APRIL 2014 – ERA Conference 2014

ERA Annual Conference

Wednesday 30th April 2014

10.30am – 5.30pm (GMT)

Sadler’s Wells Theatre – Rosebery Avenue – London – EC1R 4TN

Registration  10.30am

Opening Address – ERA Chairman


Neil Morrison – Group HR Director UK & International Companies at Penguin Random House UK

After starting his working life as a lecturer in Psychology, Neil took his first role in HR management in 1996. For the next 12 years he worked in a variety of specialist and generalist HR roles in FTSE100 companies, including Rentokil Initial and GUS (which latterly became Home Retail Group).  Neil joined the Random House Group in September 2008 taking responsibility for strategic people issues across their publishing and distribution offices in the UK, Australia, India and New Zealand.  Since 2010 Neil has also sat on the main board.  Neil’s latest accolade is winning the award for HR Director of the Year at the prestigious HR Excellence Awards 2013. And more recently still, Neil has been one of the main leads in helping to steer and finalise the merger between Random House and Penguin – the most significant merger in publishing history. Neil is a regular commentator on Human Resources and workplace issues and has written for a number of trade and generalist publications and websites on a range of topics.  He writes his own blog, Change-Effect and tweets as @neilmorrison.


Simon Thomas – Head of Brands & Insight at Talentworks International

Simon joined Talent Works in March 2013 from Alexander Mann Solutions to set up TWI’s brand and insight practice. He has 17 years’ experience in global employer branding, employer reputation management and insight, gained in recruitment marketing agencies working with blue chip companies. Simon has developed employer brands, value propositions and conducted research projects for Deutsche Bank, Rolls-Royce, Barclays, Bupa, Greggs, Santander and AstraZeneca among others. He has an MBA from Manchester Business School. He lives in Gloucestershire, England, with his wife and two young children

Sponsor Presentations

1.00pm – 2.00pm – Lunch

Panel – Diversity

Sarah Churchman – Head of Diversity & Inclusion  PWC

 Karina Robinson – Founding Principal  Robinson Hambro Ltd

Anne Tynan – Equality & Diversity Consultant

Mandy McBain MBE – Workplace Programmes


Karen Blakeman – MD of RBA Information Services

“Building an effective search strategy”

So you know all about Google and Bing’s advanced search commands, and you have a list of alternative search tools under your belt. But how do you put that knowledge into practice? Do you go all out with a complex, nested Boolean search, or do you start with a very simple strategy and adapt and tweak it according to the results? Using real-life examples, this session will look at how to build effective search strategies using advanced commands and different types of search tools. It will include Google and it’s specialist databases, alternatives to Google, social media and professional networks.

Karen Blakeman started her working life with a degree in microbiology from the University of Birmingham and a posting at the Colindale Central Public Health Laboratory for 2 years as a Scientific Officer. In 1978 she joined Wellcome as an information scientist in R&D. Two years later she joined Novo as a medical information officer and then moved to the international management consultancy Strategic Planning Associates. She became a freelance consultant in 1989. She now provides training and consultancy on social and collaborative web tools, how to search more effectively for information, and how to assess and manage resources. Her current workshops include “How to make Google behave” and “Anything but Google: what are the alternatives and are they any good?” Karen edits and publishes an electronic newsletter called Tales from the Terminal Room and her blog can be found at http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/. She is an Honorary Fellow of CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals).

Presentation of The Researcher of the Year Award 2014 in memory of Stephanie Pratt

Closing address ERA Chairman

Networking event from 4.30pm – 5.30pm

Advance tickets – contact sarah@theera.org or book using the link below

Stands & Exhibitors contact sarah@theera.org



What people say about us

"I have now started the programme and so far, so good. We had our first introductory call and we’ve established a call every 2-3 weeks, the second of which we’re having on Thursday. I love the initiative as it enables not only to exchange knowledge about executive search but also to meet like-minded people with shared experiences, frustrations and successes, albeit working in different sectors! I’ll be able to offer further feedback once we’ve had some more sessions."


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