Firm built a social media empire to support its recruitment business

A RECRUITMENT business has built a media empire to support its leading place in the recession-hit sector.

The F10 Group, based in Presley Way, Crownhill, Milton Keynes, created a social media entity called Ask The Experts to keep in touch with 250,000 candidates and clients registered in its database.

MK Award Winners, F10 Group, Crownhill MK.

MK Award Winners, F10 Group, Crownhill MK.

The F10 Group won the accolade for most innovative use of digital media at the Milton Keynes and North Bucks Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

Director Mark Stephens said: “Either we resign ourselves to losing revenues or be innovative and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Mr Stephens says the number of officially registered recruitment agencies in Milton Keynes has more than halved in the last few years as the recession has hit the industry hard.

The F10 Group has seen clients move to effectively set up their own in-house recruitment arms, based on the plethora of internet job boards and especially LinkedIn, that are free to access by anyone.

While asktheexperts.org.uk isn’t of itself a major direct contributor to F10’s overall profits, it has been a point of difference that enables it to win contracts against competitors.

Mr Stephens said: “We’re not making money through direct engagement but doing so gives us something others don’t have.

“When we have been in a beauty parade, we have been able to bring it out as our secret weapon.”

He added that F10, which specialises in technology recruitment, across space, defence and aerospace, is aiming to make asktheexperts.org.uk more commercially viable this year.

The whole F10 business was started about 12 years ago and now employs over 20 people directly, plus a range of freelancers, and is looking at ways to stay at the leading edge of its sector.

As well as developing Ask The Experts to offer free blogs and marketing services for clients, the business is looking at other ways to adapt to change and lead the way in recruitment innovation.

The company’s other innovations include smartrecruitonline.com, where jobs can be posted across multiple sites.

But this year, Mr Stephens believes he has a “game changer” with itsajobcalling.com. Clients will be able to select promising job candidates and send phone messages with the aim of filling vacancies.

Mr Stephens added: “We are confident of taking this business to international levels.”

He added: “We hope that the imminent success of these projects will place MK firmly on the map for what we are doing within the recruitment space and will help generate more local jobs and great business-related publicity for the area.”