Client Testimonials

Distinctive People worked with us during 2020 and 2021 to develop a bespoke approach to pay and reward and to benchmark pay across the whole organisation.

Distinctive People brought a well developed understanding of the context in which Scottish Autism operates and quickly grasped our strategic intent to link pay and reward with the delivery of quality services. Importantly they also understood the financial drivers of our business and limits to the resources we have available. The work delivered was focused and highly effective.

What Distinctive People developed was innovative, workable, cost effective aligned to our values and strategic objectives. Such was the work they put into engaging with staff and the Board that we had few obstacles to implementation. The relationship and communication with the internal team working on the project was responsive and extremely positive.

Dorry McLaughlin Chief Executive - Scottish Autism

We appointed Distinctive People to review and update our salary and rewards structure and processes. Distinctive People designed and delivered a review which was comprehensive and engaged with colleagues right across the organisation. The outputs of the review ticked all the boxes of our initial brief and the colleague feedback,  and went above and beyond in terms of developing a Total Reward philosophy aligned with our Vision and business strategy. Distinctive People have given us the tools to develop a reward proposition which is competitive and modern, as well as designing a clear, fair and simple salary structure.

Eleanor Rooke Executive Director - Business Support, Berwickshire Housing Association

Distinctive People (DP) have been critical in helping us to make key appointments within our organisation. They work in a tailored way to understand the organisation and it’s needs and always present a wide range of diverse candidates. DP works with clients in an involved manner throughout the recruitment process. We value having an established relationship with DP and feel confident that the long term relationship will continue to facilitate making successful appointments within our business.

Chair, Nomination & Remuneration Committee Tower Hamlets Community Housing

Distinctive People provided the support we needed for the successful recruitment of a senior leadership position within our new senior management structure. We were able to tailor our approach based on the guidance Denise offered so that it suited our requirements. The overall timescales envisaged for the process were met with the support team providing the necessary technical input. Also important for us was the feedback from the candidates themselves, who were impressed with the support and information provided.

John Henderson Managing Director, Eastend Homes

I’ve been delighted with the support I’ve had from Mark and Denise at Distinctive People in both reviewing our senior management structure and implementing the recommendations. They’ve helped me recruit a great new team to implement our ambitious new strategy and have also supported us with some important non-executive recruitment. I’d have no hesitation in recommending their work to other organisations.

Steve Benson Chief Executive

Distinctive People did an excellent job in searching and sifting to provide us with a good range of diverse applicants, all with relevant experience and skills, from varied backgrounds and sectors, who showed enthusiasm and engagement with our business and our purpose. We were able to make three excellent appointments, and really appreciated the way in which Distinctive People supported us through a robust selection process to a successful outcome.

Liz Potter Group Chair, Curo Board

We have recently completed recruitment of a new Chief Executive with the invaluable help of Denise Kirkham. Throughout this process, Denise has not only been extremely professional and effective, but has been so in a warm and empathetic way.

She has guided an essentially amateur group of trustees with great skill and forbearance, gently forcing us to stick to the point and complete the task! I recommend her highly.

John Lesirge Chair of Trustees, Nansen Village

We worked with Denise from Distinctive People on the recruitment of two key roles within our Senior Leadership Team. From the word go, the service was professional, organised and easy to progress. We were absolutely delighted with the calibre of the shortlisted candidates and the final appointments.

Brett Sadler Operations Director, North Wales Housing Association

At Monmouthshire Housing Association we were delighted to work again with Distinctive People. They are our ‘go to’ recruitment consultants for senior posts, and once again have come up trumps with a high calibre field and an excellent appointment.

John Keegan Chief Executive, Monmouthshire Housing Association

Having two Executive Director posts to fill at the same time was a daunting proposition. Throughout the process, Distinctive People provided a personal and professional support to ateb and the candidates. At the recruitment design stage we were offered a number of different tools to help us attract and select the best candidate for us. For example, the growth based personality profiling from Matthew Syed aligned and formed a perfect match with our ateb DNA. The Covid-19 lockdown added additional complexity to the process but through close collaborative working, Distinctive People and ateb were able to find innovative solutions in difficult circumstances without compromising quality that led to two great appointments to our Executive Team.

Nick Hampshire Chief Executive, ateb

I have worked with Mark over the years and his company have always provided excellent services. The primary area that I have had experience of Mark’s services is providing high quality management development training in both local government and housing.

More recently “Distinctive People” have provided Local Space with an extremely thorough review of our Absence procedure and follow up training which has been well received by our managers. Distinctive People also provided “a late in the day” request from us to undertake a thorough sense checking exercise on our newly designed behavioural competency framework. Then came Covid-19 and our organisation moved across to working remotely. Distinctive People rose to the challenge and did the Competency Workshops via video conferencing for all our managers and then an introduction to our behavioural competency framework for all staff. It worked out very well and the evaluation sheets validated the good quality training staff experienced. I would not hesitate to recommend Distinctive People.

Catherine Diamond Corporate Services Director, Local Space

I have worked with Denise Kirkham and Mark Glinwood on a range of people related projects for a period of approximately 10 years, most recently as Distinctive People. These projects have included an organisational design of senior executive posts, design of a Reward policy, leadership and management development, executive coaching and undertaking due diligence of people and HR related issues in a proposed merger.

I have always found that they are able to interrogate and understand the brief provided and deliver a service that meets it. Importantly, they are always able to shape and tailor their services to meet the desired outcomes of the project, demonstrating flexibility and great customer service throughout. Their work is of a consistently high standard and is delivered on time and to budget.

Their most recent appointment for us is a major leadership development programme for managers operating in locations across the UK. They continue to demonstrate the qualities described above and, in this project, have provided us with a particularly innovative approach as we seek to become a more digitally enabled organisation.

I have no hesitation in recommending their services.

Paul Hillard Managing Director, Irvine Housing

We have been working with Distinctive People for the past 15 months now, when we engaged them through a competitive tendering process to both design and deliver a Leadership Development Programme for a group of leaders who had just undergone a large-scale transformation within their operating area, which is nationwide. The objective of the project was to not just upskill the leaders, but for them to individually challenge and reflect on their own behaviour and take responsibility for their own learning.

We have worked very closely with Distinctive People and whilst the programme had a clear set objectives linked to specific ROI’s, due to their professionalism, creativity and communication we have developed the programme with a range of activities that are very different from the normal activities – this has had direct impact on both the leaders talking with synergy, challenging their own skills, embedding the learning back in the work place and driving their team to improve a whole team performance.

Through the programme, and due to their diligent approach, planning, communication skills and delivery, they have built highly effective relationships both with internal L&D and HR Functions and senior leaders, and provided a tangible framework of behaviours for leaders to follow, to embed and make effective the challenges of significant transformation on an operation, whilst developing as individuals.

Victoria Warner HRBP – Neighbourhood Services, Riverside HG

Denise and Mark proved excellent in every way – professional, prompt and polished. Their advice regarding the market and advertising was spot on, the shortlisting process from a satisfyingly large and strong field was made easier by their management of it and their advice on and conduct of the first stage interviews left us with an impressive shortlist of several appointable candidates.

They discussed the second stage interviews at length with us, providing advice but also accommodating our own wishes regarding the testing of candidates and planning and masterminding a programme for the day which worked superbly.

We made a fantastic appointment. If we were to be in the same position again, I should have no hesitation in asking for Denise Kirkham and Mark Glinwood.

Chris Edmundson Former Chair of Melin Homes