Team

Donna Barnes

Name: Donna Barnes

Position: Talem Group Operations Director

Sector: Business Strategy

Time In Recruitment: 20 Years

5 specialities/core business skills.
Strategic Vision. Project Delivery. Leadership. People Development. Entrepreneurship.

Clients Donna has worked with.
Royal Mail. Toshiba. St Ives.

Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
A group of hard working and genuinely nice people who add value to the candidates and clients they meet.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
Every day is different and you never know what’s going to happen next.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
The perception people have of recruitment.

Recruitment is supposed to be the most stressful job on the market – how do you deal with this stress?
Drink champagne and lots of it. I also enjoy the benefits of exercising.

What we may not know…
I’ve been an award-winning banger car driver.

Ameera Taha

Name: Ameera Taha

Position: Specialist Recruitment Resourcer

Sector: IT

Time In Recruitment: 8 Months

Why should Ameera represent you?
Despite entering the team with no experience in recruitment, Ameera offers invaluable skills in search and select, having had prior jobs in SEO and social media. Her tech-savvy traits reinforce Astra’s position as a modern specialist recruitment agency, eager to align themselves with the contemporary needs of the industry.

Having been heavily involved in IT bias jobs, Ameera is sure to become a massive asset for clients seeking IT professionals as well as candidates with digital expertise. Ameera is a personable, charismatic and empathetic individual; who respects her people and enjoys nothing more than exceeding expectations.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Tech Savvy. Honest. Resourcing. Interpersonal. Connected.
Clients Ameera has worked with.
The Range. Fluid Branding. Mandarin Creative. Chess Dynamics.
Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
The transparent culture, our honesty with candidates and caring about the people, more than the money!

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
It’s forever changing. I also love to see candidates better their career and for clients to benefit from amazing talent.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
Overcoming perceptions because of the bad eggs.

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

What we may not know…
Wesley Snipes likes my Tweets.

Neil Roberts

Name: Neil Roberts

Position: Manager

Sector: IT

Time In Recruitment: 6 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. So much so, Neil was promoted to Reporting Manager at the end of 2016.

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.

Kerensa Sydenham

Name: Kerensa Sydenham.

Position: Resourcer.

Sector: Commercial.

Time In Recruitment: 3 Years.

Why should Kerensa represent you?
Kerensa has been a resourcer for the commercial sectors for over two years and within this time she has confidently adapted to market changes, particularly modern search and select methods carried out online. As a recruitment resourcer for Mitrem’s local division, Kerensa is well aware of just how important it is to not only find skills and experience that match a client’s needs but also considers matching personality, ethics and goals.

Despite having established a very strong and forever expanding candidate database, sometimes this isn't enough. Kerensa knows that in the contemporary market she now needs to acquire ‘passive’ candidates and tap into talent who aren’t necessarily visible or looking for work, but can potentially become a real asset to the clients she works with. Kerensa mainly focuses on administrative and customer service based roles, but can equally assist with any data entry, HR or reception-led enquiries.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Resourcing. Customer Service. Relationship Building. Candidate Care. Networking.
Clients Kerensa has worked with.
St Lukes. Wolf Minerals. The Range. Thrive Approach. IMASS.
Q&A

For you, what makes Mitrem unique?
Across the board our team work really closely with each other, which truly helps to provide the best service possible for all the clients and candidates we work with.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
Just how busy you are and the variety of the job.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
The stereotypes attached to recruiters.

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

What we may not know…
I am an Aerial Artist!

Natalie Powell

Name: Natalie Powell.

Position: Manager.

Sector: Commercial.

Time In Recruitment: 17 Years.

Why should Natalie represent you?
Natalie has been a major player in Plymouth’s recruitment scene for a while now. Prior to joining Mitrem’s local division (who solely concentrate on the county of Devon), Natalie managed her very own team at Office Angels. Having accrued 17 years in the commercial recruitment industry, Natalie has built up a strong network of candidates and clients, and is able to quickly identify the best way to solve her clients’ occupational shortfalls as well as support her candidates secure their dream job.

Specialising in administration and customer service roles; Natalie is as experienced as it comes. Yet despite her lengthy reign in recruitment, she remains passionate for exceeding client expectations and likes nothing more than seeing her candidates go on to improve their careers. If you are seeking a commercial or office-based job in Devon or you’re a company looking for an expert consultant to source quality talent for your business, then Natalie should be the next person you contact.
5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Temporary & Permanent Recruitment. Networking. Business Development. Relationship Building. Exceeding Client Expectations.
Clients Natalie has worked with.
St Lukes. Wolf Minerals. The Range. Thrive Approach. IMASS.
Q&A

For you, what makes Mitrem unique?
Despite the business being a local independent, Mitrem has a very strong local presence and a great reputation in the South West. However, as well as this, the team also caters for national clients based all over the UK - making us very unique!

