Marching through Manchester: An interview with Martin Turner about the opening of Arc’s new Manchester branch

Marching Through Manchester

In February 2016 Arc Recruitment opened its third fulltime office based in Manchester. We caught up with Area Manager Martin Turner on what opening an office in a new city involves, the challenges that Arc have had to overcome and what exciting prospects a new office brings.

So can you tell us why Arc have decided to open an office in Manchester?

Arc have been operating in Manchester and the surrounding areas since not long after our incorporation. It’s really over the last three years that Arc has grown a strong client base. Following a very successful year in 2015 the company took the decision that Manchester presented a fantastic new opportunity. Given that Manchester boasts a metropolitan economy that ranks second in England and is the third most visited location in the UK for foreign visitors it is an ideal location for an expanding business to have an office. Manchester links in nicely with Arc’s existing operations in Liverpool, Leeds and Yorkshire to strengthen the services we can offer to the North of England.

What was it like to be given the responsibility of opening a new office?

I think it was just as final preparations were being made ahead of our busy 2015 Christmas season that one of our company directors Paul called me into a meeting and asked what my future plans were and offered me the opportunity of opening a new branch. I was excited that the company I really enjoy working for was expanding and that I was included in those plans. It was actually about six years to the day from when I completed my first shifts at Arc (a double shift on a food van outside of Liverpool Football Club followed by a kitchen porter shift at a gala dinner) to when I received the keys for our Manchester office. Having worked for Arc for a quarter of my life I was privileged to be given this opportunity.

Were you apprehensive about anything or did you have any fears?

I wasn’t apprehensive at all as I knew I had a fantastic support team in head office and we already had a strong start in Manchester including having two Premier League football clubs and a well Known entertainment arena as existing clients. However, I was aware that when moving to Manchester I would have competitors to work alongside and knew that we would all be after the best clients and the best staff in the area. It would be my challenge to show why Arc is different to attract the best clients and the best staff.

The middle of January 2016 is when I transitioned to my new role which was kind of like starting a new job. I knew that I had a lot to learn quickly and was effectively about to start up my own business but already had experience in the area including delivering 250 staff to a single Manchester venue in October only a couple of months previous.

What challenges have you faced?

This might sound strange but my first challenge I had to overcome was being quiet and not having hundreds of shifts to find staff for every day – I had just finished off a very busy festive period as the Operations Manager in head office where our team had delivered on some nights up to 1,000 workers for back to back events across the country to now having comparatively no shifts at all. Paul (company director) described my role quite well to me: I was told I now needed to be a “creator” not just a “doer”. So it was clear that the challenge when moving to a new area is to establish yourself and show why you’re the new go to recruiters in town.

As already mentioned Manchester is quite a competitor rich area in our industry. I’m a competitive person and we use the fact we have a smaller office to our advantage to compete with larger competitor head offices in the same area. What I mean is having a manageable client base allows us to go back to basics and ensure that we deliver a faultless service, whilst still having the support of our head office infrastructure. 

What does your job now involve?

My previous job role as an Operations Manager largely involved working with our team of Account Managers to ensure that all clients’ requirements and requests were delivered. I now have to not only be an Account Manager myself but also having recruitment and financial responsibilities to manage.

From the recruitment side I now see candidates at every stage of our recruitment process. I view their application forms when they first apply right through to conducting our Manchester based induction and assessment sessions myself. This means that I get to know every staff member who represents us in Manchester.

A new part of my role is the commercial, sales and marketing side that comes with starting up business in a new area. I am lucky enough to be able to seek advice and be supported by our team based in London who have been through this process before two years ago. They have advised me on everything from selecting an appropriate office location to efficient sales and marketing techniques.

I also get the opportunity to attend monthly board meetings with the company directors to present business plans and ideas and always get excited about being a part of the future company plans of a successful business.

So the Manchester office has been open for three months now, how successful is it proving?

So far so good! We have secured nice premises in a great location right in the city centre which provides brilliant transport links, is close to venues and clients we work with and also not far from the local universities and student villages.

We have developed a good core of some really fantastic staff in Manchester and have gained some exciting opportunities and clients. We are well placed to improve our service to existing clients in the area and are excited to be cementing the Arc brand amongst local businesses and partners.

What does the future look like?

There are some busy days ahead on the calendar and we have successfully secured the Christmas party venue in the area as one of the 14 specific extravaganza party venues Arc have already acquired to supply staff to across the UK in 2016.

Expanding geographically has proved successful twice for Arc now and this approach has been replicated with an increase in demand to other locations – We are proud to have opened our Nottingham office in March and final plans are almost ready for our Leeds office to open in April and our Cardiff office in late summer 2016.

 

For more information about work opportunities or services Arc can provide in Manchester please contact Martin Turner on 0161 826 2927 or email martinturner@archospitality.co.uk

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Martin Turner

Area Manager

 

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