A RECRUITMENT company boss says the “challenging environment” of Bournemouth town centre was a factor in the decision to move back to a central office in Poole.

Jason Gault, managing director of TeamJobs, said having an office in central Bournemouth had been a “pipe dream” when the company’s strategy was to build a large, office-based operation.

But he said: “We’ve actually found Bournemouth a slightly challenging environment.”

He said the Poole-based company had tried to help Bournemouth’s homelessness situation, with staff taking part in the annual Big Sleepout fundraiser, but homelessness became a factor.

“I don’t want this to be seen as anything negative because we’ve actively tried to help the situation – but I’m not entirely sure what is best for the town,” he said.

“The thing which was a little bit of a deal breaker was the drug use in the car parks. The team had got over people sleeping in our doorways and accepted that that was part of the deal working in Bournemouth.

“I’ve had female members of staff on dark evenings being escorted to their cars because they don’t feel comfortable. Staff safety is paramount.

“Rather than just being a bystander, we have to have a responsibility as a business and as people who live in the local area. Routes To Roots, based in Poole, have become a chosen charity partner where we will support during 2020 and beyond.”

He said the move back to Poole from an office off the Square had also helped the company “feel more complete as a team”.

Mr Gault said he had realised that the people the business needed might not always be those who could be at a desk in Poole daily.

“We have to accept that if we need someone with 15 years’ experience who’s a solid player within the recruitment market, they may not be based locally and they also may not be able to work in an office every day because they may have family commitments.”

He added: “We want to be doing more work outside of Dorset. That doesn’t mean we are going to forget about Dorset. Dorset is still our primary market, it’s our home and we want to do more and reinforce our position locally but we aren’t going to put all our eggs in one basket.”