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1960: Humble Beginnings

REED was founded on 7th May 1960, with the first office located on Kingsley Rd, Hounslow (West London). In the early 1960s REED pioneered specialist recruitment services; a move which fundamentally changed the UK recruitment market.

1972: Educate to Accumulate

Sir Alec Reed founded the Reed Business School in a Cotswolds manor house to provide a learning centre for REED Co-Members as well as residential courses for accountancy students. The Reed Business School has even been listed as one of the most beautiful places to study in the world.

1988: Building the Foundation

The Reed Foundation acquired 18% of the REED Group of companies and, in the following year, founded both Ethiopiaid and Womankind Worldwide.

1995: Online Revolution

REED became the first high street recruitment agency in the UK to have a presence on the web. is the UK’s #1 job site and has also become one of Europe’s biggest job boards, being used by 85% of the UK’s top 100 recruitment agencies.

1996: Reed Learning

Launched in 1996, Reed Learning became one of the UK’s leading business training providers. It was the first provider to launch Green Learning courses, an exclusive training partner to Google and winner of several national training awards. is now the home of thousands of online learning courses.

1998: Welfare to Work

Established in 1998, Reed in Partnership was one of the first employment support service providers in the UK, with a single office in Hackney. Today Reed in Partnership offers services to boroughs throughout the UK, fulfilling its mission: to positively transform people and their communities.

2004: Reed Talent Solutions

Our consulting business, established in 2004, has helped numerous organisations save millions of pounds by changing the way they approach resourcing. Now known as Reed Talent Solutions, they continue to change the workplace for the better for organisations large and small.

2007: The Big Give is a non-profit, charitable website which enables donors to find and support charity projects in their field of interest. Since its launch by Sir Alec Reed CBE in 2007, The Big Give has raised over £100 million. Each year REED offices across the UK support local projects through the Big Give Christmas Challenge.

2008: REED Goes Global went live in October 2008 to provide a website for the UK & Global REED offices. Since then it has grown to be a hub for HR & Recruitment news, industry & insight, and a place for candidates & clients alike to develop their teams and careers.

reed history - in 2010 REED celebrated 50 years in business

2010: 50 Years and Counting

In May 2010, REED celebrated a successful 50 years at the forefront of recruitment.

On 7th May 2020 we celebrated turning 60!

2019/20: Employer of Choice

The REED group achieves both Best Places to Work status and a Top CEO accolade on Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards for 2019 and 2020, making REED the highest ranked Recruitment organisation on Glassdoor UK.

Present Day

REED is the largest family-owned recruitment business in the world and works with more than 10,000 client organisations from 425 business units globally. We are proud of our 60+ year History spanning business, learning and philanthropy.

Explore this website to find out more about how we are able to offer access to a huge range of opportunities for you to develop your career with REED – see what roles are on offer across our businesses, and hear real stories from our people about what it’s like to work here.