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Looking beyond salaries

The days of moving to a new role purely for a salary increase are long gone. Today’s Generation Y and incoming Z workforce demand more than just a better bank balance, with company culture and the benefits element of a total remuneration package playing a significant role in attracting and retaining top talent. The top trends that have developed through 2018 mean that employers should be moving a range of initiatives up their agenda in 2019 to remain competitive. While salary and bonus expectations will of course need to be in line with the market, the Milliennial workforce puts great stock in training and development, work/life balance and flexibility, forcing organisations to adapt and evolve in order to remain an attractive option. These are the trends of candidate requirements that have been widely discussed in the press and that we have witnessed this year: Training – a vital retention tool as well as appealing to jobseekers, it’s imperative that employers consider the career development prospects of all employees. Recent research has shown that candidates will leave for another firm if there isn’t a defined path ahead of them. Wellness – there have rightly been thousands of column inches dedicated to mental wellbeing this year with employee wellness programmes coming to the fore, as the knock-on effect of stress and pressure on productivity has been frequently cited. Flexible working – with an emphasis on achieving a positive work/life balance, flexibility is now key and the number one benefit candidates are looking for. Technological advances mean there are very few cases where flexibility can’t be offered. Remote working – similar to the above, technology has enabled employees to seamlessly work from elsewhere as if they were in the office. Productivity is not impacted, work/life balance can be maintained, and wellbeing promoted when there is the option to work from another location should the employee prefer. It also ties in with the increasing vogue for flexible and shared office space that companies are opting for. Company culture – ethical has become a buzzword for businesses to remember. Generation Z in particular believes diversity and an inclusive culture should be the norm, compelling employers to correct any shortcomings in this area. For companies to be best placed to attract top quality candidates next year, some will need to make changes to become an attractive option or an employer of choice. To reflect the wishes of candidate trends, in 2019 we believe businesses should start promoting: Strong, ethical brand values and an inclusive culture A dedication to development with clear training and nurturing offerings A promotion of positive work/life balance through a range of benefits that place wellbeing at the top of the list. What do you want to see, as a candidate? Or what will you be changing next year, as an employer? We’d love to hear from you.

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How to make your next move as a CFO

The role of the CFO has changed radically over the last few years from an accountant on the board, to trusted business partner, to vital C Suite strategist. A CFO these days is typically second in command and a business-critical partner to the CEO, taking responsibility for many more duties than simply the finance function. As the digital revolution has changed the face of most organisations, CFO’s have played a crucial role, harnessing new technology to report on business performance; transformation; strategy, data analysis and evaluation of new growth opportunities. It’s no surprise that, with fingers in so many pies, the move from CFO to CEO is also becoming more common. Despite a lengthy tenure with an organisation being common, however senior they may be, CFO’s of course do move to advance their careers like the rest of us. At this level, it’s rarely about salary and more about a new intellectual challenge, perhaps to develop a start-up or manage within a much larger business, or perhaps purely because a ceiling has been reached with a current employer or a long term project come to fruition. Unlike with most resignations and subsequent moves, there is a best practice process that a CFO should follow, and as a specialist recruiter well versed in helping many CFO’s with their next moves, we have distilled their final months into a list of things to remember: Future proofing: minimise disruption in your finance team by either appointing an interim deputy or allocating tasks and training key staff. A CFO departure and subsequent hiring is a major event, but the finance function’s daily role cannot afford to suffer during the process. Don’t burn bridges: if possible, try to leave at an optimum time for the company you are leaving. If that means seeing a project through to completion or assisting with succession planning while you work a full notice period, then do it. It will only reflect well on you in the long term. Recruiters: It’s important to have a trusted relationship with the right recruitment consultant to help with your next move. This can be an existing relationship that has served you well in the past as a hiring manager, or a specialist at your senior level, but either way, make sure that they have your best interests in mind at all times. Target roles: If you haven’t been headhunted directly, which is common at a senior level, don’t simply apply for every CFO role you see online. Talk through your particular skill set with your recruiter to find the right match in terms of role and organisation. This is also the time to understand your value in the current market, which your consultant will also be able to explain. Network: If there isn’t an offer on the table immediately, be patient. Network in the right circles to uncover opportunities that may be coming up that would suit you better. If you are a CFO considering a new chapter, or an organisation looking for senior talent, contact us today.

