Category Archives: HR Network

How much do you know about your HR consultant?

getting to know youHow much do you really know the individual you are entrusting with your career? Recruitment Consultants often get a bad rep see our Don’t hate me I’m a Recruitment Consultant.  However time after time we trust them to represent us, identify the best fit for us in the market and get us in front of our potential new employer but how much do we really know about them?

At Ashley Kate HR we pride ourselves in being Personal Professional & Honest therefore we are happy to provide you with a more personal look into the lives of our consultants, as well as provide you with the opportunity to ask them questions!

So let’s get started with two of our longstanding consultants Paula Shaw & Keeley McKay.

Paula Shaw

Paula Shaw – Head of HR Recruitment for the North

Paula is the Head of HR Recruitment for the North.  She describes herself as a dynamic, results focused, HR Recruiter.  Paula has over seven years recruitment experience resourcing at Junior, Middle Management and Senior levels.  Now we know she is a fantastic Recruiter, but what is Paula really like?

What was your first job: Fitness Instructor.

Describe yourself in 3 words a) Will try anything once! b) Loyal c) Honest.

What do you love about Ashley Kate HR? Big enough to make a difference – small enough to be flexible to adapt to a changing market.

What are the challenges you face in your current role  Getting our clients to move as fast as they need to in order to ensure they don’t miss out on the top talent.

Describe your perfect day in the office? All the positives of filling jobs, gaining new jobs and registering more new excellent HR candidates. … and cake – can’t forget the cake!

peteacherIf you didn’t work in HR Recruitment what would you do? PE Teacher

Who do you most admire? Rocky Balboa

What are you reading at the moment? Nothing – I only ever read on the beach!

What music are you currently listening to? Beyonce – Never get sick of her Diva tunes

What is your favourite?

Food - Addicted to Avocado’s and Dad’s home made vegetable soup.

Place - Anywhere sunny or working up a sweat at the gym.

Activity – Any kind of fun gym class!

If you could change one thing… what would it be? The length of the weekend! All hail for an extra day between Saturday and Sunday …..

Want to learn more about Paula? why not follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn or ask her a question using the form below.

Keeley McKay – HR Business Manager

Keeley is Ashley Kate HR’s Business Manager and recruits  HR Professionals in the South East & Home Counties.  Keeley is a customer focused, HR Recruiter and a key member of our Southern team.

Keeley has had key success in filling roles in the Home Counties area including several at Regional Senior HR Manager level with a Global Manufacturing firm, HRBP’s for a National Retailer, Distribution and also in the Professional Service sectors.

She enjoys recruiting in the specialist areas of HR and has had some fantastic outcomes especially in the Reward and Talent area.

So let’s find out what she is really like!

What was your first Job? Customer Service Supervisor – Sheridan Australia Ltd

Describe yourself in 3 words a) Ambitious b) Confident c) Approachable

What do you love about Ashley Kate HR? The opportunity to develop and continuously learn from others.

What are the challenges you face in your current role? Keeping candidates motivated about the recruitment market moving forward.

Describe your perfect day in the office? Placing candidates in new and challenging roles.

If you didn’t work in HR Recruitment what would you do? I would work within the fashion industry so I could be surrounded by lots of clothes!

Who do you most admire? Richard Branson

What music are you currently listening to? Lana Del Ray

My Favourite?

Food - Italian Place - Somerset Activity – Whippet Racing


If you could change one thing… what would it be? More than 24 hrs in a day!

Want to learn more about Keeley? why not follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn or ask her a question using the form below.

For more useful tips and up to date information on HR matters, please follow our company page on LinkedIn.








Ashley Kate HR Wins Customer Service Award

CSEUK Primary (r) RGBThe Ashley Kate HR team are giving themselves a great big pat on the back today after being awarded the prestigious and well deserved Customer Service Excellence Award.

This standard is a very challenging one to meet and is seen as a measure of quality service. This achievement not only reflects their own commitment but it is also an acknowledgement of the effort of everyone who works for the organisation.

Ashley Kate HR worked closely with EMQC. To achieve this award, Ashley Kate HRs Co Founders and joint Managing Directors Naomi Asher (FIRP) and Hilary Scanlon (FCIPD) met with assessors at their Head Office in Nottingham and provided evidence of best practice, policy and procedures.  The assessors were given unlimited access to clients and candidates for feedback on Ashley Kate HR. The assessors met with Ashley Kate HR employees, their clients and their candidates to gain an insight on the culture & internal and external process & procedures within the business.

