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

“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. 🤣

Do you know the time on your career clock? Astute Recruitment Ltd's latest thought provoking career article57,600. A special number. Why?

Not my salary 🤣

Not how many fans will be at the next game at Wembley ⚽🤞


Give or take, 57,600 is the number of hours I’ve spent at work in my career spanning 30 years.

That’s more than I’ve roughly spent with my family, friends and partners in all that time.

(happily married last 17 years👫).


I bet I’m not alone.

You can calculate your own career clock with some simple sums for fun.

But my serious point is, how much of my career clock is left? How much longer do I have to achieve my professional goals?

That’s not such a large number for me. (I love my job, but I don’t plan on working at 70 🧓). I am mindful that I only have a finite time left to achieve remaining professional goals.

If you do your sums, you can calculate how much of your very own career clock you have left.

The answer may surprise, appall or enthrall.

The difference between your ‘time served’ and ideal working career left tells you, in a nutshell, how long you have left to achieve your ambitions.


A time line. 


Most people don’t think about this, wrapped up in layers of today’s problems. But if you are thinking of changing job/ applying for that promotion/ studying for your CIMA/ACCA/ACA/ AAT or other professional exam, you absolutely should know what the time is on your personal career clock.


Everything you work for, the job you do now to the people you work for, the exams and qualifications you select to acquire, should be helping you to achieve your ultimate career goal.


Knowing your ‘why am I doing this’ will make sure you are doing the right job for the right reasons, at the right time for you.


It could be to secure a job with better work /life balance now, while the kids are small but with a business that can give you promotions and growth in the future?


It could be you are an aspiring FD and need a role offering more man management / controls / commercial or other experience to fill that skill gap on your cv.


“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” – William Shakespeare.


As the Bard says, ’tis better to spend time waiting for the opportunity to take an action than miss the chance. But you need to recognise what those chances are, at the right time for you, seize them, and make those decisions to keep your life and career on track and on time.


The quote references Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, a character who suspects his wife’s infidelity, but it could be applied to any situation when you need to take a chance to change things and not miss the opportunity.


So, what’s the time left on your career clock?


It might just be the most important question for you and your professional aspirations!


If you would like confidential career advice you can contact Mary Maguire or our call our experienced team at Astute Recruitment Ltd on 01332 346 100.


An article by Mary Maguire, Managing Director
Astute | Accountancy & Finance | HR | Office Support

Suite One, Ground Floor West, Cardinal Square, 10 Nottingham Road, Derby, DE1 3QT

T: 01332 346100
M: 07717 412911

E:  [email protected]

W: www.astuterecruitment.com

LI:  https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/mary-maguire/18/73/553

LI: www.linkedin.com/company/astute-recruitment/


In 1666, around 800  Derbyshire people chose to sacrifice themselves, in order to save the lives of thousands of strangers. Could you have done that?

Let’s step back in time to 1665.


Why is the small, Derbyshire village of Eyam significant? In the words of a Victorian local Historian William Wood…


“Let all who tread the green fields of Eyam remember, with feelings of awe and veneration, that beneath their feet repose the ashes of those moral heroes, who with a sublime, heroic and unparalleled resolution gave up their lives, yea doomed themselves to pestilential death to save the surrounding country. Their self-sacrifice is unequaled in the annals of the world.”


Eyam, lies between Buxton and Chesterfield, just north of Bakewell in the Peak District. Most of the villagers were farmers. In the early 1660s, it was a typical, rural, farming community like hundreds that lined the trade routes from London to the rest of England. There were also tailors, bakers, and shopkeepers whose work ensured the livelyhoods of the villagers. And yet in 1665 Eyam became one of the most important villages in the whole of England. The bravery of its 800 souls had huge significance and influenced the development of treatment of the plague and in implementing quarantines successfully.


1665-6 was the last major epidemic of the plague to occur in England, with London the worst affected.


