First of all, how are you and your Family doing in these COVID-19 Times?
James Lloyd Townshend: With four children in the house, juggling between home-schooling, and running a business, has been hectic! It’s been a difficult time, but we’re very fortunate that everyone is safe and well, and I’m able to do my job from home.
Tell us about you, your Career, how you Founded or Joined Tenth Revolution Group
James Lloyd Townshend: I first came to the North East to attend the University of Newcastle, where I earned a degree in economics and accounting. After that, I went back home to Northern Ireland got a job selling tractor finance to farmers, which I was pretty good at!
But after a while, I decided to try my hand at something new, and Newcastle seemed like the perfect place to do it. I love the area, and there were many opportunities there, so I moved back to the North of England and found a job in recruitment.
I knew pretty quickly I’d found my calling. I enjoyed the combination of a competitive environment and helping people change their lives by developing their careers. I put in the graft and began progressing my career in the process; after twenty years in the business, I was a Managing Director with one of the largest listed recruiters in the world.
In 2015, I took on the role of CEO at Tenth Revolution Group. Since then, I’ve overseen two private equity deals, acquisitions, the opening of countless new locations across America, Asia, and Europe, and the launch of several new brands.
How does your Tenth Revolution Group Innovate?
James Lloyd Townshend: We innovate by looking at our clients’ goals, finding out what barriers there are to achieving those goals, and developing smart solutions.
We’ve always looked to address growing needs in the tech marketplace. We started with a single brand servicing Microsoft Dynamics, and now we operate market-leading brands across many tech ecosystems like Salesforce, Microsoft Azure, and AWS. Historically, we’ve kept our ear to the ground, looking at the markets we operate in to see if there’s something we can do differently, or if there’s somewhere that there’s a demand for our services.
More recently, though, we’ve developed an even more innovative approach, moving from sourcing talent to creating it. We saw that there just wasn’t enough talent in the cloud markets we work in to satisfy demand and allow businesses across the world to transform their operations digitally.
That’s why we took it upon ourselves to actively address this issue. We began developing ground-breaking solutions to the skills gap, actually creating new talent where the greatest need lies, and bringing professionals with the skills that our clients want into their teams.
Our Revolent brand is unlike any other out there; we’re not only cross-training IT, professionals into talent-strapped ecosystems, but we’re also delivering them in a cost-effective way so that businesses aren’t being held back from their goals by lack of resource.
How the Coronavirus Pandemic affects your Business, and how are you coping?
James Lloyd Townshend: Covid-19 has naturally impacted recruiters. The number of physical job interviews has dropped dramatically due to social distancing measures. Many businesses have also been skeptical of growing their headcount in a climate where even the short-term seems hazy.
Unfortunately, this has meant job losses in the talent solutions sector, particularly with generalist recruiters. But some industries have pushed through the pandemic and emerged with an even greater need for qualified staff.
As a specialist technology recruiter, we’ve actually seen the appetite for our services grow. The rise of remote working means more businesses are looking towards cloud-based software and solutions, which has increased the demand for staff with both technology partners and customers.
While the physical world was closed down, the cloud sector grew exponentially, which means we’ve been able to increase our headcount by 8% in the last month, and plan on introducing another 600 members of staff globally by the end of 2020. This focus on cloud technology meant our business was futureproofed, even in an environment nobody could have predicted.
How do you deal with Stress and Anxiety?
James Lloyd Townshend: I’m a massive advocate for exercise as a way of relieving stress. As a hugely competitive person, playing team sports is what gets me out of my head and gives me a break from the tensions of work and daily life. If I’m having a tough day, hitting the gym and pushing myself physically always helps me process things and dissipate any stress I’m feeling.
How do you Project yourself and Tenth Revolution Group in the Future?
James Lloyd Townshend: Because of our dedication to mission-critical software and cloud services, it’s an exciting time for us. Products like Microsoft Azure have seen a 59% increase in revenue during the pandemic, as businesses look to roll out the infrastructure they need to operate.
Demand from our clients for the talent they need to implement and run these products has spiked too. However, many other recruitment businesses are struggling. We’re working to attract seasoned staffing talent to help service that demand, particularly in the US.
We’ll continue to roll out our global expansion strategy, growing into regions where the market needs cloud talent, creating jobs, and bolstering the tech ecosystem. That way, our clients’ businesses can transform, compete, and thrive for years to come.
Who are your Competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the Game?
James Lloyd Townshend: We’re in a unique position in that we’re able to not only source but develop new professionals and grow the ecosystems we work in. That’s going to be an increasingly vital role as demand for cloud talent continues to climb. The drive for businesses to digitally transform their processes will only increase as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis and seek to bolster their business continuity efforts.
We’ll stay in the game by continuing to do what we’ve always done, delivering outstanding, specialist product expertise, and creating the talent that businesses need to move forward.
Your Final Thoughts
James Lloyd Townshend: I’m incredibly proud of how our business has adapted to this change under exceptional circumstances. The way everyone at Tenth Revolution Group has powered through and supported each other has been fantastic. I always knew we had a great team here, but the way we’ve pulled together during this challenging time has been inspiring.
It’s been tough, but we have brilliant, resilient people here who are so keen to support our clients; we’re taking things slow, steady, and safely but I’m looking forward to seeing what we as a business can achieve going forward.
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