HR Forum Feedback – Emotional Intelligence with Joanna Kane

Sally Bennett

On Thursday 21st May, Engage Executive Search held their second HR Forum, and what a success it was.

At our first event back in February I explained our vision was to create a peer group of like-minded and experienced  senior HR personnel  who would  come together to share their experiences.  Our objective was to provide  informal, comfortable surroundings, sitting in smaller groups that allow discussion on a personal level.  One other vision …. no powerpoint!

Well I am proud to say so far so good; our second forum doubled in size and we are already at maximum capacity.  What was evident was that there are some great people out there and even though some are very experienced, they were keen to learn and share their skills and give examples of challenges they have faced.


We were lucky to have Joanne Kane from Trailblazers as our expert at this forum.  Immediately, Joanne’s honesty as she created a picture of her life as a successful, high flying career women in London, and what was really going on underneath her façade, made a connection with everyone in the room.  Her story then led to an overview of the very hot topic of Emotional Intelligence.   Contribution from the forum members was high and provided some great examples of experience for all of us to take with us.


Joanne was then followed by Malcolm Scott Walby from Scott Walby LLP.  Malcolm has agreed to be our legal expert and as the forums progress he will be available for a Q&A and to share the latest updates.  For those who don’t know Malcolm, he provides a very entertaining view of employment law and will not sit on that fence.

Danny,  Manager of The Cliff, yet again provided a great breakfast and ensured the smooth running of the event with all the ease  of an experienced host.

So here I am still on a high from the success of the event and reviewing what the Engage HR Forum has achieved  so far….


                                                Comfortable, informal venue                    tick

                                                No powerpoint                                            tick

                                                Inspirational speakers                                tick

                                                Discussion and debate                               tick

                                                Sharing experience                                     tick

                                                Learning from each other                          tick

                                                A room full of highly skilled, great,

                                                Participative, engaging people             one big fat tick



So what is next?

I am very excited to say we have a great lady called Sam Turner who is the MD of an organisation called Dragonfish.  In the true spirit of the forum we gave our members a choice of subjects that will navigate us around the enormous subject of employee engagement and customer satisfaction through our organisations people.

Members will receive their ‘save the date’ shortly with the result of that vote.  In the meantime if you are a HR professional and would like to hear more about our Forum and other events, please do not hesitate to contact me personally –

Jobshop UK’s Executive Recruitment Company, Engage Executive Jobs, Resolves HR for Local Businesses

Sally Bennett Engage Executive Jobs Resolving the challenges that recruiting within the HR sector brings, Executive Recruitment Director for Engage Executive Jobs, Sally Bennett, draws upon her twelve years of recruitment experience and in-depth knowledge of HR; its function within an organisation and its challenges, to match the ideal candidate to the organisation.

CIPD qualified, Sally’s experience as a global recruiter and her specialism in HR recruitment for both agency and corporate organisations, enables Engage to offer a tailor-made and holistic executive search service honed to the precise requirements of its client.

Being keenly aware that people are key to the success of a business, and recruitment of the right people in a timely manner essential, Sally’s previous role as Business Partner at Farrow and Ball has given her a broad range of relevant experience with first-hand knowledge of direct campaigns, working in partnership with different functions across the organisation, and offering advice on additional areas of people management.

Locally, Engage will be organising HR forums offering the opportunity to discuss hot topics in a confidential arena of shared experiences where subjects discussed include addressing change, employee engagement, and employer of choice.

Under Sally’s expert leadership, Engage work in partnership with its clients, as an extension of the team, in order to really understand the culture within the company they are recruiting for; an essential practice in successful recruitment.

Approaching every project individually, each brief is taken personally followed by an in-depth search process involving an accurate selection of candidates for face to face interviews before the final shortlist is presented to the client and supported with a concise profile overview.

Engage’s comprehensive approach to recruitment, encompassing all aspects of its client’s business ensure all candidates presented for interview are not just fully qualified and experienced for the role but also fully briefed on the organisation and motivated at interview.

