“The whole experience of working with EMA is a delight as they combine their professional advice and support with the personal, human touch.  Recruiting the right person is critically important, no more so when we are looking for a new Chief Executive and EMA recognise the significance of finding a candidate with the right attitude and cultural fit as well as the experience, ability and skills. Recruiting our new Chief Executive was made an enjoyable experience, that was straightforward and most importantly, successful. We cannot thank and praise the EMA team enough”.

Andrew Woods


“WDH chose EMA to lead a recruitment exercise for a new Service Director Finance.  EMA were able to use their sector knowledge and experience to attract a very strong field of candidates.  They took us through a shortlisting process and helped along the way with sound advice and observations about candidates.  The process was very smooth and was delivered to our requested timetables.  EMA also shared their model questions and helped us score candidates at the longlisting stage.  As a result of the process, we were able to make a confident appointment of an exceptional individual.  Ian and Anne were excellent throughout.”

Martin Warhurst

Executive Director Of Resources

The whole experience to date has been very positive, both from our point of view and that of the interviewed candidates; with a number of them commenting on how they have enjoyed the process, and the level of engagement and communications with Ian and the Team. The process has been very successful for LRHA; and I think a key part of this outcome has been Ian’s knowledge of LRHA; and the successful longlisting and shortlisting processes.”

Rachael Fullwood

Chief Executive

“After my role was made redundant, I worked with Pauline Drissell from ema. Pauline gave me the confidence not to panic, but to take time to think about what I really wanted from my next role. ema’s Signature Career Transition Manual provided a practical, common sense guide to help me set my next career goal. Pauline provided the emotional and practical support I needed to achieve that goal. I would highly recommend ema to anyone needing career support.”

Senior Finance Professional

“Congratulations to Anne Elliott and her colleagues at EMA on their 10th Anniversary. EMA has been a trusted and valued partner to Waterloo Housing Group throughout this time.
Providing support and advice on a diverse range of services including senior level appointments, remuneration and Board reviews, Anne and the team have won the respect and confidence of the Board and Executive Team.
Congratulations to all of the team and all best wishes for the future.”

David Pickering

Former Group Chief Executive

“EMA are Housing Plus’s chosen HR Partner and over the last four years have provided a wide range of HR related services, including:

  • Independent review of our senior staff structure
  • Executive search and selection for all levels
  • Independent advice on executive remuneration including a full benchmarking service
  • Board pay, recruitment and appraisal
  • Staff reviews and appraisal systems
  • Complex employee relations

Our experience of EMA is that they a trusted partner who adds value to our business. Anne Elliott, Rita Coe and Ann Ive are always actively engaged in all their commissions, providing professional, reliable and confident solutions. EMA has a very detailed knowledge and experience of the social housing sector as well as an in-depth understanding of our business objectives which is why we are pleased to work in partnership with EMA.

In summary, I have no hesitation in recommending EMA to any similar organisations for independent support on recruitment and complex HR or organisational change and development activities.”

Debbie Griffiths

Former Group Chief Executive

“I worked with EMA during our recent merger and the subsequent recruitment to a number of posts within my directorate. EMA were extremely personable, professional and a real pleasure to work with. They offered a wealth of experience and knowledge, ensuring that everything ran very smoothly.

Pauline Drissell and the team at EMA drove the recruitment process, managing it from start to finish; developing job descriptions, advising on media and dealing with all candidate communications. Their approach attracted a broad range of candidates, from varied backgrounds and took the stress out of the process, resulting in us recruiting two very high calibre candidates to integral roles within our business.”

Peter Donovan

former Commercial Director

“What I like about EMA’s approach is that it is truly tailored for the client’s needs. Each time I have commissioned EMA they have helped me work out what I need, not always what I thought I wanted. They then put together an approach that fits the budget and delights by being considered and professionally delivered to attract great candidates. I would recommend EMA to any provider, large or small, looking for a value-adding and cost-effective service.”

Ian Hill

Company Secretary

“Cord really appreciates the support that EMA has given over the past year.  It is very encouraging having the support of an organisation like EMA to bring another perspective and their wealth of experience into our sector.  This has had a particular impact on our review of rewards and benefits.

Working with EMA has had a positive impact on our staff and our methods of working.  We are sure that both organisations are benefiting from this relationship and long may it last.”

