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Easy to Action Interviewing Strategies for Hiring Managers 

The interview process can be a gruelling task for all parties involved. When most hiring managers think about the complexity of interviewing, they focus on the challenges facing the person being interviewed. However, those hosting the interview also have their own hurdles to overcome too.  

From avoiding unconscious bias, avoiding ageism, and making sure you sell your candidates on the idea of working with your business, there are several important points to keep in mind as well as remembering all the main points covered at the end of the session.  

Here are some of the top strategies to follow as a hiring manager if you’re concerned you might not be getting the most out of your interviews. 

1. Know Your Interview Options

The first step in ensuring you can master your interviews as a hiring manager is knowing what methods you can use to best connect with potential candidates.  

Today, the traditional face-to-face interview isn’t your only option. Video interviews have increased by 67% due to the pandemic and the rise of remote working with technology advancements being key. As hybrid employment options continue to thrive and companies look for ways to streamline the interviewing process, video conversations will likely grow to be more common in many businesses throughout the upcoming years if not already popular.  

But not forgetting, there’s also the time-old classic of picking up the phone for simple phone interviews as well to simply hear the person who could potentially be working with you. 

Each type of interview has its own challenges to consider. For instance: 

  • In-person interviews: You’ll need to think about where you’re going to host your interview, whether it’s a welcoming space, who will attend, and whether the candidate will present or just have a simple face to face conversation. 
  • Video interviews: Consider what kind of video meeting software you’ll be using, the background you’ll have in your video, and how you can present yourself as professionally as possible over a webcam. Always test the sound and camera quality beforehand and check whether all those participating are visible on screen. 
  • Phone interviews: Ask yourself whether you may need to record any phone interviews to go back over them later and how you can ensure you get a promising idea of what the candidate is like based on voice alone. 

2. Avoid Inappropriate Questions

Inappropriate questions are becoming more common than you would think in interviews. While certain topics of conversation can feel like polite small talk at first, they often cause more problems than you’d think. For instance, asking people about what they did on the weekend can create an unconscious bias if you also have a shared hobby with them – but also at the same time, could be harmless conversation to break the ice. 

Unconscious bias could favour one candidate over another because you like certain things about their lifestyle or personality, which have nothing to do with the role or the ability to complete their tasks. 

Some other questions to avoid are: 

  • Where do you live?  
  • How did your childhood shape your professional life?  
  • If you could choose a different career, what would you choose?  
  • What is the worst trait of your previous manager? 

All the above questions could be classed as too personal, too confronting and encouraging speaking badly about others – all traits you want to avoid when interviewing someone for the first time and something you don’t need to hear to assess their capabilities for this role. 

3. Interview Styles and Formats

There are many kinds of interviewing techniques that today’s business leaders and hiring managers can use, including competency-based or collaborative interviews, presentations, and group interactions to get a real feel for the potential candidates. 

Interviews are always best performed with two people from the hiring company, which can help avoid bias. It also gives those hiring the chance to discuss different opinions on those they are interviewing and not decide based solely from one person’s perspective and therefore giving the candidate a fair chance. 

Other methods are to consider using a first and second stage interview format before the final decision is made. In today’s environment, many first and second stage interviews can take place over Zoom or Teams so that it suits all parties involved. Carrying out interviews online also gives you more chance to interview more people, without the need for travel, time allocation and gives the candidates a better chance of being able to partake at a time that suits them and you best. 

4. Generalise Your Interview Questions

Standardising your interview questions makes it easier to assess your candidates when you have interviewed several people for a role. It also means you’re less likely to allow unconscious biases to get in the way of your hiring decisions because you’re evaluating everyone based on the same set of guidelines, criteria, and questions. 

Create specific competency-based interview questions for the specific role in question, which allows you to score each potential employee based on their specific values, behaviours, and results.  

For instance, you can ask questions like; “share examples of times they’ve acted as a leader” or “shown exceptional teamwork”, and then make notes about their responses. Assigning scores to answers will also help you see who you should be shortlisting based on their answers compared to others if you are interviewing a larger number of people. 

Your interviews need to maintain a level of flexibility. It will be logical to ask follow-up questions to elicit more detail at times when needed if the candidate doesn’t elaborate themselves. 

