Portsmouth firm honoured for changing the face of recruitment

IT’S a company that is disrupting the world of recruitment – and now this Portsmouth firm has been honoured for its success.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 12:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 12:21 pm
Russell Crowe - The CEO and Founder of CVWOW who, with his team are now based at Holbrook Court in the Cumberland Business Centre, Portsmouth, Hampshire Picture by: Malcolm Wells (190327-5712)

Recruitment company CVWOW was started by Russell Crowe, from North Boarhunt, in 2010. 

In nine years it has grown from a small one-man office above a hairdressers in Petersfield to a large office in Cumberland Business Centre in Southsea employing 23 people. 

Russell said: ‘We are loved by HR directors and finance directors but hated by other recruitment agencies as what we are doing is disruptive. 

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Russell Crowe - The CEO and Founder of CVWOW who, with his team are now based at Holbrook Court in the Cumberland Business Centre, Portsmouth, Hampshire Picture by: Malcolm Wells (190327-5712)

‘It is similar to what is happening at the moment with estate agencies, we are like Purple Bricks, we have taken that model into the recruitment industry in order to make it more responsive and honest.’ 

CVWOW does not take a commission per vacancy like other agencies, instead making its money from buying advertising space in bulk. And it has some big names signed up – with local firms such as Onecom, Mountjoy, Affinion, Goodwood, Solent Forts and Yourcentre all making use of the service. 

In 2017 it advertised thousands of vacancies attracting millions of candidates, which Russell says save his clients £11m pounds in traditional agency fees. 

Russell said the firm also prides itself on its applicant tracking system, which allows people to see how far along the process they are. 

Staff at CVWOW Picture by: Malcolm Wells (190327-5812)

He said they always respond to applicants in a professional manner. 

He added: ‘If you have 100 people apply, they all get a response on branded letters as they are all still potential customers. You get a good experience through us.’ 

The business has seen exceptional growth – growing by 17 per cent last year alone, which has attracted awards. 

It scooped the 2019 Onrec award for Best Corporate Use of Online Recruitment for its partnership with waste management company Viridor, beating competitors such as The AA, Travelodge and Vodafone. 

Russell Crowe - The CEO and Founder of CVWOW who, with his team are now based at Holbrook Court in the Cumberland Business Centre, Portsmouth, Hampshire Picture by: Malcolm Wells (190327-5750)

Russell said: ‘I am incredibly proud of the whole team at CVWOW. Over the life of the partnership, CVWOW has managed over 80,000 applications on behalf of Viridor and saved them over £1m in traditional agency fees.' 

The firm was also recognised by Dragon’s Den’s Peter Jones and Sage as one of the UK’s top 10 most ambitious businesses.