Sally said: “In this challenging marketplace which is short of available talent, people are the foundation of any organisation.  Engage prides itself on implementing a range of techniques in order to find the right match.  With my background in Recruitment and Human Resource Management for a global organisation I am transferring my own skills to help develop strong partnerships with organisations.  Over time I plan to add value and build a trust in our client partnerships in order that they view Engage as an extension of the Human Resource Department.”


The Engage Executive Jobs Seminar 2014

RSTracey Wood, Kevin Green, Frances Miles, Sally Bennett

Chief Executive of REC expresses importance of retaining talented staff to Dorset business community

 Attraction + engagement = performance: That was the simple equation which could increase productivity by 31% and transform many UK businesses, according to Kevin Green, CEO of the REC and guest speaker at the annual Jobshop UK and Engage Executive Jobs seminar on Wednesday 22nd October.

During his hour long presentation at the Harbour Heights Hotel which was full to capacity with guests from the local business community, Mr Green covered key issues in today’s employment and economic market including the increase in self-employment, skills shortage, the growth being seen in all sectors of industry, the rise in starting salaries, and the aging population.

rsKevin Green

Mr Green’s lively and engaging analogies cleverly mixed thought provoking statistics with relevant examples of how the current employment market needs to focus on the recruitment of high calibre staff, then retaining that talent in order to compete in a market suffering such a severe skills shortage, which has increased from just 9 to 47 listed skills over the last year.

Other positive statistics highlighted by Mr Green included; Job vacancies are highest since 1988; all regions and sectors are experiencing growth; starting salaries are rising, and 80% of employers will grow their workforce in the next month.  The overall message was one of a ‘dynamic, flexible and booming jobs market.’

Jobshop UK directors, Tracey Wood and Frances Miles, used the seminar to officially introduce the new executive recruitment director, for sister company, Engage Executive Jobs, Sally Bennett.  Sally joins the company with over 12 years’ experience of recruitment in both agency and corporate organisations including Farrow and Ball.


Jobshop UK & Engage executive director, Tracey Wood, said: “We are delighted with the attendance at our fourth annual employment seminar. Kevin Green is always an engaging speaker and we are particularly thrilled he takes time out of his busy schedule to speak at our events.  One of the themes of the presentation centred around the need for companies to understand that best recruitment practices link very strongly with a company’s brand which is essential to attracting candidates in the current market.  With this in mind the REC launched The Good Recruitment Campaign this year, which we will be promoting to our clients.”



Executive Job Vacancies for the New Year

Here are a couple of new jobs that we have available for your consideration. If you feel that either of them would suit your skills and expertise please contact Lucy York, or via 01202674488. Lucy will be happy to chat to you about your options.


FMCG Sales Team Leader

I am looking for a dynamic, energetic Sales Manager with fine food experience. Working with a fast growing, passionate Dorset based company to find a driven, fun individual, who wants to work hard.

A great opportunity for someone who has a proven ability in researching target markets and winning new business. Must have account management experience with a preferred consultative sale style. A contagious confidence is required with encouragement and coaching of existing sales team.

Must be a self starter, motivated and driven individual. This position is office based and therefore, driving license with own transport is required.

Salary – c£30,000 DOE


Regional Sales Manager

A great opportunity has arisen for a Regional Sales Manager position in the Dorset & Hampshire Counties. You will have a strong network of introducers and Invoice Finance experience.

Sourcing deals via Accountants and Brokers a good relationship style is essential. You must be self motivated, hard working and proactive to work for this financial operation.

Driving license is essential and ability to work outside of 9-5 when necessary will be required for networking purposes.

Salary – c£45,000 DOE + Bonus

Executive Networking for Success

 Networking can help you build productive business relationships which are essential in the running of a successful business.  However, remember that networking should be a fun and informal way to make and strengthen business relationships, so avoid a hard sales pitch style introduction, and instead, make your exchange friendly and informal.  Highlighting your company’s most recent accomplishments such as a new client or completed project keeps the conversation relevant, and you will always win people over if you are enthusiastic and passionate about your business.  Discuss what inspired you in starting up your business or taking your position within the company, but be aware not to hijack the conversation, so ask appropiate and interesting questions in return.  Researching who will be at the networking event is crucial if you are looking to make particular connections, and be sure to follow up your new contacts via connecting on LinkedIn, a friendly email. The Poole Business Women’s Lunch Club is a friendly and supportive networking group who meet monthly, with guest speakers, at Storm fish restaurant in Poole.