The assessor summarised the core strengths of Ashley Kate HR as;

  • Strong ethics with a clear demonstrable commitment to putting client and candidates needs first.
  • Their standing in the recruitment sector attained through professionalism and pride in the work carried out is clearly evident through testimonies from staff, clients and candidates.
  • Innovation and investment in IT systems which improves the customers journey through providing clients with a consistent thorough and robust  approach to meeting all their needs
  • The approach taken to capture client satisfaction on an annual basis is simple yet extremely effective and is based on relevant performance criteria.
  • Managers clearly acting as role models for delivering excellent customer service, sending out a strong message to staff and motivating them towards excellence all rounds.

 naomiAshley Kate HR are one of a very small number of Recruitment Consultancies to achieve this award, positioning them firmly ahead of their competitors.

Naomi Asher Joint Managing Director said;

“I am absolutely delighted that Ashley Kate HR have achieved the Customer Service Excellence Award, as a company we are committed to providing the highest level of service equally to our clients and candidates and to receive this award confirms that this has been achieved, I am very proud of our HR Recruitment consultants and would like to thank our candidates and clients for their feedback and participation in supporting us in achieving this award”

If you would like to learn more about Ashley Kate HR and our rapidly growing HR Network Click here HR Network   to keep up to date with news and events in the HR world please follow our company page on LinkedIn.  



Which is the best HR Network to be part of?

hrnetworkHR Professionals across the UK have been benefiting from exclusive membership to the HR Network

Start benefiting now

You, your colleagues and your organisation could soon be taking advantage of a valuable set of benefits, including:

  • Regular Employment Law updates – via email, newsletter or webinar
  • HR Salary Surveys & UK Benchmarking reports
  • Exclusive member only events, tailored to each level of the HR profession, delivered by industry experts
  • A Personal Account Director
  • 10-20% discount on recruitment fees
  • Free advertising on leading job boards of all your HR generalist and specialist roles

The Ashley Kate HR Network brings together like minded HR professionals, not just with regular seminars but through our top rated HR Professional Network on LinkedIn.

HRN Header 01The HR Network was set up to assist HR professionals with continuous professional development. Providing members with advice from top legal firms across the country, Members of the Ashley Kate HR Network are among the first to receive free support and guidance on the impact of all new and updated aspects of Employment Law.

We are now giving you the opportunity to be part of this exclusive group, because we believe in strength in numbers it won’t cost you a penny, with an even BIGGER HR Network you’ll make useful business contacts, that’s why we’ve kept membership free whilst still being able to offer generous discounts.

Join us and when you need to find the ideal candidate for your HR vacancy, we’ll give you up to 20% discount on our fees, plus you can meet fellow HR professionals by coming along to one of our exclusive seminars or events.

Take a look at our next HR Networking event on Friday 24th October, joining our HR Network Group will entitle you to FREE access to this Breakfast Briefing.breakfast briefingoctober2

To start your membership simply complete the form below and we will get you set up to receive these FREE benefits.

We look forward to welcoming you to our community, click on the link to join our on-line HR Professionals Networking Group on LinkedIn

If you would like to attend this Breakfast Briefing, please complete your details below and we will be in touch with you.



6 of the Worst Interview Questions

Kim MacNnamara

Kim MacNamara – HR Business Development Director

I am on a mission!!!

Ashley Kate HR have had over 75 responses so far to this question, ‘’what’s the worst question you have been asked at interview’’ when it was posted on our LinkedIn Group. It is my mission to support our HR clients in perfecting their recruitment processes and I work closely with HR to ensure all interviews aim for a positive experience on both sides which results in a successful hire.


