Record Year for Local Firm – Thanks To Local New Grads


Stoke based firm, Hilltops IT, announced that 2009/10 has been their most successful year despite the recession, and Managing Director, Stephen Siggs, believes that employing local graduates has made a contribution to the firm’s achievement.

Stoke- on-Trent, – We hear all too often about the adverse consequences of the recession in Stoke-on-Trent; one in five of us are unemployed and on benefits, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance rose by 48% in the last year and Stoke was named in the Top 5 for cities facing tough recovery from the recession by the Centre for Cities’ Annual Economic Index 2010. This isn’t helped by the fact that Stoke-on-Trent has become a place renowned for its low levels of business start-up activity (30 per 10,000 residents) resulting in Stoke being placed at the ninth-worst out of a total of 64 cities included in the survey. Even before the recession hit, the number of jobs in the private sector was decreasing by 20,500. It makes a depressing read…

However, despite all of this doom and gloom, local business Hilltops IT Consultancy Services, has been determined to make a difference. Building on their success prior to the recession, Hilltops IT has gone on to increase their total number of employees. This has been achieved by employing newly qualified graduates from the local areas, although, many graduates choose to move away in search of higher paid, high skilled jobs with an estimated 80% of graduates likely to leave, many in favour of London and even abroad. This migration of graduates from the region has created a huge “brain-drain” in the area. However, this has not stopped Hilltops IT, despite almost 90% of small and medium sized businesses refusing to employ recent graduates in a latest national survey, leaving one in four graduates unemployed.

Hilltops IT has been countering this common business mindset and has hired graduates to provide current expertise in areas such as Software Development, Marketing and Sales, taking advantage of the vast pool of local skills available and boosting the local economy along the way. This has contributed to making 2009/10 a record year for Hilltops IT.

Hilltops IT’s Managing Director, Stephen Siggs, feels strongly about business using local skills: “I’ve always felt that a business should support the local community and provide jobs for the people in the area. Despite not originally coming from Stoke-on-Trent myself, when setting up Hilltops IT, it was always my desire to use the local talent.”

Stephen Siggs also spoke positively of hiring graduates who are fresh on the job market: “Having left university, and while working in jobs where I really didn’t feel there was a career for me, it took me several years for someone to give me the opportunity to do what I really wanted. Now I’m in a position to give others an opportunity – it’s a very rewarding experience and the business has benefited short term with the fresh ideas graduates bring and long term by securing their loyalty.”

Hilltops IT specialises in delivering business software solutions to small and medium sized businesses in the UK and worldwide, including bespoke software development, implementation, consultancy and training. Hilltops IT was set up in 2005 in Stoke-on-Trent, however, this has not restricted  Hilltops IT as they have won numerous awards ranging from designing the 2008 Website of the Year to being named in the top 10 QuoteWerks Software Solution Partners’ in the world for four consecutive years and are eagerly anticipating December’s announcement for their fifth.

This goes to show other local businesses in a position to recruit that by adopting Hilltops IT’s ideology of using the local skills available we can minimise the effects of the aftermath of the recession and steer Stoke-on-Trent towards a brighter economic future.


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