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Time To Move On? Top 10 Tips On How To Resign Gracefully

With the prospect of a new role on the horizon, arguably the hard bit is done. You have aced your interviews, impressed your new employer, and are no doubt looking to the future and the next steps in your career.

But even with the excitement of a new position looming, there is still an incredibly important step to take in making that move – handing in your resignation to your current company.

Here we offer our top tips on how to address this often-uncomfortable conversation – and ultimately remain professional, and on good terms as you exit the business.

1. Communicate To Your Manager First

With an exciting new role to look forward to, it can be tempting to tell close associates and friends, however the first person who should hear about it is your reporting manager. If a senior partner, or even your Manager themselves hears about your intention to leave from another colleague, it goes without saying that it won’t leave a favourable impression which is ultimately what a well-thought our resignation is trying to achieve.

Arrange a time to speak to your Manager and let them know the situation first. Face-to-face is ideal as it minimises any misunderstandings or miscommunication, although video call would also work well for those who work remotely or in order to expedite the process.  It is best practice to verbally tell your Manager of your intention to leave along with the reasons that have led to that decision as it is highly likely that you will be asked both why you are leaving and where you are going to – so it’s wise to have a response planned.

2. Be Prepared For Conversations Around Negotiation

Whatever the reason or reasons for leaving your current company, it is always worth having a preliminary conversation before you start looking for new opportunities, to see if those initial reasons may be overcome. If, however that conversation didn’t take place, you should nevertheless consider what you would do should a counter-offer be on the table once your make your intention to resign clear.

In the current market, where demand for talented professionals is outstripping supply, this is exceptionally common, so you need to at least be prepared for such a scenario and ask yourself, would you actually accept a counter-offer?. The answer to that lies in ultimately revisiting the reasons you wish to leave in the first place.

Counter-offers take many forms including increased pay, a promotion, enhanced benefits, or a combination of all of those, and there is no doubt that it can feel flattering to be in that position. However, research suggests that 80% of people who accept a counter-offer tend to leave within 6-12 months of accepting. Is it likely you’ll also be part of that statistic?

3. Prepare Your Resignation Letter

Once the decision to leave is final, you must put this in writing. When it comes to your resignation letter, it should be short and polite. Within the letter itself, it is not necessary to justify your reasons for leaving your current company or go into lengthy explanations as you can are likely to have (or have had) a more informal chat about this with your reporting Manager. The document is simply to cover the legalities of ending your contractual agreement with your employer and will be kept on record, so details like the date of the notice, confirmation of notice period, and last working day should be accurate.

You may wish to use the formal communication as an opportunity to highlight things you are grateful for – skills you have learnt, help and advice you have received, and opportunities to boost your career that have been offered, but that is not mandatory. Do, however, avoid the temptation to criticise your colleagues, boss, partners or clients.

4. Discuss Those Finer Details

Your Manager will mostly likely want to discuss with you the finer details around how and when you will let colleagues know you are leaving. You may wish to inform them individually, or as a group, or have your Manager tell them for you.

You also need to confirm your notice period and how this effects your new role start date. This should be communicated clearly in your contract of employment, but it is always worth a conversation on whether it is realistic to shorten this (if desired by any party) or even extended on request.

Whether your notice period is 2 weeks, 2 months or anything in between, its important you are aware of this before giving your new employer a start date that you may not be able to commit to. Be prepared that in some cases, you may be placed on gardening leave rather than working your notice period.

Garden leave (or gardening leave) is when an employer tells an employee not to work either part or all of their notice period. This could be because the employer does not want the employee to have access to sensitive or confidential information they could use in a new job (Source: ACAS) In this case, you are still employed by your employer, just not working for them and therefore you are still entitled to your salary and contractual agreements in this period of time.

5. Plan A Robust Handover

Scheduling time to plan for a smooth transition shows you to be a true legal professional and not someone who leaves a business or an employer in the lurch, or projects unfinished. Think about your specific areas of responsibility – current caseloads, unfinished assigments, urgent jobs and upcoming commitments, as well as information on your clients that your successor or wider team will need.

