Relocating to Scotland

Rutherford Cross’ newest recruit, Stephanie Livingston, shares her thoughts on her decision to leave the hustle and bustle of London for the relative peace of Glasgow, and reflects on her first three months with the business.

Leaving London

Working in London where recruitment is renowned for being highly transactional, I was fortunate in that my specialist sectors – Government and Transport – were driven by knowledge and relationships.  It was a huge consideration to walk away from the relationships I had invested in over four years for the unknown world of Financial Services recruitment in Scotland, but the experience of the Rutherford Cross team made this decision a much easier one.  My colleague, Angela McCann – who I work closely with – has specialised in the financial services sector in Scotland for over 17 years and is very highly regarded. I haven’t quite managed to come across a corner of the market that Angela doesn’t know inside out, but I am up for the challenge!

The second cause for consideration was that working closely with Government organisations in London allowed me to indulge my passion and interest for politics, which as the environment chopped and changed resulted in some fascinating conversations. Financial Services had a big act to follow but with regulatory changes, technological advancements, the need for companies to be agile in response to their competitors’ actions, and the sheer volume of talent in these businesses, it has been an enjoyable new challenge for me.

The change in locale has also impacted the way in which the recruitment process works. I have found relationships in Scotland to be viewed as a two-way street, built upon the understanding that both parties will benefit from it at some point in the future. It is not quite as transient a market up here, so I have no doubt that the candidates and clients I am working with now will be the same contacts I am working with in the years to come and I am enjoying building those genuine, long-lasting relationships. Scotland is a small place (with a population of 5m versus 9m in London, it doesn’t take a genius to work that out), so your reputation follows you here and you’ll never be short of identifying mutual connections that leave you saying, “it’s a small world”. 

Life in a Specialist Firm

Returning to Scotland allowed me the opportunity to assess the best next step for my career and I ultimately had to decide whether I was ready to make the jump into a smaller specialist firm. There were a number of factors that led me to the decision to join Rutherford Cross, part of the Livingston James Group (LJG). It was LJG after all who convinced me away from the idea of a career as a Chartered Accountant and into the world of recruitment. When I discussed my decision to join LJG with family and friends, I talked about; innovation and entrepreneurship; exciting growth; the desire to build genuine relationships and do the right thing; the years of experience and expertise in each individual employee; the consultative and advisory approach – the list goes on really.

Whilst my initial experience in recruitment in London was with a much larger firm, it is only now, having worked in a smaller, more agile business for the last three months, that I fully understand the truth in those statements. The focus of the organisation is not how we can build relationships that will make us money now, but how we can build relationships that will benefit our colleagues, our clients, our candidates and our community. It doesn’t matter if that benefit is realised now or in the future. We look at our extensive network and think about how we can bring them together so they can leverage those relationships in some way.

We are constantly challenged on our thought leadership, being encouraged to push the boundaries of what any other agency is offering and how we can improve how we are operating. I am working alongside colleagues that are viewed as trusted advisors to newly qualified accountants through to Partners and CFOs, and know there is a wealth of experience I can rely on to handle whatever tricky situation arises because, let’s face it, we’re never short of them in recruitment.

I’m sure there will be plenty of ups and downs in the months and years to come, but my first three months here have made it incredibly easy for me to say that it has been the best possible decision for me to move back to Scotland and join Rutherford Cross… even if the Scottish summer is so much worse than I remember!

Please stay posted for my second instalment in which I will talk about my perspective of the Financial Services industry as someone new to the market.

To find out more about how Rutherford Cross can help you or your business, contact Stephanie at [email protected].