Jon is Head of Recruitment Operations, responsible for the recruitment teams in all our offices across the UK, and a Director of Jonathan Lee Design Services, bringing outsourced digital design solutions to a range of key clients.
Qualified with a BEng in Manufacturing and Business Studies from Coventry University in 1994, Jon began his career in manufacturing engineering and health & safety working with heat transfer and power generation equipment before spending five years in process engineering, quality and engineering management roles in electronics assembly for automotive and industrial controls.
Jon joined Jonathan Lee in 2002 quickly achieving great results as a consultant within the manufacturing team focusing on production management, maintenance, cost engineering and more. The business supported him to gain his post grad diploma and chartered membership of the CIPD and he completed an MA in Human Resource Management before moving into a regional management role.
In 2012, Jon was appointed to head up all recruitment operations across the UK. His current role is both exciting and very strategic; he ensures the managing consultants and their respective teams have the structure, operational framework, skills and tools required to ensure we exceed customer expectations – ultimately driving business success.
Jon feels working at Jonathan Lee provides a unique opportunity to apply both his technical and management skills: “I consider it a privilege to have worked with some of the best-known brands in the world and the very best candidates the market has to offer, in an organisation whose people set the highest standards in the drive to be the customer’s first choice.”
There is nothing more unsettling for most people than not knowing what is going to happen next. As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, what’s increasingly clear is that we are not returning to business-as-usual. With many companies still having staff on furlough and no clear timeline on when the economy is going to start to creep towards recovery, nothing is certain but uncertainty itself. Uncertainty is nothing new, in fact in any and all businesses, it has a significant part to play. The most successful business leaders are those who know when to take a risk and when to keep their powder dry but for less established executives, the fear of getting it wrong can be paralysing. KEY STEPS IN MANAGING UNCERTAINTY 1. Accept and Take Stock These are challenging times, but the focus doesn’t need to be on what is not happening, accept where the business is now and think about what is happening now. Live data is critical, ensuring you are on top of key performance indicators and financials. Knowing your starting point is the first step in planning your journey. 2. Plan for different scenarios Once you know where the business is now, it’s essential to gather as much information as you can from the outside world. Understand economic changes, what the competition is doing and how/whether your customer needs have changed. This will allow you to plan for a variety of scenarios and outcomes building in enough flexibility to make the business agile and ready to respond to changes. 3. Think creatively Uncertainty presents an opportunity to reconsider how you do things and whether there are ways you can improve efficiency and spread risk. Engage your team in this process and empower them to identify opportunities for change. 4. Communicate effectively If you are feeling uncertain and unsettled, then the likelihood is that the rest of your people feel the same way. By adopting an open and transparent approach to communication, you will ensure the team is engaged, understands the challenges and comes together to positively influence outcomes. 5. Seek help when you need it There is a huge gain to be had in sharing your thoughts and ideas with those you trust in your networks and asking for input. Understanding their experiences, initiatives and approach will bring new ideas and fresh perspective to your challenges. Engaging external consultants can also have this effect. ACCESSING THE EXPERTISE YOU NEED For those who manage to identify opportunity instead of just seeing risk, the payoff is potentially a big competitive advantage when industry picks up again, as it inevitably will. For those who are nervous about taking the leap, hiring an interim is a much lower-risk proposition that can have a significant impact very quickly. Some examples of this include: In uncertain times, an interim provides a flexible resource that can be turned on and off and the time to hire is much faster than when looking for a permanent addition to a leadership team. Interims bring a wealth of experience along with fresh ideas and perspectives that could provide a catalyst to capitalising effectively on new opportunities caused by market uncertainty. Having an interim on board will give your existing leadership team the space and time to focus on their core responsibilities. Interims generate urgency and can give a business a new injection of pace and positivity. MOVING FORWARD Let’s be honest, uncertainty is difficult. Giving yourself the space to step back and see the current state clearly will help you to spot those opportunities and to formulate a positive and proactive plan to capitalise on them. For more information on how Jonathan Lee can support you during these uncertain times, please get in contact with me. Jon Blaze, Head of Recruitment OperationsJon Blaze
