Our Services – UK

urban provides a range of tailored recruitment services to a large portfolio of clients based primarily in the UK and USA.

Our expert consultants, working solely within the architecture and interior design space, tailor the service they provide to each individual client’s needs, ensuring a smooth recruitment process and successful outcome.

We offer three main types of recruitment solutions, plus ancillary services:

  • Contingent Recruitment
  • Retained Search
  • Managed Services
  • Ancillary Services

Contingent Recruitment

An end-to-end contingent recruitment service to enhance your workforce – we’re here as and when you need us.

urban‘s consultants continuously build their contact and candidate relationships, and clients benefit greatly from the connections we develop, which provides them with a greater window into the architectural and interior design talent market, whether you’re seeking new permanent staff or contract workers.

The roles we typically recruit for cover a wide range of design spaces, including retail, hospitality, residential, workplace, transportation and infrastructure. We are trusted by clients to fulfil roles on a permanent, interim, contract, or Statement of Work basis, ad hoc or as part of a PSL.

Retained Search

A bespoke, comprehensive programme to identify, shortlist and deliver high-level talent.

Whether you are seeking to engage a high-level executive, appoint a position of critical importance or confidentiality, or have a role requiring extremely scarce niche skills, we can deliver a tailored, comprehensive and confidential programme to nominate the ideal candidate shortlist within the timeframe your business requires.

With our reach spanning the Atlantic ocean, urban collaborates with leading industry organisations to provide a confidential retained search tailored to individual requirements that will source you exceptional candidates.

Our Retained Search methodology ensures that all candidates are fully briefed, the client role and employer value proposition are presented consistently, and enhanced selection techniques are used to screen candidates. These processes ensure that the candidates presented to our clients meet the cultural, knowledge, and experience requirements of the role.

Key features of a Retained Search Assignment

  • Dedicated consultant with the research team
  • Candidate and client brief
  • Access to our talent pool network
  • Focused multi-channel search campaign
  • Tailored screening
  • Longlist and shortlist presentation
  • Offer and candidate management

Our Retained Search specialist

Abbi Kelly

Abbi joined urban in 2020 and, quickly demonstrating her natural aptitude for recruitment in the Interior Design sector, soon attained the position of Lead Consultant. Working exclusively for the London market, Abbi continuously focuses on growing and strengthening her relationships in the market so she can provide her clients with the highest levels of service.

Managed Services

Tailored, outsourced staffing solutions covering all your recruitment needs and activities.

We can provide you with Consultancy Services and Staffing Solutions such as Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) for direct and permanent staff, and Managed Service Provision (MSP) for contractors and temporary staff.

With the competition for talent intensifying, it’s critical that companies adopt innovative solutions for the identification, attraction, and retention of permanent staff and contract workers.

Key features of a Managed Service

  • Dedicated and accountable team
  • Visibility and control over all recruitment activity
  • Enhanced recruitment processes and compliance
  • Consistent brand promotion and candidate experience
  • Effective careers site, direct hire and supplier sourcing channels
  • Greater choice and enhanced quality of candidates
  • Reduced HR and manager time
  • Process efficiency delivering reduced time-to-hire
  • Controlled and reduced cost per hire
  • A scalable solution that aligns with your needs

Ancillary Services

We also provide services as bolt-ons to one of our main solutions listed above, or on an ad-hoc basis.

Market surveys and benchmarking reports

urban will undertake market benchmarking investigations on your behalf to ensure your employees’ pay and benefits packages are competitive with comparable companies. We can cover all your roles from apprentice to senior executive level, or focus on one or two key roles within the business.

Following our investigations, using the latest tools and techniques, we provide a detailed report of our findings, advice on your market position and the best way forward considering current industry trends. We will help to ensure you are positioned as an employer of choice within the architecture and interior design space.

IR35 compliance health check

IR35 is the more familiar term for the Intermediaries Legislation. This tax legislation was brought in by HMRC to tackle disguised employment and is the default ‘test’ for self-employment (for tax purposes only) when a contractor is working through their Personal Services Company (PSC). We have been consulting on IR35 with our clients since it was first introduced into the public sector in 2017. Our team is experienced in supporting variety of clients, from those with a few contractors to large private companies with a contractor workforce of 1,500.

To understand more about our capabilities, or to discuss the challenges your company faces, please contact us by email at ir35@strgroup.co.uk


Our payroll services support clients who wish to handle their own recruitment but want to save on administrative costs or have a contractor who needs to be pay-rolled by a recruitment company. We can also assist in the transfer of contractors from other agencies. All deductions are taken at source for PAYE contractors, ensuring full legislative compliance.


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