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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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Why Hire Temps? Your Guide to Employing Temporary Workers in a Post-Pandemic Job Market

  • July 30, 2020

Hiring during a pandemic – it’s not something that many employers thought they would ever be doing.

After the imposed slowdown of the U.K. economy, businesses are more aware than ever of how critical it is to have the right team in place.

But the pandemic has also created the challenge of business planning – many organisations aren’t sure of what lies in store for the next few months, perhaps even years.

Protecting jobs has been a central focus of the fallout of the pandemic from Rishi Sunak, our Chancellor to Managing Directors across multiple Corporate and SME organisations.

As we now emerge into the ‘recovery’ stage, employers who have opportunities for candidates must decide on their hiring process to avoid being swamped by candidates and making the ‘right’ decisions from the many candidates available.

If you’re currently in the process of hiring temporary workers for your organisation over the next few months, this guide is for you.

Temp Workers for Your Post-Pandemic Organisation

Hiring temporary employees might not have been on your business plan at the start of the year, but the pandemic has forced many businesses into doing so, to protect themselves as we find a new normal.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures show that the number of temporary employees in the U.K. increased by 1.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the three months March-May 2020 compared to last year.

If you’re hiring temporary employees right now – you’re not alone. Delivery giant Hermes just announced they are to hire an additional 10,500 workers in the U.K. after the surge in new demand.

Temporary and contract workers are a smart choice for employers, as they offer more flexibility and less commitment during this business-critical time.

Let’s look first at applicant tracking systems and how these could be helping or hindering your temp hiring process.

Applicant Tracking Systems for Temp Workers

When hiring temp workers, speed is critical to the process – is it time you reviewed your applicant tracking system?

Many companies continue to use outdated tracking systems which could be harming your recruitment process. Now more than ever, you need to know that you can rely on your ATS and that it is helping, not damaging your recruiting efforts for temporary roles.

If your ATS is turning away more candidates than it is attracting, or if it is filtering out suitable candidates without your knowledge, you need to remedy this now.

Right now, there is likely to be an influx of applicants for roles, and you need to make sure your system isn’t missing the best applicants.

My top tips for evaluating your ATS are:

  • Decide if the amount you are paying for the software is giving you a decent ROI.
  • Consider if the features of your ATS are pulling in the temporary candidates you need right now.
  • Are you able to accurately measure and track whether the ATS is providing you with quality candidates? If not, it might be time to consider a different recruiting method.

Next, let’s look at how current hiring practices are affecting the hiring of temporary employees.

Video Interviewing

Since the pandemic, hiring has gone digital, with many organisations and recruiters alike taking to video to interview candidates, at least for the first stages of the recruitment process.

The pandemic caused a spike of 67% more companies using video interviews to hire for critical roles, and this worked the other way too, with a 150% increase in candidates wanting to upgrade their digital CV with a video.

Video interviewing is a great – and safe – way to interview several candidates when you have multiple applicants for a temporary vacancy.

Set aside a day to conduct video interviews with your candidates, but with social distancing measures in place, safe face-to-face interviews can also now take place. Remember that an in-person interview is the best way to ascertain if a candidate is a good fit for your organisation, even if the role is only a temporary one.

Hiring Candidates with the Right Skills for Flexible Roles

Flexibility is going to be a key theme in businesses going forwards, and companies who fail to flex could find themselves in trouble.

When hiring temporary workers, you must think past the immediate role the candidate is applying for. Think about how much value your applicants can bring to the role – what other soft and hard skills do they have, and what experience do they have in different positions?

With an influx of candidates currently on the market, now is an excellent time to hire employees with great in-demand skills, think problem-solving, customer service, excellent communication skills, critical thinking, and creativity.

In a period of economic downturn, it can be easy for employers to forget about forward-planning, as they look to fill roles with the employees they need right now. When you hire with the future of your organisation in mind, you are protecting and strengthening your business for years to come.

This means hiring the very best from the available talent.

