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Five things you need to do to boost your career prospects in HR in 2015!

2015There are a few things in your career plan that are essential when it comes to excelling in life and fast tracking your expertise in your chosen field. It is imperative that you have a clear sense of the direction you would like to head with your HR career and reviewing your career plan over this festive period should be one of your key tasks, other than munching too many mince pies, partaking in a glass or three of fizz and falling asleep during a Morecambe and Wise re run of course! Career planning is a critical stage for you and is essential to your success not something you want to skip over.

topfivetipsHere are Ashley Kate HR’s top 5 suggestions on how to build your career prospects:

Get your CV in order – Check out our You Tube video on CV preparation. This video has had over 200,000 views  views and provides valuable insights into how to market your skills and experience to potential new employees.

Remember when you work with an HR Recruiter such as Ashley Kate HR they can offer you real insights in the pros and cons of working for UK firms using their unique network of HR market information and intelligence. Be aware of market trends which has the advantage of you being able to adjust and strengthen your position, your USP!. One of the keys to job and career success is having a unique set of accomplishments skills, and education that make you better than all others in your career.

careerpathMap your career path to date – take time to review and reflect on the path you have taken so far – are you happy / should you have done things differently? What can you do differently in the future? Then speak to your recruiter 0845 413 2100 who offer you exceptional HR career advice and provide some real structure and agree realistic objectives/goals.

 

ashleykatgraphic1Work as a partnership with your HR Recruiter and get them really working for you – sourcing your next challenge. Make sure you are working to an agreed job creation plan and don’t forget to set yourself up for job alerts on e.g. Ashley Kate HR and follow us on Twitter @HRjobsHR where you will find a plethora of HR jobs across the whole spectrum of industry sectors in the UK.

 

Engage with other HR professionals and join market leading HR specific groups on LinkedIn for example  HR Professionals Network   which has over 9000 active members.  Attend networking events such as the HR Directors Boardroom and Employment Law Seminars run by Ashley Kate HR. These events will provide you with fantastic opportunities to not only network but promote your knowledge and enables interaction with decision makers locally to you.

promotion2014Promote yourself – write articles for our newsletters  these are sent to in excess of 30,000+ HR professionals across the UK, or compose a topical HR blog promoting you and  your firm’s achievements in 2014 – talent spotters beware!

Career planning has numerous benefits, from goal-setting to a complete career change, to a more successful life. Once you regularly revise and plan your career using the tips above (there are many more we can give too!), it will provide you with some great ammunition that will enable you to become better prepared for whatever lies ahead in your HR career.

FIRP, HR Recruitment Director –  Kim MacNamara is a HR recruitment specialist who has successfully placed senior HR roles across the UK and is driven by a focus on an excellent customer experience.  Working alongside Claire Baker, Emma Dobson, Lucy Wesson & Leon Morley they provide effective recruitment solutions for HR roles from Administrative to Board level.

If you enjoy networking and want to connect with other HR professionals – Kim also runs the LinkedIn Groups- HR Professionals Network  and HR Directors Boardroom. The former cited as one of the fastest growing HR specific groups. Kim is also responsible for running the Ashley Kate HR HRD Boardroom style debate events in the UK.

If you are looking for a new opportunity in 2015 register your details with us today.

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HR Directors Boardroom Welcomes Pets at Home in 2015

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What is Social Media’s place in HR?

Since achieving Number 1 in the Times Best Company to work for Pets at Home have changed and grown significantly. As leaders in their field, the HR team are always looking at new and innovative ways to improve Employee engagement.

Ryan Cheyne People Director from Pets at Home will give a unique insight into a case study at Pets At Home on how using social media has worked for them and lead a debate that will focus around how an innovative social media strategy can really bring a company’s core values to life and build engagement levels across the business.

Our Chairman for the session, Naeema Choudry of Eversheds LLP, has indicated that this session might be of interest to you and has asked us to extend a personal invitation to you.

Naeema Choudry, Partner of Eversheds International Law Group has been recognised as someone ‘’you would want in your corner’’ by Legal 500 and Chambers directories and is a highly experienced employment law practitioner and tribunal advocate.

