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: 6 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.

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.

Neil Roberts

Name: Neil Roberts

Position: Manager

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. 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.

Aimee Thompson

Name: Aimee Thompson

Position: Specialist Recruitment Consultant

Sector: Engineering

Time In Recruitment: 1 Year

Why should Aimee represent you?
Aimee has previous experience in resourcing talent for the commercial sectors as well as recruiting for the Armed Forces, prior to joining the Talem Group. Aimee’s previous work in the Armed Forces has meant that she joined the team owning great transferable skills in public relations, which she now uses to her advantage when dealing with Astra’s clients and candidates. It became noticeable very quickly that Aimee had great attention to detail, fantastic organisational traits and a real willingness to get to know her candidates; all of which are brilliant features to have as an engineering recruitment consultant.

Although a very technical sector to specialise in, Aimee has taken time to understand its areas and disciplines, and now has a solid understanding of engineering roles and what it takes to be a success. Aimee has already formed strong working relationships with some of Astra’s key Engineering clients. She remains driven and enthusiastic to succeed and exceed the expectations of her technical clients., Her team members, clients and her candidates, can always rely on Aimee’s hard work and determination to get the best result.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Relationship Building. Understanding Candidate Needs/Skills. Customer Service. Enthusiastic. Time Keeping.

Clients Aimee has worked with.
BandVulc. IMASS. The Range.
Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
We are all driven to succeed. As a team, we have a great sense of humour and everyone gets along which really helps our service.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
Receiving candidate feedback regarding our service.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
Changing 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?
I try my best to turn a negative into a positive.

What we may not know…
I was in the Army Reserves and I also worked in security for the 2012 Olympics.

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.

Jack Smiddy

Name: Jack Smiddy

Position: Specialist Recruitment Consultant

Sector: IT

Time In Recruitment: 5 Years

Why should Jack represent you?
Although Jack is one of the newest additions to the Astra team he has already made a huge impact. Jack truly shares a passion and knowledge for all-things IT, to such an extent that in past he has used his own skills in HTML and CSS to create unique landing pages in an effort to prompt engagement with his candidates. Understanding the sector, the job roles and many of the disciplines involved, is proving to be a real asset to the people he works with.

Jack has wasted no time in building new business partnerships, both locally and nationally. His established candidate database, as well as his constant work online to attract new and ‘passive’ IT professionals, has meant that Jack has quick-fire access to technical talent and poses a reliable recruitment source for clients up and down the country.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Build Long-Term Relationships. Actual Interest In IT (I can code). Sourcing Hard To Find Candidates. Understanding The Market. Deliver Above & Beyond Client Expectations.

Clients Jack has worked with.
Pro:Direct Sport, Landmark Information Group, United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, Proctor & Stevenson.

Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
The consultants have full market knowledge about their sectors and are passionate about delivering the best experience to clients and candidates alike.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
I like that I can help candidates to secure work which helps them and their family’s, but equally, I enjoy assisting clients to grow their business too.
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?
Spending quality time with my kids and partner.

What we may not know…
I’ve played cricket for Devon.

Paul Sayer

Name: Paul Sayer

Position: Specialist Recruitment Consultant

Sector: Logistics

Time In Recruitment: 6 Months

Why should Paul represent you?
Paul is one of Astra Recruitment’s newest members but that’s not stopped him from having an immediate impact. Having had previous managerial experience working for large National Rail clients, Paul has impeccable customer relationship skills and can truly appreciate the importance of sourcing and placing quality logistics personnel.

As a specialist logistics recruitment consultant, Paul will be actively searching for professionals of all levels and calibre; from warehouse and transport managers to export administrators. Having managed large teams in the past, Paul knows just how crucial it is to listen, remain organised and display great interpretive skills; all of which Paul has in abundance.

5 specialities/core recruitment skills.
Building Long-Term Relationships. Candidate Care. Transparency. Great Listener. Commitment To Deliver.
Clients Paul has worked with.
DSV. Palmer & Harvey. Fowler Welch. Hella. Hermes. Lorient.
Q&A

For you, what makes Astra unique?
There’s a commitment to the continued development of Astra’s personnel. This ensures our clients and candidates that we are at the peak of our game.

What’s the best thing about being in recruitment?
It’s a different challenge every day.

If there was one thing you could change about recruitment, what would it be?
The way some agencies operate gives us a bad name.

Recruitment is supposed to be the most stressful job on the market – how do you deal with this stress?
I try to keep things in perspective.

What we may not know…
I once went to a Star Trek convention.

Disability Confident Committed

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