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How To Negotiate Your Pay Rise This Year

  • February 23, 2022

As I sit down to write this post, my phone has pinged to let me know that the UK economy has rebounded with the fastest growth since World War Two. A 7.5% increase despite falling back in December due to Omicron is a positive situation for business in the UK.

In contrast, our cost-of-living worsened in December after inflation jumped to 5.4% – its highest level in almost 30 years – driven by the higher cost of clothes, food, and footwear; this is likely to get worse as the cost of fuel doubles for many.

Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, says to ask for a pay rise now is to cause further economic decline.

In fact, according to a recent analysis by the Office for Budget Responsibility shared in the Newstatesman, the UK is on course to endure two more decades of stagnant wages, revealing the negative news that we should expect to earn less in 2026 than 2008.

Confusing when we consider certain sectors.

The last two years have seen many businesses report their best year ever, which we can confirm with the number of recruitment instructions we are receiving from our clients.

As a hardworking and productive professional, what are your options? Let’s share a few suggestions in this post.

Know Your Facts

The candidates we work with here at Clayton Recruitment are switched on. They know how their business is faring in the market and what growth is anticipated in future years.

When businesses plan growth, they also understand that they will need to plan financially to increase headcount and ensure their current team is engaged and recompensed appropriately.

Well, hopefully, that is the case.

Though not in every company.

Taking your time to research salary packages puts you a step ahead because it demonstrates that you have evidence to back up your pay raise request. This data is vital because it will give you leverage when starting the negotiation.

The question then is where your current firm sits on the spectrum, and are you being paid the going rate?

This brings me to the next point.

Know Your Value

Pay and remuneration is a prickly subject, and we aren’t guaranteed a pay rise every year for simply turning up and delivering on our objectives.

Remember, no manager likes being held to ransom and at the same time, they appreciate honesty. If you aren’t happy with your remuneration package, you have to tell them; as uncomfortable as that conversation feels.

At Clayton, whenever a candidate comes to us where pay is a problem, we always ask if they have had a discussion with their manager first.

It’s surprising how many people haven’t.
Sometimes a straightforward conversation like this works.

Sometimes it doesn’t, and this is where honesty with yourself is important. Here are a few questions to consider.

  • What value are you delivering to the company?
  • What results did you achieve last year that were above what was expected?
  • Is your manager or HR fully aware of your contribution to the business?
  • Considering this, how will you demonstrate how valuable you are?

As a first start, use your performance objectives showing all your achievements. This way, you will let your company appreciate your worth and what it might cost to replace you.

You could take your manager through the goals that were agreed upon together and what actions you have taken to achieve the results you have.

You will be surprised how well this works. Your manager could be responsible for a lot of people. They are human too, and might not have all your performance wins etched in their memory.

Know What You Want

This final point is key; know what you want, and here are a few things to consider.

  • Do you have a figure in mind?
  • Is this based on your personal need?
  • Your analysis of the current market?
  • How much you think you are worth?

It is important to know what you want and why and have justification for the figure you are asking.

Here is something else.

Is money your real motivator, or are there other options to consider? The world of work is changing, and many firms could consider hybrid working for day weeks and sabbatical leave. These are all options that are now on the negotiating table that wasn’t just a few short years ago.

Know Your Walk-Away Point And Your Options

You might be pleasantly surprised that your pay rise suggestion is accepted, especially in the current talent market.

However, be prepared that it might not. Therefore you need to consider your options.

The upside is that we are currently in a candidate-driven market because of the skill shortage fuelled by Covid-19.

For you, this means that your options are open, and if you are prepared to move, you can potentially join a new business and continue to develop your career while being appropriately rewarded.

And this is where we can help.

The team here at Clayton Recruitment have placed literally thousands of professionals.

Depending on your role and experience, we may be able to personally represent you to our clients too. If you would like to have a confidential conversation about you and your career then do get in touch. You will find all our contact details here.

What Next?

Though many workplace sectors experienced poor growth last year, there are certain sectors in the UK job market that aren’t. Here at Clayton Recruitment, we have multiple clients looking for skilled and ambitious candidates like you. For a confidential conversation about your career goals and your next move, please get in contact with one of our team here.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.
With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis.

If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121.

If you would like to access our free guides, view them all here.

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How To Pass Your Probation Period In Your New Role

  • February 15, 2022

Probationary periods? When you look at the dictionary definition (a process of testing or observing the character or abilities of a person who is new to a role or job), it makes logical sense that an ethical business would have a probation period for all employees.

So today, let’s clarify what a probationary period is and how to ensure you pass yours with flying colours!

Probationary Period: A Definition

As a general rule in the UK job market, probationary periods last anywhere between three and six months, depending on the level of the role.

During this time, both you and your employer have an opportunity to decide if you are a match for each other, which you are both hoping is the outcome.

There will be a different notice period during the probation time frame, depending on your employment contract. It is usually much shorter and will vary from business to business. Your employer hasn’t recruited you on a whim; they want this to work out positively, as I suspect you do too.

Your new company has a duty of care to both you, their current team, and their clients. There is nothing worse than realising the role isn’t right for you or from your employer’s perspective.

Before we start looking at what to do to pass your probation, let’s remove the uncomfortable question on most new starters minds: “what do I need to do to make sure I don’t fail?”

Why New Hires Fail

Though many new hires panic that their skillset and technical ability need work, capability is rarely why people fail. Any professional business knows and understand that everybody isn’t the finished article.

They want you to deliver in your new role, of course, whether you are a Warehouse Operative or Lead Warehouse Control Manager. However, I am sure during the interview, you discussed how you want to develop your career.

