Recruitment firm lands sky-high contract with one of UK’s largest online retailers

Sky Recruitment Solutions has been tasked with sourcing scores of workers from Nottingham for a major new distribution centre near East Midlands Airport.

Rapidly expanding online retailer Buy It Direct is part-way through the fit-out of its new, high-tech 563,000 sq ft warehouse and distribution centre near Castle Donington, next door to Marks & Spencer’s giant distribution centre.

Since the Yorkshire-based retailer launched the operation in September, Sky has already recruited around 50 staff members in a variety of roles, including fork-lift drivers and other warehouse operatives.

The Derby-based recruitment firm is currently aiming to take on more than 150 new recruits by the end of the year.

With many industries reporting huge staff shortages across the UK, Buy It Direct is offering a range of additional employee benefits to attract the numbers of staff it needs. These include shorter shifts than the industry norm, higher-than-average pay rates, and a staff gym and café on completion of the fit out.

Sky is also supplying its own on-site MHE (Material Handling Equipment) instructor to speed up the training process, particularly for non-experienced employees, and those wishing to upskill

Beckie Elliott, business manager for Sky Recruitment Solutions, said: “Recruitment is absolutely vital for this company and, although the targets are very ambitious, it’s going very well.

“It is an impressive operation and is a fantastic chance for people to upskill and take advantage of improved pay rates.”

Beckie said Sky was seeking pro-active and reliable people to work in permanent positions, with full training given where required.

She added: “This contract is massive for us and just shows how far our company has come in the last few years.”

Sky Recruitment Solutions has grown exponentially in recent years, with record turnover last year and this year, despite the challenges of the pandemic.

Its on-site operation at Buy It Direct’s new Castle Donington facility means Sky and its sister company, Capella Professional, have jointly grown from two locations to eight locations in the past 18 months.

The firm’s relationship with Buy It Direct began in 2018, when Sky stepped in to recruit for the retailer’s site in South Normanton after the previous recruitment agency under-performed. Sky was then asked to launch an on-site operation at Buy It Direct’s centre in Huddersfield, during the first lockdown of 2020.

Buy It Direct, which made last year’s Sunday Times PwC Top Track 250 league table, has expanded significantly in recent years.

Starting out in 1999 as a Huddersfield store selling laptop computers, the firm now has large sites in Huddersfield, Elland, South Normanton, Swansea and Luton, now selling everything from household and tech appliances to furniture, bathrooms and hot tubs.

It is taking on warehouse operatives, fork-lift truck drivers, cherry picker drivers and counterbalance clamp operators at its Castle Donington site. The operatives will be able to opt for 7.5-hour working days instead of the 12-hour shifts offered by many other firms in the area

Heading up the Sky Recruitment operation at Buy It Direct’s new base is contract manager Kristian Reid.

He said: “It’s a really impressive place, with more space than is currently needed, so there is room to expand. We’ve got a great relationship with Buy It Direct, and they know we can respond to their needs.

“We are looking for drivers whose material handling equipment (MHE) certificate may have expired, or newcomers with no experience but lots of enthusiasm.”

The assessment period for experienced recruits could be as little as four hours, while a five-day training week away from the firm’s main operation is provided for recruits with no experience.

Job seekers and employers can discover more information about Sky Recruitment Solutions at or by calling 01332 650720.