Celebrating 30 years of Armstrong Craven

3 min

Despite everything, 2020 has been a big year for us. With the release of our annual Spring and Summer reviews, the launch of our new website, and the creation of our Talent Storm content hub, we’ve been busy helping our clients adapt to an ever-changing market. Even as the year draws to a close, we still have significant achievements to celebrate, including our 30th birthday.

From our humble beginnings in a portacabin in Stockport, UK, with nothing but a copy of the Yellow Pages, we’ve spent the past three decades growing into one of the largest companies globally to provide an entire suite of talent research, executive search and talent insight services.

Initially, we supported the leading executive search firms, enabling their consultants to engage with the best possible candidates for their clients. It wasn’t long into our existence when a couple of leading UK businesses (Asda and Boots) came to us, desperate for an alternative solution to costly and reactive executive search. Their issues were in the finding of great talent and bringing it to their table. By cutting out the middleman of the executive search consultant, the term ‘Direct Search’ was born, and we never looked back. 
As we grew, we saw a tech-based future ahead, and soon the directories and stacks of business cards were replaced by the internet, and more recently, machine learning and automation. To keep up, we developed an in-house database, which we recently replaced with Salesforce. 

Still in the early 2000’s with our ever expanding client base of global blue chips, we continued to evolve our services, firstly with the provision of bespoke Talent Insights to inform client decision-making, followed by the development of our search services to focus increasingly on helping our clients to future-proof their talent strategies, with the creation of Talent Pipelining

Our own expansion focused on diversity, with experts from different backgrounds joining the business, and their sector-specialisms allowed us to help our customers across every industry. This diversity, language capability and international mindset enabled us to quickly pursue international expansion. Today, we have offices in Manchester, London, Geneva, Singapore and New York.

Looking back across the three decades, we have been privileged to see our industry go through seismic change from the advent of LinkedIn, to the birth of RPO, and then the creation of strong highly capable in-house talent acquisition and executive search teams. Alongside this change, we have always strived to ensure that our services remain not just relevant but truly enabling as our clients seek to win the never-ending ‘war for talent’.

During this period, we have also seen big change ourselves, from the acquisition by Work Communications in 2005, going through an IPO two years later to become a listed business on AIM, to a management buyout in 2013, backed by Livingbridge LLP. This year, the year we turned 30, we were absolutely thrilled to become a majority employee-owned business, placing our destiny firmly in the hands of our wonderful, talented team.

On Armstrong Craven's 30th birthday, we’re not just celebrating another year. We’re celebrating three decades of evolution which has allowed us to become the trusted partner of global brands as diverse as, GSK, Coca-Cola, Bank of America and Microsoft, supporting them on some of their most critical talent acquisition initiatives. None of this could have been possible without our experts, and just as they helped shape our history, they’ll continue to define our future.

As the world looks eagerly to the future, beyond all that 2020 and the global pandemic has thrown at us, we at Armstrong Craven are just as excited to continue to push the boundaries, providing the highest quality, innovative talent solutions to businesses across the globe.

Speak with an expert

If you want to learn a little more about what we do and how talent research can help you make better-informed business decisions, our team of talent research and consulting specialists are happy to help.