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Our Approach

The Candidate’s approach to marketing, digital, technology, creative and analytics recruitment is to offer candidates and clients a knowledgeable and reliable consultative service. Our marketing industry experience and recruitment skills offer a great solution to help place candidates quickly and effectively. Experience the difference that working with our team will have, contact us now. 

Meet our Team

Colin Telford

Managing Partner

Colin Telford

Colin’s role at The Candidate is all things business operations, from contracts to commercials, systems to strategy through to planning and perfecting. He aims to ensure that our consultants have all the necessary tools to offer clients and candidates the best and most effective consultative service. He’s worked in an agency environment now for 20 years and has a firm understanding of the structures that need to be in place to make a successful business. He co-founded the agency and has helped it grow to its successful position in the region as the leading marketing and tech recruitment agency.

At home Colin is a family man who is married and is having some success with raising two kids.

**Colin was the first media buyer in the UK to buy a paid search campaign back in his advertising agency days in the early naughties!**

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Brian Matthews

Managing Partner

Brian Matthews

Brian’s role within The Candidate is to lead and develop all recruitment activity. He founded The Candidate with Colin with a view to build a recruitment agency that serviced a candidate short market. Leading the team through recruitment pipeline, development of consultants through to directors, strategy for the growth of the business- his role within the agency is all encompassing. Brian still remains active with hands on recruitment projects and even after 18 years within recruitment, still takes genuine pride in successfully working with both candidates and clients.

Outside of work- Brian is a family man, a massive Man United fan and when not at Old Trafford or home, you need not worry he can be easily found at his local pub having a pint or two!

**Brian still likes to be reminded that he won Recruitment boss of the year 2016!**

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Laura Walters

Executive Search, Board Director

Laura Walters

Laura joined The Candidate 7 years ago and is extremely proud of how the business has grown and the fact that the business still shares the same values as it did at the beginning; exceptional service, industry expertise and working on a consultative approach. She has a significant senior candidate network that powers her executive Search and Selection successes having unprecedented access to a significant level of passive candidates who are open to developing their senior careers. She was awarded Recruitment Consultant of the Year 2015,  which has no doubt led to her comfortably taking up her Recruitment Board Director position. She also volunteers for Bloom North a professional network and community for women in communication, using her massive network to recruit and enrich members.

Laura is a country girl at heart but one that loves nothing more than a large glass of wine listening to 90s music with friends!

**She is a Freeman of the city of Chester and a campanologist (extra points if you know what that is without Googling!)**

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Elliot Jones

Director

Elliot Jones

Following a year abroad after his graduation, Elliot joined us in 2019 as a junior consultant with no previous recruitment experience and a passion for all things digital. Since then, Elliot’s worked his way through the ranks and is now a Director, as well as heading up the Marketing & Ecommerce team, recruiting roles from Executives through to Senior Management.

Elliot always strives to take the formality out of recruitment and loves building a genuine rapport with candidates and clients alike.

Outside of work, he loves Skiing, stripy tops, good food and terrible jokes.

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Simon Clarke

Head of Agency Recruitment

Simon Clarke

Simon has worked with Digital Media and Advertising Agencies for over 10 years both with large networks and independent agencies across the Northwest and London. This has been in a recruitment and talent capacity and a consultative role working on culture and strategy. Outside of work Simon is a dedicated family man who enjoys spending quality time with his two daughters. He has a passion for food and music. 

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Victoria Fuentes

Ecommerce Recruitment Manager

Victoria Fuentes

Victoria manages the Ecommerce team to help candidates find their dream jobs in various specialties including PPC, SEO, Affiliates, Paid Social, and so on. Thanks to her experience in fast fashion and her agency marketing background, she is at the forefront of innovative marketing!

When not in the office, she enjoys taking part in HIIT workouts (both at home and in the gym) and balancing a healthy lifestyle. She also loves catching up with friends and ordering (a few too many) clothes online.

*Victoria lived in Chile and Dubai before moving to Manchester! She is also bilingual in both Spanish and English*

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Evie Barker

Agency Recruitment Manager

Evie Barker

Evie is our Agency Recruitment Manager - she has a degree in Marketing and a background in digital and social media marketing, both freelance and for Manchester marketing and PR agencies. She has established some fantastic connections across the industry and is the go-to-person for all things agency!

Evie likes all things streetwear, a passion which goes hand in hand with her love of travelling, seeking out the latest trends and the coolest designers across the globe! When she’s not in the office you’ll find her attending as many festivals and gigs as she can!

