Creating a workplace of the future in our Reading HQ!

The launch of our brand new office refit in our Reading HQ!  
We partnered with design firm Area Sq to create a workspace of the future in our new, Reading-based HQ in Thames Tower. Throughout the initial briefing process, Area really got to grips with our why. They understood that our people are at the core of our business and helped us create a dynamic space, to accommodate our equally dynamic workforce. Our space deliberately encourages collaboration and innovation in the way our teams approach their work and each working day, ensuring our employees the resources and support to truly succeed in their roles. We’ll take you on a tour of our office and the progression of our refit in the video below.
 
Our break out area where we spend our lunch times, monthly meetings and host local Meetups and events
 
Our recent move of our Reading HQ into Thames Tower coincides with our tenth year of business. Over the last ten years we’ve expanded internationally, opening offices across Europe and the USA within the digital, technology, aviation, automation and life sciences industries. As a business, we were keen to set a precedent and create a truly inspirational space for our centralised hub in Reading. We’ve really considered the long term and ensured our space facilitates growth for each of teams to expand into.
We have a versatile range of meeting spaces for our teams to collaborate in
Thames Tower offers a 360 panoramic view of the Thames Valley, a rooftop garden where we regularly host and attend events, as well as a prime position in Reading Town Centre, with access to all the town, has to offer. Our office refit had to maintain these incredible standards and Area accomplished this and made our vision a reality.
 
Our classroom, where we provide immersive training experiences for our staff
 
CEO, Peter Hart says, “We really believe that what Area Sq has created represents the future workplace. It will play a huge role in helping Austin Fraser reach the next level of growth with the right people, technology and environment. It was important for us to have an office environment which offered different types of space to accommodate the different types of people and working practices that run throughout the business. This inspirational workplace will play a key role in helping us to continue to attract and retain the very best talent.”
 

Want to take a look for yourselves? Take a look at this video we worked on with Stanton Media and Area Sq…
 

Austin Fraser Rank 14th in Sunday Times & HSBC International Fast Track List

 
We’re very excited to announce we have been ranked at No 14 on the annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 list of fast growing international companies. Our international expansion started in 2012 with our Munich office, in Germany, which has now grown to more than 30 people. Since then we have opened further offices in Austin, Texas, USA (now more than 20 people) and Berlin, Germany. Just last week we also announced that we are continuing our global expansion in Denver, Colorado.
 
As part of our international growth strategy, we identify markets that are aligned with our core UK markets. We have carefully considered our new locations to find markets where we can make the maximum impact and grow a sustainable business. We’ve been able to bring our knowledge of our Technology, Digital and Life Sciences markets to help our clients’ businesses grow by finding the right talent and building some incredible networks.
 
Our CEO, Pete Hart has shared his thoughts, “I am so proud of all our people and what they have achieved in Germany and the USA. There have been plenty of challenges, but the work ethic and continual desire to improve and adapt, have resulted in this placement in The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200. We have had a number of key staff relocate from our UK office over the past 5 years, who have been integral in founding, maintaining and evolving the spark that made us special when we launched in the UK.
 
“We have built amazing teams with a focus on delivering exceptional client and candidate service. Our approach is to provide the best possible environment, tools and development for our people to do their job to the best of their ability. We invest heavily in the success of our people  and rely on them for the success of our business. We believe it’s right that we create an environment where colleagues respect one another, support one another and have a great time.
 
“Our plans for growth don’t stop here. We’re looking at where we might grow next and we’re still recruiting in all our offices – Reading, Munich, Berlin, Austin and Denver. It’s exciting times to be a part of Austin Fraser”
 
To find our more about us and the current vacancies we have open, take a look here: https://www.hunted.com/companies/201/austin-fraser
 
 

 

Congratulations to Ashley Dunbar, our new UK Technology Director!

Congratulations to Ashley Dunbar, our newest Director!

Today is a proud moment for us at Austin Fraser, we’re really pleased to announce that Ashley Dunbar has been promoted to Director. We speak to Ash about how he got to this point and to get his advice for others with ambitious career goals!
 
How long have you been with us at Austin Fraser and what did you do before you started?
I joined Austin Fraser eight years ago as a Trainee having returned from travelling in Asia and Australia. I’d previously worked as an Estate Agent and within sales for ten years but I was starting off in recruitment for the first time.
 
How did you find recruitment to begin with?
Tough, I didn’t have much success when I started, but I worked hard to build up my market knowledge, a great candidate network and build strong relationships with clients. I knew the biggest influencers in my sector and set about winning them over. In my second year this all contributed to me climbing up the boards quickly and getting promoted to Senior Consultant.

What market did you work within when you joined us?
I built the Microsoft Contracts desk from scratch and developed a network and knowledge in niche sectors. It was really important to me from the start to add value to my relationships and to be able to offer genuine consultancy skills to my clients and candidates.

What was the next stage in your career?
As our team grew it made sense for the IT Contracts team to split into three. I started to grow a team around me and it’s fair to say that my management journey also tested my resilience to the maximum too. Other teams grew more quickly which meant some of my peers were promoted before me, but my effort and commitment to the cause never wavered.