HR Debate is completely membership led and to ensure you get maximum return on your involvement the places are limited so if you are interested in attending please complete the form below.

Venue:      The Boardroom: Eversheds LLP Manchester

Address:   70 Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester, M1 5ES

Date:         Wednesday 18th March 2015  

Time:         8am – 10am

Cost:         Free of charge

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HR Salary Survey

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Each year Ashley Kate HR provide HR professionals with a comprehensive HR Salary and Benefits Guide, this is produced from a nationwide HR Salary and Benefits Survey combined with details from our extensive database of HR candidates and HR vacancy registrations.

To take part in this survey and receive a free copy of the completed Guide, which will be produced early 2015, please follow the link below.

HR Salary Survey 

The closing date for responses is Friday 5th December. 

Thank you for your time.

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Invitation to attend our HR Directors Boardroom event

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Are you a HR Director? Why not join HRD’s at the next meeting of the HR Directors Boardroom in Birmingham on Tuesday 18th November.

Topic – How HR can create an effective coaching culture and gain a ROI?

Join Jenifer Richmond HR Director UK Coach for National Express PLC and hear about her compelling journey and the challenges of introducing a cultural change initiative that delivers real value.

Companies with strong and effective coaching cultures are often characterised by high levels of employee engagement, productivity, company innovation, customer satisfaction, allegiance – all of which drives profitability.

Jenifer will share her successes around creating a successful coaching culture and also will facilitate debate around two key, topical areas:

  • How HR should keep the momentum going when undergoing this type of cultural change
  • How HR can make the ROI more visible

 

Eversheds

 Venue: The Boardroom: Eversheds LLP Birmingham

Address:115 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 3AL

Date: Tuesday 18th November 2014

Time: 8.30am – 10am

Cost: Free of charge

Our chair for this session is Teresa Dolan Partner in Eversheds Birmingham Employment team.

If you would like to attend please complete the form below or email  kim.macnamara@ashleykatehr.com  you can also call 0845 413 3200. We look forward to welcoming you.

For further insight as to what these debates involve please read the Ashley Kate HR Directors Boardroom at Eversheds London article.

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Breakfast Briefing Success for HR Professionals

Jo Pearson - HR Recruitment Consultant for the North West
Jo Pearson – HR Recruitment Consultant for the North West

The Ashley Kate HR Breakfast Briefing held at Eversheds in Manchester was a resounding success!

andrewand naeema

Andrew Moore & Naeema Choudry Eversheds LLP

Over 60 HR Professionals attended this Employment Law update to share a delicious breakfast and discuss The New Right to Request Flexible Working & Calculating Holiday Pay with an update on recent case law developments provided by Andrew Moore and Naeema Choudry of Eversheds LLP.

Ashley Kate HR run these much anticipated legal seminars in conjunction with Eversheds and they form part of a full schedule of HR networking events that we have in place for 2014 for HR professionals right across the UK. These events offer HR an invaluable opportunity to hear about the latest employment law changes, network with other HR professionals and ask direct questions to the legal experts from Eversheds and recruitment teams from Ashley Kate HR.

breakfastHR Professionals began arriving from 8.00am and were welcomed with coffee, croissants and a delicious selection of fruits whilst they enjoyed networking with HR Professionals from many different sectors.

During the event guests were encouraged to join in the ‘live’ tweet meet and posted questions via direct message to both speakers.

Interesting discussions surrounding ‘Redundancy payments based on age being justifiable’ and ‘Awarding compensation for injury to feelings’ Room Picturewere just a couple of the subjects highlighted in this update and prior to the event guests were given the opportunity to put their own questions to Naeema and Andrew which were then covered and discussed with the audience.

