As part of female empowerment month, we have been celebrating women in the world of recruitment and the business world. We spoke to Katie Underwood about the ways recruitment and HR has changed since joining Ashley Kate. Continuing on with that theme, we have interviewed Natasha Murphy about how her career has developed since joining Ashley Kate…
What role are you currently working in?
I am a Senior Recruitment Consultant for Ashley Kate HR & Finance, I recruit in the North West & Yorkshire regions, looking after jobs up to £45k. I work on all opportunities in all areas of generalist HR, as well Reward, Talent & Recruitment, Training and L&D, across all sectors. Supporting and mentoring new starters within our business is an area I am passionate about as I have a lot of experience that I can share with them to help them develop their skills.
How long have you been working in the world of recruitment?
I have been recruiting across the HR market for 10 years, 8 of those with Ashley Kate, and I have recruited across most regions in the UK. I am now very settled in the North West and Yorkshire regions. What I love about Ashley Kate is our long-standing consultants, our turnover is low and many of us have been with the business recruiting in the same region for several years! It helps us build long lasting, strong relationships with candidates and clients alike within our regions. Not many recruitment companies can boast this, and I think it is important to offer stability and consistency in what is always a challenging field to work in!
Can you explain how you ventured into recruitment?
I started in recruitment advertising for my local newspaper group. It was a great step into the recruitment and sales world, the environment was absolutely buzzing! Back then businesses would advertise their jobs in the Wednesday job paper. It feels like a long time ago now, but even then, I think you could sense that everything was very much moving online, and the paper advertising industry slowly died down. Through this role, I was exposed to communicating with businesses and managers at a young age, learning about recruitment needs, and developing a passion for advertising jobs! It seemed like a natural step to move into a Recruitment role, and I have never looked back.
Can you recall the first major development that pushed your career forward?
There are many highs in recruitment, but also many lows and I wasn’t sure how to navigate through those. Being quite young in recruitment and not having the right support made me lose faith in my own ability and at one point many, many years ago, pre Ashley Kate, I considered leaving recruitment all together, I found the industry was very aggressive and that is not me! Then I was offered a role at Ashley Kate.
The culture was very different to other companies, the people are very supportive, it made me realise that recruitment was the role for me, I just needed the right people around me to succeed. This changed my perception of recruitment, and from there I really found my love for it!
How has the world of recruitment changed over the last 5 years?
It has been challenging, the last 2 years we have been plagued by the pandemic and working through that was very challenging. I think People’s perception on what constitutes a successful career did change. We started considering other possibilities to secure a happy work life balance. Businesses have cared more for retention, engagement and wellbeing, development and these areas are more important than ever! 5 years ago businesses didn’t consider flexible or hybrid working as an option, that shift in mindset has changed considerably, engagement wasn’t top of the agenda and not many companies had a grip on mental health & wellbeing. We now have stronger tools in our systems and data! HR metrics and analysis of data has helped businesses to understand their people issues and plan ahead.
Can you give us an insight into the next stage of your career?
I enjoy Recruiting and never want to lose that, but also want to lend my skills to supporting a team to develop. Having started the new management development course that the business has started running, I am keen to further my career and follow a route in people management alongside the hands-on recruitment piece.
If you could give one major piece of advice to anyone starting in recruitment, what would it be?
I would say do your research and choose the right company. Brand, culture, strong values, and development opportunities are more important than ever. If you can find an organisation that offer you all that, then the sky’s the limit for you in your recruitment career.
What are your predictions for the future of recruitment?
So much has changed in a short timeframe. Companies are investing more into their internal Talent and recruitment teams and retention, but the war for talent continues. And actually, the candidate market is challenging because the expectation is now around benefits and culture. As a specialist Ashley Kate really support our clients with having the tools to attract top talent in the market through our extensive network. Your network is the biggest tool you can have, and this takes time to build. Our guidance and market information, from our long standing and expert consultants, is valued now more than ever as we have reach to a wide range of HR , reward, talent, and L&D professionals.