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

  • July 21, 2022

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

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

Don’t discount the cost of employee retention

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t discount contracts that offer training

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make them an offer that’s hard to refuse

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

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

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

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

Don’t panic hire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s Next?

We are on the verge of a virtual hiring revolution. For some time now, recruitment has been growing increasingly virtual.

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

We have invested in the latest video technology that provides an unparalleled recruitment process for both our legal clients and jobseekers.

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

About Clayton Recruitment

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

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis.

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

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Why Soft Skill Development Will Be A Success Factor In Your Growth This Year

  • April 12, 2022

Last week, I watched an old comedy re-run and interview featuring Joan Rivers, an iconic U.S. comedian.  

During the interview, she shared a quote; “life doesn’t get better; you get better”. As you manage your way through the relevant training for your job and/or education required to progress, you also need to work on the core skills you carry throughout your working life. 

Enter the ability to develop your soft skills. 

Soft Skills For Growth 

Functional or hard skills are one skill area to develop. Yet, the skills that make the most difference to accelerating your career or growing your business are the ‘soft skills’ that will help you manage your mind, communicate well consistently, and influence your team to improve their performance. 

Here at Clayton Recruitment, we help our clients craft role descriptions for candidates who are critical for their firm’s growth.  

Alongside this, we assist candidates in developing their careers where we consistently share the softer skills that need to be developed. 

Self-Awareness 

One of the key challenges when managing and developing a team is a lack of self-awareness from the employee.  

You will hear the term emotional intelligence shared in many circles. The term was defined as a person’s ability to manage their feelings and to express those feelings appropriately and effectively.

The original book on this topic is worth getting from Amazon by Daniel Goleman. 

Who has not come across a colleague in the business who has zero idea about their impact on others? Only last week, a candidate approached us looking for a new role because of the behaviour of a new manager in the business; yes, managers can lack self-awareness too. 

It appears that every morning the manager in question would appear with a sore head, grumbling and snapping at people. The individual had no idea how his behaviour affected the team. 

Self-awareness also covers motivation, empathy, self-regulation, and appropriate social skills. 

Communication Skills 

All professions include varied people with effective communication skills and some that don’t hold the ability to have a conversation. Summing up a procedure to employees with jargon-free lingo are all expected skills for someone to hold. However, talking over a team member in a meeting does not demonstrate communication excellence. 

A large part of being a great communicator is the ability to listen. We can all tell the difference when someone hears the words you are saying or when they are actively listening. 

As an experiment, notice how often people have their phones open during conversations or look over your shoulder at other people and what’s going on when speaking with you; worse, they sit on the edge of their seats waiting to interrupt. 

I hope I have not just described you. 

Active listeners, meanwhile, pay close attention to meeting presenters, offer up clarifying questions or responses, and refer back to notes in future discussions. They do not need things repeated to them because they heard them the first time, making active listeners respectful colleagues. 

Openness to Feedback 

This might sound like a different soft skill, yet a lack of openness to feedback often indicates an individual is stuck in a pattern and unwilling to learn. 

The ability to accept developmental feedback is critical for all of us; otherwise, how will we improve? Think about it; constructive feedback will help you do the best job possible when it comes to your role, and yet often, people take it personally and react defensively; when this happens, feedback is not heard. 

No one is ever perfect, no matter how long they have been in a role. Reflecting on this, when did you last ‘overreact’ to feedback? 

Growth Mindset 

Having a growth mindset leads to the ability to accept feedback. Individuals with a growth mindset see feedback as the gift that it is. 

Their mind is focused on what is possible rather than what is not. No matter what role, you will encounter roadblocks, disappointments, and other situations that might frustrate you. A soft skill critical to your ability to persevere is having a growth mindset. 

Dr Carol Dweck conducted the original work on this several years ago. Her book is well worth reading to identify if you have a growth or fixed mindset. 

For instance, someone with a growth mindset who did not achieve their billable target would look at this as an opportunity to double down and focus on what they could do differently in the next quarter. 

Whereas someone with a fixed mindset would see this differently, complaining that the target was too high, the clients they were working with were demanding, and the list of complaints goes on. 

Adaptability and Flexibility 

The last few years have been a challenge for many, yet certain employees have stood out above others; Two words describe them. 

Adaptable and Flexible. 

No matter your role in your business, the ability to adapt to change and a positive, flexible attitude about what is happening never go unnoticed. 

Many people have no idea how negative they can be when something does not go their way. Worse still, they become a classic mood hoover. 

Fact: Our business landscape is changing, and no matter what role you hold in an organisation, you have to be willing to adapt and change. 

In summary, soft skills focus on developing a positive can-do attitude. A well-worn statement, I know, and yet developing abilities like this will help you navigate most things that are thrown your way while making you stand out as a potential new hire for a firm (as well as being areas to focus on if you are indeed in the hiring seat, and looking for a standout candidate to bring on board). 

How Can We Help? 

Here at Clayton Recruitment, we have multiple clients looking for skilled and ambitious candidates to join their teams. For a confidential conversation about your career goals and your next move, please contact one of one of our team here. 

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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 Clayton is Responding to Market Needs For In-Demand Sectors

  • December 4, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Capitalising on Sales Opportunities

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

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

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

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

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

Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

A few questions for you.

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

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

Accounting and Finance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good news.

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

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

How Clayton are Responding

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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

  • November 14, 2020

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

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

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

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

Consultancy

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

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

Restructuring and Sourcing New Skills

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

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

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

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

Interim Solutions

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

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

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

How We Protect Your Investment

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

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

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

Our Recruitment Service

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

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

We offer three different recruitment packages to suit your needs.

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

Finally

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

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

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

About Clayton Recruitment

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

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

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How to 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 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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