Recruitment firm plans to quadruple headcount after NPIF funding

Luke Fowler, left, and Ashley Vaines

A Leeds-based recruitment agency has opened an office in Manchester as part of an ambitious plan to achieve a four-fold increase in its business.

The Recruitment Crowd (TRC) has appointed three staff at the new Swinton office and aims to increase that to 15 by the end of the year.

It will be led by Nathan Barrass who has more than 20 years’ experience in recruitment specialising in the construction and trade sector.

The company, which is also opening an office in Gateshead, plans to have a presence in eight key locations nationwide within the next five years and increase total staffing levels from 25 to more than 100.

The growth drive comes just months after the company secured a £250,000 loan from NPIF-Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

The funding has helped it to meet growing demand for its services from e-commerce delivery firms and secure a number of major contract wins. TRC has already created nine positions in Leeds and is continuing to expand its team in the region. It is also using the funding to further enhance its custom-built IT platform to automate registrations and speed up the recruitment process.

TRC was founded in 2012 by Luke Fowler, who was joined a year later by director Ashley Vaines. It now provides both temporary and permanent staff for a wide range of sectors from finance, IT and healthcare to logistics, hospitality and construction. Clients include UPS, Yodel, DPD, Fedex and Town & Country Foods.

Ashley Vaines said: “The pandemic had a serious impact on our business as sectors such as hospitality closed down altogether or put recruitment plans on hold.

“However, activity is bouncing back and the shift in the economy has presented new opportunities across the country. The NPIF funding has allowed us to capitalise on areas of increased demand and put our growth plans into action.”

Gary Whitaker, of Mercia, said: “TRC achieved excellent growth in recent years and, despite a temporary drop in business last year, it has been actively taking advantage of new opportunities as a result of market changes during the pandemic. This funding has already enabled the business to expand in Yorkshire and as a result, it is now seeking to establish itself in the North West and on the national stage.”

Melanie Ellyard, at British Business Bank, said: “One of the reasons NPIF exists is to help boost job opportunities within the North, so we are very pleased to be assisting TRC in their ambitious growth plans, that include creating new jobs across the regions. We look forward to following their progress as NPIF continues to assist Northern businesses with the finance required to take them to the next level.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.