With over 20 years of experience in the global recruitment sector, Bernard Ward has been tasked to take Acorn, one of the UK’s leading recruitment companies, into a new expansion phase into global markets.
Now into his ninth week as the new Group Managing Director, Business News Wales spoke with Bernard to hear about his extensive career in recruitment. Bernard also speaks about some of the opportunities that he hopes to make possible at Acorn during his tenure, and how he feels that a regional approach in recruitment is better than centralising it.
Listen to the interview below.
Multi-specialist Acorn is the leading recruiter in Wales and is in the top 1% of all recruitment firms across the UK, with offices and business operations UK-wide and a turnover of over £100m.
Bernard has also been Managing Director of recruitment businesses here in the UK and internationally, spanning a career in recruitment of over 22 years.
“When I joined, I saw Acorn as a sleeping giant within the recruitment market, and over the last number of weeks I have looked at restructuring, bringing different initiatives into the group, driving different verticals. As an example, we have got a principal contractor license within [the rail industry] where we are pushing quite aggressively. I have siloed out to construction in rail and [I’m] driving divisions to scale that in our headquarters based in Newport, where I’m looking to grow a team of up to 40-45 people.”
“My goal is to scale organically throughout the UK, so I am presently looking to appoint a Director of Operations in South Wales, and [I am] also do the same in the West Midlands, so growth is where I am looking at. [But] my ultimate goal is to have a workforce that feel included, that they feel heard and part of something, that they are contributing towards a greater goal.”
“The day-to-day of working anywhere is a massive part of everybody’s life, it impacts all parts of their life, so I take it very seriously and I am very passionate about ensuring that we place our candidates in the best possible roles [and] that our clients also receive the best possible candidates.”
Daniel Augereau, Chairman of Acorn’s parent company, the global recruitment giant Synergie, welcomed Bernard’s appointment as the Group Director:
“Bernard has impressive credentials, and he provides the precise leadership and commercial qualities we were looking for to drive Acorn on over the coming years. He’ll join a committed team of people, who continue to demonstrate they’re eager to build on what has already been achieved, and to work closely with others across the Synergie group to develop our services for existing customers, and to reach out for new opportunities.”