Who Are We

Rob Joanne

Rob and Joanne McKay are a husband and wife team who started Sherrington Associates in 2014 after long careers in executive search and education. Both graduates of Liverpool John Moore’s University, they founded Sherrington with the sole purpose of enhancing people’s lives by creating exemplary leadership teams capable of making positive change in their organisations.

Rob McKay - Director

Rob has been working in recruitment and executive-search since 2001, during which time Rob has delivered retained search projects for clients around the globe, ranging from major Plc’s down to growing SME’s and family businesses. During his search career, Rob has been the retained search partner for executive appointments at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution as well as recruiting Chief Executives and board directors for a range of high profile clients in the private sector.

Having always had a natural interest in human behaviour, Rob studied Sociology at Liverpool John Moore’s University where he graduated with a 2:1 in 2001 and went on to become a trained practitioner of psychometric assessment tools endorsed by the British Psychological Society. 

Today Rob is Chair of the Institute of Directors in Cheshire, is a judge on the panel for the High Sherriff’s Awards for Enterprise and is an advisory board member for the University of Chester’s Business Research Institute. Rob is also a studying member of the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) and is a serving member of the Cheshire Business Leaders working group.

Joanne McKay - Director

Joanne graduated with a 2:1 in Biomedical Science at Liverpool John Moore’s University in 2001. Before founding Sherrington Associates with Rob in July 2014, Joanne worked in senior management roles in the education sector for 10 years before finishing as the Assistant Head Teacher of a leading science and engineering college in Liverpool where she also held the role of Head of Data & Research.

This experience has proven invaluable in her role heading up the research function for Sherrington Associates, delivering highly-targeted data-gathering and research work on behalf of our clients. Joanne manages Sherrington’s external research partners as well as personally spearheading the delivery of bespoke research for retained executive search mandates as well as other research projects such as salary benchmarking and talent pooling.

Joanne is a member of the Institute of Directors, is a member of the PTA at a local primary school in Chester, is an active supporter of several local charities, including Act For Wildlife, Chester Women’s Aid and St Kentigern’s Hospice.   

We know that clients value working with a partner who actually cares about helping their business. When clients retain us, it’s not because they want to work with a big brand or because they want a partner with multiple offices and hundreds of consultants. They retain us because they know their business matters to us and we’ll work harder than anyone else to give them value.

The Associates

Our Associates have been handpicked for their fit with our own values and beliefs and for their expertise and experience in their fields. All coming from impressive careers in executive search, human resources and executive coaching, they support our clients through their own unique skills and abilities. 

Ian McKay

Ian McKay
Non Executive Director & Associate

Ian has over 40 years’ professional leadership experience in the engineering support sector. Prior to his non-executive career, Ian led Amec’s Shutdowns & Turnarounds business delivering shutdown, turnaround and outage support services for global clients in petrochemical, oil and gas, refining, steel, bulk storage, fine chemicals, conventional power and nuclear power. Ian sat on the Amec Power & Process wider global leadership team and is now provides training for a number of Plc energy and industrial businesses, developing and delivering bespoke courses. Ian was previously an industry mentor for the Manchester GOLD Scheme for engineering and construction undergraduates at Manchester University and has been a mentor for young offenders in Cheshire. As well as supporting Sherrington Associates with strategic direction and governance, his experience is invaluable in supporting Sherrington’s industrial clients with executive level candidate assessment, executive coaching and professional mentoring.

Jeff Hardman

Jeff Hardman

Jeff Hardman is a fully qualified and accredited Corporate and Executive coach and also holds several Non-Executive Director positions. During his corporate career, Jeff established himself at board level with a background of senior-level sales and marketing roles in FTSE 100/Blue Chip multinationals. Barnhill Consulting was set up in 1999, enabling Jeff to assist a wide range of NW-based businesses in achieving significant expansion, either through acquisition or organic sales growth. A Fellow of the IoD and former Cheshire Chair, Jeff is a passionate networker and supporter of economic development right across the county. Jeff is one of Sherrington’s associate coaches working with both employers and individual executives to help achieve positive change on a range of business issues through tailored coaching.