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Business & Economy

Jackson Hogg: A catalyst for growth

Specialist recruitment and outsourced people services partner Jackson Hogg has moved to new headquarters in Wallsend’s Cobalt Business Exchange. Providing space to expand both its team and client services, the new surrounds will also play an intrinsic role in the company’s recently-announced switch to a four-day working week. Steven Hugill hears from Aoife Owens, the firm’s associate director of people, and Hannah Weeks, Jackson Hogg’s people officer, about why the space is primed to have a major impact on the business, its staff and the organisations it serves.

There’s something familiar about Jackson Hogg’s new headquarters.

Set in Wallsend’s Cobalt Business Exchange, the sprawling commercial park under which mines once snaked, it’s very much a case of the past meeting the present.

It was a similar scene at the former Swan Hunter shipyard, where Jackson Hogg’s previous offices took space once reserved for the fashioning of behemothic seafaring structures.

And it was repeated at its last base, on Newcastle’s Wincomblee Road, where windows framed the waters of the River Tyne, which for so long was a key global trade conduit.

Each provide a nod to the toil of yesteryear, to the graft of previous generations who laid the foundations that put the North East at the centre of international economic and social expansion.

And each too reflect Jackson Hogg.

Where its present and former sites played an intrinsic role in building the region, Jackson Hogg is providing its own crucial support to the next phase of the area’s growth, by sourcing and delivering candidates for professional entry to board level roles across the science, technology, engineering and manufacturing sectors.

And its move to Cobalt Business Exchange, completed in early September, is only increasing its influence.

Having enabled the business to grow its headcount to 130 – a number of starters will take up roles in the coming weeks – it has also put the firm at the heart of an ecosystem where industry connectivity is complemented by strong transport links and a modern, inclusive environment.

Aoife Owens, associate director of people, says: “Wincomblee Road was a really lovely environment, and we’d expanded there alongside clients in the sectors we support.

“But we outgrew the base and needed extra space, which Cobalt Business Exchange is now providing.

“And there is so much opportunity for further growth and expansion here.

“It will help us continue to support the clients we work with already and, crucially, allow us to reach new organisations too.

“Furthermore, because we’re so well connected to public transport links, and the building is extremely accessible, it will allow us to reach new colleagues.

“We are proud of being an inclusive employer, and being here only strengthens that offer.”

Aoife’s positivity is echoed by Hannah Weeks, the firm’s people officer.

She says: “We are a people-focused business; we enjoy being around people and are committed to fostering a place where people love coming to work.

“And our new office reflects that.

“Not only is it extremely accessible for all, but there is an on-site gym and café, park food vans and a number of other amenities too.”

While attractive for prospective staff, Aoife says the company’s new surroundings are also having a profound effect on existing employees, which include Talent Partners – who deliver client headcount plans, increase the speed of recruitment and control costs – and a HR Partnership team – which provides everything from day-to-day assistance to fully outsourced services.

She says: “We’re already seeing the benefits of the move, across people development and collaboration.

“Staff wanted to come back into the office following the pandemic, and our new space is providing the room to do that, while driving forward the culture of Jackson Hogg.

“Our people take great pride in what they do, and truly care about the support and service levels they provide to clients.

“As a business, we’ll never lose that – in fact, it will grow even stronger in our new office.”

The move to new headquarters follows Jackson Hogg’s establishment of a four-day week, which has seen staff reduce hours but retain existing salaries.

Introduced to provide employees with extra time for rest and recuperation and self-development – and implemented after extensive research – the switch has been well received, which Aoife says will be augmented by its Cobalt Business Exchange base.

She says: “We have maintained the same customer service levels since moving to the four-day week, and the response has been very positive; clients understand the benefits and have fully embraced it.

“And the new office will only further increase its impact.

“We are more accessible here, we have more meeting rooms, which means we can engage in greater face-to-face contact, and we have greater technology to speak to, and help, clients in that way too.”

Aoife adds: “We are committed to helping organisations recruit the very best people, and the changes we have made will truly enable us to continue doing that.”


Pictured, from left to right, are Helen Broadhead, Jackson Hogg finance director; Richard Hogg, chief executive; and Anthony Broadhead, chief operating officer