Posted by Richard Thexton – 27.11.18
When an organization has offices all around the globe with the same vision and values, you would assume they would be fairly similar. However, our Director of Opus Manchester, has seen how his team have carved their own way and mixed things up. As Manchester music mogul, ownder of factory records and the Hacienda, Tony Wilson once said "this is Manchester... we do things differently here.". Whilst this may be talking about music technology, the message still appears to hold true to Opus Manchester. Since opening one year ago, the team have already made a niche name for themselves, and have some big plans ahead. Read on to hear Rich's experiences.
Manchester is a great place to live and work, the city center is changing all the time and growing! It's been classed as one of Europe's fastest growing cities . When I pitched the idea of Opus Manchester to Nigel Ramana (Group MD) 18 months ago, the only UK Opus offices were in Bristol or London, and location is key to our success. Not only because clients are moving from London to the north, but also because it allows us to place the focus of the business on the candidates & clients being able to meet them regularly and also know the local areas they recruit in – something I feel makes a big difference in recruitment.
As with most places in the UK, there’s more demand for tech people than supply - and a real candidate shortage as a result. That’s where really knowing the candidate, meeting up with them, understanding their work needs, being present after or before interviews is key.
Our Contract and Permanent IT Recruitment teams have close candidate relationships, which in turn means they trust us and it’s this trust that allows us to match them with the right client. It’s our location (not just for Manchester but for proximity to other Northern Cities & towns) that allows us to get out and about and do that. Our structure is also slightly different in that we have candidate specialist consultants and client specialist consultants, which really suits the market here.
Another string to our bow is a specialist team that recruit for Sales and Marketing professionals within the tech industry across Europe. Our Sales & Marketing team has broken records since starting and work with some of the most disruptive technology vendors globally. For example An American Robotics Software or Israeli Cyber Security Vendor looking to grow their Sales and Marketing presence in Europe come to us to find the best people.
Something I particularly love about the clients we work with in the North is they’re similar to us. They’re are often growing companies (in Technology, E-Commerce / Retail or Healthcare to name a few) looking to grow very quickly mirroring what Opus Manchester are doing. To get from a team of 1 to 16 in just over a year hasn’t been easy, so I often talk to clients about how we approach candidate attraction and retention – which is exactly what they’re looking to do.
Something that echoes around the City is there’s a real independent spirit in Manchester. And there certainly is with us too. We aren't afraid to do things differently, try new approaches and are always looking to beat what others have done before us in less time.
It’s been quite a journey from pitching the idea to Nigel in 2017. Since opening (officially in December of that year) we’ve gone from a team of one to 16, where most people I hired during 2018 have gone on to be promoted (or are very close). We’ve also moved to bigger offices and in our first year we’ll have achieved £1Million in revenue.
I’ve learned A LOT along the way. The first is about our people – particularly when starting with a clean slate. It sounds basic, but I want to work with nice people who want to have a job & career with a purpose, not just one that pays the bills. As a result, the team are a great bunch, we’re competitive but we help each other. No one person works standalone - whether you’re working on interim roles, permanent or sales and marketing, everyone’s roles cross over.
We also promote people based on their competency to do the job just as much as based on what revenue they generate. So, you can go down the manager route or the practice director route. In that way it means you can become a director without managing any teams but you must be an expert in your market, which again, feels pretty different.
We’ve also learned to really enjoy the journey – we plan for the next few years whilst celebrating the wins of the week we are in. Next year we’re moving office as we’ve outgrown our premises again, we want to reach 30+ people by the end of 2019 and to more than double our revenue. We want to open up into new markets and I want everyone who is working for me now to have been promoted (regardless of their current job title). A busy year ahead!
If you’re thinking about your next challenge and you look at Opus or ask around about us (as I did just over a year & a half ago) then this should tell you all you need to know about the business as a whole, and our Manchester office. We are one of the fastest growing offices - everyone wants to beat their best, there’s no glass ceiling – and we’re a nice bunch too! Have a look at our careers site to see our current opportunities.
If recruitment, Opus and/or Manchester seem interesting to you, then please get in touch through LinkedIn or call Richard on 0161 274 9641 to learn more.
Posted by Richard Thexton – 27.11.18