Finding the right candidate is a challenge in a crowded market

Finding the right candidate is a challenge in a crowded market.


It’s no secret that there are a lot of candidates in the market at the moment.

So it should be easy to find the person you need, right?

Well – maybe.


Hiring at a senior technical level is a complex, nuanced process. It’s vital to boil down the requirement so that you have absolute clarity about what the role will entail and the type of person and skill set you’ll need. The multiple competencies required – business capability, technical understanding, regulatory experience – make it challenging to find one person with all the necessary skills.

And whether or not the candidate is currently working shouldn’t be the determining factor as to their suitability.


The passive process

The temptation in a recessionary market is to advertise the role and wait for the candidates to come flooding in. But that’s a purely passive approach, and there’s no guarantee that the right candidate will apply. Even if you find someone who fits, you haven’t tested the market – you’re just dealing with the best person who happened to land in your lap.

But even so, it’s an incredibly time consuming process. The sheer time involved in dealing with, say, 200 applications, interviewing 20 candidates, bringing 5 back is huge. Although it might feel like a cost effective and productive process, it’s actually hugely expensive in terms of time spent, and it brings no certainty of a successful conclusion. It can go on for months, and often does. And all the while the opportunity cost of the unfilled role increases and increases.


The active process

Working with a recruiter you trust allows you to define your requirements and step away from the process and the noise.

Because finding the right candidate is a challenge in a crowded market.

It may be that the recruiter advertises. But they will also tap into their networks, approach potential candidates in competitor companies, scope the market and present a balanced list of candidates for you to consider. That’s certainly how I set about it. The noise in the market and the number of channels are distractions that take you away from what you need to do – taking a brief, understanding the role and bringing a compelling shortlist from the entirety of the market is exactly what the recruiter’s there to do.


And once we’ve created the list, we’ll continue on; engaging with the candidates, selling the opportunity, highlighting the employer brand, working all the time to make sure that when you pick your candidate and make the offer, it’s accepted. It’s a full time role. It’s my full time role, in fact.


That’s why my customers work with me. Because I save them time and money. I provide them with an excellent route to hiring the right people at the right time.

Ultimately recruitment is like any other service. You pay an expert to do it well because learning on the fly how to do it yourself alongside your actual job is expensive, time consuming and wildly inefficient. It’s why I engage an accountant rather than doing the company accounts and VAT myself. I could google it and save myself the fee – but it would be a false economy.


Hiring technical people who can solve business problems isn’t easy. There aren’t a lot of good candidates around, they have lots of options and the process is high touch.

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What our Clients & Candidates Say

  • Programme Manager, Client and Contractor

    I have worked with Alastair as both a client and a customer. As a client the service he provided was A1, he listened to my requirements and carefully vetted candidates to ensure they met my needs. He provided great information regarding candidate types and salaries and helped address any concerns I had about individual interviewees. As a customer, he gave me relevant information about the role and ensured I was briefed sufficiently to interview effectively. He sorted contract issues and gave me honest and sage advice. I whole heartedly recommend Alastair and will definitely be using his services again.

    - Programme Manager, Client and Contractor

  • Client (Head of Recruitment)

    I first engaged Justin when I was recruiting manager for Microsoft Australia. Because of the quality of his work, he became a preferred vendor and we used him repeatedly to source technical people for product support, technical evangelism and consulting. Justin is a straight shooter, builds and effectively leverages an impressive network and operates with integrity. I would have liked to have hired him to be an employee but he prefers to be an independent agent. I would work with Justin any time, either as a client or as a candidate.

    - Client (Head of Recruitment)

  • HR Director

    Alastair was introduced to us as we had a senior recruitment need. I was really impressed with the time Alastair spent getting to know our business and our culture so that he understood the uniqueness of what we do. This was a new role to us and it was important to get it right. Alastair was able to balance ours and the candidates needs and worked with us not for us which is where other recruiters, I think, go wrong. I felt in control of the process from beginning to end and nothing was too much trouble. I would recommend without hesitation.

    - HR Director


    Alastair has successfully supported a number of opportunities that I have had, orchestrating his teams and aligning them to the needs of his client. This is born from his customer focus and desire to fully understand the environment, culture and team dynamic, all essential requirements needed to ensure that the short lists presented not only match the skills and experience required, but also the organisational fit. His proactive, professional and diligent approach has eased what can be a time consuming and difficult process when building high performing teams.

    - CIO/CTO

  • Contractor – placed as Project Manager

    The terms under which Justin worked very hard to ensure that my weekly timesheets were processed so quickly, far surpasses all of the other agencies that I have worked for in the last 25years – top marks!

    - Contractor – placed as Project Manager

  • IT Director

    I've worked with Justin off and on for 7-8 years and in recent times he has become my "go to" recruiter, having placed 20+ staff, with the businesses I've lead . Finding a recruiter that values the strategic relationship, satisfaction and well-being of his client, over the commission of making a placement, is a rare thing. Combined with Justin's adaptability to the needs of those he is working with, his flexible approach and candidate quality - you have a winner. Justin takes the time to understand the dynamics and personalities within the businesses he is recruiting for and finds candidates that fit the qualifications needs and culture of your business. I'd recommend Justin and Vocative to any technology company looking to find great talent and work with a likeable, professional and effective recruiter

    - IT Director

  • Client (Head of IT)

    I can't say that I enjoy dealing with Recruiters but Justin changed my opinion - honest, follows the client's lead, does the hard work and not a pressure merchant. Will use him again when I need to recruit.

    - Client (Head of IT)

  • Candidate – Placed as IT Manager

    Justin is an extremely enthusiastic and dedicated professional. He has a unique knowledge and in-depth experience of the IT sector and candidate market. He provides a credible and commercial resourcing service to the business. Rather than throwing CV’s my way he absolutely gets our vision. Justin has a real knack for understanding the needs of the business and sourcing quality candidates to match those needs. His approach is refreshing and he is an absolute pleasure to work with.

    - Candidate – Placed as IT Manager

  • Candidate – Placed as Senior Java Developer – Investment Banking, Zurich

    Justin was far more professional than any other headhunter I've worked with.

    - Candidate – Placed as Senior Java Developer – Investment Banking, Zurich

  • Interim CTO

    Alastair has been easy to work with, professional in what he does and very much on the ball when it comes to placements. I would recommend working with Alastair and look forward to doing so again myself in the not to distant future.

    - Interim CTO