Why Recruitment Is Like Gin

Seemingly the world’s most tenuous subject for a blog? But bear with me. Gin really is the same as recruitment,…..

As anyone who knows me will testify, the only thing that can challenge my family and my business for space in my life is Gin.

Gin is my Kryptonite, what started as a means to drink and maintain relative fitness/clean eating (the fourth quartile of my life), quickly became a passion.

Dutch physician Franciscus Sylvius, has been credited with the creation of Gin in the 17th Century, but almost 200 years earlier than that, it’s forebear Genever, was cited by British Soldiers based in Antwerp, fighting the Spanish during the Eight Year War (and where the phrase ‘Dutch Courage’ takes it’s name).

Leaving aside Gin Vs Distilled Gin Vs London Gin Vs…..etc, For most people, Gin is Gin. London Gin or Dry Gin. Gordon’s Gin has a near 40% market share, a comfortable monopoly. Add in the various supermarket own label brands and that becomes almost 70% of the market. Add in the other mass-produced brands (Greenalls/Tanqueray/Bombay Sapphire/etc) and you get to well over 95% of the market.

The UK is the home of Gin, and accounts for 70% of the global Gin export market, birthplace of London Gin and dominating the near £1bn market. Gin has also been the only spirit that has bucked the global downward trend in the sales of spirits witnessing an 8% increase in volumes, but tellingly, a 14% increase in value in 2014 alone (22% and 32% over the last three years).

But here’s where it gets interesting…. Ask any connoisseur or Gin fanatic what the Gin market really is, and it is unlikely you will get any of the above 90%+ of sales mentioned.

They will talk about the Specialist Gin market.

My Gin Shelf

The Specialist Gin market is not new. In the early 18th Century, the Gin Craze saw hundreds of micro-distilleries across London. They were soon under the cosh however. The early drunkenness and misery caused by unregulated impure Gin was at odds with the perceived well-fed workers and their foaming beer tankards (as starkly highlighted in William Hogarth’s 1751 “Gin Lane” and “Beer Street”).

Add in advancements in distillation allowing mass-production of pure spirits coupled with the discovery that quinine was highly effective against malaria, the then ‘Officer Class’ adopted ‘Tonic water Enlivened With Gin”….., pure spirits were in demand, the impure ‘back-street’ distilleries were soon no more. Following the Cocktail boom in the Jazz age, Gin was further raised to the top of ‘Fashionable Circles’ as the aperitif of choice.

15 years ago, there were very few small distilleries, but modern desires for more complex products…and the globalization brought by the internet has seen a huge resurgence.

There are now well over 1,000 specialist Gins available in this country alone, but they account for just 2% of the Gin Market. They all conform to the Gin alcohol content (min 37.5% – most are 43-48%), methanol content (5g/hl max), distillate percentage (70% min), added sugar content (<0.1g/l). They are also really quite different from each other, and very different from the big market leaders.

Why/How? Botanicals. The small flavouring elements added to the gin before redistillation. Some will have one or two Botanicals, some have 45-50 and more. Some are very scientifically added, some are foraged from Forest floors (Macclesfield’s Forest Gin).

Some are seemingly innocuous, like the apt Cheshirebased Hunters Gin – that that HeadHUNTERS CHESHIRE GINmy clients get as a gift after we have dealt together. A blend of citrus fruits and apples, but the taste is just right, very refreshing and very different. (***Now I just need to get them to do me a batch labelled “HeadHunters Cheshire Gin”***)

The outcome is a product which is technically the same, but with subtle tweaks to make it really very different indeed. More on that later.


The recruitment sector has not been around for anything like the times of the Eighty Year War. Whilst public employment agencies can date back to 1650 (Henry Robinson’s proposed “Office of Addresses and Encounters” that would link employers to workers, was rejected by the British Government) the first Private Employment Agency was established in the US in 1893 by Fred Winslow.

Gary Chaplin GinIt has likewise had its share of legal status challenges. At the same time as Gin was being affected by Prohibition, the 1933 Fee-Charging Employment Agencies Convention formally called for the industry’s abolition, the small allowable element being those businesses that were licenced by the government and where fees were agreed upfront.

