Stafflex is celebrating 20 years in recruitment and this is what they have achieved...
“A successful business always leaves behind a legacy of supporting its community” says founder Brian Stahelin
The family-run recruiter has helped thousands of people find work across West Yorkshire.
Founded in 2000 by Brian Stahelin, Stafflex set out with just two staff members and a clear vision to be the first choice employment agency within Kirklees and Calderdale.
The successful firm now employs a team of 24, supplying staff to the industrial, engineering, education and office sectors across West Yorkshire.
With an initial focus on the industrial and engineering sectors, Stafflex enjoyed whirlwind growth, with turnover rising by an impressive 151% in the first year as the company moved into cumulative profitability.
This enabled Stafflex to launch its education division and move into larger premises to accommodate its growing team by 2002.
By 2010, Stafflex was large enough to move into an even bigger 2,500 sq ft office space to house its new office division.
Nine years later, to facilitate the continued rapid growth of the business, the company underwent an impressive £140,000 office refurbishment in 2019, with staff wellbeing at the heart of the new look.
Founding directors Brian Stahelin (centre) and Mark Davidson (right) open Stafflex in April 2000
Secrets of success
“Treating people as we would want to be treated is key to Stafflex’s growth", according to founder and managing director Brian Stahelin.
Hence there is a strong emphasis on staff training and development, as well as employee wellness.
“Well trained staff perform better and we believe it is important to support them in all aspects of work and life,” said Stahelin.
“Each colleague has personal development time and a personal budget of £500 per year for training and development.
“We always make sure that the people we employ fit the Stafflex culture. We’re not a high street recruiter, but instead a family business that is here to help people and this is reflected in our staff.
“In terms of corporate social responsibility, we also give each staff an afternoon every quarter to volunteer at a local charity of their choice, therefore supporting our community.”
Stafflex's redesigned offices at International House, Chapel Hill in Huddersfield
A healthy working environment
During the most recent office refurb, Stafflex consultants were given a spacious new open plan office space, private meeting booths to carry out registrations, and a breakaway area to relax in to ensure a healthy working environment.
“We have also trained a number of our staff as mental health first aiders and we’ve encouraged all staff to take part in the Pathway to Wellbeing course at Alexandra House Spa,” said Stahelin.
“We’re the first business in the area to do this.
"It is a holistic mind-body-spirit approach to self-improvement with an emphasis on science and looking at feelings and emotions.”
In return, staff loyalty and satisfaction was highlighted during the global financial crash of 2008.
“Our sales forecast showed that the business would lose substantial amounts of money if no action was taken,” explained Stahelin.
“Staff decided to take a pay cut and reduced hours, which meant we didn’t have to lose a single member of staff during these difficult trading conditions.”
Thanks to this united front, after a tough six-months, the business was back on its feet and growth resumed in 2009.
Stahelin says that integrity and openness are in-built in the company’s culture.
“If we can’t fill the position, or we’ve made a mistake with a booking, then we are the first to admit it and tell the client, which goes a long way in terms of building lasting relationships,” said Stahelin.
“We’re also honest and transparent with our candidates. If we can’t find them anything, we let them know rather than building their hopes up.”
In 2008 Stafflex was the key sponsor on Huddersfield Town’s shorts
In addition to its core recruitment activities, Stafflex prides itself on its strong links to the community.
In 2017/18, Stafflex re-invested 1.5% of turnover in supporting the local community, prioritising projects that shared the company’s own philosophy of connecting people in Yorkshire.
Among others, Stafflex sponsors The Leslie Foundation and the Stafflex Arena where more than 32 amateur football teams, plus Huddersfield town ladies, play weekly.
It is also a founding partner of Huddersfield Live, a not-for-profit group which works with local organisations to sustain and develop Huddersfield’s tradition of community focused sporting, cultural and festival events, including the Food and Drink Festival.
“A successful business always leaves behind a legacy of supporting its community,” said Stahelin.
“Sponsorship is a key part of our marketing strategy and has been since Stafflex was established in 2000.”
This year, Stafflex sponsored the football kits for King James's School
Marking 20 years in business
Stafflex has also been heavily involved in facilitating apprenticeship programmes such as helping to launch the KC Works work experience initiative in 2015, in partnership with Kirklees College.
The management hopes that the company will play an even greater part in helping the local community in years to come.
Among other celebrations to mark the momentous 20-year anniversary, Stafflex is introducing a new, gold-coloured logo.
The celebratory logo will be used throughout 2020 on all marketing material including, leaflets, email signatures and social media.
A video created by Virtual Huddersfield showcasing Stafflex’s journey will also form part of the campaign celebrations.
“Twenty years seems to have passed in a flash. The greatest reward has been to provide employment for so many people over the years,” said Stahelin.
“The priority will continue to be to provide opportunities to satisfy the aspirations of our staff,” he commented.