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!

Mary Maguire


As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But, how do these business leaders go about their daily routine? Business Leader spoke to Mary Maguire, MD of Astute Recruitment, about her working day.



If it’s a work day I am usually up by 5.30am. If it’s a weekend and the kids allow, then usually I get a lie in till 8.30/9am.



During the week I’m quite naughty, a couple of black coffees usually does the trick- the first one has to have three sugars in, after that it’s Sweetex all the way.



I cherish having half an hour to have a cup of coffee, read the news online and think about what I want to achieve that day.


Then I’ll head for a piping hot shower, check my hubby is awake and shoot off to work between 6.45am-7.15am. This way I can (usually!) avoid the traffic nightmare that is the A52 and get some work done before the team arrives.



Probably boring and predictable but I check my emails,  WhatsApp and texts. If there is something urgent – I can address it head on.



I’m old-school so I have a page-per-day diary where I write down the most important things I need to get done in order of urgency – once completed I cross them off or carry over to the next day. I think I am alone in this as the rest of my team have everything on their phones, but I’d be lost without my diary.



I always plan meetings – I really believe in the phrase “If you fail to prepare you prepare to fail”.


Even for staff 1:1’s, candidate interviews, any sort of meeting in or outside of work – you need to think why am I having this meeting and what do I want to achieve? Preparing for meetings saves time, shows you care and is the efficient, professional way to maximise results.



This depends on the day. I always have something to eat mid-morning and use that time to get away from my desk. It is definitely a good thing to have a break – just five minutes of fresh air often yields a solution to a problem or issue.



I start early and try to get home for 6pm – when I’m at home I put my mummy/ wife hat on. There are times where there is the odd call or email I have to address in the evenings, but I try and save those precious two or three hours at home to be in the moment with my kids and long-suffering husband!



Personally – my preparation is the last thing I do before leaving the office. I look at my diary and make a note of what has/ hasn’t been done – carry things forward to the next day and then I can switch off. The next time I think about the next day is the next day. This could be why I rarely have trouble going to sleep.



I hate to be predictable – but it’s my Samsung smartphone. I can use it for work emails, research ideas, check the news, draft blogs and obviously keep in touch with friends, family and work contacts. I also seem to have developed a new addiction to Candy Crush – oops!



Spending time with my kids and husband is amazing. I also have a lifelong passion for reading and art – on a rare moment of total freedom, like to sketch and draw. I also love swimming and find that doing something like swimming or art completely takes over my mind and allows me to completely ‘switch off’.



That’s a hard one – I have two and can’t choose one over the other, “Measure twice, cut once” and “Always treat others as you would wish to be treated”. I’ve always believed in these two and they have served me well both personally and professionally.

Fantastic to see Sarah Stevenson and Mary Maguire in todays edition of Derby Telegraph in their Women In Business Feature. Great write-up of Astute Recruitment but also highlighting the brilliant work of other Women In Business including all the team at Derby’s Finest including Claire Twells of Smith Partnership, April Hayhurst of Derby College, Bev Crighton of The University of Derby, Former Mayor, Linda Winter and Amanda Strong of Mercia Image Limited. Great to celebrate the success of all women working successfully in business!


Derby Telegraph's Women In Business article featuring Astute Recruitment's MDs Sarah Stevenson and Mary Maguire
Derby Telegraph’s Women In Business article featuring Astute Recruitment’s MDs Sarah Stevenson and Mary Maguire

Star Bondholder Of The Week
Astute Marketing Derby’s “Star Bondholder Of The Week”


Proud to be Marketing Derby’s Star Bondholder This Week!


Marketing Derby is a great organisation set up to raise the profile of Derby and Derbyshire’s hardworking business community. Their work embraces all manner of SME companies from start-ups to fully fledged organisations with a global reach. The hardworking team including John Forkin, have done a huge amount of work promoting the region both through their Ambassador Club in London and elsewhere. Their efforts have seen successful investments into the Derbyshire region and raised the global profile of Derbyshire as a county that means business.

Thank you Marketing Derby for acknowledging our team’s hard work and making us the Star Bondholder this week.

We look forward to hearing who next week’s Star is!