Back then, in 1665, evacuating the capital, the wealthy (Including King Charles II) escaped to their country estates, whilst the authorities did little to help those in poorer communities. Having to fend for themselves, the poor and uneducated of London faced a cruel and horrific foe. The House of Lords eventually discussed the crisis the following year, deciding instead of measures and aid to help, that the policy of shutting up’ of infected individuals with their household would not apply to persons of ‘note’ and that plague hospitals would not be built near to the homes of the wealthy. This selfish and callous attitude added to the feeling of abandonment for many of the poor left helpless and scared in London.


The movement of the rich plus the normal trade routes of England meant that the great plague spread quickly across the country. Rural areas that could previously have been safe from the diseases of urban city areas became exposed.


This was the backdrop, heralding the plague’s arrival in Eyam in late August 1665 via a parcel of cloth from London. Delivered to the home of Eyam’s tailor, Alexander Hadfield. His assistant George Vic shook & spread the damp cloth out by the fire to air it, only to find it infested with fleas. His death was recorded in the parish register on 7th September 1665 just a couple of days later.



The plague was spread by infected fleas from small animals and human lice. The bacteria entered the skin through a flea bite, traveled via the lymphatic system to a lymph node causing it to swell. Then characteristic buboes (pus-filled boils) would typically appear under the arm, neck, or groin area. Combined with fever, spasms, black bruising under the surface of the skin, and vomiting, the plague was a truly terrifyingly ferocious and contagious disease.


Back in the 17th Century, many wild causes for pestilence were put forward, from punishment by God to bad air quality. Some thought fragrant herbs would ward off the disease.


Windows and doors were closed and many, especially watchers and searchers in plague hit London, would smoke tobacco. Large piles of foul-smelling rubbish were also burned.


While these methods helped indirectly, for example ridding the city of rubbish meant that the rats spreading the disease had to move on for a reliable food source. Many had limited to no effect.


However in Eyam, a small Derbyshire village, they acted in a unique way. Their intention was to act decisively and prevent the spread of disease.



The Church’s dominance in the 17th Century was still supreme, even after the religious roller-coaster of the Tudor period. The local Reverends were pillars of the community, often the most educated people in their towns and villages.


Stanley and Mompesson depicted in stained glass windows


Eyam had two Reverends. Thomas Stanley had been dismissed from his official post for refusing to take the Oath of Conformity and use the Common Book of Prayer. His replacement, Reverend William Mompesson had worked in the village for a year. Aged 28, Mompesson lived in the rectory with his wife Catherine and their two small children. Both husband and wife were highly educated, and it was the actions of Stanley and Mompesson that resulted in the outbreak of plague in Eyam being contained to the village and not spreading to the nearby cities and beyond.


A picture of Eyam's hero, Reverand William Mompesson


A three-point plan was established and agreed with the villagers. The most important part of this was the setting up of a ‘Cordon Sanitaire’ or quarantine. This line went around the outskirts of the village and no Eyam resident was allowed to pass it.


Signs were erected along the line to warn travelers not to enter. During the time of the quarantine, there were almost no attempts to cross the line, even at the peak of the disease in the summer of 1666.


Eyam was not a self-supporting village. It needed supplies. To this end, the village was supplied with food and essentials from surrounding villages. The Earl of Devonshire himself provided supplies that were left at the southern boundary of the village. To pay for these supplies the villagers left money in water troughs that were filled with vinegar. With the limited understanding they possessed, the villagers realised that vinegar helped to kill off the disease.


Mompesson’s well on the village boundary was used to exchange money for food and medicine with other villages.


Other measures taken included the plan to bury all plague victims as quickly as possible and as near to the place they died rather than in the village cemetery.


They were correct in their belief that this would reduce the risk of the disease spreading from corpses waiting to be buried. This was combined with the locking up of the church to avoid parishioners being crammed into church pews. They instead moved to open-air services to avoid the spread of the disease.


