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.
Contact us
Suite 1, Ground Floor West,Cardinal Square,10 Nottingham Road,Derby. DE1 3QT
Stanford House,19 Castle Gate, Nottingham, NG1 7AQ

We all had a great time last week at our Easter Social event at Nicco Restaurant on Pride Park!

It was an incredible turn out and great chance to catch up with our friends from local businesses.

The food and drink were excellent and the fantastic service and relaxed social setting made for a wonderful evening.

This was our second social event at Nicco and it was once again the perfect setting! Thank you to Niccos, our wonderful team at Astute and of course all of our fantastic guests! 👏

Below are some photos taken at our event. We are already looking forward to the next one!

70% of UK staff looking for a new job in 2024

One fifth of UK workers are feeling burned out, leading 70% of workers to seek a new job in 2024, according to new research.

HiBob, the company behind Bob, the HR platform transforming how organisations operate in the modern work of work, recently released research exposing the mental state of workers in the UK, what motivates them in the modern workplace and the biggest factors that will contribute to resignations in 2024.

State of employee mental & financial wellness driving resignations

With 2024 now in full swing, the research from HiBob uncovers a miserable state of employee mental wellness, as one fifth (20%) of Brits feel burned out at work and more than a quarter (29%) are stressed. Shockingly, only one in seven (16%) would describe their mental state at work as supported.

As a result, the majority of UK workers (70%) are planning on finding a new job in 2024; with over a quarter (28%) planning on finding one in the next six months. Given workers’ current feelings, driving this new wave of resignations is a desire to level out work life balance (17%).

70% of UK staff looking for a new job in 2024

New year, new priorities: ‘Work to rule’

Almost a third (30%) of UK workers say that what motivates them the most while at work is proper support for a work life balance, followed by working towards a salary increase or promotion (29%).

Taking their work life balance and workplace culture into their own hands, this year a fifth (22%) of British workers plan to set boundaries at work and say ‘no’ more often to requests that would make them work late, extend their working hours, or increase their workload beyond what was originally agreed.

Working remotely vs in the office

Post-pandemic, one of the biggest conversations concerning the workplace has been around working from home vs in the office. Although many Brits are seeking out a better work life balance this year, only one in ten (11%) are planning on working from home more frequently, as 88% plan on maintaining an office based or hybrid working pattern.

The data also reveals that the core factors compelling people into the office are separating work from home (20%), collaboration and teamwork (19%), access to resources (14%) and free heating in the winter (13%).

However, two fifths (40%) of UK workers are worried about the increase travel costs associated with a return to the office being mandated.

Ronni Zehavi, CEO and Co-Founder, HiBob commented: “Our research shows that employees across the UK are feeling stressed and burnt out, which is leading them to reassess what they want from their workplace and employer.

“While pay increases aren’t always possible during times of economic headwinds, these insights make it clear, at a time when there is a war raging for attracting and retaining top talent, supporting employees’ work life balance is going to be a key differentiator for businesses in 2024.”

We are delighted to continue to support Future Forest Company, which see us plant one tree with them for every placement we make!

This means that as a business we’re reducing our carbon footprint, doing our bit for the planet & helping to reduce global warming.

Future Forest Company plant trees on their own land, guaranteeing that the tree will never be removed. All trees are looked after & cared for for 5 years after being planted to ensure they mature. The sites also include water areas and other natural habitats to encourage natural fauna and flora to thrive.

Our Astute trees are planted on the Glenaros Estate on the Isle of Mull in Scotland, which Future Forest Company acquired in 2020. The hill ground on the estate provides the potential for creating a beautiful, healthy forest with the 2000 acre estate having the capacity to plant up to 1 million trees!

Glenaros Estate on the Isle of Mull in Scotland

Nearly half (46%) of UK & Irish employees think their employer lags behind when it comes to adopting the latest technology, such as workplace experience or process automation tools.

New research from Ricoh Europe has revealed that there is a significant gap between employee expectations of technology in the workplace and what is currently provided by employers.

