Flexible working is fast becoming one of the most sought-after benefits on the market across all business sectors. From working parents looking to support a growing family to millennials in search of a better work/life balance, more-and-more candidates are seeking out flexible working arrangements in their next employer. It is therefore becoming increasingly important to consider offering flexible working arrangements as a standard benefit in order to appeal to the best candidates on the market. Sally Little, Group Head of Financial Accounting & Reporting at The Growth Company was one of those candidates. We recently worked with Sally to find her current role and she says that the flexible working on offer at The Growth Company was one of the major deciding factors in her decision. Stephanie Tasker, Principal Consultant at Sellick Partnership sat down with Sally to get her thoughts on the importance of flexible working, why she thinks it is so important in modern day society and why more businesses should follow suit and implement flexible working policies as a standard benefit. Flexible working – the deciding factor For many modern-day candidates, the thought of working 9 to 5, seven days a week is becoming hugely outdated, with an increasing number of candidates seeking out employers with flexible working arrangements that fit in with their life at home. As a recruiter I have witnessed this change and can confidently say that flexible working is one of the most sought-after benefits on the market, often being placed above salary in many instances. Sally Little, who I recently placed at The Growth Company agrees. While looking for her next role it was important to find an organisation that would fit around her life at home. “I live in Preston so being able to have 2 days working from home means a couple of days when I can take my kids to school and overall gives me a much better work/life balance.” This is a common theme with the candidates that I and the wider team here at Sellick Partnership speak to on a daily basis. The majority, if not all, of the candidates on our database are seeking or would like some sort of flexible working arrangement in their next role. In the last 12 months a large percentage of my placements alone have chosen their current employers as a result of the flexible working arrangements they offer, proving that it is becoming a major deciding factor for a lot of candidates. A growing shift towards flexible working Flexible working has always been high on the agenda for candidates I have worked with, especially those looking for work within the public sector, however now we are witnessing the increase across all sectors and industries. Only 6 percent of UK employees are working the traditional hours of 9 to 5 according to a new poll carried out by YouGov. That means that 95 percent of the current working population work hours that fall outside what we would class as ‘the norm’. The same report also found that just 14% of employees would opt for working 9 to 5 if given the choice. I also feel there has been a shift in the types of candidates that are seeking flexible working arrangements. A few years ago, if you asked me the types of candidates that wanted flexible working, I would probably have said that more experienced candidates with families saw it as a priority. These days however it is much more widely requested. Everyone from recent graduates straight through to CEOs are now seeking some sort of balance which means that businesses that are not offering flexible working are putting themselves at a real disadvantage. What can businesses offer? To me, flexible working isn’t just about the hours you put in at the office. Yes, it is a real benefit to candidates to allow them to alter how many hours they do or change start and finish times to suit their needs. But some businesses are going the extra mile and giving employees even more flexibility. Take the Growth Company for example... they introduced agile working in March giving their employees the flexibility to choose where they work, when they work and the way they work. Agile working can be anything from mobile working, remote or home working, hot-desking, or just more flexibility around the times of your working day. Being agile helps to create a performance-based culture which promotes trust, outputs and efficiency. As part of implementing agile working, The Growth Company introduced flexible working hours, giving employees the flexibility to manage their own working day between the hours of 7am and 7pm subject to business need. This was huge cultural change for the organisation and required significant planning to upgrade equipment and prepare employees, but six months since launch they are reaping the benefits with employees being empowered to manage their working day and attracting the best candidates on the market, like Sally Little. This flexibility was one of the reasons Sally accepted her role so she can work around her commitments at home. Talking about the policy Sally said: “We can work between 7am to 7pm from any location. We have the flexibility to choose the way we work but this is around work priorities and is managed locally in teams how often you are expected to be in the office, as some of our teams are client facing. It is expected that I will be in the office 3 days a week on average however others have much lower expectations to attend the office.” For flexible working to work it needs to suit the needs of employees of all kinds. This could mean starting and leaving the office earlier or working from home a few days a week. While speaking with Sally I was delighted to hear how popular the initiative has been. She added: “Everyone has engaged with this, very few employees are in the office 5 days a week now. The ability