Here are just a few of the responses and questions posed:

silouette There have been several but the ones that stand out are: working for a large public sector organisation for many years and applying for an HR Management position I was asked  “do you think the organisation has gone too far down the lines of political correctness!” I was offered the job and the interviewer advised he decided to throw that one in if candidates were doing well in the interview! Another was “do you prefer city breaks or beach holidays! (Again for an HR management position!) and the top one was “Single parents are not trustworthy as they always take time off to look after their sick kids how can you convince me that this won’t happen if I offer you the job? Job was offered and I “politely” declined!

silouette2Most interesting ones: “Do you think your husband will mind you being away overnight in this job?” (don’t think it was a proposition, but you never know); “Here is a list of the other candidates: what makes you better than them?”; “I was interviewing you for role A, but now I’ve seen you, would you be interested in role B? It’s not vacant yet but when she comes back from holiday I’m going to sack her.” (Run for the hills!).

silouetteMy most hated interview question was posed by a director in an investment bank. “If there were 2 candidates with identical skills and experience but was one was from an ethnic minority, which would you choose?” Open pit for me to fall into. Mmm, wonder if he asked Caucasian candidates the same question…Didn’t get the job. Answers on a postcard, please!


silouette2I was asked by the Director “If the other Director asked you to do something I disagreed with what would you do”. I was tempted to say I thought you were in charge here!! I thought about this question for about 2 secs and decided I did not like the idea of being piggy in the middle of two opposing Directors and blew the interview in a grand style.

silouetteA private sector company once asked me: “If you were attracted to another man who would it be and what would make him attractive to you”. Clearly not wanting to disappoint the young man in question I stated that I found him attractive. His smoky grey eyes and sensitive mouth just promised so much. He left at this point. His colleague and I just looked at each other for an uncomfortable minute until I crossed my legs and said “well that was all done in the best possible taste!” (think Kenny Everett). He burst out laughing, I suggested that his colleague (who was his boss) needed re educating. I didn’t get the job. Gave me a good chuckle all day though.

I was asked ‘ You are holding a dinner party, off the top of your head’ (clicking her finger at the same time) name 3 guests you would invite. I said Bobby Robson, Chris Evans and Nelson Mandela’ …..Hmmmm all males, interesting ….I didn’t get the job.


Chris Evans

Not great are they! Now put yourself in the candidates’ shoes how do you think they felt?

Not only do they have to cope with the stress of hoping they are a good match for your job role at interview stage; prospective candidates often are thinking if this is the right place and move for them.

interviewCandidates are likely to be overwhelmed during an interview, trying to take in all the information being offered and interact well with you. They’re asking questions about the firm, the position and the culture. They are taking note of the work environment, your responses and body language, and trying to gather any titbit of detail that they can use to promote themselves in the best light.

As the Hiring Manger you are representing your firm and your brand so it is essential to promote a positive image as you are the first person the candidate will meet. The impression you make on the candidate during the selection process is an important factor in the candidate’s decision to accept or decline your offer of employment. It is imperative that the candidate has a great experience when they meet regardless of whether they are offered the position. You certainly want them to tell their friends, family and colleague that your process rates highly and in turn promote you as an employer of choice.

After all the ‘War for Talent’,  according to HR related articles recently, is hotting up again so efficient and effective talent acquisition procedures are key.

Here are my top tips for when two strangers sit together for the first time!


  • Choose an interview room that best reflects your firm and be welcoming and approachable.
  • Ensure you provide an interview pack prior to the interview – not just the job role but details of e.g. the firm’s structure and future plans and how they will be involved.
  • Provide the candidate with a map and information on where to park and/or provide a temporary parking permit — before the interview to minimise risk of last minute panics.
  • Be prepared. Read the candidate’s resume before the candidate arrives. Develop interview questions that are directly related to the role and design enough time for all questions to be asked and answered.
  • Go over the interview format and evaluation criteria prior to the candidate’s arrival. Ensure you understand what you are evaluating with the questions. Have you checked that your job role description is an accurate reflection of the role.
  • Introduce yourself – be sure to put the candidate at ease during the interview. You’ll get better information if the candidate is comfortable with you and the environment.
  • Ask easier questions first to get the candidate talking and feeling relaxed.  An interview shouldn’t be seen as an opportunity to scare or catch the candidate out. Instead, the interviewer should work with the candidate to help them demonstrate their best knowledge and expertise.



  • Provide the candidate with full information about the role. Offer a wider view of the culture and environment they would be working in and prospects/training opportunities.
  • Follow up and indicate when the candidate is likely to hear about the outcome, even if they are not to be considered for the next stage. Keep them engaged!

Let’s face it: knowing how to interview can be a  real challenge and actually conducting the interview is not necessarily a  god given natural talent that comes easily to everyone.