The village of Eyam, while undoubtedly saving the lives of thousands in the surrounding area, paid a heavy price.


At 40%, they suffered a higher death toll than that of London. 260 Eyam villagers died over the 14 months of the plague out of a total population of 800. 76 families in that rural community, lost souls to the plague.


Whole families were wiped out completely.


However, the impact on medical understanding was significant.


Doctors realised that the use of an enforced quarantine zone could limit or prevent the spread of disease.


The use of quarantine zones is used in England, and around the world to this day in the current COVID-19 pandemic, and many other infections, to contain the spread of diseases.


Sadly, back in the 1600s, it took longer for the ideas of quarantine so successfully implemented in Eyam to filter through to become common practice in hospitals back then.


Florence Nightingale, raised in Derbyshire, pioneered the use of isolation wards to limit the spread of infectious diseases in hospitals during the Crimean war. Echoes of the practices put in place at Eyam.


Adopted in hospitals the world over, learning quickly that to contain the spread of diseases, isolation wards needed to be used.


Other lessons on disease control were learned by doctors from the methods used at Eyam included: –


Limiting contact and potential for cross-contamination. 

  • Eyam villagers paid for food supplies by dropping coins into pots of vinegar, preventing money from being directly handed over.
  • Echoed today with cashless payments, sterilisation of equipment, and medical clothing.
  • Before COVID-19, lessons learned from Eyam had been seen in the handling of the Ebola epidemic in Africa. The quick disposal of bodies close to the immediate area of death had limited the risk of spreading the disease.


While the events at Eyam did little to change attitudes immediately back then, history has shown how the people of Eyam, shone a beacon of light to scientists, doctors, and the medical world.


They came to use Eyam as a case study in the prevention of disease, and save countless lives ever since.


A fascinating story of how ordinary people with everyday jobs and lives, inspired medical practices used to this very day. And, it is an amazing, moving story of how people from all professions, trades, and backgrounds came together as a community and made a huge difference in the way we manage the spread of disease.

For more information and interesting facts click HERE to a BBC article on the bravery of Eyam’s villagers.


An article by Mary Maguire

Managing Director
Astute | Accountancy & Finance | HR | Office Support

Suite One, Ground Floor West, Cardinal Square, 10 Nottingham Road, Derby, DE1 3QT

T: 01332 346100
M: 07717 412911

E:  [email protected]

W: www.astuterecruitment.com

LI:  https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/mary-maguire/18/73/553

LI: www.linkedin.com/company/astute-recruitment/

#BeAstute - Childrens Mental Health Week 2021 "I'm enough as I am said the boy"
#BeAstute – Childrens Mental Health Week 2021 “I’m enough as I am said the boy”

What inspires children can so often inspire all of us…

“What’s your best discovery?” asked the mole.

“that I’m enough as I am” said the boy.

I love this quote by Charlie Mackesy in his award-winning 2019 book, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse.

My son was given this book to inspire him and all the then year, 6 pupils, in his school.

He’s kept it.

The other day, he came up to me in my upstairs bedroom (aka ‘office’ 🤣) and said,

“Mum, this is a really great book!”.

“Can I have a read?” I asked.

” ‘course you can Mum, but I want it back!”

Half an hour passed in the blink of an eye as I read beautiful and moving pearls of wisdom. Whilst written a couple of years ago, this is a timeless, wonderful book for kids and adults alike.

The gentle words wash over you, giving you a warm hug of reassurance.

And we all need a hug right now. ❤️❤️

Thank you Ashbrook Junior School!

Thank you Charlie Mackesy for creating such a heartwarming, wise and beautiful book.

A book for the best of times, and the hardest of times too. It’s a brilliant book to recommend to all those parents working from home for their children, especially during this special children’s week dedicated to raising awareness of child mental health.

It’s a beautiful, and rare book that can befriend a child and also captivate adults too.

