By Kara Dexter
12th October 2012

Hi I’m Kara, I’ve been married to Mark, proprietor of KDR, for eight years and for almost all of the time we have been a couple (nearly 10 years) we have been in business together. KDR started in the box room in our first house, Mark took care of the recruitment side of the business, while I managed the accounts.

I drive Mark mad because even after 10 years in the recruitment business I still tell everyone that I am a nurse! I juggled nursing (I ran an ear care training business) with recruitment until I had children. The most exciting moment of my nursing career happened two years ago when I was invited onto the Chris Evans Drive Time show to talk about ear care - it makes me smile when I think that my fifteen minutes of fame were about ear wax!

I now juggle recruitment with being a mum. We have two children, Katie aged 7 and Harry aged 4 and ¾ (he is very proud of the ¾) and I have two step children Holly aged 16 and Cassie aged 12.

With our children now at school, my day job at KDR has evolved into a more strategic role, taking responsibility for HR and working with Mark on business development. The big benefit is that I often get to have lunch with my husband, but the downside is that we can fall into the trap of talking about work all of the time!

The newest recruits to our family have been three chickens, which have caused some major ups and downs. And here’s where the ineffable dance between my home and work life begins.

We initially settled on three Maran hens. Sadly they all died within two months. Not the greatest start to keeping livestock. The children got a lesson in bereavement and we embarked on a second round of recruitment.

We now have a Light Sussex and a Bluebelle. We get two (sometimes three) eggs most days and they will eat from our hands. They even tolerate being picked up and stroked. Perfect, but boy did we have to work hard to get there!

Just like recruiting a new member of staff, recruiting the chickens involved a considerable amount of time and research. There are an amazing number of breeds out there, each with its own skill-set with subsequent positives and negatives - some are excellent layers, some are good with children and some just look pretty.

The starting point for any recruiter worth his salt is a well-thought out  job description, so that’s what we designed...for chickens! We needed a female of the right age as egg laying was the point of the exercise, we didn’t want to spend a fortune (it’s easy to spend £60 on one chicken), we wanted the chickens to be confident and happy around children (the chickens share their space with an eight foot, much-loved trampoline) and we wanted good layers (one egg, per chicken, most days).

And that’s what we’ve got! Our two girls are now in place and happy and it makes us smile to think of our original job description, and how it would be applied to recruiting a candidate: wanted, a cheap, friendly, attractive, fertile, female capable of working in a noisy chaotic environment!

How to recruit a chicken

Written by Kara Dexter

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