Tag Archives: Employment Law

Negotiating Salaries – The Pitfalls

Paula Shaw

Paula Shaw – Head of HR Recruitment – North

If you’ve ever been a candidate applying for a new job or been a client recruiting for a role then chances are you’ve had to have the conversation of salary expectations.

There’s nothing worse than getting all the way through a recruitment process for it to all fall apart at the offer stage because you are both on different pages with salary expectations.

Here are my top tips to help you manage salary expectations throughout the recruitment process

Manage expectations; Candidates be aware, if an advert says ‘up to £30k’ then an offer could be anywhere belowmoney1 that however, companies also need to be mindful that candidates could equally think they might be guaranteed the top end.

Do your research; be aware of market rates and where you sit in the market place. As a candidate your salary expectations could be unrealistic and as a client you might be paying well below your competitors. Ashley Kate HR can provide you with an updated salary guide to support you with this.

benefitsThink about the complete package! Don’t rule out a role/candidate based on salary alone.  The complete package can mean so much more.  Candidates move for many more reasons than just money.  Think about the work/life balance, the progression, the bonus/pension/car allowance, the travel.  All will make a difference.


Choose your moment!  Talking money can be an uncomfortable conversation so choose themoney appropriate moment to do this. If you are working with a reputable consultancy then they can facilitate these conversations behind the scenes but if it’s a direct process then it is not necessary to have the conversation at the first interview stage as it can create a superficial image.

I feel this is a conversation best initiated by the client towards the end of that second stage interview when they are drawing their thoughts to a positive conclusion.

As a candidate being asked that question, be open and honest but make sure you also take the opportunity to ask about all the other additional benefits, progression opportunities and future salary reviews.

If you require any further advice on managing salary expectations, please contact me on 0114 2218000 or email me Paula.shaw@ashleykatehr.com.  if you would like to be kept up to date on any HR related issues why not follow Ashley Kate HRon LinkedIn you can also follow me on Twitter to keep up to date about events, HR roles, employment law updates and much much more.

Head Of HR Recruitment-North. Paula I a dynamic, results focused, HR Recruiter and a key member of our Northern team. With over eight years recruitment experience resourcing at Junior, Middle Management and Senior levels. The northern team consists of Jo Pearson - HR Recruitment Consultant – North West, Jorja Carr - HR Recruitment Consultant, Gemma Thomason, Senior HR Recruitment Consultant-Yorkshire & North West. 

Ashley Kate HR are always on the ‘look out’ for the best talented, ambitious and enthusiastic individuals to join our team. We have an established, committed, loyal team and we are a renowned HR recruitment consultancy specialising in recruiting HR professionals for temporary, contract and permanent interim roles, working across all industries and every HR discipline. Founded in 2001, we’re now a market leader in one of the fastest-growing recruitment sectors in the UK and overseas. Read our blog on How to Join Ashley Kate HR




HR Networking & Employment Law Update

The Ashley Kate HR final employment law update of the year was a great success.

Birmingham played host to over 50 HR Professionals who enjoyed a breakfast and networking followed by an employment law update delivered by Caroline Robins and Frances O’Neill of Eversheds.

The update covered Whistle blowing, Shared Parental Leave & Holiday Pay.

The feedback from this update was extremely positive with a great deal of interest surrounding Shared Parental Leave and in depth questioning regarding potential Holiday Pay reforms.  The feedback we received regarding the event was very positive. 

silouette2“Very Informative” “Great content” “A good general ER overview”

“Informative session and the speakers clearly presented the topics and covered all areas”

“First time to an event and I found it very informative”



During the event the Ashley Kate HR team sold raffle tickets, the prizes included £50 TGI Voucher, £50 Boden Voucher, tickets to Twin Lakes and beauty gift bags.  The raffle raised at total of £77 and 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.

At 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 Whitechapelpngorganisation.  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.