Finding the Best Talent for Your Temporary Roles

Before the pandemic, Clayton Recruitment specialised in finding the best available talent for temporary commercial roles, and that’s what we’re still doing today.

Our extensive network and connections can put you in touch with candidates, who can add value to your business now, in their temporary roles, and for when the time comes to make more permanent hiring decisions.

Remember, even though you are hiring for a temporary role, you should employ the same high standards in your hiring as you would for a permanent employee. As the current business environment is changing so quickly, you might need permanent employees faster than you think.

The cost of a wrong hire can be in the thousands; it can be costly in terms of time and effort too.

For peace of mind that you are hiring the very best temporary employees from the current pool, work with a recruiter with extensive experience in this field.

Clayton Recruitment offer a tailored recruitment service for each of your roles; we have the insight, network and market credibility to supply you with the temporary candidates you need right now – get in touch with us here to find out how.

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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The 7 Benefits of Temporary Employment

  • January 14, 2020

Temporary employment, or ‘temping’ is one of the fastest-growing sections on the job market – why is this?

Once considered to be only for students, or people between jobs, temp work has taken off in the last few years, as people from all sectors and at all stages in their career realise the benefits of this flexible working style.

Employees are now taking on temporary employment for a variety of reasons – to help during a career change, to fit around your studies, for flexibility when starting a family or looking after young children, or when you are looking for a more permanent job but haven’t found the right one yet.

If you have been considering temp work but aren’t sure if it’s right for you – these seven benefits of temp work should be able to help you to decide.

1. Gaining New Skills

The job market is constantly changing. Clients frequently contact us with roles which require new and emerging skills, especially in commercial divisions. To fill these roles, we need employees who love to learn new skills and are looking for a challenge.

Taking on temp work in an area that you are unfamiliar with is an excellent way to build up your skills repertoire, as increasingly, employers are looking for candidates with transferrable skills. Candidates with a broader range of skills from temping are often looked on more favourably for specific roles than candidates with a more limited skill-set due to being in the same position for many years.

2. Experience

As well as new soft and hard skills, temp work allows employees to gain new experiences, both personally and professionally.

Temp work can take you into organisations you never thought you would be a part of, and allows you to meet new people and experience different roles within different sectors. Working for a few different well-respected companies makes your CV instantly more impressive to employers.

3. Career Change

Speaking of experience, many people utilise temp work when they are in the middle of a career change. Temping is a great way to experience roles that you have you been interested in for a while, without being tied into a permanent contract.

You might find that the job or sector you thought you wanted to get into isn’t the right fit for you; likewise, you could be pleasantly surprised by a position you had not have otherwise been aware of.

4. Flexibility

Choosing temp work gives you control over your life that those in permanent positions don’t have. If you’re in a transitionary period, are figuring out what to do next, or fancy seeing more of the world – temping allows you to do this.

You decide the hours that you are available and the period that you want to work for – there are a variety of different temp contracts so you can choose one to fit your requirements.

5. A ‘Way In’

For those who are looking to get into a particular sector but have not been able to find a permanent job – temping is a great way to get your foot in the door and meet industry connections: to build your network.

Some sectors are very competitive, and with high volumes of applicants for each role, those with temp experience will have much more of a chance of being considered when a permanent position becomes available.

6. Time Out

Work-related stress and burnout are on the rise. The number of new cases of work-related stress, depression and anxiety in 2019 was 246,000 – an incidence rate of 740 per 100,000 employees.

Increasingly, people now realise the importance of managing workloads and not trying to battle on through when you are struggling.

Taking a career break from your long-term career is a great way to manage stress, and temp work can fit into this perfectly. If you decide on having a year out from your job, intending to carry on or change your role slightly when you return, taking on temporary employment is a great way to help tide you over while you figure out your plan for the future.

7. Your Rights are Covered!

Some employees are reluctant to explore temporary work as an option because they believe that temp workers are not afforded as many rights as permanent employees.