The poll of 1,000 workers across the UK and Ireland*, conducted by Opinium, found that nearly half of UK and Irish employees (46%) believe that their employer lags behind when it comes to adopting technology that would benefit them in the workplace.

More than a quarter (28%) report that their remote work set-up hinders their productivity, and over half (58%) are bogged down by high administrative burdens. What’s more, only 68% of UK and Irish employees believe their employers provide the necessary technology to do their jobs well – highlighting a significant missed opportunity.

Businesses should look to process automation and workplace experience tools to improve collaboration and streamline repetitive workflows and tasks, ensuring workers are equipped to do their best work. Implementing the latest technology, such as Workplace Experience Platforms, AV solutions and enterprise content management enables employees to focus less on admin, and more on value added activities.

Dennis Scannell, Director of Digital Service Consultancy at Ricoh UK, says: “What we’re noticing in the market is that more and more organisations are looking to re-imagine their workplaces to bridge the gap between employee expectations and the available technology.”

Without addressing these discrepancies in 2024, employers risk losing workers, who may seek alternate employment where their needs are better met. Almost one in three (30%) workers cited working conditions and their employee experience as a reason they would look for another job, while just under a fifth (18%) of employees noted the quality of technology software and technological devices as a leading contributor to them seeking alternate employment.

7 improvement tools to integrate into your organisation

Dennis continues: ‘We work with many UK businesses to transform their physical and digital workspace to be more collaborative and productive. For one of our customers, we were able to increase their office occupancy from 35% to 50% and deliver employee satisfaction rating of 4.8 out of 5, following a successful office transformation project. Ultimately, we create workplaces where people feel fulfilled and are happy to work.” He added: “Employee experience should be at the centre of any workplace transformation project.”

With over half (65%) of employees believing they would deliver more value to their company if they had the right tools and technologies in place, the benefits of getting this right extend beyond talent attraction and retention.

Nicola Downing, CEO, Ricoh Europe, says: “Looking ahead, it is imperative that businesses align their technology offerings with employee needs, particularly around process automation and workplace experience, which can help employees be more productive and focus on tasks where they can add more value.

“As our research has revealed, any business which overlooks employee experience around workplace technology, risks losing valued team members who will simply look elsewhere for a workplace that meets their needs”.

In the ever-evolving landscape of business and technology, HR professionals find themselves on the crest of a transformative wave – the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

As a HR professional, it doesn’t matter if you niche in the complexities of talent management, employee engagement, or are just a generalist, AI will have been discussed in meetings from boardroom to teams to a coffee break. And it may well have you feeling worried or nervous. If AI can do, well, just about anything, from writing policy to screening CVs, then what use are actual humans? You may be worried for your own role, and the role of HR in a company when people can use programmes to write everything from job descriptions to LinkedIn posts via those all-important emails or drafts of new protocols.

However, when it comes to workforce optimisation in 2024, AI emerges as a powerful ally for HR, offering unprecedented opportunities to streamline processes, enhance decision-making, and unlock new dimensions of human potential. If the fear comes when you think of AI and how it’ll work with your work, remember two things: It’s a tool you can use for the better, in many ways, and it needs you to operate it.

Still, it’s likely you have a lot of questions about AI – and as a key trend in 2024, how you might use it day-to-day and the impact and changes it’ll have on your work, your company and your role in HR. Is it up to you, as a HR professional, to be completely in the know about how to use the AI software, and all the pros and cons?

In 2024 you may well be recruiting (using AI in the process) for an AI Officer

Yes – to an extent. But the traditional role of HR has been one of a facilitator, managing administrative tasks, recruitment processes, and employee relations. However, the advent of AI heralds a huge shift, propelling HR into a realm where data-driven insights, predictive analytics, and intelligent automation redefine the very fabric of the workplace. Woah – sounds scary.

As organisations grapple with the imperative to adapt and innovate, AI is not merely a buzzword but a catalyst for change in HR practices. From leveraging machine learning algorithms for more effective talent acquisition to deploying natural language processing for enhanced employee engagement, the rise of AI in HR promises a future where organisations can better understand, connect with, and empower their most valuable asset – their people. 