“Tell me more about X or Y or why you decided to do B or C” are classic follow-up questions that work well to get more of an understanding of the candidates’ experiences.  

To make sure you know about a candidates’ hard skills, behavioural and soft skills there are some questions that LinkedIn Talent Solutions suggests you cover.  

  • “Say you’re negotiating a contract or administrative action or settlement in which the parties are far apart in what they want. Use a past example of this to talk me through your negotiation process.” 
  • “What would you do if you were asked to work on a case, contract, or business scenario that gave you ethical qualms? Has this ever happened to you—and what did you do?” 
  • “Tell me about a time you had to make a tough call that required you to decide between a gut feeling and the strategic decision-making of outside counsel.” 

5. Make Notes and Follow Up

Finally, make sure you take notes as often as possible as you progress through the interviews. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of the conversation and then forget everything you needed to know about the candidate when you come back to review later.  

Always set aside some time at the end of each interview to gather your thoughts and catalogue what stood out to you most about the candidate (good and bad) before heading into another interview or meeting.  

Making notes can also help when you’re following up with your candidates by allowing you to provide a more contextual and relevant message and feedback, should they be successful or not. Showing you remember what you said (like any requirements for their starting dates or training they need) shows the potential candidate you’re invested in working with them and that you are attentive to what they were talking about during their time with you. 

Remember, if you’re struggling with your interviewing process, it’s often helpful to seek some help from a specialist recruitment company like ourselves that can help with a lot more than just finding you new candidates – we can also give you advice on how to interview more effectively, with tips on questions you might need to ask. 

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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Talent Attraction: Energising Your Employer Value Proposition

  • February 7, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Definitions: EVP versus Employer Brand

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

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

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

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

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

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

Building a Stronger EVP

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review and Redefine Your EVP

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

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

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

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

So how do you become more attractive?

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

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

Create an Action Plan With Milestones and Timelines

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

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

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

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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

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Why now is the time to start planning your growth in Sales and Marketing

  • February 4, 2021

The 2020 job market was undeniably challenging with high levels of unemployment and a seismic shift to homeworking and virtual offices for many industries. And, whilst there is still much uncertainty as we look ahead – particularly amongst those industries hardest hit by the COVID pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, a number of areas are gaining momentum once again with the proactive hiring of Sales and Marketing roles across multiple sectors in response to changing consumer behaviour and business needs.

According to the latest Bellwether Report from The IPA on marketing spend intentions and financial confidence, marketing budgets are still in negative territory as businesses continue to ride out the impacts of COVID as well as uncertainly in many sectors brought about by Brexit. However, there are signs of ‘green shoots ahead’ as 2021 picks up pace and companies recognise the importance of planning now and taking back market share through sales and marketing strategies.

In a special edition of their Emerging Jobs Report, LinkedIn reported on the roles experiencing the highest growth between April to October 2020, with a high % under the widely-cast net of Sales and Marketing including Digital Content Freelancers, Social Media and Digital Marketing specialists as well as other creative roles including screenwriters, illustrators and writers. And, whilst particular specialisms (and budgets) such as those in Event Management and PR are still in a state of flux, businesses with a back-to-basics acknowledgement that Sales and Marketing investment is key to long-term business success will surely reap the benefits as the economy, and society, start to recover.

Nevertheless, company budgets more generally will continue to be closely reviewed and justified, including those attributed to the recruitment of talent. Savvy business owners have long realised the value that they get from relationships and partnerships with Recruitment Agencies in attracting top-tier candidates, and even in tempestuous markets like these, nurturing those collaborations to drive business growth is demonstrably advantageous.

Admittedly, whilst it is our job to shout from the rooftops why businesses should use the services of a Recruitment Consultant to give them tangible competitive advantage, now more than ever, those who are tapping into sector expertise of agencies are reaping the benefits and bringing on board Sales and Marketing professionals that are highly skilled and actively looking for work.

Market Overview

Recruitment Consultants have a vested interest in understanding the sector in which you’re looking to recruit and because of the trusted position that they have with Candidates – both active and on a long-term basis, they will undoubtedly be able to offer you strategic insight around movement and activity they are experiencing in the market. Good agencies will have an in-depth knowledge of Marketing specialists that are in demand and a Consultant will be able to offer you impartial and professional guidance on the things like salary benchmarking and market mapping as part of a truly consultative relationship that ensures you are fully armed and aware of your options.