With recovery on the horizon and additional information being released daily by the Government on relaxation to the lockdown rules, most business leaders are already planning the best way to move forward from the Covid-19 outbreak. One of the key trends that we have seen in the market, is the need for new or different skills to address the particular issues that the pandemic has and continues to cause and this has driven a considerable increase in interest around interim management skill sets. VITAL SKILLS WHEN YOU NEED THEM MOST Clients more than ever are showing interest in the following skills which they need to support core business operations: Business continuity – interim managers to take care of the challenges presented by numerous factors as a result of COVID-19 while key permanent executives get back to business as usual or the achievement of a ‘new normal’ Finance Director assignments – dealing with the financial impact of the issues created by COVID-19 in a strategic and rapid manner to protect cash and secure the long-term financial viability and health of the business. Business Transformation – as businesses start to identify a ‘new normal’, having prepared and dealt with the recent economic and political changes associated with Brexit, change fatigue may be creeping in. Rapid change is likely to be needed and this fits with the Interim DNA bringing fresh but tested solutions to the table. Supply Chain – While companies have their own challenges in responding to the pandemic, the complexity of the supply chain and the impact being felt there can be difficult to pin point, particularly across geographical boarders. Expert purchasing, procurement and supply chain interims can provide the skills needed to unpick this and strategically assess and develop sustainable supply chains to help your business recover. Human Resources – re-deployment, collective consultation, employment law, furlough, redundancies, employee relations, people policies, part-time working, social distancing, home-working….the list for human resources professionals is growing, and something every business will be having to consider right now. Interim HR professionals can bring external expertise to alleviate the people pressures every business is feeling at the moment. WHY USE INTERIMS? There are numerous benefits to using flexible resources to support your recovery and future planning. Interims can offer: Immediate skills where you need them Interim managers are generally highly skilled with a wealth of experience in a wide range of business matters or a specific area of focus. One of the pre-requisite skills of an interim manager is to quickly identify issues and quickly utilise their skills to implement solutions to targeted outcomes, passing on their knowledge to key staff in the process. Action and results oriented Experienced Interim Managers recognise that you need results, and that they are paid well to deliver them. This leads to a high degree of efficiency using tried and trusted processes and targets to successfully complete assignments on time to agreed results. Independence Interim managers, being results and time focused will avoid company politics, demonstrating a keen desire to get the job done in an independent and engaging manner without the historical context that longer term employees may be negatively influenced by. This fresh approach in itself can be motivating to many employees, providing improvements in culture which extend beyond the interim’s tenure – useful as a kick start for a new strategic direction. Flexibility Interim resource is flexible, can be turned on and off, used for defined periods and is ultimately a short-term or temporary solution. As such, interims are used to taking on numerous roles as necessary at a variety of locations and tend not to work to set hours except where workplace requirements dictate. This formula, if harnessed in the correct way, is a great contributor to successful results from an interim assignment. Rapid insertion Interim managers can be sourced and in-situ in a matter of days, ensuring the immediate nature of the requirement to engage is met with a fast response. For permanent resource with a similar skillset, seniority and experience to be hired, that time-frame can move to months, assuming the authorisation to hire can be achieved in the first instance. Often, interims can be a good solution while a permanent recruitment process is running in parallel, switching the emphasis from short term to long term strategy as the permanent engagement begins. Cost effective While day rates for Interim managers vary depending on the individual, the assignment and the size of organisation, their modus operandi is often a very cost effective alternative to Management Consultancy. The complexity of engagement is vastly reduced; the interim is usually engaged by and reports to a single executive giving immediate authority without barriers. NEED HELP? At Jonathan Lee Interim Management we have a deep understanding the key factors surrounding to the engagement of interim managers, the ‘DNA’ of a successful interim, and the need for fast results. With over 40 years of working with highly experienced interim managers across a wide selection of skills we understand both the capabilities of our interims and the best way to find a fit for your business. Get in touch today for a no-strings chat about how an interim manager might help your business.Jon Blaze
We are proud and humbled to serve an engineering community pulling together to meet the challenge of our lifetimes.Jon Blaze
Unprecedented – a word we’re seeing a lot at the moment and that’s no surprise. Times are tough. First and foremost, the threat to our well-being, for that I wish you all the very best of health. Secondly, the business community is facing challenges we haven’t seen before. We’re responding in true entrepreneurial form, making adjustments to our working arrangements, using technology to run teams, departments and entire businesses and making appropriate concessions to keep business moving. All of which is real testament to the way in which the UK business community pulls together for the common good. At Jonathan Lee Recruitment we’re no different. We’re deploying all the human and digital resources we can to keep our business moving, so that we can support you in doing the same. We are mobilising interim resources to put the expert network we have developed over 42 years in business to effective use in contingency planning, business continuity, IT solutions, operations, engineering and supply chain management. If we can support you in your business, we’d be delighted to help, and have access to some of the best skills the UK has to offer with appropriate immediacy. We’re also providing both remote and on-site skills while circumstances allow. Similarly, where you require short-term resource to solve new problems, cover for absent staff or generally need to respond quickly and effectively with expert resource, Jonathan Lee Contract Recruitment can support you. This may be very appropriate right now but will also be critical as companies start to recover from the impact of Covid-19 and need the catalyst that’s necessary to climb the curve more quickly. From a talent acquisition perspective, we recognise that committing to permanent resource is a big step right now, but we are perfectly placed to support you both technically and financially. If you’re an SME looking for a cost-effective solution, Jonathan Lee Recruitment will support you through these challenging times by offering to spread the cost of a permanent placement over 6 months. We recognise, as a medium-sized business ourselves, impacted by the same challenges, that if we can build a partnership approach through excellent service combined with a cost-effective solution, we will all benefit. Only by working together and supporting each other’s changing business needs through a strong degree of understanding will we get through these unprecedented times. To discuss your resource needs, whether interim, contract or permanent please get in touch. Jon Blaze Head of Recruitment Operations Jonathan Lee Recruitment Jon.email@example.com 01384 446184Jon Blaze