The team at Ashley Kate HR interview candidates daily so are well placed to advise you and steer you in the right direction and can provide access to local market and salary intelligence, which is incredibly useful in supporting your recruitment process. We are keen to focus on creating a great candidate experience and when we our HR recruitment services are retained by you we can;

  • Sell the benefits of working for your firm above businesses competing for the same talent
  • Provide all interviewed candidates with detailed interview feedback as to why they were successful/unsuccessful so even rejected parties view the experience as positive
  • Provide all advert applicants and candidates submitted at CV stage with an outcome to their application
  • Manage and communicate all changes and updates in the process to ensure candidates are up to speed and engaged
  • Invite two way communication on the candidates experience  to enable your attraction strategy to continuously develop

Don’t forget if you are the actual HR candidate going on interview Ashley Kate HR can also provide valuable tips on interview techniques prior to you attending – take a look at our You Tube video


Read the War for Talent blog written by Amanda Underhill  from Ashley Kate HR for more information on this subject.

To keep up to date on employment updates and HR related matters please follow us on LinkedIn link to us


Feedback Failures

Gemma Thomason - Senior Recruitment Consultant for the North

Gemma Thomason – Senior Recruitment Consultant for the North

As a recruiter I am very aware of many different facets to my role, sourcing and short listing top talent for my clients, sourcing and short listing top companies/employers for my candidates!  It is a two way street.   I have always endeavoured to keep my candidate fully informed and updated throughout the recruitment process especially when it comes to providing feedback.    It is really important to keep candidates informed with regards to this.

Feedback is fundamental to the placement process, of course I have already met and spoken with my candidates at great length and already know their strengths and weaknesses,  I ensure when I shortlist candidates that their skills and feedback1experience are the best fit for the company and the employer as per the job specifications I  receive,  of course not all candidates I put forward will get through to second/final stage interviews and it is important for those candidates to understand why.  It is just as important for the employer to understand why a candidate does not want to take the process any further.

Whether I have heard back from the employer or not I ensure that I have had direct contact with the candidate to get their feedback and understand how they felt the interview went, what their thoughts are on the company and the culture of the company and the roles itself.  It is important to keep the candidate engaged throughout the whole of the recruitment process.

dream jobI love it when I speak with a candidate at the end of an interview and they feedback to me that the client has left the candidate feeling that they would absolutely love to work for the company.  This is when you know your clients’ employer branding is spot on and that the person delivering the interview is doing it right and that you have matched the candidate with the client and the role accurately.

Gaining detailed feedback we all know is tough, we are not asking for a chapter and verse overview on each performance, but here are some tips on what to focus on and what to avoid.

Try to stay away from the generalist feedback;

Do think of how the candidate performed and what they said specifically  it will be constructive and may improve their technique.  For example previously I received feedback  that one of the candidates I had put forward  was ‘not the right culture fit’ it took me questioning this further as to examples as to why this was and the real reason came out. My client advised me that the candidate had focused too much on negative reasons for wanting to leave their current company.

Whilst the candidate did have frustrations they were totally unaware they had been airing these, once I fed this back to the candidate we discussed the best way to tackle and handle certain questions as this individual was most definitely not a negative person however did have frustrations within her current role.

Have a comprehensive measure to score candidates against.  This is useful to see how candidates preformed against the benchmark of other candidates interviewing at the same time.

How were they assessed against the role they would be doing e.g  ‘Simons responses indicated that he might not be able to influence and engage our managers effectively as a business partner’  This feedback is much more useful than ‘not the right level’  It gives a candidate areas on which to focus on to further develop their career.

brandBy giving detailed feedback you will not only assist the candidate by giving them the opportunity for improvement but this will also reflect well on your company.  The candidate experience can have a direct impact on the employer branding, keep the candidate engaged, whether you end up recruiting them or not.

This means keeping to a time line of recruitment with dates already booked in and providing detailed feedback whether the candidates has made it through to the next stage or not! For further tips on your recruitment process take a look at our Time to Hire  blog written by Yasmin Elezaj

If you would like any further assistance or advice on Recruitment or HR, please feel free to email me or call 0845 413 3200. For up to date information on HR related issues and top tips please follow our Company LinkedIn page.


How to Manage your PSL

preferredThe Preferred Supplier List is the document which your company should use in daily tactical supplier selections. This document contains a list of your approved suppliers which have been assessed and approved to use.