to hot desk allows you to meet people you wouldn’t normally sit with and to work in your own preferred style (i.e. desk, multiple screens, café tables, large group meeting tables)”. It is this type of flexibility that is giving some companies a real competitive edge and is becoming the key deciding factor when experienced candidates are accepting a role. Giving prospective employees an alternative to working the normal 9 to 5 allows businesses to recruit from a much wider geographical talent pool. Flexible working requires trust to be a success There is no question that the demand for flexible working is huge and is continuing to grow, which makes me wonder why there are still businesses and some sectors that are refusing to adapt and change with the times. Although quite rare, we still speak with some employers that are not equipped or able to offer any forms of flexible working for their staff, which often puts them at a disadvantage from the offset when recruiting. But why are some businesses and managers still hesitant to offer something that is so widely well received? When speaking with Sally she told me that she believes that trust is the basis of making flexible working a success. She said: “Some managers worry that if you can’t see your staff you don’t know what they’re doing. This comes down to leadership not management and trust within a team.” I found this a very interesting point and find myself agreeing with what Sally is saying. Many of the organisations that I see that are still hesitant to offer flexible working are very performance and KPI driven, so them not having trust that the work will be done fits. However, I think this is a shame as there are plenty of sales businesses such as ourselves at Sellick Partnership that have proven that flexible working can work in a highly pressured sales environment, and these businesses that are hesitant should take stock and follow suit, otherwise they risk falling behind and will likely struggle to recruit. Successful businesses can reap the rewards Flexible working however is not just a fad, in fact it has a huge number of benefits for employees and employers alike. Benefits such as employee satisfaction, motivation, increased productivity and even financial benefits have all been linked to successful flexible working policies. At the Growth Company they believe agile working: has improved business performance and customer satisfaction helps to attract and retain talent provides a more responsive and competitive service supports better work-life balance and health and wellbeing enhances productivity and has helped achieve cost efficiencies in their estate that has been reinvested into the business Introducing agile working also helped The Growth Company make changes to improve the way they work which has contributed to being awarded Investors in People Silver. The future of flexible working What does the future hold for flexible working? Personally, I only see the appetite for it increasing. I agree that trust and respect of colleagues is the basis of making anything work, but if an employer can ensure they have this I do not see why flexible working can’t continue to evolve, especially as digital developments continue to make remote working even easier. I personally take advantage of flexible working in my current role at Sellick Partnership. As a mother I needed to be able to work my hours around my commitments at home and being able to do this has greatly assisted in my development and career as a recruitment professional. Without this support I may not have been able to achieve what I have, so I know first-hand how important flexible working can be. Sally agrees… “On the days I’m not in the office I work when I would otherwise be commuting and the lack of interruptions from office noise keeps me focussed and allows me to increase my outputs. I am a happier person as the guilt of wanting both a career and motherhood is reduced and I feel I am a more rounded person as a consequence”. Can we help you? We have helped numerous businesses implement successful flexible working benefits with great results. If you would some advice on how to approach flexible working, and what types of policies will attract the candidates you need, get in touch. Alternatively, you can engage with this article, or others like it on the Insights section of our website or on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
Rachael Brooks, Wealth & Investment Management recruitment specialist at Sellick Partnership recently sat down with Fund Managers Gary Moglione and Richard Parfect of Seneca Investment Managers to find out why they think alternative investments will support the sector’s future growth. In recent years the investment management sector has been looking for ways to diversify in order to protect themselves and their clients against a downturn in interest rates, equity markets or fixed income markets, and alternative investments have started to take centre stage. Investment funds that include GP surgeries, Emirates A380 luxury aircraft and music royalties are now becoming the norm across the investment landscape and are giving the sector a huge boost. Seneca Investment Managers have been investing in the alternative space for over a decade and believe it is growing due to their investors’ search for investment vehicles that are less volatile and will provide a greater overall yield. The growth in investment funds such as this is giving fund managers a much greater opportunity to find unique and interesting investments that are more relatable and that investors can associate with. One such fund that Seneca has recently got involved in is the Hipgnosis Songs Fund – a fund that buys the rights to music and offers investors a chance to profit from the royalties paid when radio