About techfolk. How may we help?

Introduction

techfolk® is an independent Bristol based IT recruitment agency, supporting the South West’s technology scene and beyond.

We help bring your organisation’s strategy and technology roadmap to life by finding people who share your values and by qualifying whether they have what it takes.

We offer an expert and personable service for permanent and contract staff, and can deliver across;

  • Senior appointments: management | technical directorship | executive
  • Software, Web and mobile: development | QA & testing | DevOps | team leadership | architecture
  • User experience: consultancy | research | strategy | design | information architecture
  • Data | database administration | big data
  • Postgraduates: BSc | MSc | BEng | MEng | BA | MA | MBA | EngD | PhD | DPhil
  • Infrastructure | networking | security
  • Service desk | helpdesk | technical support
  • Hardware | embedded | low level coding
  • Programme & project management | business analysis
  • Service delivery | change, configuration & release management
  • Systems implementation | business intelligence | data warehousing
  • Product management | technical marketing | pre sales | business development | account management

Our nationwide network is currently strongest in the South West, plus we support the tech hubs of Cambridge, London and Manchester. We’re also experienced in building entirely home based virtual teams.

Please do get in touch; we’d love to listen, ask and explore ways we can help.

Below is a description of our approach, methods and the results. You can hear what others are saying about our work here. And we’ll be adding new helpful articles and tools to the helpful resources for hiring page over the coming months.

Our approach:

We’re flexible and offer as much or little input as you may need. We can support the 360° process to help you get technical recruitment right first time. We’re ready to work in conjunction with your own direct attraction methods, as a long term recruitment partner, or in targeted activity on specialist requirements.

We collaborate with your technology and HR leadership teams to first understand the culture, aims and aspirations of your organisation. Together, we may discover change is required first or that recruitment isn’t yet necessary. When the time is right, we formulate pragmatic plans based on real world experience and with contingency built in.

We're used to tricky assignments, talking with communities of specialists who have niche skills. Following some thorough research and informed discussions we're soon up to speed on the current issues and market outlook. We always share this learning with you to help keep you well informed.

We tend to work ‘exclusively’, openly naming your organisation in our communications to help build your employer brand. We believe in providing a quality and personable candidate experience, from the very first interactions with people who may be interested in your organisation. We talk their language. We also pride ourselves on working impartially, establishing the facts so informed decisions are reached meaning reduced risk for everyone.

We’re proactive but not pushy; we respect everyone as an individual and we’re careful to understand their situation and aspirations. Our instincts can usually be trusted. We also know that no one needs a team of clones and we’re open to fresh ways of doing things.

All of our customers pay the same low percentage fee rates, across contract and permanent recruitment. We can operate fixed-fee models too. We can also consider flexible payment terms to accommodate early stage businesses. And we guarantee our work. Please contact us to request our T&C’s.

Our methods:

We relish a challenge and we love sharing ideas. We work hard at solving problems and we see things through. If we can’t help, we’ll try to find solutions or suggest someone who can.

We know that you’ll expect good coverage of your vacancies. We utilise the best available online services - more than some of our biggest competitors - including CV Library, CWjobs, GitHub, Indeed, Jobsite, JobServe, LinkedIn, Monster, Stack Overflow and TotalJobs plus many specialist and aggregator websites. Our adverts rank well, with nationwide reach, so are usually amongst the first vacancies that people apply for.

We work hard at SEO, so your job advert is usually found on page two or three of organic Google search results too. That’s something we’re proud of.

We underpin this with thorough search methods, expanding social media reach and targeted networking amongst our existing warm contacts.

With now up to three people who can be dedicated as your project team, we’ve capacity to handle campaigns of almost any nature. Our screening process is thorough and can include online technical testing. We provide quality notes from our technical screening discussions, so you can reach qualified assessments promptly and conduct well-informed interviews.

We’ve adopted Trello, the open source project management tool for managing the recruitment workflow; this gives you instant visibility of progress, at any time, with the learning shared and recorded along the way. We can integrate with your own processes too.

The results:

The success of our business is entirely dependent on the success of the people we serve. Our reputation has been built by putting others first, working hard and delivering.

Most of our work with other employers originated from personal recommendations and we’d be glad to put you in touch with people who can share their feedback of our work.

Our team has been employed within the IT industry, working alongside the kinds of people we now recruit. This combination of industry knowledge, resources and hard work all adds up, meaning we reach the people you need quickly, so you can deliver your projects without delay.

We look forward to working together soon. Please contact us and let’s see what ideas we can come up with.

