Team

Donna Barnes

Meet our Operations Director

I am an extremely passionate, focused and inspirational business owner and recruiter who believes in giving exceptional customer service. If you want a bespoke personal recruitment solution then look no further. As our company ethos supports I am continuously striving for Mutual Success.

Having started Astra Recruitment 4 years ago I have now grown it to a 2 company group with 11 staff. My vision is to continue with this aggressive growth strategy to enable us to offer a truly total recruitment package to all of our clients.

Harry Fry

Name: Harry Fry

Position: Specialist Recruitment Consultant

Sector: Logistics

Time In Recruitment: 3 Years

Why should Harry represent you?
Harry is the second youngest in the team and with this youth comes great vitality. He has been in the recruitment industry for three years and over that time he has fine-tuned his natural talents as a resourcer and accumulated many other desirable traits, which now makes him a real asset to the team.

His ability to remain empathetic to candidates and build special relationships with business clients makes him somewhat of a professional charmer. Harry will often go the extra mile to get results, as he likes nothing more than finding and putting forward talent to his assigned vacancies.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Telephone manner. Business development. Persistence. Enthusiasm. Sourcing candidates/clients.
Clients Harry has worked with.
Hermes, Palmer & Harvey, Tribal Group, Swain, Greggory Distribution, Warburtons.
Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
Working environment and the way we handle our clients & candidates.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
The satisfaction of placing someone into a job and developing their career.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
The process can take quite long.

Recruitment is supposed to be the most stressful job on the market – how do you deal
with this stress?

Getting out of the office at lunchtime and having a nap after work.

What we may not know…
I was offered a business administration apprenticeship, which actually ended up being recruitment.

Sue Cowan

Name: Sue Cowan

Position: Specialist Recruitment Consultant

Sector: Construction

Time In Recruitment: 16 Years

Why should Sue represent you?
Sue is the longest standing recruitment consultant in the office. Her experience within the industrial industry is priceless for the Astra team. She has an in-depth knowledge in the manufacturing, distribution and hospitality sectors, and has dealt with every type of contract clause including sourcing candidates for temporary, permanent and contract work.

Due to her long reign in recruitment, Sue knows the process inside out. She is brilliant at liaising with her business clients as well as relaying information to her candidates and helping them to best prepare ahead of job opportunities.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Relationship building. Sourcing good quality candidates. Remain approachable. Maintaining long-term relationships. Staying flexible.
Clients Sue has worked with.
PipexPX, Advanced Medical Solutions, West Country Group, Marjons University, Hunter Stoves, Call Caterlink.
Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
Aim to provide the very best quality candidates at a competitive rate.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
The variety – no day is the same.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
The admin involved.

Recruitment is supposed to be the most stressful job on the market – how do you deal
with this stress?

Keeping on top of the market and any opportunities. And going on Holiday once in a while.

What we may not know…
I’ve built 31ft of decking from scratch.

Jane Bassett

Meet our Payroll and Accounts

Jane has a wealth of experience having looked after payroll and bookkeeping in environments ranging from Civil Service and corporate through to SMEs.

Jane is the primary point of contact for all accounts or payroll queries and she is always happy to help.

Simone Harper

Name: Simone Harper

Position: Specialist Recruitment Consultant

Sector: Engineering

Time In Recruitment: 10 Years

Why should Simone represent you?
Simone has valuable experience within engineering, manufacturing, production and technical roles. Throughout her ten years’ experience in recruitment, she has helped to fill roles at all levels from directors to supervisors. One of the main reasons for Simone’s success as the perfect representative, is that she genuinely shares a true passion for the sector she’s involved in and takes time to study market changes.

A great trait for Simone is her eagerness to explore other recruitment avenues. No matter how complex or contemporary the job role is – if it falls under her engineering bracket, she’ll try her hardest to find an inspiring solution.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Relationship building. Genuine interest within the specialisms I recruit for. Honest and integral. Candidate management. Very personable.
Clients Simone has worked with.
Gooch and House Go, Kawasaki Precision Machinery, Burts Chips, TBSGB.
Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
Every consultant is very individual and Astra is not somewhere I’d class as a stereotypical recruitment agency. We are driven by creating great results for our candidates and clients. And another note, we have space hoppers.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
The variety.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
To have prosecco on tap.

Recruitment is supposed to be the most stressful job on the market – how do you deal
with this stress?

Drink wine.

What we may not know…
I sometimes make a noise in my throat like Kermet the Frog.

Neil Roberts

Name: Neil Roberts

Position: Specialist Recruitment Consultant

Sector: IT

Time In Recruitment: 2 Years

Why should Neil represent you?
Neil is one of Astra Recruitment’s top performers. His skills at building long-term partnerships with his clients as well as truly understanding his candidate’s credentials and aspirations, is a real determining factor for his success.

Like others in the Astra team, Neil has a true appreciation for the sector he works in and enjoys the ever-changing world of IT. His typical roles within Automotive, Electronics and IT; includes Software Developers, Design Engineers and Senior Management.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Sourcing candidates. Business development. Servicing clients. Building long-term relationships. Actual interest in technology.
Clients Neil has worked with.
Chess Dynamics, Ashridge Engineering, Seich, City Bus, Eclipse.
Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
Nice working environment, friendly company and freedom to expand my desk.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
Enjoy finding work for people who are unemployed and struggling to get back into work.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
People’s perception of Recruitment Agencies.