They play an important role in your procurement strategy, producing this list will aid you in partnering with the suppliers who have been assessed and confirmed to offer the best value and best service, thus assisting you in driving business to those preferred suppliers.

It is vital that once you have implemented a PSL that it is communicated throughout the company and that these suppliers are continually assessed in meeting KPI’s through continuous business meetings and developing supplier relationships. This will not only optimise business but also minimise risk.supplier

Being part of the recruitment industry and working with companies who manage a PSL and implementing and managing our own PSL we have  listed below some top tips to help you with yours.

Quality over Quantity

Many companies have tens sometimes hundreds of suppliers on a PSL, this could be for just one area of the business, for instance in-house recruiters will have their own PSL and some of these departments have more than 50 companies listed.  Whilst you should not put all your eggs in one basket effectively managing a list this size is a massive task, to just even ‘review’ against KPI’s becomes a headache in itself.  A targeted quality over quantity approach is advised to be taken here, enabling much better working relationships with suppliers as well as providing greater control over the process.

reviewReview – continuous assessment is vital when you review your suppliers.  Measure their performance through set KPIs.  For instance as a recruitment consultancy we are measured against;

  • Quality of Candidates
  • Response time (to candidates)
  • Cost-per-hire
  • Time-to-hire
  • Rate of mis-hires
  • Service Standards

Set targets with your suppliers these should be reviewed on a regular basis. That way, you can directly, and fairly, compare the effectiveness of the suppliers on your PSL.

Don’t believe everything they say Many consultancies claim to have ‘specialist knowledge’ of your sector – many of the large corporate recruitment consultancies apparently specialise in ‘all’ your business functions!  Have you considered having ‘real’ specialist consultancies   covering all areas of your business?  For instance, the HR function of your business, the only agencies which should recruit for these positions being actual specialist HR recruitment consultancies, the same applies to the finance arm of your business, by only allowing specialist recruiters on your PSL will ensure better quality candidates available in a shorter time frame.  Many ‘general’ recruitment consultancies will go out to tier 2 agencies to fill specialist positions, therefore lengthening the process.   So test your suppliers.  Ask them a few questions about your market conditions and for specific information about their successes in your arena, you are the expert in your sector after all.

feedbackFeedback  From a recruitment consultancy and a candidate perspective feedback is vital. Quality feedback will enable the agency to put forward better aligned candidates, not providing feedback could be of potential harm to your employer brand, if a candidate is left without any feedback and relays this lack of communication back to their network it could damage your future prospects of sourcing brilliant candidates.

Revisit your PSL Continuous assessment and reviewing your PSL will keep your suppliers on their toes, if you are not reviewing your PSL on a regular basis it may be assumed that once an agency is on they are safe and standards may drop.

Make sure that you brief your suppliers; and equip your agencies with the tools to manage your staffing needs. This includes a good understanding of your company culture/values, a clear definition of the role and what a ‘good’ or ‘ideal’ candidate would be.  Provide them with detailed information regarding your employer brand and how best to represent this.

The PSL debate is always one of ‘two sides’ at Ashley Kate HR we work on PSL’s as well as working effectively with Agreed Terms.  Whichever method is in place our core values remain the same, Personal, Professional & Honest.    We work with all our clients as a true partner offering solutions to problems. Read our ‘When I Grow Up..’ article for further insight into values, direct from the Ashley Kate HR team.

For further information on Ashley Kate HR and working with us please visit our website or call 0845 413 3200.


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 


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 or call 0845 413 3200.

You can find future HR Networking events on our website



Networking Necessities

Jorja Carr - Recruitment Consultant for the North West

Jorja Carr – Recruitment Consultant for the North West

Networking can often feel like a chore, you may wish to put it to the bottom of your list of priorities but it is so worthwhile for many different reasons.