Have you heard about our triple-point guarantee. Article featured in AGENDA magazine's Autumn Edition 2018
Have you heard about our Triple-Point Guarantee? Article featured in AGENDA magazine’s Autumn Edition 2018

Astute Recruitment in Queen Street is re-inventing the way recruiters are seen with a unique ‘Triple Point Guarantee’, which offers clients £500 in cash should their vacancy not be filled in time.


The service is being offered to companies with a permanent role available which choose Astute as their sole recruiter for an agreed time period and is the first policy of its kind to be offered by a recruiter anywhere in the UK.


Mary Maguire, MD of Astute Recruitment said: “We really want to set ourselves apart from our competitors and demonstrate our commitment to offering value and high standards of service.”


“We work across the East Midlands with a great number of SME’s locally, so anything we can do to support our clients and make a real difference to their business, we will embrace and the Triple Point Guarantee is exactly that.”


“As well as the £500 payment, we also offer free replacements and pro-rata fee rebates if a candidate leaves the role in the first eight weeks of placement.”


“We pride ourselves on being able to place the right people in the right roles – this policy demonstrates how confident we are in this and gives clients peace of mind.”


Astute has worked to secure more than 1500 jobs for local businesses and is continuing to go from strength to strength, hiring three new consultants in the last six months and launching a highly successful commercial division.

Leigh Timmis round the world cyclist and adventurer will be speaking at Astute Recruitment's Business Breakfast on 18th Oct 2018 at Derby's iconic 3AAA County Ground
Leigh Timmis round the world cyclist and adventurer will be speaking at Astute Recruitment’s Business Breakfast on 18th Oct 2018 at Derby’s iconic 3AAA County Ground


DERBY-based business Astute Recruitment has teamed up with round-the-world cyclist and new Guinness World Record hopeful, Leigh Timmis to share tips on how East Midlands-based businesses can deliver a world class performance.

The ‘Cycling for Success’ business breakfast event, which will take place on 18 October at the iconic 3AAA County Cricket ground in Derby, not only focuses on building a world class team, but will also put a spotlight on Mental Health and Mental Resilience.

Local professionals will hear tips and anecdotes from Leigh, touching on how he created a world-class performance despite a number of challenges and set backs along the way. They will also learn how crucial mental health is in achieving goals and overcoming pitfalls, Leigh will also discuss how important it is to have the right team around you – a key issue many SMEs face as they grow.

Derby-based world record hopeful, Leigh Timmis said: “This will be my first engagement after my world record attempt and I’m hoping to be able to speak about the world record I will hold by that point.

“It’s fantastic to be working with Astute to help local businesses create a world class performance whether that’s locally or internationally. I’m also excited to be able to raise awareness for my charity, MQ: Transforming Mental Health, working to share the importance of mental health in creating personal and professional success.”

Having struggled with mental health issues in the past, the topic is something that’s close to local adventurer, Leigh Timmis’ heart. After quitting his job in 2010, Leigh cycled around the world for over seven years.

Leigh’s latest adventure saw him fly to Carbo da Roca in Portugal on the 10 September to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for cycling across Europe in the fastest time. Leigh will be speaking at the event less than a month after his world record attempt which he hoped to complete in just 20 days, four less than the current world record. In the event Leigh smashed not only the World Record but also his own goal of 20 days – completing the marathon cycle in just 16 days!

Managing director of Astute Recruitment Ltd, Mary Maguire, said: “It’s a really great honour to be able to partner with Leigh for this event, he’s such an inspirational person and a great business speaker.

“The aim of the breakfast session is for delegates to leave in a positive, can do frame of mind, feeling confident that they can use some of Leigh’s tips to bolster team spirit, harness potential and exceed expectations. Whether these are business goals, career goals or personal goals.”

To sign up for the event please visit: https://www.astuterecruitment.com/leigh-timmis-round-the-world-cyclist-presenting-tips-anecdotes-for-success-at-one-off-event-at-derbys-iconic-3aaa-county-ground-on-18th-october-2018/

Astute has worked to secure more than 1500 jobs for local businesses and is continuing to go from strength to strength, hiring three new consultants in the last six months and launching a highly successful commercial division.

Sarah Stevenson Shortlisted Midlands Leadership Awards

As featured in TheBusinessDesk.com, their Midlands Leadership Awards have been created to celebrate the people and organisations across the entire region who are role models for their teams and who have continuously raised the bar for their competitors.