A lot of parents are struggling to juggle their work and jobs from home whilst overseeing their children’s schoolwork at the moment. As a parent and an employer of staff with children, its really important to highlight and recommend great opportunities to help hardworking parents reassure their kids.

There is a great organisation called Children’s Mental Health Week

where you can access a video from their Royal Patron, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge’s video message to mark the start of the week.

Their Virtual Assembly with BAFTA and Oak National Academy is now available to view and share – featuring Jodie Whittaker, Oti Mabuse, Matthew Lewis, and many more…

If you would like to read more articles and posts on employment, recruitment, careers, mental health, and more, please follow Mary and our company page for Astute Recruitment Ltd on LinkedIn and Facebook.



Mary Maguire

Managing Director
Astute | Accountancy & Finance | HR | Office Support

Suite One, Ground Floor West, Cardinal Square, 10 Nottingham Road, Derby, DE1 3QT

T: 01332 346100
M: 07717 412911


E[email protected]

W: www.astuterecruitment.com

LI:  https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/mary-maguire/18/73/553

LI: www.linkedin.com/company/astute-recruitment/



A heartfelt message of thanks from one of our candidates











A heartfelt message from one of our candidates during the lockdown!

“Thanks Mary for your words of support and inspiration over the past two months whilst I have been searching for a new role.  Our phone conversations and your posts on LinkedIn have helped me remain positive, inspired me to reach out to others and post more on LinkedIn, they have also helped me identify my strengths and also my weaknesses.

Your fantastic webinar by Richard McCann also inspired me to build my resilience, believe in myself and also show a more caring attitude towards others.  Times are tough for all of us, we need to support each other and I wish you and all at Astute all the best for the future.”

Thank you Nick, this is why our team tries so hard to offer the personal touch and genuinely tries to help people by offering support and constructive advice to help them in their job search.

A great way to end a great week!




Astute Recruitment Ltd explores VE Day 2020 uncovering the historic events that led to VE Day 75 years ago

Astute Recruitment Ltd explores VE Day 2020 uncovering the historic events that led to VE Day 75 years ago




Today people in countries across the globe are fighting a very different war with a very different foe. Fitting then that on the 8th of May 2020, we celebrate VE Day, but not just any VE Day. Instead, it is the 75th anniversary from when the Allies secured victory in Europe. Thats what V.E. day stands for. ‘Victory in Europe’.


We should take hope and heart that the most vicious of foes those years ago could be and was defeated and our current foe, COVID-19, will, in time, also be defeated.


For now, we need to remind ourselves of the sacrifices and heartache that our ancestors undertook to secure a peace that has lasted ever since in Western Europe. Take heart from the fact that we all have it in ourselves to be inspirational & courageous. Together, we can overcome any obstacle whether human or biological if we work together and stand united. And as the country unites in some much-needed celebrations, we wanted to put together a brief history of the key events that triggered and finally resolved what was the Second World War.


How we got to VE Day

In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party took control in Germany with ambitious plans to expand beyond Germany. Early in 1939, Germany gained control of Austria, the Czech Republic, & Italy as an ally. The UK, France & others were concerned, but most countries were still wary of war after the horrors and impacts of the First World War. Following an invasion of Poland, and war was finally declared by the Allies in September 1939.


World War 2.

The war took many huge twists and turns, with the victorious side looking to be either Hitler or the Allies in equal turn. Germany was extremely successful using a method of quick, superior attacks – the ‘Blitzkrieg’ (lightning war in German). Eventually, the tide turned in favour of the Allies with German troops pushed back & conquered territories being liberated. By February 1945, the Allies had entered Germany and by late April 1945, Berlin was captured.


By the 7th May, both Italy & Germany had lost the very leaders who had taken them into war, & both had signed a total, unconditional surrender, effective from the 8th May.


