VANBAR Associates joins the Herd

Leeds digital recruitment platform Herd has appointed communications agency VANBAR Associates to provide PR support and boost its business profile.   

Amy De-Balsi, founder of Herd

Amy De-Balsi, founder of Herd

Herd was founded last year by entrepreneur Amy De-Balsi to act as a link between technology firms in the Leeds City Region and help candidates access the growing number of vacancies in the local digital sector. 

The firm also organises regular networking events and offers members access to industry intelligence and contacts in Yorkshire.

Recent sign-ups include Epiphany, Sky Bet and Leeds City Council.

Mrs De-Balsi said it was an ideal time for Herd to further capitalise on the opportunities the burgeoning Leeds digital community presented, with many London companies now relocating their software engineering functions to the city.

In April 2015 the Government launched the Tech North initiative to help digital firms in Leeds and neighbouring cities work more closely together and promote the North as a prime location for global technology businesses to invest. 

And in his Budget a few weeks ago, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced plans to create new three new Tech Hubs in the North including £3.7million for a six-floor technology business incubator in the centre of Leeds.

The Leeds digital sector is on the march, as evidenced by the ever-growing number of jobs being created by Herd members and made available on our website and via social media, Amy said.  

In our short history, Herd has established a strong record of achievement in filling these roles.  And through our other activities such as providing networking opportunities, weve enabled many local tech firms to collaborate. 

Herds partnership with VANBAR Associates will raise our brand profile, increase industry awareness of what we do and attract many more members to our ranks.  

VANBAR Associates is an integrated communications firm established in 2014, also based in Leeds.

Barry White, a partner at the agency, said: Ive worked with Amy in the past and been immensely impressed by the professionalism, knowledge and skill she brings to the table.

Under her leadership, Herd has rapidly become a vital resource for digital and tech firms across Leeds City Region.

VANBAR Associates looks forward to playing our part in assisting Herd to expand its role and membership in the months ahead.

Amy seeks to ‘Herd’ up the best for Leeds digital sector

An eyebrow-raising piece in the business pages of today’s Yorkshire Post which revealed that there are more than 400 “hidden” vacancies in the Leeds digital sector, costing an estimated £15million in lost benefit to the local economy.

A piece of sharp analysis from technology recruitment firm Herd found that there were 426 digital vacancies in Leeds in October, with some posts being left vacant for six months.  

“Cities are complex and understanding the digital economy has always been a challenge,” Herd founder Amy De-Balsi told the paper.

“People are constantly arguing about what constitutes a digital company, whether a digital sector exists because most businesses use technology and before those arguments are even settled, the digital world has moved on. Leeds is no exception.”

And whilst the city has worked hard to grow its reputation in digital industries, not a single UK or multinational technology big player is headquartered here.   

But never one to stand on the sidelines, Amy – who I was proud to work with at Yorkshire Forward – is doing her bit by bringing digital leaders together to work for a solution.

The Herd website promotes vacancies across a growing number of digital companies including Epiphany, The Test People, Web Anywhere and Immedia Solutions.

You can see what’s currently available by visiting  

“There is huge support for Leeds to be put on the map,” said Amy.  And she’s right.