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Location, location, location

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A rollercoaster of a ride. That’s how Paul Smith, technical sales director at Deploy Rail, describes the company’s development from its beginnings in 2013 to its standing almost five years on.

From one location in central London with three employees, to offices in Glasgow and Southampton – and an imminent opening in Manchester – for a cohort of almost 30 recruiters, it has been a successful white and blue-collar recruitment ride that has seen Deploy Rail’s base grow from zero to a sponsor list of more than 750 workers.

Learning curve

But becoming a preferred supplier of signallers, civils, plant operators, electrification and telecoms workers for Britain’s railway, as well as London’s Underground, hasn’t been easy.

Director Paul Smith, who has more than 15 years’ experience in the industry, has been in the business since the beginning, using his industry contacts to build it from the ground up. He said: “I have personally been through a huge learning curve from being part of a large successful company to taking and shaping a business from scratch and convincing not just clients and candidates to work with us but the right people to join and believe in the business and its vision.

“My role has now developed into not just leading rail but maintaining and growing the other successful construction and security divisions within our recruitment brands. This has given myself and the team a unique opportunity to be able to offer our clients a more complete service and dedicated resources to upskill and offer more work.”

North and south

Deploy Rail is part of the DE Group, a company which provides a range of specialist services to the construction, rail, property and health and safety sectors.

The rail division has traditionally focused on London but in 2017 offices were opened at far ends of the country. In July, a four-person team was set up in Glasgow and in September two recruiters established the Southampton base.

Paul said that, although these bases are in strategic locations in the UK, it was the opportunity to welcome some talented recruiters onboard that prompted the expansion. He added: “Scotland is very much a growth area. You forget how much a vast area it is, how much work is being done in the country and how much investment is being undertaken – especially with HS2 and HS3 in mind.”

Local people, local opportunities

Looking ahead, Paul wants to build on the successful model that Deploy Rail has applied to grow its base in London and the South East, where its local presence, knowledge and experience has helped it secure new clients and customers to supply local people for local opportunities.

Read more: Meet the HS2 innovators who want to introduce non-rail sector ideas