At the heart of Ashley Kate HR is a commitment to developing and fostering relationships with the wider community in which they operate as such they are proud to be part of the amazing Master Cutlers Challenge 2014, fundraising for Sheffield Hospitals Charity and Whirlow Hall Farm Trust.  To assist is raising these vital funds raffle tickets were sold and the HR Profession did not disappoint, helping to raise another £71.15 prizes included

prizesSwizzels Sweet Hamper

Edinburgh Cycles Pack

£50 TGI Fridays voucher 

Champagne

Freshly baked Muffins from Speedibake

If you were unable to attend but would still like to make a donation please click on this link and Donate NOW 

The UK wide HR events are just one part of the Ashley Kate HR Network, which is an exclusive, free HR service we offer to the HR community. If you’re not already a member of The HR Network, Ashley Kate HR is offering you the opportunity to join for FREE so you can take advantage of the many benefits that our current HR Network members enjoy:

  • Invites to our HR Director Boardroom style debating events
  • Quarterly newsletters and bulletins
  • HR activity reports and salary surveys
  • Up to 20% discount off our standard terms of business for all levels of HR recruitment
  • FREE online advertising of all your HR opportunities on our own website and targeted HR websites
  • Extensive networking opportunities through our market leading Social Media group

Comments received from HR Network Guests

“Would you please pass on my thanks to all your Ashley Kate HR colleagues and Eversheds for their time – I genuinely believe these seminars are highly valued and Ashley Kate always does it so well.”

 “I found this event really helpful and useful especially the section on holiday pay calculation”

“I was a really relaxed friendly welcoming environment, it was fantastic to get the opportunity to catch up with fellow HR professionals”

If you are interested in joining the HR Network, want to attend future HR events or wish to discuss any current or forthcoming HR recruitment requirements then please contact Jo Pearson via email on jo.pearson@ashleykatehr.com or call 0845 413 3200.

You can find future HR Networking events on our website

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Welcome to the “dark side” Luke…….

Jo Pearson - HR Recruitment Consultant for the North West

Jo Pearson – HR Recruitment Consultant for the North West

So, eighteen months ago I joined Ashley Kate HR and began my first foray into recruitment consultancy.  Prior to this, I’d worked as an internal recruiter in a national role with my only experience of agencies (other than several temp roles as a candidate in my younger days) coming in that internal role. 

 Used to ‘batting away’ cold calls from agencies I did initially wonder how I would fare in my new role.   Could I be the person on the other end of the phone making those calls?  Would I have the skills required?  Would internal recruiters and recruiting managers listen to me or would I be met with a groan and a sigh and a “Sorry I’m just really busy right now”?trynot

Now don’t get me wrong, in that role I had some valuable relationships with some very good suppliers who were critical to our recruitment process but I also came across a large number that  were not so good.

Well 18 months on and I have to say, I’m thoroughly enjoying it.  I’ve built many good relationships with internal recruiters and hiring managers and placed a lot of HR professionals in fantastic roles.  My previous misconceptions about recruitment consultancies certainly dispelled.   On a number of occasions when I’ve happened to darthcadertextmention I used to work as an internal recruiter to clients I’ve been met with a response of “Oh, so you’ve joined the dark side?” Which recently got me to thinking about the value of the business I’m in and the link to market that can’t always be accessed by an internal recruiter.  Maybe agencies aren’t just a ‘necessary evil after all.

Here are some of my observations:
Access to passive candidate pool a good agency doesn’t just network with active job seekers but invests a lot of time in building relationships with candidates that will be looking in the future.  Candidates not on the market but who have trust in their consultant to contact them about their ‘ideal’ role to progress their career.  Can internal recruiters allow time to do this, in all the disciplines they require? Agencies that invest this time will always be of value.

An independent view – a consultant can provide a crucial unbiased view of the company and when negotiating offers for candidates and presenting potential opportunities to them, and many candidates I have found; value this a great deal.  Darthvadertogether

An extension of the in-house team – a good external recruiter will know a clients business in detail and be able to work seamlessly alongside it  to present candidates at interview that are ‘job ready’. This benefits the employer and the client.  A great agency will enhance an employers networking capability building a talent pool of candidates for those ‘hard to fill’ roles so when the need arises they’re ready.

Market knowledge – an external recruiter has the benefit of working with multiple sectors and industries meaning a broader knowledge than by the nature of the role; an internal recruiter can often offer.  This is so important in being able to provide impartial advice to candidates and employers in relation to roles.  chosenoneCounter offers are commonly increasing at offer stage as businesses want to retain their best talent. Working with an external recruiter means this process can be managed and not be an unexpected shock.