But this is not the case.

Temp workers are protected both by law and by the contracts that your recruiter negotiates with your new employer to ensure that your rights as an employee are protected and so that you are not treated any differently to permanent staff.


Have you been considering temp work? Whether you need something fast to cover a period coming up, or you are thinking about a career change and are exploring your options for the future – we can help.

We specialise in temporary contracts and have a range of positions to suit you – get in touch with our team today to find out more about the roles we have available.

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.

If you would like to download our latest interview checklist, you can do so here.

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Starting your new role?

  • September 7, 2018

The first 30 days are critical to any job. There’s a lot to take in, new names to remember and you’re still finding your feet and getting settled. On top of all of that, you’re keen to make a good impression, demonstrate your worth and integrate with colleagues. Not much to do then!

We’ve put together the essential tips to help professionals make it through their first thirty days. Follow our guide and you’ll not only survive the first month, you’ll be set up to thrive for a long time to come.

What to do in your first thirty days

The start of a new job is your chance to demonstrate to your new employer what a valuable asset you are. According to Forbes’ research, ‘professionalism’ is the number one trait that employers value. So how can you balance a high degree of professionalism with being focused, positive and enthusiastic?

There are three stages to bring all of these elements together:

  1. Your first day: The most important thing you can do on your first day is to be on time. Lateness is unprofessional and gives the impression of a lack of care. Be friendly and open when introduced to colleagues, but don’t overshare or be tempted to speak negatively about your former employer.
  2. Your first week: Show enthusiasm when delegated work and don’t be afraid to ask questions if there’s something that you don’t understand. Continue to meet with management and directors. Show an interest in what your new employer tells you about the department, the business and its vision. If relevant, relate this to your own experience, as it may well help the company.
  3. Your first month: A new role, a new business and new colleagues all take a little adjustment. Be sure to attend one-to-one meetings arranged by your manager, and if these are not forthcoming then you can request them. Be open to feedback and give feedback in a thoughtful, constructive way. Make your development goals known and work on a development plan with your manager.

Being proactive will put you in the driving seat of your new career and will help you feel more settled and secure. It’ll leave a good impression on your new employer too!

How to make a good impression in your new job

Making a good impression at the start of your new job sets you up for success. It’s about demonstrating your value. You want to reinforce in your employer’s mind that they were right to hire you. The ability to work in a team shows that you’re interested in the collective success of colleagues and the company. Listening, enthusiasm and a willingness to get stuck in show that you’re a good fit while showing off your skills.

When meeting management, be open to what they are saying, especially if they are communicating their vision of what the business or department is working towards. Show an interest and bring your experience to bear: even if you’re not in a leadership position, your experience is valuable and if you have skills or knowledge that will help the organisation achieve what they want, share it. This will impress leaders and demonstrate your skills and commitment.

Making sense of the company culture

Getting to grips with a new job is one thing, making sense of the culture of a business is another. There are several simple things you can do to help you get familiar with your new workplace.

  • Make use of your mentor – If you’ve been partnered with a mentor, they can prove invaluable in helping you understand the business. If you have questions about how things work, potential office politics, or anything that’s not necessarily related to the work but the everyday ticking over of the place, your mentor will be able to give you the inside view.
  • Attend orientation, meetings and introductions – This will give you a good overview of the company and how it works. Meeting key players and observing them in action will give you a good idea of the leadership style and how this influences the business.
  • Pay attention to feedback – Whether feedback is delivered as an everyday drip-feed or in more formal one-to-ones, it gives you a good idea as to the culture. Keep your ears open to what’s being said and learn to understand what is expected of you – being told what to adjust and how to make it better, helps you understand the company’s values in a tangible way.

How to integrate with co-workers

It’s likely that you spend more time with your colleagues than anyone else. So it makes sense to have good relationships with those you work with, even if you aren’t best friends. In order to integrate with colleagues in the first thirty days of your new job, there are a few steps you can take.

