Consultant Spotlight – Alistair Shaw

Alistair has over 20 years’ experience in recruitment and executive search solutions.  He joined Livingston James Group in 2020 to lead its digital and technology recruitment brand, Hamilton Forth.

I began my career in technology working for Hewlett Packard, making the transition into recruitment following the burst of the ‘dot com bubble’.   Initially I specialised in finance recruitment, supporting companies looking for inward investment to set up in Scotland, and then moving on to lead the tech team at a global recruitment firm, of which I became Managing Director in Scotland in 2018.

Livingston James Group founder and CEO Jamie Livingston had been a part of my network for a number of years, and its finance arm Rutherford Cross was a main competitor when I specialised in finance recruitment.  I had always had a healthy respect for the brand and its reputation as being ‘famous for excellence’, as well as its focus on building long-term relationships with its extremely strong client base.  When Jamie asked me to consider joining to lead its tech recruitment brand, Hamilton Forth, it was an easy decision to make.

In my conversations with Jamie and the LJG team prior to joining, we discussed the importance of purpose and values, and the supportive culture within the business. Whilst there are many organisations focusing on purpose, there are only a handful that do this authentically.  Fortunately, LJG is one such organisation, and my experience on joining the Group exactly reflected this.

Moving from a global recruitment firm to a smaller boutique brand might not be right for everyone, but it has worked really well for me.  I have been struck by the impressive level of support that is put in place for consultants.  We are fortunate to have a team supporting us with research, operations, and marketing, internal teams focusing on our physical and mental wellbeing, as well as regular training and development opportunities.

One of the most impactful policies recently introduced was our Shorter Working Week, which allows employees to finish at 12.30pm on a Friday.  We initially launched the scheme to allow staff to reset and reconnect with friends and family after lockdown. As a result, we have seen not only a more relaxed and refreshed workforce, but also a 15% increase in productivity in the first two months of introducing the scheme.

In a smaller firm, there is also greater autonomy afforded to the team, with more freedom to take the business in a direction that works for you and those around you.  We are all encouraged to take ownership and make a difference, whether that be with candidates, clients, our colleagues, or our communities.

Our purpose and culture coupled with the broader operational support and focus on emotional and physical wellbeing offers the foundations to grow a great business.  We are always on the lookout for great people to join us so please don’t hesitate to get in touch at [email protected] should you be interested in finding out more about careers with us.

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