5 reviews
16:04 13 Mar 23
Highly recommended! Josh and Sarah have been fantastic at Astute. They've found and placed me in 2 jobs now between them, both really responsive and excellent at keeping you up to speed with things. Very knowledgable about the roles and happy to talk to companies with any queries you have.
C R.C R.
10:45 27 Jan 23
Great agency one of the best ones I've worked with! Liz has been a great help and support in helping me towards a new direction in my career life. She is very attentive and keeps me in the loop at all times! She makes the extra effort to work with my preferred requirements for work and even if it isn't completely attainable she meets me in the middle and does as much as she can to help! Also Liz is very funny might I add 😂 and I'm happy that I can now put a face to the name after all these years! Thank you again Liz for all your help and support! 😊
10:32 20 Dec 22
Josh and the Astute team was very swift to help me to find roles that matched my profile. They are really reliable and will help through every step of the recruitment process going out of their way to assist and follow up when needed. Could not find a better recruitment agency!
Helen PinegarHelen Pinegar
16:19 18 Dec 22
Fantastic recruitment agency.. Josh was extremely enthusiastic, encouraging and clearly knowledgeable about what was needed from both the employee and the employers point of view. Extremely supportive especially in regards to interview preparation and endeavoured to procure feedback promptly. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Astute in the future to both candidates and recruiting businesses particularly for the right fit for the role!!!
Lisa LeighLisa Leigh
11:56 30 Nov 22
I have worked as a candidate for Astute and they have been excellent. Super friendly service and professional agents keen to fit the right person to the right job. It has been a pleasure dealing with them and I would happily work for them again in the future. Highly recommend this agency.
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Suite 1, Ground Floor West,Cardinal Square,10 Nottingham Road,Derby. DE1 3QT
Stanford House,19 Castle Gate, Nottingham, NG1 7AQ

“Cometh the hour, cometh the man”.

Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s president has shown that someone with limited experience as a leader, can rise to horrendous challenges with immense dignity, bravery, intelligence, and honesty.

Infact, the horrific invasion of Ukraine has flagged a tale of two massively contrasting leadership styles, a David versus Goliath – not just in terms of Ukraine versus Russia, but Zelensky versus Putin.

In Zelensky there is a leader who has led his people, harnessed their passion and won the hearts and minds of his own people, and many millions, far, far away.

Then we have Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. The truly brave Russian souls who demonstrated publicly in Moscow itself, risking their very lives in doing what is simply a democratic right to all of us in the West, show that Putin has not got the total will of his people behind him. Despite what he may say.

May I just say at this point, say that I know Russians who are equally appalled at Putin’s actions.

This incursion, this wretched invasion of a proud sovereign, independent nation, is not applauded by all Russians. Its important not to criticise all Russians and believe that they all support Putin, because they don’t. The bravery of the many hundreds of Russians to protest publicly and risk their livelihoods, jobs and very lives are a testament to that.

Putin’s recorded warped, inconsistent rants on history, wild personal accusations of Zelensky, and in one breath asking Ukranians to ‘go home, be with your families’ and in the next, ‘take up your arms, overthrow the corrupt Zelensky and his Government’ are a total 180° polar opposite to the Ukrainian’s quiet, calm, consistent appeals and speeches to camera for his people.

From being in a suit, to wearing military fatigues and telling his nation, ‘no, I’m here and staying here’, Zelensky has calmly, and consistently appealed that there is a better way.

In a situation that is rapidly evolving, the way that Zlensky’s passion as his nation’s leader, has been able to ignite such powerful and never before used sanctions from other leaders around the world is in turn inspiring and powerful to watch.

With nothing more than his passion and a phone, he has drummed up enthusiasm and action from the rest of Europe and beyond.

A great leader is not defined by their ability to wield great force.

Great leaders inspire great actions above and beyond those expected, from a team, a business, and vitally for the Ukraine, an entire nation.

Brilliant leaders are able to blow to life embers, then cradle and harness the flames of passion in their teams, to go above and beyond what is expected of them.

To reach deeper, harder, further than they thought they could ever aspire or possibly achieve.

And this is the key bit.

To try hard, and keep trying harder still, because they believe in their boss/ leader/ President.

Not because they are paid to.

Not because they are forced to.

Because they want to.

And that’s the rub, right there.

‘Great leaders are made great,

not through fear or oppression,

but through love.

Many famous leaders

have achieved

great power,

but they were not truly great leaders.

Not truly loved.

And in the war for hearts and minds, that’s where brave Zelensky has already won, and won hands down.

Now the trivia bit, and some light relief!

‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man’. I thought this was from a Shakespeare play or other such writer, when I thought that quote summed up my thoughts on this blog.


Turns out that no one person can truly be attributed as the owner of this great phrase. It sounded like a quote though, so I investigated. 

Turns out that the phrase is credited to an England tail-end batsman, Cliff Gladwin in the 1948 England vs South Africa test series.

In the first test at Kingsmead, Durban, in South Africa, England needed eight runs off the last eight-ball over, with nos.9 and 10 at the crease.

