Time for a strategic overhaul, thanks to ROD’s reliable BAU recruitment solution.


APEM is a UK-based environmental consultancy. Demand for green sector talent has tripled in the last year alone, which highlighted APEM’s need to introduce strategic processes, people and policy improvements. Support from ROD’s experienced recruiters helped to lighten the load on APEM’s under-staffed TA team, enabling them to concentrate efforts on these longer-term initiatives.


  • Highly sought-after ‘green sector’ talent
  • A need for time and space to implement strategic improvements
  • An ambition to improve the internal reputation of an understaffed TA function


  • A trusted team of experienced recruiters delivering BAU recruitment
  • Candidates ‘owned’ by the business (unlike the standard agency approach)
  • Breathing space for the internal team, enabling an overhaul of processes and systems for the maximum long-term benefit

Introducing our client, APEM.

Our client, APEM Ltd is a global consultancy advising on the environmental considerations for a range of industries spanning energy, transport, marine, construction, water and renewables. We spoke with the Head of Talent Acquisition, Neil Pollington to reflect on his experience working with Recruiter On Demand. Neil’s team is central to the success of APEM’s growth ambitions. Without having the right talent in place, APEM would not be able to meet its ambitious growth and new business targets, since the expertise of highly qualified scientists is key to delivering their consultancy projects. 

A recruitment solution to address a short-term resource challenge

Neil joined the APEM business in 2022, looking forward to an opportunity to build the internal reputation of the in-house TA team. Facing an ambitious growth agenda in the context of a rapidly shrinking internal TA team following a few resignations, he quickly concluded that a recruitment resource solution was required:

“It was obvious there was a big change agenda that was needed… In my first couple of weeks, it became pretty evident that the systems and processes in place weren’t going to be sufficient or scalable enough for us to deliver the growth that the business needed.”

(Neil Pollington, Head of Talent Acquisition, APEM)

As ever, the day-to-day demands of a busy internal TA team were at odds with the time and space required to invest in long-term changes. The team needed to find a trusted resource to handle BAU recruitment delivery to free them up from burnout and day-to-day firefighting.

Onboarding experienced, in-house ROD recruiters

Following a review of a couple of RPO solutions, APEM decided that ROD’s solution fit the bill for three key reasons:

  1. A dedicated team

Unlike other providers, the relationship with ROD felt more personal from the start. Neil explained “Admittedly, ROD was a cheaper option, but where with other providers it seemed like we’d just be a number, ROD’s approach seemed a lot more personal.” 

APEM was offered a consistent, dedicated team of experienced TA professionals who would be fully on-boarded into their business.

A key objective during this period was to build the reputation of APEM’s in-house TA team, so stakeholder management was critical. Working in such a competitive market, experienced ROD consultants understood that ‘roles-filled’ is not the only measure of success. 

“I knew there was absolutely no way we’d find recruiters with strong experience in the green jobs sector, it’s just not big enough. The most important thing for us was stakeholder management… So for me, it was all about caring about the relationships, ensuring that no stones were left unturned whilst managing each vacancy, and being able to evidence what we were doing.”

By becoming an extension of APEM’s in-house TA team, working within their systems and communicating directly with hiring managers, we were able to take on a significant amount of the internal team’s workload.

“It was the fact they had experienced recruiters, who knew what they were talking about, and who understood that stakeholder management, as well as delivery, was important.”  (Neil Pollington, Head of Talent Acquisition, APEM)

  1. A flexible commercial model

Having understood the needs of the business, we agreed on a mutually beneficial commercial model that best set up the team for success.

A combination of a set fee, with the additional element of some financial incentivisation for filled roles (Neil explains: “like an agency model, but a much cheaper agency”) was agreed upon.

3. Candidate ownership

This is a key difference in the ROD model and is especially valuable in highly competitive industries. The green jobs sector is thriving in terms of demand, which has tripled over the past 12 months. Being able to access candidates directly and building a relationship with your brand is invaluable.

Neil explains “This is the key difference with ROD. They were only working for us. Obviously, when you work with agencies, they’re bouncing candidates around – they just want to place them and make some money. In the green jobs market, that’s horrific. Some of the agencies we have to work with, they’ll send a CV to us and 10 other companies and they know they’ll get half a dozen interview requests because everyone is desperate for the same staff. So it was nice working with ROD because any people they found were ours, rather than the agencies.”

A successful short-term resourcing solution.

Over a period of three months, ROD consultants handled all of APEM’s mid-level recruitment while the in-house team retained the management senior-level vacancies and graduate recruitment. 

This significant boost to internal resources enabled the team to take the time to invest in their strategic priorities. They overhauled recruitment processes and introduced new systems, including a brand-new ATS. Thanks to being able to trust their short-term consultants to handle a huge volume of delivery at that time, APEM is now starting to reap the rewards of those long-term investments.

“Working with ROD gave us the confidence to let them get on with stuff, which gave us the time and space to do what we needed over those three months, while we knew the delivery was taken good care of.” (Neil Pollington, Head of Talent Acquisition, APEM)

On-demand recruiters to support peak recruitment periods.

During their time working with ROD, Neil developed his internal team and make some key new hires. So their time to invest in people, processes and systems is paying off richly as average live vacancy numbers have also dropped from 80 to 50.

We’re delighted to have played our part in enabling this team to turn around its operations and we’re always available to support during peak recruitment periods in the future.

“I would recommend ROD to support businesses who are needing to keep their TA function ticking along, to deliver resources to the business over a short-term period, or to perhaps cover peak or seasonal recruitment periods. If we have a peak in demand that we couldn’t manage ourselves I’d definitely have a conversation with them… Or if I had a sudden change in resource plan and our ability to deliver to the demand of the business completely changed I’d absolutely have a conversation with them.” (Neil Pollington, Head of Talent Acquisition, APEM)

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