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EEF helps Astley by asking the right questions

With their company continuing to grow at an impressive rate, Astley knew its HR team needed to expand its capabilities and size. As an EEF member, Commercial Director of Astley, Gavin Redhead, knew to call EEF’s HR consultancy team for recruitment support to bring in the right HR manager.

From advertising the job role through to developing a scoring matrix and participating in all interviews, EEF’s HR consultants were able to help Astley stay compliant, attract an impressive number of qualified candidates and recruit a professional with the right expertise for their strategic growth plan.  

“EEF supported us through the whole recruitment process. They helped us put together a robust job specification, guided us through the interview process from a technical, employment law perspective through asking and vetting answers for competency based questions. EEF’s Consultant was able to delve further into certain parts of the candidates’ responses because she had an in-depth understanding of HR and employment law.”

Gavin Redhead, Commercial Director


Overview

With their company continuing to grow at an impressive rate, Astley knew its HR team needed to expand its capabilities and size. As an EEF member, Commercial Director of Astley, Gavin Redhead, knew to call EEF’s HR consultancy team for recruitment support to bring in the right HR manager.

From advertising the job role through to developing a scoring matrix and participating in all interviews, EEF’s HR consultants were able to help Astley stay compliant, attract an impressive number of qualified candidates and recruit a professional with the right expertise for their strategic growth plan.  

Approach

Due to recent growth, Astley formed a senior management team, which recognised the need for more strategic HR support for KPIs around continuous improvement, productivity and employee engagement. The new role would also include handling complicated employment law issues with continued support from the company’s EEF’s employment law advisor.

Commercial Director Gavin Redhead explained: “We really wanted to make sure we got the right person for the job as this was a critical position.”

EEF’s HR consultant Leigh Freeman worked with the Commercial Director from the start of the recruitment process to assist with:

  • Creating a job description and placing it on the top three websites and publications to advertise the role based on EEF’s knowledge of the HR and manufacturing industry
  • Shortlisting applicant CVs and arranging first stage interviews

  • Developing the interview form, including HR competency questions, and scoring criteria for the second-round presentations

  • Attending all interviews to validate responses and to determine if candidates had a thorough understanding of relevant legislation and procedures

  • Providing letter templates for communication with successful and unsuccessful candidates

Outcome

Through the recruitment process, Astley were able to secure a strong candidate for the HR manager role.

Gavin said: “EEF supported us through the whole recruitment process. They helped us put together a robust job specification, guided us through the interview process from a technical, employment law perspective through asking and vetting answers for competency based questions. EEF’s Consultant was able to delve further into certain parts of the candidates’ responses because she had an in-depth understanding of HR and employment law.”

“We were pleasantly surprised by the level of response we got in terms of quantity and quality of applicants. And we felt confident that the process was robust.”

“Since we’d worked with EEF’s consultancy team before and we’d used the member help-line for employment law issues, our consultant was aware of our company’s context and what are requirements were.”

Company

Astley is a brand implementation specialist designing, manufacturing and installing signage for several blue chip clients including Sainsbury’s, BP, Hilton and Cancer Research UK.  The Astley head office is in Gateshead and the business has been owned by the current directors for 26 years.  Astley has an annual turnover of £13 million, employs 130 staff and has been a member of EEF since 2002.

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