With light fading, and an increasingly dry wicket that gave the bowlers lots of help, England got home after a ‘leg-bye’ was scored off the last ball of the game, when the ball struck the no.10, Cliff Gladwin, on the thigh and a single was scrambled.

The Derbyshire bowler is remembered mostly for this batting feat and his immortal words: –

“Coometh the hour, coometh the man.”

I’ll take that as a former Londoner who now counts Derbyshire as her home. 🤣

People are people, whatever their nationality. Today as we all hear the shocking news from the Ukraine, we send our thoughts and heartfelt wishes for a swift end to the fighting.

Many candidates, friends, and clients we have dealt with are Ukranian.

The East Midlands may be some 2,630KM from Kiev, a long way from our comfy offices and homes, but we are all the same. Fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, working hard to earn a living and striving for a better future.

One of our founders and owners Mary had this to say:

“One of the first finance people I placed was a lass from the Ukraine.
Wonderfully eloquent, educated, and professional. She had a great sense of humour. A beautiful smile. 😀

She loved the job and was there for years. We’d exchanged friendly emails for years, as that’s what she’d become, a friend. 💖

Since then, there have been many, many warm, lovely Ukrainian people I’ve dealt with as candidates, clients and colleagues.

On this day of sad, shocking news that Russia is shelling the Ukraine, I just want to say that the thoughts, prayers and hopes of peace go to all the wonderful men, women, and children of the Ukraine 🇺🇦 .

Wherever they are, at work or home. 

Around the world 🌎 or in the Ukraine, our prayers for peace and safety go to you all, and your loved ones.  🙏”

Here at Astute we have many, many candidates, clients and friends from the Ukraine.

Today, our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the Ukraine and around the world affected by the events happening.

We can only hope that diplomacy is able to win the day before too many people are hurt, or sadly killed.

If you have been affected,

or simply want to

help, see below

for a link to make a donation.

Ukraine Crisis Appeal | British Red Cross


Liz only started with our team at Astute Recruitment Ltd a few short weeks ago.

Her first week was a record breaker too having managed to get her first permanent and temporary placement within just 3 days of starting. She also managed to pick up a brand new job to work on with her very first BD call!

We’ll let Liz tell you herself: –

“My first few weeks at Astute… Where do I start?

  • Its been a great way to start the New Year, in a new job with such an established leadership team!
  • Amazing morale and I’ve made lots of new friends here. I wasn’t nervous at all and fitted straight in.
  • Did I mention our Lunch Club Pub Fridays? No one mentioned this on my interviews so it was a lovely surprise to be taken to the pub for a couple of hours after a successful weeks work! Even better – this happens every week!

  • What I’ve really embraced here is how everyone works as a team. We’re like one big family, all helping each other out, recommending candidates for each other’s roles, sharing the latest information and tips! None of that typical ‘me me me’ culture that often comes up in Sales Teams!
  • Top class training……I quickly became busy so the 12 week training programme went out the window, but what better way to learn the systems than hands on! As I’ve done recruitment previously, it was great to have such a flexible attitude to tailor the training to my specific needs!
  • Didn’t I break a company record with first candidate placed on day 3 ? 
  • I’m feeling excited for my future with Astute Recruitment, and how busy the office support and HR side is, and is getting busier by the day!
  • Great to be in the right environment to put my skills and experience to good use

Thanks Liz! we love your feedback and welcome to the team!

Liz does all temporary, permanent and temp to permanent back office recruitment including HR, admin, customer services and all other office, non-finance jobs.

Newly promoted for the second time to Managing Consultant, Tom Norton, has finally moved into a new home. Here at Astute we always try our best to support our team in any way we can.

From our Friday pub lunch club, to our office treat box we keep topped up, we make sure we can have fun!

But all of our team have busy lives, and ‘stuff’ happens. From the renovations for a new kitchen (Matt Morgan) to repairing garden fences after storms (Richard Bowe). We’ve allowed them to WFH and have the flexibility to do what they do best – recruitment clearly) but to also enjoy their own lives and deal with that ‘life stuff’ that sometimes gets in the way.

Back to Tom. After numerous possible homes that fell through, finally he was able to exchange – but it was all a bit short notice.

He was a bit anxious!

His saved holiday from last year technically expired with the start of a new holiday year.

He needed a week off to move in and get all the plumbing, wiring and decorating sorted.

Then there were some internet delays and problems.

So how did our owners, Sarah and Mary, help Tom out?

They allowed him to carry over the holiday from last year.

They allowed him to take a week off at very short notice to move in – with their blessing.

The result?

Tom has just moved into his fab new home and we couldnt be happier for him.

(Plus, we’re all waiting for invites to the house-warming party!)

True story. 

How admitting your worst work error can lead to interview success!

When asked on first interview, my candidate shared their worst work mistake. They have a second interview! Why?

Their work mistake? It was a biggie, but my candidate was authentic. 

They clearly and honestly told a brief story about their error.

They described the potential harm and gravity of what they had done in error.

