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.

Kerensa Sydenham

Name: Kerensa Sydenham.

Position: Resourcer.

Sector: Commercial.

Time In Recruitment: 5 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 Astra, 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 Astra 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!

Hannah Westwood

Name: Hannah Westwood.

Position: Recruitment Specialist.

Sector: Commercial.

Time In Recruitment: 3 Years.

Why should Hannah represent you?
Hannah has been in recruitment for 3 years now and specialises in the Commercial Sector. As well as recruitment Hannah has a strong sales background. Hannah builds strong relationships with each of her clients, getting to know each clients individual needs to ensure she makes the right candidate match every time.

Despite having established a very strong and forever expanding candidate database, sometimes this isn't enough. Hannah 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.

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

For you, what makes Astra unique?
The team work so well together!

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
Being able to find someone their perfect job

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
To work with more reliable candidates

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

What we may not know…
I did hairdressing for London Fashion Week

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 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 Astra unique?
Despite the business being a local independent, Astra 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.

Ella Hastings

Name: Ella Hastings

Position: Recruitment Specialist.

Sector: Industrial and Engineering.

Time In Recruitment: 5 Years.

Why should Ella represent you?
Ella has been in recruitment for 5 years now and specialises in the Industrial and Engineering Sectors. Ella has relocated to Plymouth and is now looking forward to linking in with new clients. Ella builds strong relationships and gets to know each clients individual needs to ensure she makes the right candidate match every time.


5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Resourcing. Customer Service. Relationship Building. Candidate Care. Networking.

Clients Ella has worked with.
St Lukes. Wolf Minerals. The Range. Thrive Approach. IMASS.
Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
The working atmosphere is amazing here

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
Job Satisfaction

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

Recruitment is supposed to be the most stressful job on the market – how do you deal with this stress?
Walking the dog, and a large glass of wine

What we may not know…
I was a finalist for MasterChef

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 Astra 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 Astra 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.

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