If possible, invest some time in training up your successor, or at least making formal handover notes, to ensure you minimise the impact on the company when you leave and once again, keep the working relationship positive.

6. Start Clearing Your Desk

Once colleagues are aware that you are leaving, you can start to clear your desk so that it’s ready for the next occupant. Removing paperwork, filing and archiving, binning wastepaper and taking personal items such as photographs home will ensure your workplace is ready, clean and welcoming for the next person.

7. Stay Committed

It may be tempting to spend time planning what you will do in your upcoming new legal role (and if time permits, there is definitely merit in keeping in touch with your new employer during your notice period – following their social media accounts to keep track of the latest news, be aware of any networking events etc) but nevertheless, you are still being paid to do your current job – so it’s important to remain committed to that role until the very end.

Remaining an active team player, working hard up to the last minute and completing casework where possible will be noted by colleagues and your employer and will ensure you leave on a positive note – and your professional reputation within the working community follows you as you move on.

8. Embrace The Exit Interview

If you are offered an exit interview by your employer, it’s always a good idea to take that opportunity while you can. These usually take place between yourself and a HR manager and are aimed at establishing any way in which they can improve the firm or addressing issues of which they may be unaware of.

While you can, at this point, bring to light any concerns you might have, keep your observations professional and your criticism constructive, always keeping in mind not to burn any bridges.

Taking these steps will not only provide closure on your previous role but will ensure you leave your company a well-respected and professional ex-colleague, with whom your former team and senior partners will be happy to network with and recommend in the future.

Next Steps

If you’re reading this article because you are looking for the next move in your career, call one of the Clayton Recruitment team on 01772 259 121 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options. With our help and market insight, your transition can be smoother and quicker – and get you the outcome you’re looking for.

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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5 Key Ways To Reduce Stress In Your New Role

You’ve just secured your new role at one of the best businesses around, and life is good. But life is also stressful.

Wait. What life?

Starting any new job can be stressful, especially if it’s one that you’ve been working towards for a long time, because you’re eager to make the best possible impression. Being faced with numerous new challenges, combined with the pressure to impress, will naturally cause you a certain amount of stress.

However, while occasional stress might push you to meet important deadlines, constant stress and anxiety can leave you feeling exhausted and frustrated. In addition to reducing your productivity, this can lead to career burnout.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to both relieve stress and combat its negative effects. Here are 5 ways you can reduce stress in your new role.

Get/Stay Organised

Getting and staying organised is not only essential for keeping your stress-level down; it’s also a key to your career success and longevity, especially if you are aspiring to carve out an exceptional career for yourself.

Set up a system for categorising your emails as well as scheduling any ongoing tasks and projects. Most companies nowadays use a form of task-management software, ensure that you get adequate training on how to use this as it will enhance to your role and then get in the habit of using it – it will show your employers that you’re an adaptable team player and will also make your life much easier in the long run.

If your new business doesn’t use a dedicated task-management software, implement your own system. This might mean using your own planner app, or if you’re not the most tech-savvy, you could always do things the traditional way with a daily planner. Regardless of which system you choose, get yourself in the habit of coming up with a rough schedule for how you will go about tackling your tasks.

Another important aspect of staying organised, of course, is maintaining a physically tidy workspace. By keeping your desk neat and free from clutter, you will feel less overwhelmed, while being more efficient and productive.

Set Realistic Goals

It’s natural to want to impress when you’re starting a new role, and employers will often expect you to go above and beyond in your first few months. While it can be tempting to take on more than you can handle, try to be realistic with yourself about your limitations.

If the goals you’ve set for yourself are beyond your current capabilities, you’ll start to get frustrated and discouraged when you keep failing to get things done – this is a sure recipe for a career burnout. Even the most experienced employee is bound to fall short of a goal now and then; as a new hire, it’s going to take you time to learn the ropes of your new workplace. So, allow yourself the chance to learn during this transitional period and try to view your setbacks as a way to become a more efficient and knowledgeable employee.

