NBS discovered hard-to-reach tech talent that wasn’t on other platforms or the books of recruiters

Neil Smith
Newcastle upon Tyne
Company stage
Company size
Built Environment
CS Manager
Neil Smith
Neil Smith
Hired by
Role title
NBS discovered hard-to-reach tech talent that wasn’t on other platforms or the books of recruiters

Senior Devs

Target audience


Estimated ROI

Relevant applicants

Key benefit

NBS are at the forefront of the digitisation of the global construction industry. Helping the industry build safer, more sustainable buildings that make a positive impact on the future of the built environment. Their cloud-based technology platforms for specifiers and suppliers enable better-than-ever collaboration, making construction specifications smarter, rich in detail and safeguarded for the future. 

NBS is a North East success story headquartered in central Newcastle upon Tyne. We spoke to Phil Scott, NBS Director of Software Delivery, and Andrew Martin, NBS Senior Software Developer, about their recent use and success with Haystack.

What challenges were you facing?

The demand for great tech talent has accelerated year after year. The trend towards increased hybrid working has meant we are no longer competing solely with other great North East-based businesses but with organisations right across the UK. Finding and attracting tech talent is becoming more challenging and we’ve adapted to ensure we remain competitive and attractive to a diverse range of skills.

How did Haystack help you to overcome these problems?

Haystack has helped enable us to discover hard-to-reach tech talent that wasn’t on other platforms or the books of recruiters. With the support of Haystack, we can control how our brand is positioned with the tech community and get our roles directly in front of highly relevant candidates. As a Director of Software Delivery, talent acquisition is one of the hats I wear daily, so cutting through the noise and seeing highly targeted and suitable matches saves me a lot of time and hassle. In the past 12 months I’ve seen a noticeable difference in the Haystack platform and the target audience has continued to grow and engage with our profile, not only helping to attract skills but also providing great PR about an excellent organisation that is driving a positive change in global construction.

What success did you see with Haystack?

Andrew Martin, a Senior Software Developer, has successfully joined our team through the Haystack platform and has been a great addition through 2022! Andrew is not only a great fit for our tech stack and culture but being in our local region has provided the option to attend the office where it has been beneficial to collaborate with the wider team in person.

How has this influenced your future hiring plans?

We’ve recently finalised our product strategy and hiring plans for 2023 giving us a clear picture of what we need in terms of skills to continue to grow the business at pace. Haystack plays a key role in this, and we have recently upgraded our package to get access to their sourcing tool Headhunt. Haystack is a cost-effective solution and enables me as a budget holder to manage our cost base, which keeps our CFO happy! We’ll be recruiting across engineering and test so keep an eye out on Haystack or join our talent pool for future opportunities that will arise. 

Andrew, what was your experience of Haystack from a user/techie perspective?

Their service has a very simple, slick app that lets you customise and refine a lot of aspects of your search, and that was all backed up with a more traditional style of recruitment if you want to do that as well.

How was this different from other platforms?

The main difference for me was the focus on transparency, speed, and control of the process.

The ability to manage your visibility to companies was a particularly attractive feature for me, it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed on sites like Linkedin, so to only share details with people you wanted to see it was important.

On many other recruitment sites and apps the focus on getting people straight into a standard, protracted and often quite slow and formal application process seems to be the norm, Haystack’s ability to let you set up a chat with a company first and work out if you fit was particularly good.

… and finally, Haystack does seem to like to push the concept that salary transparency at the advertising stage “is” necessary, so being able to see a range (or at least an indication of whether your expectation is something a company is willing to entertain) saves a lot of time.

How have you settled into life at NBS?

“Well” (...I hope! 😊).

There is a clear and demonstrable good attitude towards welfare and work/life balance, plenty of little perks if you’re around the office, (but my experience and team have been mainly remote which I prefer, but that’s just me!), and lots of experienced, considered and knowledgeable people.

Would you recommend Haystack to other techies?

Unequivocally yes, it has a winning combination of no-nonsense job hunting, visibility control, company insights, direct access to company recruitment personnel (if you want to do that), access to a more traditional “expert recruiter” (again if you want to do that). Quite frankly, given the interesting, unique, complementary positioning against companies like Glassdoor or LinkedIn, I’m expecting Haystack to turn into the North East’s next Sage-sized business...but for services to recruitment!

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