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Changing the Face of Welsh Recruitment: Start-up Celebrates a Year of Success


Cardiff start-up Sitka Recruitment has hosted a special event to mark a highly successful first year.

The company has already had a big impact on business, talent acquisition and the recruitment profession in Wales over the past year, working with clients such as DevOpsGuys, Creditsafe, Acuity Legal, Tŷ Hafan, Cardiff & Vale College and the Wales Audit Office.

Founded by Directors Ita McNeil-Jones and Karen Birch, Sitka offers an innovative hybrid search service exclusively for manager and director level roles in finance, human resources, marketing, and business development.

Their forte is matching the right talent to the right Welsh businesses – a necessity in the challenging economic marketplace.

“Without efficient recruitment, businesses simply won’t have the skills they need to innovate and grow,” said Karen. “We strongly believe that it is employees that make a business and, for many, gives them competitive advantage.”

Sitka have made it their mission to challenge the stigma of recruitment. Through the past year they’ve proven that a valuable and rewarding recruitment experience is not only possible, but essential.

Ita explains:

“We genuinely care about doing things right. We don’t just recruit; we provide our clients with strategic consultancy on areas such as talent management and team restructure.”

Their clients appreciate this approach. Rachelle Sellek of Acuity Legal says: “Karen and Ita took the time to listen to what I wanted, and just as importantly didn’t want. They seemed to immediately “get” our business.”

The event on 19th October gave Ita and Karen a chance to thank their supporters and welcome representatives from their nominated charities for the coming year: Tŷ Hafan and Llamau.

Speaking on behalf of Tŷ Hafan was Claire Cooper, who Sitka successfully recruited to Director of Income Generation early on in the year:

“The experience I had as a candidate was a breath of fresh air,” said Claire. “I owe Sitka a lot, because they got me my dream job. We are so lucky to have Sitka as our charity partner – we couldn’t take care of our families at Tŷ Hafan without business partners like Sitka.”

Having surpassed their initial first year income target, Sitka now have their ambitions set on growing the team and expanding their reach.

“We have already invested in the services of Georgina Lewindon at Glew Marketing, which has helped us raise brand awareness and add value to the service we provide over and above what a mainstream recruitment firm does,” says Ita.

As two women in their forties in a highly competitive market, Karen and Ita took a bold move in setting Sitka up, but feel the risk has paid off.

“This is just the start,” said Karen. “It’s been a brilliant first year and has proven that you don’t have to be young and at the beginning of your career to start up your own professional services business.”

Sitka is keen to support the wider Welsh business community and already have plans in place with the University of South Wales and Llamau to look at improving soft skills in the workplace and other recruitment focused topics.


With over 15 years experience within the Recruitment industry, Mark considers digital publishing, digital engagement, recruitment marketing and advertising (all media), digital video production, creative design and more recently social media development as his core knowledge and where a lot of his experience lays.

Having been at the forefront of the digital publishing sector for well over a decade, Mark has founded numerous job boards and publishing businesses.

He has very strong business ethics, built on transparency and trust and equally as important, he enjoys close working relationships with all clients. A self-confessed digital geek Mark lives and breathes online media ensuring Recruitment Buzz stays ahead of the curve.


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