Experienced head of people bolsters Force24’s leadership team

Helen Charlesworth

Force24 has appointed senior HR professional Helen Charlesworth to prioritise employee engagement, company culture and in-house processes, ensuring the business is an “employer of choice” for emerging tech talent.

Excited by organisational challenges and opportunities that marketing automation platform Force24 presents, Helen can draw on her experience as the former head of HR for sustainable modular home start up, ilke Homes. Despite being the enterprise’s first ever employee in 2017, she was integral in helping the business to grow into a 650-strong operation – in just two years.

And following her head of HR position with LNT Group – which operates a number of businesses particularly in the care home sector, as well as car manufacturer Ginetta – Helen is focused on supporting Force24’s ambitions to continue to lead the way as the UK’s fastest growing marketing automation platform.

Her appointment comes on the back of the Yorkshire-headquartered business’s £4.8m investment news which was announced at the end of 2020. This funding means the 11-year-old organisation can realistically achieve its ambitions of rolling out more intuitive technology features, nearly tripling its workforce from 62 to 170 – by the end of 2024 – and growing its customer base from 2,500 B2B and B2C brands to over 4,000.

Additionally, the team can provide further assistance to 4,500-plus UK marketers – from companies including Michelin, Welcome to Yorkshire and BBC Children in Need – to deliver hyper-personalised, multi-channel customer comms.

Since the turn of 2021, Force24 has welcomed 22 new starters in total, including a finance director and chief technology officer, to bolster its business development, automation offering and in-house capabilities.

Helen, who has 20 years’ experience in managerial and HR leadership positions, said: “I was incredibly intrigued about a business that has been going for over ten years without a recognised people function.

“I didn’t quite know what to expect but soon discovered an incredibly driven workforce full of talented employees who were all eager to do their best for customers.

“Being part of a thriving company culture is refreshing and everyone seems excited by the thought they’re contributing to Force24’s huge growth. I want us to keep driving that forward and develop an employee value proposition that means we’re a desirable employer of choice.”

Despite economic difficulties, 2020 proved to be profitable for Leeds-based hyper-growth automation specialists Force24 as it won 140 new clients, released 1,000 new features, helped marketing departments send over 900m emails, and generated £5.5m in revenue – a 53 per cent increase compared to the previous financial year.

Speaking about Force24’s exciting growth plans and the role in which Helen will play to accelerate these ambitions, operations director Diana Rowatt added: “Helen brings a wealth of experience and a fresh and exciting direction for our business as we continue on our rapid growth trajectory.

“We’re already seeing the impact she’s making on the team in terms of employee engagement initiatives and how we can strategically develop our people function to focus even more on talent, processes and technology.”

Further plans for Force24 include growing its customer success team – established in 2020 – to 30-plus employees by the end of 2022 and advancing its global footprint throughout EMEA and USA in under three years’ time.

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