Finders keepers: Why recruitment companies rule the business world

PUBLISHED: 09:55 29 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:44 29 July 2016

Robyn Holmes, Prime Appointments

Robyn Holmes, Prime Appointments


We caught up with Robyn Holmes, the founder of Prime Appointments, who tells us all about her company and the importance of recruitment companies

There used to be a time when employers’ lives were much more difficult. Finding good talent in which to invest was a use of valuable time, taking them away from other important aspects of business life. But today, recruitment agencies who know exactly how to find the best professional for the best position have risen to let employers reclaim their precious hours, and it’s impossible to imagine the business world without them.

Robyn Holmes knows this all too well. The founder and owner of Essex-based recruitment company Prime Appointments, her 32 years in the recruitment industry have shown her the value of dedicated talent finders, dipping into their knowledge of who and why and making the lives of business owners a thousand times easier.

Robyn founded Prime Appointments in 1992 in Witham, where she grew up. She found that she was drifting away from her own employer’s values, and decided that she wanted to build something with her own stamp on it. So Prime Appointments was born.

The rapidly industrialising town had the need for workers of all kinds, and Robyn aimed to meet that need. A few years later and the offices had expanded, a fleet of vans were ferrying temporary workers to and from locations, and fax machines and computers proved valuable investments. Prime Appointments was well and truly up and running.

Today, the business employs between 400 and 500 temporary staff as a weekly average. Robyn is just as dedicated to helping other businesses grow and develop today as she was 25 years ago. But what exactly is the key to recruitment success? Well, partnerships, she says. Working with a business and not just selling them a service is valued greatly by clients.

Communication is another important aspect. In many ways, it’s the key to the whole recruitment sector. Keeping employees in the loop about their clients and her own business ensures the company is always on the same page. It also ensures their client’s needs are met every time. It’s important not to undervalue the power of listening.

But in 25 years, it’s not surprising that things have changed. Especially for temporary staff. The industry used to be about instinct and trust. Today, the laws have changed in favour of employees. After 12 weeks, all temp staff have like for like salary and are eligible for 28 days holiday pay. The investment required in short term staff by a business makes the recruiter’s role even more important – the right person, the right experience, the right attitude is crucial. It’s not simply a case of filling a position as fast as possible, and it never should be.

As for what the future holds? Well, much like for many business owners, Brexit casts a shadow of uncertainty over the industry but Robyn is adamant recruitment is here to stay. The business has even made a significant investment in a new purpose-built office, opening in August 2016. “We are growing bigger and better,” says Robyn. “Technology will change, businesses will change, but the importance of meeting a human-being face to face? That will never go away. You’ll never be able to beat the personal touch.”

Looks like recruitment is here to stay. The real top dogs of the business world.

Prime Appointments is a specialist recruitment agency for temporary and permanent staff in Essex and Suffolk.

Visit or call 01376 502999 for more details.

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