Forth Ports invests in growth mindset with strategic HR appointment

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Senior HR Generalist joins forth ports after extensive headhunt

After Forth Ports tried to recruit this directly and through other recruiters on the south coast, Denholm Associates identified an Senior HR Generalist that embodies the spirit of “future-fit.” Not only were they a local talent (living within a 20-minute commute), but they also brought a powerful combination of HR expertise and the ability to build strong relationships.

We needed to find someone who could truly elevate the HR experience at Forth Ports. Someone who could connect with colleagues across departments, work seamlessly with the broader HR team, and champion best practices. And they did, just that.

They hit the ground running, not just making changes, but fundamentally shifting how the business viewed HR. They built strong connections with stakeholders, both locally and nationally, and their positive impact is undeniable.

THE BACKGROUND

This was a local search around the Tilbury area (Port of London) by Denholm Associates. Our client had advertised this role directly for several months and had engaged other local recruiters to try and source this role. At the point of our first conversation all these attempts had failed and they were back to square one. Whilst they had seen a volume of applications they hadn’t found the right person fit who would be able to join the team to drive cultural change in the HR and the site locally.

With a lot of growth scheduled at Tilbury, it was key to get the right individual with a growth mindset. The client however felt that they had exhausted the local market.

Finding the right person to fit into their evolving HR team was crucial for Forth Ports. With the recent appointment of an HR Manager, they needed someone who could pick up the pace of change and help them build a truly forward-thinking HR function.

THE CHALLENGE

Due to the client trying to find people directly this appointment faced a tight turnaround in a tight candidate market. The process had a few things stacked against it, the proximity to the centre of London with salaries and options available meant candidates had a lot of options. The role itself needed someone who was willing to work on site for a large percentage of the week. With remote working being the desired option for most this cut down a large percentage of potential applicants so therefore we needed to find the person locally with the right HR expertise and background. They needed someone who had exceptional soft skills to operate in very traditional and complex stakeholder environment where they can coach managers and bring the site forward.

THE SEARCH

To secure the appointment of the Senior HR Generalist, we undertook an extensive headhunt. We started with research, market mapping and connecting with key contacts in the HR space in the local area. We had a definitive brief, and we introduced the right candidate. Initial feedback is that this HR appointment has been a breath of fresh air and we have managed to get the right balance of HR experience, team fit and drive for change.

“Having recently worked with Andy Brady on a critical role in the HR team I was extremely pleased with the level of service and quality of short list candidates provided particularly given that Essex can be very challenging to recruit with the competition from London being so close. During the process Andy consistently demonstrated a remarkable level of professionalism, expertise, and understanding of our business and moved at pace.

During our initial briefing Andy quickly grasped the complexity of our business, along with the critical skills and experience we required to fill the role. Their comprehensive understanding of our industry allowed for a more streamlined and efficient recruitment process, saving valuable time and resources. Given this is a business based across the UK operating from several locations in Scotland and England having a clear understanding of markets and culture is extremely important while partnering on recruiting new colleagues into our business. This understanding resulted in an extremely strong short list of candidates resulting in a positive hire in a very timely basis.

Throughout the entire recruitment process, Andy maintained open and clear communication, his responsiveness, professionalism, and ability to adapt was recognised and not only acted as a facilitator between our company and the candidates but also provided valuable insights and guidance to ensure a smooth and successful selection, interview and hiring process.

Andy has proven to be an invaluable asset, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership in the future.”

Michelle Primrose, Chief People Officer

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Are you looking for passionate and experienced leadership to drive your own company’s growth? Look no further. We find the talent you simply can’t find yourself. If you’re searching for top talent anywhere in the world, we can help.

Contact Denholm Associates today on 03303 359 818 or connect@denholmassociates.com.

New Spirits Division

ANDY BRADY

HEAD OF HR

Andy Brady is a seasoned HR recruitment specialist, with over two decades of expertise in the field. With a foundation in Human Resource Management from the University of Derby, Andy swiftly transitioned into specialised HR recruitment. His diverse portfolio spans FMCG, Manufacturing & Engineering, Financial Services, the Third Sector, and Supply Chain, working at all levels from entry to executive positions.

ZOE LUMSDEN

Recruitment AdministratoR

Zoe joined Denholm in 2022 as Recruitment Administrator, after working in administration roles for nearly a decade. Most recently within the recruitment industry, she joins us with experience of supporting consultants, clients and candidates at all levels. Zoe has a passion for helping people and applies her positive attitude and approachable manner to support our team and deliver the best possible service to our clients and candidates at all times.

DREW GILLIES

HEAD OF AGENCY

Drew arrived at Denholm as an award-winning creative, having headed content strategy teams for marketing/advertising agencies in the UK/USA before a successful career in HR, people and culture. He has years of marketing experience and building teams on both sides of the Atlantic, priding himself on going the extra mile for clients and candidates alike. Drew always works with passion as our specialist in account management, planning and strategy, digital marketing, full-spectrum creative and traffic/studio management.

