Quality above all else

Morson Group is a unique blend of engineering recruitment and design consultancy. It provides leading engineering and design solutions to major capital projects using the latest technology and systems

Since 1969 Morson International has helped engineers worldwide to find the perfect job, and helped companies to find the right people for the business. It operates a full end-to-end recruitment Morson 132 bservice for its clients, providing a range of services to facilitate differing contract requirements. Its proven recruitment models deliver efficient and effective solutions for all clients, enhanced by its in-house technology. It has a reputation within the recruitment world as being among the most reliable across a core range of technical sectors.

The history of the Morson Group is embedded in the UK, and rail director Gary Smithson outlined the evolution of the business: “The company was established in 1969 by Gerry Mason and was founded in Eccles, Greater Manchester where its head office is still based today. Now, we operate through three entities: Morson Projects provides design engineering and project management, and Morson International provides recruitment services across all blue and white collar skills. These services were enhanced through the acquisition of our third entity Vital (2013) which focuses on blue collar skills in the rail industry. Although we employ over 1000 people across 52 offices, we have maintained a family-owned ethos and are committed to establishing strong relationships within our local communities.”

As a result the company has been named as the number one rail industry recruiter for the 30th year running and now supplies personnel equivalent to almost 4.5 million manhours over the past 12 months. This achievement was something Gary expanded on: “We work direct with 248 agencies across the UK, Europe, USA and Canada and are continuing to build on our best practice approach to recruitment to benefit both clients and candidates.”

Morson has grown into a global organisation with a £772 million turnover in 2015. Having made this achievement over the course of four decades suggests that the company has found a sustainable approach to business that works.

One of Morson’s success stories is its long-term relationship with TFL, where it has been successfully selected for all four categories on the white collar framework in addition to several blue collar contracts. Gary was keen to highlight this strategic relationship: “The fact that we continue to win these is a testament to our abilities. We have consistently demonstrated over the years that we can deliver. By being good at what we do, we have continued to win contracts and maintain an association with TFL that has lasted for more than 20 years.”

Gary also shared insight on the other major rail projects that he has been involved with at Morson: “We have been heavily involved on Crossrail. In a very specialist section of the project, around 20 per cent of the staff had to be sourced from outside of the UK – we will go overseas to get the right talent. Our overseas candidate sourcing is supported by our international offices which include locations in North America, Europe and the Middle East.”

The HS2 project will likely prove to be one of the biggest railway investments in a generation. While Morson will no doubt be very active in this Gary was keen to impress the agility of the company, and that it did not rely on any one project: “We support a range of rail and infrastructure projects both in the UK and overseas – we are currently working to stay at the forefront of people’s minds, whether they are looking to fill a role or find a job themselves. It is important for us to be visible and to remind clients that we are the market leaders.” This strategy has clearly been successful, Morson 132 cwith Morson securing contracts on major projects such as Crossrail, HS2, Manchester Metrolink, 4LM and GWEP amongst others.

At the heart of the company is a belief in the ethics of running a business, and that it should be done with social responsibility. Morson has a set of values that are central to its every day business operations: safety, knowledge, integrity, delivery, innovation, and charitable, all are equally crucial and all are taken as seriously as making a profit.

Safety is something that the company considers absolutely essential and continuous improvement in this area is key. Morson’s group training manager Matt Leavis went in to greater detail: “Everything we do is based around track safety and best practice, it’s about trying to drive behavioural change from the ground up. From the day you enter our training centre we are trying to embed behavioural safety: close calling, reporting lines, and ensuring everybody going into the industry is taking it seriously, for their own safety and that of the general public.” This topic was something Gary added to: “Over the past 30 years we’ve invested significantly across our health and safety processes to ensure our workers are as safe as possible – this is epitomised by our ‘work safe home safe’ initiative.”

The fact that Morson has been able to retain a place at the top of its industry demonstrates that it must be doing something that sets it above the rest, and yet never getting complacent in the top position. It has managed to do this by being adaptable and flexible to the customers’ needs, always endeavoring to find a solution that will maximise customer service. Gary expanded on the innovative approach the company takes: “We are fully engaged with our customer base and with the needs of the market; this helps us to anticipate how the business needs to change and develop to meet customer and candidate demand, whether this is through new processes, new departments or innovative contract management models. Consequently, we have grown and improved through significant investment into our technology infrastructure. This has enabled us to provide our clients with bespoke, easy to manage technology around time recording, accounting, cost management, applicant tracking and performance monitoring. Essentially, we are
able to provide the customer with a solution that makes their life easier.”

The quality of delivery relates not only to the immediate supply of skills, but also the supply of a future skills pipeline. Morson places a great focus on the quality of training provided for people from all demographics helping to develop or transfer skills and in turn provides the rail sector with a new generation of highly talented and motivated engineers. Matt further explained Morson’s dynamic and adaptable approach: “We are looking at designing an apprenticeship programme that is more fit for purpose. It is not about one defined route, instead it finds out what employers need in each sector and tailors the training to fill those skill gaps – which is why I think trailblazer apprenticeships are really key. They meet the needs of the modern industry and are flexible to employer’s different needs.”

Morson’s commitment to quality has earned the company a place at the top of recruitment in the rail sector. It is one of the most trusted and respected agencies in the industry. This standard is something that the company is crystal clear about, and Matt emphasised how Morson’s training initiatives tied in with this company-wide agenda: “All the training we do is controlled, and there is a clear line of command. We are now known as being one of the best in the business, so we want to use the knowledge we have accrued and our hunger to build something that really stands out as a place for both trainees and clients. We want them both to know when we have trained someone they will be of the highest quality and nothing else.”

Morson has a diverse business, which has been a significant factor in its global success. By working on a range of projects and having expertise across multiple sectors the company is competitive and knowledgeable. It is involved in some of the largest rail projects that 21st century Britain has ever seen, and it continues to further increase its involvement across the globe. Gary’s enthusiasm and understanding of his sector and his clients shone through throughout our conversation: “We want to stand for excellence, we want to stand for quality, we want to give an assurance that when you use our services you will get nothing less than the highest standard.” Morson is brilliant at what it does – the clients and awards are a testament to that, and in an industry where reputation is crucial, it means Morson has everything in place for another four decades of success.