How an Irish recruitment agency expanded internationally in spite of Covid-19

Principle, a recruitment agency headquartered in Dublin for the past 20 years, has announced an expansion into the UK market. The agency opened its first London office in recent months – based in Soho, in London’s West End.

Although the office opened just as the full force of the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Principle’s founder Audrey Hughes said the expansion has proven successful.

“Over the 20 years since I established Principle in Dublin, we’ve become very specialised in the placement of contingent and permanent workers in technology, engineering, media, marketing, finance and operations roles,” she said. “A lot of the employers we service are global corporations with offices in cities across the world.

“We provide recruitment services for Managed Service Provider and Recruitment Process Outsourcing clients located within leading tech companies, for example. Such clients operate on a global level and expect their providers to do likewise. We saw the opportunity to expand into the UK market on that basis, and we are delighted to say our London office is now up and running successfully, with our first two major clients on board.”

Expansion during Covid-19

Ms. Hughes said expansion during Covid-19 had proven difficult, but she feels confident about the coming months.

“We flew to London at the start of the year and set up everything in the new Soho office,” she said. “We had a high-profile launch event planned for March, and an aggressive marketing campaign to announce ourselves on the UK marketplace.

“But a month after our trip, everything went into Lockdown, and we had to put those plans on hold. Thankfully, we’ve been able to remotely manage the set-up of the office in the months since then, and we’re lucky that the sectors we work in have been relatively unaffected by Covid-19. We’re now seeing demand for recruitment services pick up again, and we’re looking forward to widening our profile and reach across the UK.”

Principle employs over 70 people in Ireland, with a further 10 employees planned for London by the end of the year. The company has been internationally recognised for its work: out of 300 agencies around the world, it was selected for a prestigious silver service award last year – for its work providing contingent workers to a Managed Service Provider partner programme in a global tech firm.