Headhunter Carlyle eyes expansion as revenues rise

From left: James Colhoun, Fiona James-Martin and Duggie Carlyle. Picture: Stewart Attwood
From left: James Colhoun, Fiona James-Martin and Duggie Carlyle. Picture: Stewart Attwood
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Headhunting firm Carlyle is looking to further expand on the back of a fifth straight year of double-digit revenue growth.

The Edinburgh-based company said high levels of activity around recruitment for board level, advisory posts and executive appointments was driving the increase in business so far this year.

The firm is understood to have turned over around £3 million in its last financial year and is targeting an increase of some £1m in the current year.

Carlyle works with clients ranging from banking and financial services providers to fast-growth tech and digital companies like Blackcircles.com and trade bodies such as Entrepreneurial Scotland.

Around three-quarters of its business comes from existing clients which founding partner Duggie Carlyle said was indicative of the long-term relationships developed since the firm was launched 14 years ago.

Since the beginning of the year, Carlyle’s team has grown with the addition of James Colhoun, who previously led the chief financial officer practice at London-based Spencer Stuart, and Fiona James-Martin, who has worked in accountancy, finance and business change recruitment in the Edinburgh market for 12 years.

Carlyle said James-Martin brought extensive experience in the recruitment for senior interim positions, a fast-growing part of the search and recruitment market in Scotland and across the UK.

A significant proportion of Carlyle’s business focus on “C-suite” assignments, working on senior level appointments including chief executives and chief operating officers.

Last year the company also launched a digital and technology venture, Native Talent, which specialises in sourcing senior executive and interim positions within sectors such as software, e-commerce, data, fintech, telecommunications, advertising and marketing.

Carlyle was founded in 2002 by Duggie who began his career with ScottishTelecom, before joining a Nasdaq-listed software company based in Boston. The firm’s managing partner is Carol-Ann Searles who was previously a director of an employment law business which was sold to Croner.

According to the latest monthly survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the Brexit vote has hit Scotland’s labour market, with the steepest drop in permanent job placements since 2009 seen in July.

More growth in pipeline at Edinburgh jobs group

Recruitment specialist Edgar Stewart is targeting further growth thanks to a six-figure funding agreement that has allowed the Edinburgh-based business to diversify, writes Scott Reid.

The firm, which has more than trebled its headcount in the last year, has expanded into temporary placements after securing a £425,000 invoice finance facility provided by the Scottish office of Ultimate Finance.

It follows 12 months in which Edgar Stewart has increased turnover by 300 per cent to nearly £3 million after launching water and energy spin-out Cyrus.

The firm is now focused on growing the contract business to meet the growing demand for Cyrus’s services. Unlike permanent positions which provide a one-off fee, income from temporary placements is ongoing throughout the length of the contract.

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