Q&A with our North Director, Christian Ash

Our Director of Operations, Christian has been with Acorn for over 15 years and this Q&A gives an insight to the start of his career at Acorn, what has changed during his time here and what challenges are ahead.

When did you start your career with Acorn?

I joined Acorn back in 2006 and my first role was to open the Preston Office. At that point there wasn’t an office so the first few weeks were spent in a 21/22 hybrid working style between home and other regional offices! Once we signed a lease on the office it was laptop and mobile, sat on the floor waiting for furniture to arrive!

Industrial recruitment was the focal point despite most of my experience being in the commercial space with Reed and then Manpower. It enabled us to get off to a fast start with a quick turnaround from requirement to a candidate out working.

Q&A with our North Director, Christian Ash

What’s changed in the recruitment sector in this time?

Quite simply lots!

To begin with we only ever needed to do right to work checks, the levels of compliance in play now are far greater and more time consuming. Over time client demands grew with recruiters competing to offer ‘added value’ so things like candidate inductions would fall to the team in the branch.

We’ve gone through many legislative changes, apprenticeship levy’s, the Agency Workers Regulations, pension changes – one thing you learn is the industry and Acorn adapts to change all the time.

What are the challenges in 2022?

I think having a client base that understand the labour market is key. Its so important to be clear on the offering to the candidate and make sure it is competitive in the local area and sector, as well as considering elements such as company culture and career pathways.

Speed of decision making and running an effective recruitment process enables clients to hire top talent, this along with the company offering will impact how effective an organisations recruitment will be in 2022.

The minimum wage in 2006 was £5.35, and this April will see it rise to £9.50, but in reality clients that have been successfully hiring temporary labour have been above this for some time. Good advertising and sourcing plans are key, using social media is something that will continue to be crucial this year.

Good advertising and sourcing plans are key, using social media is something that will continue to be crucial this year.

What have you enjoyed most about your time so far with Acorn & what are you looking forward to?

Its been great to be part of a business that has grown from 13 offices and trebled its turnover, I’ve always enjoyed the opportunities I’ve had to learn more and progress into my current role.

People are key in our industry, I have had, and do have the opportunity to work with some great clients, candidates and our fantastic Acorn employees. It will be great to add to the team and see our continued growth in 2022.


Christian Ash
Director of Operations
With over 20 years in recruitment, Christian oversees all of Acorn’s recruitment services in North England and North Wales. He leads five branches and various on-site offices to provide specialist permanent, temporary and managed services support to businesses within a number of industries.
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