Meet-the-team

Meet The Team: Ashleigh Elliot, HR Coordinator

Contents

Our latest employee spotlight is Ashleigh, our HR Coordinator.

  • What does your job role entail?

I predominantly look after our recruitment, onboarding, employee’s first six months with the business and I do a lot of the full employee life cycle work. I also do a lot of work for Alex who is the HR team leader, and Francesca the Chief HR Officer.

  • How did you get into the payroll industry?

I had actually been made redundant from a business I worked in previously that I thought I would be at for a really long time, and when that all happened, I felt like I was put into this place of ‘what am I going to do next’. I did a very brief period of time in a HR for pharmaceutical manufacturing business, and I realised it wasn’t for me. Everything was very black or white and there wasn’t any middle ground, you couldn’t use any of the nice stuff that comes along with what we get to do. I was then approached by a recruiter who said they had a really cool payroll business, and I thought ‘gosh that’s really interesting’ and I felt like it would be fabulous as I could learn about the payroll side of the business as I’ve been doing HR for a long time, and it’ll really make me a more all rounded HR generalist. And that’s how it all started really!

  • What’s your career path been like at Cintra?

So I spent the first year really settling in, when I first joined I was actually finishing an apprenticeship, I was right at the end of it which was a little chaotic with the redundancy from my previous job. But I passed that, and I got a distinction and from there we’ve been having a look at what options I’ve got, and I am actually going to start in January my CIPD Level 5 which has been fully supported by Alex and Francesca and the business. It is really exciting as it means things like HR Management etc will open up to me once I’ve got that under my belt.

  • What do you love about your job?

Oh my gosh, I love the people! I love getting to talk to our new starters, I love getting to talk to all the potential new starters with all the recruitment work. I love being able to support the managers to make their teams the place where everyone wants to be. I think some days can be difficult as we work with people, and people can be unpredictable but being able to see that you’ve made a difference, that a situation that has happened has had a positive outcome and just making sure that our people are happy and enjoying what they’re doing. We spend so long at work that if we didn’t enjoy it, it would be such a shame, so being able to help is a massive part of why I do what I do.

  • What are you working on now?

I am always trying to continue to improve our recruitment processes, and I am trying to roll out something with our managers to make that process even more seamless. I am still continuing to improve our onboarding with things like our one-month check-in for new starters. Onboarding is huge at any business, and it’s something we want to continue to get better at. On a slightly more technical side, I am overhauling our HR Service Desk, which is a little bit scary as I am the least technical person that Cintra have every employed, ask anybody! So I am getting to do that with the support of the IT department, and hopefully it’ll become a much more user friendly and interactive platform.

  • What is your biggest achievement (doesn’t need to be work related)?

Ooh, I think for me balancing two jobs, my apprenticeship (and getting a distinction in it), still maintaining a good work life balance, and being a good mum all at once was the biggest thing I’ve been able to achieve. I’ve definitely come out of it of the other side of it with a different perspective on things!

  • What do you do in your spare time?

Well, what is spare time? I still work a bar job on weekends a couple of times a month, I work in a cocktail bar which is really great fun! I love to spend time with my friends, they’re dotted all over the country, so it means that I get to go to London and stuff often, we went to York recently. At the moment my son is super into swimming and Karate and with the work life balance we have here I get to go on a Friday and watch him swim and see his Karate, which is something I haven’t had in previous jobs.

  • What was the last book you read / film you watched?

Good question! I can’t remember either, I am not really a film person because I studied media at sixth form, and when I watch a film I feel like I am really overanalytical of it and it kind of ruins it for everyone. We did watch a Christmas film yesterday, because ‘tis the season, but I can’t remember the name of it.

  • If you could do any job for a day, what would it be?

There’s the nice option, or the really unhinged option, and I feel like with my personality it would be something like being on Broadway. I’m loud, and I love that kind of stuff as I was a theatre kid at school. So, in an ideal world that would be it.

  • What Mr Men/Disney/Cartoon Character would best describe you?

I feel like I am a little bit like the little girl from Wreck-it Ralph, Penelope. She’s a bit of a loose cannon which I love. I have watched that movie far too many times. I don’t think I could be a Disney Princess, but I do love the scene in the movie where she’s surrounded by all the Disney princesses and they’re all asking her random questions about their problems and she doesn’t understand what they’re talking about.

  • What is your pet hate?

Leaving things places, if things have a place to put them then just put them there. I walk around my house, and I’ll find random socks that my son has left somewhere, or my husband will put a glass next to the cupboard that it needs to go back into. It drives me nutty!

  • What’s your favourite place?

I would say somewhere abroad, but that’s not it. I absolutely love in Northumberland there is these hills called Simonside Hills and they’re hike-able. Every summer me, my husband and my son go and spend the day hiking, and you can do sunrise hikes where you can see across all of Northumberland, and it is stunning. It is so easy to get to for us and it’s just one of those places where you go and feel really peaceful. You can see the countryside, and the ocean and it’s just beautiful and I love it!

  • Tell us something we didn’t know about you?

A few people might know this, but I am so terrified of lifts. They scare the living daylights out of me. It’s because when I was 9, we were at Disneyland Florida and I went on the tower of terror, my mum told me I was going to be scared, but I am stubborn and was like ‘no I am going’ and I was genuinely speechless for the rest of the day (which might come as a massive surprise to people I work with). I was so scared, and now I have a full fear of lifts. If there is stairs I’ll take them, an escalator (they’re not my favourite) but I’ll take it.

  • What’s the greatest bit of advice you’ve ever been given? and by who?

I don’t remember where it’s come from, as I feel like a lot of people say it. But it’s ‘be unapologetically you’. You are the way you are for a multitude of reasons; you don’t have to change who you are; you don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. The right people will love you for the right reasons and that’s all that really matters. That is totally what I stand by!

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I would like to think that I am still working in a HR world, I see a lot of things which are happening with Cintra (and hopefully they’ll keep me that long). I would love to be able to look at more strategic planning and working with Francesca a bit more in depth. I like to see where things take me, I feel like the best things in my life have come from going out on a limb and seeing where that takes me.

My personal goals for me are to just keep doing what I am doing, I’d like to finish my CIPD Level 5 which only takes a year. But that’ll be a massive triumph for me. I’d like to continue my learning and development as that’s a massive thing for me and is something that I cherish considering I didn’t go to University.

Lucy Pietrafesa
Lucy Pietrafesa
Lucy is our Digital Marketing Executive. Outside of her passion for all things digital and social at Cintra, Lucy has a love for fashion and bringing plenty of colour into life through her bright style!