We were founded back in 2009 by these guys

Mark Davies

David Leen

David’s entire career had been in staffing and recruitment. His experience ranged from small start-ups to the biggest firms. Mark, meanwhile, had been a Partner at Deloitte, and had managed complex regulatory projects across Financial Services.

They both knew the recruitment industry inside out, and what it was infamous for, including sleaziness, dishonesty, money-grabbing attitudes, and a general lack of care. In terms of reputation, recruiters were (and still are) on a par with estate agents!

They realised this was partially because recruitment is such a short-term profession. Recruitment consultants tended not to stay in the industry for more than a couple of years, because it’s just not a nice environment to be in. Why bother to give clients a great service if you’re never going to have to deal with the fallout of a botch job anyway? (That applies to candidates too – we see our candidates as clients, actually).

Grovelands was born

To counter these issues, Mark and David decided to set up Grovelands – a recruitment firm whose great culture would retain recruitment consultants for years, and whose forward-thinking business model made long-term relationship building a financial and business interest.

They were serious about this model and appointed a CEO, Ben Wilson, who was equally committed to the task, once the business had established its footing. By looking after its staff in this way, Grovelands ensured clients and candidates were being looked after too. Our recruitment consultants became more than just people-finders; they were business builders. The team grew, we won awards – our model worked.

The Grovelands Journey

The Grovelands Journey

And it turns out, actually listening to your clients has an interesting effect… We noticed that they were asking us not just about recruiting staff and managing new teams, they were also asking us bigger questions – could we help with their business strategy? How could they make their organisation more effective? Could we support them through major transformation?

Solving the next piece of the puzzle

Chris Hafner

Chris Hafner

Navneet Bhatia

We puzzled over how we were going to do this kind of high level work for a
while, and then, as luck would have it, we met Chris and Navneet.

They were management consultants, and it turned out we had a lot in common – management consultants had a pretty terrible reputation too, and for similar reasons! As Chris told us, management consulting was an industry that fundamentally served the interest of the consultancy over the interest of the client. He was determined to change that.

Their unorthodox business model excited us. They wanted to radically disrupt the management consulting industry, and we wanted to revolutionise the bad reputation of the recruitment industry. It made sense to come together. Our recruitment function now supports the consulting service by providing them with teams when they need them, and the consulting service helps our current clients with their larger corporate challenges.

The best thing about our two teams is that they have the same goals. Both are breaking away from the poor practices that gave our industries their notoriety. Both are turning the model on its head. And both have found a way to make challenging the norm not only exciting and inspiring, but a rock-solid business interest as well.

So you see, we’re not crazy. A little unorthodox for sure, but pragmatically so. And most importantly of all, our ways of working give us the ability to make our client service outstanding.


Grovelands is open and fully functioning. Click here to see our approach to the COVID-19 situation