During your hiring process, your recruiter will have assessed your CV, qualifications, experience, and skills aligned to the job role. Your hiring manager will have asked various questions to give examples of how you have achieved multiple results.

However, it is up to you to turn up and demonstrate what we call the double-A criteria;

  • Attitude and,
  • Aptitude.

Fact: Failure happens because of a lack of personal application.

HRmagazine in the UK and LeadershipIQ in the US shared extensive data that confirms that attitudes drive over 89% of hiring failures, while a lack of technical ability came in at only 11%. Career builder shared similar alarming research that 30% of managers had sacked staff for poor timekeeping.

I suspect you can see the pattern here of why people fail.

In summary, poor interpersonal skills often lead to an unwillingness to accept feedback—for instance, poor verbal communication skills, lack of listening and being too emotional.

One client came to us to ask for help with their recruiting, after making a series of poor hires.

One particular new marketing manager gave yes and no answers to everything rather than expanding her answers with the detail her manager needed. Then she complained that her manager was interrogating her. It was as though her twin sister, not her, came to the interview.

The person in question turned up ten minutes late every day without giving a reason, too; a pattern emerging all around the new hire’s attitude.

Motivation, or lack thereof, is another factor that leads to failure. Your employer doesn’t expect you to be a version of Ted Lasso, 100% motivated or enthusiastic all the time; however, demonstrating commitment and energy towards your role is something they want to see.

There is good news – all of the above reasons for failure are easily rectified with some mind management and awareness of your impact.
So, knowing attitude is key; what else can you do to make your probation plain sailing?

Make an Impact

Making an impact is easier than most people realise. Being positive and approachable are such easy wins. You moved into the role for a reason, so ensure people get that you are excited and enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead.

Dress codes vary in today’s workplace, and it’s still a good idea to dress smartly. This demonstrates to your new manager or leadership team and those around you that you take things seriously.

We mentioned earlier about lightness; whatever you do, don’t sabotage all the great ideas we’re going to give you by not paying attention to this key failure metric.

Though an uncomfortable truth, when you are new in an organisation, you are more visible to everyone, so make sure they see what you want them to see.

Put in Place Your Progress Plan

Here at Clayton Recruitment, we work with the best clients, and they all have specific objectives and criteria they share with new team members during their probation period.

However, we know that that isn’t always the case with every company. We appreciate that you may be reading this post as a professional struggling with your probation. Our first suggestion is to make sure that you align with the objectives your manager has given you with the outputs required in your job description.

If you haven’t been set SMART goals, set them yourself. Always ask your manager to give you examples of what exceeding, good, average, and poor looks like.

Feedback is fascinating, as we alluded to before, so remember to be proactive here and ask for feedback from your manager and colleagues.

Forewarned is always forearmed; their experience of you can help you alter what you are doing, how you’re working and how you’re interacting with people.

Keep a record of your progress, positive and development feedback, and what you did to change. Write down your wins, too, when they happened and what you did.

This process alone is invaluable because it will help you prepare ahead for your review while also giving you a framework to keep winning in your role.

For many people, being “on probation” can cause a level of anxiety. Our human brain doesn’t help either. It has a habit of looking for the negative all the time.

I hope by reading this post, you appreciate that passing your probation isn’t the onerous task you are making it out to be.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability. With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis.

If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121.

If you would like to access our free guides, view them all here.

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Interview Skills: How to Excel In Your Virtual Interview

  • January 25, 2022

Though this post will focus on virtual interviewing ideas, the fundamental process of the interview is the same.

Interviews are an opportunity for candidates and employers to ‘meet’ virtually or face to face. This enables you to ask questions of each other, demonstrate why you as a candidate will be an ideal hire for the business in question while you test their compatibility to help you develop your career.

Interviews can still be an unsettling experience, particularly in an environment where virtual interactions are still taking place across sectors and many of us aren’t always keen to jump in front of a camera.

Like any life skill, preparation is key. As you prepare for your interview, ensure you answer the following.

  • Knowing why you want to move now.
  • How you will communicate the value you bring through the results you can achieve.
  • How to demonstrate your confidence and capability in every way, including on video
  • And how to confirm you are what your prospective employer is looking for.

If you plan to develop your career in a new role, this blog will help. I will be reviewing several interview fundamentals and how to present well on video.
The first part of any interview process is to gather data – let me explain.

1. Do Your Research

Start by getting to know the business you’re hoping to work for and make sure you can answer the question, “Why are you a good fit for our team?”
The recruitment consultant you are working with will help with this, and it is vital to do your research.

Assessing the business’ website, social media channels, current team, and online content can give you a good insight into the values and principles that guide the business.

You may even find it helpful to look into the background of the person who will be interviewing you on LinkedIn so that you can ask questions related to their role. Remember, asking questions in an interview is a great way to show you are interested, involved, and engaged, all key employability skills every business is looking for.

2. Plan and Prepare

Planning and preparation can make all the difference to how confident you are as you enter the interview.

As you prepare, look through the job description and expectations and discuss the key motivations and drivers for the business with your recruitment consultant.

For example, suppose you were applying for a warehouse operative role. In that case, the requirement might be to demonstrate prior experience working within warehouses and managing your workload efficiently.

Therefore, logically what examples do you have to demonstrate where you have gone above and beyond in this area? Once you are clear on examples, it is much easier to use them to answer questions.