Rather than cluttering your to-do-list with an excessive number of tasks every day, try to take things slow and celebrate every accomplishment. If you take on too much too soon, you’re likely to get buried and behind on the tasks that really matter, which will only add to your stress. By focusing on your top few priorities each day, you will feel a sense of accomplished when you’re able to clear your to-do list on a daily basis.

Find The Right Balance

When starting a new job that you really like, it can be tempting to throw yourself in headfirst. However, as with setting realistic professional goals, it’s just as important to establish realistic life goals. Don’t lose sight of your work/life balance. In other words, if you don’t make time for the things and people you love outside of work, you won’t be loving your new role for very long.

Finding the right balance between work and family is one of the most important ways to reduce job-related stress. Making time for yourself and your loved ones, as well as disconnecting mentally from your job, will allow you to return to work refreshed. Try to schedule out your week in advance to ensure that you have time blocked out to unwind with family and friends. Setting this time aside will help ensure that you don’t get overly stressed or exhausted in your new role.

Take Care Of Yourself

Just as crucial as finding the right balance between work and play is maintaining your physical, mental and emotional health. You should never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep and a healthy diet. Eating poorly and not getting enough sleep will only cause you to be tired and less productive, which will only lead to more stress.

In addition to maintaining a proper diet and sleeping routine, one of the best ways to manage stress is by staying active. Exercise is not only advantageous for your body; but it also has a positive impact on your mental health, as well. This doesn’t mean that you have to join an expensive gym or punish yourself with an extreme workout. A simple routine of either a short yoga session or a quick run before you go to the office in the morning can simultaneously boost your confidence and improve your performance at work.

Make Use Of Workplace Resources

Your first couple of weeks at a new job can often go by in a blur; the combination of meeting and learning to work with a new group of people, as well as adjusting to new ways of doing things, can leave you feeling overwhelmed with information overload. It’s normal to not remember something that you might have only been showed how to do to once on your first day.

While your new workplace likely will have an induction program, you should never be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand how to do something. It’s possible that you will be placed with a mentor or someone you can go to with questions – don’t hesitate to seek out their help when you need it. While asking your co-workers or boss questions may feel like it shows weakness, actually lets your colleagues know you’re serious about understanding how things work, rather than trying to do something you aren’t sure of on your own.

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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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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Interview Preparation – Top Tips

  • March 20, 2022

Look the part.

Dress to impress regardless of the level of the role that you are going for. Make an effort and dress in a suit or if you don’t have one, your smartest interview clothes. (Remember 1st impressions count)

Know where you are going.

If you don’t know where you are going it never hurts to do a dry run prior to your Interview, failing this make sure that you leave plenty of time to get to your destination. It is better to arrive early and go over your research than to turn up late and flustered.

Know you target audience.

Research the company that you are going to interview for and use any additional knowledge that your consultant may have gained to improve your chances to blow them away!!

Don’t rely on the interviewer being a mind reader.

Ensure that you sell yourself to the best of your ability; the person interviewing you may have had nothing to do with short listing you and has only seen your CV 5 minutes ago, not having time to digest it. Use this opportunity to sell yourself into the job.

Smile!!! Be happy to be there.

Employers are not just looking for excellent skills but someone to fit into an existing team, smiling will help overcome your nerves and show the employer that you are a happy, enthusiastic individual that they should have on board.

SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

• Why do you want to join our organisation?
• What would you do if …….. happened? (hypothetical questions)
• Describe a situation in which you dealt with confrontation (for example a difficult customer).
• Describe a situation in which you influenced or motivated people.
• What other roles have you considered/applied for?
• Describe yourself in three words.
• Describe a situation in which you used your initiative.
• Describe a situation in which you solved a problem.
• Describe a situation in which you took responsibility.
• What are your hobbies?
• What was your biggest setback? Or how do you deal with adversity?
• Describe a situation where you had to plan or organise something.
• What is your usual role in a team?
• Describe a situation where you had a difficult decision to make.

