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Why Every Business Needs an Employee Development Plan

  • August 9, 2022

What Is An Employee Development Plan?

An Employee Development Plan (EDP) differs from a personal development plan. While the latter usually focuses on life goals and is owned by the individual, an EDP focuses on work-related skill development and its owned by both the employee and the line manager.

A continuing process that is consistently and regularly reviewed and updated, an EDP should aim to ensure ongoing employability through improving the individual’s workplace soft and hard skills, and market or sector knowledge. A good plan will strive to create a series of actions designed to help the individual develop and grow within the context of their professional career. It will motivate them to acquire new knowledge and skills and help them grow personally, while developing their workplace capability and meeting the needs of the employer.

Why Is An Employee Development Plan Important?

In the present climate, skills across a number of sectors are in short supply. It’s therefore vital that you are doing everything in your power to retain good staff. As an employer, your business needs to demonstrate strong leadership skills. By investing in people you will show your commitment to your team and, in return, you gain commitment from them. A win-win situation.

Staff development will ensure they are up to speed with the any pertinent changes in their areas of expertise as well as continuing to build their competencies with soft skills. Your employees invest in the organisation they work for, working hard and moving their practice forward. Respecting them by facilitating their ongoing development will motivate them and create a thriving workplace environment. It will also make staff feel secure and supported, and happy staff are less likely to look elsewhere for employment. In turn, it will ensure your business isn’t affected by a talent or skills shortage. It will also reduce the cost of recruitment, onboarding and training up of new staff.

So, you’re on board with the idea of creating individual employee development plans. Now you just need some tips on the how.

How To Create a Great Employee Development Plan

There are 7 key points to consider when planning an individual employee development plan:

1. What needs to happen?

Start with an audit of the current skills and knowledge of the individual, and see how their existing skill set aligns to their current job. Consider the future development of the role. What additional skills may be required?

Knowing where the employee needs to be in terms of training to ensure they remain employable in a progressive business will enable you to gauge the next step forward, and measure success rates.

2. What training and development is required?

Leading on from the initial audit of how the employee fits into your firm’s vision, understanding an employee’s thoughts on their competencies, capabilities and career goals is useful. Employee buy-in is crucial for this.

  • What do they believe they need in the way of skills to do their job?
  • How do they think they are currently performing?
  • What would help them perform better and what changes would they benefit from?
  • What are their own ultimate goals?

This is by no means an exhaustive list.

3. How can development be achieved through specific training?

Ascertain exactly what training courses, qualifications or knowledge the employee will need. Remember the 70/20/10 rule – 70% of learning comes from experience on-the-job, 20% from other colleagues and 10% from training and courses. You may wish to consider in-house upskilling or external training provision. There’s a wide range of training available online – often for free – to cover an extensive range of skills via short online courses, ebooks, and through webinars.

Whichever you choose, creating a culture of learning within your business will demonstrate commitment, and encourage a strengthening of relationships between colleagues. Individuals who have open meetings, training sessions and forums are more likely to interact, enabling them to share knowledge and even train others. The additional benefit to this is that having skilled staff who can train others will save you time and money.

4. Why does it need to be done?

Transparency and communication of long-term goals will instil a sense of belonging and ownership in the employee. Making the employee aware of how their learning and development will benefit not only their own career but the aspirations of your business, and will provide them with clear guidelines and focus on their job and how they can contribute. It will also give them a sense of place – how they fit into the business as a whole – and create a sense of pride in their work.

5. When is it needed?

I would suggest that achievement milestones are put into place, agreed between employee and manager. These can reflect the overall aims of your business where appropriate. Monitor progress regularly to encourage and provide direction to the individual, and to show support on their journey.

6. How can progress be measured?

Methods for measuring training and development can be in the form of formal appraisals, informal meetings and open discussions. The method chosen may depend on the goal/s set and the timelines.

For short-term training it may be appropriate to have a 1:1 with the employee at an agreed time (for example, after completion of a training course). For more long-term goals, or where several employees require the same upgrading of knowledge, it might be more beneficial to have an open discussion on progress.

7. Staying ahead.

As part of the employee development journey, establish regular reviews, recording progress and addressing any identified areas of development needed.

Don’t be afraid to change training needs as the requirements of your business develop and expand. Encourage your employee to suggest development needs and aspirations, to give them a sense of investment in their own professional career. Give employees the chance to reflect and discuss what went well, what didn’t, and what changes could be made going forward, to ensure smooth and successful progression.

In short, an EDP can be viewed as a training opportunity that takes place as part of an individual’s daily job. It is a working document that charts progress, addresses needs and moves in line with individual and practice progression. The long-term benefits include employee satisfaction and sense of involvement, and employer commitment and satisfaction in having a skilled, up to date workforce, who are committed to your business and are future-proofed.

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.

Whether you are looking for your next career move, or your next hire as a business owner of HR professional – we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121.

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The War for Talent: Tips on How to Succeed in a Candidate Drought

  • July 21, 2022

The job market in 2020 was undeniably challenging with across-the-board hiring freezes, redundancies, and re-structures that hit many professional sectors; marketing, sales, and finance being no exception. And, whilst much has been documented about the inferred bounce-back this year the arguably still-present backdrop of the global pandemic, and ongoing economic pressure, it’s clear that it’s not plain sailing just yet for those in the hiring seat.

The general UK labour market in hiring terms is certainly buoyant as we near the second half of 2022 following a real step-change in vacancies advertised from February last year when volumes far surpassed the hiring activity of 2019. Yet, the wide range of choice for Candidates – real golden opportunities across all many sectors – is coupled with market uncertainty and jobseekers that are still relatively cautious about a move in the current climate. Whilst this competitive landscape certainly creates strategic organisational challenges, there are steps that businesses can take to ensure they tap into active and passive talent pools and focus firmly on their retention strategies to ensure their existing talent is not being lost to competitors.