Over 1 million people celebrated in the streets throughout Britain to mark the end of the European part of the war. In London, crowds thronged, cheered and gathered from Trafalgar Square along The Mall and all the way to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI & Queen Elizabeth, with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the palace before the cheering crowds.


The young Princesses Elizabeth (now our Queen) and her sister, Margaret, were given discreet permission to go incognito and celebrate with the public.


The End of the war.


VE Day only acknowledged the end of fighting in Europe, not the end of World War 2. Japan was still fighting against the Allies in May 1945. It wasn’t until August 1945 that Japan would surrender, with the official end of the 2nd World war signed and ratified in September 1945.

What next for people, business and jobs? An article by Mary Maguire, MD of Astute Recruitment Ltd









An article by Mary Maguire, MD, Astute Recruitment Ltd

Everyone everywhere has been touched, affected and humbled by the unfolding events. From Miami to Mumbai, from Derby to Damascus.


Politicians, scientists, and medical experts update us daily on our national progress ‘beating the curve’, what steps we need to take to protect our amazing NHS and sadly how many have succumbed. But, what next?


What is key to businesses, workers, Recruiters, and MDs is when can we get back to work? What will work look like? Will I be able to find a new job? How will my business survive? How can I feed my family/ pay my mortgage without an income?


It’s natural and normal to feel anxiety, alarm, and stress on what is going on around us now. I feel it. Everyone does.


Thats an entirely normal reaction. But it isn’t very constructive or inspiring or healthy to constantly dwell on the news feeds. Lets not focus on what’s happened, instead, what can we do? What does the future hold?


We need to view our working futures and embrace a bold, new tomorrow. Learn from remote working, digest how much can be done by workers at home.


What can help everyone is thinking ahead.

Imagine what the new normal will be.

In your mind’s eye, visualise you/ your business / your team working again. What could that look like?


I’ll help.


First, companies and business owners.


It will be a completely different business climate compared to just a few, short months ago. Many companies and businesses were doing well, looking to expand, take up larger offices, increase the number of employees.


Others were having some difficulties but just about coping, having just enough ‘in the bank’. For many, there was no contingency, no ‘rainy day’ cash for unforeseen situations. And my goodness, this needed a Noah’s Ark of a contingency!


As we come out of this, working restrictions will slowly be lifted. Antigen tests will enable employers, employees and people everywhere to finally understand if they have/ hadn’t had ‘it’ or if they are immune. As this gets rolled out, companies will have to maintain social distancing, but teams will be able to go back to work on a phased return. Many of them. All of them in time.


Employers will need to keep ahead of changes to employment contracts to cover working from home. Businesses will need to ensure the relevant insurance covers are in place to cover remote workers. HR experts like


Overhangs in business will mean remote working is a ‘thing’. If nothing else, the myriad companies who have initiated, innovated IT enabling their employees, where possible, to work from home, can see that this flexible option can work, and work well. Presenteeism should finally be killed off.


Companies will benefit from a genuinely mobile, flexible workforce. Ongoing rotas with team meetings but with the flexibility to accommodate those who need to be at home, won’t be frowned upon. Their bosses and work colleagues will know they are busy doing their jobs and are working hard in their offices at home. This is also an opportunity, as an employer, to show your staff you care, are fair and decent. If you can do this, your staff will never forget this and you will build the strongest bonds of loyalty in your workforce and retain talent.


Show your business cares about your employees. Having the empathy and time to understand the personal dilemmas faced by your staff, showing them you are there to support them psychologically and practically are key.


Ensure your balance sheet has some ‘give’, look to build trust with your suppliers, debtors and clients. Ensure protocols are in place if lockdown procedures have to come back. Preparedness and contingency planning will be essential. You need to be totally aligned with your Financial Director / Financial Controller and Senior Management team. Scrutinise your credit control processes. This is also an opportunity to build lasting relationships too with your suppliers by having proper negotiations on payment terms and perhaps temporary measures. Help your suppliers to help you.


