Recruiter announces record turnover amid rise in contractor placements

MERJE Co-founders Richard Abelson, Edward Manson and Jonathan Abelson

Recruitment firm MERJE has revealed a record annual turnover of £10.06m in 2019 as the business celebrates consistent year-on-year financial growth since it was founded eight years ago.

The result, based on the January to December 2019 period, marks MERJE’s best performance since the North Manchester business was established in 2011.

This represents a 21% increase in turnover from £8.6m in 2018, a figure MERJE matched in 2017 after reaching £7.05m, which equates to an impressive near 50% rise in revenue in just two years.

Pre-tax profits for the latest period were £833,000, compared with £958,000 in 2018. This followed significant investment and expansion in 2018 into a new, purpose-built 5,800 sq ft headquarters in Whitefield, which was designed to allow for the future growth of the business as new services are launched.

Across MERJE’s seven core disciplines, which include risk and compliance, finance and audit, customer contact and procurement, the business enjoyed an impressive 22% increase in contractor placements.

Andrew Varty, managing consultant of the finance and audit team, said: “We have observed a continuing demand for our contractor services by our clients who look to quickly and seamlessly draft in niche expertise to provide support with projects and skills gaps.

“While we anticipated major challenges for clients on account of IR35, the delay has enabled continued stability during present circumstances.

“We predict that COVID-19 and the current climate will result in organisations further requiring the specialist services that contractors are able to provide.”

The year 2019 also saw MERJE increase its employee headcount by 10% as the business launched a finance practice division with the purpose of strengthening its position within accountancy practices.

In addition, MERJE appointed a new head of business development at the start of 2020.

The aim of Michael Brennan’s appointment is to assist MERJE on its financial trajectory amid strategic plans to expand the company’s national reach.

Michael is responsible for strengthening relationships with existing clients across the whole of the UK, as well as building new business across all disciplines and emerging markets.

The continued development of MERJE’s 12-month-old procurement and contact centre front-line talent recruitment services saw a significant volume of business wins, too.

MERJE is now looking ahead and exploring the addition of a legal offering as the business recognises continuous demand in this buoyant sector, which complements its current service provision.

Jonathan Abelson, managing director and co-founder of MERJE, said: “It is a fantastic outcome that we were able to achieve such significant financial success in 2019 and even more impressive despite facing difficult market conditions.

“They include the inherently competitive nature of our industry, a rise in in-house recruitment teams and high demands of clients around certain skill-sets.

“We are proud to have made good strategic progress, rounding off a turbulent year in a positive position. This is an amazing feat and testament to our unrivalled client and candidate services.

“We were able to expand our offering to include a new finance practice arm, while seeing the procurement and contact centre front-line talent teams flourish and achieve strong business results.”

He added: “We are also delighted to welcome Michael Brennan to MERJE, who has already made a significant impact in this short space of time. We are confident, given his calibre, experience and track-record, that he will add real value while helping us to realise our ambitious growth plans over the coming years.

“The fact that 2019 was such a strong year was down to the considerable determination and hardworking attitude of our specialist consultants.

“We have always been very particular about hiring people who share our ethos and values in order to sustain the unique culture that has evolved at MERJE over the years.

“It is their continued dedication, knowledge and work ethic which will help us to navigate through the unprecedented circumstances of 2020 and ensure that we maintain the highest standard of service, alongside our financial track record.”