Don’t discount the cost of employee retention

While there is certainly a renewed appetite for hiring and recruitment of new talent across most professional sectors, it goes without saying that business owners should keep a keen eye on staff retention and attrition particularly those operating in niches or regions that have a short supply of skilled and/or qualified professionals. And whilst generally speaking we’re not seeing illimitable job-hopping (at the moment at least), the commercial cost of losing A-grade employees can be significant as well as impacting team productivity, and the loss of knowledge and skill from the business. To rely solely on recruitment would be unwise; instead, concomitantly focusing on employee engagement, remuneration and rewards, clear progression, and staff development as part of a wider retention strategy is essential in the current climate.

Be aware that your reputation (and brand) will precede you

A strong employer brand undoubtedly aids recruitment strategies to attract top-tier candidates, especially in competitive markets where a candidate may have multiple opportunities, and offers, on the table. Jobseekers will always be mindful of your brand, market position and reputation as well as prestige amongst their professional networks.

Employees, perhaps more so in the last decade, are engaged by laser-sharp Corporate and Social Responsibility programmes that give the organisation (and their work) purpose, a sense of worth and impact on the wider society – so it’s imperative that jobs advertised go above and beyond the basic role profile. Successful hiring campaigns should focus on what the candidate can expect as an employee of that business – there should be an element of ‘selling’ the benefits, the culture, and the development opportunities available.

Savvy jobseekers will no doubt do their research and lift the bonnet on the inner workings of your Firm – so ensuring your employer brand is reflected well across review sites (Glassdoor, Google Reviews) and across your own social channels will help to bring advocates within your existing workforce to the fore, and really add to the credibility and authenticity of your brand. Directing jobseekers to internal success stories and case studies on your site, or a vibrant ‘Work for Us’ section will really help to bring the role to life and give creative insight that allows candidates to visualise themselves working for you and being part of the fabric of your business.

Don’t discount contracts that offer training

We often speak to candidates who are considering a move to new sector. And, whether that catalyst is redundancy, a change in personal circumstances or because of a prolonged career break – we do advise that it is indeed possible – although not always easy or straightforward.

It is often par for the course that business owners and Hiring Managers will primarily look to attract candidates with proven track records, specific sector-experience, and demonstrable evidence of suitability for the role – but offering training opportunities if you are able could really open the door to candidates that are a great fit culturally, and willing to upskill.

The onus may not necessarily be on the end Hirer to provide or run the retraining course – there are a multitude of free and subsidised training online for a plethora of subjects and skill sets, so as hirers, being receptive to candidate profiles that indicate more recent training, or discernible industry knowledge could pay dividends.

Casting the net wider…consider home/remote/hybrid options

The pandemic has certainly brought about a lot of change across many professional sectors, not least the urgent acceleration in technical solutions to support homeworking en masse. And, after arguably a shaky start, most businesses have on the whole embraced the advancement of systems development to support everything from project management to internal communications channels to drive business forward across a fragmented workforce.

We are still, even a couple of years on from the first national lockdown, inundated with headlines focused on how (and where) we will work in the future. Hybrid working certainly seems to dominate and seen by many as the most likely future state across many professional sectors. We are already seeing a marked increase in home- and hybrid-contracts being offered, especially for businesses who are looking potentially outside of their locality or where options may have already been exhausted. Whilst this solution may not work for every business and does come with much-documented challenges on a longer-term basis, it does mean that traditional recruitment based on commutability is cast aside and can really open up opportunities to a much bigger pool of suitable candidates.

Whilst reporting around ways of working rumble on, business lobby groups have argued that it is ultimately down to the firms themselves to decide where that work is done. Whatever the outcome, the work-from-home guidance is still a hot topic of debate, with businesses ultimately having three choices – ‘home, hybrid, or hub’ – a mantra coined by Lloyds Banking Group who have shared their model and how they believe it will allow their people to work more effectively. Whilst there are some business owners that ultimately may wish to return to ‘normal’, casting the net wider by reviewing the feasibility of home- and hybrid- contracts may be a wise commercial move – especially as, put simply, it is what many employees want.

Make them an offer that’s hard to refuse

We see time and time again the recruitment process fall down at the final hurdle – when the interviews have taken place, the Candidate ticks all of the boxes in relation to the role, and the offer is put together…. only it just doesn’t quite hit the mark. Taking time to consider an offer that is compelling is vital, although equally it’s important that the individual in question is not left waiting unduly; particularly if there are other Firms, (your competitors) in the side lines also vying for attention.

The Financial Reporter recently recounted research conducted by analytics company, Visier where over half of financial employees in the UK are reported to be actively looking for a new role in the next 6 months. And, from talking to candidates, we often see the same pattern – namely a role that addresses work/life balance, progression and career development opportunities, training and upskilling programmes, and fair remuneration. It is also good practice to review salaries and wider benefits packages across your own competitors for benchmarking purposes. After all, what may seem like a compelling offer may turn out to be a damp squib if some due diligence on market rates isn’t conducted at regular intervals.

HR Professionals from Forbes Human Resources Council defined what makes a successful job offer including the following pointers:

  1. Start conversations around salary early so no one is left guessing.
  2. Be transparent about things like bonuses, benefits, and compensation.
  3. Build a relationship throughout the hiring process – building trust and having open and honest conversations from the get-go.
  4. Don’t compete solely on ‘the package’ – a holistic employee experience that is instilled in the culture is more of a focus than ever. Highlight this wherever possible.
  5. Do be open to special requests – understanding what is important to candidates and listening to the ‘whys’ is good practice and may offer competitive edge if taken on board.

