Balancing the too few with the too many panellists

Paula Simmons – Job Title

As Director of Employer Branding and Communications Strategy at PeopleScout, Paula draws on all her previous experience, consulting for clients on how to build inclusive employer brands. Paula ensures that they understand and articulate what makes them a unique place to work. Paula partners with them to develop and plan the embedding of the brands that flow from them. Paula also lead PeopleScout’s Inclusion and Diversity work, helping clients to better understand and engage hard-to-reach audiences.


Kathy Poole – Job Title

Kathy will be sharing insights from her work as People Director at Wellcome. Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone through its global charitable foundation and is independent both politically and financially. The organisation supports scientists and researchers to take on big problems, fuel imaginations, and spark debate.

Robert Peasnell – Deputy Managing Director at PeopleScout UK

With a background in communications and talent management, I have over 20 years experience of working with employers across the globe to attract and select the best talent.Whether it’s researching candidate motivations, developing employer brands, delivering engaging candidate experiences or designing assessment and selection processes, I lead teams that helps employers to cut the cost and improve the quality of recruitment. Winner of multiple industry awards for impact & effectiveness, I am also a visiting lecturer on the International HR Masters at Kingston University.

Simon Fawkes-Underwood – Head of Resourcing at HS2

HS2 is a dedicated high-speed railway that will connect London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. It’s objective is to open-up local and regional markets, attract investment and improve job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people across the  country.

As Head of Resourcing, Simon is responsible for all acquisition activities for the organisation as it progresses through its different phases. He is proud to lead a team of motivated, capable and enthusiastic colleagues and is dedicated to finding new ways of attracting talent and managing the careers of those already with HS2.

Prior to this Simon held multiple senior HR roles at E.ON, leading the UK and international talent management activities across all service lines including; systems management; process accountability; employer brand; digitalisation; apprenticeships and graduates.

Simon Mawson – Head of Talent Acquisition – BMI Healthcare

Circle Health Group is the UK’s largest private healthcare group with over 50 hospitals, clinics and services nationwide, where Simon manages the resourcing & TA function covering operational healthcare recruitment, specialist medical resourcing, niche nursing, early careers, overseas recruitment and also corporate hires across the group. Circle Health Group is made up of four main UK brands; BMI Healthcare, Circle Reading Hospital, Circle Rehabilitation and Circle Integrated Care with over 10,000 staff across the UK and plans to grow.

Simon has been with the business for just over 1 year and has been focused on a resourcing transformation project focus on candidate attraction engagement and hiring manager best practice. Simon has also been working with his team on managing urgent and ongoing healthcare recruitment needs during the covid19 pandemic to ensure the business has been able to support the NHS in the fight against Covid-19 and to continue to develop and grow private business during an unprecedented year in healthcare.

Nicola Little – Head of Recruiting – Voyage Care

Nicola has been working in organisation resourcing for more than 13 years. During this time she was responsible for the operational delivery of recruiting for Phones4U and Allied Healthcare, directing attraction, employer brand and candidate experience to meet strategic goals.

Nicola now leads recruiting at Voyage Care. Voyage Care supports individuals with learning and/or physical disabilities, providing a person centred service in one of their care homes, rehabilitation clinics, or in the person’s own home.  Hiring is a complex challenge as the range of skills required by the organisation varies from care-worker to office management to executive recruiting, and during the pandemic, finding and securing the right people for the business is more critical than ever.

Annually, Nicola’s team of 35 are responsible for recruiting 400 new people, every month.


Kirsty Paterson – Head of Human Resources –Robertson Group

Robertson Group is one of the largest family-owned construction, infrastructure and support services businesses in the UK, employing over 3,000 talented people across a broad range of roles including; construction, timber engineering, facilities management, capital projects, property development, regeneration, civil engineering, building services and housebuilding.

Kirsty leads recruitment, employee relations, learning & development and HR projects for Group HR. Since joining Robertson, Kirsty has led the direction of talent acquisition whilst defining Robertson’s EVP and developing their employer brand.

Prior to this, Kirsty was Head of Resourcing for Sodexo at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games



Adam Slater- Head of Recruitment –Cabinet Office


The Government Recruitment Service is a centralised in-house recruitment function for the Civil Service. They work with over 50 Departments and Professions to design and deliver recruitment solutions that meet a varied and often complex set of needs – ranging from large volume recruitment, specialist / niche roles and senior hiring up to and including Director level. They currently deliver circa 70% of recruitment for the Civil Service, which equates to over 40,000 hires and over 1,000,000 million candidates processed annually.

Adam has worked in the Government Recruitment Service for nearly five years and, as Head of Recruitment; has spent a vast amount of time helping the Civil Service respond to the resourcing requirements resulting from Covid-19 and EU Transition, whilst also continuing to bring in the key talent that is required to deliver vital public services.