“EMA produced accurate and informative benchmarking information, tailored to our needs, within very tight time scales, we will use them again.” 

Ian Warren

Director of People

“We work regularly with EMA for insight into the housing sector’s pay and benefits landscape. The information we receive is useful for our business planning purposes and we are reassured that we have expert insight and knowledge to feed into our decision making.”

Tracy Evans

Former Head of HR & Communications

“We have used EMA to carry out staff terms and conditions reviews since 2006. I have found them a good company to work with, being professional in their approach and producing for me clear well-researched reports for the Board to consider. As a smaller association we have been pleased with both their value for money and the quality of their advice.”

Nigel Wood

Former Chief Executive

“St Basils, works with young people, aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. We provide a range of prevention, early intervention, accommodation and support services in the West Midlands. Our young people are supported by more than 250 staff who are dedicated employees who also at times face their own challenges. As an organisation we believe it is essential to support the development and health and wellbeing of our staff.
Ian Robertson was recommended to me when I was looking to work with someone on a new reward strategy. We tendered the work to two other organisations too, and asked them to come and present a proposal to the Senior Leadership Team at St Basils. The decision was made to work with Ian and EMA as we felt that straight away he understood our business, and was realistic in his proposals.

The Senior Leadership team has started working on a new reward strategy, with Ian fully involved along the way. He presented solutions within a very short period of meeting with us, which take the nature of our business and the affordability into consideration. We are now at the stage, where we are fairly certain of how we want to proceed, and again will be utilising Ian’s skills to help us introduce our new model.
I would recommend Ian Robertson from EMA for all the reasons above, and will continue to work with him on future people strategies.”

Judy Large

Head of Workforce Planning and Talent Development

Southdown engaged EMA for two projects during 2021, a benchmarking exercise of pay and terms and conditions for Exec and Heads of Department and the recruitment of a new Director. For both pieces of work we were really impressed by the quality and individualised nature of the service received from EMA. In selecting a consultancy agency, we initially sought recommendations from across our sector to undertake the benchmarking exercise, with EMA, alongside a number of other smaller agencies receiving positive endorsements. We were keen to try out some different suppliers than the normal larger firms, looking for a more bespoke and tailored approach. The decision to go with EMA was based on their speed and of initial response, as well as their knowledge of the sector and existing database of comparable information. The subsequent service we received was of a high standard and delivered within a tight timescale set by ourselves. We particularly appreciated, as a supported housing and care and support specialist provider, that they were able to provide data for both the housing and charitable sectors.  Based on the success of the benchmarking exercise, we subsequently used EMA to oversee the recruitment process for a new Executive level role of Director of People and Culture. EMA undertook all stages of recruitment up to recommending the final candidates for interviews. Once again, we were impressed and reassured by the tailored and pragmatic approach that they undertook, Ian Robertson from EMA taking time to fully understand the specific vision we had for the new role and the type of individual who would be the best fit for Southdown. We did successfully appoint from a large pool of talented and skilled applicants, with candidates also feeding back on their positive experience of being supported by EMA.

Neil Blanchard

Chief Executive

It’s been a pleasure working with Ian and the team at ema on our Independent Board Member recruitment. The process has been extremely efficient from start to finish. They’ve sourced some excellent candidates for us and I’m looking forward to working with them again in the future!

Sharon Marsh

Executive Director - Resources

“The appointment of the Chief Executive is a challenge and an exacting process for any organisation. With the outstanding advice and support from Ian Robertson at ema we were able to conduct a flawless process of job evaluation and specification, interview panel preparation, the interview, the selection and then the appointment process. We were extremely pleased with the effective and efficient end to end care  and attention we received from ema”.

Jim Battle

Chair, Salix Homes

“Gentoo has been delighted to work with EMA on the recruitment for our new COO …we were clear we wanted a national search for talent and EMA fully met the brief ,made the whole process an easy one for our team and delivered on time and on budget! We are very pleased with the outcome and would be happy to highly recommend their services.”

Nigel Wilson

Group Chief Executive

“ Following the appointment of EMA as our advisors in the recruitment of a new Chief Executive, we have appreciated the advice and experience provided by Ian Robertson in guiding us through this process. We would not hesitate to use Ian and EMA in any future recruitment “

Lesley Robinson


“Anne and her team are true professionals.  I have worked with Anne for many years and she never fails to deliver.  I would definitely recommend EMA as a recruiter and as a consultant.  They are easy to work with, experts in their field and will tell you as it is !”