Time better invested

We know from talking to our Business Owners and professionals in Human Resources that homeworking, whilst necessary over the last year (and of value to many), has resulted in unintentional overtime as the office-commute is depleted and the lines between family and work life are increasingly blurred. Hours worked are increasing, and businesses are perhaps not only cash-poor, but time-poor too.

HR departments are often stretched with many other business priorities, and senior management are unlikely to find the time to dedicate to sifting through hundreds of CVs, shortlisting, interviewing and offer-negotiation. According to job board CV-Library, entry level vacancies attracted many thousands of applications back in August 2020 – a sign of the jobs market and associated redundancies no doubt, and whilst more niche roles may mean this volume is whittled down a little, it is certainly a big ask and expectation that a company undertakes this level of focus on top of the ‘day job’.

Even with the world of technology, multiple job boards and social media channels at your fingertips there is no doubt that a good Recruitment Consultant will want to take time to understand your business and hiring strategy inside out; your growth plans, your objectives for bringing other Sales and Marketing professionals in, and your ‘Employee Value Proposition’ that sets you apart as an employer – but this should be an investment that will pay dividends in better representing you in the market. Agencies that keep you updated on progress, whatever the outcome, are worth their weight in gold and should allow you to have confidence that they will search the market for Candidates that are a best fit on all fronts- freeing up time for you to focus on preparing for interviews and the sharper end of the process that will hopefully lead to an offer.

Access to the inside track

In certain specialisms, the active pool of candidates has increased, yet in others, particularly those within Digital Marketing, talent shortages are still abound. Knowing what is ‘out there’ in real terms can often be overwhelming and unclear. A Recruitment Consultant will not only help to cut through the noise but will also be able to furnish you with the finer detail of Candidates on the market as well as general mobility of those looking for career progression.

In addition, many Recruitment Agencies will represent Sales & Marketing professionals on an exclusive basis meaning that in turn, you will have access to top-drawer individuals often before they are seen as ‘active’ jobseekers; giving you a head start on your own competition. The passive market is truly untapped potential, and Recruitment Agencies will already be strategically communicating with these candidates that you will not find applying to your roles or visiting your website.

Costs-Savings

It does seem counter-intuitive to focus on the savings a Recruitment Agency can offer a business, as the service itself does come with a cost. However, businesses should look instead at the overall value that they get from outsourcing this activity. Costs associated with advertising roles, tech to aid matching and candidate screening can be significant although the impact on not filling the role in a timely manner may be more damaging to the business than such outlays. Many agencies earn their fee only when the successful candidate starts their position and passes their probation period ensuring that agencies are always driven by a targeted approach that demonstrates a deep understanding of your requirements and matches those with only the most relevant individuals. Conversely, the cost of a bad hire (and associated expenditure on training and onboarding) can also be hugely damaging to businesses – so getting it right first time is the goal for all parties,

The human touch

A professional Recruitment Agency should, in this day in age, have a world-class ‘tech stack’ that tangibly benefits their Clients and their search for skilled professionals. Whether that is through systems that produces better matches between roles and candidate profiles or enhances candidate screening with tools like psychometric testing. Technology undoubtedly can aid the recruitment cycle and chance of success of a good fit for your business.

That being said, overwhelmingly where Recruitment Consultants excel is the personal touch that you get from speaking candidly, confidentially and openly with another person. Adding to headcount can be draining – financially and through time spent searching the market with sometimes no experience of that industry, and whilst they may have their part to play, automatic watchdogs and the like alerting you to new candidates pinging into your inbox just won’t offer the emotional support and empathy that you get from Consultants who are fully emersed and experienced in the recruitment cycle and all its nuances.

Salesperson, Negotiator, Arbitrator.

Recruitment Consultants are unashamedly sales-trained and commercially minded, and when you take those skills and couple them with a deep-rooted understanding of their clients, the result is professional representation from someone who knows how to ‘sell’ your business– your culture, working environment, mission and values – and leverage those elements with the non-negotiables of the candidates. This is crucial in a competitive market and smaller more specialised pools of jobseekers.