There are many other points I could refer to here but these are my initial observations based on my time with Ashley Kate HR to date and prior to that as an internal recruiter.  Also, don’t get me wrong; this is not an Internal Recruiter vs External Recruiter assessment – (light sabres at the ready etc…) lightsabresI’m merely making references to an eye opening experience to date and learning the true value of a good Recruitment Consultant.

There’s often negativity about the way some agencies operate, some of this is no doubt not unfounded. But, what about the good ones, the ones that provide an invaluable service; that work on building long lasting, effective relationships; are honest about their approach and treat their candidates as their most forceisstrongvaluable asset? There are some I now know, where the force is strong

For additional advice on combating Counter Offers read my colleague Gemma Stirrup’s  article on Successfully navigating the “Counter Offer” – An Employer’s  Guide 

If you would like any further information or would like to discuss any HR recruitment issues you may face please feel free to contact me,  Jo Pearson HR Recruitment Consultant for the North West on 0161 615 9000 or email jo.pearson@ashleykatehr.com I welcome your comments on this matter why not Linkedin with me or Follow me on Twitter.

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Ashley Kate HR – We are not only working hard for you but our chosen charities too!!

Ashley Kate HR Midlands and South have got off to a cracking start and have raised £115 so far for from a raffle held at one of our HR Networking events.

This money has been split evenly between the Whitechapel Mission and Base 51.

 base51Base 51 supports young people aged between 12 –25, providing easy access to services including: Health, Counselling, Housing Advice and Support, Learning Support, Support for young parents, practical support such as affordable meals, and free laundry and showers.

Base 51 recognises the challenges facing young people particularly those, who experience relationship breakdown in their families, find school difficult, have been in care, are a young parent or homeless. A “wrap round” service in one centre enables young people to work through these issues, make the transition to adulthood and contribute positively to their local community. Base 51 is in Nottingham city centre and is well used by young people from all areas of the city and walks of life

WhitechapelpngAt the Whitechapel Mission, they have been helping Londoners to help the homeless since 1876, meeting the specific needs of each man and woman who walks through their doors. They are a volunteer led workforce with very few staff, but this does not mean they are a small organisation.  First, they help the homeless by meeting immediate needs: food, shelter, clothing, and medical care.  In their recovery programs, Whitechapel Mission volunteers help address deeper needs for life-skills and job skills training, and addiction recovery.

Whitechapel Mission measure progress against four criteria, which indicate that a life has been transformed from homelessness to hope: connection to family, commitment to sobriety, a job and a place to live, and a plan for the future. The Whitechapel Mission is called to   serve the men and women caught in the cycles of poverty, hopelessness and dependencies of many kinds, and to see their lives transformed to hope, joy and lasting productivity.

Alan

Alan our office Gnome

Alan our ‘office’ gnome is guarding the teams wishing well and has collected a pot of money from our recent fund raising initiatives,  Alan loves nothing more than helping to make wishes come true, so with this in mind Ashley Kate HR are working hard to keep Alan happy and are organising their next ‘fun’ ‘FUNDRAISING DAY’

 Mums the word for now but what we can tell you is it’s a good one!  SSShh It’s coming!

To follow our progress like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter  We are passionate about supporting these charities and over the year we are holding dedicated ‘fund’ days to fund raising specifically for these charities but we are also keen to hear from  our HR connections! We are asking YOU to make a difference to these people’s lives by supporting them as well and the great work they do. You can DONATE direct on to our Just Giving Page.

For information about the charities we support in the North or our national charity please contact Gemma Stirrup on 01142218000 or email her  gemma.stirrup@ashleykatehr.com

Thank you in advance for your valued support.

 

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Whirlow Hall Farm Trust – Gemma Turner – Ashley Kate HR

GT Lamb Hug

I couldn’t resist a cuddle

Since Ashley Kate HR partnered with the Whirlow Hall Farm Trustas one of our corporate charities,  I had been eagerly anticipating working with them.   When the opportunity  came up to assist the Trust with their Lambing Day in April it was a hotly contested battle  as to which Ashley Kate HR staff member could attend. The only fair call was made – names out of a hat and I was over the moon when I won!