Today the recruitment market is worth £28.7bn (2014) in the UK alone. Both Forbes magazine and Crains estimate the global recruitment market will exceed $450bn in 2015.

Today though, the developing recruitment market is very much following the developing Gin market.

For most people, Recruitment is Recruitment. A handful of Global Recruitment Groups lead the market with the 10 largest firms commanding a near 40% market share. Add in the next 100 international firms, and that becomes almost 70% of the market (with a third of those businesses turning over $1bn). You can see the similarity to the dominant forces in Gin.

But there’s more…..

Recruitment is Recruitment. Agencies, Recruiters,…..all the same. They hold a large database of job seekers, they get jobs to ‘work on’, and trawl their databases for relevant matches and send them over as quickly as possible. Round pegs into round holes. All boast of 10,000s of candidates on their databases, bigger ones boast of 100,000s of candidates on theirs, some will no doubt exceed that. They will also report stats of 1,000s and 10,000s of live jobs on their websites to attract active jobseekers to swell the numbers to in turn sell to their client base. It’s a perfect model…a hugely successful model! This style of Database Recruiter accounts for 98% of the $450bn recruitment market.

Much like the generic recruitment market, the 98% of generic Gin manufactures make big volumes of consistent products, bought in huge volumes by huge swathes of the population.

So what of the 2%?

If the 2% of the gin market is the domain of the Specialist Gin, what is the remainingGary Chaplin Gin 2% of the recruitment market? Retained Executive Search… a.k.a HeadHunters. The AESC quote the Executive Search market as being worth $9.74bn, 2.1% of the total recruitment market.

The Exec Search market, like the Specialist Gin market, is made up of 1,000s of small businesses. Like the Specialist Gin market, they in principle provide the same product, but their method of doing so is very different, as is the satisfaction it brings….and as is the requirement for it to be a Labour of Love and Passion above outright commerciality and economics.

Retained Executive Search businesses and HeadHunters don’t get the volume of instructions, scale of turnover, nor of profitability that the large generic recruitment businesses attain. But they do attain far higher in service metrics.

The average fill ratio, the number of jobs filled, for the recruitment sector is 22% (12% higher for temporary/contract placements). The Executive Search market averages 73% with plenty of firms attaining 100% fill ratios, like ours.

The big difference from Exec Search to Generic Recruitment is not wholly dissimilar to that between Specialist Gins and Generic Gins. The core product is the same, but the execution and components are very different, and make all the difference.

In Gin it is the distilling process, the raw materials but most of all, the Botanicals. In recruitment it is likewise the finer details that make all the difference.

Gary Chaplin GinOne of my favourite Gins is Monkey 47, so-called because it has 47 different botanicals. Yes that right, FORTY-SEVEN. Wine has one ingredient; beer has four ingredients. This gin has 47 ingredients ADDED to it.

HeadHunters have one very big difference to generic recruiters. You won’t find us talking about the size of a database. Because we don’t have one. Yes, we all have 15-25,000 contacts tucked away in the modern version of Little Black Books (iPhone/iPad/iMac/iEtc), but we don’t have databases of candidates. We don’t hold/retain CVs. Why? Because we don’t focus on active jobseekers.

It’s a sweeping generalisation, but on the whole, the best, top quality talent is not only employed, they are very well engaged, rewarded and have no need to look for a new role. They have no reason to look outside their current employer. Their employer will be more than satisfied with them, will reward them and ensure their career is as fulfilled as possible. But that’s why we, or rather our clients, want them.

In the law of averages, someone who is actively, very actively seeking a new job has a reason to do so – especially someone who is SO actively looking for a job that they stick their CV on a recruitment database, or even worse, internet job board. If leaders want the best talent for their business, they have to poach the best from someone else’s…they have to HeadHunt them. Or get me to.

But what of the Botanicals in Executive Search? Before setting up my business, I worked for 3 different search firms, and 3 different generic database recruiters.