HRN5Ashley Kate HR run these much anticipated legal seminars in conjunction with Eversheds and they formed part of a full schedule of HR networking events that we held in 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.  We are currently putting together the schedule for next year and will release this shortly. If you are keen to join the our HR Network and attend these valuable legal updates please email solutions@ashleykatehr.com

HRDboardroomBirmingham1Our final event of the year is due to take place on the 18th November our HR Directors Boardroom debate is being hosted at Eversheds in Birmingham and promises to be a lively HR debate, a few places are still available if you would like to attend please email kim.macnamara@ashleykatehr.com




The inside take on how to choose which Recruitment Consultancy to work with


Leon Morley - Ashley Kate HR Recruitment Consultant for the East Midlands

Leon Morley – Ashley Kate HR Senior Recruitment Consultant for the East Midlands

I wrote a blog recently on the reasons why to use a recruitment company exclusively (using multiple agencies). Naturally, I feel if I am giving that advice I should also assist you in how to choose a Recruitment Consultant.

It goes without saying that I believe if you are recruiting in HR or Training, then Ashley Kate HR is the correct choice and you needn’t look further.  We are the HR Recruiter of Choice. However, what if you are looking to recruit a PA, or a Finance Director, or a Quantity Surveyor, or a Qualified Social Worker, or a Buyer… I think you’ve got the gist.


My thinking cap

So I put my thinking cap on and I have come up with what I feel are the 5 easy steps you should do before deciding whether to engage the Recruitment Consultant on your assignment.

tips1 - Before you pick up the phone there are two things you need to do firstly, check they are a member of the REC, this is easy to do and it is essential you work with an agency that is governed by them, follow this link to see why www.rec.uk.com , reclogoand secondly, are they connected? Increasingly in this social media driven world; recruiters are networkers and the more networked they are, the more likely they will find you the best candidate. Check if they are on LinkedIn and review their LinkedIn recommendations.

2 – Now pick up the phone and speak to the Consultant who will (potentially) be working the role with you. Don’t email – it’s impossible to assess their credentials properly and will ultimately take longer. Can they demonstrate to you a history of placing your type of role? For example, if you’re recruiting a Quantity Surveyor, ask them to name some companies they personally have placed quantity surveyors with? Past performance is a strong indicator of future performance. And, if they prefer emails they will prefer emailing candidates and you can’t interview and assess a candidate over an email.

3 – Ask them how long they have been working in Recruitment. Why does this matter? It doesn’t theoretically, but it’s a clue. I believe recruiting is an art, not a science because we are talking about people. It takes time for a recruiter to develop the ‘seduction’ strategies they need to attract good people. Secondly, the Recruitment consultancy world has a funny way of allowing people into the industry, trialling them and spitting out the weaker ones; it’s estimated that 50% of new Recruiters leave or are released within their first year in agency recruitment. Those who don’t make the grade go on to find very successful careers elsewhere where their skills are better suited.

4 – clouseauDo they sound credible? Ask them about the market? – If they don’t sound credible to you they won’t to the candidates you are trying to attract, you have to be a bit of a Clouseau here because you are looking for clues of blagging, dishonesty or possible ineptitude. There are brilliant Recruiters everywhere, I have worked with them. There are however poor Recruiters everywhere too; I know I have worked with some (obviously not at Ashley Kate HR!). Hopefully, if they have passed stages 1, 2 and 3, you probably are talking to a good Recruiter already.

5 - Finally, if you think they sound good and they know what they are talking about. Ask them what salary you should be paying for the role? Of course you will have your own idea and probably an amount signed off. Hopefully, it will be similar. If it is very different from what you considered- ask them to justify it with examples like you would if you were interviewing. If they specialise in that field they should produce an annual Salary Guide to assist you with this. If you still aren’t sure get a second opinion and start again somewhere else – you can always go back. But do consider this, if you believe they are the right consultant and consultancy to work with their salary and market knowledge will be accurate and it is worth taking into consideration.

For a copy of the Ashley Kate HR Salary guide, please email solutions@ashleykatehr.com.

Contact me on 0115 922 3000 or email leon.morley@ashleykatehr.com. I am always keen to network with HR professionals from the East Midlands, so if that’s you please feel free to add me as a LinkedIn connection.

Leon Morley has been in recruitment since graduating with a BA (Hons) Degree in History in 2008. He has recruited in the Social Care, Commercial sectors and now focusses purely on HR Leon works closely with Kim MacNamara, Claire Baker, Lucy Wesson and Emma Dobson recruiting in the Midlands.

Read Leon’s blog regarding using multiple agencies denzel


Ashley Kate HR Directors Boardroom at Eversheds London

HRD Boardroom Header 02Earlier this month, leading UK HR Directors gathered at the Eversheds Boardroom in London to join Pamela Harding Group HR Director from The Law Society as she led the latest Ashley Kate HR Directors Boardroom forum.