How did you push on and progress?
I focused on hiring quality people and giving them the skills to build their markets, embedding standards across the team whilst encouraging individuals to play to their own strengths. It was in 2015 that all this work started to pay off as the team became more successful and I progressed through the Team Leader, Sales Manager & Profit Centre Manager thresholds within 12 months. My long-term goals moved ever closer and this motivated me even more.
As we entered 2016 I had a clear goal to try and achieve a Director level performance and 2016 turned out to be a great year for me and my team. The Contracts team grew by about 36.67%. I established a perm team from scratch which began to regularly contribute to the overall billing. I also managed to develop a number of highly regarded Principal and Senior Consultants.

What has been the most rewarding part of your career so far?
Leading a contract team from having the lowest Weekly Gross Profit to the highest within the company over a two year period. This was a key achievement leading me to win “Manager of the Year” at the last Annual Sales Meeting.
 
What has been the most challenging part of your career so far?
Transitioning from being a biller to a Team Leader. Consistently, stepping outside of my comfort zone to drive ideas, challenge behaviour and create an identity and team standards.
 
How have you found building a team and managing people in this environment?
This is a team sport and not about one individual. I am proud to be part of some exceptional performances and progression of people around me, I hope I’ve helped others exceed their own expectations. It will be an extremely proud day for me when I can personally promote someone to Director within Technology!!
 
What advice do you have for aspiring recruiters?
This career isn’t for the faint-hearted. You will be challenged, you will feel the pressure. The rewards are good for the effort and commitment required to be successful. If you don’t back yourself and believe you’ll succeed, I suggest you throw the dice again.
 
How has Austin Fraser supported your career aspirations?
Firstly, I was never the best biller, though I knew I demonstrated the values that AF are driven by. It was obvious to me from the early days that this company could take me where I wanted to be, these beliefs were also endorsed by my managers. I never lack ambition or shy away from a challenge and developing my career and skills are key for me. AF has provided me with the perfect balance of vision and grounding about what I need to do to move onwards and upwards. AF have always believed in me and I believe this is a great company, this has created the perfect environment for me to succeed.
 
Derek Simpson, our CDO concludes…
“All of these things Ash has mentioned led to a brilliant financial performance last year, culminating in Ash winning the Manager Of The Year Award at the ASM and ultimately hitting the Director target given to him at the start of the year! As we move forwards with our new structure I know that Ash will continue to develop his skills and help the growth of our combined UK Technology team. Brilliant work mate and I look forward to celebrating this promotion with you and no doubt, more success in the future.”
 

 

Relocating our Reading HQ to Thames Tower!

 
 
Our journey from humble beginnings in a garage to becoming a leading international technical recruitment consultancy, takes another leap forward today, as we announce that we’re moving into Thames Tower, a brand new 14,000 sq ft office right in the heart of Reading. Our new UK home will support the development of our increasingly global business and provide a fantastic workplace for our consultants as we continue to grow.
 
Thames Tower sits in a great central location in Reading, a two minute walk away from the station, it’s easily accessible for commuting and right next to the restaurants, bars and gyms. With 360 degree views from the floor-to-ceiling windows, a communal sky garden, a range of meeting spaces and relaxation areas our consultants will have a great space from which to work. We’ll be fitting the office out with the latest tech, creating an environment that supports the way we work best.
 
 

We’re proud to remain in Reading and contribute to the development of both the local economy and the growing tech scene through local business initiatives and meet-up groups. Seeing direct impact and progress is extremely rewarding and we’re excited to be part of the further development of Reading. The Elizabeth Line opens in 2019 and will make the town much more accessible to the surrounding areas and London also having a huge influence over the influx of both people and businesses into Reading.
 
Peter Hart, CEO of Austin Fraser, commented: “We’re growing rapidly and need office space that will enable us to continue to deliver the opportunities to candidates and the talent to clients that we’re renowned for. Thames Tower, a stylish, modern building, in the heart of Reading, with great access to the town’s restaurants, shops, bars, and gyms, fits the bill perfectly. It provides us with the space we need to meet our ambitious recruitment plans and fits with our desire to offer a fantastic place for our people to work. After all, in a business like ours, it’s the people who are the bedrock; when they’re happy they’re able to do a fantastic job and are trusted by clients and candidates alike.”

 
 

In these 10 years we’ve won a number of industry awards and accolades including being shortlisted in the Top 25 of The Sunday Times Best companies To Work For, five years in a row! We’ve also been given a Gold accreditation from Investors in People. We’re always striving to provide an outstanding working environment for our employees and this new office will definitely aid us to help everyone create a good balance between work and their home lives, as well as injecting a bit of fun into the work day which is what we do best.
 
Derek Simpson, CDO adds, “We’re looking for both experienced and aspiring recruitment consultants who want to help drive our growth. It’s the start of the year and despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit and other political events we’re seeing increased demand for the talent  in the digital, technology, life sciences, aviation and automation sectors. Moving to Thames Tower will help create the right environment for our consultants with a range of modern meeting areas and social spaces that will encourage even more collaboration within the team.”