leading independent recruiter in professional staffing.”
Expansion and growth opportunities?
“Everywhere I look I see opportunity. We opened our first overseas office in Asia last year and we’ll continue to invest there as well as closer to home. We still believe that the opportunities here in the UK are enormous and so we will continue to take market share here. We’re therefore exploring expansion opportunities in the regions as well as setting up new business streams in complementary areas such as Marketing & Communications and Legal – to name but two.”
Is headcount expanding and if yes, what specifically are you looking for and what type of person are you seeking?
“The answer is a resounding YES.
In fact, we’re always looking for talented individuals – either to lead new businesses or to join as aspiring consultants. In particular, we look for experienced recruiters who can demonstrate a track-record of success and whose values and desire for success match ours. We also recruit top calibre trainees (which accounts for about 10% of the fee-earner headcount). Above all, we seek that entrepreneurial spirit which will help us to keep pace with our growth plans.
To be honest, we’ve been pleasantly surprised over recent months by the number of high calibre individuals we’re attracting to the company. It seems that whilst many of the larger recruitment groups down-sized during recent years, the manner in which some of them chose to do so is now having noticeable repercussions. Of course, if you’re reading this and think you should be talking to us, then please contact me for a confidential conversation.
What’s it like working for Investigo?
“In summary, its fun, fast paced and exciting. One of the reasons I joined was the spirit I felt here – people are encouraged to be entrepreneurial, free-thinking and to push the boundaries; we’re an exciting company which has grown quickly; everyone feels part of that success.
The directors lead from the front because we all believe we have to add value not just to our clients and candidates but also to our colleagues.
It’s also very rewarding. We want to be known as one of the top payers in the industry so that we can attract and retain the best of the best. For example, a fee-earner who bills £600k in the Temporary/Interim market would expect an OTE of £240k - which compares very favourably to the vast majority of our competitors.
What is so compelling and exciting about the company?
“The company was created with a passionate belief in recruiting the best of the best: treating them fairly and recognising and rewarding success. Most of our people have come from competitors – and they tell us that there’s something special about working here. Yes we pay well (with one of the best commission schemes in the industry), yes we work and play hard, yes we have strong relationships with some great clients (Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Tescos, Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group to name but a few) – and yet there’s also something indefinable that people seem to love. On top of this (and it may sound strange to some) we actually prefer people who aspire to running their own business - and on rare occasions they may leave us to do just that (believe it or not, with our blessing). In the main though we are helping to develop entrepreneurs around whom we can grow the Investigo brand. That feeling of ownership and autonomy makes this a great place to be.