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It doesn’t have to be a quiet festive season in recruitment

Traditionally, December is always seen as the quietest month in recruitment. September is always busy as people come back from summer holidays with renewed interest, then the knock-on effect of that makes October hectic too. But as November passes, the workload always seems to lighten before party season pretty much kills off all interest from candidates and clients alike, until the New Year resolutions kick in and everyone is frantic again. But is Dead December a myth we perpetuate by going along with it? Does pre-Christmas really have to be quiet just because the job search stats drop dramatically? We believe you can be as busy in December as you want to be and here’s why: Networking The top talent is harder to get hold of the other 11 months of the year, but like everyone else in December, they are easing off a little, more active on social media, and out and about, prime for networking events. Their workload is lighter, their office is emptier and their inclination to meet for a coffee or even an interview might be greater, so contact everyone with a festive excuse to catch up. Bear in mind that candidates thinking ahead to moving after bonus season will already be making tentative enquiries to start the process early, so don’t miss out on their time of reflecting on their career! Planning You already know January is going to be busy, so what could you do in advance, so that you can focus purely on business after New Year? Plan events now for next year, securing the dates and venues you want early, or prepare some new look adverts ready to go next year. And take this time to review your year and what you might do differently next year, as there could be strategic changes you can put in place in advance or budgets that could be used more wisely. Marketing If your competitors aren’t very active at this time of year, it’s a prime time for you to steal the limelight. There could be PR opportunities for good content, or more visibility in advertising while the competition is taking it easy. If the budget allows, it’s the perfect time of year to hit clients with a branded gift to keep your name at the top of the list. Lots of people are also using up leave before the end of the year, and are therefore on social media more, so stay active and noticeable on mobile platforms. While we agree that it’s nice to ease off in December, staying busy will pay off in January!

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What to expect when Generation Z enter the workforce

While organisations have been focused for a decade or more on how to attract, retain and develop Generation Y, the Millennials, the oldest of them are now turning 35 and will soon become hiring managers themselves. This means that the population generation following them, Generation Z, is already coming of age and entering the workforce, with the oldest among them now turning 21 or 22. According to the Office for National Statistics, by 2025, Generation Z will make up 30% of the workforce, so it’s time to move our focus away from Millennials and consider what makes Generation Z tick and what to expect from them as employees. If Millennials grew up with mobile phones and email as the norm, it’s been said that Generation Z kids were born with a smartphone in their hand. Also known as Digital Natives, they have grown up immersed in tech, instinctively switching between apps and utilising the cloud. These innate tech skills mean that they will be at the forefront of the digital revolution, multi-tasking every task that is given to them. A childhood in front of a screen has however come at a cost on a social level, according to recent research showing that Generation Z is “unhappier, lonelier, more lacking in confidence and less satisfied with life” than the previous Y and X generations. This may impact on how interviews are handled in the future. Having witnessed the impact of the financial crisis of 2008, Generation Z are serious about the world of work and forging careers, and with a strong interest in wellbeing and bigger pictures issues, such as healthcare, energy and education. Growing up on shaky economic ground has also instilled an entrepreneurial spirit in them, so there is a confidence and belief in this candidate generation. The challenge for employers is going to be how to attract them. They have an understandably shorter attention span thanks to the speed of tech and will never be separated from their preferred methods of communication. Businesses will need to up their game in terms of social media, video and communication streams to reach and convince them, as well as sharpen their focus on wellbeing for all employees. Generation Z firmly believes that a tolerant, diverse, inclusive, ethical society (and therefore workplace) should be the norm and these will have to become intrinsic values of any business for them to be interested in joining it, not just for them, but for all employees. Furthermore, having grown up with unusual political times, trolling, bots and fake news, they are also adept at spotting when something isn’t genuine, so employers will need to demonstrably embrace these values if they want to secure the best talent.

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What to do when faced with a counter offer

Securing a new position is a stressful enough time, but after all your hard work interviewing and getting an offer, another obstacle can sometimes appear – a counter offer from your current employer when you hand in your notice. While it may be seen as flattering that they don’t want to lose you, and a pay rise is always attractive, it’s important to keep your focus on what brought you to this stage and remember a few key points: Remind yourself why you started to look for a new job in the first place – the answer is very rarely about a simple salary increase. Was it a lack of career progression or motivation? Was it limitations within your role or the chance to work with different clients or a new sector? Remember, more money won’t change the environment or your line manager… Ask yourself why the offer has only appeared once you’ve handed in your notice. Surely if they valued you that much, it should have been on the table or mentioned regardless? What will be the impact of taking that salary bump now – is it coming out of next year’s pay rise or bonus? It’s worth remembering too that employers counter offer about 50% of resignations because hiring and training is expensive. Consider the fact that very few counter offers are successful long term. Research claims that 80% of employees who accept them move anyway within six months and 90% leave within a year. Also, much of the goodwill, trust and loyalty you had built up with your employer vanished when you resigned, so chances are that they are buying some more time with you to be able to plan better for your inevitable exit down the line. As a recruiter, the counter offer is obviously infuriating, so this is also a good moment to look back at a previous blog where we addressed our top three tips on how to minimise the chances of a counter offer happening! Discuss the candidate’s main reasons for leaving – if they are purely financial, the candidate is more likely to be swayed by a counter offer Bring up the counter offer scenario during the interview process, prepping the candidate about they might best handle it. Increase contact with the candidate through the end stages of the hiring process, having the candidate meet future team members and feel like they are already transitioning.

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