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10 Years of La Fosse

03/02/2017 By Simon La Fosse

A stack of awards, 150 employees, multiple offices and lots of skiing in the Alps... it’s been an exhilarating decade for La Fosse.

The La Fosse team, dressed as penguins, on their annual ski trip to the Alps


Ten years ago, Simon La Fosse made a life-changing decision. To leave the £250m company he’d helped build, and start his own firm. For Simon, it was the culmination of a long-held belief that there was a need for a different kind of technology recruiter. A co-owned, values-based firm that recruited from the top down, and was founded on a simple set of deeply held values: that treating everyone with care and respect is the right thing to do. And it's good business.  

Since that day in 2007, La Fosse has gone from strength to strength. We’ve won numerous awards, grown to 150 employees, opened multiple offices and travelled around the world. Here are a few of our proudest and most exciting moments from the past decade. 

 

2007: 

Headcount: 6
Office: Biddlehook Cottage, West Sussex

- Feb 1st: La Fosse officially opens for business out of Simon's home office, in deepest West Sussex 
- We land our first search with Bacardi for a European CIO, based in Geneva
- Our inaugural IT Leaders’ Summit is a huge success, with speakers including Mark Hodgkinson, ex-CEO of Virgin Money. 

Biddlehook Cottage, La Fosse's First Office

Biddlehook Cottage, La Fosse's First Office

 

2008: 

Headcount: 13
Office: CountyMark House Business Centre, Soho 

- La Fosse buckles down during the financial crisis, delivering our first major campaign in partnership with Royal Mail 
- We’re named Recruitment Consultancy of the Year at the Computing Awards for Excellence 
- We welcome Chris Chandler, today’s head of the Executive Search Practice

Simon La Fosse accepting an award at the Computing Awards for Excellence

Simon La Fosse at the Computing Awards for Excellence

2009: 

Headcount: 13
Office: 33 Glasshouse Street, Soho
 
- Deliver ITV campaign; 28 hires in under 8 months 
James Parker, our current MD, walks through the doors for the first time as Executive Director
- Deliver our first set of Contract roles at JLT
- La Fosse begins sponsoring MOET, a school for orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi. We still help today - donating a third of the school’s yearly budget

A graphical depiction of the 2009 Recession

A graphical depiction of the 2009 Recession

2010: 

Headcount: 27
Offices: Soho & Birmingham
 
- La Fosse opens its first regional office. Hello Birmingham! 
- We hire our first grads, including today's Director of Contract Recruitment, David Roberts
- We’re joined by Tom Vaughan – the founder of La Fosse USA
- It’s snow holds barred on our first team ski trip to the Alps 
- We take home silver in the Annual Action for Kids Volleyball Tournament
- We bring Tui Travel on board as a new client

The La Fosse team at the Charity Beach Volleyball Tournament

Team La Fosse at the Charity Beach Volleyball Tournament

2011: 

Headcount: 40  

Offices: Regent Street, Birmingham & Leeds
 

- We outgrow Glasshouse Street and move down the road to Regent Street offices
- Rank for the first time on the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track for Growth list, as the 23rd fastest growing company in the UK
- A shiny new office opens in Leeds, thanks to a one-off email from today's Regional Head of Practice, Helen Fleming
- Agree landmark search with Apple
- The first La Fosse gym memberships are rolled out for everyone - La Fosse head to the coast for the first Cornwall company trip

 

Someone sitting on a Cornish beach with the famous purple La Fosse branded umbrella

The famous La Fosse umbrellas storm the Cornwall shores

2012: 

Headcount: 59 
Offices: Regent Street, Birmingham & Leeds
 
- Sleeping on the job at our first Byte Night sleep out in support of Action for Children
- Simon is interviewed on BBC News
- Client numbers grow to 300 
- The Olympic Committee’s Gerry Pennell speaks at La Fosse’s event Delivering Technology for the Greatest Show on Earth
- We agree first landmark board-level search with the BBC