Those shortlisted have showcased the very best qualities of modern leadership – of inspiration, collaboration and empowerment. The winners will be announced at an exclusive awards lunch on Thursday 15th November 2018. The day will be a celebration of the transformational impact great business leaders are having in our Midlands Region across Finance, Professional Services, Accountancy, Manufacturing, Service and all other industry sectors.

The Leadership awards offer a great opportunity to recognise and shine a light on the achievements and successes of businesses in the region. Sarah’s inclusion as a finalist for these prestigious awards follows on her successful recognition as Entrepreneur Of The Year, awarded by the Derbyshire Times, Small SME Director Of The Year East Midlands, awarded by The Institute of Directors and Finalist of The East Midlands Chamber’s Entrepreneur of the Year. The Midlands Leadership Awards also serve to recognise the fantastic work Sarah’s team here at Astute Recruitment Ltd have achieved in becoming the go-to accountancy and office recruitment specialist in the East Midlands. Our unique Triple-Point Guarantee and other innovations will reach a wider audience and we hope inspire other innovations in excellence across the recruitment sector.

Fingers crossed for Sarah and all the other Finalists below!

Leader of the year – This person will be selected from the other award winners and will be the person or organisation that embodies outstanding leadership and is an exemplar for the whole Midlands Region.

The finalists for the 2018 Leadership awards are: –

Professional services  

David Richardson, Lloyds Banking Group
Nick Green, Squire Patton Boggs
Sarah Perry, Wright Hassall
Sarah Stevenson, Astute Recruitment
Steve Allen, Mills & Reeve

Best leadership programme

Birmingham LGBT
Meridian / Common Purpose
Plink Fizz
Streetwise MBA / Common Purpose

Empowering Potential                           

Anthony Burns, Paycare
Anthony Ratchford, Intec Microsystems
Lee Southen, Grayling
Sallie-Ann Allen, Enploy
Simon McAlpine, Infinity IT Solutions

Diversity and inclusion leader

Carmen Watson, Pertemps
Claire Bell, West Midlands Police
Hilary Smyth-Allen, BPS Birmingham
Prof Kiran Trehan, University of Birmingham
Yetunde Dania, Trowers & Hamlins

Public and third sector

Mike Hopkins, South and City College Birmingham
Paul Kalinauckas, BCRS Business Loans Limited
Tom Clarke-Forrest, Sport 4 Life UK
Dr Yeow Poon, Chinese Community Centre

Transformational  leader

Greg Reed, HomeServe Membership
Matt Jones, Oxbridge Home Learning
Mike Hopkins, South and City College Birmingham
Pauline Biddle, Deloitte
Phil Mead, NEC Group Arenas

Company leader (up to 100 employees)
Jonathan Evans, Discovery
Keir Edmonds, MCS
Kevin Rogers, Paycare
Mike Brooman, Vanti
Scott Parsons, Forsyth Barnes

Company leader (100+ employees)

Craig Dickson, DAC Beachcroft
Greg Reed, HomeServe Membership
James Rigby, SCC
Shahid Sheikh OBE, Clifton Packaging Group






Astute Recruitment's New Divisional Manager - Vijay Patel featured in The Business Desk
Astute Recruitment’s New Divisional Manager – Vijay Patel featured in The Business Desk


Derby-based recruitment agency Astute Recruitment has hired Vijay Patel as divisional manager.

With over 19 years sales experience, he previously worked in America as a divisional director, and has 13 years’ recruitment experience.

He said: “I’m very excited to be joining the Astute Recruitment team to help them continue to expand its business and client base within the senior market. Having worked across the sector both in the Midlands and internationally I’m delighted for this opportunity and ready to get stuck into this new challenge.

“I’m very proud of my previous sales track record and recruitment career to date – I can’t wait to see what my future holds at Astute.”

To see the article by The Business Desk in full please click HERE.


Astute Recruitment Sports Day

Astute Recruitment has teamed up with local charity Treetops Hospice for a ‘school sports day’ event later this month (19 July) to raise vital funds for the hospices’ work.

Treetops Hospice provides support and care for patients and families living with life limited illness or affected by death, through its day care centre and hospice at home services. The organisation currently relies on donations to make up two thirds of its funding.

