Recruitment agency serving Milton Keynes & Northamptonshire

Welcome to Ascendant Recruitment... deliberately different

When it comes to choosing a recruitment agency, you will want to work with a company who has your best interests at heart, who truly understands your needs and will work tirelessly on your behalf. A consultancy who returns your calls, always keeps you updated and creates new opportunities. At Ascendant Recruitment, we use our insight and expertise to provide a service that is deliberately different.

Since we started in 2003, we have established a reputation as a leading recruitment agency for Milton Keynes, Northampton and the surrounding areas. To find out how we can help you, please get in touch!

Featured jobs View All

Pensions Administrator
£22000 - £25000

Are you looking for a new challenge within a reputable organisation? If yes an exciting opportunity as arisen for an experienced pensions administrator to join a growing international organisation in Northamptonshire. Key Responsibilities : Presentation, reconciliation, accurate and timely submission of pension contributions and data schedules for all Mouchel pension arrangements to include the Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS) Completion and submission of forms relating to leavers, retirements and deaths in respect of members of the LGPS and Government Approved Department (GAD) Pension Schemes Answer queries from all stakeholders effectively and within service level agreement Coach colleagues to enable them to cover for the job holder during holidays and in times of peak workloads e.g. TUPE’s Escalate concerns to businesses as per terms of the service level agreement Support other payroll and shared services functions as required Periodically test and demonstrate results to the Pension & Rewards Team Leader in respect of system changes associated with pensions Qualifications Key Skills and Qualifications: Certificate level of Professional Institution (desirable) Systems - SAP experience is desirable Previous administration experience of Defined Contribution and/or Local Government Pension Schemes - desirable Strong communicator verbally and written Strong time management, organisation and prioritisation skills Computer literate , high level of Excel knowledge is essential Strong attention to details, with an ability to work on complex issues within tight timescales Working knowledge of pensions and payroll administration processes Ability to communicate and gain credibility at all levels Ability to build and maintain strong internal relationships across the HR function Professional, able to work under pressure, enthusiastic and committed to working within their team to effectively support the needs of the business. Committed to continuous professional development. Working pattern Between 08.00 and 18.00 between Monday and Friday. A 7.5 hour shift pattern is in operation between those hours. Salary Up to £25k

Purchasing Assistant
19 - 21,000 per annum

Purchasing Assistant - Leighton Buzzard - £19 - 21,000 per annum Ascendant Recruitment are working with a business based in Leighton Buzzard to recruit a Purchasing Assistant to join the team on a full time, permanent basis.    Responsibilities include: Raise quotations, purchase orders and invoices Process incoming customer orders and deal with customer queries relating to orders and shipping Liaising with freight forwarders  Assist with export quotations for freight and packing   The ideal candidate: Excellent excel and analytical skills Excellent communication skills Working knowledge of Sage 50 Experience within a procurement role

HR Administrator
£17500 - £18000

My client is a leading national organisation with multiple business divisions and an impressive record of growth.   Due to expansion my client has an exciting opportunity for an experienced HR Administrator to join the HR Shared Services team to support the busy HR function for a 12 month contract.  You will enjoy a diverse role covering all aspects of Employee Life Cycle administration within a busy HR team including:   Contracts Starters Leavers Contract amendment Absence Holiday     You will also have the opportunity to answer first line queries both over the phone and via email.   This is a lovely team environment where everyone works really hard and are very supportive of each other. The Manager is very motivational and is a joy to work with. You must have HR Admin experience and be able to demonstrate that you too like to work hard and busy to be considered for this role.   You must have previous experience of HR administration.   Due to the large number of applications received, I am not able to respond individually to each application. If you have not heard from me within 72 hours then I have not been able to progress with your application on this occasion.

Bid Manager
Circa 50k + car allowance and benefits

Bid Manager Circa £50k plus car allowance plus benefits Are you a Bid Manager looking to make a real impact within a business? If you’re results-driven and proactive, with bags of drive and initiative then please read on… We have a fantastic opportunity within a well-established company who have been delivering technology-based services and solutions to their clients for nearly 30 years.  The Role The core part of your role will be to create winning bids and proposals for clients in the public and private sectors. Other key aspects of your role will include: Improving their suite of marketing collateral, including content for the website, client communications and prospects. Assessing and evaluating all new enquiries. Gaining status on key public and private sector frameworks. Obtaining preferred supplier status for their blue-chip resourcing clients. Utilising a combination of tailored and prepared materials to craft winning submissions. Acting as a brand ambassador to articulate the company personality and brand. Essential Skills, Attributes and Experience Our client is proud of their exceptional team and they are looking for an equally outstanding person to join them. The successful candidate will need to demonstrate the following: Superb communication skills with the ability to convey complex messages in a compelling manner. Be a motivated self-starter with the ability to manage and prioritise complex workloads. Able to work under pressure whilst maintaining composure and achieving results. Results-oriented, with a passion for winning and a passion for continuous improvement. Experience of capture planning and proposal development approaches. An understanding of the IT sector and familiarity with Government frameworks would be advantageous. Benefits As well as a competitive basic salary, you’ll also benefit from: 25 days annual leave Generous car allowance Private medical care and health insurance Company pension Life cover Gym allowance iPad, iPhone, Laptop and other equipment as needed So if you think you’ve got what it takes to wow our client, please get in touch today.

