ONE of the biggest independent recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire has expanded its operations with the opening of a new office in London – the company’s first outside Oxford.

The move comes as Allen Associates celebrates its 20th year in business this year, during which time it has risen to become a leading provider of HR, marketing, finance, PA/administration, permanent and temporary workers across the region.

Located in the prestigious Chiswick Park development in West London, the company says its new office is 'central to its continued growth plans' and will 'further consolidate its position as one of Oxford’s fastest growing recruitment companies'.

Managing director Kate Allen, who co-founded the company with husband Rob Allen (now finance director), said: “London offers a wealth of opportunity for business across every sector, and especially in recruitment.

“While there are a number of great agencies already operating in the capital, there is a gap for a different type of agency to exist.

“We believe that our distinct approach to recruitment, which has enabled us to become a recruiter of choice for employers in Oxfordshire, will resonate with the London market and plug that gap.”

The new office will be headed by Kate Allen and her son Ben, and they will look to build on the company’s growing portfolio of clients across the capital.

Ben joined Allen Associates having spent three years working in the technology industry.

As head of sales and customer service for the UK, he initiated and oversaw the expansion of FULL Creative’s flagship brand, AnswerConnect, from the United States to the UK.

As well as managing both core teams, he liaised directly with other senior team members on recruitment, company strategy and marketing, influencing the operational side of the UK brand and playing a key role in improving global processes.

Now he will bring his experience from that international role to bear at the family firm.

Mrs Allen added: “The last 20 years has seen continued growth for the business to the extent that we have become firmly positioned as one of the leading independent and family-owned recruitment businesses in Oxfordshire – but we remain as ambitious today as we were when we started in 1998 and we are excited by the opportunities our new office presents.

“It has been a long time in the pipeline, and the whole Oxford team is hugely excited about our expansion.”

The UK recruitment industry has seen a record rise in the number of new entrants into the market, but few operate as family-run businesses.

In January 2018, the Financial Times found that both smaller and family-owned businesses outperform other companies.

Allen Associates was recently awarded gold status from Investors in People for a second time, placing it in the top seven per cent of UK businesses.

Staff based at East Point Business Park, Sandy Lane West, are encouraged to support local good causes.

Since 2009 the firm has sponsored the Oxford Mail-backed OX5 Run at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, which supports patients and staff at Oxford Children’s Hospital.

The annual five-mile run sees thousands of runners, joggers and walkers from businesses throughout the region taking part to raise money for equipment, specialist nurses and toys and games for children at the hospital.

Since it launched in 2003 the OX5 Run has raised more than £1m for the hospital, helping to pay for vital facilities and equipment and new toys for young patients.

The Ley Community, a Yarnton-based drug and alcohol project, has been one of the company’s other chosen charities for some time.

The group runs a residential recovery programme on five acres of spacious grounds on the edge of the Yarnton village, five miles from Oxford.

Since being involved with the project, staff have seen the dramatic impact that meaningful employment can have on an individual’s recovery and the businesses that employ them.

Allen Associates is an active member of responsible business group Reciprocate, hosted by Oxfordshire Community Foundation.

This sees the staff team participate in a number of charitable and community activities throughout the year.

This includes promoting opportunities for young or vulnerable people and raising funds. The firm is also a member of business group Reciprocate, hosted by the foundation.