Kirkwall based technology and consulting company Kyloe Partners might just be Orkney’s best kept business secret.
After all, this is a firm employing almost 40 people locally – a significant roll call for the islands – with a global reach and around 800 international clients, but unless you work in the world of recruitment, chances are you’ll be unaware of what it is they actually do.
Crucially, this is a progressive and successful Orkney headquartered business looking to grow and develop further with the help of local talent.
A cornerstone of their business is the leading recruitment software platform, Bullhorn, which more than 10,000 recruitment agencies around the globe use to power their staffing processes. As a Bullhorn partner, Kyloe support companies adopting the technology, ensuring the complex task of implementing their new platform correctly and providing training to users.
Kyloe - established in Kirkwall just six years ago - also offer their own range of SaaS (software as a service) products to Bullhorn clients, with a focus on document management and data quality.
Getting asked why the company is based in Orkney – a place better known economically for agriculture, tourism, food and drink, renewables and the creative industries - is a fairly regular occurrence for Kyloe’s founders, Raymond Pennie and Stewart Morgan. The beauty of the nature of a tech company means that theoretically, they could be based anywhere with a decent internet connection. So, when establishing Kyloe, Raymond and Stewart were able to make their existing locations work to the company’s advantage.
Managing director, Raymond, originally from Aberdeen and now based in Gloucestershire, and technical director, Stewart, who was already living in Orkney at the time of the company’s launch, both strongly felt Orkney could provide the talent needed and that creating sustainable and alternative working opportunities was important to the island community. Meanwhile, Raymond and the other UK mainland-based employees could easily meet with clients and industry connections when needed.
From the start Kyloe have developed strong community links with local schools and Orkney College, as well as Orkney’s Business Gateway. Kyloe are proud to be account managed by Highlands & Islands Enterprise who provide access to grant funding and business networking insights and support in Scotland and London.
“We were very fortunate to be able to recruit a diverse range of experience early on with people who had the skills we needed in Orkney,” says Stewart. “When we first started, we were supported by Business Gateway to bring on a couple of graduates – one had done a degree in computer science at Orkney College and the other was a software developer who had come home after graduating. There wasn’t really a local company where they could go and grow, using the skills they had learned.”
Kyloe have since gone on to hire summer undergraduate interns and this year commenced an apprenticeship role in finance. But Kyloe isn’t just about early careers; they also recruit experienced professionals from different sectors, including healthcare and energy.
Despite Kyloe’s international growth – they now have employees in the US and Australia – the Orkney factor remains the soul of the business. Colleagues across the world visit Orkney once a year at the Kyloe Gathering which helps them connect to the environment and appreciate the value they bring to the island community.
“Our location immediately sets us apart,” says Stewart. “It’s the initial talking point in a lot of our discussions with new clients who are surprised to learn we’re based in a group of islands off the north coast of Scotland.
“But it goes beyond that - Orkney has a well-deserved reputation for quality, with exports from local businesses, whether that’s in food and drink, or jewellery, tending to be at the premium end of the scale. We see that same mindset and ethos within our team who really want to deliver high quality services to our customers around the world.”
One of things that many of the Orkney-based employees list as their favourite part about working at Kyloe is the opportunity to interact and work with people across the globe on a daily basis. They also get the chance to visit other locations too, attending industry events in London and the US, and with some even enjoying secondments to Australia.
Kyloe have just been on another local recruitment drive for a mix of software development roles – senior developer (coding), front end developer (user interface design), and QA (automated testing) – but the firm isn’t entirely staffed by technical specialists and they’ve also recently recruited for roles in marketing, finance and human resources.
And, as Kyloe now look to further develop their own software solutions to sell to recruitment agencies, they’re keen to hear from anyone out there who thinks they might be a good fit for the business.
“We need good people with the right attitude and enthusiasm to work for a forward-thinking technology company that has customers all over the world,” says Stewart. “Our vision is about having a sustainable growing business, headquartered in Orkney, that has long term value for the recruitment industry, so if there’s anyone out there who thinks they can contribute to that vision, get in touch.”
To find out more about Kyloe Partners, visit the company's official website.