Though you can’t predict every single question you will be asked, several time-tested questions might appear. Prepare for questions around:

  • What’s the most difficult activity you’ve ever had to deal with?
  • How do you deal with an X, Y or Z situation?
  • How would you handle a difficult task? Can you share an example?
  • Why us and why now?
  • What are your career aspirations?

Many businesses use a combination of general and competency-based questions, so be prepared for both. A general question may have a yes or no answer though there is usually an opportunity to share more detail, which helps you demonstrate your knowledge and the drive you will bring to the role.

Practising your interview skills is a great way to perfect your answers to complex questions. It’s also a chance for you to ask people whether you’re making the right impression with your overall attitude, presentation, and image.

3. Master Your Video Skills: It is Easier Than You Think

Video interviews are still often part of the first stage of the hiring process after the hiring team has viewed your CV.

Depending on the business, you may be asked to record a video where you answer a number of questions about yourself and your capabilities as part of a first screening stage.

Videos ahead of time give you an opportunity for multiple takes to get everything right. Though the hiring manager won’t expect you to be in a professional studio, it is important to record your video to profile you in the best possible way.

People use two popular cameras; one is a webcam, the other a smartphone. I want to share a few important details about both.

Using a smartphone, use a stand to avoid a camera shake from a nervous had. A useful technique is to look up or directly at the camera rather than down. This allows you to use your eye contact and body language to maximum effect.

When it comes to video technology, smartphones do an amazing job, and to improve the impact, better lighting and an external microphone will lift the experience. The number of people using video technology has meant that you can get a camera stand, lighting, and a microphone for under forty pounds.

Remember to record in a well-lit room with a plain background behind you.

Recording ahead of time allows you to practise what you say and how you come across. Importantly remember to look into the camera lens, which you can test ahead of time.

Similar principles apply to web cameras which can often be plugged onto a monitor screen or are part of your computer. Test the audio quality ahead of time as using ear jacks or an external microphone might give a better experience.

A headset and earphones are gamers’ choices; however, try to avoid using a headset like this during an interview as they can restrict your movement and are not flattering to wear.

It’s also worth taking extra steps to “set up your space” for video. Make sure your lighting is excellent in your room of choice, and there isn’t clutter or a window behind you in the video stream. If you can’t find a professional-looking space in your home, use virtual or custom backgrounds instead.

Remember, when you record a video like this, taking one will rarely be your best version. Practice really does make perfect, and a rushed or unrehearsed video stands out a mile.

When it comes to having an interactive video interview, the same principles apply that I mentioned earlier.  Remember to look into the camera as much as you can, varying your gaze when someone else is speaking so that you can get a sense check on the body language your interviewer is sharing.

It goes without saying that you should dress for the role you want, which includes all areas of your body that will be both off and on camera.

Being generally confident, friendly, and open will make it easier for your interviewer to connect with you and imagine a space for you in the business. Pay attention to your actions throughout the interview, and try not to engage in any nervous behaviours like wringing your fingers, or tapping your desk, as this can make you look impatient.

We have focused on working with the camera and sound, and there may be other software involved. If that is the case, download the software you need for the conversation in advance, and practice using it. Ensure you know how to do everything from sharing your screen to muting yourself when someone else talks.

Check the quality of your internet connection in advance, so you can warn your interviewer if you’re concerned you might have any lag issues. You can also contact a friend or family member via video to check your video and audio look and sound as good as possible.

Next Steps

The job market is on the verge of a virtual hiring revolution. For some time now, recruitment has been growing increasingly virtual.

Before the pandemic, the Clayton group had already begun utilising video interviewing for our client and our candidate recruitment, with great results.

We have invested in the latest video technology that provides an unparalleled recruitment process for job seekers.

Contact the Clayton Recruitment team today if you would like support to develop your job search in the virtual age.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability. With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis.

If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121.

If you would like to access our free guides, view them all here.

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Planning Your Career in Our New Normal Workplace

  • January 20, 2022

At the start of a new year, many of us review where we are in both our personal and professional lives. For those of us working in the current job market, it’s no different.

The specific details of the path you want to take might differ slightly. However, the five fundamentals we are sharing today form part of any successful career planning process, as we have observed placing more than 5000 professions over the last twenty-two years.

First, let’s put some context around the impact of the new ‘norm’ when it comes to creating your plan.

The New Norm

As we navigate our way out of the pandemic and multiple new variants, it is fair to say that the new normal hasn’t impacted some sectors as much as others, except for improved technology, communication channels and virtual recruitment.

We noticed here at Clayton Recruitment that the phone continued to ring after the initial few weeks of the first lockdown as clients asked us to help fill their roles. This continued throughout 2021, accelerating at pace as the year went on. 2022, so far, shows so sign of this appetite to hire slowing down.

Hybrid, home, and remote working are still major debates across businesses as they consider the permanency of such working arrangements.

As predicted by the Microsoft Workplace Trends report, many candidates we speak to are keen to have some flexibility around working in the office or at home. Consequently, we are seeing more businesses willing to consider hybrid working moving forward.

The critical piece of the conversation is that skilled candidates are in short supply. This results in employers counter offering employees to stay with them rather than moving to a new business. Some candidates continue to have multiple offers on the table.

In summary, if you are a skilled candidate looking to move, this is your time.

What an opportunity, though let’s have a sense check here. Jumping into a new role with an improved package and a hybrid working opportunity is OK, provided it is part of your long-term plan.

Therefore, consider this as you plan your career. Moving and building your career takes time, depending on the level you want to achieve.

So, what should you be considering in your overall plan?

