An Interview with Mark Alborough, Managing Director at NP Talent Solutions

NP Group

Mark has been in the recruitment industry for over 30 years, has in-depth knowledge of the global Infrastructure, Networking & Cloud recruitment sectors and is the pioneer of our Managed Services, Account Management and FastBench services. In his career, he has worked with hundreds of organisations, from start-up SMEs, to global companies, to help build out high calibre resource programmes to deliver against companies’ strategic planning and demand. Mark share’s his experience of working in the Technology Recruitment industry for the past 30 years…

Could you give us an overview of your career within the industry?
Upon leaving college in 1986 not knowing what I wanted to do, I started my career in the Travel Industry. Originally working in a travel agency for a couple of years before joining Thomson Holidays (now TUI) as a group and conference travel advisor. I enjoyed my job at the time selling holidays and visiting a number of countries whilst learning about diverse cultures. Unfortunately, I was made redundant due to the sales office move from London to Manchester.

After applying for a number of sales roles, I managed to get a job in recruitment with Times Computer Group (TCG) back in 1991 starting as a 360 recruiter from day one focusing on the infrastructure & networking sector. The first year was tough and a real learning curve which was exacerbated by a major recession at the time. I had great training from the outset by my first Sales Director, Bruce Duncan who taught me that planning, hard work and a never give up attitude would lead to a successful career. I managed to bring on board and develop a number of accounts and found that I enjoyed the opportunity to deal with a diverse mix of people at all levels.

After building a successful career at TCG and receiving a number of promotions from Team lead through to Sales Manager, I, along with four of my colleagues decided to leave and set up Networking People (UK) Ltd back in 1998. A lot of planning and hard work paid off and we successfully launched before building a successful IT Recruitment agency with a global reach.

We have built a successful brand over the last twenty-five years and have delivered services to a diverse range of clients from start-ups to multimillion-pound global organisations. We have designed new services and provide our specialist offerings under the NP Group umbrella including Network & Infrastructure focus, DevOps, Cloud, GTM, FASTBench Professional services and RPO provisions to name a few. Personally, I have worn many hats during my 30+ years in the industry but have remained at the coal face engaging with clients and delivering the best and most professional service possible which keeps me loving the industry I am in. Not looking to retire any time soon and happy to speak to any organisation which need help with their staffing or project issues.

What has changed most in the Recruitment/ Tech industry over your career?
Technology and the rise of social media and professional networking platforms like LinkedIn etc. This has given access to a global audience and potential candidates for recruiters to contact and has led to many organisations building their own in-house teams to focus on talent.

Having said this, not many companies handle 100% of recruitment internally. A blend of in-house and external partnerships helps work well to maximise coverage and gives businesses access to a diverse range of candidates – both proactive and passive to consider. Technology is a huge part of recruiting but we humanise the recruitment process which can be complicated and demanding work but brings the best results.

What’s been the highlight of your career?
Many over the years but meeting my now wife at work in our old company. She came with me when we set up NP Group and built our back-office function. We have now been married for over twenty-four years and have two grown up children. Also working with and learning from some great people. The likes of David Etherington for Operations brilliance, Chris Cooke, Sanjay Naik and Nik Patel for Sales expertise, Sugi Sugunasingha, Eli Timan and Dominic Arnolda for Finance and Shehzad Tabassum for how to run a company. Many others not mentioned who I have had the pleasure working with, learning from, and seeing develop their careers has been amazing.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the recruitment technology industry?
Pick a market and live and breathe it. Work hard, speak to as many people as possible and never stop learning. The most successful recruiters bill as much today as thirty years ago and the bad ones just as little as the ones 30 years ago! Make sure you plan to be one of the good ones.

What’s next for you at NP Group? What are your ambitions for the company?
We have gone through many lifecycles over the last twenty-five years, but I must say that I am more engaged now than ever. We have recently formed three distinct brands which we are looking to grow rapidly over the next three years and build out our specialisms across the global market (contact me for details!).

Also, we are expanding again with an initial office in the Netherlands and further locations to come. I honestly think we provide a truly bespoke and professional service aligned to each organisation’s needs which is based on building strategic partnerships and trust with our clients. We are a company in growth mode with a bright future ahead. May the ride long continue.

Contact Mark for more information on NP Talent Solutions:

About NP Group
At NP Group we challenge the status quo of the global talent market. We provide bold solutions, creative approaches and, above all, collaboration. We don’t believe in transactional recruitment relationships, focusing on forging close partnerships with all our clients.

Our consultants are highly knowledgeable in the industry sectors and technologies they serve and provide a consultative, advisory service tailored to you.

If you are looking for recruitment advice or to hire the best Technology talent, contact us.
t: +44207 953 0000