All did broadly the same for their market.
The Recruiters had large databases, they all talked about the database being XX,XXX in size and/or being built over XX years with more live jobs that the guy next door.
The Search Firms all had research departments, all had structured selection criteria. All had very prestigious offices to wow and woo their targets.

…..But yet they were all different.

Much like the specialist gins. I have yet to find the specialist gin I didn’t like, and there are too many favourite to list, but the stand out ones include Hunters, F.E.W Insurgint, Daffy’s, No.209, Forest, Elephant, Monkey 47, Gin Mare, Fifty Pounds, Bathtub, Caorunn, Forest, Hunters, Sipsmith and last to the fold, Four Pillars. Their botanicals range from:

Orange Peel, Cassia Barl, Ginger, Lavender, Fresh apple, Elderflower, Pimento Berries….plus Baobab, the Buchu plant, Devil’s Claw, Lions Tail, and African Wormwood
Just with premium tonic – this has enough flavour

Botanicals: Juniper, coriander seeds, cassia bark and the new – Lebanese mint and rare variety lemons
 With Lime and Mint

F.E.W Insurgint
Botanicals: Juniper, blood orange, notes of guajillo peppers
 An orange wheel or twist

Hunters Cheshire
Botanicals: Citrus blend & apples
Served: With a slice of Apple or Lime Wedge

Botanicals: juniper berries, coriander seeds, Bilberries, wild Gorse Flowers, wild Raspberries, Blackberry leaf and local Moss plus a host of secret ingredients
Served: with Rosemary or a selection of berries Blue//Black/Strawberries

Botanicals: juniper berries, cassia bark, cardamom pods, bergamot orange peel, lemon peel, coriander seeds, angelica root.
Served: With a slice of Pink Grapefruit

Gin Mare
Botanicals: Juniper and Olives
with a sprig of Rosemary

Fifty Pounds
Botanicals: juniper, angelica root, coriander, liquorice root, grains of paradise, lemon and orange rind, and savoury
Squeeze of Fresh Lime or an Orange Wedge

Botanicals: juniper, orange peel, coriander, cinnamon, cloves and cardomon
Shave of Lemon Rind

Botanicals: Floral chamomile, honeysuckle. underpinned by juniper
With a few Strawberries, Raspberries & Blueberries

Botanicals: Coul Blush apple and rowan berries
with a slice of Apple or a (thin) slice of Red Chilli Pepper

Botanicals: Juniper, citrus (mostly lemon peel) and spice
with a squeezed Lime Wedge

Four Pillars
Botanicals: Juniper, lemon myrtle and Tasmanian pepperberry leaf
With a large Orange Wedge

Monkey 47
types of pepper, Acacia, Acorus Calamus, Almond, Angelica, Bitter Orange, Blackberry, Cardamom, Cassia, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Citron Verbena, Cloves, Coriander, Cranberries, Cubeb, Dog Rose, Elderflower, Ginger, Grains Of Paradise, Hawthorn Berries, Hibiscus Abelmoshus, Hibiscus Syriacus, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Kaffir Lime, Lavender, Lemon, Lemon Balm, Lemongrass, Licorice, Lingonberries, Mondara Didyma, Nutmeg, Orris, Pimento, Pomelo, Rose Hip, Sage, Sloe, Spruce…etc
Just straight (plenty of flavours already) or a Cinnamon Stick.

<<Over 200 more favourite Gin Serving tips below…..>>

The difference between the gins, above and below is technically (and chemically) minor, perhaps miniscule, but it makes all the difference.

BUT…..It doesn’t make one better outright, it just makes them different, and thus better for some people, and certain times, with certain objectives.

Likewise with Executive Search. I can put a great argument forward why my business is best. Our risk free/cash-back guarantee on delivery timescales. Our unparalleled 12 month post-placement guarantee. Our focus and ability to assess Chemistry Fit…

…..But my blend of services, style and methods; my “Botanicals” will appeal to some, at the right time; but not to others; and other times. The blend has to be right for them, at the time, for that role.