Kim MacNamara – HR Business Director Ashley Kate HR Midlands and South and Amanda Underhill  –  Senior HR Recruitment Consultant for the London region welcomed an excellent mix of leading HR Directors and invited them to join a, ‘collaborative’ interactive forum with Pamela as she introduced the key topic of, ‘How to make HR more accountable’ and then initiated in-depth discussions around how HR leaders could ‘advance their HR systems effectively in order to drive a culture of self-sufficiency and positively impact the bottom line’ and discussed how in todays climate HR leaders are keen to promote a more accountable culture, one which is high performing and value added and how to do so with confidence and to learn how to overcome obstacles as and when they  arise.

philipThe event was chaired by Philip Davies Partner of Eversheds and he fed back that Pamela had given a thorough overview of the project she had undertaken. He thought she had  offered attendees  a, “very practical and interesting presentation (which) helped to generate some excellent debate and discussion regarding the most significant barriers to change that organisations can face and how they can be overcome.”

We all agree that one of the top benefits of HRD Boardroom attendance is the networking value.  Where else can you find leading HR leaders facing the same issues as you and your organisation? Are there solutions you’re not aware of? Our market leading events provide HR leaders with a secure forum opportunity to debate topics that are relevant and topical and allow HR directors to clearly focus on key issues that will affect the future of their HR function. Pamela commented after the debate that she thought the event, “Was such a great forum …organised really well and attended by people with the appropriate level of experience from a range of industries that made for more fruitful debates and information sharing”.

In addition, all attendees were unanimous in highlighting that the forum provided them with opportunities to, share experiences with fellow HRD’s and was ‘very relevant to their current transformation programmes’ and it was ’good to know that other organisations have the same challenges’.

HRD8As you can observe from the photographs a good discussion ensued – click on the link to view photos Facebook and also why not take a look at the video on the Ashley Kate HR YouTube  page that provides further feedback and outcomes from Pamela regarding the HR Directors Boardroom forum.

Ashley Kate HR have further events planned for 2014/15. If you are a senior level HR executive and would like a copy of the notes and are interested in sharing ideas and experiences with those in similar positions to yourself and would like to join our HR Director’s Boardroom or offer your services as a key speaker please let me know so we may speak further. Email Kim – kim.macnamara@ashleykatehr.com or call her on 0845 413 3200. Why not take a look at other HR Directors views of our Boardroom events by reviewing Kim’s recommendations on her LinkedIn profile.http://uk.linkedin.com/in/kimmacnamara

Ashley Kate HR offer the full range of HR recruitment services further details of which can be found at http://www.ashleykatehr.com/


Feedback from the HR profession

surveyIn our on-going aim to provide the highest level of service to you, Ashley Kate HR regularly review, analyse, amend and update how we work with and partner the HR profession.

Feedback from previous years Annual Surveys have resulted in an increase in HR specific events we run at Board and Middle Management level, annual HR Salary Guides and improvements to our recruitment service offering.  Your feedback is very valuable and shapes how Ashley Kate HR work with you.

Please follow the link below, it is confidential and will only take a few minutes of your time. As a thank you if you haven’t already received our Annual Salary and Benefits Guide please email solutions@ashleykatehr.com and a free copy will be sent to you.

Client Survey

Candidate Survey

The closing date for this survey is Friday 6th June

Thank you for your participation.

If you would like to discuss how Ashley Kate HR can assist you with your HR recruitment needs please feel free to contact us on 0845 413 3200 or email solutions@ashleykatehr.com.



GET ON BOARD – top tips to get the start to your on-boarding process right.

Gemma Turner

Gemma Tuner – HR Recruitment Consultant

You have interviewed your shortlisted candidates, you have found the perfect HR person, offered the role and it has been accepted. Great news! Everyone is on board and you have recruited successfully, right?…..

Wrong!!!!! Most candidates have a 4–12 week notice period and whilst you may think you have things ‘in the bag’ do you really know what is happening in that time?

The key time a candidate gets offered or counter offered is within the first week of offer so it is important to get the start of your on-boarding process right.

