Denholm casts recruitment net wider as fee income grows

Specialist marketing recruitment agency Denholm Associates is eyeing a push into the north of England after booking a solid rise in fee income and rolling out new online tools.

Nicki Denholm, right, with Marisa Carroll and John Denholm. Picture: Stewart Attwood

The firm, which currently employs some 25 people across offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, said the introduction of BrandBox – an online product that allows clients to build their own branded sites within the main Denholm portal – had allowed it to diversify its offering.

BrandBox has already been adopted by a host of major companies and organisations including Famous Grouse distiller Edrington, Tesco Bank and VisitScotland.

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Denholm, which was founded by chief executive Nicki Denholm in 2002, posted fee income up 20 per cent at £1.5 million for 2015 and said it was looking for similar growth in the current year.

The firm plans to continue its “rapid growth” into senior executive search, across all commercial roles, both in Scotland and south of the Border. This will take advantage of the trend towards specialisation in the headhunting sector and the use of online talent attraction tools such as BrandBox to bring candidates from around the world to digital and technology hotspots like Edinburgh and Manchester.

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Equally, the firm’s founder is quick to stress the benefits of strong personal relationships.

She said: “In spite of technological advances that have undoubtedly changed the recruitment landscape, strong and trusted relationships with employers and candidates still give you the edge in the marketplace.”

The firm’s senior team includes managing consultant and the co-founder of the Leith Agency, John Denholm, husband of Nicki. Senior internal appointments like that of deputy managing director, Marisa Carroll – mentored by Nicki Denholm and a long-serving member of the team – as well as outside hires have helped to keep the business “ahead of the game”.

In addition to playing a role in the burgeoning tech scene in Edinburgh and elsewhere in Scotland, part of Denholm’s activity is in educating candidates from outside Scotland about the benefits of relocating from London or further afield.

Denholm said: “We’ve got so many exciting digital marketing, financial, food and drink and tech companies in Scotland but we’ve still got to battle some of the perceptions from London and beyond that we don’t have a critical mass which is world class and will offer other great opportunities when people want to move on.”

During the first quarter of the current year, the firm has racked up a number of key wins including being appointed “preferred marketing recruitment partner” to Highland Spring Group.