A challenger recruitment firm created by two young entrepreneurs who wanted to move away from poor industry working culture has been named one of the top small businesses to work for in the UK.
ISL Recruitment is the only small business in the South West to be named among the Best Workplaces™ by Great Place to Work®.
Businesses must submit to a rigorous audit process, including an anonymous survey asking all employees how they feel on a range of work issues.
Recruiter Henry Keeys started ISL aged 30 after becoming frustrated with harsh working cultures and was soon joined by Alan Furley, a like-minded 29-year-old.
Together they created a firm with a professional development model based on positive behaviours. In 2017, the team celebrated a decade in business with a turnover of £3.1m.
Henry said: “Micromanagement and, in extreme cases, bullying meant working in recruitment is often a pretty miserable experience. I just didn’t think it was necessary to act that way. If you don’t treat people like adults you can’t expect to get engaged staff in the longer term.
“The fact it’s based on anonymous staff surveys means we know we have a genuine thumbs-up to the working environment at ISL and that’s truly special.”
Employees supplied answers to the survey, with 90%-plus positive responses across: Diversity, Job Security, Working Environment, Strategy, Communication, Values & Ethics and Empowerment & Accountability.
ISL has a near 50/50 gender balance, a culture of normal working hours and targets set in the first three-to-six months put equal emphasis on behaviours as well as sales figures.
Alan said: “Our values are professionalism, respect, cooperation and autonomy. We want people to be competitive, but also valuing each other’s successes. When we looked through the scorecard we felt pretty humbled everyone had been so positive but also enthusiastic that the work we’ve been putting in has paid off.”