Moreover, once an offer is on the table, your Consultant will act as negotiator (sometimes arbitrator) with the candidate in order to not only cover off some of the basics like remuneration and package, but set expectations around notice periods, start dates and the finer details of the contract. All without you having to have any forced or awkward conversations at the early stage in your relationship.

Service-led support throughout relationship

Support for Clients should not end once an offer has been accepted either. Many agencies will proactively offer guidance if required around the lead up to start date for your new hire, how to combat counteroffers, and keep lines of communication open between all parties.

Whilst the world is still arguably in a state of flux in many ways across the economical spectrum, we are seeing real confidence once again in a number of Sales and Marketing roles with firms that are committed to their growth strategies and bringing in talent that supports their vision. As demand outstrips supply in several practice areas including Digital Marketing, businesses who are now thinking beyond notice periods will find that now is a good time to strike and take action.

If you would like to speak to us confidentially about market conditions, candidate mobility within your sector or geographical region, or if you are actively looking for talent now and would like us to help navigate the market, we would love to chat. Contact us or call the office on 01772 259121 for more information on how our exceptional recruitment experience can help your hiring strategy.

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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

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How to Overcome the Challenges of Hiring Accounting Professionals

  • December 22, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

 

1. Getting Your Person Spec Right

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

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

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

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

2. Hiring for Culture

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

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

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

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

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

3. Organising Your Recruiting Timeline

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

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

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

4. ‘Selling’ Your Organisation to the Right Candidates

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

A few questions for you.

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

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

5. Working with a Recruiter

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

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

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

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

Next Steps

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

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

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

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

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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

  • November 14, 2020

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

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

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

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

Consultancy

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

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

Restructuring and Sourcing New Skills

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

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

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

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

Interim Solutions

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

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

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

How We Protect Your Investment

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

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

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

Our Recruitment Service

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

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

We offer three different recruitment packages to suit your needs.

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

Finally

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

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

Get in touch with us on 01772 259 121 or contact us here to find out how we can help you get to the next stage of your business plan – whatever that may be.

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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How to Recruit the Right Talent When You No Longer Have A Recruitment Department

  • November 4, 2020

Recruitment should be in every strategic business plan. Recruitment is a necessity in business, yet in times of crisis, some short-sighted organisations start to disband their HR department to cut costs – leaving the company in a precarious position.

Aside from the fact that cutting your HR department will make growth and expansion more challenging – there are also unexpected vacancies to think about. What often happens is that the recruitment process is left to someone who is either unqualified or who lacks time – not an ideal scenario. Today we look at how businesses can approach recruiting when their HR departments have been severely affected by Covid.

Get Your Job Adverts Working Harder

Think of your job advert as an extension of your company brand – it should act as a beacon not just to attract the best candidates to you, but to ensure that the candidates you are attracting are ‘right’ for your business.

Businesses recruiting with an HR department can be tempted to hire the first person who applies who is qualified. And this is understandable.

But you must consider the implications of hiring someone who is not right for your company culture – and this can happen when hiring is done in a rush.

So spend some time crafting your job advert to signal to applicants if they will really be a good ‘fit’ for your organisation.

Some tips include –

  • Skip the buzzwords – say what you really
  • Be as detailed as possible, but keep it succinct
  • Focus on where the company is going – this will attract driven individuals
  • Be honest and realistic – often when companies can’t find the ‘right’ hire, it is because they’re looking for a unicorn.

Of course, you can always work with an expert recruitment company to write your job adverts. At Clayton Recruitment, we can not only compile talent attracting job descriptions for you; we can help you to understand what it is your team is lacking.

Promoting Your Brand To Attract Talent

I have been surprised at the number of businesses who have gone quiet on social media throughout the pandemic.

It has never been more essential to promote your brand and keep your name at the forefront of your customer’s and client’s minds.

But this is also a great way to attract top talent to your business.

Use social media, LinkedIn especially to promote your company brand, to position yourself as an employer with your finger on the pulse.

Many great individuals are looking for new roles right now, and they will be attracted to the companies who have the most engaging profile, whether that’s social media, your website, a YouTube channel or podcasts. Get your name out there, and the best talent will be attracted to you.