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Blake Thompson

Tech Recruitment Manager

Blake Thompson

Blake is part of The Candidate’s Data & Tech division, bringing over 7 years’ recruitment experience to the team. Blake has a history of helping candidates and businesses navigate the tech landscape providing advice and expertise.

Blake enjoys cooking new and exciting cuisines from around the world, and subsequently having to make a sandwich when they don’t work out as planned.

**Blake is a big advocate for sustainable living and is always looking for and trying new things to live a greener, lower impact life (tips & hints always welcome!)**

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Chris Phair

Senior Agency Recruitment Consultant

Chris Phair

Chris is a member of our Agency team recruiting for roles across digital, creative and PR. He comes equipped with a degree in Animation and still loves having a good chin wag with his candidates about film and television.

Chris grew up in Northern Ireland and moved to Manchester for university as well as to have Old Trafford on his doorstep. Outside of the office Chris can normally be found skating, bouldering or having a few pints with his mates.

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Megan Fraser

Recruitment Consultant

Megan Fraser

Megan is a Recruitment Consultant in the eCommerce squad and is all about helping her quality candidates find their perfect job. She works closely with SME's, Start-Ups, Scale-ups through to worldwide eCommerce companies helping them with their specialist recruitment requirements. Got the brief? She can fill it! Outside of recruitment, she's got quite the stage presence. Megan studied Acting and Performance, and co-founded her very own theatre company! Megan has performed at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Camden Fringe. Outside of work, she loves to cook or bake bread while sipping on some cheeky red wine.

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Michael Wilkinson

Marketing Recruitment Consultant

Michael Wilkinson

Michael is part of our Marketing & Ecommerce team, and he's always looking to make a big impact and fill roles as efficiently as possible. He has previously worked in recruitment specialising in roles in the Blockchain space. He has lived in Manchester his whole life, and in his spare time he loves gaming, going out with friends, or doing some sort of sport!

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Barbora Hastikova

Recruitment Consultant

Barbora Hastikova

After earning my degree in Marketing and Events Management, I delved into the media agency world, working in client services in Manchester. This hands-on experience gave me a thorough understanding of media agency operations. Now, I aim to help candidates land roles in this field, covering areas like PPC, Paid Social, and SEO. My focus is not only on matching candidates with the right positions but also on guiding them through the intricacies of these roles for a smooth transition. Beyond work, I enjoy traveling, socialising, and indulging in overpriced matcha lattes. Originally from the Czech Republic, I've lived in America and Greece, which has broadened my perspective and made me fluent in Czech, Slovak, and English.

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Natasha Munro

Search & Selection Resourcer

Natasha Munro

Natasha is an experienced recruitment consultant, and has a wide ranging industry background. She will be joining the Search & Selection team as a Recruitment Resourcer to help find the best candidates for senior and executive roles. Outside of work, her weekends are spent doing all things family orientated, as she is a working mum of five!
 
Natasha loves listening to cheesy 90s hits, and travel programs are her go watch after a busy day.

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Melanie Telford

Marketing and Operations Manager

Melanie Telford

Melanie heads up all things marketing, communications and operations within The Candidate. She is the go-to person for just about everything and if she doesn't know, it isn't worth knowing! She focuses on marketing and is the main contact for external projects and partnerships. 

In her spare time, you can usually find her at her caravan in Wales or walking her crazy pooch, Ralph!

**Melanie did her driving test 6 times and is an impeccable driver because she had so many lessons**

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John O'Sullivan​

Strategic Advisor

John O'Sullivan​

John has been an entrepreneur in the recruitment industry for many years. Having worked a director of many of the top global staffing companies, he founded Best International Group, which grew to £130m turnover and was sold to Spring Group in 2003. He now works as a strategic advisor to a small number of fast-growth recruitment companies, helping them design and deliver market beating strategies and to create shareholder value. John’s role at The Candidate is to help the Senior team achieve their true potential, opening new sectors and expanding by taking market share and innovating.
Outside of work, John is a keen music lover and veteran of many Glastonbury Festivals!

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Chris Reynolds

Consultant

Chris Reynolds

Chris has worked in recruitment and search and selection for over 30 years. Since then, he’s worked across the globe helping his clients recruit and develop their people. Chris helped to recruit Brian into his first recruitment job in October 2000. He’s worked with Brian and Colin from the beginnings of The Candidate, and with a potent combination of psychometrics and interview techniques continues to help them bring in the best.

In his (going) spare moments, Chris plays the drums and listens to a wide variety of music.

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Meet more of the team!
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With an unprecedented growth in digital, media and eCommerce over recent years, talent creation is becoming increasingly more pressing for clients recruiting candidates at the top level of management including directors. It is no longer only required at middle management level.

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