Decide What You Want

Goal setting and tweaking can happen at any time of the year. As Professor Maxwell Maltz shared in his New York Times bestseller, human beings are success-seeking creatures, and therefore we want to achieve success.

Without goals to inspire and drive you, it’s impossible to know if you’re moving in the right direction. In simple terms, if you don’t know the destination, then you can’t plan the journey.

Deciding what you want allows you to take control of your professional life.
Simply saying that you want something isn’t enough. Goal setting is a strategic process that considers what you want to achieve through a series of milestones and action steps and ends with hard work and dedication.

Therefore, setting a goal and then moving towards it is a logical process we would all be advised to tap into.

Most professionals want:

  • To work in an area of business that they enjoy and find interesting
  • To receive sufficient income for their work to enable them to live comfortably
  • To be considered as being professional and knowledgeable
  • To achieve a work/life balance that allows them to enjoy a life away from their work

No matter your opinion about setting goals, you will find yourself meandering around with no real sense of purpose unless you are clear on what you want.
Choosing stretch goals means finding the right balance between targets you can realistically achieve and aims that challenge you.

However, don’t set goals that are too easy, either. It’s essential to challenge yourself, as that way, you can reap the rewards of feeling accomplished and driven. Find goals that help you raise the bar on your work and performance.
Always have both short- and long-term goals in mind.

A Goal Setting Framework

One of the most popular goal-setting strategies involves creating “SMART” goals. There are variations on what the “SMART” acronym stands for, but most experts agree that it requires your goals to be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

Your career goals must be clear and defined. A vague goal like “I want to get a promotion” doesn’t provide sufficient direction. Determine what kind of promotion you want that will fit your plan and when you want to accomplish that target.

Conduct a Skills Audit and Contact A Recruiter

To accomplish what you want in your career, you will have to up-level your skills relevant to your desired roles. Knowledge is power, and this is where talking to someone who has the ultimate position you want can be useful.

Although, remember that a lot has changed during the last few years and what was once required for a role, either skills or experience, might have changed.

This is where talking to a specialist recruiter will help. Here at Clayton, we have over twenty years’ experience recruiting professionals and can guide you on the best next steps according to the specific career path you want to take.

With the specs for your ideal job to guide you and your CV in hand, write a list of the skills you need to work on and rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 4. A rating of 4 indicates that you’re an expert in the area, while a rating of 1 means that you have very little knowledge or skill in that area.

Once you know which elements need the most work, you can develop a list of activities that will help you close the gap.

Managing Your Mind

The first step in developing your career is to embrace the right mindset by managing your mind. More than ever, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of working with our mentality to handle whatever is happening globally.

It’s easy to assume that creativity, intelligence, or talent are the things that set successful people apart from the rest of the world. However, the truth is that all the most powerful people in business today reached their goals through perseverance, grit, dedication, and the right mindset.

Your ultimate goal may take a few years, and the more you can manage your mind through the process, the better.

Good Luck!

What Next?

Though many workplace sectors experienced poor growth in 2020 and into last year, the sector wasn’t one of them. Here at Clayton Recruitment, we have multiple clients looking for skilled and ambitious candidates like you. For a confidential conversation about your career goals and your next move, please get in contact with one of our team here.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.
With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis.

If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121.

If you would like to access our free guides, view them all here.

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Why 2021 is the Year to Look for a New Finance Role

  • December 16, 2020

Despite most of 2020 being taken up in the crisis and recovery stages of the pandemic, the start of 2021 really is the time for us to celebrate and look forward to life after Covid.

With the vaccine promising a return to a new kind of normal, it is finally time to start planning with confidence for your next move in your finance career.

Finance professionals have been the saviour of many organisations this year, providing essential services and protecting businesses in what has been an incredibly challenging environment.

As a finance professional, you will probably have acquired some new skills, and certainly lots of new experience this year.

This means that it is the perfect time to think about what you want from your finance career, and how to find it.

Today we look at current opportunities for you as a finance candidate and why now is the ideal time to look for a new role.

Covid Recovery

We are finally approaching the end of the Covid period now, with the vaccination programme in full force in the UK.

That means that the time businesses have spent waiting and being tentative in their hiring decisions are over – the accounting opportunities that are going to be created over the next few months will be plentiful as businesses focus on growth once again.

Businesses are now looking to take advantage of market conditions and grow, rather than be stifled like they were for the most part of 2020.

Where Are the Opportunities?

As well as Covid, there has been increasing concern about UK finance sector jobs due to Brexit. Still, recent reports show that employment in the finance sector is defying the warnings that were originally predicted.

Finance roles have been retained for the most part since the 2016 referendum, and hiring sprees in some parts of the country have seen opportunities increase substantially.

The areas we see the need for accounting roles increase are in public practice, commerce and industry, and the public sector.

Despite the upheaval caused by Covid, opportunities in industries such as eCommerce and virtual communications have skyrocketed.

However, despite finance and accounting opportunities rising, there has also been an increase in the number and variety of candidates applying for each vacancy. This means that the need to stand out in your job search is greater than ever.

Let’s look at what you can do as a finance and accounting candidate to prepare for your 2021 job search.

Industry Versus Practice

Many accounting professionals will stay within their remit, either industry or practice for the majority of their career.

But to find a new role in 2021, it might be time to think outside the box.

Finance roles within a practice are in high demand right now, as SMEs get to grips with accounting, audits, tax, and assurance issues that have been caused by the pandemic. In contrast, finance departments in larger SMEs, particularly in certain commercial and retail sectors have struggled.

If you have always worked in an industry position, is it time to consider a practice role?

