Back in person for HR Energy

HR Energy is a collaboration between Pure and law firm Mills & Reeve. It’s a quarterly event designed to give HR professionals access to new learning and networking opportunities. Harry Severn, one of our recruitment consultants who specialises in embedded software, went along to our first HR Energy event of the year in January. Here are his thoughts.

After a couple of years of Zoom call events, it’s still great to be in person again. We started with half an hour of networking over breakfast, which was a great opportunity to reconnect with some faces from the Norfolk HR scene that I hadn't been able to see for a while. There was a real mixture of people from different backgrounds and sectors, and with different levels of experience – just around my table we had HR coordinators all the way up to HR directors.

As a recruitment consultant, it was useful for me to hear about the challenges HR professionals are facing across different sectors, and how the organisations they work for are helping them overcome these.

Our speaker

With breakfast out of the way, we heard from CJ Green, Co-Founder and Executive Director of HR tech company BraveGoose, and Chair of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. She talked about what she learned during 2022, and how HR professionals can use this to improve things in 2023 and beyond.

My highlight from CJ’s advice was ‘put on your oxygen mask first’. This was focused on the importance of making sure the HR team, and by extension, the management team, are running at 100 percent before trying to fix anything else – because ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’. It really spoke to the room as well.


After listening to CJ, we launched into the discussion portion of the morning. We started by talking about what we’d change about HR. Some of the things that came out of that included how important it is to complete appraisals, and also how people still have a negative perception of HR.

Next we talked about what we’d make essential training for people who are new to HR. This included more guidance on how maternity and paternity leave work, and the benefits of automation for HR professionals.

We also talked about how useful a management qualification could be (even if it is a bit of a pipe dream!) for everyone in management positions to help them cope with the demands of their roles.


Heading to HR Energy was a great way to reconnect. It always helps when everyone is so warm and welcoming. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to brush up on their HR skills and build their network.

I asked some of the other attendees for their feedback after the event. Margaret Burnside, Director at Cake People Development, had this to say: ‘For me the event was really motivational, and I was able to reconnect with the Norfolk HR community again. CJ’s session was great as well – she has a really engaging style and inspired good-quality thinking and discussion. In fact, the buzz and atmosphere had quite an impact on me for the rest of the day!’

And Chynna Williamson, People Coordinator for Big C cancer charity said: ‘I particularly enjoyed the talk from CJ, and chatting about HR processes or practices we don’t like and how we could make these more people focused. Together we came up with lots of new and innovative ideas for the future of HR. It was also a great opportunity to network with other HR professionals.’


If you want to find out more, please get in touch with Becky Wilson at Pure. And if you’re an HR professional looking for your next challenge, feel free to see what we have available, or get in touch.

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Written by

Becky Wilson

As a Business Director, Becky has over 25 years’ recruitment experience. She joined Pure in 2010, and specialises in recruiting HR professionals at all levels across Norfolk. Becky also co-founded HR Energy, which provides networking and training opportunities to HR professionals.

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