Edinburgh-based recruitment specialist Edgar Stewart is set to buck the trend of traditional consultancy by investing £120k in Scottish start-ups in a bid to help shape the industry’s next generation.
The firm, which has, until now, specialised in professional services recruitment, has gone against the grain by moving out of its prestigious West End address and into a new state-of-the-art conversion in the trendy Stockbridge area to open a new business incubator and start-up hub.
Its three directors, Craig Jackson, Bruce Hydes and Alan Wallace, are keen to ditch the stuffy and boring image traditional recruitment firms are typically associated with and hope their new contemporary ‘digs’ will appeal to the fresh, young talent they’re trying to attract.
Edgar Stewart, which has been operating in Edinburgh since 2010, has worked with a number of high-profile clients in the food and drink, FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods), technology and life sciences sectors thanks to its unique partnership approach.
But its ambitious directors, who have a nose for talent, are keen to pursue a more disruptive business model and create a lasting legacy for the firm.
They’re keen to develop a number of niche recruitment start-ups and are willing to stump up around £30k a time to get them off the ground.
Craig Jackson, who heads up Edgar Stewart’s work in the start-up, SME and high-growth sectors, said: “The recruitment industry, as it stands, is not future-proof. It’s a tough nut to crack and the market is near saturation point.
“With today’s start-up culture and tendency towards flexible and remote working, recruitment has to move with the times.
“That’s why we’re keen to diversify into wider business support services – not only to ensure our longevity and profitability for the years ahead, but for longevity of the industry as a whole.
“We’re keen to see young talent flourish and, since we have the know-how and capital, we are in a prime position to take young start-up recruitment businesses under our wing and help them grow.”
Edgar Stewart is keen to hear from recruitment start-ups or entrepreneurs with tangible business ideas who may need funding and support.
Craig added: “Basically, we’ll give them a base to do business, offer them support and advice and provide a remuneration package for the first year.
“They’ll be joining us at our new start-up hub in Stockbridge, where we’re proud to adopt a laid-back and flexible approach to the workplace.”