Specialist Legal Headhunter in FS and Insurance

February 27, 2020
Taylor Vigano Senior Consultant - Europe

Meet Rob Whiteford who joined Pure in September 2018…

What is your role?

I recruit lawyers into financial services institutions, essentially investment banking, private equity and insurance.

Tell me about your position and what you do on a day to day basis?

Initially, I supported my director on executing mandates. In the last 6 months I have been in a 360 role where a lot of my role is about winning new business with new clients. I work in a candidate short market so I would say 70% of my time is spent on the candidate side and 30% on new business.

What are your candidates like? What type of people do you work with?

I work with top tier lawyers. They are very bright and capable people. They are a pleasure to work with. My candidates keep me on my toes, which I like.

Being the level they are, they know what they are looking for so it’s a different approach than what I was doing previously where I was working at a more junior level. I learn a lot from my candidates about the market etc.

What keeps you motivated to go to work each day?

Post University all my friends went onto big corporate grad schemes but I wanted to be somewhere I could control what happens on any given day. When I joined Pure I was given the opportunity to get to stuck in and deal with senior people.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love the business development opportunities. I enjoy the challenge of convincing businesses that we haven’t worked with that I am the go-to person in their market space.

What do you like least?


Reflecting back from day one to now, how have you evolved in your current job?

Prior to joining Pure I had never worked with lawyers. It was a steep learning curve. Now I am so much more confident about what clients and candidates look for versus when I arrived. My credibility and knowledge has increased exponentially.

What advice would you give someone who is seeking the same line of work?

I would say to meet with a few different businesses initially. The place you go to is really important – go somewhere you can see future career progression and they are well established to support you and secondly where you can see a good cultural fit.

How did your education or past experiences prepare you for this job?

I did a placement year at Hays whilst I was at University – this was really helpful to give me an insight into recruitment and convince employers I was serious about a career in recruitment.

Where do you hope to go with this job, or in your career in general?

Pure are a growing business who are actively looking at other locations around the world – I would love to be involved in bringing Pure to a new region and work internationally.

What are the biggest challenges faced in the role?

The challenge here at Pure is the selling point – you are given the opportunity to be on the front-line so you build stronger relationships.

Who do you enjoy working with the most and why?

The differentiator at Pure is the leadership team – the 2 senior Directors Oliver and Liam are extraordinarily experienced. When I joined, day in and day out they would take me to meetings and I have learnt so much from them.

How would you describe the culture of the business?

Pure is a fun yet mature environment with equal emphasis on both.

What do you think makes Pure stand out from other businesses?

We are in an interesting space. We focus on mid to senior level – there is a real opportunity in this market to dominate, which makes it exciting. The platform is amazing, who else can say they have placed 43 of the current FTSE 100 Heads of Tax, for example?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Pure Sydney?!

What was your best day at work so far and why?

Probably post promotion, getting my first instruction to help a General Counsel build her legal team. Since then I’ve placed 2 with them.