People’s Champion finalist 2018: Start People

Recruitment is a people business which often lacks people skills. David Edwards and his company are determined to change that and are vying for your People's Champion vote

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Start-up name: Start People
Founders: David Edwards
Started in: 2015
Based in: Manchester
Business description: Recruitment specialist that uses precision and innovation to turn clients into partners

Shortlisted category:

B2B Business of the Year

The Start People story

“Inch wide, mile deep.” It’s the guiding maxim of Start People: find an area of expertise and drill down for domination. This simple philosophy has proved startlingly successful.

Very much made in Manchester, Start People specialises in a variety of sectors including manufacturing, automotive and engineering.

The business covers temporary, contract and interim recruitment across the UK and internationally, working with small and medium-sized enterprises and established corporate brands.

Founder David Edwards worked for a major organisation before deciding to go it alone, with a specific mission to debunk some of the negative preconceptions around recruitment and build a better model: a talent selection and placement specialist that builds partnerships with both clients and candidates, working for people as well as profit.

Edwards has built a team with a combined total of 80 years in the recruitment industry, and, following the company’s core maxim, they have homed in on a string of core sectors, including industrial, manufacturing and automotive. The markets were carefully identified both for their skills deficits and strong economic indicators.

To cement the company’s position in each of these key focus areas, Edwards sends his consultants to work directly with clients as part of their inductions. The management have also invested in a number of technologies, notably cloud conferencing systems, to find new ways of engaging with their clients.

Starting out with a team of just three people, the business has experienced rapid growth, but Edwards has strived to maintain a corporate culture based on fun and healthy competition.

And he blends this with a commitment to innovation: audience response technology is used to test contractors’ knowledge and encouraging them to think about their role in a visual, interactive way.

When staff perform particularly well, they are rewarded: eight members of the team were even given an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas last year.

As David and his team push for more amazing growth, Start People’s hard-working staff can expect plenty more trips in the months ahead.

Why Start People made our shortlist:

The company’s attentive approach to clients is hugely commendable, as is its willingness to embrace technology. Edwards has built a company which is both experienced and light on its feet, able to move with the times while also upholding good, old-fashioned values.

Recruitment may be a people business, yet it often lacks the personal touch. Start People, however, is turning that image on its head.

Where to find out more about Start People

Twitter: @startpeople

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