On your first day, be friendly and open. A smile and a firm handshake convey trust and create a good first impression. Take time to introduce yourself to your mentor and make sure that you go to lunch! Chatting with people away from your desks is much more likely to see you get along on a personal level which helps to enhance working relationships. Just beware of oversharing and don’t be tempted to talk negatively about your former employer: you’ll quickly destroy trust and be viewed as a gossip.

Over the coming weeks is when you can start to build and solidify working relationships. If your manager hasn’t arranged it, ask to be introduced to the department head. Being aware of who’s who will help you understand your work and build positive relations. If you’re invited to events or networking make sure to go along. Avoiding these kinds of situations gives the impression that you’re not a team player and can damage relations with colleagues.

Hit the ground running

Joining a new business can be a challenging process. But by going through things in a logical and proactive way, you can make the best of your first month. Ensure you tie up your own goals with the goals of the business, demonstrate your value and your boss will be thrilled with their new hire.

Our guide on ‘How to excel in your first 30 days‘ will give you more hints and tips on settling into your new role – download your complimentary copy or contact us on 01772 259 121. We’ve decades of experience working with professionals from a range of industries to place them in their ideal careers and we’d be happy to help with whatever challenges you’re facing.

And if you found this blog interesting please take a look at our other blog on ‘How to onboard yourself into a new job’. You can also register your CV with us online.

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Seal the deal with a tempting employment offer

  • August 6, 2018

You have interviewed the perfect match and you want to be sure that the offer you put in front of the candidate is tempting enough for them to bite the first time. How can you be sure that they’re as enthusiastic as you are? When you’ve worked so hard to recruit the ideal candidate you want to get them into the role without delay.

This guide gives you the lowdown on putting the right offer together handling the offer stage efficiently, effectively, ending with you employing the very best talent for your business.


According to research carried out by CareerArc, 60% of candidates think that better employer communication would improve their experience. Don’t leave your candidates guessing what might happen: explain the next steps at the interview stage, manage their expectations and ensure that if you say you will follow up by a certain date, you do – even if it’s just to say that there’s no decision yet.

When you’re ready to make an offer, a phone call will give you another chance to speak with the candidate and gauge their interest level. If they seem pleased and verbally accept an offer of employment, you can feel reassured that it’s the right time to make a written offer.


As with communication, the speed with which an offer is made affects the employee experience. And even if you decide not to make an offer, let the candidates who interviewed know. CareerArc also found that those who never heard about a job were three and a half times less likely to apply to that business again. A week allows time to consider your options, two weeks might see the candidate starting to lose interest.

It’s also a good idea to stipulate how long the offer of employment stands for. Seven days is usual, although you may wish to adjust this as per your company’s circumstances. If a candidate hasn’t accepted within a week, it could well signal that they weren’t quite as bought in as you’d hoped.

Use employer branding to your advantage

Treat your employees – and potential employees – as you would your clients. Demonstrate why it’s so good to work with you and what other employees have gained, both professionally and personally, from working for your business. Not only will a strong employer brand attract candidates to you, it’ll encourage them to accept your offer, and it will also help to retain them once they come on board. Check out our extensive guide for more on employer branding and why it’s so important.

Avoid the minefield of counter offers

You’ve found an outstanding candidate, made an offer and are eagerly awaiting them to return their signed contract. What you get in return is a counter offer. Maybe the candidate has had more money offered by their current employer or a competitor. Maybe they’re requesting a more extensive benefits package. Counter offers aren’t the end of the world and can be very revealing about what motivates the candidate you’re interested in.

But don’t get drawn into a bidding war. You may win the battle, although candidate indecision raises a red flag, and if they are playing off two parties for their own gain it begs the question as to whether they’re the kind of team player you want in your business. A trusted recruitment partner will be able to screen candidates for motive initially, which will help to avoid a counter-offer situation and make a first initial successful offer considering all motivations.