In our continued commitment to security, both for our candidates and clients, we are pleased to announce that we have passed Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus certification. Cyber Essentials is an industry supported scheme developed by the UK Government. Cyber Essentials requires an organisation to have a number of technical and procedural controls in place to improve their information security in order to mitigate common internet-borne cyber-attacks such as hacking, phishing and password guessing. We have also reached Cyber Essentials Plus status which involves an independent assessment of security controls, to verify that the required technical security controls have been successfully implemented. The recently published 2019 State of Cybersecurity study from India's second largest outsourcing company, Wipro, shows that there is an unprecedented focus on security, pervading all aspects of business operations. The annual study highlights the rising importance of cybersecurity defence to global leaders and is based on three months of primary and secondary research, including surveys of security leadership, operational analysts, and 211 global organisations across 27 countries. David Hale, our Managing Director has recognised the importance of achieving the standard; "We are delighted to have been awarded the Cyber Essentials Plus certificate. The rise in cyber threats, cyber-attacks and the need for data security is driving longer term investment in cyber security solutions. This certification reaffirms our commitment to enforcing the highest standards of data security in all that we do." We take cyber security seriously and this forms one part in the business’ wider risk management strategy to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data stored on devices which connect to the Internet. We will be continuing to review our systems and procedures to protect ourselves, our candidates and our clients as best we can from the ever-evolving risks. For more information about the scheme please click here.Jon Blaze
The rate of change in technology and our pace of life show no signs of abating. This is nowhere more noticeable than in the workplace, where many organisations are looking to address the challenge of ‘future skills’ – identifying what skills will be needed by the workforce of tomorrow..Jon Blaze
Jonathan Lee Recruitment is building on its long heritage of providing high calibre staff to the defence sector by forming a dedicated team, led by ex-forces, lead consultant, Peter Heap. The newly formed team, which was previously a part of the aerospace and aviation division, will focus on four core areas; land, sea, air and communication systems, covering all aspects of engineering, technical, supply chain and commercial disciplines, from shop floor to executive appointments. Peter Heap explains: “Heightened global security threats as well as higher global defence spending is driving the global defence sector. The UK has a strong legacy and an excellent reputation globally in the sector and needs highly skilled people to maintain its position as a market leader whilst delivering innovation and growth. “The newly formed division will support the high demand being experienced in this market, underpinned by the knowledge already contained within the business. We have worked with companies and candidates in the defence sector for almost 40 years, developing a deep understanding of the transferable skills needed in the sector. “We will continue to identify the best talent available, including many candidates who already possess security clearances which can save significant time in the recruitment process. “We work with a wide range of experienced candidates across defence and security engineering and technical disciplines, including ex-military professionals from the Army, RAF and Navy.” The experienced team of this new division can support engineering disciplines and design engineering, machinery and manufacturing, maintenance and production, aeronautical and avionics engineering, military communication and defence systems, electronics and software systems, programme and project management. The team consists of Peter Heap - Lead Consultant (middle), Gareth Simpson - Senior Consultant (left), Tom Duckett - Consultant (right). To find out more about the defence division and to view the latest jobs click here.Jon Blaze
Specialist digital design office supports automotive and engineering innovation in the UK Since March 2015, Warwickshire-based business has secured contracts worth £6,000,000. Engineering and manufacturing recruitment specialist Jonathan Lee Recruitment launched its own bespoke digital design office in March 2015 to support automotive OEMs with digital design and prototyping solutions for the automotive and engineering sectors. Located in Hatton Technology Park, Jonathan Lee Design Services has capacity to house 24 designers and digital modellers, using Alias, ICEM Surf and CATIA and is thought to be the first initiative of its kind in the design recruitment sector. Nick Jones; Associate Director at Jonathan Lee Design Services, explains: “I have been recruiting digital designers for 15 years now and the need for a specialist service that can deliver high-level digital models as well as low volume prototypes, especially in the automotive sector, has emerged. “We have already been involved in providing bespoke parts such as head lights and mirrors for concept cars launched at the major motor shows and it has grown from there. Demand has increased to the point where we realised there was a long-term requirement for these kinds of services and the office was born. “We have invested heavily in the new site and recruited talent from an international pool of specialist digital designers to ensure we can design and project manage prototype programmes from start to finish. “For many manufacturers, using this type of service to support innovation, is more cost effective than trying to achieve the same goals in-house.” If you have a design opportunity you'd like to discuss with us please get in touch with Nick Jones. For more information about Jonathan Lee Design Services click here.Jon Blaze