Finding the right networking group for you is essential.  The Engage Directors run a networking group for Women which meets monthly at Storm fish restaurant in Poole and features relevant and inspiring guest speakers – from Lush founder, Mark Constantine, to best selling author and founder of Company Shortcuts, Lara Morgan.  For more information on the Poole Business Women’s Lunch Club, see

Senior Managers; Making Your Employees Happy

For senior managers, an important element to keeping all areas of production high, and the running of your department smooth, is the happiness and contentment of your team.  Below are just 3 simple ways in which you can improve the contentment of your employees, which in turn are going to have huge benefits to your department and company.

Invest in them

Employees are unlikely to be happy if they continue to come to a job that offers no room for growth and advancement. Offering training opportunities and mentorship helps an employee feel they are improving themselves, professionally, as well as being valued by their boss and company. The best businesses out there invest in their employees. Send them off to conferences; encourage them to grow in their understanding of your industry by spending a bit of time and money on their professional advancement. This shows you have high expectations of their future within your Company and you see them as a long term investment.

Bonuses – Say Thank You!

Offering bonuses – no matter how small – improve morale within your team.  Bonuses make your staff feel valued, increases their loyalty to an organisation and makes them want to work harder for you.  The bonus doesn’t have to be financial.  Depending on your industry and the type of work your employees do, offering small tokens of appreciation – such as a voucher for a meal at the local restaurant, flowers etc – will make employees feel their work, particularly in hard economic times, is not going unnoticed, or unappreciated. Have clear work targets and acknowledge when these are achieved.  So often an employee will feel the brunt of not reaching a target, yet their effort and achievement goes apparently unnoticed when they do.

Make the work environment comfortable

It may sound obvious, but making your employees work environment comfortable, will go a long way to making them want to be at work.  Although work production is of course your primary objective, working in a sterile office environment with no ‘distractions’ will actually have a negative effect on your staff. A decent coffee machine, complimentary soft drinks, fruit and biscuits, an area away from their desks to relax – just a quiet corner of the office space with comfortable chairs and a sofa, if you can’t allocate a separate room – all makes a huge difference. Out of the office, if budget permits, and your employees have to travel in the name of business, booking them a business class seat on a flight or into the airport lounge or a first class train ticket, will not only make them feel appreciated, but will mean they arrive at their destination refreshed and better able to deal with the business meeting.

Office Romances: Does Your Company Need a Romance Policy?

Now we’ve got Valentines Day out of the way, let’s address the serious issue as to if office romances should be tolerated, indulged or avoided at all costs?  Should you draw up an office romance policy to make sure there are clear guidelines and expectations, and to avoid problems such as misconduct and harassment issues in the workplace that may impede important progress and may have serious consequences for staff members as well as the company?


According to 40% of people have dated someone from their workplace, with 3 in 10 employees who had an office romance, ending up marrying their co worker!  While the majority of relationships developed between peers, 29% of workers who have dated someone at work, said they have dated someone above them in the company hierarchy, and 16% admitted to dating their boss. Women were more likely to date someone higher up in their organization – 38% compared to 21% of men.


With so much love in the air at work, some companies have had romance policies drawn up, but does this take the romance out of an office liaison?  The has listed 5 essential points laid out by Di Ann Sanchez for implementing a successful workplace romance policy – what do you think?


Successful People Think Differently to Solve Problems

What makes an entrepreneur’s brain work differently in order to make a success of something others have not?

The clichéd image of entrepreneurs coming up with an idea, laboring feverishly to perfect it, and delivering their creation to the market fully-formed is not what usually happens.

The much more typical path is that they come up with an idea. They take a small step toward implementation to see if anyone is interested, and if it looks like some people are, they take another step forward.

If they don’t get the reaction they want, they regroup and then take another step in a different direction.