Ensure your customers KNOW you are still in business. This is a biggie. Use great local businesses like Mark Saxby, at Derby’s Status Social to professionally keep your brand alive, online and seen by potential clients and customers.


Create useful, impactful content but always be mindful not to appear arrogant, ignorant and ill-tuned to businesses and people currently having a very hard time. Have opinions by all means, but you need to make sure not to damage your brand inadvertently.


Unsure about content creation? Organisations including East Midland’s Love Business, East Midlands Chamber, Marketing Derby  are experts in business and can put you in touch with marketing content writers, often local businesses in your local area. Remember, you need to try and ensure your customers know you exist and are ready to help them when they need your service. You need to keep your brand and team alive and in the thoughts of your potential, target customers while the lockdown continues and consistently after the lockdown starts to be lifted. Now is not the time to furlough your marketing team.


Take heart too. The demands for services, retailers, manufacturers, builders, engineers and suppliers WILL return. So those companies that have used the Government’s support mechanisms and been able to utilise their accountants and credit control teams to bolster cash, WILL be in demand.


The dreaded B word, ‘Banks’Many, many business owners, Financial Directors, CFOs and MDs have said that the Banks continue to be very nervous about lending and not as helpful as the government or the business community would like. Some much more friendly banks to approach who appear to be much more helpful are HSBC, Allied Irish Bank and Natwest.


What about employees?

Workers are beginning to realise to know just how big a seismic shift economically, socially and psychologically has been created. There is no magic bullet to get us back to where we were before. Instead, online communications via Microsoft Teams, Skype or Zoom will be key. If you haven’t already used one of these, check them out. This will be a much greater part of our working world as we move forward.


Create a household timetable. Set alarms to ping for regular breaks from work. Many, many people I’ve spoken to have struggled to work on their own and have found themselves working 4 or 5 hours without a rest. No usual office distractions are great to create focus to get projects and key work done, but it’s not healthy mentally or productivity-wise to soldier on without regular breaks.


Exercise, take a walk, a yoga workout will all help. Exercise releases endorphins, magical feel-good hormones that will sustain energy levels and make you feel better.


Set regular bedtimes for everyone in the household and regular waking up times.

One good tip I read was how making kids wear school uniforms whilst doing their schoolwork and, adults wearing more formal office attire, triggers recognition in the brain and sets the frame for ‘work time’. This hasn’t worked in my case- I’m rocking the jeans and t-shirt look! I do other things though. I have my designated ‘desks’ in the house for working and stick to them. One is in my bedroom, one is at my kitchen table and the other is the front room sofa when I’m writing articles or compiling marketing early in the mornings before the rest of my household awakens. The point? Have set, defined ‘work areas’ so that psychologically your brain shifts into ‘I’m in work mode now’.


Eat well, Eat healthily. This is a biggie. Working from home can create a lot of temptations to ‘nibble’ and ‘just pick’ at snacks constantly. I have a rule in our house – no food upstairs. So, when I’m ‘hotdesking’ in my bedroom, I’m not tempted to constantly graze on munchies. Everyone needs a treat- just keep to regular mealtimes and regular times to have that choccie bar. Try and create meals from scratch. Frozen vegetables actually have more nutrients than fresh. You can freeze soups freshly made to have the next few days.


Um, alcohol. Yes, we should eat well and not drink ourselves silly either. A healthy way of having a little of what you fancy is fine. Try and build 2 or 3 alcohol-free days during the week. Another tip is to only have a drink at regular times. For me, this is usually at 10pm when the kids are asleep! Little known fact: During the lockdown, a number of people have managed to use this as an opportunity to continue their ‘dry January’ and improve their overall wellbeing at the same time.


The point is, having routines is essential to build healthy habits that become more natural. A new habit takes just 28 days to form so some of us will only have another 1 or 2 weeks and this will begin to feel oddly part of our daily routine. If something feels more ‘normal’ in turn this can help lessen anxiety and worry.