EXAMPLE ANSWERS FOR QUESTIONS

Please note Clayton Recruitment does not advise that these are the correct answers to the questions listed but are a guide on how they may be approached.

Why do you want this job?

One of the most predictable questions and very important! You need to demonstrate that you have researched the employer and tie your knowledge of them into the skills and interests that led you to apply. Try to find some specific features on which the employer prides themselves: Their training, their client base, their individuality, their public image, etc. This may not always be possible with very small organisations but you may be able to pick up something of this nature from the interviewer.

Describe a situation in which you lead a team.

Outline the situation, your role and the task of the group overall. Describe any problems which arose and how they were tackled. Say what the result was and what you learned from it. Try and keep the examples work related and as relevant to the role you are applying for as possible.

Describe a situation where you worked in a team

Most jobs will involve a degree of teamwork. The interviewer needs to assess how well you relate to other people, what role you take in a group and whether you are able to focus on goals and targets.
Outline the situation, your particular role and the task of the group overall. Describe any problems which arose and how they were tackled. Say what the result was and what you learned from it.

What are your weaknesses?

The classic answer here is to state a strength which is disguised as a weakness, such as “I’m too much of a perfectionist” or “I push myself too hard”. This approach has been used so often that, even if these answers really are true they sound clichéd. Also, interviewers will know this trick. If you feel they really apply to you, give examples: you could say that your attention to detail and perfectionism make you very single-minded when at work, often blotting out others in your need to get the task done.

A better strategy is to choose a weakness that you have worked on to improve and describe what action you are taking to remedy the weakness.

Don’t deny that you have any weaknesses – everyone has weaknesses and if you refuse to admit to them the interviewer will mark you down as arrogant, untruthful or lacking in self-awareness, This question may be phrased in other ways, such as “How would your worst enemy describe you?”

Who else have you applied to/got interviews with?

You are being asked to demonstrate the consistency of your career aims as well as your interest in the job for which you are being interviewed. So if you have applied to one large Law Firm it is reasonable to assume you will be applying to them all.
What you can certainly say in your favour, however, is that the present employer is your first choice. You may even answer the question by explaining you have yet to apply to any other organisations for this very reason. Perhaps your application to the other firms is imminent, depending on the stage you are at in the recruitment cycle.

Give examples that are:
• Relevant – related to the business you are presently being interviewed for
• Prestigious. They will reflect well on the firm interviewing you
• Consistent. Not from lots of different job areas or employment groups of less interest to you than the present opportunity
• Successful so far. Do not list those firms who have rejected you.

What are your strengths?

This allows you to put across your “Unique Selling Points” – three or four of your key strengths. Try to back these points up with examples of where you have had to use them.

Consider the requirements of the job and compare these with all of your own attributes – your personality, skills, abilities or experience. Where they match you should consider these to be your major strengths. The employer certainly will.

For example, team work, interpersonal skills, creative problem solving, dependability,
reliability, originality, leadership etc., could all be cited as strengths. Work out which is most important for the particular job in question and make sure you illustrate your answer with examples from as many parts of your experience, not just university, as you can.
This question may be phrased in other ways, such as “Tell me about yourself” or “How would a friend describe you?”

Have you got any questions?
At the end of the interview, it is likely that you will be given the chance to put your own questions to the interviewer.

  • Keep them brief: there may be other interviewees waiting.
  • Ask about the work itself, training and career development: not about holidays, pensions, and season ticket loans!
  • Prepare some questions in advance: it is OK to write these down and to refer to your notes to remind yourself of what you wanted to ask.

It often happens that, during the interview, all the points that you had noted down to ask about will be covered before you get to this stage. In this situation, you can respond as follows:

Interviewer:

Well, that seems to have covered everything: is there anything you would like to ask me?