Don’t panic hire

Hiring during a skills shortage can sometimes instigate rushed or knee-jerk reactions particularly when recruitment projects have been running on longer than anticipated, and especially when the unfilled role is impacting the bottom line. Once hiring budgets have been approved and the job specifications are written and published, there is often, in our experience, an element of urgency to move through the process – yet moving too quickly and not taking due care and attention with a thorough review of candidate profiles can be costly in the long term.

In a survey from People Management, some 39% of hiring managers realized that they had made the wrong decision within two weeks of the new recruit starting. What they may not be aware of however is that in most cases* the true cost to the business of this decision is roughly 3.5 times their annual salary – which in the current climate will be difficult to absorb.

Working with recruitment specialists will allow businesses to enhance their search capabilities to get the right ‘fit’ first time, every time. With the rapid acceleration of video platforms and tech to support the likes of virtual onboarding, candidate screening, assessments and shortlisting can be further enriched and really add value to what can be a complex and difficult process. Being resolute around what type of individual or individuals are right for your business is still imperative and moving away from this or making compromises to get the role filled quicker may come back to bite you.

Don’t go it alone – enlist the help of experts

Utilising a sector- and regional-specialist recruitment agency will undoubtedly give you a head start with your hiring campaigns – furnishing you not only with market insight and that helicopter view of the hiring landscape, but the inside track on movement and access to talent pools of active and passive legal professionals.

At Clayton Recruitment, our consultants can offer practical, honest advice on the fillability of roles, salary benchmarking and insight into requirements and drivers of jobseekers in the current climate.

Experienced, qualified candidates are often time-short and as such are increasingly approaching agencies to represent them in the market rather than go-it-alone. Skilled in ‘selling’ your business and elevating your roles through strategic marketing – it makes absolute commercial sense to bring in the experts when the hiring landscape remains complex, and the candidate, at least for now, is King.

It is certainly clear from conversations that we have daily with leading businesses across the country that many are actively rethinking their talent strategies at all stages of the employee lifecycle – to attract, engage and retain skilled professionals in a highly competitive job market.

If you are actively searching for a new hire at the moment, we’d love to speak to you. Click here to speak to one of our experienced Legal specialists or call 01772 259121 for more information on how our exceptional recruitment experience can enhance your hiring strategy.

What’s Next?

We are 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 both our legal clients and jobseekers.

Contact the Clayton Recruitment team today if you would like support to develop your recruitment strategy or 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.

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Talent Attraction: Energising Your Employer Value Proposition

  • February 7, 2022

If you’ve never heard of an employer value proposition or brand before, now’s the time to expand your education.

According to the CIPD, an employer value proposition is a way your business will differentiate itself from competitors when it comes to attracting talent.

The question is, what characteristics do you need to demonstrate to attract talent in your sector today?

The U.K. is currently in the grip of one of the worst skills shortages in the last twenty years. Skilled candidates are in the driving seat of their careers, and many will naturally  pick a company based on their brand presence in the market and the narrative related to how they treat their employees.

The last few years have seen talented people re-evaluate their careers and the expectations of the companies they work for. Today, employees will consider moving to get what they want. That might be better pay and conditions, development opportunities and the option to work remotely, amongst other reasons.

Considering the commercial value good talent brings to your firm, perhaps it’s time to energise your current employer brand to attract the talent you now want to take your business forward.

Let’s explore this more in today’s post.

Definitions: EVP versus Employer Brand

According to various sources online, employer branding became prevalent in the early 1990s. Since then, it has become a recognised term in both H.R. and recruitment circles.

An employer brand is an impression your business gives as a good place to progress your career to current employees and key players in the external market. From a talent perspective, these would be active and passive candidates.

So, EVP versus employer brand, what is the connection? The CIPD reminds us that we have an employer brand whether we have consciously developed it or not.

If we were to sit around a table and talk about Wetherspoons or Uber, we would all have an opinion about their brand and how they treat their employees.

The employee value proposition for both these brands could potentially do with some work when it comes to their EVP; in other words, “why would I want to work for Uber of Wetherspoons?”.

EVP is, therefore, the conversation and communication points around why I would want to work for this brand.

Building a Stronger EVP

The topic of this post relates to energising your current EVP to attract and keep talent.
Fundamentally an employer value proposition is a list of specific and unique benefits an employee can expect to receive when they join your business.

Vision, motivation, development, acceptance, a diverse and inclusive environment, benefits, pay, wellbeing, and community. The CIPD defines EVP in a simple and jargon-free way: “The value proposition describes what an organisation stands for, requires and offers as an employer.”

If your people are leaving your business, your recruiting partner is offering feedback about your perception in the market, and your job offers are being turned down, it’s time to look at your EVP and how you are communicating ‘why you’ into the market place.

Considering the changed expectations of talent today, which parts of your EVP need a revamp?

If you want some ideas, look at Microsoft’s Workplace Trends Index. The report highlights an important point that over 40% of the global workforce are considering leaving their current employer for an opportunity to work remotely.

Remote work has created new job opportunities for some, offered more family time, and provided options for whether or when to commute.

Review and Redefine Your EVP

The much-used term related to talent wars is based on the current volatile market and a shortage of skilled applicants for your roles.

More now than ever, it is critical to communicate your compelling offer and make the connection in a candidate’s mind that you are the firm to join.

As a specialist recruiter for over twenty years, we have seen past clients struggle because they have not given their EVP the importance it deserves.

Our role is to showcase your firm to prospective candidates, but it’s not easy if your EVP isn’t an attractive offering in today’s marketplace.

So how do you become more attractive?

As a starting point, review your current state and EVP as you plan your journey.

  • What is our vision and mission; has it changed?
  • When did we last conduct an employee survey?
  • What is our purpose and ‘why’ as a business?
  • How engaged is our current team?
  • Do we have a strong leadership team to represent our brand?
  • Why would people join us, and why do they stay?
  • Do we have an attractive development culture?
  • Is our current offer relevant and on point for the talent we want today?
  • Do we have an experienced recruitment partner that can support our growth goals?