Top candidates are massively in demand and where we have casually used the words  ‘War for Talent‘ in my opinion the ‘Battle for Talent‘ has just got a whole lot more serious and we are now at full scale ….. ‘WAR’

HR Managers and HR Advisors, Recruitment, L&D and Reward professionals in particular (top talent still remains hard to find) are getting a number of offers from companies at the same time competing aggressively for the same ‘rare’ (top) talent. A key shift in my role in Ashley Kate HR over the past 6 years is to coach hiring managers in the ‘tactics of war’ to stay ahead of the ‘enemy’ to secure the ‘Top HR soldiers’.

During this vital time before your ‘new employee’ starts, ask yourself the following questions:

Have I fully engaged my new employee at interview stage?

Am I in regular contact with my new employee?

Do I have full knowledge of all other recruitment processes my new employee is involved with?

Do I know what the new employees current employer is doing now?

I make no apologies if you feel slightly nervous and anxious now as to whether your new employee will start……. You wouldn’t leave HR strategy to chance so why leave this major investment to chance?

Here are the key things to make sure your perfect person is starting with you on your agreed start date.

contact_detailsContact details  make sure the candidate has the contact details of their line manager. Initial information may have come through another contact; agency or internal recruiter so make sure the candidate has a direct line, mobile and email they can ask any questions that may come up.

Make contact and keep contact– you need to make the candidate feel they are already part of the team. Meet for a coffee, get them to come in for a team meeting, make sure they know who the key stakeholders are they will deal with.

DiaryDates for the diary – what is coming up in the business they need to be involved with once they have started? Annual conference, off site meetings, Christmas party or team social events. If they already have dates locked they will not only feel engaged but already focused on the role ahead.

What is expected?  To get the best out of someone in their first few days it is a good idea to get them prepared. The first few days tend to be information overload and a flurry of names to remember. Give them an idea of format of the induction for the first week before they start and it will give a good feeling of security and keep the candidate committed.

These are just a start, it all sounds simple but there are lots more proactive activities you can put in place. Get a third party involved, like Ashley Kate HR to manage this sensitive time for you.  Our success rate of offer to start is 97% so it’s always best to trust an expert.

victory_imageMake these simple changes to your process to avoid those nasty surprises and ‘Win’ the war for talent.  

If you would like more advice or information or you find yourself in this situation please feel free to contact me, Gemma Turner HR Recruitment Consultant on 0114 221 8000 or gemma.turner@ashleykatehr.com why not Link-in with me or Follow me on Twitter.


Ashley Kate HR Employment Law Update

HRN Header 01




Positive tweets and and feedback from Ashley Kate HR’s Employment Law Update, on Wednesday night in Nottingham, highlighted that the evening was an overwhelming success;

  • “Relevant,succinct, and a timely employment law update – well done!’’
  • “Very well presented”
  • “Well paced”
  • “Friendly, well put together and not intimidating’’

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.

The key topics discussed on the night were;

  • The new right to request flexible working;
  • Long awaited TUPE reform; and
  • Update on recent case law developments.

 If you would like further information on any of these or to speak to Eversheds directly please contact me at leon.morley@ashleykatehr.com 

As you can see in the pictures below, as always it was a well-attended event. 


HR Professionals receiving an Employment Law update from Eversheds

Lucky winner of our charity raffle

As part of Ashley Kate HR’s CSR focus for 2014, we also held a raffle in aid of our two nominated charities Whitechapel Mission  and  Base51  Companies from around the UK were very generous in providing fantastic donations for these good causes, that were raffled on the night, and our HR professionals were successful in winning the following goodies! 



  • Admission ticket for Twycross Zoo
  • Meal Ticket for Fat Cats in Derby
  • Meal Ticket for Fat Cats in Nottingham
  • Adoption of  a bearded dragon for a year from Bugs ‘n’ Bones
  • Hair voucher from Sally Montague Salon Old Hall
  • 1 hour sports massage from Katy Wasiukiewicz
  • Assorted bag of goodies donated from National Geographic
  • Assorted DVDS from Fox International 
  • £100 dental care voucher from Alexandra Dental Care

Ashley Kate HR will continue to raise monies for these charities throughout the rest of the year at events like this and various sponsored activity days the team will be participating in. (Keep an eye out on our blog for regular progress updates)  A total of £115 was raised, if you are keen to support these very worthy causes you can donate directly onto our JustGiving page. 

Our 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 groups 

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 me at leon.morley@ashleykatehr.com




Ashley Kate HR Networking Event – Nottingham 2014

HRN Header 01


We 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;
  • Long awaited TUPE reform; and
  • Update on recent case law developments.

