A Proactive Approach to Growth: Strategic HR Support for Web Design Agency, Versantus


‘James is making a huge positive difference to us and we’re delighted to continue working with him for the long term.’

Nik Roberts, Founder/chairperson, Versantus, on the benefits of expert strategic HR support

The right people in the right places: how Versantus needed to adapt for growth

Nik Roberts founded digital marketing agency Versantus in 2009. Located near to the City of Oxford, the business offers award-winning web design and custom development as well as mobile apps.

In 2019, Versantus was a successful business that was starting to experience the normal growing pains that come with greater size and scale. Nik wanted to move away from simply reacting to greater demand; he wanted to have a pro-active approach to developing the business.

A strategic HR approach was needed to get the right talent in the right places. People Puzzles was only too happy to help, and People Director James Lloyd began working closely with the leadership team to address these issues.

Strategic hires

Over the past three years, the headcount at Versantus has more than doubled in size (from 11 to 24). However, simply taking on more staff to cope with demand wasn’t going to deliver on the strategic goals of the business. The company has made some key hires in the sales and finance teams and now three of its employees are based overseas.

New talent in the leadership team

As well as expanding the leadership team, perhaps the most strategic appointment of all was the new Managing Director Matt Gilbert, who now runs the business day-to-day. Not being involved in every single decision has allowed founder and CEO, Nik Roberts to focus on realising his vision for the business, which includes working towards an employee-owned-and-run model.

Investing in training and development

As well as key hires to boost capability, line managers have been added and upskilled to effectively manage the larger teams. James has been actively involved in the training and development plans of the team and working with the leadership team in improving processes, such as salary discussions, personal development, and well-being to make them clearer and more consistent than before.

Proving its commitment to building a sustainable business for its people as well as its clients, Versantus has gained a Real living wage employer mark as well as working towards ‘A Great Place to Work’ certification

Successful business growth

The outcome of this work has seen a growth in revenue and profitability. As Nik Roberts explains, the benefits of bringing in a People Puzzles HR consultant have been numerous:

‘Like many small businesses we have grown organically, and our processes and teams developed in unstructured and sometimes unhelpful ways. James has been instrumental in getting us on to a better path to support our growth ambitions.

‘He’s given us confidence to make bold decisions quickly, brought our processes up to standard, massively helped with internal communication, and has supported the leadership team with insightful, honest, and approachable advice.

‘Despite providing part-time HR support for us, James is available whenever we need him, is absolutely a part of our team and fits our culture brilliantly. He’s making a huge positive difference to us, and we’re delighted to continue working with him for the long term.’

If you’d like a People Director to ease the growing pains in your business, find out more about how we help your business to drive change and deliver growth. Call 020 3633 6830 or email [email protected] for a chat.

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