In 2017 GM Business Connect met Tricia Bullman. Managing Director and Founder of Halecroft Recruitment, she gave us an in-depth interview on herself, her team and what it takes to be one of Greater Manchester’s fastest-growing recruitment businesses. Right from inception, Tricia’s vision for the company was clear – a business built on recommendations and referrals providing executive search and selection recruitment for senior level appointments – and we were keen to see how Halecroft Recruitment had grown and developed since our initial meeting. Chatting to them in their new, larger offices in leafy Hale, Cheshire, it’s clear to see the last two years have been both busy and fruitful. A leader in senior level appointments, they’ve sustained consistent growth and this is seen, most notably, in their increase of staff. Sat next to their newly appointed Head of Commercial Recruitment, Lydia Whitelegg, Tricia tells of how their success has come from grit and determination coupled with an unparalleled ethos of becoming ‘more than just a recruitment company’ to their clients. “The majority of the time has been spent establishing the relationship with existing clients” she explains. “Going forward, we are getting out there and demonstrating that we are the go-to place for every aspect of the business – recruitment, PA and support too.”
It certainly seems to be a winning formula. Even with Tricia’s background and years as a specialist recruiter, it appears to be not only her expertise that has driven Halecroft forward but her exceptional reputation too. It is clear to see this is a business built on quality work and referrals from existing clients and something that has seen her meet her five-year targets in only three and a half years. “We’ve reached some great milestones in the past two years and our expansion plans have grown at a much faster rate than originally thought. I think the key milestone was reaching over £million turnover, much sooner than expected, and it’s our ethos and culture which we have applied to the business, and followed over that time, which has played a huge part in our growth.”
This growth has seen them relocate from their managed office space into prominent shopfront premises – something they’re incredibly excited about. In a competitive industry, they understand the importance of visibility and being positioned in the heart of Hale Village – an affluent area with a high proportion of inhabitants holding high level positions – is ideal for them in being placed in front of their prime audience of both candidates and clients. Whilst the core of the business is ‘executive search and selection’, growing subsequent divisions under the umbrella of Halecroft Recruitment is something that has always been Tricia’s vision. Lydia’s appointment comes with the development of their Commercial Recruitment division – a department that has been born out of demand from their clients looking for help sourcing Personal Assistants, Executive Assistants and Senior Business Support roles.
Initially a little added extra they would dabble in, this division has developed into a key area of Halecroft’s business and one which Lydia is excited about. “As an experienced commercial recruiter specialising in PA and business support roles, the responsibility of heading up a rapidly expanding commercial division was something I couldn’t wait to take on”, said Lydia. “I’m passionate about providing our clients with quality PA and business support candidates. It’s crucial to understand the importance of what PAs and EAs contribute to each business – from supporting Directors and multitasking to becoming a right-hand person and an integral part of the business – and the match-making process of candidate to client is enjoyable.” It is this understanding of each role’s requirements that allows Halecroft to build long-lasting relationships with businesses and clients and is undoubtedly key to their success. “Our executive candidates quickly become our clients, and these are the people who engage our services to help source these Senior Business Support roles”, says Tricia. Halecroft intend to maximise on this newly uncovered area of growth and plan to see their PA and Business Support sector become its own defined division and work independently, although still alongside the main business. Even with placing candidates internationally, they’ve, excitingly, seen a huge demand for business support roles closer to home in Manchester as a result of the city becoming a hotspot for Head Offices looking to move out of London. The transition from the capital to the north requires quality people within the companies to support the business move. “It’s as important for them to engage with the right recruiter as it is to recruit the right candidate and we’re always excited to aid these companies in this delicate period”, says Tricia.
The demand has been so high, they’ve even been eyeing up their second office. With a lot of their clients situated in MediaCityUK and Manchester city centre, they’re keen to open an additional base close to their potential and current clients in this sector. “It’s important to be strategically placed to engage with new clients coming in as well as continuing to serve current clients. Media City in particular is a great location and such a vibrant place to work and seems to be the ideal location for us”, says Tricia. “Our business is all about people and it’s essential we can facilitate face-to-face meetings for clients, prospects and candidates and this location has fantastic transport links”. With so much going on in the business, you’d be forgiven for thinking Tricia and her team have very little time left for anything else yet, even with an incredible and fast-paced growth, they’re committed to their ongoing support of charities. “Giving back is something we’re incredibly passionate about. We’re keen to support both charities and our local community with events we’ve hosted, and we specifically help and support Smart Works”, says Tricia. Providing high quality interview clothes and training to unemployed women in need, it is perhaps an obvious choice for Halecroft to support and they actively get involved by offering free mentoring to interview candidates to maximise their interview success. Coupled with their championing of networking and women in business, we were eager to find out if their extra-curricular activities reaped rewards.
“I find corporate social responsibility exercised by a business usually results in increased growth for the business and supporting charities like Smart Works really does influence our profile in a positive manner. We’re very proactive when it comes to networking
– after all we are a business based on people – so this is very effective in us reaching out to our audience”, says Tricia.“We’re also one of the sponsors at the upcoming Women’s Leadership Conference hosted by the Institute of Directors in October where 250 women will get together pursuing CPD and networking. These events are very fruitful for us as it’s an opportunity for us to meet new clients, candidates and ultimately develop our business.” So, what does the immediate future hold for Halecroft Recruitment? “More staff!”, Tricia exclaims. “We’ve seen massive growth in terms of vacancies which have been managed immediately with the appointment of two new staff but as the business continues to grow, then our Halecroft family does too. We’re so excited to continue developing as a business and we can’t wait to see where we are in another 12 months.”
For further information please contact Lydia Whitelegg or Tricia Bullman on 0161 905 0526 www.halecroftrecruitment.co.uk