As a new year begins our Managing Director, Chris Sultman, reflects on the successes and challenges of 2019 and provides an insight into what 2020 will hold for CDS Recruitment.

How would you summarise 2019?

2019 has been a milestone year for CDS Recruitment as we celebrated our 10-year anniversary and the opening of our second office in Hertfordshire. In addition, we continued to enjoy year on year organic growth and acquired new national and international clients which have further strengthened our position in key sectors.

Our Training division has continued to grow, and we now offer a range of specialist training services to develop key staff for our Engineering and Manufacturing clients.

Furthermore, we launched our in-house apprenticeship scheme to support the training and nurturing of our next generation of recruitment consultants.

We also appointed two new members of staff in 2019, making a total of nine industry experts who have been carefully selected due to their experience in our specialist areas such as Oil & Gas, Renewables, Transportation, Electronics, Scientific & Process, FMCG and Food Manufacturing

We have also invested heavily in a brand new and highly intuitive recruitment CRM, with online registrations which is a fantastic candidate driven management tool. Internally the new search capabilities allow our trained and skilled consultants to generate results with even greater accuracy, helping us provide continuously high service levels to candidates and clients.

What has been your biggest highlight of the year?

We have strengthened our international presence working with a number of companies in mainland Europe. One particular client success that stood out over the course of the year was working with an international software company to help them source candidates for a Senior Operations role in Germany. This was a high priority project, the successful delivery of which bolstered our excellent reputation for providing high-calibre candidates.

We had a briefing session with our client where we gained a sound understanding of the business and the specific criteria of the person they required to set up and spearhead its Germany operation.

Our team strategically plotted the criteria for this project and utilising our extensive search capabilities identified suitable candidates. We then organised face to face interviews and meetings throughout Germany and presented the best matched candidates to our client.  This project was completed in a very tight timeframe by our experienced Executive Search team who managed everyone’s expectations. Having international experience our team understood that the culture of moving careers in Germany is different to the UK market and considered this throughout the process.

On a personal level, the birth of my daughter Charlotte has been one of the best experiences of my life.

What changes have you observed during 2019?

When I set up CDS Recruitment in 2009, my key objective for the business was to build strong personal relationships with both clients and candidates, which in turn has been one of our main drivers of success. The importance of building and maintaining these relationships has become more apparent each year as an increasing number of candidates, as well as clients, are looking for a recruitment partner that they can trust, who understands the sector landscape and the specific requirements of the business.

From an industry perspective, economic and political instability has had a big impact. Over the past few years, we have experienced an increase in permanent recruitment, as more companies are looking to retain skilled employees due to the uncertainty of how Brexit will impact them and changes to legislation such as IR35.

Are there any business lessons you have learned this year?

With safety becoming more important in modern business practices, more frequent and improved quality checks need to be put in place to ensure the safety standards of our company processes are maximised.

What are your expectations for 2020?

We are hugely excited and expecting 2020 to be one of the best years so far for CDS Recruitment as we have a bolstered team of hard working and motivated staff members, a very supportive group of clients and a growing network of skilled candidates. We are looking forward to what the next year has to offer.

In terms of the UK market generally, I think a lot of industries and manufacturing companies will change for the better following the decision on Brexit especially with the growing investment in renewable energy, and an increase in the awareness of pollution, waste and recycling. I also believe more investment in R&D is required to support the development of manufacturing processes and more advanced training.


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