In other words, they:


Learn (from that action) and

Build (off that learning) and

Repeat, i.e. they act again.

That cycle continues repeats until the entrepreneur succeeds, knows she is not going to, or decides there is another, more appealing opportunity to pursue. As we said, the approach serial entrepreneurs use when faced with the unknown (starting a business) will work for you when you face the unknown of any kind.

Paul B. Brown discusses how succesful people actually think in a different way to solve problems, and how if others learnt to think in a different way to solve problems, it could herald more success in their professional lives.

Read the full article in

Behind Every Great Company is a Great Leader.

An amazing piece by Amy Rees Anderson in Forbes this week, who discusses how good leaders are invaluable in business and how there is a huge difference between being a ‘boss’ and a ‘leader.’

It may sound obvious to some, but it is a very true fact that in order for a company to become a great company, it needs great, inspirational leaders behind it. Great leadership has a positive effect throughout the whole company, filtering through all areas of corporate culture and behaviour. 

Great leaders make their employees feel important, and an intrinsic part of the corporation as a whole.   Promotional decisons are based on picking people of integrity whose talents and experience best fit the positions. Employees are encouraged to compete with their own best to get ahead and they understand that helping their coworkers to succeed is the best way to get ahead themselves. The result of good leadership is high morale, good employee retention, and sustainable long-term success.

Read Amy’s article in full here

Executive Job Vacancies UPDATED

Take a look at our newest and brightest Executive job vacancies. If either appeal to you then please contact Lucy York on 01202 674488, or email your CV to

If you’re seeking new challenges please send your CV in, as Lucy has new job opportunities on the horizon all the time.

Senior Software Engineer

As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of integrated access control systems, offering an extensive range of readers, controllers and software systems.

Our client continues to see growth and new markets overseas meaning they are now looking for a Senior Software Engineer to compliment their well established team.

The purpose of the role;

Architecture design of new software products

Development of new software product

Mentor and training of existing team members

Must have;

Minimum 5 – 10 years experience


C# , .NET 4.0 , Azure , MVC 3/4 , Networking , JQuery , HTML/CSS , Security (SDL)


Agile process, TDD/BDD, SQL, EF, TFS

Relevant degree in Software related discipline.

This is an exciting opportunity for the right candidate to join a growing, innovative company.

You need to be confident, flexible, patient and a team player. Self motivated and driven by results will be two characteristics that must be evidenced.

Brand Manager

Dorset based FMCG company

Great opportunity for an energetic, forward thinking individual to join a dynamic, fast growing business.

You will be responsible for proactively managing, with the support and guidance of the Marketing Manager, the implementation of Annual Business and Brand Plans including the management of the performance of existing products, to be measured in terms of sales, market share and gross margin.

We’re looking for;

  • a numerate, commercially astute individual ideally with full marketing mix experience and proven ability of developing and delivering brand activity and category growth
  • Commercial FMCG background, with experience in analysing market and financial data and delivering insight to the business
  • Experience of operating as part of a small team & driving own agenda
  • Proven ability in the planning, project management and launch of new products
  • Experienced in developing relationships cross functionally and with external partners – You will work with Advertising, Media, Design, PR and shopper marketing.
  • Keen problem solving skills- able to use “gut instinct” balanced with analytical evidence
  • Willingness to broaden experience outside of the role as required
  • Attention to detail
  • Personal integrity

Good computer literacy – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet, Outlook is required with a degree or equivalent.

circa £35,000 with good benefits


Internal Sales Person

Dorset based Distributor and Consultancy in the Electronics Field

  • We are looking for an individual, qualified with an electronics related discipline, ideally HND.
  • You will have a good knowledge of power supplies and be able to support other products such as LCD’s, mains filters and switching products.
  • You will be comfortable working as part of a small team, confident on the phone as cold call will be necessary.
  • You will be enthusiastic, determined, organised, efficient and have the ability to learn a large range of products quickly, acquiring a good understanding so they can provide the best advice to our clients.
  • You will be numerate, patient, conscientious and IT proficient.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join a well established, growing company, with a small team and career progression opportunities.

£30,000 salary with bonus scheme.