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Julia Hughes

JULIA HUGHES is managing director of Working Solutions (Mercia) Limited, based in Ludlow, which recruits staff for both temporary and permanent contracts. She has been in her job for 25 years.

HOW HAS YOUR COMPANY HAD TO RESPOND TO THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS? Some of our clients who need temps have continued to operate, some temps we have furloughed and we are recruiting for some clients who will start new permanent staff when they reopen.

HAS THE LOCKDOWN PRESENTED ANY OPPORTUNITIES AS WELL AS CHALLENEGES? It has presented marvellous opportunities for video networking with other business people and developing knowledge using online platforms.

WHAT DO THINK THE CURRENT CRISIS WILL MEAN FOR YOUR INDUSTRY IN THE MONTHS AND YEARS TO COME? There may be more opportunities for staff to work remotely which will be good for many people in Shropshire. There may well be more people looking for work or to change the work they do.  It will be challenging to assist all those who come to us but we will do our best.

HOW DO YOU GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR STAFF? By giving them flexibility and the opportunity to use and develop their skills.

HOW MANY EMAILS DO YOU TEND TO GET IN A DAY, AND HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO READ THEM? 75+ - over 2 hours to read and address them.

HOW DO YOU HOPE YOUR COLLEAGUES WOULD DESCRIBE YOU? High attention to detail of my own and their work as well as energetic and enthusiastic about recruitment.

HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR? Running an assessment centre for the new CEO of 2 merging organisations.

ANY PARTICULAR AWKWARD OR EMBARRASSING MOMENTS IN YOUR CAREER YOU WOULD PREFER TO FORGET? Supplied a PC to an employee which my IT provider said he had cleaned but which was found to have a very contentious email buried in its depths causing me substantial problems.

PET HATES? Poor grammar and spelling in business correspondence.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF SOME WISE ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Use a good debt collector before a client goes out of business using our services to bankroll their company.

HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK? Walking up hills in the good fresh Shropshire air.

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE SHROPSHIRE BUSINESS COMMUNITY? There is a wide diversity in the business scene and most business people have a positive attitude to newcomers to business.


YOU CAN TAKE ONE BOOK, ONE FILM AND ONE CD ONTO A DESERT ISLAND – WHAT WOULD THEY BE? War and Peace, Lawrence of Arabia, Thunder and Rainbows (Martyn Joseph)

YOUR FIVE DREAM DINNER PARTY GUESTS, DEAD OR ALIVE? Dame Judi Dench, Omar Sharif, Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Barbara Streisand

WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO EAT FOR YOUR LAST SUPPER? Barbecued oysters, venison, lemon tart


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