Startups Awards Service Business of the Year 2011

Twenty Recruitment Group

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Twenty Recruitment GroupFounders: Adrian Kinnersley and Paul Marsden Year Started: 2008 Website:

With serial entrepreneurs Adrian Kinnersley and Paul Marsden at the helm, it is no surprise that Twenty Recruitment Group has experienced such success. The pair sold their previous recruitment firm Astbury Marsden for £17.5m in 2007 and Twenty Recruitment is already turning over more than £7m – after just three years of trading.

The savvy businessmen set an inspiring example in starting up by carefully timing the launch of their venture to coordinate with when the recession hit the bottom of its cycle – when competitors were disappearing and start-up costs were down. They used the economic conditions as an opportunity to negotiate advantageous deals on premises and infrastructure and to attract strong talent from businesses that were struggling to maintain morale – launching with the former business heads of major competitors on their team.

They have taken this shrewdness into what London Business School calls a ‘new management model’, where staff loyalty, a unique office culture and strong brand values – in Twenty’s case ‘Life’s short’; ‘Crystal clear’; and ‘Be eclectic’ – are key and the founders work hard to ensure that this is reflected in the way their 40 employees operate. This sharp leadership is especially important as the business now works between London and a second office in New York, which was opened in 2010.

From these two bases, the business has gained a significant market share from its competitors – building an impressive network of clients, including a number of FTSE and NASDAQ listed companies. In co-founder Kinnersley’s own words, in only three years Twenty Recruitment Group has gone from, “a UK start-up to an industry defining global recruitment brand.” And a brand which is, “fast becoming the industry benchmark” at that.

Judges’ comments: The judges were impressed with the scale and international reach Twenty Recruitment Group has achieved in such a short space of time. Founders Paul Marsden & Adrian Kinnersley have re-written the rulebook for the recruitment industry building the company on values and culture. Underpinning everything they do, these values have ensured that the loyal and experienced staff provide an exemplary service not always associated with the recruitment industry.

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