You probably feel that ‘networking’ is not your top priority, you are too busy ‘doing real work’ to attend Networking events.  Now consider this – whilst your busy ‘doing’ who is supporting your pipeline of work? who is ensuring you are kept informed and up to date on new legislation/developments within your industry? no-one!  We are all guilty of not thinking beyond our Jobs to To Do list but let’s consider the benefits;

  • Networking provides you with the opportunity to get away from your desk and the relentless re-active emails and telephone calls, allowing you the opportunity to free your mind from humdrum and allow those creative ideas to start resurfacing 
  • Meeting like minded people encourages you to rediscover what you love about your industry and gain new insights into different industries and the challenges they face (whilst also increasing your profile & connections)
  • Events such as the Employment Law updates are actually adding value to your knowledge and therefore supporting the business as a whole
  • Successful events are thought provoking and very informative for delegates
  • breakfastWho says no to free food & drink?
  • Events such as these are all about mutual benefits
  • How can you offer a service or help another?
  • There will be times when you may need help or advice, and you will want to have built a strong network to assist you
  • It is a great way to link up with like-minded people that may be experiencing similar issues as you, where you can learn from others gaining a wider perspective on matters
  • A fantastic opportunity for you to use your knowledge and experience to support others, we are after all a nation of helpful people!

For those in standalone HR positions, there often aren’t people to turn to on a daily basis, building up your network of support is vital in developing new friends and gaining a support mechanism.  It can be difficult to maintain face to face relationships,nwtworking in an age where so much of our day is taken up talking on the phone and sending emails, networking allows you to get this more personal contact back with people, allowing you to develop relationships beyond the event opening the door for future support and guidance.  

With all that in mind Ashley Kate HR are giving the gift of a morning away from work with your peers and like-minded professionals to share  thoughts and ideas,  make sure you take opportunity to speak about what YOU want to discuss and what YOU feel is relevant to YOU. follow this link to  Attend our Employment Law Update Breakfast Briefing final

Our Breakfast Briefing is a starting point for you to discuss areas that are relevant to you. With this in mind, don’t let us get to the end of the event without having talked about what you want to talk about. 

If you would like to discuss networking with Ashley Kate HR further please do not hesitate to contact me via email: or call 0845 413 3200.  If you aren’t able to attend on the 16th July expand your network by joining our HR Networking Group on LinkedIn.



5 Things every recruiter should know when engaging in a partnership

offerThink about when you are looking for your own partner, which qualities are at the top of your list?  The qualities which are important in personal relationships do transcend into your professional partnerships.

Top 5 Qualities

Reliability – Your clients need to know they can rely and depend on you to deliver top talent in the form of candidates, the best the industry has to offer, the crème de la crème.  They need to be confident that your consultancy and you attract the one everyone wants to get their hands on.

If your client receives multiple CV’s for the same candidate, they will see your fees as unnecessary, the reason for choosing to work with you will be for your unique candidates which you alone attract and work with to deliver perfect partnerships.

cvAny consultancy can push out generic adverts online and gather general CV’s and profiles from job boards, your client will be relying on you to have the tools, abilities and skills to source and shortlist the right candidates through internal recruitment management systems, email marketing, your website,  social media presence and job adverts in targeted media therefore not wasting their time with irrelevant candidates.

Communication – Clients need reassurance that you understand their business requirements, ethos and branding.

communicationEnsure your communication is timely, keep it constructive, setting clear objectives and timelines from the outset, don’t make promises you cannot keep! Advise them when you will have CV’s over to them, get a timeframe in place working backwards from offer to first interview read our Time to Hire article for further assistance with this.

Once you have sent the CV’s over converse with your client about each candidate, show your client that you know your candidate, that you are confident they are a good fit, talk about their skills and attributes and what you feel they could bring to the table.  Throughout the process ensure your client is listening too, do not try to fit a square peg into a round hole,  if the parameters change you will need to make sure you understand them.

Special – Be remarkable, everyone looks for that ‘certain’ someone the same goes when looking to partner with a consultant.

Clients will no longer just settle for a general ‘recruiter’ there is no added value in this, they have now realised that specialist consultants will have the knowledge and skills within their industry to deliver the top talent they are looking for.

Proving to your client you are the leading specialist in their area of expertise and showcasing key clients you have previously worked with, will reassure them you have the unique talent which they are searching for.

Trust – With any relationship, trust is a fundamental element and vital to the success of the relationship, break that trust and your relationship with never be the same again.  Trust can take years to build, seconds to break and forever to rebuild.  Maketrust sure you deliver on your promises.  If you can’t deliver be sure that this is communicated transparently and in a timely manner.  Your trustworthiness to your client is paramount, and the key to the longevity and success of this relationship.

