"We work with candidates hand-in-hand at every step of the way - we're led by them. But we will advise, and we will guide, and we'll be really truthful. We will try and create something together"

- James Forrester, Talent Business Manager

Could you tell us about your career path and your role with IVC Evidensia?

I’ve worked in recruitment since about 2006, I started with an agency, and I then went into a role where I supported consultants with corporate accounts. Later on, an opportunity came up at Vets Now which was quite local to me, so I joined in 2017 and that was when I found out I wanted to work with vets and nurses. Last year, I made the move to IVC Evidensia where I now lead the first-opinion talent team.

A lot of my work focuses on ensuring we get that gold-standard candidate experience, we want to be the best for candidates. I think it’s something that really sets us apart, that experience and the fact that we have such a big network of opportunities for people. Regardless of where someone is in their career, IVC Evidensia can help them find a role that fits them.

I want our talent partners to be the people that candidates go to when they're looking for a new job within the industry. For example, if someone wants to work in a practice that has a specific type of caseload, but they can't commit to full-time hours, we'll find the role that has those cases and gives them the right balance of working hours to fit their needs. The transition into a new job can be daunting, and we ensure that not only do people find the right role but that they are supported through the whole experience  

It's about looking at the long term and how we can ensure that people are going into roles where they feel valued and have the opportunity to develop and grow. We work with candidates hand-in-hand at every step of the way - we're led by them. But we will advise, and we will guide, and we'll be really truthful. We will try and create something together.

How would you describe the culture of the team?

We've got a good culture, we work collaboratively and support each other. Fundamentally though, we put our candidate’s interests first. We’re always looking at improving, how we can make the service that we give even better, and we listen to feedback from candidates to continue developing.
Everyone within the team is genuinely passionate about IVC Evidensia as an employer, but also about the veterinary industry. We’re forward-thinking, wanting to give candidates the best experience we can. We help each other, we share the success and if something works in one area, talent partners love to discuss it so that we can move forward as one. It’s a really positive culture that we’ve got.

What motivates you?

I do love animals, but it’s the people, and being able to help the right people find the right roles in a practice. It’s very rewarding to know we’ve genuinely helped a practice because that’s someone’s workplace and we want everyone to have a supportive, skilled team around them.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

For me it’s people. All the people I get to work with are fantastic. I really enjoy sitting down with people and speaking to them about their work. And as a leader within the business, I have the opportunity to work with so many different people from all different backgrounds and experiences, and of course, my own team who are fantastic.

What are you most proud of in your work?

The candidate’s journey; we've done quite a lot of work on enhancing that experience, putting a real focus on adding value to their interactions with us, matching them to long-term, sustainable roles and ultimately supporting them to secure the role that meets their needs. People are our priority, and it is a real collaboration between the Talent Team and the candidate. We’re always getting feedback to say we made the process so much easier than they expected which is great.

If someone was reading this to find out more about what we offer and what it's like to work here, what would you want them to know?

I'd want them to know that because of the size of our network, there are so many opportunities. We put our people first, we have a breadth of opportunities and it’s a great place to work. We've also got some absolutely fantastic people who work for us from highly skilled specialists to support staff - we all really care.

Tell us more about your cat!

I have a chunky female ginger cat called Willow. My friend’s cat ended up pregnant and I had always said if there was a female ginger kitten, I’d have one, which is quite a rare thing, and as luck would have it, there she was. She came home two weeks before Christmas four years ago, and that was the last time I've had a Christmas tree that wasn’t just a toy for her. She's extremely spoilt. She’s even managed to trick us into accidentally giving her two breakfasts every day until we realised what she was up to!
I do absolutely love greyhounds as well though. I'm such a real supporter of greyhound welfare, we always had greyhounds when I was growing up. I would love to have a retired racing greyhound as a pet when it’s the right time.

What do you do in your spare time to unwind?

I love cooking, especially Chinese, Korean, and Japanese food. I enjoy a good crime documentary and fiction crime books like Val McDermid. I've got such a thing for 90s action movies as well. I like my home comforts and there's nothing better than just putting a decent disaster movie on and cuddling up with the cat. I enjoy political biographies as well.

Dogs or cats?

I’ll have to say cats or she’ll get me [Willow the cat is currently sleeping next to James, but she’s definitely listening in]

Tea or coffee?


Reading a book or watching a film?

Oh, they're both great, but I would say watching a film.

Beach holiday or skiing?

Beach! It’s cold enough here in Scotland.

[As we say goodbye Willow gives James a gentle nibble on the hand, which suggests we’ve taken up enough of her valuable time.]