Affinity round up – 25/01/19



CER recently held a successful Team Teach training session in Liverpool. Jemma Howson and Sean O,Mahony carried out the training.

Top news stories – Peak week, promotions etc

  • Congratulations to Jodie Walters who has been promoted to Account Manager for the Bright Horizons Nurseries and Dan Pilkington who apart from smashing his peak every week also achieved promotion to Principal Consultant Grade 2.
  • Well done to the Black Country Team who are achieving close to best ever results with 3 out of 4 consultants in the team achieving peak weeks this week!
  • Congratulations to Chelsea James who is another peaker in the Birmingham location. And shout out to Team Seniors with Claire Andrews and Natasha Shannon both achieving over 200 days last week.
  • More Peaks with Team Devon getting in on the act and peaking at over 50 days for the first time. Over 10 days ahead of their previous peak!

Outstanding achievements

  • Corinna Holden and Annabel Bowden successfully completed a two day Team Teach training course. 12 new candidates achieved the Team Teach accreditation ready to work in schools across Birmingham and the Black Country.

Births, marriages, birthdays

  • Huge congratulations to Laura Kilminster who this week announced she was pregnant!
  • Another bit of baby news as Abi Buchanan gave birth to her son Jamie this week.
  • Happy Birthday to Sam Scoltock in Manchester who has recently turned 40.


New Features

LinkedIn Leverage

Greg Western – Divisional Head HCL Mental Health

(L –R) Greg Western, Divisional Head, HCL Mental Health & Peter Gordon, Recruitment Consultant, HCL Mental Health

Having worked in recruitment for 10 plus years, I would have considered myself an old school recruiter and that the phone has been my most powerful tool – and always will be. However, over the past 10 years, social media has changed the way we communicate and connect with people, with LinkedIn having a big impact on recruiters – so I thought I had better get involved.

Initially, I had a very basic profile, connected to a few hundred managers and only rarely posted anything. A few years ago, I had a consultant join my team, who was bit of a “wizkid” on LinkedIn; had thousands of connections with candidates, posted every day and saw the benefits in tangible placements. I was lucky enough, to have this consultant show me the ropes of LinkedIn and I found it to be very user friendly, once you know how to use it. From here, I added a more professional photo, added more details of what our team does now and what I had done in the past – but leaving my ego for the sales floor and not all over LinkedIn!

I then got the app on my phone, as you can add as many connections as possible via the app – and before I knew it, I had 3000 mental health professionals in my network. I was up and running and posting jobs daily; getting the odd response but nothing major – so I worked on my personal branding, meaning potential candidates could see I was human, fairly caring and not just a recruiter trying to make money. I went about this by posting articles about the mental health sector and a few selective – but relevant and targeted personal posts: e.g. It’s great to be back after Christmas break and spending time with my wife and family etc.

I now post jobs every day; I try to always add a picture – e.g. If I have a job in Devon, I will add a pictures of a beach; if I meet with a candidate, I will add a picture of us together – and I am now getting fantastic results. Most recently and only last week, a Manager of a CAMHS team in Essex contacted me on the Friday to see if I had some available candidates, I then posted  that job via LinkedIn and a suitable candidate messaged me, CV sent and I am just in the process of arranging an interview.

In addition to the above example, I have made numerous placements through my LinkedIn engagement and using LinkedIn has been really helpful and crucial to get the HCL Mental Health brand out into market. I am not on Instagram or Snapchat yet, but sure enough I’ll be posting jobs on both before I know it!

Peter Gordon, Recruitment Consultant, HCL Mental Health

When I first started at HCL I had a LinkedIn page but I never really used it and I only had 50 connections! I never really believed LinkedIn was a good recruitment tool until Greg really drilled it in to me that it has major advantages to expanding my book and pipeline.

So I took his advice and I typed in ‘CAMHS Practitioner’ and ‘Community Psychiatric Nurse’ on the search bar and selected the people tab and spent ages just going through adding as many people as I could and within a week I had 700+ connections – I was hooked! I was sat in the canteen eating and would be adding people, I then did the same on the train on my journey home –  I even remember watching a Christmas film with my family and I was sat there adding people.

Within a month I had 2000+ connections and I was posting 3 jobs a day on average! Yes, I appreciate this could be quite irritating seeing my name every time you go on your LinkedIn page. However, that was what I wanted! A nurse to know in the back of their head that Peter Gordon from HCL is always posting about mental health jobs so let me see what he has going. This has really paid off as I frequently get top class candidates message me and email me looking for a new post. This proves that my own personal brand within the mental health sector is reaching out and people are getting to know who I am.

Once you are connected with these people it is then very easy to message them all. I wrote out a message and copy & pasted it to 100 candidates and yes only a few came back – however, one did come back to me and that was the last person I placed in a trust we work with in London.

Send us your LinkedIn stories! We want to know how you use it, why you use it, any tips and opinions. Send to

Baby Corner

We know you’re very proud of your little darlings, whether they are human, canine, feline or aquatic, even a chilli pepper plant!

We want you to show off your lovelies so send your photos to with a name, age and a little information and your precious darlings will be seen by all!

Pictured is Freddie who was five when this photo was taken but she’s now nine.

Freddie likes dancing, acting and singing and she belongs to Donna Mills, Divisional Manager of AHP, Old Bailey. Cute!



When We Were Young

Each week we will post a photo of an employee in their early years, the week after we will announce who it is.

To kick us off, this gem is a photo of a well-known person who mostly works in Old Bailey and happens to be a twin! You’re not seeing double, she’s the one in the middle.



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