Specialist People Services plans global growth after securing £150m turnover

Chris Chidley of Specialist People Services
Chris Chidley of Specialist People Services
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THE recruitment group Specialist People Services (SPS) has plans for global expansion after securing £150m turnover for the first time.

The Bradford-based company achieved a 10 per cent increase in year-on-year turnover after recording growth across all its businesses.

The growth in revenue was largely due to strong demand for temporary workers in the logistics and rail sectors. This included a strong performance from Driver Hire Nationwide, one of the UK’s biggest suppliers of drivers and logistics staff, which saw an eight per cent increase from 2016/17.

Driver Hire’s performance was boosted by increased demand for temporary drivers and new contract wins with national, blue chip clients. Its international arm, Driver Hire Australia, has also continued to enjoy strong growth, reporting record sales of £12m, up £5m from last year.

SPS said it has also continued to benefit from the integration of rail services business ISS Labour, which posted a turnover of £28m - a 20 per cent increase year-on-year. This has been driven by continued investment in rail infrastructure across the country as part of Network Rail’s £38bn upgrade plan.

Chris Chidley, the chief executive of SPS, said: “This is the first time the group has passed the £150m mark and it represents a real show of strength from our teams.

“In times of uncertainty, it’s encouraging to see that businesses are still prepared to invest in high-quality recruitment services that allow them to retain a flexible workforce.

“Temporary labour will always be of value and this growth proves the importance of our role and our people to the heart of the UK economy.

“During such political and economic uncertainty, we’re capitalising on a flight-to-quality to ensure we provide our clients, who often work in niche, regulated sectors, with a reliable supply of specialist support to maximise their workforce.

Mr Chidley added: “Looking ahead, we are confident that this growth will continue. Our business is well-positioned with a strong client base who trust us to deliver, a talented management team, supportive shareholders and highly-skilled, motivated employees. With these foundations in place, we have all we need to continue this upward trajectory.”

Mr Chidley said the company’s Australian business was growing well.

He added: “We have gone into the Australian market to do things properly, being focused on quality and compliance .

“It’s all about having good people in Australia,’’ he added. “The rules and regulations are based on English law.”

Mr Chidley also has his sights on potential growth into the US market, which he described as a medium-term aspiration,

He said: “The US market has all sorts of similarities with the UK.”

The SPS group has more than 30 years’ experience in providing specialist recruitment services and has been backed by private equity investor LDC since 2011.

Mr Chidley added: “I can’t speak highly enough of LDC. They were founded as a regional private equity business. It’s not just the money, it’s the support they give you.”

He said the company has secured strong customer service scores across all its businesses

He added “The thing that makes every one of our businesses a success is the people within it.”

Specialist People Services comprises Driver Hire Nationwide, the UK specialist transport and logistics recruiter; rail support services supplier ISS Labour; driver training provider Driver Hire Training; its eServices division, which offers online people management services and the international arm Driver Hire Australia.

Driver Hire also has five offices in Australia - in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

The first Driver Hire office opened in West Yorkshire in 1983, initially supplying temporary drivers to local transport firms.