Simon La Fosse speaks to Charlie Stayt on BBC Breakfast

Simon La Fosse speaks with the BBC Breakfast 

2013: 

Headcount: 61  
Offices: 9th Floor, Portland House, SW1, Birmingham, Leeds

- Outgrow another office and move into Portland House, in Victoria 
- Rank as 4th in the Sunday Times’ Top 100 Best Small Companies to Work for in the UK for the first time  - Second time ranking in the Top 100 as one of the UK's Fastest Growing Companies (Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track)
- James Parker is named Managing Director 
- Simon graces the small screen for the second time with an appearance on the Apprentice 
 

Some of the La Fosse team in the new office at the 2013 Christmas party

Christening the new offices at our Christmas party in 2013

2014: 

Headcount: 79
Offices: 9th Floor, Portland House, SW1, Birmingham, Leeds
 
- The awards continue, including: Simon La Fosse named Best Leader in the UK; 4th Best Small Company to Work For; and 72nd Fastest Growing Company in the UK
- Merlin Entertainments' global campaign agreed
- The girls showed the boys who’s boss in our first annual Boys V Girls Netball game. (Three years on & it’s 2-1 to the girls).
- We raise a record £8k for Byte Night in support of Action for Children. Our JustGiving profile is included in top 1% of all fundraising pages for 2014
- Fun times at the Big Top: La Fosse takes a trip to the Circus:

All 79 members of the La Fosse team make a human pyramid at The National Centre for Circus Arts

Quite possibly the world's largest human pyramid

2015:

Headcount: 100

Offices: 9th Floor and 19th Floor, Portland House, SW1, Birmingham & Leeds
 
- Amy Gilman is named Director of Learning and Development and HR and we welcome Jonathan McKay as non-executive chairman
- La Fosse purchases a few hectares of the Ecuadorian rainforest through the World Land Trust
- We’re delighted to win Best Contract Recruiter at the Global Recruiter Awards 2015
- Our unique co-ownership scheme wins us Best Employee Share/Equity Scheme at the Recruiter’s Investing in Talent Awards 2015
- 13 proves our lucky number as we win 13th Best Small Company to Work for in the UK.
- The year of the Penguins: annual ski trip to the Alps

The La Fosse team, dressed as penguins, on their annual ski trip to the Alps

La Fosse takes Flaine

2016: 

Headcount: 150
Offices: 5th Floor, Portland House, SW1, Birmingham, Leeds & Los Angeles
 
- Ollie Whiting joins as Director of Permanent and Regional Recruitment 
- We head stateside, with the opening of our very first US offices in Los Angeles
- Our latest awards include Best Medium Recruitment Business, 10th Best Small Company to Work for in the UK and named as a finalist in the UK's National Business Awards as Employer of the Year
- Winners at the Neptune City Seven's Rugby Tournament
- Tagine and Training: our management team head to Morocco for a leadership development course (this trip had more managers than we had employees six years ago!)

Some of the La Fosse management team stood atop the Atlas Mountains in their hiking gear

Some of the La Fosse management team atop the Atlas Mountains

2017: 

Headcount: 150 (and counting!) 
Offices: 5th Floor, Portland House, SW1 Birmingham, Leeds & Los Angeles (and more!)

- c120 La Fosse employees will take to the slopes on our largest ever ski trip 
- Plans are underway to open more regional/international offices (stay tuned!)
- La Fosse enters a new era with records amounts of growth across: headcount; profit; client base; promotions; and number of gym memberships!

The current La Fosse team fill the break room before the 2016 Christmas party
La Fossians spill out of our breakout room at the 2016 Christmas Party

 

Our first 10 years have been quite a ride, and we're even more excited for the next 10. The future is looking bright, with new offices, epic trips in the pipeline and a continued commitment to our clients, candidates and staff, we believe now more than ever that we are on the path to proving Simon's original vision; that treating people well is not just the right thing to do - it’s a better way to do business.

To find out more about La Fosse and how we will do things differently for you: get in touch

 
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