Consultancy snaps up surplus skill

An HR consultancy has come up with a novel response to the current economic
downturn and a depressed share price – it has stepped up its recruitment.

Frank Varela, chairman and chief executive of Longbridge, noticed that rival
companies were making skilled staff redundant, and decided to make the most of
the opportunity.

He said, "There are excellent opportunities to take advantage of other
people’s strategy. If they are going to let good people go, then we want to
hire them."

Longbridge intends to add 30 staff to its existing 120. The company, which
is listed on the AIM index, is recruiting despite having seen a fall in its
share price this year. It blames the share price on market sentiment, and
reported a 50 per cent rise in turnover for 2000 in April.

"It is the board’s decision – rather than reduce headcount and costs,
we have to outperform our sector in the long term," Varela added.

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