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
The diverse range of clients and getting to know their individual needs. There is always something new every day.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
If I had a magic wand it would ensure every candidate attended their interviews!

Recruitment is supposed to be the most stressful job on the market – how do you deal with this stress?
Alcohol, walking the dog and running.

What we may not know…
I took part in a limbo dancing competition and won a prize holiday to New York.

Carol McGeary

Name: Carol McGeary.

Position: Director.

Sector: Executive/Internal Recruitment.

Time In Recruitment: 20 Years.

Why should Carol represent you?
Carol has been in the recruitment industry for over 20 years, making her the perfect pillar for the Astra team. Over her recruitment reign Carol has developed innovative methods to help business clients reach their true potential.

Although Carol remains Co-Director, she still gets involved in the nitty gritty and her specialist areas are taking care of executive searches and filling senior management vacancies. Due to her experience in the industry, Carol has built up a wide range of valuable contacts and is determined to evolve new relationships as well as maintain existing.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Building Strategic recruitment strategies. Networking. Understanding of market. Assessment Centres. Ethical.
Clients Carol has worked with.
Bourne Leisure, SWR, Wolf Minerals, Biffa, HarrierLLC, Tulip Foods, Samworth Brothers, Folk2folk, Moortech and many more!
Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
We own a technical awareness to the industries we recruit for. Every consultant remains totally focused on delivering a quality service to both their clients and candidates.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
Knowing you are helping candidates along their career path and assisting companies find the right people to support their growth.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
The image some recruitment companies leave on the industry, which makes it more difficult for us to initially gain trust.

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

Buckets of bubbles!!!!

What we may not know…
I love to sing.

Jamie Smith

Name: Jamie Smith

Position: Manager.

Sector: Finance & Accountancy

Time In Recruitment: 7 Years.

Why should Jamie represent you?
Jamie has spent just over six years in the recruitment industry, having previously worked for Trace Recruit in London. Jamie’s expertise in finance and accountancy has added real value to Mitrem’s team. His understanding of financial roles and the disciplines attached has helped Mitrem acquire new and exciting client partnerships.

Invaluable insight into the sector allows Jamie to connect with his candidates; remaining aware to industry jargon and market change, as well as identifying potential career paths for progression. Jamie holds down a professional yet personable approach. He strives to do the very best for his candidates and enjoys nothing more than seeing someone he’s been working with secure their dream job.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Relationship Building. Head Hunting. Contingency & Retained Recruitment. Driven. Open & Personable.

Clients Jamie has worked with.
Friary Mill. St Lukes. Wolf. Peplows Chartered Accountants.

Q&A

For you, what makes Mitrem unique?
We offer a flexible service for our clients. We have a strong local and national network. Our team provides great breadth of knowledge and experience in the commercial sectors we cover.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
Getting someone into a job that they really want.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
The stereotypes attached to recruiters.

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

Coffee and exercise. The occasional beer, or ten.

What we may not know…
I was a losing contestant on Eggheads.

Kathryn Hodgson

Name: Kathryn Hodgson.

Position: Recruitment Consultant.

Sector: Commercial (Temporary Specialist).

Time In Recruitment: 4 Years.

Why should Kathryn represent you?
Kathryn boasts four years in recruitment and has specialised her service towards administration and customer service sectors. Having previously been a key member of Plymouth’s Office Angels, Kathryn now brings superb value to the Mitrem local team. Her personable character and astute awareness to the industry she recruits for makes Kathryn the perfect support for the businesses she recruits for and the candidates she helps to find work.

Kathryn knows her industry inside out and is able to spark a connection with 99% of the professionals she deals with. Having that knowledge and understanding of the market means that Kathryn is able to easily build rapport and offer quick solutions to her customers needs. What’s more, Kathryn is a temporary recruitment specialist, and is able to promptly resolve any issues and thoroughly enjoys the fast paced nature of the job.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Business Development. Sector Specialist For Admin. Account Management. Market Awareness. Strong Local Presence. Clients Kathryn has worked with.
St Lukes. Wolf Minerals. The Range. Thrive Approach. IMASS.
Q&A

For you, what makes Mitrem unique?
The company culture and enthusiasm to succeed is fantastic. The fact that we provide both a local and national service is also unique.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
I love the variety of the job but I’d say the best thing would be helping people kick start their careers, especially those who go from temporary positions to secure permanent work.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
The perception people have of recruiters!

Recruitment is supposed to be the most stressful job on the market – how do you deal with this stress?
A glass of wine in a hot bubble bath.

What we may not know…
I have an unhealthy thing for reality TV.

Brian Rossiter

Name: Brian Rossiter

Position: Quality Co-ordinator

Sector: Construction

Time In Recruitment: Eternity

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.

Disability Confident Committed

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