I often get asked by startups and fast growth companies if I can recommend good London based recruiters. Recruiters who really understand startups and the roles they are hiring for. So I have created this list of recruiters that I recommend.
To be included on this list I have either worked with the recruiter myself or they have been recommended to me on more than one occasion by people that I trust and know well and they have worked with the recruiter i.e. it’s not just their mates.
This isn’t a directory. There are probably a lot of other good recruiters out there who deserve to be on the list. This isn’t Workable’s recommendations either. This is a curated list of the recruiters and talent folk I recommend (but if you are hiring you should use Workable’s recruiting software to help you find and hire better people, faster…).
If you’re looking for a job yourself here is a job board for you → https://jobs.workable.com/
Recruiters for hire:
Phil Blaydes (all roles but specialism in tech)
A top recruiter (previously Forward3D, Mind Candy etc) who has set up Talentful alongside Chris Abbass (previously Shazam, Audible). In their words “Talentful is the internal recruitment company which offers a fixed fee inclusive of all costs (onsite staff, tech, advertising and any agency fees).” In my words “an internal recruiter or internal recruitment team for your business but only when you need one and with no surprise costs.” Phil is a top guy so I definitely recommend speaking to him.
Best for saving you from surprise recruitment fees. On twitter @wearetalentful
Charlie Rawstron (marketing & digital roles)
Very experienced recruiter who set up his own recruitment company, 3search. Experience is focussed on FinTech and working with companies who are disrupting professional services (MarketInvoice, RocketLawyer, Funding Circle etc).
Best for being an usher at my wedding. On twitter @3SearchTweet
Salim Hamid (Tech & Product roles)
Salim hates recruitment but don’t let that put you off. He gets most of his business through word of mouth, lucky really because he makes bad websites (but great hires). Prior to going solo Salim single handedly hired Deliveroo’s eng team, scaling it from 12 to 70 in 9 months and then from 70–280 when some other people joined and started taking credit for Salim’s work. Available for all your Ruby, Python, React etc etc hiring needs.
Best for, well, just being Salim really. On twitter @team_salim
Peter Chatterley (all roles)
Working to break the traditional recruitment agency model. Works with growing tech companies like Whisk and Victor on a variety of positions (tech is a specialty).
Best for not charging you like a normal recruiter: On twitter @chatterleyp
Rodney Crouch (commercial roles)
MD of London based Grey Matter Recruitment. Recommended by Tris Revill (also on this list). “An expert for senior commercial hires within tech, digital and Marketing. He is supported by a great team who can take care of mid to junior level roles.”
On twitter @RodneyCrouch
James Mayes (product roles)
Product evangelist and ‘top bloke’ (my words not his). CEO of MindTheProduct and the monthly ProductTank meetup but could help build your product team if you ask nicely.
Best for building product teams. On twitter @james_mayes
Rhys Evans (ruby roles)
Founder/Director at AdRoc Group who can help with more than just Ruby roles but Ruby is what Rhys was recommended for.
On twitter @rhysevans
Best for supporting an awful football team; on Medium Adam Bolton
MD at RecWorks. Can help with more than just Java roles but that is what he was recommended for.
Consultant at Fyte. Recommended through the DBR group.
Consultant at Xcede. Recommended through the DBR group.
Executive Consultant at Sphere Digital Recruitment.
Specialises in placing commercial candidates into technology businesses across MarTech, AdTech and SaaS. Experienced in helping businesses launch and scale in the UK.
Recommended through the DBR group.
There comes a time when you’ve grown to the point where you need HR. Andy will help you find your first HR hire or your first internal recruiter. With 15+ years of working in HR, Andy understands the role you’re going to hire.
Best for really (I mean, really) liking HR: On twitter @corpcocktails
When you‘ve hired people and now need to look after them:
Matt, Al & Kristian make up People Collective, an HR consultancy that helps companies reach their full potential to create great . They bring years of Recruitment and HR experience with them from working at companies like Qubit, Lyst, Peakon, Deliveroo, World Remit and StackOverflow.