Create an Action Plan With Milestones and Timelines

Once you have assessed where you are, it is vital to take the necessary action. It is all too easy to procrastinate and blame what has happened and assume the current market will change; it won’t.

We are in an age of rapid innovation and digital disruption, with a workforce expecting more from their employers, including support, vision, direction, and development.

Knowing that candidates’ expectations from you, their employer are different, how will you change?

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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Hybrid, Home, and Hub Working – What Does The Future Hold?

  • January 16, 2022

The world of work has undeniably changed during the last two years. Flexible working opportunities, including work from home, hybrid work, and hub (office) working, are rapidly becoming the new norm.

Consider this alongside the new flexible working bill revealed in June 2021, and work environments might change beyond recognition for businesses across a range of sectors in the marketplace.

The flexible working bill introduces several considerations for businesses in search of talent for 2022. That means evaluating working practices for a lot of industries, including if and how people return to the office.

Employers will be required to offer flexible arrangements in employment contracts and explain what work schedules are available when advertising job vacancies.

While the data suggests that employees who work in the professional and commercial sectors, such as law, can be just as efficient in a flexible working environment, the right talent growth strategies will still need to be in place to ensure a business’ ongoing success.

Fail to provide the right working opportunities, and you could risk losing current staff while having your hiring offers rejected.

As a first start, let’s clarify the various working opportunities we are talking about here.

Defining Flexible Working Models

To ensure you’re prepared to welcome the new age of work, you’ll first need to understand what different flexible working modes entail.

    1. Homeworking

Otherwise known as remote working, home working involves allowing employees to work from home or remotely consistently in their role. This may include having video conferences with clients, fellow team members, and other departments.

    1. Hybrid working

Hybrid working combines home working with time in the office. It involves employees coming into the office and working remotely when their role allows.
Hybrid working has been available in many businesses over the last few years, with some partners working from home one day a week.
This is now changing, and even though employers and employees have enjoyed the benefits of working from home, the pandemic has also highlighted the wellbeing and connection needs of everyone. Many people find that a few days in the office helps boost their mood whilst improving collaboration.

    1. Hub working

Hub working often refers to situations where a specific team work together as a resource to each other to improve collaboration and communication. One partner may work in an office in Preston, the other in Carlisle and another from home on the outskirts of Leeds.
The move to flexible working is likely to see this style of approach becoming more prevalent.

For most companies, the hybrid working method is likely to be the preferred option for both partners and employees.
Approximately 70% of employees want flexible working options to continue, while 65% require more time with teams.

Are There Benefits to New Working Styles?

Working from home, in a hybrid environment, or even as part of a flexible hub appears to have several benefits for today’s professionals. With fewer long commutes to worry about, time is saved in getting to and from the office and increased productivity has been documented consistently throughout the last two years.

On top of this, many studies are beginning to indicate hybrid and remote working can positively impact employee engagement satisfaction too.

The ability to work flexibly is something many job seekers have as a criterion before considering accepting an offer from a new employer. According to the Microsoft global work trends study, 40% of the worldwide workforce is now thinking about leaving their jobs in exchange for a career with more flexible options.

How to Implement New Work Styles

To ensure your business stays ahead of the latest trends, it’s critical to start looking at flexible working options that make the most sense for your team. Consider which roles are suitable for hybrid, remote, and hub work and which might require a more traditional schedule.

Hybrid working has multiple benefits, but it can be challenging if not planned correctly. For most businesses, the introduction of hybrid working will require a culture shift alongside new working methods.

We can learn lessons from working from home during the pandemic; however, hybrid working will make greater demands of managers and businesses on an ongoing basis.

People working in a distributed environment can easily suffer from feelings of isolation and disengagement. There’s also the additional concern of cyber security and compliance to think about when team members are working online from multiple environments.

Employers will need to:

  • Consider their options: Look at the different working styles available and which ones are reasonably suited to your current employees.
  • Provide training: Ensure professionals have the tools and training they need to continue providing excellent service in a remote or hybrid environment.
  • Invest in constant optimisation: Use feedback from team members to constantly improve the hybrid or remote working strategy.

The recruiting team at Clayton Recruitment has been working with many local businesses to adapt their talent search and job specifications in line with increased demand from job seekers for flexible working.

If you would like a conversation about how we can support your particular business, do get in touch.

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 Overcome the Challenges of Hiring Accounting Professionals

  • December 22, 2020

As an employer or a hiring manager, recruiting right now is as challenging as it can get.

And that’s down to the fact that we are in a saturated market. The Covid crisis has caused job losses in some sectors. Still, more so, it has caused movement in the market from accounting professionals speculatively applying for roles as they think and consider their future like never before.

This poses a problem, as the most valuable candidates become swamped by a sea of possibilities.

So how can you hire the ‘right’ accounting candidate when the odds are stacked against you?

Today, we look at the dangers of hiring in a saturated market, and some expert recruitment strategies which can help.

 

1. Getting Your Person Spec Right

One of the most significant challenges of hiring in a saturated market is not knowing exactly what you’re looking for. When you narrow down what you’re looking for to the exact skills, attributes and personality traits you want, this makes the search easier.

We are currently helping organisations define their finance and accounting job specifications, which has become invaluable in their recruiting process as they redefine their roles for a post-Covid market.

  • Have the skills you need in your next accounting professional changed?
  • Do you need to hire finance experts with the skills of tomorrow, but aren’t sure what to look for?

We can help you define your finance and accounting roles and person specs to narrow down your search – get in touch with us here to find out more.

2. Hiring for Culture

Another huge change in accountancy recruitment since the pandemic is the need for team players who can be flexible and adaptable while having the organisation’s best interests at heart.

