Meet Our Leaders

Trusted recruitment leaders with a clear vision 

Our senior leadership team are genuine experts with a wealth of recruitment outsourcing and managed service expertise, covering MSP and RPO design, planning and implementation.

Warm and welcoming, our entire leadership team have a true passion for sharing their expertise and supporting others in offering the market-leading recruitment outsourcing services our clients rely on.

Meet them here:

Headshot of Simon Blockley

Simon Blockley

Managing Director, UK and Europe

Read Simon's Bio

As Managing Director, Simon's role is to implement Guidant’s three-year strategy (Lead, People, Grow) which has set a clear framework for the future direction of our business, while ensuring an exceptional standard of service for our clients, candidates, suppliers and our people. 

He has worked in the recruitment industry since the late 90s, having spent the vast majority of this time concentrating on setting the standard for recruitment process outsourcing.

The early part of Simon’s career focussed on client service leadership, where he was responsible for the delivery of outsourced recruitment services encompassing all categories of permanent and non-permanent resource. Building on his success in client services, Simon, a Prince2 Project Manager, successfully implemented several recruitment operating models across multiple industries and locations.

Simon has spent the latter part of his career advising organisations on their approach to talent acquisition and management. He joined Guidant Group in 2015 and has recently been included in SIA's (Staffing Industry Analysts) European Top 100, which lists the 100 most influential people in the European staffing market. 

"Simon is not only a very experienced and knowledgeable recruitment professional, but a true people-person, making it a real pleasure to work with him. He has a great ability to assess and understand clients’ needs and then match these with strategic solutions, always maintaining a sensible and realistic approach, without losing his warmth and personable touch.  A keen collaborator, Simon always strives for excellence and is someone you can certainly rely on."

Helga Venturini Townend, Director, International Compliance Experts

Photo of Richard King

Richard King

Finance Director

Read Richard's Bio
Richard is our results-driven and people-oriented Finance Director with over 20 years' experience in the staffing and recruitment industry. His role is to ensure the commercial effectiveness of Guidant Group, while working in close partnership with our clients and on-site teams to drive efficiencies across all of our MSP and RPO programmes. Starting his career at Impellam over 17 years ago, Richard has since risen through the ranks to head up Guidant’s finance function.
Jacqui Pearce

Jacqui Pearce

Head of Operations

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Jacqui has been with Guidant Group for almost 10 years and now oversees delivery for one third of our client portfolio. She is a highly experienced people manager and enjoys working with people to lead, motivate, develop and deliver exceptional results. Jacqui is a key driver of our internal Career Academy.

"I have worked with Jacqui for the past five years.  My organisation was a first generation client and she was the Operations Director for our account.

Jacqui has the natural ability to very quickly access the situation and through clear direction empowers her team to find ways of streamlining processes and creating efficiencies in the work place.  She has the perfect balance between bringing value add to her clients, whilst being able to ensure the overall strategy of the account is achieved.  

Jacqui has excellent people skills and has the ability to engage at all levels.  She very quickly made it her priority to understand what is important to our organisation as well as assessing the level of detail that I needed to be involved / included in.

Even when things go wrong, Jacqui is calm and structured and works well with her teams to offer not only quick solutions but uses the lessons learnt to build a better understanding of the company which ensures the high level of service and client satisfaction is consistently achieved.

I see Jacqui as an extension of our leadership team, who is a trusted partner who I rely on for sounding ideas, concepts and challenges, as her commercial view on the market is sound, and I definitely count on her guidance in terms of my own personal developement.  

Jacqui is a trusted partner who I have thoroughly enjoyed working with and would strongly recommend her to any prospective client."

Head of Resourcing, Guidant Group client
Photo of Niamh O

Niamh O'Brien

Client Solutions Director

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Niamh has worked with Irish Recruitment Consultants for over 14 years and is now focused on further developing the already well established IRC brand and launching Guidant IRC in the Irish market. Niamh has over 20 years' recruitment experience and has previously had responsibility for developing and managing key client relationships within IRC. 

The sign of a great partnership is repeat business. The fact that I’ve chosen to work with Niamh and the team in Irish Recruitment Consultants (IRC) for almost 15 years now across 4 industries shows the high value and trust I put in them and their personable, professional approach. 

They consistently deliver solutions for my needs across temporary staffing, flexible workforce and permanent placements. The consistency of service, quality of staff and candidates and the super service from IRC are the reasons why I chose to work with them and why they will continue to be a chosen business partner for many years

Shane Stafford – Commercial Director, IRC client

Photo of Gwen Leyden

Gwen Leyden 

Branch Manager

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Gwen has been with IRC since 2000 having worked in both our Dublin and Limerick offices. When she joined IRC she was responsible for our key accounts and worked on site in Diageo as Resourcing Specialist. 

Gwen was involved in gaining new key accounts through her reputation in the market place. She worked with GSK, Baileys, Cadbury and the Guinness Storehouse. When Gwen moved from our Dublin office to our Limerick office she was responsible for the Customer Service Desk. Gwen was selected to complete the School of Excellence programme and became Managing Consultant and has since been promoted to Branch Manager.

Gwen has been instrumental in growing the Limerick business and has made IRC synonymous within call centre business in Limerick. The Limerick office services the majority of the multinational companies in the mid-west through a variety of different sectors. 

We have been working with IRC and especially with Gwen Leyden for quite a number of years now. She is a real gem, fully understands our needs and requirements and comes up with excellent and suitable candidates, even at the shortest of notice.

She is a great support to us and IRC just wouldn’t be the same without her.”

Hannelore Corris – DHL EKAS

Photo of Jenny Maher

Jennifer Maher

Divisional Manager

Read Jennifer's Bio

Jennifer has been working in recruitment for 9 years. In her previous role she was Operations Manager for all managed service accounts nationwide. She has extensive knowledge in temporary recruitment. 

Jenny joined the group in August 2017. She is an experienced manager who enjoys working with people and strives to give the best customer service possible, always going the extra mile.

I have known Jenny since 2013 – Jenny would have been my first point of contact when booking staff for our sites around Dublin and surrounding counties.
From site visits Jenny would have observed the standards / work practices we work to and she was made aware of the level of service we expected on our sites; in turn she then endeavoured to fill each of our staff requirements to meet these standards.

Jenny had the ability to quickly understand the skillset that was required on our sites and this was clearly evident in the members of her team that were sent to our sites.

During her time working with me — when it was called for (and in certain stressful situations) she made it her mission to prioritise any issues or problems which arose — all of which was dealt with efficiently, and resulted in the desired solution not only for me but also our managers on site.

Even when Jenny moved away from dealing with temp staff solutions for our sites — she would have been my go-to person to raise any concerns / issues — knowing that she would work her magic in ensuring they were dealt with.

I would have no problem in recommending Jenny and hopefully I will get the opportunity to work with her in the future.”

Carmel Tierney – Recruitment Lead, key client