Talking jobs since 2004

We started our recruitment agency in Belfast in 2004, but our history in recruitment goes back back even further. Many of our clients have been entrusting our managing director Karen Ferran to find the right people for their businesses for a quarter-of-a-century.

Why chitter-chatter matters

Our strong relationships with clients and a large pool of candidates are maintained by the power of a good chat. Whether it’s supporting our candidates after placing them in a job or being at the end of the phone when our clients have an out-of-hours staffing emergency, being accessible, adaptable and open to a conversation is at the heart of our work.

Building relationships, getting results


There are stacks of recruitment agencies in Belfast, but the relationships we build and the results we achieve keep employers and candidates coming back to us for decades.

Our chats make things happen

We listen to what our clients and candidates need, then deliver for them.

Talking your language

Our recruiters are experts in their sectors, with knowledge and contacts to match.

Adapting to you

24/7 availability, personalised service and the flexibility to recruit in a way that works for you.

Industry recruitment specialists

We recruit on behalf of businesses and public sector organisations throughout Northern Ireland. All of our consultants work within specialist areas, which means they’ve built relationships, industry contacts and a wealth of knowledge that they’re able to share with you.

We’ve got specialist recruitment consultants working in:

Meet the Team

Karen Ferran

Managing Director

I’ve been working in recruitment since 1996 and, after a push from some loyal clients, I founded Ashton Recruitment in 2004. I love building new relationships with clients, as well as nurturing those stretching back a quarter-of-a-century. Outside of recruitment you’ll find me renovating my 180-year-old cottage in Cushendall, or socialising with friends and family. I also like to swap the Glens of Antrim for the beaches of the Balearics.

karen@ashtonrecruitment.com 028 90436543

Sophie Ferran

Senior Recruitment Consultant

Industrial, Logistics & Warehousing

I’m Sophie, I have worked for Ashton Recruitment from 2017 whilst also studying HR Management at Ulster University, which I have now graduated from. I decided that I wanted to continue my role within Ashton and have now progressed to Senior Recruitment Consultant overseeing and continuing to grow our Logistics, Warehousing and Industrial division. To unwind from the always manic week, I love spending time with my family and friends as well as cosying up in the house with a good Chinese

sophie@ashtonrecruitment.com 028 90436543

Catherine Blaikie

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

Industrial, Logistics & Warehousing

I’m Catherine, I studied travel & tourism and worked in the hospitality sector for seven years before deciding to move into recruitment, which is when I joined Ashton Recruitment in March 2020. I work in our logistics & warehousing division alongside Sophie. Away from the office I would love to say I enjoy long walks on the beach with my two dogs however, you are more than likely to find me cuddled up in bed and sleeping before 9pm, unless it’s the weekend in which you’ll find me with a gin in hand!

catherine@ashtonrecruitment.com 028 90436543

Emma Best

Recruitment Consultant

Admin, Human Resources and Finance

I’m Emma, I joined Ashton Recruitment in 2019 and specialise in recruiting for our admin, finance & HR division. I completed a degree in International Business in Leeds Beckett University but knew I wanted to pursue a career in Recruitment. Outside of the office I love to spend my time socialising & traveling, I am definitely the most easily led in the office – especially to the bar on a Friday after work.

emma@ashtonrecruitment.com 028 90436543

Gemma McCann

Senior Recruitment Consultant

Engineering, Manufacturing & Production

I’m Gemma, since joining Ashton Recruitment back in 2014. You will speak to me about anything Manufacturing and Engineering, temp or perm. Before Ashton, I studied business management and economics at Queen’s. Away from the buzz and excitement of Ashton, I enjoy spending time with my three boys and partner (Husband to be). Most weekends are spent chilling, cooking, and sipping a huge glass of never-ending Prosecco, and anything that goes with cottage cheese.

gemma@ashtonrecruitment.com 028 90436543

Maeve Ferguson

Finance and Data Protection Officer

I’m Maeve, I have been looking after all things finance since I started in 2014. After graduating from University of Ulster with a degree in Politics, I registered with Ashton Recruitment for work and left with a job! I have two young children that keep me busy outside of work, but also enjoy making time for the gym and days out.

maeve@ashtonrecruitment.com 028 90436543

Laura Flannery

Payroll Office and Receptionist

I’m Laura. I’m probably the first person you’ll chat to if you come into our office. Aside from greeting you at reception, I also pay everyone’s wages and keep track of holidays. In my spare time I like going to the gym and socialising with friends.

admin@ashtonrecruitment.com 028 90436543