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Achieving Excellence. Paul Harper Search is now B Corp Certified

I am thrilled to share the news that both Paul Harper Search & Selection Limited and Paul Harper (M&A) Limited are both now certified B Corporations.

Over the last year, we have been working hard as a business to improve our social and environmental performance. Today, we’re proud to join the ranks of only 1,500 certified B Corps in the UK!

None of this would have been achievable without our incredible team, who share our vision and actively support our mission and drive for meaningful change.

In the first quarter of 2022, we devoted considerable time to redefining our mission, vision and values.  My wife, Marie-Claire, was working with a mentor from the Government’s Help To Grow scheme, and this collaboration played a pivotal role in reshaping our company’s core principles.

As a result of the work we did in instilling our new mission, vision and values, Marie-Claire was inspired to delve deeper into B Corporation.  It quickly became evident that aligning with the B Corp movement excellently supported our renewed company ethos.

For those who know me, it’s no secret that I’m a strong advocate of volunteering and giving back to the community.  However, until then, I hadn’t fully integrated this philosophy into our business practices.  The discovery of B Corp presented the opportunity to weave these values into our business operations, and so the journey began.

Our B Corp Journey

Our journey officially started in November 2022 when we signed up to B Lab and started answering the questions in the B Impact Assessment (BIA).

For those who are new to the concept of B Corp, achieving certification requires a minimum score of 80 points. Typically, companies score around 50.9 points when they first complete the BIA. In our initial attempt, we achieved a score in the low 60s. While this was above average, it was still notably short of the 80-point threshold.

Dedicated to our goal, we spent the following six months working tirelessly to improve our score, and we were thrilled to finally submit our B Impact Assessment on 9 May 2023, when we achieved a score of over 80.0.

The assessment covers a wide array of questions spread across five critical areas:

1. Governance: Focusing on our company’s leadership and management practices.

2. Workers: Evaluating how we support and value our employees.

3. Community: Assessing our impact and engagement with the wider community.

4. Environment: Examining our environmental footprint and sustainability practices.

5. Customers: Understanding our relationship with and impact on our clients and candidates.

During the six months from May 2023 to November 2023, we continued to work on our BIA until it was finally locked, while verification took place in October 2023.

During the verification process, we were required to submit evidence to substantiate some of our answers and Marie-Claire and our Operations and Marketing Manager, Charlotte Nixon, attended an online review meeting with our Primary Analyst in November 2023 after answering further queries and provided more evidence, our score was finally verified at 80.8, and we became a certified B Corporation on 20 December 2023.

The Improvements We Made Along The Way

As members of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) we are bound by its Professional Code of Conduct.  As a result, we had many of the required policies in place already, but we tightened up some of our internal management processes, strategy and associated documentation.


We’ve implemented some major changes to enhance our team's work-life balance. Firstly, we’ve reduced our working hours, with our day now starting at 9.00 am and ending 30 minutes earlier at 5.00 pm. Despite this shorter 35-hour workweek, all our staff continue to receive their full salary.  Additionally, we offer our office-based staff the flexibility to work remotely one day per month.

In line with our commitment to fair employment practices, we have proudly signed up to the National Living Wage which is currently set at £12.00 per hour for employees based outside London.

We've made significant investments in our employees' professional growth. Last year, two Research team members successfully completed their Level 3 Certificate in Recruitment Practice, while our Operations and Marketing Manager had the chance to pursue and complete the Level 4 Marketing Executive qualification with Cambridge Marketing Qualification.


In terms of community engagement, this is where we've seen the most transformative changes, and it's an area I'm particularly proud of.

We established a dedicated group within our company known as the Change Champs. This team's mission was to explore how we could impact our local community and identify causes that resonated with our values and expertise.

Over two months, the Change Champs met weekly, conducting thorough research into charities that aligned with our skills and beliefs. After careful consideration, we decided to support two distinct initiatives: making financial contributions to one charity and offering our recruitment expertise to another.

Our commitment to community service has led us to partner with two exceptional local charities in Bristol – Empire Fighting Chance and BillyChip®.

Empire Fighting Chance

Empire Fighting Chance exists to fight the impact of poverty and inequality on the lives of young people. They have created a ground-breaking fusion of boxing and psychology to enable young people to overcome their adversity and realise their unique potential.

We support Empire Fighting Chance with their Box Careers programme, inviting young people to our offices once a quarter and proving career support sessions, including support and tips on writing CVs, Cover Letters, applying for jobs on job boards and interview technique support.  Our charitable support helps to fight the impact on inequality on the lives of young people in Bristol.


BillyChip® is a CIC social enterprise and charity that provides a safe and secure currency for homeless people. This innovative solution helps overcome the concerns many people have about giving cash to rough sleepers.

We support The Billy Chip Foundation with quarterly donations based on our recruitment fee income. The recipient can redeem the BillyChip token in any participating outlet for the minimum of a hot or cold takeaway drink of choice. In 2023, our donations have provided 2,135 tokens, which can be exchanged for a hot or cold takeaway drink for homeless people.


Addressing our environmental impact presented a significant challenge, especially given our role as a service provider with a relatively small carbon footprint. Operating from serviced offices limits our ability to monitor energy and water usage directly, but we've taken proactive steps elsewhere.

We've partnered with Ecologi, an initiative that helps us assess and understand our emissions, including those generated by our team members who work from home. This partnership is a vital step in becoming more environmentally conscious and responsible.

Additionally, we've reinforced our commitment to sustainability by maintaining recycling programs. One of our ongoing goals is to transition towards a paperless office, reducing our reliance on paper and minimising waste. These efforts, though challenging, are crucial for our commitment to environmental stewardship and reflect our dedication to making a positive impact on the planet.


In terms of customer service, this is the area where we've excelled the most. The feedback from our clients and candidates has been consistently outstanding, reflecting our team's high quality of service. Our commitment to excellence is further evidenced by our robust quality control processes, which have enabled us to achieve the maximum points available to us in this area.

However, we are keenly aware that maintaining this high standard of service is an ongoing challenge. Our focus is to continuously deliver exceptional service to both our clients and candidates, recognising that this requires constant effort and dedication. This commitment to excellence is central to our ethos and is something we do not take lightly. It's a challenge we embrace wholeheartedly, as it drives us to consistently improve and adapt our services to meet and exceed expectations.

What about the Future?

The hard work is not finished.  Certified B Corporation companies must undertake the assessment and verification process every three years, ensuring lasting commitment to the community. We are dedicated to continuously enhancing our performance and have already increased our scoring to 83.2.  As we look ahead to recertification in December 2026, our goal is to reach or surpass a score of 85.0.  This ambition reflects our dedication to maintaining our current standards and actively striving for greater heights.

Would I recommend B Corp?

I would wholeheartedly recommend B Corp to others. There is no doubt that our business is better today than it was a year ago. The process of going through every area of our business with a fine-tooth comb has enabled us to improve in all areas.  I’m proud of our progress, and I’m excited to see further improvements over the next three years.


If you would like to know more about our M&A, Recruitment and Consultancy  Services, feel free to book a call or message me on LinkedIn 

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