Whatever your thoughts might be on where to take your finance career, right now, enlisting the help of a financial careers expert will be invaluable.

Formulating Your Plan

Any career move you make in 2021 should always be considered with your ultimate career goal in mind. Deciding on where to make your next move will depend on several factors such as your location and family responsibilities; sometimes, you need an independent expert to help you see the clearer picture.

Depending on whether you plan to cultivate a career working in financial practice or in industry, we can help you figure out your next strategic move. Get in touch with us here if you are considering a career move this year, but you need help on where to focus your job search.

Finally, let’s look at my top tips to help you right now as you embark upon your new job search.

Standing Out in Your Job Search

Finance professionals embarking on a job hunt in 2021 will have to work harder than ever to get noticed, so here are my expert recruiting tips to improve your new job prospects.

Refresh Your LinkedIn – your professional online persona might have been the last thing on your mind this year but before you start applying for new roles, make sure that your profile is not just correct but also up to date. Enhance your profile with new post-Covid skills, get liking and sharing industry news and start making new connections. Most hiring managers will check you out online – you want them to see your active interest in your career and your network.

Tailor Each Application with Your USP – let each hiring manager know in your cover letter and throughout your CV why you are the ideal candidate for this role. What unique skills do you have that make you a candidate that deserves an interview over your competitors?

Get in Touch With a Finance Recruiter – this is by far the best thing that you can do as a finance candidate. At Clayton Recruitment, we specialise in finance and accountancy recruitment. We can advise you on your current job search, help update and tailor your CV for your post-Covid job search, as well as finding and arranging your next interviews.

Next Steps?

If you are looking for a new finance and accounting role for 2021 – get in touch with our team of career experts today, click here or call us on 01772 259 121.

Let 2021 be the year you make your most valuable financial career move.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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2021 Job Seekers – THIS is Where the Current Opportunities Are

  • December 10, 2020

At Clayton Recruitment, we have been providing expert recruitment and career planning services to candidates like you for over 30 years.

This year, due to the widespread upheaval of coronavirus, we have changed the way we are now helping candidates.

We talk to candidates daily about the challenges they are currently faced with as they look for new opportunities and new niches to work in after the pandemic.

Job seekers who have been looking for a new role this year will have had to face the issue of looking for a new position during a pandemic, and for many people, this hasn’t been easy.

But we are now seeing positive changes in the job market. Data from the Staffing Industry Analysts show that job vacancies each week are increasing, with hiring in some areas back to pre-Covid levels.

The good news is we have identified two areas where we are focusing our efforts which are demonstrating the most significant growth and the best opportunities.

If you are looking for a new role, and you have sales and marketing knowledge or finance and accounting experience – or other excellent transferrable skills – today, we explain how we can help you.

So, where are the biggest opportunities? Sales, marketing and accounting and utilising the many transferable skills you have.

Let me start to explain more here.

Sales and Marketing

Suppose you are a candidate with sales and marketing experience, despite cuts to these departments in some sectors. In that case, there are plenty of opportunities in the industries which have been successful this year.

Sales roles are essential in all industries, including retail, finance, and manufacturing – companies cannot grow next year without talented sales and marketing employees.

In 2021 and beyond, sales and marketing, like many other areas of our lives, is going digital. Successful sales and marketing candidates will have a growth mindset and be continually looking to adopt new technologies to drive sales forwards, including CRM systems, data technology and A.I.

Have you been working on building your digital skill for the ‘new normal’ since lockdown started? If you’ve got a growth mindset and are looking to build on your digital sales and marketing skills in a new role – we want to hear from you.

If you are considering a new sales and marketing role, we can help you find a unique opportunity in the sectors which are booming, such as technology, retail and eCommerce, legal plus many more.

Contact our team today to find out more about the current opportunities we have.

Accounting and Finance

Many candidates have put promotion or new job plans on hold this year, for understandable reasons.

But what accounting and finance candidates should know is that looking for a new role right now is not risky; it is a smart strategy to work with a recruiter to take advantage of the current opportunities in the market.

In early November 2020, the Chancellor set out the ambitious plan for the future of the U.K. financial service sector, with goals to extend its global leadership in green finance and financial technology.

Even despite the pandemic and Brexit on the horizon, banking and financial service jobs remain stable.

Accountancy has also been largely unaffected by the pandemic, with opportunities in affected sectors suffering, while roles are opening up in many other growth sectors like technology, online retail and construction.

Transferrable Skills

If you haven’t got direct experience in sales and marketing, or accounting and finance, there are excellent transferrable skills which are valuable right now, which will help you stand out and secure a new role.

Employers are on the lookout for talented candidates with the following transferrable skills:

  • Tech skills such as confidence using digital communications, digital project management and social media management.
  • Business strategy skills – you may not have direct experience working in a finance department or a sales role. Still, if you have leadership experience where you have contributed to developing a business strategy, this is a transferrable skill which employers value highly.
  • Commercial awareness – for most businesses, 2021 is going to be about recovery and building back any shortfall from 2020. This means that they need employees with astute commercial awareness to create and drive revenue.

Do you have transferrable skills that you know you could flex in a sales or marketing or an accounting and finance role?

We’ve got opportunities for talented candidates, get in touch with our team today to discuss your options.

Working with Clayton to Find a New Role

We are using our three decades of successful experience to help candidates find new roles in an increasingly challenging jobs market.

If you have struggled to find roles which excite you or that fit into your ultimate career plan, we can help.

With extensive previous experience recruiting in both Sales, Marketing, Accounting and Finance, we are committed to focusing on these sectors as this is where we know we can help candidates the most.