CALLUM BEVERIDGE

SENIOR CONSULTANT - TECHNOLOGY, CHANGE & TRANSFORMATION

Callum has been working in recruitment since 2018 where he has solely focussed on the Technology, Change and Transformation market across the UK and ROI. He works closely with his clients and candidates to build long-lasting relationships across several industries, including Technology, Financial Services, Professional Services, Healthcare, Education, Public Sector and more. He specialises in engineering roles across Software, Infrastructure, Systems, DevOps and Cloud, along with Software Testing.

EUAN ARCHIBALD

SENIOR CONSULTANT - Technology, Change & Transformation

Euan has been working in the world of recruitment since 2012, working to deliver bespoke services to both clients and candidates. Prioritising ‘future-fit’ candidates for clients, he works as an extension of his client’s business ensuring great representation in the market. He consults with each client to ensure excellent candidate journeys. Euan works focuses primarily on business analysis, project management and technical support opportunities.

LIZ PARSONS

SENIOR CONSULTANT - MARKETING

Liz has over 14 years’ experience in recruitment working across primarily the high-tech, pharmaceutical and FMCG sectors. She joined Denholm on December 1st 2021 following a relocation from Ireland to focus on Marketing recruitment. Liz’s experience ranges from high volume recruitment to executive search and she prides herself in her ability to fully understand a brief and her accurate matching skills. Frequently praised as being a clear communicator with a strong customer service ethic, Liz is well suited to the culture here at Denholm, where the client and the candidates’ needs are paramount.

ALANA SIM

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR - CONSUMER

Alana has been working in recruitment since 2012, predominately within the FMCG & Consumer markets. Having recruited in both the UK & Asia Pacific markets, Alana has a sound knowledge of local & international recruitment. Partnering with brands to attract & hire the best sales talent in the market, Alana focuses on mid to senior level Sales appointments within the Consumer space. With a strong commercial & sales background, Alana identifies and engages the best commercially focused talent for our clients.

SCOTT CAITHNESS

CLIENT RELATIONSHIP PARTNER

Scott started his career working for one of the leading Advertising & Comms agencies in Edinburgh where he spent 7 years before moving in to recruitment in 2011. As such, he is well-networked in the Marketing & Comms space across Scotland. With a friendly and consultative approach, Scott is genuinely passionate about providing a positive journey to both candidates and clients alike and believes communication plays a big part in this.  A “thinking-outside-the-box recruiter”, he is known for helping candidates portray the best version of themselves and helping clients find talent for those hard to fill roles.

ANDY MACEWAN

HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY, CHANGE & TRANSFORMATION

Andy has been recruiting in Technology, Change & Transformation since 2001. Delivering tailored resource solutions as trusted advisor to clients ranging from start-ups through to global blue-chip organisations across contract, permanent, fixed term, and managed service/statement of work solutions. He has experience providing candidates for Helpdesk through to CIO and takes great pride in providing excellent customer service and ensuring each candidate journey is a positive one. An expert in his market he can provide guidance across current market trends.

JAMES BLYTH

HEAD OF MANUFACTURING & ENGINEERING

James has a decade of experience within the FMCG sector where he has partnered with a wide range of businesses placing key appointments at all levels including Director/ Board level. Driving growth across our Manufacturing & Engineering function, James specialises in Production, Operations, Engineering, Quality, HSE, Technical, NPD and Supply Chain. With his passion and expertise in these areas, James supports candidates and clients by working closely to understand their needs and wants providing exceptional service.

ANGELA MCCANN

DIRECTOR OF GROWTH

Having worked in the recruitment industry since 2000, Angela brings a wealth of experience as a Recruitment Professional and a proven track record of delivering a high-quality search and selection service to both public and private companies in the UK and internationally. Angela believes in a partnership approach to recruitment, ensuring a detailed understanding of employer/jobseeker requirements and delivering a bespoke service underpinned by professionalism, pragmatism and strong market knowledge.

Our Community

As well as working in close collaboration with our clients, and the online marketplaces, we are active members of groups that have been established to combat illicit trade. These include the Scottish Anti-Illicit Trade Group, the European Intellectual Property Office, The Scottish Business Resilience Centre, the Anti-Counterfeiting Group, and the China Britain Business Council. Members of our senior management sit on the boards of ACID (Anti-Copying in Design), the Scottish Ministerial Trade Board, and the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s Observatory Panel for SMEs, amongst others.

Each team member nominates good causes or charities that are supported on both an individual and corporate basis. Wherever possible, we support the employee’s involvement whether through time or fundraising events.

Our Environment

We deliver purpose-driven work from an extremely welcoming environment near the City Centre. We actively encourage the responsible use of resources, from using public transport to reuse, recycling, and, of course, a minimal impact office environment. We have benefited from the advice of the Energy Saving Trust and Resource Efficient Scotland. Our waste contractor also provides us with a monthly report on volumes and types of material and the carbon emissions avoided through recycling.

Over 80% of our employees can walk or cycle to The Lair and, pre-pandemic, 10% were using public transport as their normal daily commuting mode. Without doubt, online meetings will replace considerable miles, going forward, saving resources, time and energy. Where possible, when possible, the train remains our preferred option. 

