April 2009: James Andrews Recruitment Solutions opens for business!
Our first office is a small flat above a shop in Leicester, big enough for four people to work in comfortably (we eventually squeeze in seven of us!)
Image: Our very first logo, designed on the back of an envelope
May 2009: Our very first placement!
A Lettings Administrator who stayed in the temporary role for 18 months and continued temping exclusively via James Andrews for the next four years. Not a bad start and hopefully a sign of things to come.
Image: A fresh-faced Stuart Montgomery smiling at having confirmed our first temp
June 2009: Launch of our first website
Costing a grand total of £350, complete with stock photos of much better looking models than us!
December 2009: Christmas Party #1
A meal at one of our favourite Indian restaurants in Leicester. Total employees: 6
July 2010: Office #2 – Birmingham!
Barely a year after opening, our second office opens in St.Paul’s Square near the Jewellery Quarter
Image: A young Matthew Bartlam making himself at home
December 2010: Christmas Party #2
We celebrate a successful second year by pushing the boat out for an overnight stay in a frozen Birmingham. Possibly the coldest night of our lives! Total employees: 15
Image: St. Paul’s Square in the snow
April 2011: Expansion in Leicester
The Leicester office out grows the poky flat and moves to a bigger, ‘proper’ office that can hold 15 people. Quote from our Director: “We won’t be outgrowing this place for a while, to employ 15 people in Leicester would be a fantastic achievement.”
Image: We are now the proud owners of a plaque on the wall outside! Simple pleasures…
January 2012: Revamped Website
We take the brave decision to use photos of ourselves on there. Should we have stuck to using models?
Image: We’ll let you decide but we think we look rather dashing!
July 2013: We are awarded ISO 9001 status
The boring, but very important, bit: ISO 9001 is the international standard for quality management systems and it provides the company with a set of principles that ensure a common sense approach to the management of our business activities to achieve customer satisfaction.
Translation: A stamp of approval from an internationally-respected authority that we are operating as a ‘proper outfit’
July 2013: Expansion in Leicester (again)
Our Director is made to eat his words as we quickly fill the available space in our second Leicester office (amazing what a wall plaque can do for attracting staff).
Having outgrown yet another office, we move to familiar territory, namely the site of the actual shop on Welford Road (Diamond Convenience Store) that we started above back in 2009! This office will hold 27 employees.
Image: The new Leicester office frontage under construction revealing the sign of an even older grocery store underneath the existing shop.
September 2013: Office #3 – Watford!
Having been based in the Midlands since 2009, we blaze a trail southwards to open a third office in the heart of Watford’s business district. Though we have covered London and the South East for several years, this will be the base for our teams, making it easier and more convenient to visit clients and interview candidates, with the eventual plan being to hit the capital in a few years’ time.
October 2013: Back to School
We create our first sponsored educational package offered to an employee.
Our Assistant Accountant, Dulby Hullait (now Finance Manager), starts studying for her ACCA accountancy exams at De Montfort University, Leicester.
April 2014: Expansion in Birmingham
We outgrow ANOTHER office, in Birmingham this time. We now occupy the whole top floor of the building with space for over 30 Consultants.
June 2014: First Summer Seminar
We try to instill the ethos of “Work hard, play hard” in our Consultants, and what better way to spend a sunny Saturday than an all-expenses-paid day out in London followed by partying into the early hours at a swanky venue overlooking St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Image: A few of the gang enjoying the sights and sounds of the capital from an exclusive roof top bar
December 2014: 40 employees
In what has been an unbelievable five years, we close out 2014 having reached a landmark figure in the company’s history. With three offices and 40 employees, we have come a long way since the founding team started making phone calls from a small flat in Leicester at the height of what has now been labelled as The Great Recession. Here’s to the next five years…
May 2015: Investors in People
“Companies who are aligned to the Investors in People framework can demonstrate that they put management excellence at the heart of their organisation. Developed in partnership with accredited organisations and market leaders, it clearly sets out the features of high performance.”
Having gone through a rigorous and independent assessment, we reached the Investors in People standard at the first attempt. We can therefore confidently and proudly state that we are a successful organisation and a truly great place to work.
(We already knew that but it’s nice to have someone else say it!)
October 2015: Growing Up
Out with the old…
Image: We create a new look and a new feel to our logo and branding
May 2016: Leicester City FC are crowned Premier League champions!
Sorry, we had to get that one in there!
Image: A Swansea City fan basking in LCFC’s reflected glory
August 2016: James Andrews Arrives in London!
We open a brand new office in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn
Image: The view from our London office
December 2016: Christmas Party #8
We close the year with 72 employees and were disappointed to hear that our favourite Indian restaurant could not accommodate all of us. So the Christmas party is held in a slightly larger location, the Hyatt Regency in Birmingham!
Image: The photo booth proved to be very popular
March 2017: The Lure of City Life Proves Too Much
We say good bye to Watford and our colleagues there are united with the London office.
Image: The Watford office after the removal men have finished with it
June 2017: Express yourself!
We introduce a new relaxed dress code following the results of a staff survey. Employees are now able to dress for work by following one golden rule: “Look as if you mean business.”
Image: Some of our staff are suffering from a lack of imagination
September 2017: It Wasn’t Me
The Birmingham office’s pool car gets its very first scratch following an unfortunate car parking incident.
Image: He or she responsible shall remain nameless!
October 2017: Expansion in Leicester (again again)
Construction and full refurbishment starts on our fourth Leicester office, big enough to hold over 40 employees, surely we won’t outgrow this one?
In a neat (and completely unplanned) symmetry, we have gone from:
a) Flat above a shop
b) Office above a bank
c) Back to the disused shop in part a)
d) Back to the disused bank in part b)
Image: The soon-to-be-new Leicester office, which used to be a bank, due to open in Spring 2018
April 2018: A New Office in Leicester
A headquarters to be proud of in the heart of the Queens Road community in Leicester’s thriving Clarendon Park area. (We also have a chill out room!)
Image: What a transformation in six months
June 2018: Investors in People…Silver!
After embedding our already excellent people management and HR practices over the past three years, and introducing an exciting employee benefits package, we are independently audited by Investors in People and are delighted to be upgraded to Silver status. This puts us in the top 3% of accredited organisations, an extremely rare achievement for any recruitment firm. The path to Gold starts here!
Some choice phrases taken from the report:
- This is clearly a business which is well led, supported and is aware of its future priorities, with growth of the business through growth of the people at the heart of its ethos
- An excellent aspect is the pathways to promotion, which provides individuals with a supported route map to the achievement of individual career aspirations and success
- Training and development is integral to the business development and everyone involved praised their learning experiences and the management input