Recruitment group plans international expansion

The founders of Universal Search Group, Hugh Crosse, Alexander McGurk, Thomas Shotton and Jonathan Bowers

A Yorkshire-based recruitment company founded during lockdown has hit a turnover of £4m a year after its launch.

Universal Search Group (USG), founded by Thomas Shotton and Hugh Crosse with fellow directors Jonathan Bowers and Alex McGurk, has already outgrown two offices and recently moved into York Place in Leeds, where it employs a team of 22 people.

The company specialises in executive search for the construction, civil engineering and renewable energy sectors and contract recruitment for the construction, logistics, engineering and industrial sectors.

USG was launched in April last year with a forecast of achieving a turnover of £2.4m in its first year and employing 10 consultants within two years. It has already achieved a gross profit of over £1m on a turnover of £4m in its first 12 months and now employs a team of 22 people.

USG has won work with major organisations in the UK, Europe, and the USA and expects to set up an office in America within the next year and several regional offices in the UK.

Thomas Shotton of USG said: “Since our launch during the pandemic, we are delighted with what we have achieved to date and proud to say that we have been able to support major businesses in the UK with much-needed staffing requirements during these difficult times.

“Our contract team have placed thousands of candidates into a whole range of roles across the UK, and we are expecting further growth in our market sectors as we return to pre-pandemic activity levels.”

His co-director Hugh Crosse said: “The pandemic has meant people are much more comfortable interviewing remotely on video calls, and that has enabled us to win further work overseas in Europe and the US. The executive search team have made multiple high-level placements in the US on iconic multi-billion dollar infrastructure and commercial projects.

“Staff retention is massive for us – we aim to be an employer of choice, providing a diverse and inclusive culture, excellent rewards and flexibility for our own employees. This underpins the strength and success of our business. We plan to open more regional offices in the UK this year, and we are looking to move into new sectors including data centres, pharmaceutical and medical devices.”

USG is looking to further accelerate its growth in the UK and overseas following its first anniversary.

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