Our People

Our people are our most important asset, and their mental well-being and happiness are core to our success. We love our diverse workforce, actively embrace flexible working (even pre-pandemic!) and encourage a healthy work-life balance. We have been recognised as one of the most diverse SME workplaces in the UK and are holders of the Scottish Business Pledge which exists to promote a fairer Scotland. We have also just been included in the 2021 Culture Leaders Top 25 – an accolade of which we are very proud!

We are a fully inclusive and nurturing employer and, despite being in tech, the majority of our team are women, leading to accolades in the Computing Magazine Women in IT Awards and the Amazon Growing Business Awards. We currently represent 15 nationalities and speak 20 languages. Age is no barrier, and we recruit for attitude, providing and encouraging appropriate learning and training for each and every role.

We are also proud members of IP Inclusive, a network of professionals working to make the intellectual property industry more diverse.

Our Purpose

Our aim is to combat illicit online trade by identifying and removing counterfeits for sale. Counterfeits not only damage brands, their reputations, and revenues, but can cause significant harm to the end customer – whether as a fake toy or a fake medicine – and the consequences can be life threatening.

Counterfeiting is a significant economic and social issue.

The OECD reports that counterfeit and fake goods make up more than 3.3% of the world’s global trade. Those involved in the trade of counterfeits have been linked to people trafficking, prostitution, and drug dealing.

As such, reducing illicit trade is about much more than brand protection but also about human rights, safety, and social equity.

And this is what we do, every day.

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Communication Advisors

We’re a passionate and professional team who thrive in issue-rich environment and we’re looking for Senior Communication Advisors, Communications Advisors and Communications Executives to join their fast-growing team. 

You’ll have previous agency experience at Senior Account Manager or Account Manager level and be passionate about delivering excellent results for clients. You might be a specialist in PR and media relations who produces compelling editorial content across a range of topics and sectors or you might be a public affairs expert who understands the policy landscape and helps clients build influential relationships. Whatever your specialism, you’ll be an excellent writer, full of creative ideas, with proven client management experience and the ability to provide expert advice our clients.

Your key duties will include:

  • Supporting the key account lead with day-to-day client liaison, providing strategic counsel on day-to-day account matters when required
  • Active involvement in planning and delivering global PR, marketing and digital campaigns
  • Managing content programmes, including mapping out content themes, spotting industry trends and story angles, writing copy when required which may include opinion articles, web and social
  • Building strong media relationships, creating pitches based on your story ideas and delivering content in-to suit the client’s target media and securing opportunities
  • Planning and running client’s social media programmes, and management of their channels
  • Continuously identifying opportunities to grow brand awareness and profile our client’s businesses within their target sector through events, webinars, thought leadership
  • Producing comprehensive and timely reports on client activity 
  • Supporting in the development of client proposals to help grow or win parts of the business


In addition, to be considered for this role, you must be able to demonstrate:

  • Proven background in account handling and direct client liaison – 4 years’ minimum
  • Experience in an agency setting focusing on B2B communication or PR
  • Strong communications skills, verbal and written
  • A background in delivering creative, digitally led B2B communications such as LinkedIn campaigns
  • An innate understanding of earned media, with the ability to create stories and generate coverage across traditional media, digital and social
  • Experience working on content management programmes, with an awareness of the changing way business audiences consume information and an appreciation of search, paid and wider customer marketing activity, and how it all fits together
  • A history of working with clients in a variety of sectors is welcomed but experience in the tech and energy industries is advantageous.

Communication Lead

We’re a passionate and professional team who thrive in issue-rich environment and we’re looking to add a Communication Lead to our fast-growing team. You’ll be a trusted advisor to clients across several sectors in all aspects of communication, external affairs, marketing and issues management. Coming from an agency or consultancy environment, at Account Director level or above, you’ll report directly to the Managing Director and be responsible for a small and busy multi-disciplinary team. You’ll have first-class project management skills, be solutions-driven and excellent commercial acumen too. Alongside the senior team, you’ll work to drive the strategic growth of Aspect.

Your core duties will include:

  • Working with the MD to develop and deliver growth strategies 
  • Attracting and retaining profitable clients across a range of sectors 
  • Leading the creation and execution of strategic communication programmes
  • Inspiring, leading and developing multi-disciplinary teams
  • Developing strong relationships with clients, colleagues and associates
  • Producing high quality pitches and proposals to secure new business 
  • Curating, nurturing and managing a team of talented associates.

You’ll be a skilled communicator, interested and knowledgeable about the key issues shaping the external environment. In addition, to be considered for this role, you must be able to demonstrate:

  • 7+ years of senior leadership experience within an agency or consultancy
  • Experience in Energy, Renewables, Financial Services or Life Sciences would be very desirable
  • Outstanding writing skills and the ability to engage and excite an audience
  • An impressive track record of client attraction, retention and growth 
  • The ability to thrive fast-paced environment managing multiple projects simultaneously
  • Strong influencing and leadership skills to motivate and inspire those around you
  • Excellent planning, evaluation and project management skills
  • To develop new processes, systems and ways of working to drive performance

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