People’s Champion finalist 2018: Forsyth Barnes

Most recruitment companies have clients, but Forsyth Barnes has partners. Has it got the talent to be your People's Champion 2018?

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Start-up name: Forsyth Barnes
Founders: Roheel Ahmad, Scott Parsons
Started in: 2015
Based in: London
Business description: Recruitment agency striving to build a better kind of talent management

Shortlisted categories:

B2B Business of the Year 2018, Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Best Place to Work 2018

The Forsyth Barnes story

Let’s face it, the recruitment industry has a bad rep.

It’s derided for being ruthless and impersonal, focusing on short-term profit with no thought of clients’ – or its own employees’ – needs.

Young entrepreneurs Roheel Ahmad and Scott Parsons reckon it’s time to change that.

Their award-winning London-based executive appointments consultancy has worked with a raft of corporate giants, from Adobe to Arsenal FC, yet they go about their business with a personal touch, listening to their clients and developing their own people with a focus on organic, sustainable progression.

Having seen the industry’s drawbacks first hand during their own successful careers, the founders are striving to build a better kind of agency. Clients aren’t just presented with a list of potential candidates; they’re given market advice, competitor analysis and a detailed explanation of why a particular candidate will suit them.

In addition, Forsyth Barnes offers to introduce its clients to venture capital and private equity firms, and Roheel and Scott will even waive the monthly fee for smaller firms in certain circumstances.

The founders haven’t looked for external funding. Instead they’ve tried to build a company with a family feel, ensuring that staff buy into each phase of the company’s development.

New offices have been opened in Leeds and Nottingham after meticulous research, and new recruits are carefully nurtured in the company’s in-house academy, which provides the same training programme across each of its three premises.

The business model has proved hugely successful, and already the founders are targeting 100% year-on-year growth, along with a new office in New York. Startups readers may already be familiar with them, given they ranked 11th place in our Startups 100 awards earlier this year.

Why Forsyth Barnes made our shortlist:

The company’s commitment to building a better kind of recruitment business is hugely commendable in an industry which isn’t always synonymous with decent values. The founders are growing the right way, and their client list is hugely impressive for such a young company.

Their rigorous training programme, staff development programmes and rewards programmes – which have already given the FB team amazing breaks in Barcelona and New York – also suggest this is an amazing place to work.

Where to find out more about Forsyth Barnes


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