Andy Lilliman, senior consultant at Astute Recruitment said: “We’re delighted to be raising money for a local organisation which is close to our hearts – many of the team at Astute have friends and family that have been supported by Treetops, and so we’re looking forward to giving back.”

The event will be held at Treetops Hospice grounds and will feature a variety of classic sports day events, including an egg and spoon race, sack race and a 100m sprint. Local businesses are invited to join in for a small sign-up fee.

“We’re hoping to raise £500 through team sign ups and the sale of raffle tickets.

“Hopefully we’ll get some sunshine and it will be a good excuse to get outside, have some fun and relax whilst helping a great cause. We hope to see as many local businesses as possible sign up a team.”

Laura Corden, corporate partnerships founder at Treetops Hospice said: “We are delighted to have Astute Recruitment host its Corporate Sports Day here in the lovely gardens of Treetops Hospice Care. It is a pleasure to welcome the company, along with other local businesses to take part in what is set to be a fun filled and competitive evening.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for organisations to find out more about the services Treetops offer and to take a look around our facilities. We are hoping to raise awareness of our Compassionate Communities Project whereby we aim to engage businesses to become more aware of the impact life limiting illnesses may have on employees and their families.

Corporate support is incredibly important to Treetops and without the generosity of local businesses we would not be able to continue to deliver the services we do. We are excited to meet everyone at the event and wish the event every success.”

To sign up for the event, visit https://www.treetopshospice.org.uk/events/astutesportsday/. Or please call Andy Lilliman or MD Mary Maguire at Astute Recruitment on 01332 346 100.

Why Awards Can Make You Win Big Press Article Written By Mary Maguire MD Astute Recruitment Ltd
Why Awards Can Make You Win Big Press Article Written By Mary Maguire MD Astute Recruitment Ltd

Mary Maguire, Managing Director at award-winning Chamber Member Astute Recruitment, assesses how business can improve their chances of award success – and what winning can do for your business. This article was featured in the EMC’s Business Magazine.

Let’s go back to March 2014. I was a new business owner who had tried entering awards for the first time. I wasn’t consistent. I wasn’t disciplines. I did not have a strategy or plan. However, this changed the following year when I was encouraged to re-think my approach.

Scroll forward to 2018. It has been an amazing four years with awards successes from the IoD, ICAEW and the Chamber’s own Business Awards in 2011, 2015 and 2017. At the end of 2017, we won a couple of prestigious global awards too.

Entering and winning awards has introduced the company to a bigger audience, gaining credibility and new business in the process. Our company is now more appealing to potential hire. We have achieved a record year of turnover, secured record amounts of new clients and hire two new, experienced recruitment experts into our team.

I recently talked to fellow Chamber member Owen Conti, Founder of Code 56. Owen recently won Marketing Derby’s Rising Star Business Award 2018, and I asked Owen what winning the award meant to his business in real terms.

He said: “To be recognised as the winner means experienced business professionals have heard and trusted our story. You can’t buy that kind of third party trust that this panel of business leaders have given to me and my Business.”

“People are already taking us more seriously. For example, contracts I have built up over the past year have come back with requests for how we can help develop their business strategies using the latest technology. “

“My audience reach has increased on social media which in turn has driven increased enquiries and new business. This award acted as a catalyst in inspiring confidence for other businesses to use my company, so if you have recently started your own business, entering awards is an accelerated pathway to increased awareness of your brand and what you stand for.”

The institute of Sales & Marketing Management discovered more than 70% of consumers are influenced by awards when buying products and services, so unlock this potential for your business.”

So, what are you waiting for? Enter your business for an award. You have nothing to lose and may just win a lot more than a trophy.


Four Key Steps to Successful Awards Entries


  1. Recognise what makes your company successful.
  2. Select the right awards to enter. Local awards recognising local businesses are the best way to start. Make sure the awards you choose have categories that play to your strengths.
  3. Read and then answer the questions – not what you think they want to hear. Be clear, concise and passionate. Judges are not looking for the next poet laureate but love to hear your passion and enthusiasm come across.
  4. Leave enough time. Awards take a lot of time to complete. There are often word limits and specific financial information you will need to provide from your annual accounts. This all takes Time.