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The Russell Taylor journey that made a vision become reality

Posted by Georgie Betts on 23/11/2015
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An incredible business journey - with the intensity of a white-knuckle roller-coaster ride - is being celebrated by Russell Taylor Group as it reaches a major milestone in its history.

Ten years of trading has seen the Bromborough-based technical recruitment company grow from a dream that began in a spare bedroom “office” to the multi-million pound entrepreneurial reality it is today.

The vision by Peter Russell and his son Ben was to create a company whose culture of a fulfilled workforce, developing it to become a reputable business with unparalleled customer and candidate service, would ultimately lead to its goal of a £25m turnover.

After a decade, Russell Taylor shows how its commitment to staff has been rewarded with plaudits, including the prestigious Investor in People silver award and Health & Wellbeing accreditation, while understanding the specific needs of customers and respecting their cultures has, in the company's short history, created offices in North Wales, London, Manchester, Scotland and Cardiff.

And as for its original projected turnover, the business is now focussing on making that figure £30m.

Russell Taylor chairman Peter Russell, whose son Ben is managing director of the rapidly expanding company, said: “It has been a roller-coaster ride of a journey but an incredible one for all of us.

“The shape of the business is different than originally envisioned all those years ago at start-up time in the spare bedroom at Ben's home. Flexibility has been key to our development and so the satisfaction of arriving at where we are today is so much more gratifying as a result of the obstacles that had to be overcome.”

Russell Taylor today regularly services more than 170 customers, pays more than 800 contractors each week and fills more than 200 quality, permanent positions each year. The company's substantial growth also saw a tenfold increase in sales in 2009-10.

Peter described the timing of the Russell Taylor start-up, prior to the worst ever recession, “not ideal”. However, it was the opportunism of the owners of the business in acquiring experienced talent when the market was in recession, investing in accredited management systems and building the capacity to grow that typified its success.

He said: “Today the Russell Taylor Group has an outstanding team of directors and senior managers along with specialist teams of sector-focussed service providers, backed up by a significantly resourced and experienced support team, at our head office on Riverside Park, Bromborough.

“The business was originated on the core skills of construction, engineering and trades but has developed over time to offer services in technical and construction management; fire and security; nuclear and energy and oil and gas as well as developing a significant capacity to service the commercial and industrial sectors.

“A lack of corporateness, a phenomenally engaged and empowered team of people, some great partners and the freedom to act have been just some of the ingredients that have engendered an entrepreneurial being here at Russell Taylor.

“The development and health and wellbeing of staff in a dynamically growing organisation has also ensured that everyone is able to fulfil their potential and, with our commitment to ‘home grown’ talent and apprenticeships, we have seen junior staff blossom into seasoned professionals in all areas of sales, finance and business services.”

Peter accredits the philosophy of the leadership team, which promotes the values of teamwork, outstanding communications, openness, honesty and mutual respect, to reaping the benefits of partnership working and developing very strong relationships with its supply partners in finance, quality, HR, H&S, IT, payroll, PR and marketing.

In particular, he said, the team would like to acknowledge the huge contribution to the business of Eclipse Executive, Chester, The Priory Partnership, Birkenhead, DATUMO, Birkenhead, and Close Brothers, Manchester, all of whom have been with the company from almost the beginning and have helped achieve its dream.

Some of the highlights of the past 10 years have been the opening of the company's Wrexham office in 2007 - securing an impressive team of local technical recruitment specialists – as well as creating the Recruit Right brand in 2012 to provide commercial and industrial recruitment services and moving to prestigious headquarters at Riverside Park in Bromborough.

In 2011, the business achieved ISO 9001:2008, appointed its 50th member of staff two years later and then earlier this year achieved the Investor in People silver award and Health & Wellbeing accreditation.

The company has delivered more than 20 apprenticeships, three of whom were nominated as Apprentice of the Year. Ben Russell was named North West Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007 and in the past 18 months Russell Taylor has been shortlisted for four business awards in categories of Learning and Development, North West Business Services Provider and North West Family Business.

Among its other major achievements has been to raise more than £20,000 – via innovative fundraising initiatives by staff – for local children's charities.

And to mark its 10th anniversary, Russell Taylor has also bought its own office block in Wrexham.

But Peter Russell says the company's endeavours will not end here.

He said: “With continued growth, additional talent, new customers and lots to go at, the business is now focussed on achieving £30m turnover by 2017.”