Much as we can all choose one gin one night, and another gin the next night, depending on our mood, location, etc…so a client company, or an executive open to a new role and challenge can understand and chose what Botanicals are right for them. A key aspect is to try the specialist, rather than just automatically settling for a Gordons because you don’t know what else is out there.

Epilogue – Origin of the Species?

A bottle of Gin I got given this week develops the theme, and the experience offeredGary Chaplin Gin one step further. Origin Gin is a Juniper ONLY Gin, but it comes with a small vial of Botanicals so that the drinker can tailor the experience to their own palette.

I floated the same concept past a former employer, a larger search firm. More accurately tailor our approach, our service and our terms to our clients’ wishes. The response at the time was that our heritage and proven methodology meant that we knew our industry best. If a business wanted to work with us, they bought into our service, our methodology and our terms.

Origin is the boutique HeadHunter – small and lithe enough to tailor the approach and the product base (and the terms) to client requirements. Three times this year, I have been engaged not to run a full process, but just to fill in the part of an in-house process that the businesses in question didn’t feel perfectly suited to do. For two it was interviewing, for the other it was sifting through 300+ CVs and compiling a longlist for them to process.

More Favourite Gins/Serving Tips:


1897 Quinine Gin
Served: Lime
58 Gin
Served: Lemon Peel
6 O’Clock Gin
Served: Lemon
7 Dials Gin
Served: Rhubarb or Clementine Peel
Ableforth’s Bathtub Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Cinnamon
Adnams Copper House Gin
Served: Orange Peel
Adnams First Rate Gin
Served: Lemon or Thyme
Anno Gin
Served: with a Sprig of herbs. Thyme or Samphire if you can find it!
Arcturus Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Samphire
Aviation Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Lemon
Barra Gin
Served: Grapefruit or Rosemary
Bath Gin
Served: Lime or Kaffir Lime Leaf
Beckett’s Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Mint
Bedrock Gin
Served: Lime & Basil or Lemon Peel
Beefeater 24 Gin
Served: Grapefruit or Black Pepper
Beefeater Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Lime
Berkeley Square Gin
Served: Juniper Berries or Basil
Bertha’s Revenge Gin
Served: Orange Peel
Bimber Gin
Served: Lime or Lemon
Blackdown Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit or Mint
Blackdown Sussex Dry Gin
Served: Small slice of Rhubarb
BlackWater Gin
Served: Lime. Cinnamon Stick…or try a Vanilla Pod!
Blackwoods Gin
Served: Thyme or Orange Peel
Bleu D’Argent Gin
Served: Lemon Zest
Bloom Gin
Served: Mint or Strawberry
Bluecoat Gin
Served: with a slice of Orange
Boatyard Double Gin
Served: Grapefruit
Bobby’s Gin
Served: Orange & Cloves
Bogart’s Gin
Served: with a slice of cucumber
Bombay Sapphire Gin
Served: Lime
Boodles Gin
Served: Lemon
Boxer Gin
Served: Orange Peel, Bergamot Peel or Cucumber
Brecon Botanicals Gin
Served: Lemon
Brecon Special Reserve Gin
Served: Lime Zest
Brighton Gin
Served: Orange
Brilliant Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit
Brockman’s Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Any Forest Fruit
Broken Heart Gin
Served: Orange, Rosemary or Lemon Peel
Brokers Gin
Served: Just with a wedge of Lime
Brooklyn Gin
Served: Orange, Lime or Thyme
Bulldog Gin
Served: with a cinnamon stick (let infuse for 10 mins)
Burleigh’s Gin
Served: with a shave of orange peel or slice of pink grapefruit
By The Dutch Gin
Served: Orange and Bay Leaf
Caorunn Gin
Served: Red Apple or Fresh Chilli
Caspyn Gin
Served: Orange Peel
Caspyn Midsummer Gin
Served: Cucumber
Chilgrove Gin
