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Forward Role celebrates tenth birthday with record year of growth

Author: Rachael Ford
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Specialist Marketing, Digital and IT recruiter Forward Role has marked its tenth birthday by celebrating record growth figures for 2017.

The Manchester-based business, which counts Iceland, boohoo.com and missguided.com among its clients, saw turnover rise by 56 per cent in the last 12 months.

 And the firm also welcomed 14 new members of staff during 2017, taking the team to 32 and making it the largest Marketing and Digital recruiter in the North of England.

 Forward Role was launched in 2008 at the height of the credit crunch by founder and Managing Director Steve Thompson.

 He set up in his bedroom at home in Bolton – and by the end of year one, the young business boasted two staff and a dozen exclusive big brand clients.

 “It was a tough time to start a business but I felt confident there was a place in the market for a recruitment consultancy that stood for something different - with a major focus on building long term client partnerships and treating candidates the way I would like to be treated if I were in their shoes,” Steve said.

 “By focusing on things I felt were missing from my own experiences with the established players in the market from my days as a marketer, we quickly built a strong brand and reputation.

“We’ve developed our proposition and brand over the years but those values that served me well at the start have remained.”

Growth was slow at first for the fledgling consultancy, as Steve contended with the challenging economic climate. But then in 2012, after winning a large contract with BPP Professional Education to build a 40-person marketing team from scratch, the business really took off.

Since then, turnover and the team has increased ten-fold. They boast an industry leading staff retention rate of 97% last year and in the last two years, have celebrated their success with team trips to Barcelona, Reykjavik and Lisbon.

The firm also re-located in 2017 to a state-of-the-art Manchester city centre office, complete with in-house bar.

And earlier this month Forward Role welcomed five new members of staff to its award-winning team.

“It’s been so satisfying to see some of the big brand generalist recruitment players in our space shrink their teams to next to nothing, whilst we’ve experienced such rapid growth. I think that speaks volumes for our expertise and service!

“Most satisfying is the fact that out of the more than 200 businesses we placed candidates with last year, 12 were with the original dozen who bought into our brand in our first 12 months.

“Clients like AO.com have been with us from the beginning and we’d like to think we’ve played a small part in their monumental success due to the great talent we’ve placed with them.”

“2017 was a fantastic, record-breaking year,” added Sales Director Brian Johnson. “But we’re always looking to grow and build the business and we won’t be resting on our laurels.

“Here’s to another ten years!”

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