Search 2016 Roundup of the Year!


Many people can agree that this year has been a wild and exciting ride! We received many unexpected curve balls such as Brexit at home and Donald Trump being voted president across the pond. We collectively celebrated the victorious achievement of Andy Murray lifting the Wimbledon trophy for a second time, and shed some tears at the passing of cultural icons David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Prince. It’s safe to say that 2016 has been a fusion of shock, heartache and laughter!

Life at Search has also had its fair share of challenges and triumphs! We catch up with our Search Managing Directors, Simone Lockhart – Scotland, and Debbie Caswell – England to get their roundup of yet another exhilarating year at Search!

Search UK gets name in lights!

In April 2016, Search Consultancy was awarded Platinum accreditation against the Investors in People Standard, demonstrating its commitment to high performance through exceptional people management.

Investors in People is the international standard for people management, defining what it takes to lead, support and manage people effectively to achieve sustainable results. Platinum is the highest level of accreditation available and this award recognises a truly outperforming organisation and represents the top percentile of Investors in People organisations worldwide.

“We were both proud and honoured to receive this award,” says Debbie Caswell, Search's Managing Director for England. “As an organisation that strives to deliver an optimal standard of service to our clients and candidates, it was truly inspiring to receive recognition for all the hard work and dedication of our exceptional staff here at Search!”

Scotland's greatest achievements in 2016!

Search Consultancy kicked off 2016 with a bang by being named as one of Scotland’s top performing businesses! Simone Lockhart, Search Consultancy’s Managing Director for Scotland, said: “Our current success is built on the work of those who have spent many years building the company’s reputation for providing a first class service. It is imperative that we strive to build on this success and the whole team remains dedicated to continually improving our existing services and developing new services.”

Despite uncertain times in the recruitment industry following Brexit, Search's Scottish arm aimed to remain steadfast and resilient! “Overall it’s been quite a challenging year,” Simone reflects, “That being said however, we have had some amazing performances across the region, along with some brilliant examples of where we have really gone to market and made serious inroads with new clients, industry sectors and the Scottish business network.”

There is no denying that the unexpected vote for the UK to exit the European Union sent shockwaves throughout the recruitment industry, leaving many businesses concerned about how they would weather the potential storm ahead. Despite the predictions of gloom and doom, Scotland’s offices rose to the task by making an extra effort to show competitors that Search is a force to be reckoned with!

“We realised that the wheels of the recruitment industry would keep on turning, and as such we had to work extra hard to pinpoint opportunities for growth within the business. 

“We did our best to target the right organisations whilst acknowledging that companies would likely be more comfortable recruiting interim or contract personnel. As such, we offered contract/ temp solutions to organisations that were hesitant to recruit permanent staff.”

What's on the horizon for Scotland in 2017!

Simone predicts that there will be many positive developments for Search on the horizon. “We will always take things to the next level. Our cross-selling activity means we can lock in clients across multiple divisions. We’re getting better at this but we still need to keep it front of mind. We will look to grow and expand into new sectors [by] introducing Search Medical, a dedicated IT Contract team and soon Search Hospitality will return to our Scottish portfolio!”

In addressing how the workforce is shaping up the future of Search in Scotland, Simone says, “We’re shaking things up! We have a new Director and Head of Professional Services joining us in January, our Industrial business is working to a new business model, while our Construction team continues to hit it out of the park (with more of the same to come next year).”


England's greatest achievements in 2016!

When asked which contracts were the most significant in 2016, Debbie says, “Its hard to choose the most significant as we’ve been successful at securing new contracts across the board in all of our disciplines. However we notably managed to secure contracts with three major NHS frameworks. Up until this point our medical business predominantly recruited for the private healthcare sector, so we are thrilled and excited to see how this business relationship will develop going forward. We’ve already made a great start and we aim to build upon this in both England and Scotland as we launch our Medical business in Glasgow in January. 

“Up until the start of December, we have managed to place nearly 7,000 candidates into permanent roles and 19,000 into contract or temporary jobs. As an organisation that strives to put our candidates first, we see this as a tremendous achievement!" 

What's on the horizon for England in 2017!

Search will be expanding their Medical Division into Liverpool. “Our Medical Division has always had a strong presence, and our Manchester office has been instrumental in generating business across the entire northwest,” says Debbie.

“Due to the demand of our clients and candidates, we wanted to expand our service to Liverpool. We are fortunate to have two fantastic 'home grown' managers, both having specialised in providing qualified and unqualified staff to Merseyside clients, who are now ready and willing to launch the Liverpool division!”

Throughout 2016, Search has seen positive growth and a re-structure in their Professional Services business. Debbie hopes to capitalise on this year’s success throughout 2017, saying, “We will be working extra hard to strengthen our Professional Services presence in the market, and given how we have welcomed an influx of true leaders with a specialist knowledge and passion for the industries they cover, I am confident that we will achieve this goal!

“Our Construction business - both blue and white collar - continues to flourish and we have a number of exciting contracts already confirmed for 2017 that will help to take these businesses to the next level. It’s an exciting place to be right now.” 

In Conclusion

Both Debbie and Simone agree that the secret to Search’s success lies in the prioritisation of attracting, training, engaging with and retaining motivated and driven employees. This in turn fosters profitable and long-term business relationships with Search’s client and candidate base.

“One of the reasons we are so good at developing relationships with our clients and candidates is because we know our markets so well! Our affiliation with industry bodies, government, skills, education and the business community at large gives as a very special insight into what is important to employers when attracting, developing and retaining the best talent,” says Simone.

“We want to continue to be an employer of choice, through motivating our staff to be self-driven and motivated to succeed within the organisation. We will continue to do all within our power to support and guide our team of consultants as they demonstrate an exceptional service to our candidates and clients,” Debbie adds.

About our Contributors

Simone Lockhart

Simone Lockhart is the Managing Director for Search Consultancy in Scotland. She is a recruitment expert with over 20 years experience in the industry. She originally joined Search in 1998 as a Divisional Manager to set up the all new Office Services specialism in the Glasgow Office. Simone currently manages 200 recruitment professionals across our Scottish network, providing creative recruitment solutions to a broad range of companies and industry sectors.

Debbie Caswell

Debbie Caswell is the Managing Director for Search Consultancy in England. She is a recruitment expert with over 25 years of experience in the industry, and is currently responsible for more than 420 recruitment professionals throughout a network of regional branches nationwide. She leads her business with real passion, energy and dedication, which is rewarded through great loyalty and engagement from her employees.


Connect with Search


Search Awards

Sign-up to an Account

So we can send you job alerts that match your criteria directly to your inbox.