Growth in every sector
“Growth is coming from every sector in which we work, which has enabled us to engage in more complex projects and deepen the specialist nature of our teams,” said Tom.
“Our excitement is that we want to grow an inspiring and independent consulting firm with a great culture as a challenger to some of the majors, but with a work ethic we describe as ‘good team work’ – purpose-driven, strongly supportive and deep tech projects. We’re balancing lots of stuff here, but it’s working,” he added.
Head of recruitment Lorna Madden is one of a clutch of senior recruits who has joined the Opencast team since the Covid pandemic began. She was charged with rapidly increasing Opencast’s headcount in a matter of months as the company enjoyed its busiest-ever period. Having achieved that, she is now tasked with adding 50 more to the team in the first quarter of 2021.
“It’s been non-stop since I started and it’s thrilling to be part of such an ambitious company. Opencast is one of the region’s best-kept secrets. We’re doing some really important work that few people are aware of. Clients, however, really value us and our work, and our reputation is growing, which helps with recruitment.
“We’re seen as a tech company that employs the best, a company who empowers its employees and take personal development and job satisfaction extremely seriously. I’d like to think we’re also seen as a fun place to work. It’s relaxed, friendly and supportive.
“We encourage and promote a learning culture which allows many of our colleagues to attend regular conferences – home and abroad when Covid allows – for continued learning.
“I think another aspect that differentiates us is the work we do. Our work for several key clients involves making life better for all of us – using new and ‘deep’ tech to make real changes to people’s lives.”
The tech recruitment market is highly competitive, particularly in the north east, so Opencast is casting its net further afield to find the right people.
Working from home
“We’re exploring areas outside of the region and have recently brought in some great people from across Europe and beyond. Covid has accelerated the number of people working from home, and that has opened up a wider pool of people who don’t have to be based in the north east,” explained Lorna.
“We work hard to promote our family culture - something so many firms tend to leave by the wayside as they grow. But here, growth will not be at the expense of our culture, and we will always place our people at the centre of our organisation.
“We’ve recently formed key partnerships to ensure our culture remains at the core of who we are and how we work. One such partnership is with a diversity and inclusion training and consultancy company that specialises in gender balance; another is with Stonewall, Europe's largest lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) charity.
“So we strive to be as welcoming, inclusive and employee focused as we can be.”
Tom Lawson added: “Although we’re looking for more of the brightest and best to join us now, there will be more opportunities to join us in the months and years ahead – our growth plan is to employ more than 300 people by 2025.”