Then, they explained how they immediately raised their arm with their boss, admitting their mistake. They took ownership of the situation.

They explained how they could remedy their error and mitigate damage.

They were honest.

My client admired the way the candidate handled things and values that honesty.

Discussing post-interview feedback, my client told me,

“No one is perfect. Everyone here makes mistakes.

We’re all human.

It’s how those mistakes are dealt with, flagged,

handled and overcome that really matters.

We really loved that about Xxxxxxx and could

definitely work with her”.

So never be afraid to own up to work mistakes.

In your actual day job, or on interview, humility and honesty go a long, long way.

Just make sure you can demonstrate how you took ownership of your error, sought help and explain how a solution was found, ideally with your help!

In the words of someone a lot wiser than us,

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never

tried anything new.”

Albert Einstein

How true!

Even more importantly,  when looking for a job, try and seek the employers that understand their staff are only human and who take honesty seriously. Making mistakes is not the problem. Its how a potential employee handles that error that really counts!

In exciting news, the Government’s introduction of their new permanent investment deduction – replacing their former ‘super deduction’ scheme has been hailed by UK businesses according to a survey by the CBI. The accountants have had their calculators out and the new scheme is reckoned to be able to boost UK business by as much as £40Bn every year in just 4 years time!

The good news!

325 companies, from SMEs to larger corporate companies in all sectors – from IT to manufacturing to pharmaceuticals took part in the CBI’s survey.

The results indicate that that the super deduction scheme has increased business investments and that the new permanent scheme could yield a 17% year on year annual increase in capital spending by UK businesses!

This dramatic increase could ignite growth forecasts for the SME business community and provide significant boosts to productivity and improved living standards right across the UK’s regions.

Results from the CBI’s survey indicate that over 50% of businesses either took advantage of the scheme or were planning to do so with the aim of turbo-charging their capital investment plans.

Now for the ‘BUT’…

As it stands the scheme is due to end in 2023, leaving a genuine risk that business investment could dramatically decline just when it is needed most! The OBR projects business growth plateauing to a modest 1.3% -1.7%.

The Bank of England themselves are predicting a decline in UK business growth to just 1% in 2024 and the CBI’s own forecast for business investment is expected to fall Q1 of 2023 when the ‘super deduction finishes.

The CBI’s plan to bring things back on track!

The Government are being urged by the CBI to create a permanent 100% tax deduction for capital spending in the year of expenditure at this year’s Spring Statement.


The CBI say the new scheme would help to maintain business confidence and therefore investment throughout next year AND and enable an exciting 17% rise in business investment over the medium-term.

Without a successor to the super deduction, the CBI predicts the UK will have the lowest business investment of the G7 by 2026.

Implementing a permanent investment deduction would lift us off the bottom, fuelling higher growth and productivity across the UK. Longer term, increasing productivity is the only sustainable way to pay down debt and meet rising spending pressures.

Tony Danker, CBI Director-General, Tony Danker, had this to say: –

 “The Chancellor’s super deduction exemplified the boldness in public policy that we need to inspire investment and get the economy moving. Going by our survey results, it looks to be a real success. It’s started the job but cannot be a one-hit wonder. Evolving the policy from short-term fix into long-term strategy will give firms confidence that Government and industry are aligned.

“The UK is facing the highest tax burden in decades. But by rewarding firms who put money into their operations, we can unleash new innovation and productivity – the ingredients we need to escape the low-growth trap and build a stronger, sustainable and more equitable economic future.”


Impacts of the Super Deduction:

  • More than half of firms (53%) plan to claim the super deduction.
  • A fifth of qualifying capital spend is only taking place because of the opportunity presented by the super deduction.
  • Some 19% of qualifying capital spend was as a result of accelerated investment plans due to the super deduction.
  • And 2% of qualifying capital spending is being invested in the UK – rather than elsewhere – because of the super deduction.
  • In total, 41% of planned qualifying capital investment in 2021-23 is due to the super deduction – more than half of which would not otherwise have taken place in the UK.

The CBI’s survey revealed the following projected plus points if a new, permanent equivalent relief scheme were launched: –

  • 50% of respondents indicated they would revise investment plans as a result.
  • 24% said they would make additional capital investments in the UK.
  • 13% would make additional investments – and bring forward investment timescales.
  • A further 13% would accelerate UK investments already planned.
  • Survey respondents revealed plans for £1.3billion of capital projects and said a new investment deduction of the type proposed would see £169million of that spending accelerated – and a further £224million of projects added.
  • Extrapolating these findings to a medium-term projection of business investment shows this could increase spending by 17% by 2026, compared to existing projections.
  • This is equivalent to additional investment worth £40billion per year by 2026.
  • Expanding the assets that qualify for a permanent investment incentive – to include, for example, second-hand, leased and rented assets – and expanding the relief to unincorporated businesses could raise investment further, with potential for an additional boost of 4% over current projections, or another £10billion of investment per year by 2026.

Extracted from an article on the CBI’s website which you can view HERE.