Latest Insights

Your guide on how to become a recruiter (part two)

Entering the Industry

Whether youre looking to start your career in recruitment or take the next step on the ladder, there are things you should be including in your CV and covering letter to make potential employers sit up and take notice. If youre an experienced consultant looking for your next challenge, you should include details of financial targets youve met or preferably exceeded. This will allow the recruiter to see how youve performed in your current role and also if youve sustained your sales performance over a period of time. You should also memorise your figures and how much youve been billing as you will be expected to know this at interview. Demonstrating how youve added value to a business will also be attractive to a potential employer. That means showing not just that youve filled jobs, but also brought in new clients. This will help to show that youre willing to work hard and grow your client base in order to build mutually-beneficial, lasting relationships. If youve got no previous experience in recruitment, read through the Essential Skills section and see how you can tailor your CV to highlight these abilities. For example, if youve worked in retail and you have instances of going the extra mile to provide great customer service, display them prominently on your CV so the recruiter notices them and can see how you could apply these skills to a role in recruitment. Another good way to get yourself noticed, whether youre experienced or not, is to send speculative enquiries to companies youre interested in working for. This will display a proactive attitude and show that youre keen to work or progress within the industry. Once youve sent your CV, follow it up with a telephone call to further emphasise your enthusiasm and show that youre comfortable on the phone. As well as sending out your CV, approach businesses directly through social media, link with influencers through LinkedIn and join a recruitment to recruitment agency to further boost your chances of landing your dream job. For general guidance on CVs and cover letters, take a look at these helpful blogs weve written: Thirteen top tips for improving your CV Tips for crafting a cover letter that will stand out Make sure your CV is up to date


Working Life

The day to day aspects of a job in recruitment will obviously vary depending on experience. An entry level position will initially involve more shadowing as you learn the ropes while a more senior position may involve managing staff or an office. Generally though, you can expect to be doing some or all of the following tasks:
  • Cold calling companies to introduce yourself and secure vacancies to work on
  • Using job boards, social networks and databases to source potential candidates
  • Calling candidates to discuss opportunities
  • Keeping in touch with current clients and candidates
  • Meeting candidates in person to register and screen them before sending them out to interview
  • Developing good working relationships with employers and gaining an understanding of their business
  • Going out to visit businesses, including existing and prospective clients
  • Administrative tasks; keeping records of calls made, visits booked, keeping records of placements and billings, sourcing references etc.
  • Meeting / exceeding set targets
  • Negotiating fees with companies
  • Writing and placing job adverts


Career Progression

Youll initially start your career as a trainee recruitment consultant or resourcer. If you are more experienced, youll start as a consultant. As a trainee, youll shadow and support a more experienced consultant in order to help you learn the job. A resourcer will primarily focus on candidate generation and a consultant will have a baptism of fire by taking on the full role immediately! Once youve picked up the necessary skills and experience, youll be entrusted to build your own database of candidates and clients. In order to progress your career, you must be able to consistently hit your sales targets as this is how your success will be judged. Career progression will ultimately depend on the company you work at; larger businesses may have a defined career path, giving you the opportunity to move into a management role or a specialism. Smaller companies may offer you similar options as well as a route to a directorship and possible equity. You could also choose to branch out and set up your own agency if you feel you have all the necessary recruitment skills, business acumen and an appetite to embrace risk (definitely read Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson). Other options open to an experienced consultant include business consulting, teaching and training or specialist headhunting. Incomes will vary depending on the company and their location within the UK. They typically comprise of a basic salary with commission and bonus on top, which are determined by individual or team performance. Generally you would be looking at basic salaries in the region of: Trainee recruitment consultants: 15,000 to 20,000. OTE 25,000. Recruitment consultants: 22,000 to 28,000. OTE 50,000 + Senior consultants: 28,000 to 50,000. OTE 60,000 + Managers: 40,000. OTE 60,000 + The majority of consultant roles will have an uncapped commission structure, allowing them to earn far more than their basic salary. To gain a better understanding of salaries for recruitment roles near you, take a look at some local job sites. FAQs