Venue: Novotel Nottingham
Address: Bostocks Lane, Nottingham, NG10 4EP
Date: Wednesday 26th March 2014
18.00 – 20.00 pm

This is an essential update for anyone involved in HR.

The evening will be led by Clare Ward & Vanessa Kelly from the Eversheds LLP Human Resources Group.

Clare Ward
Clare is a Senior Associate who advises on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law, including; claims for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, race, sex, disability, religious and age discrimination. Clare also advises clients in relation to employment contracts, grievances, disciplinary matters and other policies and procedures, the handling of redundancy processes and the employment aspects of business transfers which fall within the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employees) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”). Clare is an experienced Tribunal advocate. Clare is also a trade union specialist and is a member of Eversheds’ labour law team. She advises in relation to all aspects of industrial relations matters including the recognition process and balloting for industrial action.

Vanessa Kelly
Vanessa is an Associate who deals with all aspects of employment law. Vanessa advises on both contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including reviewing and drafting employment contracts, policies and procedures, advising on business reorganisations and handling tribunal claims for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, sex, race and disability discrimination. Vanessa works with both public sector and private sector clients. Vanessa has advised a local authority client on multiple cases brought against it under the Equal Pay Act and has recently assisted on the employment aspects of a large international share acquisition for a private sector client.


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.

Buffet & refreshments are provided.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday 26th March

Email Luke Hinchley to book your place, or to find out more information about this HR Networking Event.


At Ashley Kate HR we are proud to be the ‘HR Recruiter of Choice’ and are committed to sourcing candidates at a standard which exceeds our clients’ expectations.

If you are looking to add a HR Professional to your current team, or looking for a new role, do not hesitate to contact us on:

0845 413 3200

*Membership of the Ashley Kate HR Network is FREE and opens a range of additional exclusive benefits including substantial discounts on introduction and advertising fees, free attendance at HR Network seminars held at many locations nationwide and free newsletters, salary surveys and HR research. If you are interested in finding out more about HR Network membership please contact Luke Hinchley.


Ashley Kate HR Newsletter – Autumn Edition

Ashley Kate HR’s Autumn HR Network Newsletter is coming soon!! If you want to hear about the latest HR market intelligence, read articles written by HR professionals and review the latest employment law updates from a leading Law firm then contact us now for your free copy? Don’t miss out if you want to;

  • Confidential information & restrictive covenants.
  • Leading in challenging times… Putting your ‘best self’ forwards.
  • Moving beyond SMART to set courageous goals.
  • Counting the cost of sickness.
  • Les Potton FCIPD shares his views on Employee Engagement Strategies
  • Are you empowering your people or just exerting your power?
  • View information on the next HR Directors Boardroom event or the next Employment Law seminar we are running.

We are always keen to hear from HR professionals who want to contribute to future HR Network Newsletters or to our blog, so if you have something to shout about and want to share your ideas and contribute an HR related article let us know.

Our HR Network Newsletters form part of the free benefits of HR Network membership. By becoming a member of the Ashley Kate HR Network you will receive exclusive discounts on introductory fees, advertising and free attendance to all the events we run, plus access to salary surveys, latest HR news and legal updates

For further information contact kim.macnamara@ashleykatehr.com




Ashley Kate HR Network Event – Employment Update



Ashley Kate HR would like to invite you to our next HR Network Event where leading employment lawyers from international law firm Eversheds LLP will provide an update to Senior HR professionals on key legal developments. A great opportunity to stay up to date with current employment law and network with like minded HR professionals.

This is an essential update for anyone involved in HR.

Nottingham Wednesday 19th June 2013 The evening will be led by Clare Ward and Vanessa Kelly from the Eversheds LLP Human Resources Group.

Time 6-8pm

Address – Novotel Hotel, Bostocks Lane, Nottingham, NG10 4EP

Please join our interactive update where you will have the opportunity to question experts on topical legal issues and discuss employment law developments.

Eversheds LLP will provide an update to Senior HR professionals on key legal developments and cases including:

  • The practical impact of the new ET rules and fees
  • Stress, depression and absence review
  • Case law update quiz

Email your interest in attending to solutions@ashleykatehr.com

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 per delegate.

Buffet & refreshments are provided.

We look forward to seeing you.