It’s frustrating, although keep it in perspective and remember that life happens. Give the benefit of the doubt to the candidate and – maddening though it may be – resist the urge to go in guns blazing if someone doesn’t show as there may be a simple explanation. And keep your employer brand in mind: if the candidate has a bad experience they’ll tell their network and that might make recruitment difficult in future.

The best offer

All stages of the recruitment process require careful thought and planning, and none more so than the offers stage. This crucial final hurdle to placing the right candidate decides the success of the whole operation.

If you’re in need of some support in navigating this – or any – stage of your recruitment process why not contact Clayton Recruitment, either online using our call scheduling service or contact form.

Alternatively, you can phone us on 01772 259 121 – we’d be happy to help you seal the deal with promising candidates.

And if you do find yourself in the position of having to deal with a counter offer, you may find our blog ‘How to handle a counter offer situation’ helpful.

You may also like to download our latest report on trends in recruitment: The 7 critical recruitment trends for businesses that will impact your talent pipeline in 2019.

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Factors to consider before deciding to move jobs

  • April 30, 2018

Looking for a new job is a big commitment. It takes time to figure out what is out there and how that fits with your career plans. Then there are the applications, interviews and time spent investigating your options. The decision to move is not taken lightly, so if you do decide to seek a new role you want to feel reassured that it’s the best fit for you. Our blog offers some important considerations about seeking a new role to help you establish what matters to you.

Monetary motivation

Cold hard cash is a major motivation factor when candidates consider a job move. The temptation of earning more money for the same job with a different company can prove too tempting to resist.

It’s also worth noting that in the business world, career progression and pay scales can be much more fluid than in professions that have a clear linear structure with regards to training, qualification and experience, such as doctors or legal professionals. If money is high on your list of priorities it’s often best to look at what the individual company is offering, as pay can vary within a sector dependent on the business.

The North-South divide is often talked about in the media; it’s true that there are broad discrepancies between take-home earnings dependent on where in the country you live and work. The Institute of Fiscal Studies published findings last year that state incomes in the South East of England are up to 25% greater than incomes in the West Midlands. If moving plays a part in your job search, the pull of big cities like London is often a major factor. It’s worth bearing in mind how location fits into your broader lifestyle desires when thinking about changing jobs.

Non-monetary rewards

Money can be a powerful reason to leave a job, yet non-monetary rewards can be just as motivational. Things such as contributions towards a gym membership, flexible or remote working, or discounted medical cover for the employee plus dependents and a spouse can be sufficiently tempting if you’re considering a move.
Personal perks offered by a company are often major considerations for many candidates. While London offers a fast pace of life and a vast array of career opportunities, different locations may appeal to people in different circumstances. A quieter location might be preferable for parents with children, while a job close to extended family might suit someone who helps care for a relative. Money can be tempting but personal circumstances are often a more powerful motivational force – and will likely continue to be so as our population ages and younger generations play a part in caring for elderly relations. Finding a business that supports flexible working or considers part-time hours can be invaluable and might just be the tipping point that pushes someone to jump ship.

Time, work and people management

Management issues are often cited when candidates are looking for a new job. Important issues to think about include:

  • How workloads are managed in the business: is there enough to do – or too much?
  • Time management: are employer expectations realistic? Does the job involve long, late hours?
  • Opportunities to gain managerial experience: if training is not forthcoming and managing a team is something you’re interested in, it could be time to move on.
  • Management of the business as a whole: if you’re at a stage in your career where you’re ready to take the next step and you want to influence how the company is run, look for senior or director-level positions. If these aren’t available, it’s time to move on.

Job titles and moving up

Career development isn’t always linear, but if you feel that your real-life responsibilities don’t match your job description you could be ready for a step up. If your employer isn’t forthcoming with dropping the ‘assistant’ from your managerial job title, and you have the necessary skills and experience, why not see what else is out there. Tread carefully though – some employers won’t hire a senior colleague without evidence of previous experience or time in a post, and it’s never a good idea to burn bridges with your current employer.