If you are looking for a new role in these sectors, we can help – get in touch today.

Contact us here or call our team on 01772 259 121 to discuss your career options with our career planning experts.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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Your 10 Step Action Plan to Securing a New Role

  • November 20, 2020

With the backdrop of the pandemic still ever present as we cross over into the second half of 2021, job-hunting may not naturally be on the cards due to perceived market uncertainty and a nervousness to jump ship. However, hiring across the sector has accelerated since mid-February leading to a ‘boom’ in opportunities across many practice areas and regions.

For some individuals, looking for a new role right now could be your first foray into the job-hunting market for years; especially for those in middle and senior management roles.

The critical factor here is doing the work needed to get organised and implement your ‘project new role’ plan. With this in mind, our recruiting team have mapped out a 10 point action plan to help you secure your new role now.

1. Updating Your CV

First things first, it’s time to update your CV.

Make sure your CV is up-to-date and showcases not just your previous work experience, but your talents. Employers are receiving higher than normal applications for roles, so now is the time to stand out.

Remember your new employer wants to know what results you will be able to deliver for their team.

For example, rather than describing your role in this way – ‘Commercial Manager – I held this position for two years at a leading UK organisation in a managerial role’.

Instead, detail your achievements in this role. For example, ‘in my most recent role as a Manager in a leading UK commercial organisation, I have been instrumental in helping increase sales, working closely with the marketing team to implement new strategies and as a result, our online sales increased by 26% in one year.’

2. Creating a Cover Letter

Some candidates ask us whether or not they should include a cover letter with their CV, and our advice is always yes!

Cover letters are still the best way to connect with prospective employers and HR managers; it makes you stand out above others too.

Don’t send out the same generic cover letter for each role you apply for; tailor a cover letter for each position. It’s a little extra work, but it is the best way to get noticed.

Getting your messaging right on your cover letter is essential for your new job search – let me explain.

3. Get Your Messaging Right

Your messaging is the way that you are going to present yourself to prospective employers. This will be especially relevant to you if you are changing sectors or looking for a different role to what you have been trained for.

If you are stepping outside your comfort zone and applying for jobs that are different from your usual remit, you should explain this in your cover letter. Demonstrate your ability to learn and to be flexible (with examples) to explain a change of sector or role to get your messaging right.

4. Set Your Goal

Now it’s time to think about what it is you want from your new role.

You might be instinctively looking for a role that is similar to your last one, or in the same sector, but it might be the time to re-evaluate your career goals – however scary that might sound.

You might realise after some soul searching that now is the time to follow that career dream you have always had at the back of your mind. Talking to a recruitment consultant can help you make sense of your career goal.

5. Consider Different and New Options

You might not want to change sector or role completely, but there are other elements to consider when you’re job searching in our post-pandemic world.

For example-

  • Is it possible for you to move to a different location? Even widening your search area by 10 or 20 miles can dramatically increase your choice.
  • Can you revisit a sector you worked in earlier in your career where you have experience or training?
  • Have you talked through your career plan with a dedicated career coach or recruiter like our team here at Clayton Recruitment?

6. Your Homework

If you are considering moving into a new sector or role, make sure you do your homework first. This means getting as much information as you can about the sector and the position and the opportunities it may, or may not bring for you.

  • Attend sector webinars and workshops,
  • research companies online,
  • what do their employee advocacies look like?
  • Do they have case studies and testimonials?

7. Maintain Your Online Profile

Once you have started applying to new roles, either on your own or with the help of a recruitment company like ourselves, remember to maintain your online profile.

Researching you online is the first thing that HR or hiring managers will do, and now as competition for roles are increasing, make sure your online profile positions you as a professional and ideally an expert in your sector.

Be active on social media, but keep it professional; make sure any personal profiles you have communicate your own personal brand. And remember you can alter your privacy settings too.

8. LinkedIn

Staying with social media – during your job search, LinkedIn is going to be your best friend.

Stay up to date with sector news and stay on the radar of the companies you would like to work for by liking, sharing and interacting with company posts. Connect with people from your sector, HR managers and reconnect with old colleagues.

Putting yourself ‘out there’ on LinkedIn is one of the most valuable things you can do in your new job search.

9. Practice Your Interview Technique

Landing a new role is all about confidence. The more confident you are in yourself, the better chance you have of securing a new position when you get to the interview stage.

Assessment Today have a great online resource for practising your interview technique which you can find here.

10. Work with a Recruiter

And finally – if you are struggling to find a role on your own – we understand that it feels tough at the moment for some individuals – we can help.

We offer a full recruitment service and specialise in middle and senior management candidates looking for new roles.

Please get in contact with us today by calling us on 01772 259 121 or contact us here.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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When Furlough Turns to Redundancy – What Are Your Options Now?

  • September 10, 2020

The UK’s furlough scheme has been an extraordinary event on many levels.

It fulfilled its expectation in protecting many jobs, but now several months on, we see the reality of the employment situation in some sectors.

It’s time for people to start making decisions about the future of their careers.

Despite the gloomy picture the UK media like to paint in regards to jobs, for middle and senior managers, there are many opportunities; and in fact, they are growing daily.

There have indeed been redundancies in some sectors and at all levels. So to help management candidates whose furlough has now unfortunately turned into redundancy, here are the key things to consider now in your job search.

Identifying Your Skills and Abilities

You must first identify what your skills are, what you can bring to the table outside of the skills you have been utilising in your previous roles.

Some people have a regimented idea of what kind of role they can do – based on their career so far.