Thanks for your time,

The techfolk team

The team

"I discovered technology in 1997 and by 2000 had established my career in software and product training. I’ve worked with technology driven companies ever since. I’m as comfortable being part of the teams using tech to solve problems as I am leading teams that create new solutions. My more recent roles have included delivering Web and SaaS projects, and managing remote development and commercial teams. Hiring technical and commercial colleagues has been my responsibility in most of these. Working with recruitment agencies as an employer has given me an excellent understanding of what’s needed to support the people we now help. I met Andrew in 2008 whilst we were working to deliver icould.com; we make an effective team and complement each other well. My natural strengths are organisation, project management and communications and I have a lasting passion for technology (obviously) and ancient history (I’m Italian, so no surprises there)."

Vittoria Rubino - Operations Manager

View Andrew Gifford's profile on LinkedIn
Andrew Gifford | techfolk

"In many ways the role of a recruiter is easy. We're the middle people. We risk very little, besides our professional reputation. We undertake the operational costs of the campaign and our output is high, but the real talent lies within the teams we help build. Our role is to build networks, to guide and orchestrate. We're the sounding board, the impartial facilitators. We remain open minded while weighing the strengths and aspirations of the people we meet with the values and engineering objectives of the employers we support. I consider techfolk fortunate to represent the organisations it does, many of whom placed trust in us following a personal recommendation. This is year eleven for me, plus seven years working inside technology providers such as the ISP UUNET during the early years of the Web and the systems software provider Zeus Technology. Outside of work, I'm into cycling, the outdoors and exploring all that Bristol and the sunny South West offers. "

Andrew Gifford - Founding Director
 

View Andrew Gifford's profile on LinkedIn

"I've been fascinated by computing since my school bought an Apple computer. As they became more accessible in the eighties my father bought the family a BBC Model B, and I taught myself BBC Basic. The 'Internet' was born whilst I was studying Computing at University and I set myself up as a Web Designer a couple of years later. My first foray into database driven websites led me to learn ASP. Eventually I moved towards open source products and took all development over to OSX and Linux. I taught myself Drupal, rebuilt my websites and nowadays I'd describe myself as a 'Drupal Themer' who dabbles in 'development' - I'm still learning - aren't we all? Andrew and I share a passion for cycling and he's quite happy with me remoting in from the Pyrenees on one of my long summer tours"

Jon Laurence, Web Guy

Ways we can help you

techfolk® is an technology R&D and IT recruitment agency, primarily supporting the ecosystem of technology firms across the South West region, notably Bristol, Bath, Swindon and Cardiff. We have nationwide reach and can help you build teams further afield too.

We aim to provide the kind of approach you'd choose if you were to build a custom technical recruitment function of your own.

We operate transparently and inclusively, as if an in-house business partner, exposing our methods and workflow so you always know what's happening. This joined-up approach integrates easily with your own processes.

Please do check out what hiring managers are saying about our work.

We work to openly build your employer brand along the way, encouraging people to visit your own website which helps build trust and understanding.

We're adept at search; our advanced methods contextually scour over 100 platforms such as Github, StackOverflow, blogs, social media etc. to find specialists who are into the right things but who may not be actively using job boards. We can often identify the very person you need from amongst your competition and engage them meaningfully and directly.

We'll get your job adverts ranking well too; variously, CWJobs, GitHub Jobs, Jobsite, Jobserve, LinkedIn, Monster, REED, StackOverflow, TotalJobs etc. plus their many aggregator sites. And we often publish content among expert communities, user groups and on niche job boards.

We relish a challenge and we're happy to share a little of what we learn along the way.

For example, we're currently supporting employers and building networks in domains as diverse as:

  • Linked Data and Semantic Web: JavaScript, Ruby, Java, Apache Jena, AWS
  • Public cloud managed services: building AWS and Google cloud DevOps teams
  • IOT analytics and subscriber management: C++, Web, AI and data science
  • Network management software: C++, AI, Python, SDN, NFV, JavaScript
  • Recommendation engine content serving platform: Golang, Nodejs, AngularJS, AI, big data
  • High volume RDBMS: C++, database engine, PostgreSQL
  • Learning management application: PHP, Symfony / laravel
  • Image Management Server platform: native JavaScript
  • UX and digital experience agency: JavaScript, front end, DevOps, infrastructure

We'd be glad to support your early planning for the team. Even if we aren't engaged commercially right away, we can provide impartial insights and guidance that help you prepare and build in contingency.

Sometimes, change is needed first and recruitment follows later; we can put you in touch with people who can guide you through change and growth.

We like to meet for coffee (and tea) and Andrew's often at local tech events and meetups so please do say hello if you spot him.

With thanks,

The techfolk team

Accreditations

We're Affiliate members of the British Computer Society and we honour the BCS code of conduct.

We adhere to the principals of the Data Protection Act (reg. no. ZA084590).

Importantly, we're also members of the Recruitment and Employers Confederation (membership no. 00089203), and we adhere to the REC code of practice (our terms of buisness for employers are REC approved).