For most, reaching 60 might be a time to slow down, take it easy and rest on your laurels. Not at Pertemps.
The independent, family-run recruitment specialist, founded in Birmingham in 1961, is still breaking new ground, innovating and making inroads into new sectors.
Tim Watts is the lifetime president of the company, based in Meriden, between Coventry and Birmingham. It was his mum, Constance Watts, who asked her husband to help with a £500 loan to start a recruitment business, though she had no formal training and knew little about the sector. She did, though, see an opportunity and, fuelled by determination to succeed, she opened a small office on Temple Street, in Birmingham. In the summer of 1970, a second office was opened in Wolverhampton. It was at this point that Tim came on board, offering to run the new branch on a “temporary basis”. The rest, as they say, is history.
Despite the name coming from a mix of Permanent and Temporary, reflecting the fact that Pertemps has always catered for both temp and perm solutions for corporate clients and candidates themselves, the company is seen by many as primarily a provider of temporary roles.
However, under the Pertemps Network Group (PNG) banner, which incorporates scores of complementary companies, some of them niche sector specialists, nearly 50 per cent of income comes from the permanent category.
This year the company is on track to further increase turnover, something it was not far off last year, despite the well-documented challenges all sectors of business had with lockdown. Pertemps found it was very much in demand helping organisations coping with shifting demands created by Covid, notably in logistics and healthcare. Its network of 200 offices were quickly up and running and open once it was allowed and safe to do so.
“We can offer clients very flexible solutions to help them adjust as their marketplace moves,” said Tim, who just 13 when his mum founded the company.
“The last year, as everyone knows, has presented unprecedented challenges. Because of our experience, the talent in our ranks and our focus on customer service, we have been able to roll with the punches and help our clients deal with the evolving situation.
“For some of our workers, this has meant reassigning them to other areas. For some clients, it has meant supplying many more suitable candidates to enable them to increase their production, distribution, customer service delivery, or whatever.
“Recruitment is a very competitive and fast-moving sector. Pertemps has not been around for 60 years for no reason”
” That gives both candidates and clients confidence in our ability to get the best result for them and peace of mind that they are dealing with a recruitment partner who will be by their side through thick and thin.”
It’s all a long way from 1961, when Mrs Watts’s turnover in the first year £50,000 – a fantastic achievement in itself at the time.
To mark the diamond anniversary this year, Pertemps is hosting a three-day celebration at the end of July, including an awards ceremony and family party. The family element is an important one at the firm.
This not just because of the obvious family connection between Tim and Connie, or the fact that it remains privately owned. It is actually an Employee Benefit Trust, which means all staff can share part of the company and benefit from its success. This has helped foster an environment of strong team spirit, dedication and determination to succeed. This sets the company apart – and, of course, reflect the values on which the company was founded by Mrs Watts all those years ago.
“Many things have changed, but some things have not,” added Tim.