The truth is that when you think outside the box, a whole new world of opportunities opens up for you.

As someone who has progressed to where you are today as a middle or senior manager, you will have accumulated a lot of skills and experiences, many of which you might not use daily.

It’s now time to look at the entirety of your skillset, and you will possess soft skills which can translate to different sectors.

Soft skills include:

  • Leadership
  • Emotional intelligence
  • A growth mindset
  • Openness to feedback
  • Active listening
  • Adaptability

As much as you need to emphasise how your skillset can be adapted to a new role, likewise, you should leave out unnecessary information from your CV or your interviews about skills that might not be as relevant for the new position you are applying for. Remember to ask your recruitment consultant for advice on tailoring your CV.

Your Hobbies and Interests

Another direction your career search can take is in looking at your life outside of your current career path to see potential opportunities.

You might be an expert in project planning during the community support you gave during the lockdown, or computer technology from your interests outside of your career.

These skills can be essential in landing you a new job in a sector or area you hadn’t considered before.

Changing Your Mindset Ready for Your Next Move

A big part of finding a new role is mentally being ready and accepting it is time to make a significant change to your life.

It’s not a decision which many people feel comfortable with; at first.

It might even lead to some individuals taking a lesser role in an area they are familiar with rather than taking the plunge for something better in a new sector.

Some industries have not thrived, whereas others have – it’s about considering where the opportunities are and then making the decision to go for it!

Data from Fast Company, the worlds biggest media brand, revealed that 42% of applicants apply for a role without possessing all of the required skills, and 62% of these get hired without fully meeting the criteria.

Inspiring.

So when applying for a new role, remember to think outside the box, and don’t be limited by your own beliefs which could be holding you back.

Finally, if it’s been years since you last applied for a job, or have never worked with a recruiter to find a new role, let me explain the benefits of working with a professional and experienced recruitment company to find your new commercial position.

Working with a Recruitment Company to Navigate the Job Market

If it’s been a while since you last applied for a job, you might not have updated your CV for some time, you could be lacking confidence, or you just don’t know where to start.

Many candidates don’t realise the benefits of working with a recruiter to find their next management role. So if you’re unsure, here’s what you get –

  • Help to update and adapt your CV for the roles you want
  • Access to unlisted jobs, thanks to the recruiter’s network and knowledge of new openings.
  • Career advice and insider information on what’s happening in different sectors that you would not be able to uncover yourself.
  • An active search – your recruiter will approach companies they think you will be right for on your behalf, rather than just applying for roles that already exist.
  • Prepare you for interviews with insider knowledge about the company.
  • Negotiate your salary to get you the remuneration you deserve.

And all as a complimentary service, the client you are applying to covers the recruitment fee, not you.

We understand that right now, looking for a new role can seem daunting.

Don’t go it alone – working with a specialist recruiter will give you the expert help and advice you need to take the next step in your commercial career.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you secure your next management position if your leave has turned into redundancy – get in touch with us here, for a confidential and supportive conversation.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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The Benefits of Taking a Temp Role Right Now

  • July 25, 2020

Are you one of the thousands of people looking for work due to a change in circumstance because of Covid-19?

If so, we can help.

The official figures show that 649,000 fewer people are employed now than were pre-Covid, with numbers set to rise over the coming months.

Many employees have been furloughed by their employers, being left in limbo until October, others are unsure if their jobs will even be there to go back to.

It has been a worrying and challenging time for everyone who has been affected by the pandemic. And yet there is help and options available for individuals looking for employment right now.

Lots of employees in the U.K. are now making use of temporary employment and contract work; in this article, we look at the benefits of taking a temp position right now, and critically how to land a role you’ll enjoy.

An Increase in Temp Roles – More Opportunities

With an increase in demand, there has been a fortuitous rise in temp jobs since the lockdown was imposed, highlighting the uncertainty in the current job market.

The number of temporary jobs rose by 148,900 from May to June, to create a total of 2.2 million temp roles in the U.K.

After large parts of the country were closed down entirely by the government-imposed restrictions, we entered the first stages of a recession as GDP fell for the first time in several years.

Now the country is opening up again, we see an increase in job opportunities. The country is bouncing back as predictions had hoped.

The pandemic has caused many people to evaluate their careers. A recent survey found in HR Director shared that 20% of people have realised that their current role isn’t for them, with half (50%) of all respondents stating that they plan to change jobs within the next two years.

So where does that leave individuals looking for temp roles right now?

Let me share some recruiting knowledge about the benefits of temp roles and how to take advantage of the job market as it currently stands.

The Benefits of Taking a Temp Role Now

Temporary employment might not be your first choice. Still, there are many benefits associated with taking a temp role, especially in the current climate; and remember that the flexibility of temporary contracts doesn’t only benefit employers.

Many organisations are currently offering temporary contracts for employees to see them through the next few months. If you are currently unemployed, this could be an excellent opportunity to explore different career options or try something you have always wanted to explore.

Temp roles tend to offer more flexibility, so you can choose one where the hours fit around your personal life. You can treat a temp role as a trial run for a new career direction; you might love it and want to continue to look for employment in this sector after your temp contract finishes, or you may realise this isn’t the right path for you.

You will gain experience fast in a new role; you will learn valuable skills to strengthen your CV and show that you are dedicated and hard-working to future prospective employers.

Contrary to popular belief, temporary workers get the same right and benefits as permanent workers; a good recruiter specialising in temp work will be able to help you to understand your temporary contract.

As I mentioned earlier, career changes are happening up and down the country – there has never been a better time to explore new career opportunities than right now.

