Story 45 - Blog

Amber's Story

Amber is Look Ahead’s Recruitment, Training and Talent Manager. She plays a crucial role in how we recruit the best staff and help them grow.

I joined Look Ahead on a graduate scheme called Charityworks back in 2019, where I was placed in the Learning & Development team as a Talent Coordinator. At the heart of it, my job was about helping people to access professional development courses and apprenticeships. I had previously worked in colleges and schools; I used to love supporting the students with personal development, so being able to do the same thing for colleagues in an office environment was great for me.

I was seconded into the Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP) team after two years. My team were so encouraging and helped me build up my knowledge. Look Ahead also sponsored me to go for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Level 3 Qualification, and I got to learn about key HR processes and employment law whilst applying these at work.

Before long, a new opportunity came up, and I became Look Ahead’s Recruitment and Retention Projects Officer. I built partnerships and different pipelines to hire the right people. I worked with councils, universities, and colleges, and created our Refer a friend scheme. I also started attending job fairs with colleagues, which I still do today.

Fairs are fantastic, I regularly run stalls with people I helped access our professional development programmes who have since become managers and team leaders. I love seeing how far they’ve progressed in the organisation. Representing Look Ahead at these fairs reminds us how much we know and how much we love working here. You think about Look Ahead’s purpose and why you do what you do, just as much as you try and convince other people to share that vision too.

Most recently, I was promoted to Recruitment, Training, and Talent Manager. I love my work. It’s busy, but always interesting. I collaborate with colleagues from both central services and operations to develop innovative ways of finding and retaining staff.

Like our customers, our staff have different cultures, lifestyles, and experiences, and I’ve helped set up several Diversity & Inclusion staff networks from DisAbility to LGBTQ+ and Cultural Diversity, to make sure that colleagues feel at home.

Together with operational staff we’ve run some great recruitment days too. We also get customers involved. It really helps us to bring in talent, and ensures we are able to keep the quality of our services high and facilitate the best outcomes for our customers. We’ve been able to recruit as many as 26 suitable people in one day and start the onboarding process there and then.

Look Ahead will develop you if you want to develop yourself. I recently learned that 84% of our managers were recruited internally – which means we’re somewhere people want to stay. Look Ahead often speak about how they develop their staff, but this is something I have experienced myself and seen countless times for others in the organisation.

I’ve had amazing managers who have encouraged me to take the next steps in my career. I can’t thank them enough for believing in me, supporting me, boosting my confidence, and giving me the opportunity to do that for others too.