So far, so fast - Sheffield City Region recruitment firm enjoys stellar growth

Jim Sloan
Jim Sloan
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With growth of 117.9 per cent over the last two years, Navartis is one of the fastest growing companies in Sheffield City Region - but is it the fastest?

The Doncaster recruitment company has enjoyed year-on-year growth since it was established in 2006 and is set to hit £30million turnover this year - with bosses targeting £100m in the next eight years.

Nick Goulding of hlw Keeble Hawson, Jim Sloan, and David Forrest and Matt Scott of BHP Corporate Finance.

Nick Goulding of hlw Keeble Hawson, Jim Sloan, and David Forrest and Matt Scott of BHP Corporate Finance.

Its position among the top 30 fastest growing firms will be revealed in the Rapid Growth Survey, compiled by BHP Chartered Accountants and published in The Star Business Weekly on Wednesday September 9.

Navartis is a specialist project focused recruitment company which supplies highly skilled technical and management professionals to infrastructure projects throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East within the rail, civil engineering and utility industries.

The company’s client base boasts a number of leading multinational companies, including Balfour Beatty, Carillion and Siemens.

Managing director Jim Sloan attributes the success of Navartis, based at Sidings Court, Lakeside, to its people.

He said: “People are our driving force and investing in their training and development is essential to seeing the business grow. Having a clear plan is important, but you need the right people to execute it really well. Director Justyn Faulkner and I set out what we wanted to do in 2006 and the essence of that hasn’t really changed.”

Navartis was originally a subsidiary company of Kinetic plc, where Jim began his career.

Jim set up the company up with Kinetic’s backing and in October last year led a management buy-out. Six months after the deal, Navartis’ funders said it was a benchmark example of how a good deal should go.

The firm was advised by BHP Corporate Finance and law firm hlw Keeble Hawson.

Jim added: “We’re expecting to hit £30 million in turnover this coming year and we’re aiming to grow it to £50 million over the next three years, so we’ll need to increase our staff levels to make sure we are able to keep up our quality of service. Within the next eight years, I anticipate hitting the £100 million mark. Part of our strategy is built around our overseas work, and to enhance this we are considering international expansion.

“I think, in business, it’s important to strive to be the best in your market by working out what real value looks like for your clients.”

Since Jim Sloan began his career in 1999 the recruitment industry has changed substantially - especially its reputation.

When he started, the industry had a poor standing. In recent years however, things have improved.

He said: “Everything is more professional than before. The focus is where is should always have been – on helping clients achieve their goals through placing quality candidates in the right jobs.”

Technology has played a big role in the industry too.

LinkedIn, job boards, online recruitment platforms and increased accessibility to candidates have made it easier.

Jim added: “There’s also increased global competition. In the sectors we service, candidates are in demand internationally. The same tools that help us also help recruiters abroad.

“The recruitment industry is often seen as an indicator for economic confidence – employers who are hiring are usually looking to grow.

“Proactive recruitment agencies can help stimulate the economy through taking candidates to the market place, causing companies to create new positions, and for every person placed, there is usually a new gap created, so the opportunities escalate.

“Plus, recruitment companies operating internationally drive the economy through bringing wealth from abroad into the UK.”