2021 was a great year for Client Server. In fact, the last two years have been some of the most exhilarating, frightening and white knuckle roller-coaster ride I've ever experienced in recruitment.
From the depths of despair in 2020 when I truly believed I would be handing over the keys to my house, to the euphoric 2 nd half of 2021 where we watched every sales record in Client Server’s history tumble. I think I’m only comfortable writing this blog now as we have managed to weather the storm, survive as a business and are genuinely excited about what the future holds.
I can’t lie, I feel like I have aged 10 to 15 years in the space of 18 months (my mother even asked if I had started to die grey streaks in my hair on a family zoom one weekend, charming!) But I also feel battled hardened and more comfortable than ever about facing the challenges the market has to throw at us going forwards.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the market at the moment is crazy and you do need to pinch yourself and realise this isn’t normal. The smart people are just head down trying to make the most of this opportunity. But I also think now is the best time to think about our next steps as a business. The danger is you lose sight of the big picture and forget about strategic planning and growth at a time everyone is concentrated on just achieving sales figures.
So what’s on the horizon for Client Server and what makes us an exciting opportunity to join, follow or just keep an eye on?
There are too many people to mention everyone but here are some big changes that have taken place which, I hope, will have huge impacts on our business moving forwards.
31 promotions in 2021 for one shows our intent and ambition and 6 hungry Team Leads who all do an outstanding job and have rallied their teams to adapt to the new hybrid way of working.
Three recent promotions to Director really signals our intentions for the future of our UK business.
Nick Caley, Sales Director : Taking the reins of our London offering and all its teams means there is a real focus on the growth of revenues, profit and headcount unencumbered by the rest of the company. A direct focus on individual team sizes, technological splits and quality of service will mean more client satisfaction, better results and a cementing of our reputation as one of the premier providers of technical talent in the UK.
This will also allow our European team, which incidentally has doubled in both size and revenues in the last 12 months, to really kick on. We are incredibly ambitious with our targets this year within Europe, our vision is for this part of our business to grow to be as big as our London offering, providing a huge opportunity to make a name for yourself within the industry for both internal employees and consultants looking for a new challenge.
Adrian Davies, Contract Director . Adrian has always been the foundation (and most of the building if we’re honest) to our contracts team, but along with continuing his role within the sales team, he will be focused on the overall growth of our contract book into sustainable, scalable clients with an emphasis on our strengths in the Start-up, Fintech and software house industries.
With a shift away from our traditional model of split desk contract and permanent teams about 2 ½ years ago (yes we should have done it ages ago!) now really paying us dividends, we are reaping the rewards of his knowledge sharing and training whilst other consultants previously only focused on the perm market, seeing the benefit of having contract runners out.
Owen White, Recruitment Director . This is a role Owen has been performing with outstanding results over the last few years. This elevation in the title is more representative of all the hard work and effort he has put into us as a business over what has been a torrid time for hiring, retention, upskilling and general company atmosphere. Under his direction, we hope that our next phase of growth will be a huge success and we can shift the dial of quality and headcount over the next 24 months. Trainee schemes, strategic hires, retention and the upskilling of all our staff will be his primary focus.
Further afield, David Leadbitter has run Australia superbly, weathering what was an extremely tough first few years but coming out of 2021 with the best sales year on record and also their highest number of employees. Being the aspirational, motivated person he is we will look to grow further in Australia, spread into New Zealand and further our relationships in Hong Kong and Singapore. As we look to double headcount over the next 12 months, I’m sure more opportunities for our employees to transfer offices will become available. But the importance of their success will determine our ability to spread our footprint in the wider EMEA regions.
One of the biggest success stories over the last 12 months is the growth of our regional team, led by the very impressive Adam Sutton , who recently was promoted to Head up the entire division. His ability to grow, nurture and support a young team is something all of us could learn from. He has increased revenues by over 50% year on year since the team’s inception in 2017 and in the last calendar year has established what now is Client Serves biggest, most profitable team. This is an area of our business to watch closely as he’s only scratched the surface and has now built this area into a formidable operation with the chance to really kick on.
Two of our unsung heroes but no less important to the business than our top sales employees’, in fact, I would argue they are the foundation of a lot of our success as a business. Our Head of Marketing, Michael Oliver and Head of Advertising, Karen Simons have done a simply outstanding job over the last few years, but in particular the last 12 months. The quality of our advertising and our brand as a business has grown exponentially with huge success and most noticeably a massive uptick in brand awareness, inbound traffic and the emergence of us as a dominant player in the technology recruitment space. This going to open doors, grow revenues and project us on to the next level of success and achievements.
At this point, I want to apologise to all other Client Server Staff, without who we couldn’t have the business we have today. What is noticeable is that over the last 2 years we have moved closer as a business, more of a community and the family environment we have preached for so long. I feel we have never been in a better position to capitalise, grow and meet our lofty ambitions. It is an exciting time to be in our industry and in particular at Client Server. If you want to find out what all the fuss is about, why not give us a call.