Fortunately, it was a week of lovely weather and as the sun beamed,  I was looking forward to getting stuck in with whatever the Trust needed help with. What I found was a well oiled and prepared team consisting of  passionate permanent staff and   regular volunteers who gave us our induction, words of support  and set us to task.

My first job of the day was refreshing the other volunteers based on activities such as Pony Rides, Car Park and Front Gates  as well as the petting and lambing areas. Never had I taken the task of tea and coffee making more seriously. We  knew our efforts would be much needed from the chilly but sunny start to the morning and with the vast queues of families gathering outside the gates; it was set to be a busy day.

Working with my team we soon had a well planned formula to get the teas and biscuits out when needed, making sure they were hot and as this was Yorkshire,  making  sure the tea was strong enough! A lunch break gave me the chance to walk around the rest of the grounds. The excitement was palpable amongst the children’s faces, freshly painted with a variety of animals and super heros by the onsite face painting team.

Lamb 47 2You could not help to be caught up in the fun of the day. The Lambing shed did exactly what it said on the tin. I made it in time to see two twin girls being brought into the world and put into a quiet corner to rest. However the week old lambs who had been given a number depending on their birth order were bouncing around like zebedee – number 47 was my favourite.

Whilst helping out on the gate and back to the refreshments in the afternoon the day had soon flown by and was disappointed when it was time to go home. The only thing I had running through my mind when I got to my car was WHEN CAN I GO BACK!  Thanks to all the staff and volunteers at Whirlow Hall Farm Trust for a fantastic day. The event raised over £10,000 that day which will help fund their vital activities for inner city and disadvantaged children.

This year we are fundraising for Whirlow Farm Trust as part of our Master Cutlers Challenge. You can help us raise vital funds for the Farm and Sheffield Teaching Trust by donating  to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/AshleyKateHR

Gemma Turner – HR Recruitment Consultant – Ashley Kate HR

GT Lamb 2

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Take a look at our Changeboard Q&A Session, Kim MacNamara of Ashley Kate HR talks to Natalie Rogers, HR Director at Retail Savings part of Legal & General about her role, its challenges, and her plans for the next year.

 

Natalie Rogers - HR Director

Natalie Rogers – HR Director

Tell me about your role

I’m the HR director for Retail Savings, which is part of the biggest business division within Legal and General. I’m responsible for leading the design and delivery of people and organisation strategies for the business unit which employs just over 2,000 employees across a number of UK and international locations.

I’m expected to provide the right support and challenge to the executive leadership team, which includes thought leadership and best practice on a wide range of people issues to drive business improvement.

A key objective for me is to deliver an integrated, efficient and cost-effective HR partnership; I have a team of eight which is made up of five HRBPs and three HR consultants that report into the group HR director for the division.

What challenges have you faced in this role?

Right now, my biggest challenge is working with the executive managing director to bring together his newly formed leadership team and make sure they’re aligned to a common purpose and an ambition of high performance. This is against the backdrop of a recent integration of two legacy business divisions which resulted in the leadership team having to redesign the operating model at the end of Q4 2013, while removing a significant amount of cost out of the business.

The focus on cost will remain a critical challenge for 2014, but creating a culture built upon pride, ambition and performance is a key strategic objective to enable them to realise the customer, digital and growth deliverables we have across Legal & General.

How did you overcome these challenges?

Early on, I recognised that a key lever to delivering a culture of higher ambition was our approach to performance management. It was clear from interviews with line managers and focus groups that performance management was seen as a mechanistic, once a year process which drove pay review decisions rather than a tool that enabled and motivated our people to understand ‘what’ they do, and ‘how’ they do it, links to Legal & General’s brand, strategy and business results.

The outcome from this initial diagnostic created the business case to lead a review of our performance management approach. The project was set up as a business-led initiative; performance management has to be visibly and inspirationally led by the business, therefore setting the project up in a way which demonstrated this was critical to our success.

