Business Growth Grant supports technology investment and boosts growth

20 Jan 2020


Giving themselves a competitive edge, is something most businesses strive to do. Although it’s easier said than done when you’re a small, relatively new business, operating in a highly competitive and global business sector.

Mercury Hampton Ltd, is a St Helens based executive recruitment company. To give itself that competitive edge, it invested in game changing technology with funding from the Chambers Business Growth Grant. The consequent rocketing sales figures, would indicate that the edge is indeed having the desired effect.

Managing Director Chris Hickey says: “The recruitment industry hasn’t really moved on much in 20 years, and we wanted to change that. The platform we now have, gives us a massive advantage in what is a really competitive and saturated market. It’s taken us into the top 1% of recruitment companies in terms of technological innovation.”

Branded as Mercury Hampton IQ, the technology is a digitised candidate delivery platform. It is designed to streamline the recruitment process, and it benefits both the company’s clients and job candidates. It does this by giving them their own portals, which can be used for numerous functions including, psychometric testing, video interviewing, 3-dimensional candidate assessment, and uploading of the candidates’ profile.

Chris explains:” MHIQ helps all parties get it right first time. Previously clients and candidates could only see the tip of the recruitment iceberg, now they can see the whole thing by logging on to MHIQ. So, we are able to reduce recruitment costs, reduce commercial downtime and we improve new employee retention rates.” He adds, “Our average retention rate since we started is 96%, and we’re very proud of that, MHIQ will help us maintain what is already an industry leading standard.”

On the day that it first opened its doors, Mercury Hampton Ltd employed just Chris and fellow director Jon Sallis. Now, shortly after its second birthday, it has nine members of staff and, in order to accommodate the growth, has moved to larger offices in Newton le Willows. On the back of the new platform investment, Chris is confident that growth will continue at an even faster rate.

He says: “Client response to MHIQ, has been tremendous. They’re getting a world class selection process that was previously only available to corporate giants with very deep pockets. It’s really raised the profile of the company, which is why I’m confident that sales will increase by at least 20% in the next year, and staff numbers will be in excess of 20 within eighteen months.”

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Business Growth Grant is available to SMEs based in, or moving to St Helens or Halton and operating in a business to business environment. To find out more visit

Chris says: “Applying for the grant was really quick and easy, no hassle whatsoever. The funding came through pretty much as soon as we’d spent the money, and it was a massive help in the development of Mercury Hampton”

To find out more about Mercury Hampton Ltd visit its website here.

To find out more about the Business Growth Grant visit St Helens Chamber Grants, or contact our Business Support Team on 01744 742058, email