If you don’t have a dedicated person to run your social media account, appoint a member of staff to do checking regularly and interacting with people. And this doesn’t have to be a long task, even just 15 minutes a day will help to strengthen your brand.

When you are more active and engaged on social media, you can then build a talent network which will be the next stage of your recruitment drive when you haven’t got a dedicated HR department.

Build a Talent Pipeline

Having an active audience and interacting with people from your sector on social media and LinkedIn is a great way to start building your talent pipeline.

A talent pipeline is the best way to ensure that you have people lined up for your upcoming vacancies – remember that you never know who might be handing their resignation notice in next.

I’ve mentioned LinkedIn and social media, and the following are great ways to build a talent network –

  • Hold or attend sector webinars. Due to the pandemic, networking has gone fully online. Connecting with members of your sector virtually is a great way to increase interest in your brand and your business.
  • Use your existing contacts – do you have an employee referral programme? Do you keep in contact with previous candidates and applicants?

Building a talent pipeline is going to be essential for your business strategy if your HR department is not operating at full capacity. Get in contact with us here if you would like to discuss how we can help you build a talent pipeline.

Consider Temporary and Contract Employees

This is one of the best ways to recruit when you need to fill a vacancy or to help your organisation with what it needs right now – that is not a long-term commitment.

The rise in temporary and contract employees happening right now shows that many employers are using this as a strategy.

Hiring an employee on a temporary basis, whether that’s an interim director or a marketing specialist, is the ideal solution to getting the HR resources you need into your business right now as you figure out what you need in our new normal.

We specialise in temporary and contract work, and we can help you find the talent you need on a non-permanent basis.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you hire for the roles you need during this business-critical time, on a flexible, temporary basis, get in touch with us today.

Call us on 01772 259 121 or contact us here to find out more about our temporary recruitment service.

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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How To Build Your Talent Pipeline This Year

  • October 10, 2020

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

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

What Is A Talent Pipeline?

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

Both will be critical for your success.

Building A Talent Pipeline: Business Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Building A Talent Pipeline: Your Current Team And Their Development

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

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

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

Building A Talent Pipeline: Your Employer Brand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Building A Talent Pipeline: Using A Specialist Recruiter

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

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

A challenge for an already time-pressed individual.

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

Finding these individuals in a skill short market takes time.

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

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

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

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

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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How to Handle The Employee Who Isn’t a Team Player

  • October 5, 2020

In the corporate world, as everywhere, teams come in all shapes and sizes. Getting the right people into your  team can be challenging. When you onboard, you are looking for a good team ‘fit’ – attitude as well as aptitude to do the job.

For the most part, if you have followed due process when onboarding, your team should ‘gel’ well and work collaboratively.

But what happens when one of your employees isn’t a team player?

For example, you have a new, big client. You want your top team to work together on a case this client has given you. It will involve much collaboration, sharing out the tasks, visiting the client, days in court, etc. Everyone is excited to be part of this.

Your Managers and Senior Managers will handle the main workload and ensure duties are carried out; including documentation and attending meetings; even the graduate trainee is looking forward to experiencing being part of an exciting case.

But your new Manager who is in a pivotal role, is not engaging with the project at all. In fact, they are looking distinctly as though they wish they were somewhere else.

Are they just not team players, or is it something else?

The Pitfalls of Not Engaging Your Team

It’s a fact that people grow your business. If one or more of your team are disengaged, it will affect productivity and performance across the whole team.

Collaborative working may not be top of the priority list for everyone, but the job of a team is to move the business forward to success. The bottom line is that it is part of everyone’s job description – and that means working together.

TEAM – the rather cheesy acronym of Together Everyone Achieves More, does ring true. Handling a member of your team who doesn’t believe that collaboration and communication are the way forward can be a major challenge and one that you need to address – quickly.

So, what are the best ways to deal with your employee who just won’t join in?

Look for Hidden Reasons

As Stephen Covey advised, “Seek first to understand”.

It’s easy to leap to conclusions about other people who aren’t playing the way you want. You could dismiss your new solicitor as just lazy or being deliberately awkward in their unwillingness to work with the team.

But maybe there’s something else?

