Has it really been 12 months since I last wrote about the business? It only feels like last week. Maybe that’s because so much has happened between then and now and we’ve barely stopped for a breath. So now seems to be a good time to tell our little story, part three.

Last year in partnership with our little cohort of in-house recruitment professionals we were able to focus our business and build our reputation in four key areas. And it seems to have worked. Everything we’ve done in the last year has been around employer value proposition (EVP) definition, employer brand development, careers website design, development and delivery and recruitment marketing. We’re really starting to play to our strengths.

A great client base for a little start-up

We’ve spent the last year getting out there and talking to people. Presenting at conferences, hosting breakfast meetings and chairing seminars around the subjects of building great careers websites and developing an employer brand. We’ve met some really interesting businesses and shared our thoughts with them. And some have even become clients. We’ve feel very lucky to have worked with the likes of Bristol Airport, Connect Group, Consort Medical Group, Hastings Direct, Manchester Metropolitan University, Phoenix Group, Principality Building Society, Vodafone and Unum already in our first year. And on some really nice projects as well.

Work that we can be proud of

We’re unapologetically a start-up, therefore every job we do needs to be impressive. It needs to delight the client not simply answer the brief. Which is handy because that’s the only way we would approach a project anyway. And our clients have given us the projects and freedom to delight them:

They’re all projects that we are very proud of. And some of them have been recognised by our peers.

An award-winning agency

My thoughts on the value of awards is well documented, but I certainly didn’t think that we’d be picking any up in our first year. But when Hastings Direct took a punt on us (and it was a punt) they proved to be as brave and ambitious a recruiter as we are an agency. We found a great match. And the work that we delivered together at the end of last year had an almost instant impact. Which meant that we had something to talk about and something to enter for awards.

What we ended up with was:

  • EBMAs: Best digital communication of the employer brand – Winner (Website)
  • Recruiter Awards: Most effective employer brand development – Highly Commended (Website)
  • FIRM Awards: Best development of an employer brand – Highly Commended (Website)
  • OnRec Awards: Creative online marketing award – Finalist (Website)
  • OnRec Awards: Best corporate use of online recruitment – Finalist (Website)

Not a bad little haul for our first year. Oh, yes and we were even shortlisted for Bristol Business Awards ‘Start Up Business of the Year’. Sadly, we didn’t win. But we have already seen new business enquiries coming from people who’ve seen us shortlisted or picking up an award. So see, awards are still valuable.

Saying thank you

It has been a great year. Challenging but thoroughly enjoyable. We’ve met some brilliant people, been engaged by some great clients, delivered some highly-effective work and picked up a couple of gongs. Not bad really for our cheeky little start-up. So what better way to celebrate our birthday then by saying thank you. We invited everyone who had helped us in some shape or form over the past 12 months to join us on a booze cruise around Bristol. No speeches. Well, maybe one little one. But it was a great way to say thank you and a great way to mark our first birthday. Messing about on the river.

What now?

I think that the next 12 months are going to be really important to the agency. We’ll continue supporting companies in telling their employer stories, we’ll deliver more high-quality (hopefully award-winning) projects and we’ll keep getting told by our clients that they think we’re brilliant. Because we believe that the very best work is a combination of a great initial idea, a bunch of talented people who all want to deliver something special, and a brave and ambitious client. And if we can have some fun delivering it, all the better. Oh, and we’ve already agreed what we’re going to do for our second birthday party.

If you feel that you’d like some help, support or even a little chat around defining your employer value proposition, developing your employer brand or any aspect of your talent attraction strategy just drop us a line. After all, much of our best work has started with a cup of tea and a biscuit.