Multimillion-pound investment will drive European growth for recruitment specialist

Alexander Crawford, Safe Hammad, Robert Newry, Helen Verwoert

Manchester-based psychometric assessment provider, Arctic Shores, has secured a £5.75m Series B investment.

The financial fillip will be used to accelerate the development of the firm’s soft-skills assessment and international expansion, specifically in Europe.

Manchester venture capital firm, Praetura Ventures, along with London-based private equity firm, Calculus Capital, led the transaction with participation from existing shareholder Beringea.

Founded in 2014 by Robert Newry and Safe Hammad, Arctic Shores specialises in hiring for potential and soft skills. At a time when organisations across the world are facing an acute skills crisis, increasing digitisation of work, and the need to adapt rapidly, the need to assess for potential and soft skills has never been greater, it argues.

Arctic Shores helps employers build the diverse, successful workforce of tomorrow by enabling organisations to widen their talent pools, unearthing high quality candidates often overlooked by CV screening and traditional tests.

The company says organisations that rely on the CV and outdated selection criteria like degree qualifications are falling behind those that are taking a more progressive approach – not just in skills but also diversity.

To date, Arctic Shores has helped pioneering organisations like Vitality, PwC, Thales, TalkTalk and Arcadis, objectively assess more than three million candidates worldwide, while at the same time improving their quality of hire and reducing their cost of hire.

Robert Newry, co-founder alongside Safe Hammad, and CEO of Arctic Shores, said: “This next phase of investment will help Arctic Shores to realise its mission to help companies see more in people and transform recruitment so that potential will count as much as hard skills or experience.”

He added: “Companies are being squeezed by a lack of specific skills which is driving up salaries and recruitment costs. On top of that, there is a cohort of experienced workers soon to retire, and an increasingly digitised economy creating many new roles for which no prior experience exists.

“If companies recruit in the same way they have always done, then they will fail. Arctic Shores gives businesses a unique and proven way to escape this experience trap by assessing for potential so that companies can train up the skills.

“Companies like PwC, Siemens and Airbus are leading the way into the future by recognising that the CV is no longer fit for purpose and adopting a soft skills centric hiring approach.”

Helen Verwoert, operational partner at Praetura Ventures and ex-chief people officer at Dr. Martens, and Alexander Crawford, co-head of investments, at Calculus Capital, will join the board.

Helen said: “The recruitment landscape is changing rapidly. The challenges employers face today are fundamentally different to those we’ve seen in previous years.

“And new challenges need new tools. As we scaled the team at Dr. Martens, we constantly looked for new and innovative ways to help us develop our edge in the ‘race for talent’.

“Arctic Shores’ platform gives its clients that edge by broadening the talent pool, hiring based on real skills and removing bias from outdated practices. I look forward to supporting them with Praetura’s More Than Money promise as they continue to grow.”

Alexander Crawford said: “Arctic Shores, which has an impressive list of clients in over 40 countries, has developed a fantastic platform which allows employers to hire based on candidates’ potential, without bias, using scientifically proven behaviour-based assessments. Arctic Shores has a particularly strong and experienced management team, and we look forward to working with them to grow and scale the company over the next few years.”

The investment will accelerate the adoption of Arctic Shores’ new self-configure platform, and with the increasing demand for soft skills assessments, the company is launching an innovative update to assessing workplace intelligence. Following growth in Germany, including major contracts with Airbus Siemens and Schneider Electric, the investment will further Arctic Shores’ European presence and market capability to accelerate in this region.

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