Our History

Our Story

Our firm was founded because we saw the opportunity to disrupt.

As both job seekers and hiring managers ourselves, we experienced first hand the frustrations of the recruitment industry and so saw an opportunity to do things differently. Founded by Michelle Palmer in 2006, theDIFFERENCE ENGINE started its life as Canary Wharf & City Recruitment, a technology recruitment company focused on finding the right people for the right role. In 2018, we rebranded to better reflect our broader reach.

Today, we enjoy long tenured relationships with our clients, helping them grow their companies. We take great pride in the work we do and we're pleased that this is reflected in the results we achieve. Whether it's being consistently ranked top quartile in vendor rankings with Tier 1 investment banks, or being trusted by scale-up companies who work with us exclusively across all their hiring needs.

Our Values

  • We take a long-term view on our relationships with clients - take care of our clients and they will reciprocate
  • We're committed to providing a friendly, supportive, diverse and inclusive working environment where everyone is free to bring their whole self to work
  • We work with honesty and integrity always
  • We're serious about doing what we do well and with a focus on perfection and polish
  • We invest in making our people the best they can be through continual learning and development, whilst promoting a culture of creativity and innovation in everything that we do

What is a Difference Engine?

A difference engine, designed by famous computer pioneer Charles Babbage in the 19th century, is a calculator designed on the mathematic principle of the method of finite differences. Difference Engine No. 1, started by Babbage in 1821, is the first complete design for an automatic calculating engine - or a calculator.

In his lifetime, Babbage completed one-seventh of this design and that piece to this day works impeccably as an automatic calculating device. These mechanical computing designs Babbage created have been widely marked as one of the most innovative and astonishing intellectual achievements of the 19th century.

One of the most famous mathematicians to have worked on this engine was August Ada King, more commonly known as Ada Lovelace. Ada is noted as the first person to recognise that Babbage's engine could have uses beyond pure calculation. A friend of Babbage's, Lovelace made extensive notes on the engine wherein she was able to explain it far more clearly than Babbage had ever been able to. In these notes, she also described an algorithm the engine would be capable of carrying out.

She is credited today as the world's first computer programmer.

Today we coin the phrase theDIFFERENCE ENGINE, not only in homage to one of the world's first computers, but also as a play on these words based on our clients' experiences.

We are seen as engines for change and with an atypical approach to recruitment that is reassuringly different than our competition.

For a different approach, get in touch.