Business aims to fill 600 internal vacancies over next year while providing recruitment service to rivals

Construction manager Mace this week fuelled its aggressive expansion with the launch of an in-house construction and property recruitment consultancy – the first of its kind.

Mace has a majority stake in the business, called People, which is being run by Jonathan Yurtsever, who has been appointed chairman, and Mike Jones, who is managing director.

Mace is the first construction firm to embark on its own recruitment business, driven in the short term by the need to employ 400-600 staff over the next year.

Steve Pycroft, Mace’s chief operating officer, said that the company’s rapid expansion resulted in the constant need for “fast, efficient recruitment”.

People will be run as a separate entity from Mace, with a team of 15 dedicated staff in Brighton and two in London. Although Mace has kick-started the business, Yurtsever owns a minority stake and plans to offer a recruitment consultancy service to other companies. He said that the business had already secured three other clients.

In order to avoid conflicts of interest, People will have separate teams working on behalf of each employer. Clients will have the ability to access People’s database of CVs on a 24-hour basis, to monitor how many CVs have been registered and to view the profiles of candidates.

The firm plans to handle vacancies for positions across the construction and property industry.

We want to take every part of recruitment and turn it on its head

Jonathan Yurtsever, People

“We want to take every single part of recruitment and turn it on his head,” said Yurtsever. He added that he wanted to get away from the short-term approach commonly adapted by recruitment companies.

Yurtsever, formerly of Redbrick Consulting, said that the company’s fees would be structured on a risk-sharing basis, so that if a client did not benefit from a specific placement, neither would People.

Mace already has a network of 14 offices in 10 countries, and People plans to expand its operation to all of those locations to provide recruitment back-up.

It has already started the search for somebody to head an operation in Dubai, and Yurtsever said that Spain would be its next target.

One of People’s immediate projects for Mace is the recruitment of about 100 staff to work on its contract with Royal Bank of Scotland. The bank has appointed Mace to carry out a refurbishment programme across its retail and office portfolio in the UK and Ireland.

In May, Mace set up its own QS division, Sense, under the control of former Gardiner & Theobald partner Chris Goldthorpe.