stations, films, adverts or streaming sites use the songs. You might think that this is a very unusual choice considering the music industry has been in decline for years due to the effects of piracy. However, the rapid rise of streaming has resulted in a turning point and global revenues for the music industry have been rising in recent years. As a result, Gary, Richard and the Seneca team spotted a huge opportunity in this area. As a music fan I found this incredibly interesting, and I can see why investment funds like this could be having a positive impact on the sector overall. With more investment opportunities comes a greater need for experienced managers, which can only be a good thing for the future of the investment sector across the UK. What is even more fascinating is the fact that not anyone can access these new, innovative investments. A retail investor – or a non-professional investor – for certain specialist types of investments, for regulatory purposes, must go through an investment house such as Seneca to access investments like this, again giving the sector more opportunities for growth. It is also exciting to think about what other investment opportunities may arise as fund managers continue to explore this space. Seneca has tested numerous investment opportunities and are always happy to move forward with an opportunity if it is financially viable and the risk/reward ratio is in their client’s favour. This is allowing professionals within the sector to think outside the box and is also opening up opportunities to specialists that may not have seen any opportunities for working as a fund manager previously. For example, when looking for managers to head up funds, Seneca search for credible experts within that field. That is why the Hipgnosis Songs Fund has worked so well. It is headed up by a panel of industry experts, making the investment a safer and more credible vehicle to manage. If investment managers continue to diversify in this way I feel we could see opportunities rise in numerous sectors, giving experts in those sectors a new and highly rewarding career opportunity. Looking further into the future I am excited by what alternative investments such as the Hipgnosis Songs Fund could do for talent and recruitment within investment management. Not only could we see the sector grow exponentially, but the need for highly skilled fund managers in cities such as Manchester and Liverpool could rocket giving investment houses across the North West a real opportunity to put themselves on the map, and attract talent from huge investment hubs such as London and Edinburgh. What next? If you are interested about hearing more about Seneca’s investment portfolio, feel free to contact them directly. Or, if you are interested in a career within investment management, get in touch with myself for a confidential chat by calling 0151 224 1480.
Whether you are relocating for work, loved ones or for a brand new start, the whole process of finding and settling into your new job can be quite daunting. Leaving friends and family behind long-term is a brave move but that’s not all you have to contend with when you need to find a new career to boot. Marketing Manager Aimee Jones relocated to join Sellick Partnership in May 2019 and offers her advice on relocating for work. Whilst it’s tough, if you work hard to find the right role for you that offers the right culture, benefits and stability you’re looking for, you can be sure that everything else will be easier to handle. Below is her advice on what to expect and what to do when relocating for work. Update your CV before you do anything else This one seems obvious but sometimes people fail to do this at the start of the job hunting process and it can have a negative impact. Not updating your CV will only make your job search more stressful if you come across a role you like the sound of but cannot apply to straight away. Something I found useful when updating my CV before my job search was looking at jobs online and using their job descriptions to tailor my CV to highlight my relevant experience for the roles I was going to apply for. It can be hard to know where to start, but remember you are the expert on what experience you have so have the confidence to showcase this on your CV. We have more tips on how to update your CV on our website. Advice on finding your new job If you know you’re relocating several months before your actual moving date, make sure to start your job search early. This doesn’t mean applying for jobs everywhere and anywhere – this never normally works. I suggest you do some research and make a list of all the companies you want to work for in the area you’re relocating to. Remember to think about culture as well as the monetary packages and benefits; you’re relocating your life and need to find a culture you will feel comfortable in. Start to make direct contact with these companies and the relevant managers to let them know you’ll be relocating and you’ll be surprised of the feedback you get. Hiring managers, whether they’re hiring or not at that time, are always keen to hear who’s in the market. I contacted a fair few companies I knew I wanted to work for and the response was really positive. Whilst I didn’t personally secure a role this way, the exercise was worth it. I expanded my network in Manchester for the future and the encouraging feedback boosted my confidence that I would find the right role soon. Find a recruiter who is right for you Use Google to search for relevant local recruitment companies in the area you are relocating to, or specialist recruiters in your chosen field. Local may not necessarily mean the best for you but you will need to do your research to work this out. Don’t be scared to call them and find this out for