Stand out from the crowd – Your partner most certainly has ex’s!  Most likely they will already have parted company with their last consultancy and when searching for a new partner they will be looking for different attributes to those they have had previously.  Offer them something different to what they are used to, exceed their expectations, delight them with how easy and prosperous this relationship can be.

stand outTalk to them about your process and how targeted your recruitment style is, show off the tools and data you have at your disposal, provide them with samples of your social media activity, your websites success and links, your Linkedin profile and groups you manage.  Make sure they know that they will never need to look anywhere else as the grass isn’t always greener on the other side!

What can Ashley Kate HR offer a Recruitment Partner?

LST WSLucy Wesson HR Recruitment Consultant for the West Midlands explores what a client needs

Working for a specialist recruiter means that I have the ability to meet our clients’ needs, but, each client has different needs when looking to recruit.  Whether it be a HR Assistant, HR Manager or HR Director, the process is the same, although the ins and outs may differ.  Each role is as important as the next – it is about the relationship that we build with clients and candidates through our knowledge and expertise regarding the HR industry and our clients specific sector.

Without wanting to sound cliché, what would make you want to work with us?

  • Would it be our reputation within the recruitment and HR industry
  • The ability to offer a wide range of unrivalled attributes
  • Extensive proven experience in the HR & Recruitment
  • A candidate pool which is tailored and specific to HR, with a plethora of talent to pull from- including, HR Assistants , Advisors, Managers, Business Partners, Heads of…and Directors – all on either a passive or active basis
  • Choice of how you work – retained, contingent, headhunt

Giving you, the client this selection means that we are able to deliver a fantastic partnership.  Our flexibility means that we work together most effectively.

What else?

  • HR Networking Events and HR Director Boardrooms –meeting with HR Professionals to get great understanding of your industry and the people which make it tick
  • Meeting with you to develop a clear understanding and brief of business strategies, objectives and culture
  • Coordinating the recruitment lifecycle – from conception to completion – making the transition from old employer to new, an easier one
  • Specialist, experience, qualified, HR Recruitment Consultant

For me, the recruitment process is very much a two way process, I love building that relationship and believe that a successful recruitment partnership is the only way to achieve a successful placement.

If you would like to discuss partnering with Ashley Kate HR please email or call 0845 413 3200.  Why not connect with Lucy on Linkedin  or join the Ashley Kate HR Group on LinkedIn for HR Professionals

As mentioned previously additional information regarding getting your recruitment process right can be found in our article Time to Hire by Yasmin Elezaj


Employment Law Update Event – Wednesday July 16th 2014



Breakfast Briefing finalWe would like to invite you to the next Ashley Kate HR Network Event where leading employment lawyers from international law firm Eversheds LLP will provide an update to HR professionals on key legal developments including;

  •   The new right to request flexible working
  •   Calculating holiday pay
  •   Case law Update

Breakfast pastries and refreshments will be provided at 8.00am for an 8.30am start at Eversheds Manchester office located at;

Eversheds LLP, 70 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5ES.

The event is sponsored by Ashley Kate HR and is free to all HR Network members. Non-members will pay a small charge of £25 (plus VAT) per delegate.

This is an essential update for anyone involved in HR.

The event will be led by Naeema Choudry and Andrew Moore from the Eversheds LLP Human Resources Group.

Naeema Choudry

Naeema is a partner in the Human Resources Practice Group and advises on all aspects of employment law acting primarily on behalf of large scale employers who are household names.  She undertakes her own advocacy in tribunals throughout the UK (including Northern Ireland) and has a special interest in executive terminations, TUPE, large scale redundancies, contractual disputes and discrimination issues. Naeema is a regular speaker at seminars and conferences and contributes to a variety of publications and broadcast media, also being featured in the Legal 500 Legal Experts and Chambers directories.

Andrew Moore

Andrew is an associate in the Human Resources Practice Group specialising in contentious employment and labour law.  He works across practice areas including Diversified Industries, Retail, Food and Transport. He advises on all aspects of employment and labour law and has expertise in preparing and conducting employment tribunal cases. He also advises on non contentious matters such as disciplinary and grievance issues, discrimination and TUPE.   Andrew is experienced in drafting and amending employment documentation including, service agreements, contracts of employment, staff handbooks, casual workers agreements and sub contractor agreements.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday July 16th 2014.

Follow the event and invite your colleagues via our Twitter account @AshleyKateHR

Share the event with your LinkedIn connections via the HR Professionals Network UK group.

AttendTo book your place please complete the form below