Increasing demand for tech workers drives growth for Capitol International Services

17-Aug-2018

Working in the lucrative technology industry, Capitol International Services has seen substantial growth since it was established in 2003. After starting as a two-person company, it now employs 14 people and generated €3.5m turnover in 2017.

John Ryan, who has worked in the recruitment industry for 25 years, saw an untapped market for talent within software engineering in Europe. To capitalise on this, John started CIS to connect employers with highly skilled and experienced software engineers. 

Headquartered in London, CIS also has a European sales office in Valencia and serves a range of clients across multiple European markets. Rather than placing permanent employees, the business focuses on providing businesses with specialist fixed-term software engineering contractors, whose expertise are in short supply. 

Technologies such as the ‘Internet of Things’, artificial intelligence and driverless cars are growing significantly. However, the pool of skilled workers that businesses need to develop these technologies is not meeting the industry’s requirements. 

As a result of this, CIS grew by 33% between 2015 and 2017, and is currently on target to reach over €4m turnover in 2018, equating to a 15% increase compared to 2017. With demand for highly skilled software engineers continuing to accelerate, combined with CIS’s significant investment into recruitment and training initiatives, CIS is projected to reach €6 million turnover by 2019.

For each contractor CIS places, it initially costs the business about €20k as it typically needs to pay the contractor’s salary for at least two months before it receives payment from clients. With payment terms elapsing up to 90 days for contractor salaries, paired with ambitious growth, the business needed a funding partner with expertise in working with international businesses and overseas credit control.

To help manage this, CIS has been supported with a £250k export finance facility from Bibby Financial Services since it was established in 2003, enabling the business to release cash tied up in unpaid invoices which can be used to fund the upfront cost of paying contractors.

BFS also manages CIS’s invoicing and payment collection processes, meaning that the business has an external team of dedicated credit controllers with multilingual skills, and can instead focus on growing the business overseas.

John Ryan, director at Capitol International Services, said:

“Bibby Financial Services has played a key role in our success over the past 15 years. Using export finance, we have been able to mitigate our cashflow pressures whilst trading internationally.

“Additionally, collecting payments on a global scale is both time consuming and hinders our commercial efficiency, so having an extended team to do this for us has been highly beneficial.

“Trading in overseas markets has its risks, which is why using Bad Debt Protection has been crucial in safeguarding any potential mishaps from our international customers. 

“The continued funding has enabled us to invest in recruitment and training initiatives, as well as focus on talent supply in high demand areas of the tech industry such as driverless cars and artificial intelligence.”

Sarah Payne, relationship manager at Bibby Financial Services, said:

“We believed in Capitol International Services since the very beginning and it is fantastic to see how successful they have become since 2003, with the business nearing €4m in turnover. It is a great business which is playing a significant role in the technological revolution in Europe by providing businesses with the skills they need.

“We are pleased to have been a part of this by providing the export finance facility, releasing the cash tied up in unpaid invoices, whilst also removing the administrative burden of invoicing and chasing payments overseas, allowing the company to focus on growth. We look forward to continuing to support CIS in achieving its growth ambitions in the future.”

Commenting on the widening skills gap within the industry, John continued:

“The technology industry is booming and demand for skilled workers is ever increasing, making recruitment a crucial consideration for technology businesses looking to innovate.

“While increasing demand has supported the growth of our business over the years, there is a significant skills gap in the industry which is causing projects to move a lot slower than they would if businesses had access to workers with the right expertise. 

“This is a significant challenge for technology businesses, with some having to look further afield by outsourcing projects to countries such as China, India or Malaysia, where there is a greater supply of skilled software engineers. It also means that there is a lot of competition, making recruitment firms that have access to highly skilled contractors, such as CIS, vital. 

“Our efforts to network and build relationships with candidates in the industry means that we have access to skilled workers that many of these businesses do not, driving demand for our services.”