Served: With a Twist of Lime OR Sprig of Mint
Citadelle Gin
Served: Slice of Orange or Star Anise
City of London Gin
Served: Slice of Pink Grapefruit
Collagin Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit
Colombo No. 7 Gin
Served: Lemon Peel or Curry Leaf
Colonsay Gin
Served: Orange Peel
Conker Gin
Served: Lime Zest
Copperhead Gin
Served: Orange
Cotswolds Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit
Crossbill Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Orange
Curio Gin
Served: Fennel, Lemon Peel or Samphire
Da Mhile Botanical Gin
Served: Lemon or Lime
Da Mhile Seaweed Gin
Served: Lemon
Daffy’s Gin
Served: with a sprig of mint & Lime wedges or a shave of lemon peel.
Darnley’s View Gin
Served: Lime
Deaths Door Gin
Served: with a slice of Blood Orange
Dingle Gin
Served: Lemon or Lime
Diplome Gin
Served: With a Shave of Grapefruit peel
Dockyard Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit or Rosemary
Durham Gin
Served: with a slice of apple
Echlinville Gin
Served: Lemon or Mint
Eden Mill Hop Gin
Served: Lemon
Eden Mill Love Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit or Berries
Eden Mill Original Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Lemon
Edinburgh Gin
Served: Orange Peel
Elephant Gin
Served: Apple or Cinnamon
Esker Gin
Served: Orange or Grapefruit
F.E.W American Gin
Served: Wheel of Fresh Orange.
F.E.W Insurgint Gin
Served: Orange Zest
Fifty Pounds Gin
Served: Lime or Mint
Filliers Gin
Served: Lemon or Lime
Fishers Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit or Lemon
Fords Gin
Served: Grapefruit or Lemon
Forest Gin
Served: Rosemary or Raspberries
Four Pillars Gin
Served: Orange or Pink Grapefruit
Foxdenton 48 Gin
Served: Lime or Black Pepper
Fresha Gin
Served: Black Pepper or Strawberries
G’Vine Gin
Served: Grapes
Galway Gin
Served: Lemon or Basil
Geranium Gin
Served: With a shave of Pink Grapefruit (or Geranium Flowers!)
Gilpin’s Gin
Served: Orange Peel
Gilt Gin
Served: Lemon
Gin Mare
Served: Basil or Rosemary
Gin Sul
Served: Rosemary or Lemon Zest
GlenWyvis Gin
Served: Orange & Coriander
Greenall’s Gin
Served: Lemon Zest or Lime
Griffiths Brothers Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Bay Leaf
Half Hitch Gin
Served: Orange Peel
Hayman’s Gin
Served: Lemon or Lime
Hedgehog Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit
Helsinki Gin
Served: Rosemary
Hendrick’s Gin
Served: Cucumber or Lime
Hidden Curiosities Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit or Pink Peppercorns
Isfjord Gin
Served: Orange Peel
Isle of Harris Gin
Served: Grapefruit Peel or Orange
Japanese Gin
Served: Apple, Rosemary or Pink Peppercorn
Jawbox Gin
Served: Lime or Mint
Jensen’s Gin
Served: Lemon
Jensen’s Old Tom Gin
Served: Rosemary
Jinzu Gin
Served: With a slice or Apple or shave of Orange Peel
Juniper Green Gin
Served: Lime or Juniper Berry
Junipero Gin
Served: Lime or Lavender
Kew Organic Gin
Served: Grapefruit or Lime
King of SoHo Gin
Served: With a slice of Pink Grapefruit
Kirkjuvagr Gin
Served: Orange Peel
Kokoro Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit or Lemon Zest
Langley’s Gin
Served: Grapefruit or Basil
Langley’s Old Tom Gin
Served: Clementine or Orange
Langtons No.1 Gin
Served: With a slice of Lemon (or shave of Lemon Peel)
Larios Gin
Served: Lemon
Listoke 1777 Gin
Served: Orange Peel
Little Bird Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit
Liverpool Gin
Served: Orange or Mint
Loch Ness Gin
Served: Vanilla Pod or Kiwi Fruit
Makar Gin
Served: Lemon, Rosemary or Green Chilli
Malfy Gin
Served: Thyme or Lemon Zest
Manchester Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit
Manchester Three Rivers Gin
Served: Cherry or Rosemary
Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength
Served: Lime
Martin Miller’s Gin
Served: With a sprig of Mint or Pink Grapefruit