Focusing in on where you’ll use AI

So, where to start? First up, the ‘where’? The short answer here is in recruitment, that’s the key message from HR professionals. But that’s a huge remit – so let’s unpack the details. In a survey by Littler of 780 European employers, nearly 100 of which were UK-based, 61% say they use predictive AI tools for at least one HR function (such as recruiting and hiring), and 59% report using generative AI for HR purposes.

We enjoyed a lovely lunch recently, to celebrate the birthdays of Richard Bowe and Callum Musgrave.

We were also delighted to celebrate Richard’s promotion to Business Manager – Interim Division, after being awarded our Employee of the Year for 2023! Well done Richard! 👏
The team enjoyed a lovely meal, drinks and some birthday cake! 🎂
Great start to the year for Team Astute!

By Trevor Dimmock

Q2 2023 – East Midlands Resilience
Despite all of the macroeconomic challenges we are experiencing, the East Midlands economy is proving remarkably resilient with some brilliant stories of growth and expansion and a high-quality labour force that is proving attractive for inward Investment to the region. As a consequence the demand for Finance & HR professionals is still very high with no sign of slowing. With inflation falling and business confidence returning we expect this trend to continue and can look forward to continued growth through the rest of the year. In addition the diversity in the sectors that we operate in makes our region much more future proof as we are not overly reliant on one particular market.

Below are some of the topics that we have had the chance to explore over the last 3 months with our candidates and clients.

Working in the office 5 Days a Week
Interesting one this and very challenging. We are seeing a gradual trend for clients to explore the option of bringing new candidates in without hybrid opportunities. This has previously been more prevalent when recruiting a Finance Director for a growth SME when the leadership team is being formed. We have had some of these requests for candidates at Financial Controller level and have found that around 90% candidates will rule themselves out immediately from these types of options based on the lack of hybrid working. I can understand the importance of fostering workplace culture face to face, but the new reality is that if an employer wants to explore the candidate marketplace fully then hybrid arrangements are required in a candidate driven market.

Cash is King
Not really a surprising finding but salary considerations are now the number 1 reason for a candidate to look for a job, with the figure of 35-40% appearing on a number of recent surveys. Cost of living pressures and a tight candidate market will continue this trend for the foreseeable future but lower interest rates and continued economic growth should help mitigate this going forward. At the moment this is a major headache for companies looking at their retention strategies whilst also looking to attract new talent. We still find that proactive career management and ongoing 360-degree feedback appraisals with existing team members can mitigate many of these risks as they may uncover other factors that attract and retain staff on an individual basis.

A Four Day week
Many of the companies that have trialled the concept have reported; higher productivity, lower absenteeism, increased engagement, higher staff retention and an improvement in business performance. The condensed four day week could be an alternative to hybrid working for some companies that have a more traditional working pattern. Another significant advantage is that it would remove the disparity of experience between Blue and White Collar workers. The opportunity to be consulted about such a major change and the trust demonstrated by a management team could be very beneficial to retention and attraction.

Green Washing, is it a thing?
Most definitely and whilst there are some true believers out there, it is often a corporate tick box exercise. Superficially the right green credentials may attract and retain staff but most of our Finance and HR candidates are savvy enough to expose the imposters and see through the PR. As a business we are supporters of the green agenda with a number of initiatives that we sponsor such as planting a tree for every placement we make. We wholeheartedly support organisations that share our principles but only when it is genuine belief and anchored to some semblance of reality and not used to score Corporate or Political brownie points.

We had a great evening at Zorba the Greek for our Summer Social event earlier this month.

It was an incredible turn out and great chance to catch up with our friends from local businesses.

The food and drink were excellent and the relaxed social setting made for a wonderful evening and the opportunity to enjoy a face to face social event 🥂

Zorba the Greek proved to be the perfect setting! the service was excellent and the staff so friendly and helpful, and we would like to thank each and every one of them.

Also a huge thanks to our wonderful team at Astute and of course all of our fantastic guests! 👏

We’ve already had some amazing feedback –

“Thank you for a lovely night, I had a really great time, the food was amazing.”