Interviewee:

Thank you! I’d made a note to ask about your appraisal system and the study arrangements for professional exams, but we went over those earlier and I really feel you’ve covered everything that I need to know at this moment.

You can also use this opportunity to tell the interviewer anything about yourself that they have not raised during the interview but which you feel is important to your application:

Don’t feel you have to wait until this point to ask questions – if the chance to ask a question seems to arise naturally in the course of the interview, take it! Remember that a traditional interview is a conversation – with a purpose.

Examples of questions you can ask the interviewer

These are just a few ideas – you should certainly not attempt to ask them all and indeed it’s best to formulate your own questions tailored to your circumstances and the job you are being interviewed for! Make sure you have researched the employer carefully, so that you are not asking for information which you should be expected to know already.
• I see it is possible to switch job functions – how often does this happen?
• Do you send your managers on external training courses?
• Where would I be based – is this job function located only in …?
• What is a typical career path in this job function?
• Can you give me more details of your training programme?
• Will I be working in a team? If so, what is the make-up of these teams?
• What are the possibilities of using my languages?
• What are the travel/mobility requirements of this job?
• How would you see this company developing over the next five years?
• How would you describe the atmosphere in this company?
• What is your personal experience of working for this organisation?

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.

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

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How To Negotiate Your Pay Rise This Year

  • February 23, 2022

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

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

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

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

Confusing when we consider certain sectors.

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

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

Know Your Facts

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

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

Well, hopefully, that is the case.

Though not in every company.

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

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

This brings me to the next point.

Know Your Value

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Know What You Want

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

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

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

Here is something else.

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

Know Your Walk-Away Point And Your Options

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

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

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

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

And this is where we can help.

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

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

What Next?

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

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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

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How To Pass Your Probation Period In Your New Role

  • February 15, 2022

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

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

Probationary Period: A Definition

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

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

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

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

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

Why New Hires Fail

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

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

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

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

  • Attitude and,
  • Aptitude.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make an Impact

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

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

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

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

Put in Place Your Progress Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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

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Planning Your Career in Our New Normal Workplace

  • January 20, 2022

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

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

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

The New Norm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Decide What You Want

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

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

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

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

Most professionals want:

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

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

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

A Goal Setting Framework

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

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

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

Conduct a Skills Audit and Contact A Recruiter

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

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

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

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

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

Managing Your Mind

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

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

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

Good Luck!

What Next?

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

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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

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

  • December 16, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Covid Recovery

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

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

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

Where Are the Opportunities?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Industry Versus Practice

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

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

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

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

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

Formulating Your Plan

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

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

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

Standing Out in Your Job Search

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

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

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

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

Next Steps?

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

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

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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2021 Job Seekers – THIS is Where the Current Opportunities Are

  • December 10, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me start to explain more here.

Sales and Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accounting and Finance

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

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

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

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

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

Transferrable Skills

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

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

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

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

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

Working with Clayton to Find a New Role

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

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

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

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

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

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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Your 10 Step Action Plan to Securing a New Role

  • November 20, 2020

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

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

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

1. Updating Your CV

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

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

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

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

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

2. Creating a Cover Letter

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

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

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

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

3. Get Your Messaging Right

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

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

4. Set Your Goal

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

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

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

5. Consider Different and New Options

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

For example-

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

6. Your Homework

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

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

7. Maintain Your Online Profile

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

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

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

8. LinkedIn

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

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

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

9. Practice Your Interview Technique

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

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

10. Work with a Recruiter

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

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

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

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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

  • September 10, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Identifying Your Skills and Abilities

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

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

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

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

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

Soft skills include:

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

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

Your Hobbies and Interests

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

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

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

Changing Your Mindset Ready for Your Next Move

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

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

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

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

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

Inspiring.

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

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

Working with a Recruitment Company to Navigate the Job Market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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