HR recruitment specialist acquired

ACQUISITION: Marc Bishop, MD of Southampton-based HR specialist PlusHR which has acquired Consult Recruitment, a top-tier recruitment companies for HR professionals

One of the UK’s top-tier recruitment companies for HR professionals has been acquired by a provider of HR services.

Hampshire-based Consult Recruitment, formerly Consult HR and established 32 years ago, has been obtained by PlusHR for strategic growth.

PlusHR, founded in 2006, provides professional HR services to a range of small, medium and large businesses across various sectors across the UK.

Previously headquartered in Alresford, mid Hampshire, the Consult team now operates out of PlusHR’s offices in Nursling, Southampton.

Marc Bishop, Managing Director of both companies, said: “It has long been the ambition of PlusHR to become more involved in the recruitment business.

“There are obvious natural synergies between the two organisations, Consult and PlusHR because we are recruiting HR professionals in one and we are delivering HR services in the other.

“Some people may question why we have taken this step in the middle of a pandemic and when the UK economy has suffered its biggest drop since 1709.

“However, we felt it was the perfect time to buy. Recruitment is cyclical, boom or bust – it is completely connected to the economy and so we hope we have bought at the bottom of the market.

“Given the economy is set to recover in the second half of 2021.  The bounce back is just ahead, … this is the first large, positive trend since prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“What we are excited about is how we draw across both client bases because there will be things which my HR managers work on which will be of interest to candidates and clients in the recruitment business, and vice versa.

“With more than 25,000 HR professionals in our database we are undoubtedly among the top HR recruitment specialists in the country.”

The acquisition transaction was by way of a profit share arrangement for the former owners, who are no longer involved in the business.

Marc now leads a team of four at Consult Recruitment, which was established in 1989 and works with some of Britain’s biggest brand names, such as Sainsbury’s, Pizza Hut, Associated British Ports, McLaren, Allianz, Lockheed Martin, River Island and L’Oréal.

Hugely experienced directors Debbie Blackwell and Emma Crichton are supported by recruitment support executive Hannah Coleman and personal assistant Nikki Amey.

Marc added: “We have two highly experienced and capable recruitment experts in Debbie and Emma and a dedicated and hard-working team.

“They very much understand that HR recruitment is so much more than just ‘bottoms on seats’ – it is taking the time to ensure the right bottom is going on to the right seat.

“We put the hard work in up front and really work with the client to understand the role – and sometimes challenge the client because occasionally demands will be unrealistic.

“The recruitment market, across all sectors, is tight at present, with the top people staying put in positions.

“I don’t think that will relax until people become more secure around the economic future of the UK. We are working towards this.”

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the unemployment rate for the last quarter of 2020 was 5.1 per cent – or 1.74 million people jobless. That figure is predicted to keep rising to 7.75 per cent by the middle of this year.

Prior the national emergency, there were 31,140 recruitment enterprises in the UK and a workforce of 106,000 – in an industry worth £39 billion in annual turnover before the pandemic.

Latest figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), published in December last year, show there were around 813,000 permanent placements made by the UK recruitment industry in 2020.