Masons Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Pink Grapefruit Peel
Mean Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Orange
Melbourne Gin
Served: With a slice of Pink Grapefruit
Monkey 47 Gin
Served: On it’s own….plenty of flavour already!
Mr Hobbs Gin
Served: Orange Peel
Napue Gin
Served: Rosemary & Cranberry
NB Gin
Served: Orange Peel
Nicholson Gin
Served: Lemon Peel or Rhubarb
No. 209 Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit
No.3 Gin
Served: with Frozen Raspberries
Nordes Gin
Served: Lime or Mint
Old Bakery Gin
Served: Lemon or Mint
Old English Gin
Served: Lemon
Opihr Gin
Served: Ginger (and try with Ginger Ale)
Orkney Johnsmas Gin
Served: Lime, Orange or Apple
Orkney Mikkelmas Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Ginger
Oxley Gin
Served: Lime or Cucumber
Pickering’s Gin
Served: With a slice of Pink Grapefruit or Lemongrass
Pin Gin
Served: Strawberry, Lime or Cinnamon
Pinckneys London Dry Gin
Served: Lime or Grapefruit
Pink Pepper Gin
Served: Lemon Zest or Lavender
Pinkster Gin
Served: With Fresh Mint (Spank the mint first)
Plymouth Gin
Served: With a Slice of Lemon and Blackberries
Poetic License Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit
Portobello Road Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit Peel or Juniper Berries
Pothecary Gin
Served: Grapefruit or Orange Peel
Psychopomp Woden Gin
Served: Grapefruit
Rock Rose Gin
Served: with a shave of Orange Peel or Sprig of Rosemary
Roundhouse Gin
Served: Small shave or twist of lemon peel
Sacred Gin
Served: Grapefruit or Rosemary
Salcombe Gin
Served: Red Grapefruit
Sarabande Gin
Served: Lemon Peel or Grapefruit Peel
Scapegrace Gin
Served: Lime
Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin
Served: Lime or Orange
Seven Dials Gin
Served: Rhubarb or Clementine Peel
Sharish Blue Magic Gin
Served: Apple or Raspberry
Shortcross Gin
Served: Slice of Orange
Siegfried Gin
Served: Lemon Zest or Grapefruit
Silent Pool Gin
Served: Orange Zest
Sipsmith Gin
Served: Lime or Juniper
Sipsmith VJOP Gin
Served: Lime or Coriander
Sir Robin of Locksley Gin
Served: Pink Grapefruit
Skin Gin
Served: Orange Peel & Rosemary
Slingsby Gin
Served: Grapefruit Peel or Lavender
Sloane’s Gin
Served: with a Slice of Orange
Spirit of Hven Gin
Served: Lemon Zest or Juniper Berry
Spitfire Heritage Gin
Served: Orange Zest or Salted Capers
St George Terroir Gin
Served: Rosemary
St Giles Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Orange
Star of Bombay Gin
Served: Orange Peel
Strane Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Lemon Zest
Strathearn Classic Gin
Served: Grapefruit
SW4 Gin
Served: Lemon or Pink Grapefruit
Sylvius Gin
Served: With Star Anise
Tann’s Gin
Served: With a Raspberries
Tanqueray 10 Gin
Served: With a slice of Grapefruit
Tanqueray Gin
Served: Lime or Orange Peel
Tarquin’s Gin
Served: Lime or Thyme
Tarquin’s Seadog Gin
Served: Lime
The Botanist Gin
Served: with Sprig of Thyme and a Slice of Lemon
Thin Gin
Served: Orange, Lime or Strawberry
Thomas Dakin Gin
Served: With a orange zest and flat leaf coriander
Tiger Gin
Served: Orange
Tinker Gin
Served: Pear
Twisted Nose Gin
Served: With a slice of Pink Grapefruit
Two Birds Gin
Served: Cucumber or Lime
Underground Spirits Gin
Served: Orange
Ungava Gin
Served: Grapefruit or Lemon Zest
Warner Edwards Gin
Served: Slice of Apple
West Winds Gin
Served: With a Cherry Tomato
West Winds Gin (The Sabre)
Served: Lemon, Grapefruit or Basil
Whitley Neill Gin
Served: with a slice of orange
Wicked Wolf Gin
Served: Lime or Lemon & Thyme
Wight Mermaids Gin
Served: Samphire, Apple or Cucumber
Wild Island Botanic Gin
Served: Lemon Zest or Lemon
Williams Gin
Served: Lemon Zest & Ginger
Wint and Lila Gin
Served: Orange Peel or Mint
Served: Lemon or Raspberry
Xoriguer Mahon Gin
Served: Lemon or Thyme