Recruitment is supposed to be the most stressful job on the market – how do you deal
with this stress?

Keep things simple and try not to overcomplicate. Outside of work my wife, dog and Land Rover helps me to de-stress.

What we may not know…
Qualified Barber.

Tamsin King

Name: Tamsin King

Position: Specialist Recruitment Resourcer

Sector: IT

Time In Recruitment: 2 Years

Why should Tamsin represent you?
Tamsin has a great knowledge and passion for IT, which remains a real bonus for when it comes to sourcing the right candidate. She has a friendly and approachable manner that helps candidates to feel at ease throughout the entire recruitment process.

Her main skill lies within resourcing and aiding the IT recruitment team in discovering talent on the market. Her meticulousness, methodical approach and great eye for spotting niche yet quality candidates, has made her one of the best recruitment resourcers in the entire Astra team.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Sourcing candidates. CV screening. Job advertising. Team player. Building rapports with candidates.
Clients Tamsin has worked with.
Fluid Branding, Mandarin Creative, Chess Dynamics and Wilton Bradley.
Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
Relaxed yet pro-active environment which promotes good team work.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
Helping people to enhance their careers, which in turn improves their lifestyle.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
More predictability would be nice, although I guess it keeps us on our toes!

Recruitment is supposed to be the most stressful job on the market – how do you deal
with this stress?

Gin and listening to music (outside of work).

What we may not know…
I used to play guitar in an Indie Band.

Jordan Escrig

Name: Jordan Escrig

Position: Recruitment Resourcer

Sector: Engineering

Time In Recruitment: 1 Year

Why should Jordan represent you?
Jordan has joined the Astra team to provide assistance with resourcing engineering candidates. Working in such a diverse and demanding sector, Jordan has to be well organised, prioritise and understand all the expansive disciplines attached to each engineering role.

Jordan works alongside Simone to balance fresh blood and new ideas with an experienced head who knows the industry inside-out. One of Jordan’s main strengths is his high level of communication and his ability to deliver client and candidate requests with great efficiency.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Resourcing the ideal candidate. Building relationships. Candidate management. Consistency. High standard of communication with people of all levels.
Clients Jordan has worked with.
Burts Chips, TBSGB, Wrigley Company and Kawasaki Precision Machinery.
Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
Management style is personal and they play to our individual strengths.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
Reaching out and communicating with such a diverse range of people.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
Ensuring that everyone can answer the phone at all times.

Recruitment is supposed to be the most stressful job on the market – how do you deal
with this stress?

Leave work at the door.

What we may not know…
I only ever wear odd socks.

Kim Lewis

Meet our Logistics Specialist

In a previous position Kim started the Logistics Recruitment desk and grew it to be one of the companies’ best performing teams in less than 18 months.

Having moved from one of the Nation’s most successful recruitment companies with offices worldwide, she has taken the decision to join Astra Recruitment because of our open and honest approach to recruitment and our fun yet professional environment which is also enjoyed by our clients and candidates alike.

She is totally dedicated to finding the right candidate the right job with the right company and always have an eye for advancement of my candidates to benefit my clients.

She has successfully placed candidates with John Lewis, Asda, Koch West House, Robert Wiseman Dairies and many other National operators but she also enjoys working with smaller companies and family businesses, Her goal is always to find the right person for the right job and this is what motivates her every day.

If you have a role or if you are looking to take the next step in your career in Logistics the please get in touch.

Brian Rossiter

Name: Brian Rossiter

Position: Quality Co-ordinator

Sector: Project Recruitment

Time In Recruitment: 11 Years

Why should Brian represent you?
Although Brian has earnt his recruitment stripes as a consultant, his main area of expertise is now within the deliverance of recruitment projects for companies nationwide. Brian has valuable experience in providing a comprehensive recruitment project, which can really tap into a business’s ethos, framework and recruitment goals.

Using tailor-made business solutions, Brian can help to assist companies with:

• Advertising, marketing and PR.
• Screening and selection of candidates.
• Compliance checks.
• Interview Days/Assessment Centres.
• Final Offers.
• Facilitation and co-ordination of training for successful starters.


Throughout all of Brian’s projects he balances a complementary blend of professionalism and approachability. He’s a quality communicator, sustains an analytic mind and his organisation skills are exemplary; so much so that he can juggle a few projects at once.
5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Understanding client requirements & implementing these. Very organised. Able to handle large volume of recruitment projects. Achieve client targets and maintain communication. Hospitable.
Clients Brian has worked with.
Wolf Minerals, SGS, CA Blackwell, Taziker Industrial, Cuddy Group.
Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
Great working environment & culture.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
Being able to help those find employment and the diversity of work.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
Less transactional, recruiters do themselves a disservice when they fall into a sales fight.

Recruitment is supposed to be the most stressful job on the market – how do you deal
with this stress?

Performing on stage.

What we may not know…
Acted with a professional theatre company.

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