Goodwin urges recruiters to ‘take the risk’ abroad

Following the sale of Antal International’s Polish business at the end of September, Antal International chief executive officer and founder Tony Goodwin has urged other UK recruiters to “take the risk” of expanding abroad.

October 2013 | By Colin Cottell

Following the sale of Antal International’s Polish business at the end of September, Antal International chief executive officer and founder Tony Goodwin (right) has urged other UK recruiters to “take the risk” of expanding abroad.  

After 18 years in Poland, Antal International sold its Polish business to Polish-listed company Work Service for £5.35m, with the purchaser also acquiring the right to use the Antal brand in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. 

Goodwin told Recruiter: “I would urge them [UK recruitment entrepreneurs] to go out there [into international markets] and take the risk and the plunge.” Goodwin continued: “London isn’t the centre of the recruitment universe. If you have a good business working in Manchester, Leeds or Liverpool, you don’t need to go to London, you can also go abroad.”

Goodwin predicted “a really good period” for recruiters willing to take advantage of opportunities abroad, with the Russian market particularly strong. Goodwin said he was actively looking at South America and South-East Asia as regions for expansion. “People [abroad] really do appreciate the way we in the UK do business,” he added.

Asked whether Poland was a good market for UK recruiters looking for international expansion, Artur Skiba, president of Antal International in Poland, the company acquired by Work Service from Goodwin’s company, told Recruiter that Poland was “probably one of the best countries to do recruitment in right now”.

“It is not booming, but it is relatively good,” said Skiba. “A lot of the big name recruiters aren’t here yet, and others have only small operations, so it’s not that competitive compared with the UK and Holland,” he explained.  

Fewer HR-related regulations than Southern European countries “makes life easier”, while “the culture of using recruitment agencies is getting stronger every year,” Skiba added.  

Colin Cottell

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