This year marks Brook Street’s 75th anniversary and to celebrate this momentous milestone, we’re proudly reﬂecting on our history and sharing why our founding vision remains ingrained in the way we work.
Brook Street was founded in 1946 by Margery Hurst, a woman determined to succeed in business and strong ideals. When World War II ended, there were more people available for work and Hurst spotted an opportunity to create a quality recruitment service that met the needs of employers and candidates, by supplying businesses with temporary workers.
The brand started with one office in Mayfair and by 1965, it had grown to become the largest secretarial and clerical employment agency in the world, placing hundreds of thousands of workers into jobs, with branches in the UK, US and Australia.
Since our organisation was established, the recruitment industry has evolved dramatically, growing so significantly that it’s become a key part of the global economy. Today, Brook Street is one of the UK’s leading recruitment agencies with over 50 high street locations spread across the country. With our nationwide reach, we engage with a breadth of employers and jobseekers across different fields, enabling us to maintain local relationships and have strong ties to communities.
And it’s our personal touch that remains our unique strength. Our expert consultants take pride in creating a tailored and quality experience to meet the varied needs of clients and candidates. This quality of service, which Hurst was so passionate about when Brook Street was born, continues to set us apart from the competition.
In fact, so much of what was important to Hurst in the early days of the business still inspires how we work. Throughout our history, women have played leading roles in shaping the brand’s success, starting with our female founder who became a pioneer within the recruitment industry, and that holds true today, with Leigh Passingham at the helm of the business.
“Brook Street has a long-standing history so we’ve seen the highs and lows of the labour market,” says Leigh. “We’ve learnt a great deal and we’re ready to take on whatever the Great Jobs Reset throws at us. One of the reasons we’ve been so successful for so long is our people: colleagues, clients and candidates. We know people, we understand their strengths and how to get the best out of them.
“The ultimate goal for our business is to get the right person for the right job. This means delivering for our candidates, who are seeking the next great role, and also our clients who want the right candidate. The beauty of Brook Street is that we’re able to deliver on this promise to both candidate and client through our personal service delivered by experts via the branch network. And, this is what will carry us forward for the next big chapter of Brook Street history.”
As well as shaping the landscape of recruitment, Hurst also became an early advocate for understanding the impact of mental health in the workplace. In 1969 she created the Margery Club, an organisation that funded research into mental health, and she also supported autistic school leavers and people who had suffered from mental ill health to find work.
Hurst recognised that mental health challenges shouldn’t exclude workers and that employers needed to create supportive environments which foster happy and healthy employees. We take this responsibility seriously and to this day, we continue to prioritise mental health and wellbeing initiatives within our own business. That’s why we’re delighted to share that in celebration of our 75th anniversary, we’re relaunching the Margery Club by running a Mental Health First Aid course for Brook Street consultants, equipping them to better support our associates’ mental health needs and enable them to thrive – something we know is even more critical off the back of the global pandemic.
We’ve come a long way since our doors opened 75 years ago. Through celebrating our past, we’re inspiring our future. To learn how we can support your recruitment needs, get in touch to learn about our service offerings.