Our biggest single deliverable was to change their performance rating scales from six to five ratings, a complete overhaul of the ratings framework, and the introduction of ratings and definitions to measure the Legal & General ‘behaviours’. The project team piloted these with 1500 line managers and employees during the mid-year review process, and then successfully launched them for the year-end process, all during a time of significant change. The feedback has been universally positive, and they have definitely created a legacy to be proud of.

What are your HR plans for the future?

In the short term, the focus will be on the need to embed the changes made to performance management that were implemented in 2013. The focus for this year is on building the ‘will and skill’ of line managers and employees; I honestly believe that it’s the ‘hearts and minds’ emphasis that will really create the culture of higher ambition – which of course, need to be built on the solid foundations of the principles and process enhancements.

We’re currently piloting some e-learning and workshops based around core performance management principles – strategic, fair and effective, and drives ambition – our line managers need to be equipped to have meaningful conversations with their people to ensure the firm’s principles come to life.

At a business unit level, it will be creating an ambition of higher performance with the executive leadership team and providing them with a common approach which they can then cascade to their own teams. A continued focus on employee engagement also remains a critical activity, which will start by helping the executive leadership agree how they want to communicate their common purpose, and the step change activities they want their own teams to focus on.

If you are interested in being part of our “HR Director Q&A’’ sessions with Changeboard,  which would provide you with a great opportunity to promote your successes and company brand, contact Kim MacNamara – HR Business Director on kim.macnamara@ashleykatehr.com  or telephone 0115 922 3000 to discuss further.

 

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Networking at CIPD “Talent Management for the Masses” event

Ashley Kate HR – HR Recruitment Consultant Leon Morley networks with other HR Professionals at the recent Derbyshire & Nottingham CIPD meeting.

At Ashley Kate HR we truly value the power of networking as it allows us to get to know our HR clients and candidates. Networking is about developing long-term relationships and creating a lasting impression with people so they think of Ashley Kate HR positively when an opportunity arises or when they are looking to secure a new role and we can fully represent them for HR roles.

Once learned, networking is a life skill which has many benefits :

  • Raising you and your company’s profile
  • Develop relationships with other HR professionals
  • Establish best practice knowledge
  • Learn and stay abreast of the new HR methods and business methods
  • Source inspiration, knowledge or contacts to assist with a new project you are undertaking
  • Help you find a new job!

Leon recently attended the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire CIPD meeting. This was a highly effective networking opportunity for Leon, the attendees and the meeting featured a guest speaker; Scott Hobbs (Director at Talent & Potential). This well attended meeting focussed and discussed the topic of, “Talent Management for the Masses”.

future

Scott’s track record includes working for household named companies such as Centrica (British Gas), The AA and Amey. Clearly companies of this size can prevent difficulties when providing a Talent Management programme for the Masses. However, Scott highlighted  that, “Often talent management processes focus just on the high potentials, but that we need talent systems that motivate everyone, and that allow people to make the most of their strengths”.  He was able to go into detail and gave some great examples of how he (and his former colleagues) managed to roll out a Talent Management strategy for the majority and not just the select few.

After the meeting Leon commented that he had, “found the evening very informative and interesting”. The event had given him a greater understanding of how HR people think and what their current challenges are which will no doubt deepen his understanding even more so when recruiting for his HR clients and assessing HR candidates, and indeed he was keen to share his experiences with other Ashley Kate HR Consultants when he returned to the office.

This was also a very useful networking trip for Leon as he was able to catch up with delegates whom were known to him in the years he has been recruiting as well as meeting and establishing new HR relationships.  He told colleagues the following morning that, “it was lovely to see lots of faces and catch up in a less formal setting with clients and candidates’’.

If you click here http://www.cipd.co.uk/branch/derby you will be able to contact the local branch network to find out more about that particular event and also hear about future events taking place in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire branch as well as those that the CIPD run nationally.

Ashley Kate HR – HR Recruiter of Choice also run similar networking events around the UK and our next Employment Law Seminar, run in conjunction with Eversheds, is in Nottingham later this month on the 26th March.

Click here to book your place http://www.ashleykatehr.com/news/hr_network/ and reap the rewards of networking.

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