“Thanks for having us. It was a good event and apologises I couldn’t stay any longer.”

“It was good to meet people and the food was great.”

“Great to mingle and meet up with an ex-colleague!! Also enjoyed meeting the Astute team face to face and chatting with them.”

Nigel & I had a great night last night, so a big ‘Thank You’ for inviting us.

Excellent food. We shall definitely return.

The evening was fabulous and I would love to be part of another event like this. This event offered the personal touch, was well organised and my colleague had a great time too!”

We had a fantastic social event at Nicco Restaurant and Bar in Derby’s Pride Park last Thursday!

It was an incredible turn out and great chance to catch up with our friends from local businesses.

The food, drink, conversation and laughter made for a wonderful evening and the opportunity to enjoy a face to face social event 🥂

More than 60 guests attended our Curry Evening at Nicco

Nicco proved to be the perfect setting for our social evening and we would like to thank all of the staff, who made us feel so welcome and took great care of us all!

Also a huge thanks to our wonderful team at Astute and of course all of our fantastic guests! 👏

We’ve had some amazing feedback –

‘It was a fantastic night – met some great people!’

Thank you for a really great networking evening. Met some great new contacts in the evening. Really great to see people getting together again.

Great to put a face to a name – an excellent evening. I thought the venue was excellent which facilitates excellent networking opportunities. Very organized! Thanks again’

Thoroughly enjoyed the evening, company, and curry! Great to see an agency doing something different. If I were to give any constructive feedback, next time have it on a Friday so we can stay out longer!

‘The curry & networking event held by Astute is the first networking I’ve ever been to. I wasn’t sure what to expect but from the moment I joined in, I was greeted by some of staff at Astute who were simply warm and welcoming. Really enjoyed chatting various people about their roles over drinks and some amazing food. Even came across an ex-colleague who I hadn’t seen in years. I came thinking I would be one of the first to leave due an early start the next day, but I enjoyed catching up with the entire Astute team and others attending the event so much, that I ended up being one of the last to leave, literally getting kicked out. Can’t wait for the next networking event and meeting more new people, highly recommend.

‘Event was great. It was good to meet a few people and definitely a great choice on terms of the food!’

We are already in the process of organising our next social event so watch this space……..

We are delighted to announce the growth of our team with four new starters having joined recently, and we enter 2023 full of excitement about what the future holds!

Its been such a busy time recently for Astute, recruiting staff and celebrating internal success, with ambitious plans seeing our overall headcount increase by nearly 50% – with growth in all areas of the business.

Front left to right, Ellie Eaton, Kristen Lightbody, Damian Salvatore
Back row, Trevor Dimmock

Trevor Dimmock started working with us in December and will head up our Executive Search Division – A highly committed Search & Selection process identifying top talent for organisations. Trevor has a tremendous track record in Finance & Senior Search, having worked for some of the largest names in the industry and we are very pleased to have him on board.

Ellie Eaton has joined the team to work alongside Liz Champion on the Office Support roles. This team covers all temporary and permanent non-finance roles including HR, admin and customer services.

Kristen Lightbody joins us from EMEA Recruitment, and is highly skilled in sourcing top talent. She will be connecting qualified finance professionals with permanent roles and developing new & existing client relationships within the Midlands.

We are also joined by Damian Salvatore. With several years experience in recruiting, his role here at Astute will be placing experienced finance individuals with temporary and contract roles.

Sarah Stevenson, Managing Director added “Here at Astute Recruitment, acquiring the right talent is the most important key to our growth, which is why I’m delighted to be welcoming these amazing new people to the team and look forward to supporting their development and watching them contribute to our future success.”

“We have also committed to developing our own talent, which we believe will shape the future of our workforce. Jessica Starns was promoted to Senior Consultant recently, which is an amazing achievement after being with us for less than a year”

Astute had a very good year in 2022, and with our brilliant team I am eager to see what 2023 brings. We will shortly be launching a new website with updated branding, and hope to announce more new recruits shortly. Our workforce is our future, and we are very excited to see what the future holds!”