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GCS Worldwide

The strategy of entering new international markets with large levels of competition was to quickly build a strong and focused brand. To do this in America, we decided to focus on a core area of the GCS business. It was clear that this area was software engineering, a huge growth market with inherent skills shortages. So moving forward, we decided to concentrate on this when we opened in 2015 in New York.

We were very fortunate with the people that we have working in New York. The cachet of working in the USA means that GCS consultants with excellent recruitment knowledge but little US experience were willing to take the challenge of working “across the pond” – and it is down to their attitude and hard-work that it has been a great success. The team has now grown to 20, with a mix of people from our European offices and locally hired talent as well as an Irishman and Australian. So, as well as bringing increased worldwide sales - GCS America has ensured that we are able to offer a wide choice of career paths and life experiences. To continue this theme when we open Austin, Texas and Berlin later in 2018, we will again be giving opportunities to current GCS employees who have taken on the challenge of driving our international expansion.

Our American investment has also led to growth across the whole business. At times, this investment was difficult, but it has proved immensely valuable. The MBO that we announced in 2017 alongside nGAGE recognized the fact that expansion into overseas locations had increased the value of GCS as a whole.  It meant that not only were nGAGE investing in a mature company with a stable UK and Irish business, but they were also able to link-up with an organization that had “done the hard yards” in the United States.

By increasing the number and coverage of the GCS locations, our clients know that the excellent service that they receive from GCS in one location will be replicated in another territory. It has been great to be able to work with clients as they set up new locations in the States or help our US customers take their first steps in Europe. It helps that we have experience of the local markets and working cultures as well, so that we can give expert advice to ensure that their own expansion projects are successful.

Some of the guidance that we can give is based on our own experience of opening a business in the States. There are some key things to remember.

Firstly, each state is like a different country – New York has very different laws and taxes to California and it is important to link with good partners and advisors that can help you understand the complexities of each market. Furthermore, for GCS America the type of business that we have done has been primarily full-time. We have found that, due to more relaxed labor laws and “contracts at will”, employers are happy to take on full-time employees knowing that they can flex their workforce up and down quite easily if necessary. And due to a relative lack of healthcare provision in this area most employees prioritize a full-time role with benefits covering this over a more highly-paid contract role. This has meant that we have needed to amend our model to take advantage of the opportunities in the US.

And these opportunities are huge. Our ambition for the business is to double in size and increase profits threefold within the next 24 months. We see the international business as a huge part of this. The market in the US is much larger than the UK and there are less recruitment businesses, although more and more are popping up every day! We have many people interested in setting up offices for us throughout the country and we are constantly in touch with others from the wider recruitment community. So, if we can identify the right locations and the right leaders for those locations, we will continue to grow a specialist international brand focusing on developers, programmers and software engineers.