We asked Ascendant Recruitment MD Nick Peacock to share some pearls of wisdom from his twenty plus years experience in the recruitment industry. Heres what he had to say: How did you first get into the recruitment industry? A family friend owned a recruitment agency and after a successful interview I joined there, initially on a temporary basis with a pile of 500 CVs to reference. It certainly wasnt the most glamorous job in the world but I threw myself into it and worked as hard as I could. After referencing for a month, my boss offered me a job as a Temporaries Consultant. After six months, I moved to Cambridge, where I landed a job as a Recruitment Consultant with a regional recruitment business. They were opening a new office in Northamptonshire and despite having only 6 months experience, they gave me the opportunity to manage the opening! I took on the challenge and within 18 months the Northamptonshire office was the most successful office within the regional business. This led to a succession of promotions and by the time I was 28, I was the Area Manager, responsible for four offices. When I took over the running of the Milton Keynes office, I realised there were a lot of improvements to be made. That was when I decided that if I was going to do the work, I would rather be doing it for myself. It was a risk but I knew it was the right thing to do and I set up Ascendant Recruitment in 2003. Did anyone in particular inspire your career journey? I learnt a lot from my first boss in Nottingham. He worked extremely hard and helped inspire me to get where I am today. What advice would you give to someone about to climb the career ladder to where you are today? Find a person to model yourself on - a person who inspires you. You should also seek a mentor to discuss your challenges with. Take your own personal development seriously, there is no one who has a bigger influence on your success than YOU! Skip a meal, skip a drink at the pub but dont skip on investing in yourself read, read, and read some more about people who have achieved what you want to achieve. Learn from mistakes, accept more things will be wrong than right initially but learn from mistakes as you go along and make sure you celebrate your little wins as you go. To be successful you need to be passionate and have a massive Why! If your why is big enough it will keep you going, even when times are hard. Sometimes bad things will happen. You cant choose the events that happen but you can choose your attitude. If you could start your career again, what would you do differently? I dont believe in regrets, you learn from everything that happens. Every decision I make today is tinged with the successes and failures Ive made in the past. I believe in the Law of Attraction and Im still working hard to attract the people and events into my life which will help me fulfil my short, medium and long term goals. Useful Links Recruitment career guide: The Recruitment & Employment Confederation: Institute of Recruiters: Recruitment jobs: You can read Part 1 of our Recruitment Career Guide here

Life after redundancy...what now?

If youve been following the news then youll have found it difficult to avoid the topic of redundancies recently. Dominating the headlines at the moment is the announcement that BHS has gone into administration, putting 11,000 jobs at risk. Homebase has also recently announced they are making 149 redundancies from their head office in Milton Keynes, following the acquisition by Wesfarmers earlier this year. With this in mind Ive decided to make tackling redundancy the focus of my blog this week. Finding out your role is being made redundant can be a stressful time and youre likely to go through lots of emotions between the moment you find out youre losing your job and the time you start your next one. All of the following responses are perfectly normal: anger, sadness, disappointment, rejection, worry and even relief! The prospect of getting a new job might at first seem overwhelming, especially if you have been in your current role for a long time. However there are a number of steps you can take to make the process more painless. Here are my top tips: Try not to take it personally: Remember its your ROLE that has been made redundant, not you. Redundancy is something that affects a lot of people at some point during their career. Typical reasons include company restructuring, office relocation, outsourcing a particular function, two companies merging or a business simply closing down. Unfortunately in the majority of cases the situation will have been out of your hands and theres nothing you could have done to avoid it. Stay positive: With this in mind, the key to getting through any situation is to try to remain upbeat and positive. What could initially appear to be a set-back could turn out to be an opportunity to find something better and more fulfilling! Its a good idea to consider your options and review things you liked and didnt like about your previous job, so that you can focus on finding a role and a company that is right for you. Keep reminding yourself that its not a case of IF you find a job, its a case of WHEN you find a job! Update your CV: One of the first things youll need to do is to update your CV to reflect your most recent experience. Youll find a wealth of handy CV dos and donts online. Weve also put together some blogs on the topic too you can find them here and here. Try and target each application to the specific job youre applying to. Make sure you highlight your most relevant skills for that particular job and any achievements youre particularly proud of. Get references: If possible, try and get a character reference from your company before you leave. This will help highlight your skills and strengths to a potential employer. LinkedIn is also a great platform to use, not just for networking but also for asking your contacts for endorsements and recommendations. Be proactive: Take as much control as you can over your situation by being as proactive as possible. This could include reaching out to your network through social media platforms and making sure you have registered with reputable recruitment agencies who can act as an ambassador on your behalf and find new opportunities. You can also use a professional social network such as LinkedIn to start following companies of interest and connecting with key people in your industry. Tip: If youve registered on job board e.g. Reed and Monster etc, its a good idea to log in on a regular basis and not solely rely on job alerts to be sent to your inbox. Recruitment Consultants and employers will often search for prospective employees based on when they last logged in. If you want to be found, its a good idea to log in at least once a week! Another tip! Adding Seeking new opportunities to your LinkedIn profile will also help prospective employers to find you! Consider temporary work: You can avoid using up all your redundancy pay by taking on temporary work while you look for something permanent. Temping is a great way of keeping money coming in as well as being an opportunity to show a prospective employer what youre capable of. Many companies also offer temp-to perm contracts, meaning that your temp job could lead to a permanent opportunity. Throughout your redundancy journey, try to keep in mind that youre not going to be right for every role and not every role is going to be right for you. If youre unsuccessful at interview, ask for constructive feedback and use it for the next interview. By remaining proactive, focused and positive youll be in a great position to find yourself moving onto bigger and better things in the future.


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