Recruitment growth

Denholm doubles revenue after ‘reinventing itself’

Nicki and John Denholm

Denholm Associates CEO and founder, Nicki Denholm, said the executive search and recruitment specialist has seen substantial growth over the past year after ‘reinventing itself’ during the pandemic.

This involved diversification of the business and embracing issues such as mental health and employee preferences on how they want to work.

She was commenting after the company posted a doubling of revenue to £2.5 million in the year to the end of December (2020: £1.2m). 

“During the pandemic we had to adapt and find new markets by offering recruitment support to our clients beyond our traditional marketing specialisation,” said Ms Denholm, who founded the agency in 2002.

“When you look at areas like remote working, hybrid working, mental health and wellbeing, these subjects, quite rightly, have more importance today in the world of work than at any point before,” she said.

“Employers can’t ignore how these changes are influencing employees’ attitudes to how and where they want to work. Their employer brand is absolutely integral to attracting and retaining people, and their ability to be competitive in today’s war for talent.” 

Driven by their new strategy Denholm has hired extensively over the last 18 months and now has a headcount of 32, with further hiring planned for the rest of 2022. The agency launched four new specialist practices in 2021 – technology, accounting and finance, business services, and manufacturing and engineering. 

John Denholm, executive chair, said: “While two decades of specialist marketing expertise, including recent digital marketing trends, are still very much in our DNA, we’ve been able to apply those marketing principles to how we attract talent across multiple industry sectors, and that’s proving to be a big differentiator for us in the market.”

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Denholm’s client base includes Glenmorangie, The R&A, Edrington UK, Edinburgh International Festival, AG Barr, Virgin Money, Scottish Investment Trust, Beam Suntory, and Hilton Worldwide. 

Commenting on market dynamics in 2021, Nicki Denholm said: “We remain in a period of significant disruption, Covid-19 has made us all reflect on our priorities and it’s had a huge impact on the recruitment market.

“People want to work in a way that fits better with their lifestyle and commitments.  They also want to feel energised and engaged at work, to keep learning and developing their skills, and to be part of a diverse and inclusive environment.

“Businesses have to convince staff that they genuinely offer all this. It’s a challenging time because the war for talent rages on. But it’s also an exciting time, as emerging trends shift to become the norm.”

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