As we celebrate 20 years of Hydrogen, CEO Ian Temple takes a look back at some stand out moments.

21 February 2017

After leaving university, Ian started his career as a chartered accountant. He got to work with many entrepreneurial companies, one of which happened to be in recruitment. Their CEO offered him a job to head up their finance function and the rest, as they say, is history.

20-year anniversary

Yes, 2017 is a big milestone for us. We started out as a financial recruitment company back in 1997, launched a technology recruitment business in 2000, and then merged them to become Hydrogen, which was listed in 2007. We now have an incredibly diverse talent base and the relationships we’ve built with our customers is testament to our team ethic.  

Specialist roots

We continue to focus on our markets and developing the knowledge of our consultants so that they can be considered true subject matter experts. That’s why we established our digital researcher scheme so that they can really learn and understand their markets. 

Career highlights

Twenty years ago we started as a team of three with complementary skills and a dream of building a great business by making recruitment better for clients and candidates. From having no clients or candidates to now counting some 1.6million contacts and knowing all the best people in key parts of the market makes me incredibly proud. We’ve come a very long way. 

Tough times

When the global financial crisis hit in 2007 we were very exposed as most of our business was focused in the UK and many of our clients were in financial services. Starting new businesses such as Life Sciences and Oil & Gas allowed us to power out of the downturn. Then came the oil price crash of 2014!

Hydrogen name

We always wanted to be different and do things differently. We liked the fact that Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the world so travels globally. It’s the fuel of the future and a clean source of energy. That’s in keeping with our values – we’ve always sought to treat everyone fairly. 

Lessons learned

‘Shoot for the stars and don’t bet the farm’ – understand your risk profile and ensure that there’s some baseline security. You’ve got to expect setbacks if you set demanding goals. It’s how you cope and deal with it that makes the real difference. And make sure you know what’s likely to come next – you can’t afford to stand still. 

Recruitment matters

For me, it’s a real privilege to understand each individual situation. Every case is different and that’s what makes it challenging but exciting. And that’s why you need to be inquisitive to succeed. We never lose sight of the fact that we’re making a difference to people’s lives and the organisations they work for.  

Culture vulture    

Hydrogen has started over 40 specialist businesses. We back our people as we want them to think outside the box and step out of their comfort zones. New ideas are the lifeblood of any business. In three words, our culture represents entrepreneurship, innovation and collaboration.