During the Covid crisis, many organisations realised for the first time which of their finance team were true team players, and which were disengaged in their roles.

A successful finance team includes individuals whose values and culture align with their employer, whether that’s in a financial practice or a larger organisation’s finance team.

Any management guide will tell you that cultivating a positive and unified culture in your team is necessary for success. Yet, so many hiring managers still put this low down on their list of priorities.

Creating a set of non-negotiable values that you want your team to have will narrow down your candidate search even further, which is essential when hiring in a saturated market.

3. Organising Your Recruiting Timeline

Making some key changes to your recruitment process will allow you to make difficult hiring decisions much easier.

Improve the speed of your hiring process so that recruitment isn’t taking up weeks or even months of your valuable time. Start with the end date in mind – the date that your new recruit needs to be in their role by, and work backwards from here. A Benchmark survey on career timelines found that the average recruitment process takes 24.5 days, how long does yours take?

Ensure you have a stringent timeline and stick to it. When you start pushing dates backwards or worse – hiring without consulting with all stakeholders – this can create a messy and stressful recruiting experience for everyone involved.

4. ‘Selling’ Your Organisation to the Right Candidates

At a time like this when you want to attract the best candidates, it might just be time to re-evaluate all of your recruitment collateral and employer branding, so you attract the candidates you want and repel the ones you don’t.

A few questions for you.

  • Do you have an excellent employer branding strategy
  • Do you regularly update and share about your company on social media?
  • Does your hiring manager respond in a timely way to candidates both online and during the recruitment process?

Right now, developing your brand awareness as an employer of choice needs to be a part of your recruitment strategy.

5. Working with a Recruiter

Finally, the most valuable step you can take right now is to work with a recruiter.

At Clayton Recruitment, we can take care of all the stages we have outlined here, which, at the moment, is a big undertaking for HR departments which are already pushed for time and resources.

Making the right hiring decision is so critical right now, the last thing any organisation wants is to find out that they have made the ‘wrong’ accounting hire shortly after appointing them.

Your finance team needs to be full of the most talented, best-suited experts for your organisation.

Next Steps

If you have struggled to attract the finance candidates you want and have found that recruitment is becoming a challenging task as you are faced with an increasing amount of CVs and applicants, we can help.

Please get in contact with our expert recruitment team today to find out more about our recruitment service. We don’t just guarantee that we will find you the best possible candidate, we also protect your investment so that if the candidate doesn’t work out, you get your full investment back.

Don’t run the risk of making the ‘wrong’ hire from the many candidates available; use our guaranteed recruitment service to find your ideal candidate in a saturated market.

Call us on 01772 259 121 or contact us here to find out how we can help.

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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How Clayton is Responding to Market Needs For In-Demand Sectors

  • December 4, 2020

Many industries are driven by their sales and marketing functions, and in our post-Covid world, these departments in your business have become more critical than ever.

Likewise, finance and accounting teams have been the backbone of businesses throughout the pandemic.

In any organisation, both of these parts of your business need to be staffed with the right, dedicated team, to achieve success; and as you grow your business next year, these departments will play a pivotal role.

Despite the pandemic, many industries such as online retailers are doing well, as the market shifts to accommodate the way businesses and their customers are acting to navigate the new normal, we occupy.

In the UK, the sectors that are doing particularly well include banks, certain food and beverage organisations, construction, financial services, healthcare equipment and technology.

Of course, this is a broad picture of the UK, and each business will have its own story to tell.

But what is true everywhere is that organisations who plan to grow next year and come back stronger from the pandemic will need to concentrate on having the best sales and marketing experts, as well as astute financial professionals in key roles.

Today, we look at the importance of both the sales and marketing and finance and accounting functions in your business, and how Clayton can supply you with the talent you will need here for 2021.

Let’s look at where one of the most significant opportunities is right now – sales.

Capitalising on Sales Opportunities

One area we are seeing vast growth is in sales, both in B2B and B2C.

In times of economic uncertainty, this is historically a prime opportunity to increase sales as businesses and individuals are looking to you as a market expert to provide what they need right now. And we saw this in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic this year. It was not the businesses who furloughed their sales departments who are riding high right now – it is the ones that carried on with their sales processes even in spite of the pandemic.

However, the UK has not experienced the worst of the economic downturn that was expected; in fact, the economy is recovering strongly from the Covid period.

Depending on the nature of your business, you will likely have experienced challenges and opportunities this year, perhaps in some unexpected areas. To grow this year and capitalise on opportunities in the market, many organisations are now expanding their sales teams with experienced, talented sales executives.

The most vital asset to any business now as we enter back into a period of healthy trading is a strong sales team – talk to us today to find out how we can help.

Marketing

Marketing has also evolved massively since the start of the pandemic.

The change in consumer habits, government restrictions in this country and wider global business influences have meant that marketing your business probably looks much different now to what it did at the start of the year.

Having an excellent marketing department in place right now is critical.

Sectors which are doing well since the pandemic include online retail, tech, construction, consumer goods and green energy, will require increasing numbers of talented individuals next year to strengthen these brand messages.

Digital marketing software and CRMs like Salesforce have increased their market share during the pandemic as companies realise the importance of nurturing relationships with customers.

A few questions for you.

  • Have you invested in digital marketing or CRM software recently?
  • Are you getting the most out of your sales team?
  • Do you need to provide them with better tools or better management?
  • How many additional people might you need?

All these are considerations for organisations today. We know because we are working with companies daily who are building marketing talented teams in these areas. If you would like a conversation to understand how we might help you, get in touch with one of our team today.

Accounting and Finance

Accounting and finance have always been a stable sector and in times of uncertainty always moves into a growth phase, as companies navigate the changes in the economy.

As well as dealing with the pandemic, the UK accounting and finance sector is also bracing for Brexit in 2021.