Yvonne Castle

Chief Executive

I have had the pleasure of working with EMA Consultancy on several occasions, including the recruitment of our new Chief Executive. 

EMA colleagues are extremely professional, approachable and they feel like part of the Team, ensuring they understand the organisation, plus respecting views of the people they are working with.

EMA colleagues are meticulous, with an eye for detail, hitting stringent deadlines to achieve the best result for the organisation and colleagues.

 I would unreservedly recommend EMA Consultancy who will provide a first-class service.

Lynne Shawe

PA to Chief Executive/Facilities Manager

“Stafford and Rural Homes were recently assisted by EMA consult to recruit two essential posts in the new organisation It was important that we recruited the right balance of knowledge and experience against the need to have the right person to assist in cultural change within the organisation . People with the drive and ability to achieve right first time services and assist our drive towards excellence The team from EMA consult were marvellous. We were confident they were able to understand what we were looking for and deliver an exciting and challenging process that involved managers Board and customers in the selection A job very well done.”

“RBH has used the services of EMA to help recruit 3 members of its Executive Management Team over the past 12 months. Each time EMA’s service has been extremely professional and tailored to our specific needs and requirements. On each occasion they have delivered the outcomes we wanted. The latest of these commissions was to recruit a new Chief Executive for the organisation.

This followed the well publicised difficulties in respect of previous attempts to recruit to the post during 2007. It was therefore very important that we got a positive outcome and that our parent Council was appropriately engaged in achieving this. I am happy to say that with EMA’s help this was the case. I would have no hesitation in recommending their services to other ALMOs.”

Gareth Swarbrick

Chief Executive

“We worked with EMA leading up to and immediately following transfer of housing stock from Council to recruit to 8 key posts. EMA fielded a team of professional consultants who clearly understood our business and had direct relevant experience and knowledge which ensured that Cartrefi Conwy received appropriate timely services and advice. Anne Elliott and all of the EMA team including went out of their way to ensure that their service delivery helped alleviate some of the pressure for the executive team during a time when our resources were lean. They also went that extra mile further to deliver very personalised services, what they promised on time and to an exceptionally high standards.”

Andrew Bowden

Chief Executive

“Together Housing Group engaged EMA as our retained HR Consultant to provide an Executive recruitment service for the role of ‘Group Services Director’. EMA showed real flexibility during all stages of the process with candidates commenting that they really appreciated the psychometric testing feedback as an important part of their development. The psychometric testing methods were particularly valuable, by tapping into EMA’s expertise in this area and getting its guidance on choosing the right assessment tools, in conjunction with our process, we were in a strong position to identify the best candidate. All Board Members stated that they found the process a good one with excellent presentation of the results. A responsive and professional service which delivered a faultless process.”

“We have used EMA on a number of occasions for senior staff recruitment. I have found them to be professional, well connected in the market and thorough in supporting us through the recruitment process.”

Matthew Walker

Chief Executive

“EMA provided excellent support and advice recently, when Muir Group, had the key task of recruiting a new Chief Executive. I am very grateful to Anne Elliott, Pauline Drissell and the EMA colleague’s for their help and would most certainly wish to involve them in any future key recruitment tasks”

David Booth

Former Chair, Muir Group

“Ian Robertson has undertaken a number of high profile recruitments for Community Gateway Association and we have been impressed with the process and the outcomes.  In particular we have had good feedback from applicants with regard to the information made available to them, the candidate friendly approach and the detailed feedback.  The innovative use of different assessment methods has enabled those involved in the process to gain a clear picture of the interviewee and we have been able to involve tenants and Board members in our recruitment campaigns to great advantage.  The recruitment of our Director of Resources, was recognised by the Times 100 with an innovation in involvement special award.”

Diane Bellinger

Former Chief Executive

“Anne and the team at EMA provided fantastic professional advice, support and insight in our recruitment of a new Executive Team and Board Directors. Anne’s approach is always one of working in partnership. This ensured the appointment of excellent candidates to our Executive and Non-Executive roles.”