What about my sector – Recruitment?

For my sector, recruitment, business will continue with relative ease. Our clients and team are already conducting interviews of candidates online instead of face to face and this trend looks to continue. My team and I have been using Skype and other apps for some time as a natural part of the recruitment process to help clients and candidates. This will just continue to grow. Meetings with clients will be easier and quicker to book virtually online.

Saving fuel costs.

Saving time.

Saving the environment.


The key for recruitment businesses and companies across the board, will be ensuring internal infrastructure, IT, training are all strong, faultless and as seemless as possible. Consultants need to become more and more comfortable being ‘on-screen’. That goes for employees in all offices. Online, real-time, on-time training and support, needs to be available to consultants and resourcers as and when they need support.


And what of the unemployed? What of the companies that sadly couldn’t survive?

I myself was made redundant in 2009. The gutwrenching, knife twisting agony of job insecurity I understand all too well.


But know this. When the lockdown is phased to gradually open up, there will be opportunities for businesses to be reborn and for those not working to find jobs. It may take some time, but there are great, positive steps you can take to speed up your search for a new job or business opportunity.


If you are unemployed, furloughed or feeling uncertain, there is no harm reaching out to trusted recruiters who have helped you before. But be discerning. Use the people who know you as a person, not just another candidate. Contact the companies that have been busy putting positive, useful, thoughtful content ‘out there’. These are the contacts and connections that will have your genuine, best interests at heart.


Be more active on LinkedIn or set yourself up on LinkedIn if you aren’t already. This is the proper reason why LinkedIn was set up. To allow connections with other business and career professionals to work and help each other, forge new relationships and new opportunities.


Above all, try and be positive.


Talk to trusted friends, work colleagues, and business professionals. Keep connected.


And, most importantly, even if you are on your own, know you are not alone.


If you feel things getting on top of you, reach out. Ring a friend, colleague, family – never feel embarrassed about feeling anxious. They will probably be feeling similar anxiety and be equally grateful to share some experiences.


Human beings are natural, social creatures. Our mental health suffers when we are in isolation and on our own. Talking to one another is one key antidote to dark feelings.


We are all in this together, and together we will survive.


Our next business event will be focussing on ways to cope working from home. We will be looking at how to harness your positivity, maintain energy levels and keep motivated when working remotely. We will be announcing details very soon and have a brilliant guest speaker lined up!


If anyone would like more information on any of the points covered in this article and would like a confidential chat, you are welcome to reach me through LinkedIn, email or simply call me on my mobile 07717 412 911. Alternatively, if you have any ideas for articles or information you would like us to put together – let me know!

Be Safe,

Be Well,

Be Astute.

An article by Mary Maguire, MD, Astute Recruitment Ltd

Supporting people and business.



If we fail to believe we believe in failure
If we fail to believe we believe in failure.


Whilst Sarah Stevenson and I set up in ’09, clearly a very difficult time, we knew we were great at what we do, confident to carry this through with just Sarah’s redundancy and ultimately we believed.

In ourselves and our ability to source talented accountants for local clients.

We believed in our relationships.

We believed in our loyal clients and believed in our trusted candidates.

Here we are again. Facing a seismic shift in global wealth. But hey, ho. Confidence favours the brave!

We have not made any of our talented family of recruitment consultants redundant.

We have not shut down operations.

We have adapted to the current circumstances, found new ways of working and retained our team spirit and strength.

We continue to work with amazing people and businesses who are also finding new ways of working. New ways to ‘onboard’ new staff.

We have said we will carry on. We believe in our staff, and our clients are working with us to carry on and recruit talented people for their teams even in the current crisis.

Yes, things are different.

Yes, things are difficult.

BUT, if we accept failure is an option, failure becomes a guarantee.

Now is the time for ingenuity, bravery and spirited belief by business owners leading from the front.

If we fail to believe, we are believing in failure.