Stay or go: your own list of reasons

There are many factors that influence the decision to stay with or leave a business. Sometimes a large issue such as the salary that a company can offer feels too big to work around and can only be resolved by a move. Equally, smaller issues that combine to make a larger picture can be just as compelling in the decision to seek a new position.

The most important factors to consider when looking for a new job are the ones that matter to you. Whether that’s money, work/life balance, a comprehensive benefits package or proximity to family, only you can decide. Think carefully about what’s on offer in your current job and weigh that against what a different company or role can offer – and how that sits with what you want.

If you found this blog interesting, why not have a look at our other post on How can you tell if a job is right for you? Or if you’re looking for that perfect role, then check out all the vacancies we have available, and please do register your CV with us.

You may also like to download our guide on How to Develop Your CV.

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How to handle a counter offer situation

  • January 22, 2018

You’ve found your ideal person for the role: they tick all of the right boxes and you can’t wait to get them on board. But after you’ve offered them the job, they suddenly aren’t sure. Their current employer is equally keen to retain them and has made a counter offer to incentivise them to stay. What should you do next?

Of course, all firms want to retain their best talent and a last-ditch attempt to encourage highly in-demand candidates to withdraw their application, is not an uncommon scenario. However, there are several steps that you can take to minimise the risk and ensure the role you are offering, remains a viable option.

Determine why they want to leave

Preparing for a counter offer needs to begin at the very first stage of contact with prospective employees. Asking ‘Why do you want to leave your current job?’ is an important part of understanding the candidate’s motives and aspirations. If their only reason for looking for a new role is to get a pay rise or a little more responsibility, their current employer can easily address this with a counter offer which includes a salary increase or a change of job title. During the interview process, consider which job seekers are interested in the full opportunity that you’re offering.

Cover counter-offers at interview

It’s totally fine to ask a candidate during the interview stage what they would do if their current employer asks them to stay. It may be uncomfortable, but if it is clear at this point that they aren’t totally sure that they really do want to leave, question them further to find out the full picture.

Get them engaged with their future colleagues

The onboarding process can start from the moment that a candidate accepts your offer and can also be extended to include candidates who are still weighing it up. It’s a good idea to invite them in again to meet with key colleagues, such as line managers, peers and the leadership team. Personal connections can make it easier for people to envision themselves as part of the team.

Keep in touch

When recruits are seeing out their notice periods – which can be as long as three months – their excitement at getting a new job can fade a little. Plus, of course, their current employer still continues to see them each day and may well be doing all that they can to dissuade them from leaving. Be sure to stay in contact with your new hire until they join you on their first day. Invite them to team events, where possible. This will help you keep the momentum going and cement your company in their mind as the place where they can’t wait to be.

Sell your strengths

If you’ve done all of that and a potential new employee still is having a moment of uncertainty about switching jobs, remind them of the opportunities in your organisation. Pinpoint what initially made them apply for a job with you – career progression, improved work/life balance, an appealing organisational culture or more challenge – and reassure them that those benefits exist if they make the move.

Use a recruiter

A good recruiter will ascertain why the applicant is searching for a new role before putting them forward for interview. Often, jobseekers reveal information to recruiters that they don’t at interview and some do say that they are really only looking for a bargaining tool! Recruiters will be well-versed in scenarios where counter-offers emerge and they’ll be able to prepare candidates for the possibility that their current employer may try to dissuade them from leaving.

Know when to walk away

The recruitment process works both ways. Even in a skills-short environment, you still want to attract the right person who has enthusiasm for the job: a candidate that needs endless persuasion to join your organisation is unlikely to be right. So, make your first offer your best one: sell the benefits of your company and role throughout the process and let it be the opportunity of working for you that attracts the right talent – not extra perks added to the salary package in a last minute attempt to get them to choose you.

If you would like specialist advice from experts, get in touch today to find out how we can help you find the right talent.

For more advice from the team, check out our other posts.

