First Global Executive Search Company comes to St Helens

07 Jan 2019

Business Featured Startup

Established in the Chamber’s Enterprise Greenhouse one year ago, Mercury Hampton achieved impressive growth, with support from St Helens Chamber.

The international headhunting company deals solely in high end, executive level recruitment, re-structuring and hiring for companies on a global scale. Mercury Hampton primarily focuses on placing sales, marketing, operations and finance professionals throughout technology and business service sectors.

The company was established by Managing Director Chris Hickey and fellow director Jonathan Sallis, who previously worked together in the headhunting sector for 12 years.

Chris commented: “To bring a company like ours here goes against expected industry norms. There are a few recruitment companies in the area already, but none that do what we do.

“Companies like ours are generally located in cities like Manchester, London, New York. Everybody thought I was crazy to bring a global executive search firm to St Helens, but services are universal now, postcodes are for egos and not always practical”.

“We decided to come to St Helens for a number of reasons, firstly because from a commuting point of view it’s a good access point in the North West, it’s perfectly central and commutable from all surrounding cities and towns. There are lots of working professionals who currently have no choice other than to commute to Manchester or Liverpool, I used to be one of them. We also wanted to be part of St Helens’ redevelopment journey, which is currently going through transition from a manufacturing town to an attractive place for multi-sector investment. It’s always been important for us to bring employment into the area.

“Secondly, and more importantly, we wanted to create an executive search company with world class procedures and processes for the same cost as a mainstream recruitment firm. We have been able to do this because of the strategic choices we have made, whereby no infrastructure costs have been passed on to our clients”.

On the first day of trading, Chris and Jon opened the doors to their first office with nothing but their laptops and mobile phones.

Chris commented: “A lot has changed since then and we’re now in a situation where there are seven of us and we are going to make six digit profits in year one which is phenomenal. We’ve created five new jobs and we are advertising for two new members of staff now.

“I want to get to a stage in the next 12-18 months where there are 10 – 20 of us, which will create another thirteen jobs locally.”

The Chamber’s Business Growth Programme has played an important part in the company’s growth, helping them get a Social Media platform in place. From starting in the Enterprise Greenhouse unit where they still are today, Mercury Hampton has received a wealth of support.

Chris added: “We looked at different premises and the best decision we made was coming to the Chamber. We have had lots of support through the Business Growth Programme that we wouldn’t have known about if we had gone elsewhere, John Woods in particular has been fantastic. The infrastructure around us has freed up time to focus on other things. I would recommend to anyone when you are in start-up mode to come to the Chamber, as it’s a really great place to start-up.

“If Jon and I had decided to remain just the two of us, I’d stay here, but due to growth we are running out of room. We need a big office with our own space. It’s been great here and I’d strongly recommend it to everyone.”

For more information about Mercury Hampton visit their website

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund and St Helens Council, St Helens Chamber’s Business Growth Programme is designed to help businesses operating in the B2B sector who want to grow and take on new staff.

Following a free business diagnostic to identify any issues standing in the way of your growth ambitions, the Chamber’s Business Advisers put together a bespoke action plan for your business. Companies will then receive fully-funded advice and support from Chamber Business Advisers and specialist business consultants, offering practical solutions to achieve their goals and improve their competitiveness.

For more information on the Business Growth Programme visit programme or contact Helen Morris on 01744 742042 or email