However, as a full leave agreement is yet to be decided, many banks and financial service companies have already made their arrangements to continue to trade with the EU market. As this financial blog points out, trading in the EU market was ‘too inviting to let go’.

In November, the chancellor outlined exciting new plans for the UK financial service sectors, with a focus on financial technology.

Financial technology is going to play a huge part in the future of all businesses, as systems and processes turn digital in the wake of Covid-19.

Do you have financial technology talent in your team that will drive your organisation forwards?

In terms of financial business recovery, despite more tiered restrictions, positive news about a vaccine has shed light on hope for next year. Recent data from the staffing industry shows that positions in Insurance and Finance were up 22% on the previous week for the week starting the 22nd November.

Good news.

Have you found that demand in your finance and accounting departments has increased in the months since the pandemic?

If the answer is yes or you can predict growth for the future, it might be time to start thinking about injecting some fresh finance talent into your team.

How Clayton are Responding

Clayton has been providing expert recruitment services for over 30 years, specialising in the legal sector as well as sales and marketing and accounting and finance.

Because of the huge shifts happening in the jobs market in the UK right now, we have recognised the importance of pivoting to help businesses who need these most in-demand candidates right now.

At Clayton Recruitment, we are repeatedly asked by clients to source the best of these talent pools to place in key roles; for this reason, we are committing to a focus on sales and marketing and finance and accounting. We are doubling down on our efforts to source candidates specifically in these areas.

We’re committing to a laser focus on sales and marketing and accounting and finance, drawing on our previous extensive experience in these sectors and creating a recruitment process to quickly find clients the candidates they need.

So, we can help if you need sales and marketing or finance and accounting candidates with the most in-demand skills.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can put you in touch with the right candidates to drive growth in your organisation. Call us on 01772 259 121 or contact us here to discuss your recruitment needs.

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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How the Pandemic Has Been the Catalyst for Our New VIP Services

  • November 14, 2020

The pandemic has caused some of the most significant business and personal shifts that many of us will see in our lifetimes.

Social distancing, the wearing of masks, the rise of remote working; there are so many ways our lives are different now. And despite the pandemic being catastrophic in many ways, in others, it has been the catalyst for positive change, and this is something that we have experienced here at the Clayton Group too.

Instead of letting Covid impose a gloomy outlook, we have used this challenging time to increase our products and services – to deliver more for our clients and candidates during their time of need, and this is something we are incredibly proud of.

The Clayton Group is about more than just recruitment – today, I want to share with you how the pandemic has been the catalyst for our new VIP services and how they can help your business right now.

Consultancy

During the pandemic, we have focused our attention on helping CEOs and MDs of businesses, and partners of law firms, to uncover what business skills are needed and planning for the future needs, wheather it be new opportunities uncovered or new skills needed as the business pivots.

For many business owners, the last few months have been about getting through each week. There has been little time to focus on the businesses position; it’s been about survival and shifting.

Restructuring and Sourcing New Skills

Restructuring is something that all businesses want to avoid, but in times of crisis like we have experienced, it is sometimes a necessity.

We can help businesses to understand the impact of restructuring, and help guide them through the process.

Restructuring involves much more than making roles redundant; it requires a consultative approach to ensure your business is not left in a precarious position after a period of change.

Yes, it is possible to come through a restructuring period even stronger than before, and we can help you achieve this. Working closely with your business, our team will help you identify the new skills that you may need. We will support you in writing person specifications to help you find the right talent to deliver your post-Covid business plan.

Interim Solutions

Another vital and popular service that we have been offering since the pandemic is interim solutions for businesses.

These have proven to be invaluable to many organisations who are in a position where they need talent right now, but the future is uncertain, and they cannot guarantee contracts for more than a few months.

Employing talent on an interim, contract or temporary basis might be exactly what your business needs right now. If you would like to know more about how we can quickly find you the interim talent you need, get in contact with us here.

How We Protect Your Investment

As part of our world-class service that we have curated over 20 years, we have a built-in guarantee for your investment.

Our guarantee to you is that your investment is protected 100%, and we do this by offering both trial and extended guarantee periods.

We not only protect your business with our guarantee, but we also make sure that the investment you make with us is spent wisely, and we do this by giving excellent value for money.

Our Recruitment Service

Despite diversifying our services, recruitment is still very much at the heart of what we do.

We have a world-class resourcing team to find the best fit for your vacancy. Our talent attraction team continually works in the market to attract the best candidates that companies are unable to reach on their own.

We offer three different recruitment packages to suit your needs.

Again, your recruitment investment is always protected 100% – we mitigate any complications to provide you risk-free recruitment.

Finally

Don’t underestimate the value of working with a recruiter at this stage, even if you’re not recruiting currently, because they can help with so much more than that.

All business owners need help at some stage, and particularly in the current climate. Whether it’s identifying skills gaps, uncovering business needs and consulting on skills gaps. reating business plans, hiring for current vacancies, or filling your talent pipeline – we can help.

Get in touch with us on 01772 259 121 or contact us here to find out how we can help you get to the next stage of your business plan – whatever that may 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, 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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How To Build Your Talent Pipeline This Year

  • October 10, 2020

How to build a talent pipeline for your practice is a question many of our consultants are asked.

Logical when you consider that developing your team and the talent within your organisation will be key to your growth this year.

What Is A Talent Pipeline?

Contrary to what you might expect to read on a recruitment website, building a talent pipeline involves developing your current employees in addition to recruiting talent to ‘plug’ skill or experience gaps or fill your expansion needs.

Both will be critical for your success.

Building A Talent Pipeline: Business Strategy

The first question to inform your talent pipeline is focused on your current business growth strategy.

Are you planning to move into a new geography or perhaps offer a different aspect of your service?

