This is the third year in succession that New Directions (Recruitment) Ltd has been in the Wales Fast Growth Fifty. The company has grown consistently since its incorporation in 1994, escalating in size and service provision to accommodate the demand for teachers, social workers, pharmacists and vets throughout Wales and the UK. As a specialist recruitment company, New Directions trades in market places it knows best and employs over 60 people directly; with hundreds more out on supply or locum work every day. Since its first entry in the Wales Fast Growth Fifty, New Directions has gone on to establish itself as one of the key businesses in Wales with a successful growth strategy, having been finalists in the National Business Awards Growth Strategy section in 2005. "We’ve achieved a great deal and earned plenty of recognition recently!" Jeff Tune added. "For us though, getting into the Wales Fast Growth Fifty for the third year running is the best achievement yet. This is testament to our sustained growth and development as a leading Welsh business. People are aware of us as a brand and as a company dedicated to the provision of a quality service. The branding and recognition by a wider business audience began with our first entry in the Wales Fast Growth Fifty in 2003 and now this year’s entry is proof that what we’ve set out to achieve is being achieved. I would like to go on record to thank all the schools, local authorities and pharmacies that keep coming to us for their supply or locum cover, along with the staff at New Directions who have all worked tremendously hard to get us here!"
74.2 % growth between 2002 and 2004
New Directions was developed as a ‘head-hunting’ recruitment firm securing jobs for boardroom appointments, senior managers and professionals in specific sectors. Relocating to Cardiff in 1993, the business occupied an office in the city centre, from where it began its development into more ‘specialist’ sectors. Extensive feasibility studies were initially undertaken to identity and evaluate the staffing needs of service or industry sectors in Wales where there were shortages of qualified professionals to fill positions, such as teachers and social workers. Having identified these needs and a growing demand or shortfall in some professions, New Directions subsequently put together a hand picked team of recruitment professionals and supplemented it with qualified staff from the specific sectors it intended to recruit in. The company brought in qualified and experienced teachers, social workers and lawyers who had first hand knowledge of the sector they would subsequently recruit in, i.e. Education, Social Care & Legal. By infusing experienced recruitment consultants with sector professionals both market place and marketing prospecting was greatly enhanced. Competitors were soon overtaken by an adherence to providing a first class, dedicated bespoke service to sectors where New Directions had people who had ‘been there and done that’ in the workplaces themselves – affording customers and candidates alike that they were dealing with people who could ‘walk the walk’ as well as ‘talk the talk’..
The business has grown organically and consistently since the setting up of the bespoke education and social care divisions. Having ventured into market places where there was very little quality opposition and by applying the principle of having accomplished sector professionals recruiting like minded individuals, the business was able to develop and increase its market share built on professionalism and specialist knowledge. Team building and employee retention has been another contributing factor to the business’ success, with the majority of staff who have joined staying with the company and building their own careers within the structured set up. Team spirit is at the epicentre of New Directions’ ethos, and some members of staff who began their career at New Directions as consultants are now divisional managers, increasing their earning potential and the profitability of the company because of their greater understanding of the role, the business and its market place.
Finally, the company has developed innovative online recruitment processes via its group and bespoke sector websites, allowing clients and candidates to post their vacancy or applications for positions online. An in house IT division and communications initiative has delivered enhanced presence on the internet, optimising the websites search and find presence to get high listings in the main search engines without the need for advertising or paying for placement on the search engines. Development of the websites as interactive, user friendly places where candidates and clients can register and search for what they are looking for, with audio assistance for visually impaired users, means that New Directions offer an enhanced all round service that is unique in the recruitment market place.
"We’ve grown considerably over these past few years!" New Directions’ managing director Jeff Tune said. "So much so that we’ve outgrown the Cardiff office we’re currently occupying, despite opening an office in Swansea last year. We’re now looking for bigger premises in Cardiff city centre for our new head office location, so if anyone reading this has or knows of high quality office space with at least seven thousand square feet to lease or sell then I’ll be happy to hear from them!"