Thursday 11th June 2020.

30 years of Recruitment, Redefined

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Thursday 11th June 2020. 30 years of Recruitment, Redefined

Colin Woodward

After Graduating in 1988 I wanted to join an industry that allowed you to progress your career quickly and gave you real responsibility. The Recruitment sector, which turned over £3bn at the time, and was expanding as Job Centres struggled to cope with the demands of the employment market, seemed the right choice. I worked for Hays for 18 months then resigned, deciding to set up on my own in conjunction with my old school friend and fellow Hays employee, Ian Storer, and on Monday 11th June 1990 Contract Construction Services Limited commenced trading. We were both 24 years old but I’d learnt a lot in a short space of time and had spent the previous 4 months with Hays running my own office in Manchester. Having been asked on several occasions by candidates and clients why I didn’t set up on my own, the timing felt right too. Covering the North of England & Scotland, Ian and I worked together for 8 years, taking the business to a turnover of £5.6m with 18 staff across 3 offices before we decided to go our separate ways and the Scottish part of the business was renamed Contract Scotland.

With a turnover of £2.2m and 3 staff we progressed to a pre pandemic turnover of £18.5m with 35 staff based out of our Stirling office, providing temporary & permanent recruitment solutions to the Construction and Associated Industries. Building and growing a business takes time. I’ve always felt it was important to grow and then consolidate before looking to grow again, otherwise you’ve not built a strong foundation from which to expand. Much has changed in the last 30 years in construction recruitment, but at Contract Scotland we’ve always looked to challenge the way we do things, strive to continually improve and build long term relationships with all stakeholders. As well as taking a professional and transparent approach to our business relationships, we’ve always maintained an altruistic nature, giving back to the Construction Industry in Scotland that has enabled our growth over the years.

It’s been an enjoyable journey, recruiting some excellent staff into the business, developing their careers and seeing them realise their potential at Contract Scotland. We’re working with some temporary workers who are in their third decade of working with us and some clients who have worked with us from the very early days and we’re grateful for their support, without which this landmark wouldn’t have been achievable. When we first started on the journey, we hoped we’d still be in business 18 months later. The hours were long and the learning curve was steep but the job satisfaction has made it worthwhile.

There’ve also been some challenges. We’ve worked through numerous downturns, but I’d have to say that the current challenges presented by Covid 19 are the most difficult I’ve had to work through. Fortunately in times of hardship candidates and clients tend to turn to the experts in their field and as the longest serving Recruitment Agency operating in the Scottish market, we are uniquely placed to help. The effects of the pandemic won’t really be known for months or even years to come, as Warren Buffet once quipped “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked”, but when we find our way through to the other side of this, we look forward to supporting our clients and candidates recover and to helping them plan for a new future.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our clients, candidates and all the Contract Scotland members of staff that have contributed to the company’s success in the last 30 years. We couldn’t have achieved what we have without you.

Here's to the next 30…

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