For Peter Schofield, basing his recruitment and talent services business Ford & Stanley on Pride Park was always going to be key to the company’s growth. After all, it had been in his mind for a long time.
“Thirty odd years ago a business contact tried to buy Chaddesden Sidings when it was a dump, saying that in 40 years it would be the centre of business in Derby, and everyone laughed at him,” said Schofield. “But it stuck with me, and now look at it. He was right and we knew that when we moved in nine years ago it was going to help grow the business several times over.”
Moving from a small office in Duffield to Royal Scot Way has helped transform Ford & Stanley from a £0.5 million turnover business to an £8 million turnover business. The number of employees has increased in that time from five to 35 and the company has doubled in size every year.
Moreover, the move has allowed them to benefit from being able to service clients swifty and effectively as many of them, such as SNC Lavalin and Ricardo, are also based on Pride Park.
Schofield said: “This isn’t just about us being able to grow, it’s about us helping other businesses on Pride Park to grow, while at the same time practicing what we preach by providing our employees with the same high level of investment and support that we help provide for our clients.”
Ford & Stanley focuses predominantly on rail but alongside recruitment provides a wide satellite of valuable support services to clients, including GENIUS performance support to help keep staff motivated and performing to their maximum, on-boarding to support both employee and employer in the first few critical weeks of starting, and a pre-employment package that includes medical screening and where relevant safety wear and industry-regulated tooling.
When the company first moved to Royal Scot Road in 2008, it rented a room above a hairdressing academy. As it grew, it bought that whole building, and recently purchased the building next door, where the new GENIUS training academy is housed, providing Ford & Stanley employees with the same level of support, investment and professional development as it provides its clients.
“Millennials are a very different generation of employees,” said Schofield. “It is no longer about telling someone where they work and how much you are paying them. They expect so much more; they want to know that you are taking them seriously and engaging with them, they want to feel part of the business - involved in it and that you are listening to them.
“So it isn’t about job and salary now. It’s about the environment you provide, the investment you put into your people and your ability to motivate them. Businesses don’t employ anymore; they have talented people who choose to spend their time with them, and companies have to recruit them every single day, day after day.”
Hence the pool table, tennis table and relaxing area in the Ford & Stanley offices – a space Schofield said they could easily cram more staff into to increase turnover, but which he knows his workforce value highly.
“We, the same as every other company, have had to respond to these changes, the way employees think and what they want, and companies that can do that and that can acknowledge the need to change will be the ones able to retain key people at a time when consistently over the last few years, two thirds of businesses report that the biggest threat to their business is not being able to attract or retain enough talent.
“Everyone knows there is a skill shortage. We aren’t going to solve that, but we can help make the companies we work with more attractive and to help them make the best use of what they have available.”
Many of those companies have helped join the Pride Park revolution and have benefited from it, and Schofield says it’s been the perfect move for him and his business.
“It has a great community and because we work in rail, many of businesses that benefit from what we do are right on our doorstep,” he said. “It couldn’t have been better and being here will support us as we seek to double growth again next year.”
As featured in www.derbytelegraph.co.uk