The face of recruitment has changed significantly over the past few years, and now it has changed almost beyond recognition for industry giant Reed, who have moved their core Northampton operations into part of their recent acquisition, Northampton 900.
Post-acquisition investment of around £7m in the Northampton Business Park site has seen Britain’s biggest and best-known recruitment company transform the three-storey building into modern energy-efficient offices complete with state-of-the-art connectivity and infrastructure.
The entrance and reception atria have been remodelled and the new Café 900 provides a modern contemporary space in the building where fresh meals are available throughout the day and the Café also offers a relaxing community breakout space for staff as well as less formal meetings.
Reed, which was founded in 1960 by Sir Alec Reed, has grown into the world’s largest family-run recruitment business, with offices spanning the UK, Europe, the Middle East and East Asia. Today, Sir Alec’s son James Reed heads up the firm.
Over the years, Reed has significantly grown its presence in Northampton and much of its Reed Talent Solutions business, which offers bespoke outsourced recruitment contracts for large clients, and many of its key support functions, operate out of Northampton.
Nigel Marsh, Reed’s Group Chief Financial Officer, said:
“After what has been a difficult period, it’s fantastic to have such an attractive work environment that will play a big part in enticing our employees, who we call co-members, back into the office as part of our dynamic working arrangements.
“Having been based in Charles House in Derngate for over 20 years, we’d rather outgrown those premises, and as Reed is keen to invest in freehold property, Northampton 900 ticked all of our boxes, providing a platform for growth of the business in a superb workplace environment.
“We could have looked to invest outside of Northampton but chose not to because it really is the ideal place for us. There is a good talent pool, and it’s a university town, it has excellent transport links and it’s easily accessible from Milton Keynes and Bedford, and so we had no reason to go anywhere else.”
Reed engaged the services of Ian Leather from Bray Fox Smith as property consultant and adviser on the acquisition and to identify a potential investment.
Following the acquisition of Northampton 900, Ian retained a key role as part of the project design and delivery team providing additional support and advice as the building was refurbished. Bray Fox Smith are now retained to market the completed scheme to potential occupiers.
Two existing tenants, FCC Environment and Online Direct, remained in-situ during the refurbishment and Reed has moved its current team of 250 people into the first floor with space to expand. There is currently circa 26,000 square feet of available office space in the building which can be made available to occupiers in suites from 4,000 square feet upwards.
Each of the floor plates provides complete flexibility and can accommodate requirements for one large open-plan space, or divided into smaller suites to accommodate a range of potential tenant requirements.
In addition, and taking account of the recent pandemic, Northampton 900 has been designed to create an excellent working environment supported by modern, efficient air handling systems with tenants also benefiting from the added value space created by the Café 900, the outside terrace and garden area, all of which are key to managing the flow and capacity of staff as we emerge from the past 18 months.
Nigel Marsh added:
“Reed as a company has been transitioning away from High Street offices for some years now – we’d already moved a lot of our offices from street level to first floor as so much candidate registration and engagement is increasingly done online rather than in person. It’s therefore not affecting our service delivery to move out of town to Northampton 900, and a modern, bright and convenient office building with an exceptional level of car parking has enhanced the lives of our co-members whilst providing a prestigious location for Reed Talent Solutions to engage with its clients.
“Ian Leather had been recommended to me by a mutual contact who spoke of his great knowledge of the area, and that has certainly been an important factor in Reed investing is this marvellous building. Ian helped us find it, acquire it at a competitive price and now he is instrumental in marketing the remaining space in the building”.
Northampton Business Park benefits from 24-hour management and manned security and Northampton 900 itself now has its own security speed gates. There is parking for almost 400 cars, including EV charging points, and the building is fitted with LED lighting and energy-efficient air conditioning that is zonable, ensuring every tenant has a controllable system regardless of how the floors are divided up.
“We’re seeing an increasing number of our co-members return to the office, and many businesses that I speak to tell me similar” said Nigel. “The interaction with colleagues in what is a fast-paced sales environment is important, and co-location enables people to feed off one another. Our teams have, on the whole, welcomed the opportunity to get back into the office, and, of course, we feel it’s the best way for those training, or less experienced co-members, to learn from their colleagues as they go about their work.
“And if we can provide a modern, welcoming environment in which they can work, then it’s the best of both worlds for everyone.”
Find out more about Reed at www.reed.com