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How can you tell if a job is right for you

  • January 15, 2018

Being offered a job is undoubtedly exciting: not only do you feel relief at having secured the position, but you have a new challenge to look forward to as you start a different stage of your career. However, as tempting as it is to quit your current post and accept the offer on the spot, it’s vital that you have done enough research to be as sure as you can that the position is right for you. Switching jobs can be life-changing: after all, you spend a significant amount – if not the majority – of your time at work. Here are our top tips for deciding if a role is a good fit.


At the absolute minimum, check that you are genuinely satisfied with the working hours, holiday entitlement and benefits package before accepting. It’s also important to consider the location and any additional commuting time as studies show that longer commutes have a negative impact on health. Also factor in the cost of the journey, including petrol, public transport and parking. Other expenses – such as the need for specific workwear or an expectation that you will pay for equipment – are worth considering as these can easily eat into a salary.

Who will you work with?

Before accepting a job, you should have met – and felt that you can happily work alongside – the boss. Be wary of an interview conducted by someone from HR that prevents you from meeting the person that will set the precedent for your working environment. You should also know who your co-workers will be and ideally, have met them too. Pay attention to what they reveal: how do they speak about one another and the company? Do they seem happy?

How do they treat existing staff?

You can glean a lot about how you’d be treated as an employee from the way people in the firm behave towards you during the recruitment process. If you contact them, are they helpful and polite? Do they seem organised? Are people friendly towards you or are you unacknowledged as a visitor? Is there an element of openness- for example, are you offered an opportunity to informally discuss the role before applying and are you given a tour when you visit?

If you can find out information about the company’s retention rate, this will be illuminating. Try to establish why the vacancy for your position came about: expansion or promotion are good signs; the former post-holder walking out is clearly not.

Finally, use your network and research skills to find out what kind of reputation the company has. Does anyone know somebody who has worked there or had other direct experience of them? Sites such as Glassdoor can also give insights into a company from people who have worked there.

Workplace culture

Organisational culture – the behaviours, values, norms and beliefs of a workplace- permeates everything, so it is vital that it aligns with your core values and beliefs. For example, working in an environment that places high value on working long hours in order to make profit will energise and drive some people, but others would be utterly miserable. Firms often outline their own view of their culture in their mission statements, but none are going to admit to running a place like some sort of Scrooge. Instead, observe it through the actions of employees when you meet them. Consider how the environment feels to you and if it is comfortable.

Future prospects

Finally, remember that a new job can be a big upheaval. Is it going to offer long term prospects and opportunity for progression, or is the position only right for now? You should have a solid understanding of what the post entails from the job description and discussing the role at interview, but once you are settled and those elements become more routine, will it continue to satisfy and challenge you? Find out about the training available and the employer’s approach to supporting your educational and professional advancement. Also ask about the company’s structure and how that lends itself to promotional opportunities.

For more tips, see our other career advice posts.

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Five most in-demand roles in the North West

  • September 15, 2017

As an organisation with our finger on the pulse of all things recruitment in the North West, we have an understanding of the skills that firms in the region seek.

But what are the five most in-demand roles in the North West at the moment?

Fork lift drivers – reach and counter balance

These are the two main types of fork lift truck and an increase in demand is generally noted around this time every year as organisations begin to prepare their operations for the busy Christmas period. A rise in orders and products moving through factories and warehouses obviously facilitates a need for this type of professional. In addition, the rise of e-commerce has also contributed to the rising demand, as more staff are required to manage the ever-growing numbers of orders conducted online.

Customer service with sales and order processing

Along similar lines, customer service specialists are being sought after by the more organised retailers looking to get their workforces into shape in the run up to Christmas. This time of year always drives an increase in the number of products bought and with the aforementioned growth of e-commerce, along with the minor resurgence of in-store shopping, retailers are recruiting accordingly.