Best for getting the most out of your biggest asset. On twitter: @brdbrnm
In-house recruiters who really know their stuff:
Matt is Head of Talent @ Rainmaking Venture Studio and previously worked at Workable, Lyst, Forward Partners, Facebook, Criteo, ThoughtWorks, Bloomberg… he might not be able to help you find your next hire but follow him on twitter and read his blog for sage words of advice about hiring.
Best for doing magic tricks. On twitter: @ElSatanico
One of my favorite people in London. Leading the hiring charge at Five.AI. Has also worked with companies like Transferwise, Forward Partners, Thread, Depop, Driftrock, Hassle and VCs like Kindred Capital…I could go on, for a long time…to build out high performing teams in fast-growth companies. Senior talent acquisition strategy and implementation. Co-organiser (with me) of the Workable sponsored #TalentHackers events.
Best for being excellent. On twitter: @michcov
Widely regarded by his peers as the go-to person to get advice on hiring sales teams, Steve is truly experienced recruiter with nearly 15 years of experience hiring in SaaS, Mobile, Digital Media and Digital Transformation industries. Steve’s worked for companies including Criteo, Bazaarvoice, InMobi and Freespee as well as global brands like McDonalds and HSBC.
Best for when you’re building sales teams. On twitter: @_SteveJacobs
Friend and self-styled #TalentHacker. Previously headed up Global Talent Acquisition at Blippar, then Osper, before moving to Lyst to help their team scale in 2015. After a stint in the sourcing team at Indeed, Tris is now consulting with companies to bring his sourcing skills to more companies. Happy to provide advice and assistance where necessary.
Best for talent hacking / sourcing advice. On twitter: @trisrevill
Ken Ward (all roles)
Through his consulting company (Winter Court Consulting) Ken works with fast growth, entrepreneurial companies enabling them to transition to the next stage of their growth cycle.
Best for cutting through the bullshit. On twitter @kward69
Head of Talent at SuperAwesome. Prior to Kalo, Nick helped to build and grow three in-house recruitment functions at companies including Chelsea Apps Factory, PropertyPartner and Kola. One of the new breed of Head of People, Nick comes from a recruitment background but looks after recruitment and HR in his roles.
Best for many things. On twitter: @yockandroll
Organiser of HNLondon and previously ran Talent at companies like Lyst and StreetTeam. Just don’t call him a recruiter, he’s a “Freelance Head of Talent”. I’ve warned you. He’s also the founder of honest.work (a job board for startups and tech companies) — check it out if your a startup or tech company.
Best for being himself. On twitter @StevieBuckley
Hung is the Founder/CEO of Workshape.io a new way to find talent, check it out or contact him to find out more. He’s probably best known for curating the hugley popular Recruiting Brainfood newsletter. If you haven’t subscribed already I highly recommend it. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience on hiring in startups having been a recruiter prior to creating Workshape.
Best for his wealth of experience. On twitter @HungLee
Proper talent hacker. Innovative, creative, globetrotting Dutchman. When he’s not busy being far cooler than I am he is building tech teams. Currently advising startups on hiring he previously worked at improbable.io. You can follow his blog here.
Best for being cynical about traditional hiring methods. On twitter: @willemwijnans
For the senior stuff…when you’ve got the funding or revenue to afford an executive search firm
Ann-Christine is the Managing Partner at Ethan Partners, executive search and assessment. In their words “We have successfully supported some of the fastest growing companies in more than 50 markets including some of the world’s greatest startups.” Ann-Christine has been Global Head of International Recruiting for Rocket Internet and Groupon so she knows a thing or two about scaling companies.
Best for being really quite smart and down to earth. On twitter @ethanpartners
Director at The Up Group, an executive search firm that has worked with the best known names in digital/tech to hire Director, VP and C-level roles across all functions.
Best for senior level product and tech roles. On twitter @PeteUpGroup
Hugh is an Associate in the digital practice at leading international exec search firm Heidrick & Struggles. Hugh recently moved to San Francisco with his job but can put you in touch with the right London contact.