How to Impress in Your Temp Role

Many employers will advertise temp-to-perm roles, where the position will become permanent for the right candidate. Of course, given the current situation, these roles could occur less frequently.

But the truth is that organisations always need great talented employees, pandemic or not – so bear in mind the following tips when looking for a temp or a temp-to-perm role:

  • Cater your CV to the temp roles you are interested in applying for – this easy task will make employers take you far more seriously.
  • Think of your temp assignment as an extended interview – if you get taken on initially for a period of a few weeks, show up every day and give your best.
  • Always look the part – you will be taken more seriously by management.
  • Keep your eyes open for where you can help other team members – being a team player is an essential skill and one that will get you noticed.
  • Complete all of your work to a high standard – bringing the attitude of ‘its only a temp role’ into your work will not do you any favours.
  • Finally – be sure to work with a reputable recruitment agency that will find you your desired position; check out their website, testimonials and get to know them before you decide to work with them.

Managers are always on the lookout for employees who will add value to their organisation, and impressing as a temp is a great way to increase your permanent job prospects.

Finding the ‘Right’ Temp Role

We understand that the job market can feel strange and competitive right now.

At Clayton Recruitment, we are helping candidates find the temp roles they need right now – and we can help you too.

We help candidates across the North West find the temp roles that can fit in with their current circumstances, and around their family lives.

We offer expert free career consultancy too, so if you want to speak to someone about a temp role or your next career move, call us on 01772 259121 or contact us here.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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Life After Lockdown – Planning Your Successful Re-Entry

  • May 30, 2020

While many employees have been enjoying working from home and others have been keen to get back into the workplace, now is the time to think about the next stages.

You might have already returned to work in a workplace that looks very different, or perhaps you’re still working from home. Whatever your situation, the reality is that as we move forwards, your working life will be different from the one you left in March.

This can throw up all kinds of questions as to what the future holds.

You will be considering the future of your career, your current workplace, and how to navigate this workplace in the coming weeks and months.

Returning to work in a place that looks different might be a challenge at first, but there are ways to familiarise yourself and feel in control.

In today’s article, we look at the key areas employees must consider right now and as we go forward.

Your Employer’s Future

The first thing you must consider is your employer’s position. The pandemic has changed many businesses, and while some have remained relatively untouched, others have faced significant difficulties.

Your employer should have been keeping you informed in terms of returning to work, restructuring and redundancies, but of course, this is not always the case.

If it is clear that your current organisation will be making cuts, you must ascertain where you stand with your manager. It might be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but you must plan for your future.

If we do enter a recession, for every business that makes redundancies, others will be hiring. If you find yourself in a position where you will need to look for a new job, upskilling and demonstrating your skills will be crucial – I will talk about this more later.

Next, let’s look at how to manage your career in the coming months.

Advancing Your Career

The next few months will be critical in many people’s careers. As the job market shifts to adapt to the new economic changes, there will be a mixture of challenges and opportunities. If your role is secure and your organisation is in the position for you to return working as usual, then nothing should change.

In this case, your priorities should be working alongside your employer to get back to speed, get used to working in your socially distanced office and demonstrating your key skills.

In times of significant change, this is an excellent opportunity to prove your skills to your current employer, and develop your skills thinking about future opportunities.

Stepping up to help management, taking on additional roles and overcoming challenges posed by COVID-19 will all be great additions to your CV when the time comes to move on.

However, if upon returning, you realise that your role or your workplace is not conducive with your career goals, it might be time to think about moving to one that is.

A Change of Role?

Think back to before the pandemic – where were you in terms of advancing your career? The outbreak stopped everyone in their tracks, but there will no doubt have been employees who were considering, or even applying for new roles. With recruitment freezes in many organisations, your career plans might have been put on hold.

If the same career opportunities aren’t available anymore, what does that mean for you?

Returning to your role and finding those previous opportunities are no longer there can be a shock, but it is key to weigh up the pros and cons of this.

Yes, you might have envisaged being in your current role for many years to come, but instead, focus on how a move to a different position will be even more beneficial to you.

In times where organisations are making cutbacks, you might feel as though looking for a new job will be a difficult task. However, many organisations are continuing to thrive, and while some are making redundancies, others are recruiting in numbers – the key to navigating this job market is upskilling.

Upskilling

Now is the time to amplify your critical skills and become more attractive to employers. As I mentioned earlier, taking on additional responsibilities is a great way to do this. Additionally, consider the following –

  • Find a way to adapt old working practices to fit in with life post-COVID-19. Are there changes you can make to the workplace or your processes that will make life more manageable for everyone?
  • Be proactive and set your objectives if old ones are out of date and your manager has not discussed new ones with you. What are your new goals for the next three months?
  • Overcommunicate and be hyper-aware of problems in your workplace. There will likely be teething problems from the recent changes; how can you apply yourself to solve these problems?
  • Take additional courses, either provided by your employer or online. Online courses have seen a surge in uptake since the start of lockdown – if others are upskilling themselves, don’t get left behind.

Your role after lockdown might be very different from what you have been used to, especially in the period as we return to the workplace and as we find a ‘new normal’.

But what is key to remember is that it is possible to keep your career progressing in the way you want. It’s about being aware of your current situation, constantly re-evaluating, and upskilling yourself as much as possible.

What Next?

If your pre-COVID-19 job is not able to provide what you need and you are looking for a new role, we can help.

We have a range of roles available, call our team on 01772 259 121 or get in contact here to discuss your career options.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial, and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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