Why do companies engage us?

What is “The Art of Recruitment”?

One thing recruitment companies are notoriously bad at is articulating how they do what they do.

Or to put it another way, they are terrible are explaining why you’d want to use them.

Partly that’s because recruitment is one term to cover a huge range of services. But that’s a subject for another day.

The purpose of this article is to explain what Vocative does to add value for its customers. To answer the following question:

Why do companies engage Vocative? And should I?

When I work with a company I am bringing to the table 25 years of experience and a significant network. I only work in quite a small field (senior level candidates with strong business capability and technical skills in either data, change/transformation or network infrastructure, or a combination). That means not only that I already know and have access to a number of good potential people to introduce, but that I’ve been speaking to them for many years.

So I help companies understand what is in the market. I help them define the shape of the role and quantify what they need. I can provide examples of previous companies who have found themselves in similar situations and talk about what worked and what didn’t.

And I can translate that into a compelling role that I can take to market – to my immediate network and beyond as I search and reach out to the right candidate.

Most of the time that’s not a capability that companies have in house. I often work alongside internal recruitment teams who have excellent experience of bringing people in and building employer brand but don’t know the specific sector I’m in. Or I work with smaller companies who don’t hire enough people in this space to want to build their own function.

But either way, companies come to me because they have a need to engage a candidate with a complex, business focussed technical skill set, and that is hard to define and hard to do. I’ve been doing it for years so I can help them solve that problem.

That’s what I mean when I talk about the Art of Recruitment.

So while I’m here that also helps me answer another question that people often ask. What do you do when the market’s quiet, as it is now?

Well – I do what I always do: talk to candidates and companies alike. Try to understand what people are looking for and where the market is going. Introduce people to one another if I think they can help each other. Work on making sure my network is up to date and engaged.

It’s doing that all day every day that means I can help my customers when they need to hire.

If you want to know more – get in 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

  • 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

  • Client (CIO)

    Having worked with Justin on a number of assignments both at my current organisation and a number of those that I have worked at over the past few years I am please to recommend him and his organisation as an excellent provider of quality candidates to fulfil your entire IT sourcing needs. Justin becomes an extension to your organisation when seeking new talent on both a contract and permanent basis as takes the time to understand your organisations workings before searching for and matching the skills you need. Justin balances the technical, cultural and interpersonal skills of each candidates so the fit your requirements very closely and prepares each candidate before they even walk through your door so they have the best possible chance when faced with attending an interview. Justin fast tracks the process of hiring new staff by only putting forward the right sort of candidates first time so you don’t need to go through hundreds of interviews before finding a shortlist of possible candidates that fit.

    - Client (CIO)


    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

  • CTO candidate

    Alastair demonstrates the perfect mix of a professional and personable approach to drive successful outcomes for both clients and applicants. He spends quality time in understanding the challenge and provides excellent support with a real attention to detail. As a result is he perfectly suited to help navigate complex recruitment scenarios whilst building trusted and long term relationships. An absolute pleasure to deal with!

    - CTO candidate

  • VP People

    Justin and I have worked very closely on a number of particularly challenging and complex campaigns. As a business woman I appreciate the work he puts into the twin perils of senior level recruitment - 1. sourcing quality candidates and 2. ensuring he keeps them interested in our opportunity through what is nearly always a 'long and winding road'! As a person I appreciate Justin's candour, sharp observations and his sense of humour. Through what are often fairly knotty propositions, we have fun and get the job done.

    - VP People

  • Candidate – placed as Senior Project Manager

    Justin is easy to work with with good communication skills. He followed up on interviews and was a good source of advice. I would use him again & recommend him to others.

    - Candidate – placed as Senior Project Manager

  • Candidate – placed as Project Manager

    Justin contacted me with reference to a vacancy at Atkins.He guided me through the process with excellent results. I can not thank Justin enough for his support, integrity and super service.during this time. Thanks again.

    - Candidate – placed as Project Manager

  • 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

  • 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