Multitask Personnel, a permanent and temporary recruitment specialist based in Rotherham, has gained a new strategic direction that should put it back on track, thanks to Sheffield City Region’s “Re-Start to Growth” programme.
The initiative was introduced to help businesses affected by the Coronavirus lockdown, by giving them access to experienced and skilled advisors to help assess, plan and restart through an agreed programme of intensive support.
Managing Director of Multitask Personnel Claire Lee had been working with the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub on a long-term strategic growth plan – involving skills support and training – and was just about to implement this when the lockdown was announced. The company’s core business was to provide managerial and qualified tradespeople for the Building services, Facilities management and Mechanical & Electrical industries. Overnight this business reduced by two thirds and Claire was left wondering what to do next.
Claire Lee, Managing Director at Multitask Personnel, explains: “It was a really scary time for us as a business and I wasn’t sure which way to turn. I’d been impressed with John Hassall, the Growth Hub Business Growth Specialist , so I contacted him again to see if there was anything he could do to help.”
She continues: “John let me know straightaway about Re-Start to Growth initiative and it sounded just what the business needed.”
John Hassall carried out four 90 minute online consultations with Claire as part of the programme and this started with a full SWOT analysis. He then tailored the Re-Start to Growth programme to suit the company structure, focusing on four core areas: People, Processes, Technology and Financials. John then created a strategic plan which included a vision of what the next 18 months in business could look like for Multitask Personnel, with target markets identified, staff roles, financial projections, all of which was broken down into six monthly goals. Reallocation of resources was a key criteria and John and Claire worked on restructuring employee roles and creating newly formed teams. In Multitask’s case ,this involved creating a team dedicated to recruitment and another to business development, with each team given a simple set of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to work towards.
Claire Lee said: “It was a really simple plan, but not an approach we’d used before. It means that the business development team can focus purely on generating sales and the recruitment team on filling the roles we bring in. So far this is working really well.”
John Hassall, Business Growth Specialist at Sheffield City Region Growth Hub, explains: “Multitask Personnel were perfect candidates for the Re-Start to Growth initiative. As a business they had been performing well, but the lockdown had an immediate and severe impact. By focusing on their strengths and areas of expertise we looked at ways they could maximise their existing client base, whilst refocusing their resources much more specifically on generating sales and filling roles. Our role at the Growth Hub is to guide businesses through and this approach certainly seems to be working for Multitask Personnel.”
“There is great potential in this business and by having a new strategic direction it should help them to maximise on new and existing markets and recover more quickly from the lockdown.”
John and Claire identified that parcel delivery services and the retail sector could offer potential growth, especially for supply of staff working in distribution and warehousing, which the company had not specifically targeted before.
Claire enthuses: “I can’t thank the Growth Hub enough for what they have done. The Re-Start to Growth programme has really motivated us as a business. We now have a clear plan to work to which is focused, precise and directly relevant to getting us through the challenging period ahead of us.”
Although Multitask Personnel is focusing on potentially lower margin work, Claire recognised the need to start getting the volume back. “There’s nothing worse than staff not having enough to do, but now we are starting to pick up again and we’re using our existing experience to extend our services to current and new clients. We know it won’t be easy, but already we have our number of temporary contractors up to pre-lockdown levels, albeit working on lower margins and in different sectors.”
She adds: “We’ve had to put a couple of people on the Government’s Furlough scheme but ultimately we hope to build the business back up again and be in a position to recruit again ourselves.”
Sheffield City Region Growth Hub’s Re-Start to Growth offers business leaders help and guidance in the following areas:
- Strategic planning & Leadership support
• Sales and Marketing
• Financial advice
• Skills and also Digital/IT
Sheffield City Region Growth Hub’s Business Growth Specialists all have many years of industry experience; from manufacturing and service sectors through to finance and international operations, and offer that independent, impartial perspective, which can make all the difference.
If further help is required after the completion of the Re-Start to Growth initiative, the business could be eligible to access additional support through Re-Start to Growth+ (Plus). This provides a further 2 days of intensive support which would be delivered over an agreed time period (limited to three months).
Any business that is looking to re-establish or recover after making significant losses due to the Coronavirus lockdown, or is facing challenges that put its long term future in question, should speak to the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub team about the Re-Start to Growth or Re-Start to Growth+ packages.