We understand the pressures that our clients and candidates are facing on a daily basis, and our solutions and services are designed to directly meet these challenges.

We’ve been providing recruitment services within education, health and social care for over 20 years, through our market-leading brands: CER and Monarch Education (Education); Medicare First (Social Care); and Team 24 (Healthcare).

Management team

Our management team has an unrivalled record of delivering transformational recruitment strategies across a range of complex, highly-regulated sectors in the UK.

Meet the team

Nicola McQueen Photo

Nicola McQueen


Nicola is our brilliant CEO. She brings passionate and inspirational leadership to Affinity Workforce as she directs us on our mission to transform the way that organisations within the Education, Healthcare and Social Care sectors recruit and retain talent. She is the driving force behind the strategic development of Affinity Workforce and is regarded as an industry leader, winning numerous awards including; Southern Business Woman of the Year (2016) and appearing on the Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) Global Power 100 – Women in Staffing (2017).


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Paul Jezzard

Group CFO

Paul is our super smart CFO. He has extensive experience in partnering with Group CEO’s to drive business performance to its absolute potential. He has a deep understanding of the recruitment industry and strategically leads Affinity Workforce, providing financial leadership for organic and acquisition-led growth, and keeping things in check via management and statutory reporting.


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Tim Matthew

Group COO

Tim is our visionary Group COO. He has over 20 years’ experience of working in various roles within Information Technology and leads the group IT agenda to deliver state of the art solutions that simplify how our candidates, clients and staff operate to maximise their potential and future-proof operational excellence. Not only does he increase our business efficiency, but he also looks after the group’s property portfolio and HR, empowering our people with an environment to drive success and also making Affinity Workforce a better place to work too.


Mike Ruddle Photo

Mike Ruddle

Group Sales & Solutions Director

Mike is our ingenious Group Sales & Solutions Director. Responsible for new product and business development, he designs market leading, innovative recruitment solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients. He has the recruitment knowledge and expertise to diagnose exactly what our clients need and deliver tangible results. Mike is also a creative thinker, leading on strategic marketing activity. He has nearly 20 years’ experience within HR services, working across both the private and public sectors.


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James Ottaway

Group Commercial Director

James is our savvy Group Commercial Director. Responsible for ensuring the effectiveness and long-term sustainability of our relationships with candidates, customers and our strategic suppliers, nothing slips by him. He also guides each of our group businesses on policy and best practice to ensure that Affinity Workforce stays ahead of the ever-changing regulatory and commercial landscape. James has spent 15 years in recruitment and talent management services, working on strategic partnership contracts across multiple sectors and delivery models.


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Jamie Bushell

Group Transformation Director

Jamie is our Transformer, a.k.a Group Transformation Director. He has a passion for efficiency and smooth operational processes and has successfully brought his thinking to numerous recruitment and recruitment facing organisations over the past 13 years. He is an ex-sales director and an ex-operations director, so has experience and understanding of the full customer/client relationship from sales through to service delivery and beyond. In stark contrast to his current corporate setting, he was born and raised a farmer and has a preference for all things agriculture.


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Esme Bianchi-Barry

Managing Director, Monarch Education

Esme is our fearless leader of Monarch Education. Leading the charge to ensure it remains a market leader within the education recruitment industry, her team continues to set the standard for recruiting high quality teachers, delivering outstanding customer service and candidate care and providing compliance/safeguarding assurance. With an infectious passion for employee engagement, her vision is for Monarch Education to be the education recruitment agency most admired for its people – which always guides her thinking when making key strategic decisions.


Jo Matkin Photo

Jo Matkin


Jo is our adventurous leader of Team 24 Healthcare and Medicare First Social Care.  With a passion for people performance and collaborative working, Jo is a firm believer that engaged and motivated teams are the magic ingredient in delivering the exceptional service that sets us apart in talent-short markets.  That’s why Jo is often found spending time with our brilliant people in Surrey, London, Birmingham and Manchester. In her spare time Jo is on a mission to visit every county in the UK in her new campervan.


Driving the performance agenda in education

84% of head teachers and MAT leaders believe that a culture of recruitment compromise is undermining their overall performance. Our research reveals the five priorities for MATs and schools to build a high-quality teacher workforce.

Download our whitepaper

Accreditations and certifications

Our business is built on trust, integrity and the strength and honesty of the relationships we forge with our clients. So we take compliance very seriously and you can rest assured that we take every possible step to ensure a fully compliant service.

Our list of accreditations includes:
  • Full corporate membership of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) across all of our divisions and brands
  • Our recruitment staff and managers are also members of the allied Institute or Recruitment Professionals (IRP) through the REC Advocacy scheme
  • REC Audited Education accreditation: Monarch Education and CER
  • Care & Quality Commission (CQC) registered: Team24
  • United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) for Homecare: Team
  • Fully audited by CPP, HTE and CQC: Team24

We regularly test and review all of our processes and procedures to ensure best practice throughout all of our operations.