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.

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.

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.

Stephen Paxton

Name: Stephen Paxton

Position: Specialist Recruitment Consultant

Sector: IT

Time In Recruitment: 1 Year

Why should Stephen represent you?
Stephen has a true passion for the IT industry, which really helps him to connect to the candidates and clients he meets. Specialising in IT recruitment means that Stephen is confident dealing with a whole manner of roles, from software engineering to graphic design. His attention to detail, methodical working and the ability to grasp a clients’ brief and a candidate’s needs, ensures Stephen is a valuable asset to the team.

Before any headway is made Stephen feels it’s important to build a rapport with the jobseekers he meets. Understanding employment history and the specific skills a candidate owns is not where it ends because consideration for career progression, company culture and other personal preferences are always treated with respect and are used to find the most suitable job opportunities for the people he represents.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Passion For Tech. Customer Service. Sourcing Candidates. Building Relationships. Technical Understanding.

Clients Stephen has worked with.
The Range. Call Caterlink. Jonas Software.

Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
Tight knit, family feel with a great company culture.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
The chance to meet and talk to people from all kinds of backgrounds.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
The idea that all recruiters are pushy salesmen.

Recruitment is supposed to be the most stressful job on the market – how do you deal with this stress?
I keep work and home separate, allowing me to switch off in my down time.

What we may not know…
Canadian by birth.

Kim Lewis

Name: Kim Lewis

Position: Operations Director

Sector: Logistics/IT/Engineering

Time In Recruitment: 7 Years

Why should Kim represent you?
Kim has been in the recruitment industry for over 7 years and in that time she has become a formidable force within the logistics sector. Kim was initially brought into Astra to play her part as valuable consultant, however after recognising her strong leadership skills, great awareness to the industry and the ability to source niche candidates for difficult roles, she was soon promoted to company Director.

Kim has a special ability of really connecting with her clients and can quickly grasp exactly what it is they need. Her vast network of contacts reflects her industry expertise and just how much people trust and value her service. She has the habit of turning a complicated brief into light work and is known for helping to fill the trickiest of jobs with specialist staff.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Persistent In Finding The Right Fit For Candidates & Clients. Bright & Thorough Professional. Inquisitive. Great Market Knowledge. Networking.

Clients Kim has worked with.
DSV. Palmer & Harvey. Fowler Welch. Hella. Hermes. TNT. CM Downton. Howard Tenens. BT. Bandvulc. Ceva. UK Mail. DPD. Gregory. DX Freight. Framptons. ArrowXL. K&N. Wolf Minerals.
Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
I’d have to say my staff are special, they are bright and fun but always have that much needed professionalism. Every one of us shares the same vision for the business and we all get a say in its future. Another thing I love is the sheer diversity of our client’s.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
Something different happens every day which keeps things exciting. Whether it’s good or bad, no day is the same. The ability to fix problems and come up with resolutions which enable businesses to maximise their performance is also another brilliant thing about recruitment.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
The perception people have about recruitment. Some still don’t understand the value of a quality recruitment agency, we can improve businesses and deliver multiple gains.

Recruitment is supposed to be the most stressful job on the market – how do you deal with this stress?
I wouldn’t say recruitment is stressful, it’s more relentless. I have a genuine interest in my work and get enjoyment from the candidates and clients I meet. It’s fun.

What we may not know…
I’ll keep it related to work. I don’t think outsiders know that recruitment provides you with a privileged state, where you get view people’s lives from a really important vantage point. Understanding all factors, such as the consideration for family life, life events or other personal features means that your decisions play a crucial role. It’s actually an art.

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