It could be that they don’t believe they have the necessary skills for the project in hand, or that they have a personal problem at home that no one at work is aware of.

They are only human – and problems can manifest in many ways.

So, check-in with them and give them the opportunity to explain if there’s a problem that’s stopping them from getting involved.

Check Your Communication is Clear

Make sure you are clear with your instructions and communications.

Is it possible that the individual has misinterpreted your intentions? Have you been clear?

Especially if you have more than one disengaged member of the team, it could be that you need to communicate your intentions more clearly.

So, make sure your expectations are transparent so that each individual knows exactly what their role is and what is expected of them.

Listen

It can often be the case that an employee feels disengaged because they don’t believe they are being listened to. So, consider talking less, and allowing them to voice their opinions, concerns and ideas.

By practising active listening, you will gain valuable insight into what makes them tick, and where the root cause of their disengagement lies.

You will also empower them, and they will be much more likely to see themselves as part of the bigger picture with a role to play. By engaging them in this way, you can also encourage feedback and offer support.

Acknowledge Their Work

Do you remember the last time a senior member of staff said ‘thank you’ to you for a job well done?

Receiving praise and acknowledgement is a sure-fire way to instil a sense of passion and willingness to do more in an individual employee.

The ‘win’ doesn’t have to be major; it could simply be a thank you for staying late to help finish a case or write up a report. But it indicates your appreciation of the employee and the part they play in your company.

Offer Development Opportunities

Whatever job role you have, sometimes the daily grind can seem just that. Let’s be honest, we all have moments where we feel bored at work; stuck in the same routine every day.

Mixing it up, where possible, will reignite enthusiasm in your team. So, send your Paralegal out to visit clients with a Solicitor, or allow your Legal Secretary to work on an extra project where they have autonomy.

Coaching or mentoring is a great way to get individuals involved and build up their confidence and skills.

By offering opportunities, either official training and development or just something a bit different in the daily workload will help re-engage disinterested employees.

Embrace Inclusivity

Inclusivity into a team and the business as a whole will ensure that each individual can see how they fit into the overall aspirations of the business and make them feel that they are contributing to its success.

As part of that inclusivity, it’s crucial to ensure that all staff are kept in the loop with the business’s news – whether that’s good or bad.

Good news will, of course, help engage and inspire, but not so good news is also important. Delivering bad news is never easy. But sweeping it under the carpet is a source of frustration for many employees – it can lead to a feeling of being kept in the dark by employers (and consequently a feeling of not being important) as well as leading to the rumour mills springing into action.

So, deal with news, whatever kind it is, by engaging your team, so you can all move forward together.

Be Aware of Social Styles

Finally, remember not everyone absorbs information in the same way.

The way individuals interact is known as their preferred ‘social style’, a phrase coined by David Merrill and Roger Reid in the early 1960s. It explores how people behave in social (or work) situations to ascertain how to predict managerial, leadership and sales performance and therefore how managers can get the best out of their team.

Spending time with your team will enable you to understand how each member prefers to interact and contribute. You can then use that information to moderate your behaviour towards them, making them feel more comfortable to make their contribution.

So, bear in mind that a disengaged employee isn’t a lost cause.

By utilising one of two of the suggestions in this article, you can help foster a culture of inclusivity where individuals are inspired, encouraged and motivated because they feel part of a bigger team and can see the role they play in contributing to growing your business’s success.

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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The 9 Ways a Diverse Workplace Will Enable Your Team to Thrive

  • October 1, 2020

Before we look at ways to build a diverse workplace for your team, it’s worth thinking about what exactly we mean by a ‘diverse workplace’. There are so many buzz words around at the moment that it’s hard to know what they all mean – and if they communicate the same thing to everyone.

The ‘company culture’ that diversity and inclusion bring have gained momentum as de rigour in the world of work for candidates looking for employment. A recent workplace study found that 56% of employees valued a good company culture fit over salary.

Workplace diversity means employing people with a wide range of diverse characteristics. These could include age, gender, race, religion, cultural background, language, sexual orientation, education, ability, etc…the list goes on.

But it’s not just a fad – there are tangible benefits from offering a diverse workplace in the form of achieving higher productivity and profits for those who embrace workplace diversity in their business. And workplace diversity was one of the key trends last year – with no signs of stopping as we head towards 2020.