You might have focused on business services and now want to expand into home and family; perhaps even consider wealth management.

The question is, do you have the capability in these areas currently or do you need to bring in a director or consultant to build a new vertical who are keen to move?

Considering these questions, how will you now plan your recruitment and within what time frame?

As a recruitment company with twenty years experience, we notice that many clients when they first come to us haven’t thought through their long term plan.

Remember to factor in budget and time to hire to hit your growth goals and be prepared for people leaving, which will produce gaps which need to be filled.

Building A Talent Pipeline: Your Current Team And Their Development

In today’s current market and depending on the size of your business it’s unlikely that you will be overstaffed with employees, ready, willing and able to be developed into a different role.

However, if you have a robust training and performance development process, it is more than possible that members of your current team will be able to move into different roles. Depending on your timelines it may be viable that some members of staff can develop to fill your growth gaps over the next one to three years.

Remember in today’s workplace; Millennials rule and are increasing in numbers across the globe. Something they deem key in their work is the opportunity to be developed. Therefore factor this into your talent development strategy and your future recruitment plans too.

Building A Talent Pipeline: Your Employer Brand

Recently we were carrying out some of our own research with candidates on why they choose to work with certain clients and not others.

Employer branding, culture and approach were giving as three influencing factors. One candidate even shared a story how after she came out of the interview she had been overwhelmed, in a positive way, by the  ‘feel’ of the organisation and their approach and was ‘keeping everything crossed’ that they made her an offer.

This isn’t an uncommon story, and the impact of your employer brand is more critical than ever.

A strong employer brand showcases the values and company culture in your organisation – all essential for attracting talent to your organisation and engaging your current staff.

More than 59% of managers say that branding is one of the critical components of their HR strategy.

While there are many different definitions for “employer branding” depending on whom you ask, they all mostly say the same thing. Your brand is the way that ‘potential new team members’ in the business world perceive you, and your opportunity to showcase what makes you unique.

Otherwise known as an “Employer Value Proposition”, your brand can help both you and your recruitment partner truly attract talent to your organisation while ensuring that you fill your team full of people who share the same values.

Building A Talent Pipeline: Using A Specialist Recruiter

The majority of clients we work with here at Clayton Recruitment come to us to help them build their talent pipeline because they have neither the time or connections to do the job as well as they would like.

Recruiting is our job; unlike most businesses who have to attract and work with clients, develop their fee earners and growing teams and then, as the business dictates recruit new members of the team.

A challenge for an already time-pressed individual.

Though it is great to recruit from within, it’s also key to bring in new ideas and perspectives from key hires who might have a different portfolio of experience and results.

Finding these individuals in a skill short market takes time.

Though we would always encourage building a network and leveraging your existing contacts and old school connections, this doesn’t always produce the results you want.

For instance, James who you have met at various social gatherings may have a high profile, however, might not have the detailed attributes your role description indicates is pivotal.

This is why working with an experienced recruitment company in the sector will make all the difference in building your talent pipeline.

Utilising all these different ideas and suggestions in your practice will enable you to start the process of building a strong talent pipeline this year.

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 Hidden Cost of Recruitment in a Post-Pandemic World

  • September 5, 2020

Covid-19 has re-shaped the way organisations are approaching the recruitment process.

In recent years, the talent ‘war’ in finding the right candidate from those available was the main barrier to making a great hire.

Now, there is a very different problem.

Furlough, redundancy, restructuring, and businesses pivoting in response to the pandemic – all of these are happening right now, and it is affecting business output and ultimately, the success of your company.

Add into the mix the need to recruit for a critical position, and you have the perfect scenario which is likely to result in masking the ‘wrong’ hiring decision.

We’re increasingly seeing the need for our recruiting services become realised by companies who recognise that trying to ‘go it alone’ is potentially harmful to their business.

Today’s blog is about highlighting the hidden costs of trying to recruit, without a dedicated recruiter, in a post-pandemic world.

Let’s start with the logistical challenges of hiring in a market now full of candidates.

Dealing with the Influx Of Candidates and Applications

Recent data shows that the number of roles that have been made redundant from UK companies due to the pandemic is in the hundreds of thousands – of course, it’s still early days, and the full picture won’t be known for some time.

But for now, this means one thing – a significant rise in the number of candidates applying for each role; and it’s not just those who have sadly already been made redundant.

The unsettling nature of the pandemic has meant that more people are thinking about their future and making big career decisions, either out of fear or the realisation that their company hasn’t been flexible this year.

But an influx of applicants has caused companies with vacancies to become overwhelmed by candidates – not an ideal situation when you need to make the ‘right’ hire.

Sifting through hundreds of applicants costs time and time is money. I was reading in the Independent recently about a trainee accountancy role which received 3,272 applicants.

Sorting through this amount of applications would have been incredibly time-consuming, yet each application must be considered if you are to make the ‘right’ hire – it’s a logistical dilemma.

Even when you spend the time individually reviewing applications, go through the interview process and recruit someone you believe is perfect for the role – in the current market there’s no guarantee that they will stay – let’s look at why.

Predicting Candidate Intentions

As I mentioned earlier, lots of candidates are going through a mindset change – the pandemic has caused people to evaluate their careers and their lives.

There is still a lot of uncertainty, and middle and senior managers with key skills and experience will be wondering what their next career move should be. This can lead to them applying for a range of roles, without really acknowledging what their long-term plan is.

Additionally, with the level of redundancies that we have seen occurring in the UK, someone with management skills looking for work will be essentially looking for something ‘right now’ rather than something ‘right’ for them.

There is so much change happening in the market right now; how can you be sure that the person you hire isn’t just waiting for the next best thing? Middle and senior management employees are still trying to find their feet in an emerging marketplace; many will feel pressured into taking the first job that comes along – unbeknown to you this might be your vacancy.

