Suffolk Business Awards: Innovation powers Seven Resourcing to SME of the Year title
- Credit: Carmen Valino/The Recruiter
A fresh approach, clever technology and a focus on customer care gave Suffolk-based recruiter Seven Resourcing a winning year.
Seven Resourcing had a successful year in 2021, growing the business and picking up awards within its own sector - then clinching the prestigious SME of the Year title, sponsored by Larking Gowen, at the Suffolk Business Awards.
“Winning a Suffolk Business Award was a fantastic milestone in our 10-year history,” says MD Richard Cooke. "Everyone working in our HQ on Adastral Park is from the area, so to be recognised as Suffolk’s best SME fills us with pride."
The reaction from the staff was one of joy, says head of marketing George Owen. “As a local company, it doesn’t get better than this. To win one of these during such challenging times is credit to a team that constantly goes above and beyond for its customers.
“Our customers are almost all employers and keyworkers on the frontline of this pandemic, so this award is for their selflessness, resilience, and relentless dedication to keeping our nation on its feet.”
That has seen some tough times, but Seven has been working hard to support both staff and customers through the pandemic. “It was our job to provide health & social care staff when the nation needed them most, so we had to step-up" Mr Cooke says. “Because of the nature of their work, our ‘customers’ inspired us to work harder, adapt and innovate, so we could always be on-hand to support them whenever they needed us.
"When it comes to looking after our staff, communication has been key, and we’ve invested heavily in staff mental health (shout out to Suffolk Mind), to ensure everyone has access to a professional standard of support,” he says. "Without a doubt, winning five major awards has been a huge boost for the team and the recognition is thoroughly deserved.”
As well as the Suffolk Business Awards success, Seven scooped not one but four awards in the prestigious Recruiter Awards – topped by the big one: Recruitment Agency of the Year. It also won the titles for Best Public/Third Sector Recruitment Agency, Best Temporary Recruitment Agency and Best Back Office.
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What's the secret of Seven’s success? “Innovation and customer,” says Mr Owen. “Like many sales industries, recruitment can have a reputation for being cold and unreliable, with a high turnover of staff. Every investment and decision we make is an attempt to reverse that mentality. Our profession couldn’t be more people-centric, so we dedicate a mass of time and capital to being innovative, supportive, and forward-thinking.”
As the leader of a thriving organisation, Mr Cooke is a firm believer in the importance of innovating. “In a world where people are constantly seeking more convenience, innovation is everything,” he says. “Whether it’s our bespoke digital payroll system, lightning-fast compliance platform or proactive recruitment software, everything we do is to create a more convenient service. As long as innovation isn’t at the price of brilliant customer service, it is our most powerful tool in achieving growth.”
And the group is still growing rapidly. There are 70 staff at the Ipswich head office, but Seven is looking to grow that. “Right now we’re looking for another 10 recruitment consultants and another 10 apprentices,” Mr Owen confirms.
“2022 is particularly exciting because we will be unveiling our graduate apprenticeship scheme – an opportunity that will allow young people to work and train with us for three years, earn good money, achieve a degree apprenticeship, and guaranteed employment at the end of it,” he says
“We’re confident we can become the UK’s biggest and best provider of temporary health and social care staff, as well as Suffolk’s go-to company for aspirational professionals,” says Mr Cooke. “We are already doing some great work in Australia and the USA, and further globalisation is a key part of our future.
“We’ve scooped multiple recruitment awards this year, but being named SME of the Year in the Suffolk Business Awards is unique because it recognises our performance as a great business - not just a great recruitment agency,” he concludes