Paul Dolan

Former Chief Executive

“To appoint one Director is hard enough. To appoint four at the same time and create a new Executive team is very tough. Thankfully, with excellent advice and support from EMA, utilising their many years of housing sector experience, we have been able to appoint a great set of Directors to help myself and our Board deliver our new corporate strategy. These are exciting times for Severn Vale Housing and EMA’s input has been a critical part in ensuring our future success.”

Tim Knight

Former Chief Executive

If there was one company I am happy to provide a reference for it is EMA. Anne worked very well with the Board and myself. The support from EMA was highly professional and extremely insightful enabling PCH to select the best Chief Executive candidate”

Elaine Pellow

Former Chair

“Harrogate Housing Association is a very small association with just six staff. To recruit to any post is a challenge but to recruit only our second Chief Executive since our formation in the 70’s was incredibly daunting. That’s why we turned to Anne Elliott and EMA. I have worked with Anne for many years and have seen the results of her team’s efforts. We were very happy with the service we received and were able to appoint a great candidate from a very strong shortlist. Thank you”

Stuart Whyte


“EMA assisted us with the successful recruitment of 2 Directors into our Executive Leadership Team structure. I found their experience and  knowledge invaluable to the selection process. They spent time getting to know and understand Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd and our ambitions and expectations. Congratulations on your success over the last 10 years and I wish Anne and the team all the very best for the future.”

Ffrancon Williams

Chief Executive

“When our outgoing CEO of 27 years retired we had no hesitation in appointing EMA to manage the search and recruitment process. EMA have a genuinely collaborative approach and took the trouble to really understand the differing requirements of being the Chief Executive of a relatively small, rural, housing association such as ours.

From advertising to appointment, Pauline Drissell, as Lead Consultant, guided the Board through the process. As a result of the testing 2-stage process, which included invaluable personality profiling, we were confident about making a good appointment from the strong field of candidates. The support provided by EMA’s administrative team was also first-rate; we received complimentary feedback from the other final candidates about how well the process had been handled. All in all a job well done.

I would like to congratulate Anne and the team on their tenth anniversary and wish them well for the future. I would have no hesitation in recommending EMA for their professional, pragmatic and personable approach.”

Mike Ash

Chair – Wiltshire Rural Housing Association

“EMA recently assisted South Lakes Housing in our successful search for a new Chairman. Their sector knowledge was second to none and their work was professional, highly reliable and responsive to our needs. Ian Robertson developed a bespoke website for the recruitment and conducted personality questionnaires to assist with the selection. I would have no hesitation in recommending EMA and will definitely use their expertise again.”

Cath Purdy (OBE)

Chief Executive

“We invited EMA to assist us with the recruitment of our new CEO. EMA’s experience and useful advice assisted us through all of the key stages ensuring that we had a rigorous process resulting in a very satisfactory outcome.”

Lionel Bolland


“We recently worked with EMA on the recruitment of two Executive Directors. They provided an excellent service that was both professional and responsive. I have no hesitation in recommending EMA to potential clients.”

John Johnston

Chief Executive

“Bernicia recently launched its most ambitious strategy yet, the delivery of which relies on the skills, expertise and quality of staff we employ.  EMA have been a valuable partner in recruitment and resourcing activities in support of this; sourcing an excellent field of candidates for Executive Director roles, alongside sharing their industry insight to help develop our Employer Value Proposition, ensuring we offer a competitive and attractive reward package to retain and attract an expert talent pipeline.”

Andrea Malcolm

Director, People, Culture & Communications

“With the retirement of the incumbent CEO, our challenge was to identity and appoint the right candidate with the skills and experience required to take Family Housing forward into its next stage of development.  EMA came highly recommended.  The complete process, starting with the initial scoping meeting, through to job advertisement, the short-listing of candidates, followed by first and final interview and appointment was completed in three months.  From start to finish Ian and his team delivered a high quality and professional service.  Ian, with his wealth of experience in HR and recruitment, provided invaluable support ensuring that we appointed the right person as our next”

Richard Roberts

Chair, Family Housing Association

“When our new Group Board had been operating for some 9 months we wanted an external perspective that the Board was fulfilling it’s function as a collective and the Chair and individual Board members were performing. We had no hesitation in approaching EMA who are very much in tune with our business and our direction of travel. The “Beyond Compliance Project” involved a review of Board documentation, updating Board and Chair skills and competencies. In addition, EMA designed questionnaires capturing the insights of both the Chair, Chief Executive, Leadership Team and individual Board Members. The EMA team’s analysis and observations were objective and constructive.

