Salter Grange, a recruitment company specialising in the construction sector, made its home with Formation Works Armagh shared office accommodation in April 2022. Managing Director, Marty McCoy, tells us their story and how Formation Works has been integral to their success in more ways than one.
Talk to us about Salter Grange.
Salter Grange is a recruitment resource partner specialising in construction, property, and engineering. We recruit white collar staff, mainly for tier 1 and 2 main contractors across the UK, in Dublin and across Europe. My background is in recruitment specifically in this area of business and I built up a strong network during my time in recruitment in London with two of the construction industry’s most reputable recruitment firms. I’m a very ambitious person and the opportunity arose in late 2021 to start Salter Grange it felt like the right time in my career to give it a go and create something. It’s been an exciting journey so far and a decision I’m very happy I made.
How has your first year in business been?
Great! Obviously there are challenges in the setting up of a business but I’ve had a very positive experience so far. If I listened too much to the news or to construction industry forecasts it could be easy to get sucked into negativity, but so far we have only been going from strength to strength. With the growing rise of data centre developments across Europe, we have found a niche in this market and we see this trend for staff requirements continuing to rise.
Why Armagh as a location for your business?
Our Head Office is in Oxford Street, London, and this office in Armagh represents our Northern Ireland base for the company. I’m a proud Armagh man so the location was a no brainer from that perspective, but it’s also a really central venue for attracting local talent. Our strategy is to build the business from here and give opportunities to local people to develop and grow in their careers. We want to create local employment and see the Armagh base as the perfect venue. For staff travelling from the Armagh area, Dungannon, Newry, Lurgan & Portadown, it’s a very central location, and we’d be keen to attract staff from across the border regions also. We’ll undoubtedly take on staff who want to explore London and further afield and we’re very open to providing those opportunities too.
How did you find Formation Works Armagh?
Our Operations Directors, Stephen, has a business based in Formation Works and he introduced me to it. I loved it straight away and it made sense for me to create our Northern Ireland base in the same venue so that we could have sales and operations divisions under one roof. I operate between here and the London office so it was important for me to have a base where there was some Salter Grange presence even when I wasn’t around.
You have rather a unique situation in that you had to upsize your office space within 9 months – tell us about that.
That’s something I’m particularly proud of! We attracted Paddy Quinn to join us in April as a Senior Recruitment Consultant so our initial office space was a 2 person office – perfect for our needs at the beginning of our journey. Our colleague Karina, who is based in London, would have a tight squeeze if she ever joined us for meetings! When we were in the process of taking on our first trainee, Bernadette, we knew it was time to upsize. We intend to scale the business carefully but we’re certainly ambitious and we know it won’t be long before others will join us, so we have opted for a 6 person office with a private meeting space included and we love it! We moved in just before Christmas and we’re looking forward to starting the new year afresh in our new surroundings!
When running a business, how important is an attractive office space?
For us, it’s vital, especially now we are at this stage of growth. It sets the tone for the brand of your organisation, whether that be for candidates coming in to speak to us about roles or for prospective staff for the organisation. We want our team to feel excited about coming into a fresh office with good energy. We wanted to have an office space that would stand out from the crowd and that would give the right signals about our business. We have definitely found that here!
What features of Formation Works Armagh stand out in particular?
The boardrooms and breakout spaces are excellent. We found them particularly important in the smaller office when we needed a bit of variety! It’s important to get a break from looking at the same four walls so we make full use of the spaces available.
The kitchen space is beautiful and we find it a very important place from a social aspect. Everyone talks to each other here and we all encourage each other to grow, meet new contacts and explore new opportunities. That’s an added bonus I probably wasn’t expecting and it’s a very different culture from our London office. High energy vibes and being sociable are important aspects of recruitment consulting as we find both of these traits here in spades.
The location, just outside of the city, is perfect because it avoids the busy city centre vibe and the issues it can cause with traffic and parking. People can find us easily along the main road to Newry and we love how much parking is available here, it just makes life so much easier!
The ‘plug and play’ aspect of this property was an excellent feature too. We were literally able to plug in the laptops and start working straight away on the first day of opening here and that means a lot. No endless phone calls to try and sort broadband and other utilities, no shopping for desks and chairs. It has been a real weight off not having that added stress at the beginning of our journey here.
How have you found the Formation Team to deal with?
Absolutely excellent, I couldn’t have asked for better. They have made the whole process so seamless and nothing is ever a bother. I thought it might have created a nuisance having to ask for a bigger unit so soon after taking on my lease here, but they had me sorted very quickly and gave us the perfect upgrade of space. In fact, the guys here encourage such movement. That’s the whole idea of this property, it’s made up of units of a variety of sizes and they want to watch you grow – to help you to grow in fact.
I find Stuart and Claire inspiring in what they have achieved here. As business owners, they are people I look up to. They are always available to bounce ideas off and are very personally invested in each of the businesses operating here. They want us to achieve and they’re always available for advice to help us to make that happen. Their knowledge of the property/construction industry has been invaluable to me and I’m so grateful for their input.
If someone was considering a move into a Formation Works property, what would your advice be?
I can’t think of a better way to start your business journey than with Formation Works. Speak to someone today to arrange a viewing and you won’t look back!