Belfast Telegraph

Grafton Recruitment is bought out by Northern Ireland outsourcing company

Acquisition: Tina McKenzie
Acquisition: Tina McKenzie
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

A Northern Ireland outsourcing company has acquired Grafton, one of the best-known names in recruitment in Ireland.

Staffline Group, led by Tina McKenzie, said the deal for an undisclosed sum made it the second-biggest recruitment firm on the island with 10,000 workers on its books.

Grafton Recruitment, which has offices in the Boat building in Belfast, has an annual turnover of around £80m.

Grafton's Recruitment and HR businesses have been operating for over 30 years and are both now part of Staffline, which provides recruitment, training and human resources services to public sector clients and private companies.

Staffline Group said Ms McKenzie, who is also Northern Ireland policy chair for the Federation of Small Businesses, had led an "aggressive growth strategy" for the business.

The businesswoman, also a former member of defunct cross-community political party NI21, set up the Staffline Group Ireland division in Belfast and Dublin in 2013.

She led the takeovers of Diamond Recruitment in 2015 and another business in the Republic last year.

Staffline Group also includes training company PeoplePlus NI.

A spokeswoman said the latest deal leaves it with a turnover of £150m, 350 permanent staff and a workforce on its books of 10,000 in Ireland.

Ms McKenzie said: "Following five years of significant organic and acquired growth, welcoming Grafton Recruitment to the Staffline Group is an exciting step on our journey to becoming the largest recruitment business across Ireland.

"As a respected brand among employers and candidates both north and south of the border, Grafton will continue to run independently from Staffline Group companies, delivering an expert recruitment service with professionalism at the forefront.

"Having completed our fifth acquisition on the island since 2015, Staffline Group has reaffirmed its commitment to the Irish market, north and south.

"With Grafton's acquisition, we have exceeded our ambition of a £100m turnover within five years, and we are dedicated to continued investment in the local market, allowing further growth."

She said Staffline now planned to deliver a "next generation recruitment and training service".

In an interview with Business Telegraph earlier this year, Ms McKenzie said she had faced challenges.

"Bad things have happened to me practically every week throughout my career," she said.

"There have been failures every month and I have fallen flat on my face quite often.

"But it is learning from your mistakes that keeps you going.On the whole, people are very forgiving when you make a mistake."

Belfast Telegraph