When you work with an experienced recruiter, you can guarantee that the candidate is right for the role.

A specialist recruiter works with candidates to place them only in roles that they know are suited to the long-term aspirations of the individual; that’s why good recruiters focus on talent and personality matching rather than someone, anyone, to fill a vacant role.

Which leads onto the hidden cost of DIY recruitment most companies don’t appreciate.

The Cost of a Bad Hire

In pre-pandemic times, the cost of a ‘bad’ hire was always a risk, but now it is even more likely to occur and here is why.

Organisations are now dealing with multiple changes within the structure or the nature of their business.

From changed teams because of furlough and redundancy and the broader shifts in remote work, disruptions caused by the wrong hire are more likely to happen and could be one problem too many.

Hiring the wrong individual has the potential to cause problems in two ways –

  • You hire someone who isn’t right for the role, or your organisation, and they cause a shift in the company culture, they are hard to manage, or they struggle with their position.
  • You hire someone who you believe is right and they leave shortly afterwards, leaving you under-resourced and at the start of the recruitment process again.

Now, more than ever, you must find the ideal candidate to meet your criteria – an individual who is not only right for the role and your company culture but can also help your business grow in what is potentially a challenging time ahead.

Using a specialist recruiter is a logical and time tested way to avoid the common recruiting challenges I have mentioned here.

Working with a Recruiter for Your Post-Pandemic Hiring Decisions

Working with a recruiter is not the same as going it alone but with a fee – if this were the case, recruitment wouldn’t exist.

A specialist recruiter can proactively find the ‘right’ hire for your position, rather than the passive type of recruitment that is causing businesses to be overwhelmed with applicants and the barriers to finding the right hire that this presents.

In the current climate, which would you prefer –

Being swamped with potentially hundreds of applicants and not having the time to separate the suitable ones from the highly unsuitable, or not getting any suitable applicants at all?

Be presented with a shortlist of a few highly relevant candidates with the exact skills, experience and culture fit that you’re looking for?

We are a specialist recruitment company, and we can help you achieve this second scenario.

To find out how we can locate for you the candidates you’re looking for – get in touch with 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, Nursing, 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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What Benefits are Employees Looking for in 2020?

  • March 24, 2020

In an increasingly competitive employment market, employers must keep up-to-date with the compensation, perks and benefits that the best talent is looking for, or risk losing them to your competitors.

I speak to candidates daily, and I hear the same incentives that are driving candidates away from specific workplaces and into others.

In this blog, I will share what the most talented candidates are looking for in their new employers right now – are you offering these incentives?

Flexible Work Schedules

We have seen a decrease in the typical 9-5 working schedule for some years now, with flexi-time gaining popularity in the ‘90s through to the present day.

But increasingly, employees are looking for even more flexibility from their employers.

Employees today – and especially millennial employees who now make up the majority of workplaces – want schedules that are flexible to their personal needs.

This is different to flexitime, as instead of being able to come into work anytime between 7-10 am and leave between 3-7 pm, they might ask for flexibility at other times. For example, a half-day finish when they have an appointment and be able to make the time up somewhere else or to come in later on days when they have to take their child to playgroup when their partner is busy.

As well as a flexible working arrangement, another popular demand among employees is a compressed working week – let me explain how this works.

Compressed Work Week

A compressed working schedule allows employees to work full time, putting in more of their hours on the days they choose, and allowing them to take time off elsewhere. For example, an employee might want to work four 10 hour days and have Fridays off.

Employees love this perk, as it allows them to have a better work-life balance, and studies show that working non-regular office hours improves productivity. Employees are more focused on their tasks, they have fewer interruptions, and it reduces fatigue which causes productivity and quality of work to slip.

Pension Scheme

We’re all living longer, and with government pensions not as reliable as they once were, employees are looking to their employers to provide them with an excellent pension scheme.

Employees highly value an employer who invests in an excellent pension scheme for them – it shows that they are invested in their future.

Working with a workplace pension provider to ensure that your employees are given a good rate on their pensions and that they can have as much or as little input as they want in the matter is a highly desirable bonus to many employees.

On-Site Amenities

Depending on the type of your workplace, there will be a range of amenities that you can provide for employees.

If your organisation is based somewhere away from shops and other conveniences, can you provide food for employees?

Some larger organisations can provide gyms, which is seen as one of the most sought-after perks; of course, this is not always possible and will depend on your size and budget. A good alternative is a chill-out zone, where employees can take time out to de-stress or have a quiet 5 minutes.

Even something as small as making your workspace bright, with plenty of natural light and indoor plants can make workplaces much more appealing to candidates.

Your goal should be to provide a workspace that your employees look forward to coming to, where they feel that they can thrive and work towards the shared goal of being healthy and happy.

Creating a positive place to work for your employees contributes to their overall wellbeing, which in turn increases productivity – it’s a win-win!

Finally, a great way to boost morale and give employees a little something that everyone enjoys – free social events!

Social Events

The solitary annual Christmas party doesn’t cut it anymore – many workplaces provide events for their employees throughout the year, and this is has become the mark of a great employer.

It doesn’t have to be monthly away-days at outdoor pursuit facilities; something as low-key as a shared team breakfast every few weeks, or making sure you celebrate birthdays in the office, makes team members feel valued.

Not only this, but research shows that employees who spend time together form stronger bonds which enables them to work better as a team when they are at work.

Your Benefits

How many of these benefits do you currently provide, in one form or another, to attract and retain the best employees?

The smartest organisations are always on the lookout for the most talented employees, and so attraction and retention should be something you are actively monitoring.

Hopefully, this article will have given you some inspiration on how you can make changes to transform your organisation into a talent magnet.

If you need further help or advice on how to recruit top employees, we can help. We work with organisations in the North West to help them find the talent they need to drive their business forwards – get in contact with us today to find out more.

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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