So, how will building a diverse workplace for your team encourage them to flourish? Here are 9 ways diversity can help your business achieve success:

1. Increases Creativity

Diversity is one of the critical ingredients for creativity. Diverse solutions come from having multiple options that are provided when you have a group of individuals with different thought patterns, world views and ideas.

In your team, having employees who are all very similar in terms of mindset and life experience inevitably leads to a smaller viewpoint overall.

Conversely, harnessing the personal creativity-diversity techniques of a group of people who recognise that everything can be viewed in multiple ways can lead to the generation of more creative ideas. If your Fee Earners and Solicitors come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, they will inevitably have a wider pot of knowledge from which to draw fresh ideas and solutions.

2. Allows Different Perspectives

Different perspectives are beneficial when it comes to strategic planning.

The ability to see things from alternative points of view will allow your business to better judge which direction it should take in goal planning. Having varied options, and a clear idea of results from those options will enable your business to decide which is the best route to take to achieve the required overall result.

3. Makes Problem-Solving Easier

Again, the scope provided by a diverse team makes it quicker to problem-solve. Because different individuals think in different ways, it’s possible to quickly come up with various potential solutions to a problem, from which a final decision can be made.

This Harvard Business Review report confirms that diverse teams solve problems faster than cognitively similar groups.

4. Encourages Innovation

A melting pot of novel world views can open doors to innovation. It can be inspiring to be part of a group that sees things in a different way and can come up with creative innovation that otherwise may not have been considered. The ability to think outside the box and from a different angle can enable diversity of ideas to come to light.

Additionally, in an environment where diversity and inclusion are nurtured, it’s likely that individuals are more inclined to voice their ideas without fear of reprisal or ridicule. For example, junior members are more enabled to come forward with ideas if they believe they will be listened to and encouraged to contribute.

In a forward-thinking workplace, you are more likely to achieve innovation through group participation – you never know what ideas your team may hit upon!

5. Engages Employees

The link between diversity and engagement is an obvious one. Where employees experience inclusivity they automatically feel engaged and loyal to their business.

Businesses that has engaged employees will benefit from a strong team with shared values. Along with diverse and inclusive traits comes a nimble and agile team who can turn things around quickly, achieving more in less time and with access to multiple possible solutions – driving your business forwards.

6. Improves Company Reputation

Your Employer Brand is how you are perceived by the outside world. To ensure your business is seen in a positive light as knowledgeable, reliable and at the top of your game, it’s essential to ensure that your employer brand is truly reflecting your worth and achievements.

Having happy and motivated employees helps your business retain its status and reputation. In addition to the better service they will inevitably provide your clients, their online chat and information – formal and informal – alongside word of mouth and personal recommendation to friends and family, will help position you as the go-to business.

7. Achieves Better Retention

A business who offer a diverse and inclusive workplace is going to make their employees feel valued and appreciated as individuals. Happiness in work leads to better retention levels, with staff showing loyalty to a fair employer and staying with them to build their career. Employee turnover can be costly, so investing in your diverse team is pivotal in achieving better retention rates.

8. Attracts New Talent

Ultimately, a business with a great reputation for diversity and inclusion, who has engaged employees, good profit margins, innovative ideas, a superb reputation and high retention levels is bound to attract new talent to want to work there.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you…

9. Increases Profits

McKinsey & Co found that where companies had more diverse teams, they also performed better financially.

Diverse teams are better able to win new talent to the business. This, in turn, helps to improve client service, employee satisfaction and make decision-making faster.

All this gives a forward-thinking, diverse business an advantage over competitors and enables them to achieve more profit as a result: a cycle of increasing returns.

Conclusion

Bringing a mix of skills and experiences to the workplace is good for business, providing an admirable company culture for your business. It’s worth noting that this starts at the top, too. Diversity at senior level is more likely to introduce new product innovations than are those with homogeneous “top teams.”

In the millennial age, offering diversity and a great company culture means harbouring an environment where all employees are respected and valued, where there is a vision shared and worked towards by everyone, and where communication, transparency and teamwork are paramount.