Best for senior level commercial roles. On twitter @HughHeidricks
Know a recruiter in London that should be on the list? Contact me at rob[at]workable[dot]com.
It seemed sensible to add Job Boards to this list, not as an alternative to recruiters per se but as another route to finding the right candidate. So…
London Startup Job Boards
Workable Job Board (free but for Workable customers only)
Global job board but with a lot of startups in London using Workable it is a great destination for candidtaes looking for startup jobs in London.
A job board for startups and tech companies created by Stevie Buckley of “higher up on this list” fame. In Stevie’s own words:
“We want to encourage more honesty and transparency in job adverts.
We are launching a job board for tech and startup companies, where every vacancy advertises real salaries and real insights into the company’s interview process. Honesty is the new game changer.”
Unicorn Hunt (paid but choose your own discount)
London centric job board for startups. Use it for any type of job whether it’s tech, sales, marketing…
Escape The City (paid)
In their words “Unfulfilled and ambitious, we wanted to escape our corporate jobs. We looked for a service to help us find genuinely exciting new opportunities. There wasn’t one… So we built our own.” According to internal recruiters I know it’s a great place to attract high calibre analysts/consultants etc who want to do something different. Save those corporate types from the rat race!
London centric job board for startup jobs. Use it for any type of job whether it’s tech, sales, marketing…
Some people are also surprised to hear that generic/global job boards like Indeed (free and paid options) and Monster (paid) generate good candidates — Indeed is in a league of it’s own when it comes to filling roles (we can see that from the data). They might not be the best for attracting candidates for your senior full stack developer role (try Reddit, HackerNews, StackOverflow) but for a lot of roles they are very effective. Don’t rule free options out, sometimes there is such a thing as a free lunch.
Events that help with hiring
Whilst I am at it might as well add some events you might want to attend where you can participate and/or let people know that you’re hiring. A quick note on using events for hiring:
Attending = free & useful / Sponsoring = paid & better / Being a speaker = free & best.
Started by Dmitri Grabov and Ben Dowling in London with Stevie Buckley (mentioned above) joining later and now part of the family. What they say; “Regular meetup for readers of the amazing Hacker News, as well as assorted tech and startup junkies. Come along to meet your online buddies in person, catch up with old friends and make new ones. The meetup is pretty informal and is a great opportunity to chat about your projects, get feedback and possibly find co-founders.”
Silicon Milkroundabout (paid)
Run twice a year (maybe more often now it’s getting bigger but I’m not sure to be honest). What they say; “With thousands of pre-screened candidates attending, your team can have literally hundreds of conversations with the precise type of people you’re looking to recruit. Most companies end up making several hires by the end of the weekend. Our buzzy coffee shop and free bar are also great spots for informal networking.” Still the most popular startup hiring fair in London.
If you’re hiring designers get yourself along to the next Design+Banter. In their words: “Over the last 2 years, we’ve brought 18 design events to over 4000 attendees, featuring more than 50 great speakers. If you want to get involved in the future of Design+Banter (speak, sponsor, host, or helping on the night), just drop us a line. We’re dead friendly.” In the words of Stevie Buckley (on this list) “Still hands down the best event to find great designers.” Get in quick to get your ticket, they go fast.
Over 200 attendees at their monthly meetups. In their words “This is a group for users and developers of data analysis tools in Python. The goals are to provide Python enthusiasts a place to share ideas and learn from each other about how best to apply the language and tools to…”
The Hiring Guide every startup should read.
Workable’s hiring guide takes you step-by-step through building an attractive company and getting maximum value from…
A note for InHouse/Internal Recruiters:
Find your way in to the DBR community of inhouse recruiters, the group now has nearly 3,000 members sharing ideas and knowledge so don’t miss out. It was started and run by some of the inhouse recruiters on this list and is the best community of inhouse recruiters there is. Request to join DBR.
A note for Agency Recruiters:
Feel free to connect with me, more than happy to. But to be on this list I either know the recruiters or they have been recommended to me on more than one occasion by internal recruiters I know. That is the only way onto this list :)