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Getting to know...Jessica Ashley

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Every month, we take some time out with one of our talented recruiters to find out what makes them tick. This time we sat down with Jess Ashley to talk about her Henry Nicholas journey so far, and why culture is a key draw for clients and candidates right now. 

Jess is a specialist marketing, digital, PR, and creative recruitment consultant focused on the London market. She has been part of the Henry Nicholas team since April 2019.

Hi Jess! It’s lovely to catch up with you. Can you tell us about your career journey so far? 

I graduated two years ago and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I had some friends who were working in recruitment and it sounded like an interesting challenge. I started out at a recruitment business in September 2018 doing marketing mix recruitment – PR, digital, creative – those sorts of roles. I joined Henry Nicholas in April 2019, and now head up their in-house marketing team for recruitment in the London area.  

Do you enjoy working in recruitment? 

Yes, I think because my degree is in English and Drama, I am quite a creative person, and recruitment allows me to use some of that creativity. It’s also a space where you are always learning. While the role stays the same, there is always a new role, client, or specialism to get to grips with. Marketing, especially, is always evolving – there is always something new to learn!

What types of roles are you placing at Henry Nicholas? 

I’m focused on in-house roles in London in the creative, marketing, PR, and digital space. So, that could be anything from Marketing Assistant up to Head of Marketing or Head of Digital and PR Manager. I’ve also placed quite a few Customer Relationship Management (CRM) roles recently – I’ve seen a real rise in data-driven roles. 

That’s interesting – why do you think roles have become more data-focused? 

The marketing world has become a lot more data-focused in the last few years. The use of data analytics and looking at customer data in order to segment and target key markets has become a hugely popular way of getting your voice heard by the right people. Organisations are looking for specialists who can run these types of analysis and optimise their campaigns. 

What are candidates looking for in a role at the moment? 

Salaries and benefits are always going to be important, but I think overall culture is also a really key part of candidate attraction at the moment. More and more people are stressing that the environment they work in is important to them. Flexibility is another big one, if clients are able to offer some sort of flexibility, it can make a role very attractive. Career progression is something that is also a big draw, particularly for junior roles – people want to know if they will have the chance to grow and develop within a business. 

How about clients? What are they looking for in candidates? 

Similarly, clients want someone who is going to be the right fit, not only from a skills point of view but in terms of culture. They want the right type of person, someone who is going to be a good addition to their team. For senior roles, they are looking for people with the confidence and skills to inspire the people around them. We are also seeing lots of booming startups here in London, particularly in tech and Fintech, who are looking for candidates who are incredibly driven and can hit the ground running. 

Why do you think clients and candidates should choose Henry Nicholas? 

We definitely approach our candidates with care and we really want to know what drives them and what type of person they are. It’s not just about putting someone in a job because they have the necessary skills. It’s about getting to grips with what they are after in the short and long term, to make sure we are connecting them with the right opportunities. It’s really satisfying when you put the right person into a business and they come back to us down the line as a client. 

Finally, what do you love about working at Henry Nicholas? 

Everyone here is really, really lovely, really easy to get along with. It’s a great work culture, we have an autonomous approach to recruitment that never feels heavily target driven like other agencies – you have room to breathe. So far, I’ve loved getting to know our client’s businesses and getting to know what makes them tick. From a candidate side, placing someone in a role and seeing them excel is a lovely feeling. 

Thanks so much for taking the time out to talk with us, Jess. 

If you’re searching for in-house marketing, digital, PR, CRM, data or creative recruitment candidates, or you're looking for your next big move in the industry, speak to Jess. You can connect with her by email at j.ashley@henrynicholas.co.uk or on LinkedIn

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