While I’m not suggesting that achieving excellent diversity across your business will be easy, it’s something to consider working towards. The benefits are multiple, and your employees will thank you for it – as will your Senior Partners when they see the benefits reflected in the business’s reputation and profit margins.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across thecountry 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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When Recruiting Turns to Management Consultancy: How Clayton Recruitment Group Have Adapted

  • September 14, 2020

I saw a quote recently which resonated with the way things have been changing at Clayton. It said:

“What Covid has done is accelerated the shifts that eventually would have happened anyway.”

In light of the pandemic, at Clayton Recruitment, we have diversified our services at a level we probably wouldn’t have thought possible at the start of 2020, and I know this is the same for many businesses across the country.

The pandemic has tested the limits of our resilience, forced us into unfamiliar territory and allowed us to grow in new ways.

With many businesses still finding their feet after the significant upheaval Covid caused, today I want to share how we at Clayton have used the pandemic to help us change positively, and how we are using this mindset to help our clients in this new business environment.

Breaking New Ground

Having over 30 years of experience in the recruitment industry and with two successful recruitment brands recruitment is in our blood.

But 2020 has been the year that we have switched this around, on a massive scale.

Recognising the crises that many businesses have been going through due to Covid, we have introduced new services to help our clients with what they need right now.

This has included –

  • Management consultancy – working with C-suite clients to help them manage challenges within their teams in the wake of the pandemic.
  • Supportive outplacement services to help businesses going through a restructuring process.
  • Working on a more exclusive level with our clients to identify skills gaps, and form person specifications for the new normal.
  • Providing interim solutions for businesses going through a management restructure.

As you can see, during these challenging times, our services are not just focused on recruitment; it’s about so much more than that.

We have found that many of the challenges business have faced recently are new and unique difficulties, owing to the exceptional situation Covid has caused.

Helping Overcome Unique Challenges

Our service offering has become much broader, and this has involved working closely with companies to help them cultivate the team they need in place for the next chapter of their business.

If redundancies have been made, this can create unique skills gap scenarios which the business will not have faced before.

We have a dedicated world-class resourcing team who are focused on delivering results for each client.

We recognise that the past few months have been some of the most challenging that businesses will go through, perhaps in a lifetime. We have faced difficulties in our own business, which has helped us to empathise with the situation our clients are going through.

And it’s not just our clients that we have been helping with their unique challenges; it’s candidates too.

Recently we have been working much more closely with candidates who are changing jobs. Whether that’s because their role has been made redundant or to look for a new position – yes, there are opportunities out there.

For these candidates, we can provide CV writing services, consulting and negotiating role changes, putting together action plans and scouring the marketing for roles surrounding their skillset.

A New Mindset

Lastly, I think it’s essential to refocus our mindset for the new normal, accepting what has happened over the last few months, but not letting it overcome us. Instead, we can draw from our experiences and turn them into positives.

As an MD, I have also had an extra focus on personal development recently, which has proven helpful when overcoming new challenges, and this is something I share with the entire Clayton team.

As a business that I have personally grown from the ground up to where it is now, I understand the value of employing individuals with positive growth mindsets.

This ethos is present in everything we do and has been integral to our success. It has never been more essential for us to help our clients overcome their challenges using this growth mindset.

For example, we have a three-year business growth plan in place as we look to the future because we believe that success comes from planning for it.

It is understandable that as some businesses feel that they are in an uncertain position, they feel uncomfortable planning. We specialise in giving you that all-important helicopter view that is often difficult to achieve when you are focused deep within the business as a Senior Partner, MD or CEO.

Finally

It has been an essential part of our business strategy to pivot to what is happening in the market, which has allowed us to focus on what it is our clients need right now.

We are a team of experts, but we also have the human touch.

Covid has been a difficult period for many businesses; helping clients with what they need to get through this time has been our number one priority.

To find out more about how we can help your business with management consultancy, outplacement recruiting and identifying new skill gaps or any other aspect of restructuring, you can speak to one of our expert team by calling 01772 259 121.

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.

Our legal brand, Clayton legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and during that time has made over 5,000 placements from partners to legal executives, solicitors to paralegals and legal IT personnel to practice managers.

If you need staffing support in the wake of Covid, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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