#believe #belief #BePositive #business #Strength #recruitment #accountancy #accountancyrecruitment #derby #derbyshire #nottinghamshire #eastmidlands #motivationalmondays

The great gift of Easter is hope
The great gift of Easter is hope










In the wise words of Basil Hume, “The great gift of Easter, is hope”, and this Easter, hope, renewal, and faith are definitely needed.

Whatever your faith or denomination, this Easter is a time to pause, reflect and think of all those suffering. It is also perfect to remember Easter is a symbol and celebration of renewal.

It’s a powerful thought that Easter symbolises a journey of anguish and pain, but that in the end, there is hope, renewal, celebration, and a future.

This year, while we can’t be together with families and friends, as usual, we can all take the time to be thankful for every brave, brilliant person working to keep societies going and saving lives.

From the humble shopkeepers, delivery drivers, carers, bin men, and so many more, to those in the emergency services and NHS frontline workers.

This Easter, we salute you all and look forward to next year when hopefully things will be so much better.

Happy Easter from all of us at Astute.

Be safe
Be strong
Stay at home, protect our NHS, Save Lives

Astute Recruitment Ltd

Your CV Profile –


Increasingly for candidates, anything that can flag a CV to a potential employer is great.

But what to include? What to specifically cite? How to keep things concise but genuinely show you have made a difference and why you stand out?


Below is part of the profile for an experienced Finance Director who Astute Recruitment has worked with for a number of years.

  • Experienced SME Finance Director with a proven track record of success, supporting strategic objectives with financial acumen and operational pragmatism.
  • Facilitated ‘fundraise’ with PE – pre and post-acquisition
  • Pro-active manager and influencer, empowering staff to take ownership
  • Providing coaching, training and mentoring to build cohesive teams and business partnering senior management.
  • Proven experience working alongside MDs and Senior management teams driving businesses forward
  • Focussed on achieving individual targets and company objectives and offering excellent relationship management skills.
  • Experienced in financial and corporate management to ensure the achievement of commercial goals within budget.
  • Extensive SME experience and management of external relationships with banks, insurers, suppliers and investors.


Driving business projects to deliver business strategy”.


This is someone who one of our Directors has personally known for a while and who has sat on both sides of the client/ candidate fence. Their words and the way they succinctly covered their key attributes was great and we wanted to share this.


The candidate identifies specific, key deliverables and specific, defined savings they have made to the business and specific ways they have delivered success in their previous roles. They did this citing in percentage terms, the differences to the profit and balance sheet of their company. Where they had saved time – they cited the exact amount of time. They were clear that they had taken ownership of the improvements cited.


Another key part of this is to ensure that all the Job Boards you are registered with and your LinkedIn profile also all reflect accurately the most up to date version of your CV. Often we discover a candidate’s online profile varies to the latest CV they forward to us. Consistency in all things applies – especially in terms of your own candidate CV, personal profile and branding online.


For obvious reasons – we cannot state the identity of this eloquent person, as they are still in a permanent role!

Nor can we cite specific deliverables or critical success factors for confidentiality, but if you are reading this and your business needs someone like this – let our Qualified Team know and we will gladly facilitate an introduction!


We hope the above provides some inspiration for those struggling to write up / update their own profiles/ CVs.


Astute’s Team! 


Richard Bowe – Senior Consultant Interim Qualified Accountancy

Tom Norton – Senior Consultant Permanent Qualified

Andy Lilliman – Recruitment Business Development Manager

Sarah-Louise Wykes – Manager, Interim Transactional Finance Staff, Part-Qualified to Qualified Accountants

Charlotte Sproat – Permanent Transactional Finance Staff, Part-Qualified to Qualified Accountants (Derby, South Derbyshire, North Leicestershire, Staffordshire, South Notts)

Debbie Jackson – Permanent Transactional Finance Staff, Part-Qualified to Qualified Accountants (Derby, North Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire)