The Directors’ Lunches and HR Forum dates for 2018 announced

We are excited to announce the dates for the Directors’ Lunches and HR Forums for 2018.  This year, as sponsors of the West Hants Club, we will be holding all the lunches and the HR Forums at this venue where there is ample parking for everyone.

Directors’ Lunches

28th February – Mark D’Arcy, Operations Director Herb UK Ltd

16th May – Edwin Bessant CEO Ceuta Group

11th October – Mark Constantine CEO of Lush

14th November – Sam Smith CEO finnCap


Our HR Forum dates are as follows:

25th Jan and 1st February – GDPR Workshop, Nigel Bywater Managing Director Engaged’Em

26th April – Helen Jamieson, Director Jaluch Unconscious Bias Part 2

21st June – Catherine Oliver, Founder Bluebell Partnership

18th October – To be confirmed.


To find out more, or, to  book your place and avoid disappointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

HR Forum: Thursday 25th January at West Hants Club!

We are delighted to confirm the details of our next HR Forum on Thursday 25th January at our new venue The West Hants Club, Roslin Road South, Bournemouth BH3 7EF.  There is plenty of free parking available and the format will be as follows:-

8.30 am              Arrival

                           Bacon sandwiches, fresh fruit and coffee/tea will be

9.00 am             GDPR workshop, Nigel Bywater – Engaged’em at the Coded Garden Ltd


Nigel will be giving us an overview of Data Protection; what is GDPR; how does it impact business; what you have to do today to address your organisation’s needs; penalties for non-compliance. Brexit; what will change; data security and the 9 practical steps your organisation should take to be ready.

We would like to make this event as interactive as possible, if you would like any particular part of GDPR covered please let us know before the event and Nigel will try to incorporate them, time permitting etc.


10.30 – 11.00 am             Questions and close.


To cover some of the costs of this session there will be a small charge of £15.00.   If you would like to attend can you please let us know asap and arrange a BAC’s payment by Thursday 18th January into bank account no. 10241709 sort code 201139.


Many thanks, we look forward to seeing you.



We are delighted to announce we will be kicking of the hugely successful Directors’ Lunches on Wednesday 28 February with Mark D’Arcy, operations director of Herb UK Limited, to be held at the new venue of The West Hants Club, Roslin Road South, Bournemouth.

Since its foundation in 1990, Herb UK Ltd has been manufacturing high performance hair products which maximise the use of gentle, nourishing, natural ingredients, whilst minimising the necessity for harsh or damaging chemical additives.

As well as being a leading independent manufacturer of hair products in the UK, Herb UK exports to over 40 countries worldwide.

Eight years ago, Mark D’Arcy left Bacardi and joined Herb UK where he now holds the post of operations director.  Now, as one of the 3 owners of the company, Mark will be sharing his story and talking about how he has helped to transform and shape the company, which in the last 2 years has enjoyed 20% growth. They have full employee engagement, as well as winning ‘Brilliance in Business for Training,’ in 2016/17.

Tracey Wood, director at Jobshop UK and Engage Executive Jobs, said: “After the huge success of the 2017 Directors’ Lunches, we are both delighted and every excited to kick off 2018 with Mark D’Arcy, who, as well as being an engaging speaker, has a fascinating story to tell about his journey to Herb UK.  We are also very excited to be launching the 2018 Director’s Lunches at The West Hants Club; a great central location with lots of parking for our sell out lunches.”

For more information and to book your place, contact Jobshop UK on 01202 674488 or


The Engage HR Forum Interview: Lynn Barker, HR manager of Poole Housing Partnership

Lynn Barker is HR Manager at Poole Housing Partnership (PHP). Since joining in 2008, originally to look after recruitment and training, her previous experience and skills enabled her to quickly develop a comprehensive generalist service and she now supports the business right across the HR spectrum.


How did you initially get into HR, and what aspects of the job do you particularly enjoy?

“I started my HR career at United Advertising Publications in Poole. Having worked in a couple of other roles within the company, including managing the IT Training Department, I moved to HR in late 2004. At that time there were only 2 HR Advisors for 800 employees at offices all over the country, so you could certainly say I was thrown in at the deep end, but I loved the role and the variety of work I was involved in.

“It didn’t take long before I knew that HR was the career for me and I think I took to it naturally.  I particularly enjoyed organisational development and employee engagement, which became two areas of particular interest for me.

“As part of the leadership team at PHP I’m involved at a strategic level and I have a great relationship with the senior management team who are always open to new ideas. I certainly feel I have ensured that HR is seen as a vital function within the business.”


Do you hold any professional qualifications and if so, do you feel that has helped you advance in your career?

“I really enjoyed studying for my Masters part time at Bournemouth University’s Business School, which I started in 2009, followed by two years of hard work while also working full time (I’m sure a lot of people know the feeling!). On the back of that I became a Chartered Member of the CIPD. The qualification and CIPD accreditation is valued within our industry and I gained skills and knowledge that have certainly helped me to develop my career, but I also know some fantastic HR people who are not professionally qualified, so it’s not the ‘be-all and end-all’. I took on the Masters as a personal challenge as much as anything and I also gained some great friends.”



What do you find particularly useful and inspiring when it comes to networking?

“Being a standalone HR manager can leave you a little isolated if you’re not careful, and although you can do the job without networking, why would you?  When attending The Engage Forum I always come away with something really useful, such as a good contact, some valuable information or a great idea that I can pinch (giving credit where it’s due of course!).  It’s also really nice to be able to share experiences, problems and questions with others in your field at events. As well as networking, I also attend as many employment forums and seminars as I can fit in, as these are a terrific way of staying current.”


What makes the Engage HR Forum stand out from others, in your opinion?

“I think it’s fantastic.  It stands out as it’s very different to other forums in that it is not like a training session and instead very much focuses on inspiring people.  I’ve found that at the Engage Forum, everything is relevant and I never fail to come away buzzing with ideas!  You can tell from the atmosphere in the room that everyone is engaged and inspired.  I thoroughly recommend it.”


Has there been a particular Forum which stands out for you?

“The presentation by Niall Cluley, global HR director of Fitness First, was immensely interesting and entertaining and I could really relate to what he had to say, particularly about looking at organisational and personal values and how they align.  Although his organisation is much larger than mine, his ideas were scalable and I’ve already been able to implement similar initiatives at Poole Housing Partnership. For example, we have involved the entire company in redeveloping our values and we are promoting our new model, designed by our employees, even displaying it on the back of the toilet doors!”


Niall Cluley’s presentation at the HR Forum was of particular interest to Lynn.



Are there any challenges you think HR will face in 2017?

 “Absolutely.  Recruitment is becoming increasingly challenging and the effects of Brexit may start to come in to play in the not-too-distant future, if they’re not already. Not so long ago we were inundated with applicants but currently we are seeing far fewer high calibre candidates. We are an organisation that has always valued clever people, but for us that doesn’t necessarily mean academic achievement. We love motivation, enthusiasm, innovation and passion for the work we do. We can support people to gain qualifications and skills, as long as they have the PHP attitude. So, we try to open up our candidate pool by being as inclusive as possible, and perhaps attracting people who might not necessary have specific role or sector experience, but who have transferrable skills, and importantly, the right attitude.



“Another challenge is the ‘multi-generational’ workforce with many organisations having a mix of Generation X/Y and Millennials, with Generation Z hot on their heels. We need to attract good employees, keep them engaged, motivated, performing well and communicating effectively, bearing in mind that they may be motivated by different things and so want and need different things from their careers and their employers.

“Looking further ahead, as Gen Z comes to realise that these days a degree, previously seen as so important, doesn’t guarantee a job, it’s possible that graduate schemes may increasingly be replaced with apprenticeship-type schemes.”


Can you tell us a bit about your working relationship with Sally at Engage?

 “Sally really took her time to find out what Poole Housing Partnership was really about and built up a lot of loyalty, trust and respect by listening to our expectations and taking them seriously.  Above all, Sally and Engage were able to come up with the goods!  Every single candidate that Sally found for us was appointable, which is very rare.  Through Sally, we found our new FD who, as well as being excellent at her job, is an extremely good fit for the company.  Sally is both professional and personable, which makes the working relationship we have with Engage a very pleasant and productive one.”


Louise Southam of Beyond Belief Coaching announced as speaker for the April 27th HR Forum

We are delighted to announce Louise Southam, transformative life and business coach from Beyond Belief Coaching, will be our lead speaker at the April HR Forum.


Louise is an experienced life and business coach who uses a number of tools and techniques that encourage individuals to step into their vision as a leader and deliver the results they require to benefit their business as a whole.

Having worked with major global organisations, including BT and Merlin Entertainments,  Louise also has experience with working in a number of sectors, including Finance, Insurance and Healthcare.

Louise says: “My passion is in building the people, who build the business, who deliver the results.  I work with people who want to achieve lasting transformational change in their lives and business. I know from working with successful leaders and individuals that it is their limiting beliefs that hold them back.  By empowering people, I create outstanding results for both individuals and companies.”

We are really looking forward to Louise’s presentation on the 27th April at our usual venue, The Cliff, Ravine Road, Canford Cliffs, so to find out more or to book your space (and remember, book early as we are always full to capacity!) please contact Emily on 01202 674488 or

In the meantime, Louise has been kind enough to share this recent blog post from her website with us, please click on the link to be taken to Louise’s website where you can learn more about her to whet your appetite before the April HR Forum!

 Is your own energy ‘destructive’ on the people around you?

I reflected on a recent call I had with a fellow coach, we are both positive, energetic individuals who talk animatedly about the work we do and the difference we make.  Yet I found myself feeling very ‘flat’ on the last call I had with him.  We started in the usual way, we checked in with how each was doing in our worlds and we shared our upcoming work ventures, yet this time I felt totally drained at the end of our call and in need of recovery time and an energy boost.  Why?

I realise what had happened, although our energies where high, our energy frequency was at a different level, so one cancelled out the other.  If we were at the same frequency, then we would have had a ‘surge’ of energy and the call would have ended with us both feeling on a metaphorical ‘energy high.’

In physics, this is described as constructive or destructive interference.  Another way of explaining this is if you were to drop two pebbles into a pool of water at exactly the same time, at the point their waves meet, it would create a much bigger wave (constructive), yet if you were to drop them at slightly different times, at the point their individual waves meet, one would completely cancel out the other (destructive).  The same is true of how our own mood affects the energy of the people around us.  This is exactly what happened on my call.

How often in the workplace do we witness this destructive interference?  When a leader’s energy is out of alignment with that of their team, not only does it affect the mood of the team around them, it affects the bottom line.  Yet time and time again, we bear witness to leaders who behave in a way that drains the energy of the people around them without them realising it.  I recall my days in the HR corporate world, where as a team we would have brain storming sessions, all arriving full of energy and ideas, yet the leader thought he was being motivating with his booming voice and his ‘suggestions ’, totally unaware of the impact this hijacking had on our energy.  He didn’t even notice that his so-called enthusiasm had wiped out the enthusiasm of each team member.  All the body language clues ignored; the slouched postures, the dipped heads, the flushed cheeks, all signs that destructive interference had taken hold.  The result of these meetings was each trailing out one by one, demotivated, unheard and totally drained.

So I ask you, are you noticing your energy and the impact it has on the people around you?  Are your pebbles dropping at the same time or are you out of alignment with your team?  Match your energy with theirs and watch the big wave of energy construct and notice how much easier it is to drive engagement and performance just by becoming more aware.  It sounds simple, it can be!

The leadership work that I do with my clients is around increasing their innate charisma, energy being a key part, so that they operate at a higher frequency and have a positive impact on the people around them, which ultimately drives engagement and creates higher performing teams.

Harvard Business School cites, charismatic leaders are 68% more effective as well as happier and healthier.

The Charisma Connection is hosting a FREE taster session on leadership and engagement on 27th March in London.  This is a very unique approach to building engagement and incorporates neuroscience, cellular biology, quantum mechanics, subtle energy and behaviours.  It is the secret of engagement.

The gig economy and Brexit to be addressed by Kevin Green at the Engage Executive Jobs annual seminar

rsKevin Green

Kevin Green, the Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, and the man largely credited with helping transform Royal Mail from losing £1 million a day in 2003, to making over £600 million profit in 2007, will be the guest speaker at the Engage Executive Jobs & Jobshop UK annual seminar on 7th October at The Bournemouth Hilton Hotel.

A regular contributor to TV and radio, Kevin will use his wealth of professional knowledge and personal insight to talk about the economy post Brexit, the future of the labour market, and how exactly the ‘gig economy’ potentially effects local businesses from both an employer and employee perspective.

Engage Executive Jobs recruitment director, Sally Bennett, said: “We are delighted that Kevin has agreed to speak at our annual seminar for the fifth year running.  His presentation will be of particular significance given the developments of Brexit, that have, and will continue to impact upon the UK economy over the coming months and years.  The gig economy is also a subject many people are interested in finding out more about, and we know Kevin, who is a highly engaging speaker, will be able to answer all concerns.”

The Jobshop UK and Engage Executive Jobs annual seminar is an invite only event held at the Bournemouth Hilton Hotel on 7th October from 8am-11.30am. For more information and to book your place, contact

Engage: The story so far…..


When I’m out and about meeting new people and clients, I’m often asked what makes Engage different from other executive recruitment companies, and what value we can bring to a company who chooses to use our services.  So, I thought it might be a good idea to use this month’s blog post to address those queries, as well as talk a little bit about the story so far…

At Engage, we work in partnership with our clients to provide a full search process. We provide our services on a retainer basis, which means our time is dedicated to working exclusively for you, to ensure the best candidates available are approached on your behalf, and in turn, provide you with a candidate shortlist of the highest calibre suiting your precise requirements.

We also offer a great value package that enables our client partners to receive additional recruitment tools; motivational mapping, the latest job surveys, skills testing, and online computer training, as well as exclusive invites to our directors’ lunches, which feature innovative and inspirational speakers, whose presentation detailing their own experiences in business is something our lunch guests find both hugely beneficial, and often highly entertaining.  Most recently we enjoyed being entertained by the creative brains behind many of the Doctor Who creatures and Hollywood movie and theatre special effects, Paul and Gary Hardy-Brown aka the Twin FX, who brought in a life-size dalek to greet our guests upon arrival at the Bournemouth Hilton Hotel.

The Engage HR Forums have become a very popular and respected breakfast forum over a very short space of time.  Attended by HR directors and leaders, the Engage HR Forums stand out from its contemporaries by its interactive nature and relaxed approach, whereby like-minded executives are able to discuss their issues and triumphs, boost their contacts and make high calibre connections with other HR executives.  I’m exceptionally proud of the feedback we receive following every forum, so please do browse the HR Forum blog posts on here to see why they are so popular and always fully subscribed.

Through the trust and respect of the Engage/client partnership, we develop the additional benefits of creation of talent pools to ensure and seal relationships with future potential.   This has proved a key area of success; not only recognising talent and culture fit, but managing a relationship with the candidate.

The ‘war on talent’ currently affecting the employment market means time is the priority.  Candidates are more self-confident, knowing that their skills and talents are in high demand. The cost of unfilled vacancies is at an all-time high.  Over 50% of candidates will have attended an interview within two weeks of stepping into the job hunting market, and therefore with Engage as your dedicated executive recruitment partner, you can be sure that we have our fingers on the pulse, waiting to acquisition that talent for you, before it moves onto a role with your competitor.


One of Engage’s specialist areas is the marketing sector, and we are fortunate to have worked with some notably progressive brands.

Our networks have steadily developed to include Strategy Directors, Producers, Client Services and e-commerce, as well as technical functions such as experienced UX, web development, social media and paid social specialists.  Concentrating on the middle to senior management sector, we have been successful in securing both freelance/contract and permanent positions.

As you can see, Engage offers an exceptional and unique product, with packages carefully tailored to meet the individual needs of our clients, and with additional ‘perks’ exclusive to our clients and partners, which all add value to the Engage Executive Recruitment experience.

So, don’t wait until you meet me at a networking event or business lunch. If you are interested in understanding more about our partnership packages or  would like more details on how Engage can help your business – and I’ve only touched upon the tip of the iceberg to give you an insight into what we offer here – then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01202 674488 or and we will be delighted to meet you for an informal, no obligation chat.

Engage 066


#KYCU #LYB15 – Hash-tagging a great mantra for us all!

Sally Bennett Engage Executive Jobs

I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar this week at the Chewton Glen Hotel.  The event was organised by Intergage and they had secured the great Jimmy Cregan of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee.  The core subject was about ‘love your brand’ it was an excellent, thought provoking presentation and I know many of the delegates were busy scribbling ideas to take away.


Jim Cregan started the seminar with a presentation on how his company has become successful.  It is a powerful and inspiring l story of Jim and his sister Suzie,  who have worked tremendously hard to get the product to market and win over some of the post powerful retailers.

jimmys png

What I walked away with more than anything is YOU are your brand and the brand is YOU.  Jim and Suzie have got this so right!  I almost feel that Jimmy could produce anything as his personality is infectious, funny, grounded and honest.  In a way it is similar to the LUSH story told by Mark Constantine.  Once hearing Mark’s story my whole perception of the product changed.  LUSH is not about a cosmetic product it is a personal story that that is provoked by a scent.  But if I had not met Mark or Jimmy would I have been enthusiastic about their product?  Intergage said, ‘video is the way forward,’ and I guess that is true as it is not always about what you say it is how you say it or it is even about the unspoken word, the reading between the lines (something I am truly passionate about when recruiting!).   My particular favourite video of Jimmy’s is when he just says ‘hello London’.  What he is really saying is ‘look at what you are missing by living in London – come and live here!’ we need more ambassadors like Jim to encourage talent to this beautiful part of the world.

Finally – this is for you Jim – after the seminar and drinking your Iced Coffee for the first time (first time for Jimmy’s and first time for Iced Coffee) I then went to meet a candidate in Costa Coffee.  I then promptly told most of the queue which was very long (I know barista is an art, but it takes to long!) how amazing Jimmy’s Iced Coffee was.   – Brand is powerful but are nothing without the people.


A Christmas chuckle amongst all the madness!


It’s that time of year when everyone goes a little crazy amongst the Christmas celebrations, so these words of festive fun written by Gemma Reucroft on her HRGem blog caused everyone at Engage to have a well deserved chuckle.


As the last few days of 2014 draw to their inevitable conclusion, Sally and everyone at Engage Executive Jobs wishes all our clients and candidates a very merry Christmas and look forward to working with everyone in what is going to be a very exciting and productive 2015.


  1. Employees sometimes do stupid stuff. At Christmas time and otherwise.
  2. Just deal with it.
  3. Resist the urge to worry too much about vicarious liability, discrimination and constructive dismissal.  Although it is probably a good idea not to put any mistletoe up in the office.
  4. Resist the urge to write any sort of policy.
  5. Resist the urge to put any sort of disclaimer about behaviour in any Christmas party related literature. If someone wants to punch Bob from Accounts on the dance floor after 12 pints of beer then they will do it anyway.  See points 1 and 2.
  6. Resist the urge to write special rules about absence from work after social events.  See point 2.
  7. Apply Christmas common sense.
  8. Avoid sprouts in an office environment at all times. This is especially important in small or poorly ventilated offices.
  9. Never, ever, buy Secret Santa presents from Ann Summers*.
  10. Enjoy yourself. Put a tree up. Eat some Quality Street.  Wear a Christmas jumper.  And if you feel yourself turning into the HR equivalent of Ebenezer Scrooge, then just watch this…..