My Specialist Gins

My Specialist Gins

28 Comments on “Why Recruitment Is Like Gin”

  1. Interesting tie in. Speaking as an employee in a “Gordons” recruitment business but trying to enter the specialist world, one parallel you forgot to highlight is that Gordons is £20 per litre, your gins are £30-45 per 70cl, almost twice the price.

    Likewise the Gordons of your world are working at 15-20% where as you boys get to charge 30% and more, plus other costs. 😉

    For some, the specialism isn’t worth the premium!

    Really enjoyable read though.

    • Thanks Austen.

      You are right on the Gin, although you use less due to the higher alcohol content – most specialist gin is 20-30% stronger than Gordons.

      Misconception on Exec Search though. My fees are typically no higher than database recruiters, partly as I don’t have the level of overheads. I also don’t charge expenses unless international. My service also comes with zero risk and a 12 month guarantee that the Database/Gordons can’t match. Cost and VFM, search will usually win the day.

      ……as for your trying to get into the specialist world, drop me a line. Happy to help. gary@garychaplin.com.

      Have a great day.

  2. Love this. Very cruel for a hot sunny evening though. You’ve just forced a homebound diversion to find a bar with a range of gins.

  3. Great blog Gary, and great selection of Gins. I’m local to you, inAlderley Edge. Where do you get your Gins from? Both for home and to drink whilst out. Most pubs have a limited selection?

    • Hi Phil. I use Corks Out, Cheshire Smokehouse and even Waitrose has some interesting Gins at times. Other than that, it’s online.

      For Pubs, The Bulls Head at Mobberley has some really unusual gins, The Botanist has a great selection but the best selection around is at the Cholmondeley Arms – about 20 miles away, but boasts over 250 Gins! I’m there for a Gin Tasting later this month courtesy of MrsC!


  4. Never come across anyone else who’s even heard of Monkey 47, also one of my favourites. We’re in the same game and I agree with what you say. Whilst we’re not a heavy retained recruitment company, we are niche which I think draws the same parallels. But it’s not just about the gin, the tonic is also very important.

  5. Hi Gary, the absolute best G&T I’ve ever had was in Mallorca – Monkey 47 in a goldfish bowl glass with an Argentinian tonic water made with quinine from very high altitude, 3 or 4 halves of kumquat and some dried juniper berries. It was so good I even have a photograph of it, how sad is that!

  6. Lovely read Gary, and a fantastic list of Gins. I’d never considered anything other than Lime in my GnT. I’ve also forwarded it to our HR Director, not only is he a Gin fan, he has used the same generic recruiter for years despite our protestations. Perhaps your tale and collection is the way to break the mould!
    Well done on a great piece.

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  8. I only stumbled on this from your twitter feed this morning. I love this blog. After 10 years in recruitment and at least as many drinking gin you are right on every level and have made me thirsty at 6am in the morning. I love and want your gin shelf. Brilliant collection, brilliant blog.

  9. Great article Gary and great tips for Gin drinking. I’ve only just discovered the differences between some gins, but already can see what you are saying. Rather than asking your favourite, are there any gins you don’t like?
    Well done.

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