They offered practical suggestions for improvements, based on best practice and her broad governance experience. Our appraisal forms were redesigned and Pauline Drissell, having observed a Board meeting, supported the Chair in appraising Board Members. All our Members found this dialogue positive and they have a clear sense of their strengths and development needs. Moreover, we have the assurance that we are complying with the HCA’s Code, a Board development plan, an updated skills matrix, and we are better informed about Board succession planning.”

Steve Close

Chief Executive

“Overall I think the Chair and Board Member recruitment has been a very well run, thorough and researched process – from initial discussions, through the advertisements, short-listing and final interviews whilst the Panel proved excellent.
Also much personal appreciation to Pauline (and Nina and Ian!). The administration has been excellent, the advice courteously, carefully and objectively given with much good humour and understanding of our needs and where we need to get to whilst the venue arrangements and timings have been impeccable. A great team effort. Thank you all.”

David Green


“EMA have worked to support the Luminus Group over the last 12 months or so, just prior to and following our regulatory downgrade. EMA’s robust and tested governance expertise has proven to be an invaluable to the organisation over this time. They have worked with the Board and senior team, helping us navigate some sensitive and business critical decisions and have provided effective and specialist support to the interim CEO, Company Secretary and the Board, and their advice and committed approach has been integral in moving the organisation forward.”

Mike Forrest


“The assistance EMA gave to me and the Board whilst working closely with us on a three-day per week basis was invaluable. EMA employed their extensive knowledge and vast experience to assist with the creation of new governance arrangements, the selection and on-boarding of new NEDs and was skilful in supporting the Task and Finish Group in intense engagement with the Regulator. At a very difficult time the senior team and Board members drew great assurance from EMA’s calm, authoritative and meticulous approach to a wide range of complex and rapidly developing matters.”

Nigel Finney

Managing Director

“Having worked with EMA Associates since their inception we have been pleased to work closely with them on business-critical resourcing projects. We enjoy a very good partnering relationship with EMA, and long may it continue!”

Former Head of HR

“EMA have worked with us for a number of years assisting us with senior mentoring, employee relations and change management. They have provided a tailored and flexible approach and have a good understanding of the housing sector. We were very impressed with their approach to policy and procedure best practice in employee relations, which we have been able to adopt to the benefit of our organisation. I would certainly recommend them.”

Stephanie Murphy

Chief Executive

“I have worked with EMA on a number of projects over several years. I have always found them to be professional in their approach, taking the time to understand what is required from the client and then delivering high quality outputs both on time and on budget.”

John Welch

Chief Executive

“We have worked with Ian from EMA on a number of projects over the years.  Ian has a very personable and adaptable approach. He has always taken the time to understand our business needs and his expertise and guidance has proved invaluable.”

Sian Leighton

Head of HR/Corporate Support

“EMA have supported DCH (now Livewest) on a number of assignments relating to executive recruitment, executive pay and other complex HR issues. EMA benefits from a team of skilled consultants offering breadth of knowledge and expertise in HR and in social housing.  They are a pleasure to work with, demonstrating a good understanding of our challenges and always delivering quality outcomes within agreed timeline’s.”

Former Group Director of Human Resources and Communications

“EMA are professional, with a can do attitude, they are very easy to work with and a great ability to be flexible.”

Maureen Lapwood

Former Head of HR

We worked with ema to undertake an executive and colleague pay and terms and conditions review. ema’s extensive knowledge of the housing sector gave the Board and myself the confidence that their advice would allow us to make decisions about pay and terms and conditions which ensured colleagues are rewarded fairly for the contribution they make to the success of Trent & Dove.

Ursula Bennion

Chief Executive

“EMA conducted an organisational review of our salaries in October 2018 for us and we were very happy with the quality and outputs from this piece of work.  The analysis undertaken was very useful and informative this affected circa 600 colleagues.  Since this piece of work we now use EMA on a regular basis to undertake all are salary market review benchmarking when job descriptions change and have incorporated this into our remuneration policy.  I would have no hesitation in recommending EMA to undertake work in this area.  I am also happy to talk our approach through in more detail and how we worked on this project with EMA.”

Emma Macnish

Head of HR & Communications