As a response to the increased demand for contracting professionals across the engineering and manufacturing sectors so far in 2018, Jonathan Lee’s Direct Contracts division welcomes Emma Evans to the team. Emma brings a wealth of experience in recruitment, account management, business development and field sales to her new role of recruitment consultant, joining Mark Bignell, Tom Noott, Georgia Silk and Claire Male in the Contracts team. DEMAND FOR SPECIALIST CONTRACTORS ON THE RISE Recent research conducted by Jonathan Lee Contract Recruitment shows a growth in the appeal of contracting for experienced engineering professionals, offering a higher variety of work content, more interesting projects and more flexibility, allowing them to use their whole breadth of knowledge and experience. This is particularly true for highly-skilled workers in niche technical specialisms that can support effective implementation of Industry 4.0 and also of highly experienced interim managers who can manage periods of change and growth. Mark Bignell, Managing Consultant, explains "we are finding a greater number of clients and candidates seeing the mutual benefit of contracting. "Candidates take advantage of the flexibility with the projects they undertake, career advancement and pay benefits, while from a company point of view, it makes workers more accessible to a broader range of companies looking for specialist knowledge – including related 4IR skills, if only for a short-term or project basis. "Emma’s understanding of in-house recruitment and her approach to client relationship building is excellent and she will be a great asset to our team that already supports hundreds of contractors and clients across a range of industry sectors. "This is supported by our friendly and professional in-house payroll team that has a 100% record of on-time payment, where all documentation is provided in line with the agreed processes.” To find out more visit jonlee.co.uk/contracting.Jon Blaze
Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), has dominated the headlines over the past few years, with businesses increasingly looking to adopt technology such as robotics and automation, artificial intelligence and remote monitoring of production lines to increase efficiency. In our latest blog post, Jon Blaze; Head of Recruitment at Jonathan Lee Contract Recruitment, explores how the use of specialised contractors can help businesses implement Industry 4.0. A recent study from the University of Warwick found that many businesses are failing to harness the full potential of 4IR. This is attributed to a range of factors including the lack of an integrated supply chain, the absence of products within the business capable of customisation and a deficit in advanced skills within the business. SKILLS GAP Fully understanding all elements required in the application of 4IR is complex. This is often, best navigated by specialists with substantial experience in system integration, an in-depth knowledge of automation and robotics and/or a proven background in process implementation. In a time of an existing skills shortage, the additional challenge of finding and attaining highly skilled, and often, high value individuals to navigate and lead a business through 4IR can be substantial. For scoping, training, testing, implementation and a full roll-out of Industry 4.0 strategy, businesses should be considering a more agile approach. CONTRACTING Recent research conducted by Jonathan Lee Contract Recruitment showed a growth in preference for some experienced workers to undertake contract projects rather than full-time, permanent positions. This was particularly true for highly-skilled workers with specialist technical knowledge and significant breadth of experience. With the current shortage of skilled workers potentially one of the most constraining factors for the implementation of 4IR, companies have the opportunity to tap into this flexible, trained and experienced workforce to help bridge the skills gap. Contractors can help businesses to adapt their operations to new markets, with their sought-after expertise helping to bring clarity to decision making and help steer the strategic direction of a business. Their experience can make a difference within a relatively short space of time, at the same time as transferring knowledge and capabilities to the existing workforce. The dynamic and fast-changing technological landscape makes the contract or interim option especially attractive as companies plan for uncertainty, look to adopt new technologies, deal with fast-changing market realities and strive to improve productivity. For businesses investing in 4IR processes and technologies, the use of contractors affords them flexibility to take on specialists, providing expert guidance and advice throughout the implementation stages. This can not only help futureproof a business, but also negate the need to hire permanent staff for shorter term projects within the 12 to 18 month timeframe.Jon Blaze
Research undertaken by Jonathan Lee Contract Recruitment suggests that while those earlier in their career still opt for permanent roles, a greater number of more experienced specialists are opting for contract work where they have greater flexibility in work content and can build a career portfolio of interesting projects and roles.Jon Blaze
Manufacturing and engineering recruitment specialist predicts competitive market for talent Jonathan Lee Recruitment is fielding record numbers of vacancies as demand for roles to support engineering and manufacturing businesses throughout the West Midlands and the UK continues to grow.Jon Blaze