New home for Yorkshire’s specialist technology recruiter

A woman who launched her first recruitment business seven years ago is working to future proof her own organisation and services to clients with her latest venture.
Jo Fleming (right) with three members of the GBIT team (from left) Glen Halliwell, Mel Hughes and Mike Smith

A woman who launched her first recruitment business seven years ago is working to future proof her own organisation and services to clients with her latest venture.

Jo Fleming launched the primarily blue-collar provider Yorkshire Staffing Services (YSS) in 2011 and last year added specialist technology recruiter GBIT. Now the new company is programmed for growth, having moved from The Deep Business Centre to an office at Marina Court in Hull, overlooking the busiest road in East Yorkshire.

Jo, Managing Director of both businesses, said:

It’s all about business growth. This is a very visible location with huge numbers of people going past our front door every day in cars, lorries and coaches.

YSS began as a one-woman company after Jo decided to back herself and break away from her PLC recruitment background.

She said:

I was working hard and I decided, as a single parent with a mortgage, car and bills to pay, to take a chance and do it for myself. It was a huge risk but I did it because I had the contacts and the experience.

It started with me in Goole with a laptop and a dongle. Four years ago we added a Hull office and we now have 14 people placing an average of 200 temporary workers per day with 30 clients across Yorkshire and beyond. It’s mainly blue collar with high volume requirements, and some clients from the very beginning are still with us now.

GBIT was created as a result of monitoring business trends in the region. It thrived at The Deep – a business centre which has a strong track record with supporting start-ups – and is now making its next move.

Jo said:

GBIT is very different from YSS. We could see what was going on with the huge growth in the technology sector, particularly in the Hull area, and we quickly realised there was a gap in the market. There is no other company in this area that is focusing on IT recruitment.

The move is short but significant. Opening at The Deep was such a simple and easy way to start and the level of support meant we could concentrate on launching the business and then building it up. We had clients among the other business centre tenants before we even arrived, and we only left there because Marina Court became available and, after The Deep’s help, we felt we were able to stand on our own two feet as a business.

The new home gives us more space to ourselves for training and conference sessions, it gives us room to grow and it’s a great location. A lot of our neighbours here are customers – we are in the heart of a community of digital businesses.

In less than a year GBIT has expanded to a team of five staff, all with relevant experience to further enhance and support the growth plans of the company.

Jo said:

The knowledge of our staff is key. Our consultants have to understand the product fully. They have to speak that technical language fluently and understand exactly what it is that they are selling.

GBIT is a recruitment business for now and for the future. We have a strong business plan which includes building our team over the next 12 months. That will be driven by training and supported by more investment and it will be followed by further expansion across the north.

Freya Cross, Business and Corporate Manager of The Deep, said:

We were very sorry to see GBIT leave our business centre but it is the nature of what we do – we have helped to launch so many new businesses over the years. Some are still here and others fly the nest having developed the skills, confidence and contacts to move to the next level.

Even though Jo has already built one very successful business she has stuck to the principles of start-ups in launching GBIT and that will ensure it is built on very strong foundations.