40 Years in the Making

For our landmark 40th anniversary, it seems fitting to reminisce about the Company’s history, milestones and successes, dig out old photos and speak with individuals that have partnered with the business over the past four decades.

While the business, and indeed the industry, has significantly transformed over that time, our core principles have stayed intact, encapsulated through our ethos of ‘solutions through understanding.’ Jonathan Lee Recruitment remains a consultancy that understands both the core tenets of good recruitment and the wider manufacturing and engineering world.​

If you have any memories of the company or our people that you'd like to share, then please do comment using the form at the bottom the page. Otherwise, enjoy the nostalgia and be sure to look out for our #ThrowbackThursday social posts throughout the course of the year.


Our logo through the years


Message from Jonathan

Established in 1978 by the current chairman, Jonathan Lee, the vision for the company was to establish long-term partnerships with clients in order to fully understand their business and its needs.

“Whilst this might seem obvious, that was not the standard practice at the time,” said Jonathan. “Coming from an engineering background I knew how crucial it was to fully comprehend not only the businesses I was working with, but how the engineering industry functioned as a whole.”

Jonathan started his career as an apprentice at GKN, inspired by his father who was an engineer and ran his own firm. “I’d been surrounded by the industry my whole life and realised that there was a need for a recruitment consultancy that understood both the core tenets of good recruitment and the manufacturing and engineering world.”

The founding principles of the company were devised and clearly set out at its inception and have stayed intact across the last four decades. Building strong relationships with both clients and candidates, Jonathan Lee Recruitment focuses on getting it right first time for clients and providing ‘solutions through understanding’ – which came to be the company’s tagline.



Don't take our word for it...

  • Congratulations on your landmark 40th anniversary celebration, it reminds me that I had the pleasure of attending the 30th event immediately on joining TMETC 10 years ago – how time flies! I am sure there will be many good wishes over the coming months, but as a past user of your services as both candidate and hiring manager, I would like to express my hearty congratulations to you and the whole team for the fantastic support you have given to the transformation of the UK automotive industry from an old boys club to a vibrant professional industry with access to world-class talent. Here’s to the next 10 years!

    David Hudson

    Tata Motors European Technical Centre Plc
  • Congratulations Jonathan and all the team on 40 years success. Jonathan Lee Recruitment gave me what I consider my first proper recruitment job and I thoroughly enjoyed my 7 years with the business. Having moved to in-house recruitment, I still enjoy regular contact and support from the team and wish you every success for the future.

    Phil Burton

  • I recently joined Jonathan Lee Recruitment after working in industry for over 40 years. But my connection with the company doesn’t begin there. I was placed as a candidate over 30 years ago with Vax. With successive career progression, I was appointed Purchasing and Supply Chain Manager and when I needed to expand my team, I asked Jonathan Lee Recruitment to find the specific skill-sets needed to support the business. I knew the consultants’ industry understanding and knowledge would make them best-placed to find the most suitable candidates available. Jonathan Lee Recruitment is the benchmark of premium, manufacturing recruitment providers.

    Paul Broadhead

    Previous candidate, client and now Jonathan Lee employee
  • I hope the 40th goes well. Way back in 1983 I answered a Jonathan Lee advert for a Development Engineer’s job at Land Rover....the rest they say is history! It’s been good being with you on the journey!

    Dick Elsy

    Chief Executive at High Value Manufacturing Catapult
  • I would like to comment on the excellent and high standard of professional service you and the team have always provided and the growth of the company under your leadership has been the very impressive result. My congratulations on your great milestone of 40 years for the business and I wish you continued success over the many more years to come.

    Alan Curtis

    Industrial Professor at WMG, University of Warwick
  • I first met Jonathan 40 years ago in his Birmingham office where he interviewed me for a role at British Leyland. Jonathan was very professional and you could only admire his interviewing techniques. Jonathan must have seen something in me through my nervousness as I received an offer from British Leyland via Jonathan just a few days later. Earlier this year, I had to decide a contracting company and choose Jonathan Lee; being a Midlands based company, very reputable within the contracting arena, and of course recollecting the fond memories, it was an easy decision to make. I have to say, I have not regretted the decision once!

    Steve Skidmore

  • Congrats on your work anniversary. Wow, 40 years! It doesn’t seem possible somehow, where has all the time gone? I recall you getting me a job at Rover in my early days of setting up.

    Stephen Jones

    General Manager, Engine Design & Development Consultancy
  • Some of my happiest career memories were working at Jonathan Lee. Jonathan was (and still is) a consummate gentleman, a great entrepreneur and he cared greatly for the business, his clients and his staff. I was fortunate to celebrate the 25 years anniversary before I felt the call of God moving me on (otherwise I think I would still be there). I cannot believe it has been 15 years and you are now celebrating 40 years. So a hearty congratulations on this wonderful milestone and may your future be fruitful and prosperous.

    Will Foster

    Former Jonathan Lee employee, circa 1994 to 2003
  • Jonathan, congratulations and well done. I can honestly say that it was a privilege and a pleasure to work for Jonathan Lee and still has fond memories for me. Best wishes to you and the team.

    Ian Bryson

    Former Jonathan Lee employee, 2001 to 2009
  • 40 years is a terrific achievement and well worthy of celebration. It was 40 years ago that I re-joined The Engineer (having started there a few years before and moved away), so we are pretty much exact contemporaries. I wonder how many thousands of people there are, in the UK auto industry and beyond, whose careers you have influenced? The Jonathan Lee Alumni Association would be a pretty powerful lobby for common sense across the motor industry and other sectors, were you to be so minded. With kind regards and congratulations, John

    John Pullin

    Ex-editor of The Engineer, Construction News, Professional Engineering, Environmental Engineering

Form ID:2563


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