Commercial financial analysts

The growth of e-commerce has also driven an increased need for data specialists who can analyse huge information stacks and identify trends for their employers to base marketing and promotion campaigns around. Retailers and other organisations are much more reactive now than ever before and seek real-time updates that allow them to refresh their product displays and pricing in line with demand and popularity. These skills are highly transferrable and firms seem open to hiring from other industries, as long as the requisite skills are in place. Professionals in the likes of the financial services industry, are particularly highly sought after for their experience in working with large and often highly complex data sets.

Marketing and brand managers

Having a strong brand has perhaps never been as important as it is today. Commercial sectors across the board are crowded with companies competing over the same narrow vertical market share and are seeking ways to stand out from the crowd. This has driven a major rise in demand for marketing and brand managers who, as with commercial financial analysts, often possess transferrable skill sets and are being hired from other industries.

Production workers

Finally, the run up to the busy Christmas period has also driven a need for manufacturing and production staff across the board. This one is easy to attribute – consumers buy more products at this time of year than any other and rather obviously, professionals are sought after to actually create these products, both physical and digital.

If you’re looking for your next position in one of these highly sought after roles then you’re likely to be in luck, as organisations across the board are on the hunt for professionals to fill their teams – get in contact with the experts if you’re looking for your next game-changing position in the North West.

Take a look at some our other blogs to gain some more valuable career advice

Or take a look at our current roles to find your next game-changing role.

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The Northern Powerhouse and what it will mean for recruitment

  • August 21, 2017

George Osborne (remember him?) and the idea of the Northern Powerhouse have been absent from the public eye in recent times. While the former left politics altogether and now holds approximately 47 different jobs, including Editor of the Evening Standard, the latter suffered from the Brexit vote and the ensuing general election and has, until recently, been relegated to the back burner. However, according to recent reports, the Northern Powerhouse is back on track, but what will it mean for recruitment?

Rising optimism

Jim O’Neil, the former Goldman Sachs economist – who quit as Treasury minister last year after a series of disagreements with the government – is now feeling more positive about the prospect of the Northern Powerhouse project actually happening following the departure of two key advisors. He commented that the resignation of Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill removed two significant barriers that had previously held back the development from taking place. “[Theresa May] has lost the two main internal opponents of the Northern Powerhouse…They would not even use the term.” He also insisted there was now ‘sufficient momentum’ from government to press ahead, adding, “It is up to people locally to take that momentum and carry it on.”

But what would the Northern Powerhouse mean for recruitment in the UK?

The development of the Northern Powerhouse would spell good news for firms based in the Northern regions of the country. In a survey we conducted last year, 75% of companies were optimistic about the potential impact of the project with the main reasons cited as improved transportation links between major employment hubs as well as an increase in population, meaning a larger, skilled talent pool for organisations to hire from.

The success of businesses – aside from those that are now employing robots – tends to hinge on the skills and expertise within their workforces. Without access to skilled talent, firms have little chance of being successful, regardless of the strength or willpower of their leadership. However, in recent years many have struggled to attract the potential employees they need to facilitate growth and expansion and instead have faced significant hiring challenges. The introduction of improved links with the rest of the country, and the knock on investment and development that this infrastructure would attract, could bring thousands of professionals to other areas of the UK, removing the current economic mismatch between the North and the South and potentially creating a myriad of jobs across a wide range of industries.

The Powerhouse is still certainly in the concept stage and there is a major amount of work and activity that needs to take place to even get it off the ground. However, if Jim O’Neill’s predictions are correct and it does get closer to being given the green light, firms across the UK, but particularly in the Northern part of the country are likely to benefit.

Businesses in the North specifically are justified in feeling that the region has been neglected in favour of the South in recent years, however the development of the Northern Powerhouse could change all that. It could level the playing field, respread investment across the UK and mean that businesses in areas that had previously struggled to hire, would now have access to much larger talent pools, what’s not to like?

What benefits do you think the Powerhouse could create for northern businesses?

Take a look at some of our other blogs to find out about employment opportunities in the North.

Or take a look at our current jobs to find your next game changing role.

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