yourself. Each conversation you have with a recruiter gives you more experience on being able to talk openly about yourself and find the best way to showcase who you are. Each call is interview practice whether you get anywhere with it or not, so I always believe in making as many relevant calls as I can when looking for a new role. Once you’ve found a recruitment company, or even a specific recruiter you really want to work with, go meet them if you can. If not, offer to do a Skype call or video interview – relationships develop a lot quicker this way and the more they know you and understand you, the more they will help you and keep you in mind for any future roles that come in. Moving to a new city doesn’t have to be stressful There are many pros and cons for living in a big city, but the same goes for living anywhere. Moving to a new city requires you to be open minded and willing to adapt to change. If you go into it with a positive attitude and embrace change, then what happens when you get there is all just part of the process of relocating. Your new employer should respect your situation but don’t expect a relocation package or moving expenses for moving to a big city. Usually relocation packages will be offered to people moving to more remote locations as it is harder to make the transition this way round. Perhaps negotiate your start date if you need time to settle in, or agree to use some holiday to give yourself a few longer weekends to settle in. Everyone’s needs are unique, but if you find the right employer they will want to understand your circumstances and work with you to make sure you are happy and comfortable. Take public transport, for example. Remember that although it may seem daunting if you’ve never worked in a city, people do it on a daily basis and it is something you’ll get used to fairly quickly. The novelty will wear off pretty quick but it will soon fall part of your daily routine and you won’t think twice about it. Stay positive and don’t give up the search If you are relocating, for whatever reason, chances are you’re doing it to better your current situation or you’re doing it for a loved one. Stay positive during this process because it always works out in the end. Finding a job doesn’t happen overnight and you will be offered a job when it is the right one for you. When applying for roles, you won’t always get a response and sometimes you will receive a response saying you haven’t been invited to interview. Try not to take this personally, tick that job off the list and move on – the longer people worry about rejection, the further away they get from finding the right role for them. I learnt this a few years ago and since changing my mind-set, looking for a new job has never been an issue or negative experience. Advice on interviewing in a new location Interviewing for a role away from where you currently live can be challenging, but it is not impossible. You will need to be flexible and willing to use holiday at your current company. Be open and honest about your need to look for work and your current manager will be more understanding than you may think. If they are aware you’re relocating then they are aware that you will need to find a new job and will also look to you for support in finding your replacement. Work together with your current line manager and the whole process will be a lot less stressful. If you get invited to an interview but it’s too short notice, I would always offer a Skype/telephone interview in the first instance. These are becoming increasingly popular for first stage interviews and will show the interviewer you are serious about getting to know them. If you haven’t any experience in this, try practicing with family and friends to get used to video calls. Or work with your recruiter to give you some tips. It’s never as scary as you think so the more you practice you have, the easier it will become. Whilst in some cases it may be impossible to interview on short notice, if you have the chance to – you are more likely to be offered the job. Make the effort for the companies you really like the sound of and they will appreciate it. If you are able to make a face-to-face interview, make sure to research the journey and look at the office location on Google Street View. You need to be sure of where you are going before the day as this will reduce your nerves and give you more time to focus on preparing for the interview itself. You can find more advice on interviewing here. Making the move to your new job I am a firm believer in a work/life balance and finding the right employer who respects the need for this balance is very important for both your mental health and your dedication to your work. When you are offered a role you want to accept, make sure you talk to your new employer about your personal circumstances. I did this when I interviewed at Sellick Partnership and I was treated with respect. They recognised my need to work from home every so often to visit family and it was agreed that they would accommodate this. If you need time to adjust, perhaps ask for a phased start or ensure to leave enough time between jobs to get your life together. Your situation will be different to mine so find what works best for you and stay true to that. That way, you will appreciate the effort your employer has gone to keep you happy and your gratitude will show in the work you do. What next If you would like more advice on interviews, managing a work/life balance or other tips for looking for work, head over to our candidate resources area.
It is that time of year again when students are coming towards the end of their degrees and are starting to think about life after university. Although it is a very exciting time, it can also be quite a confusing time too. Especially for those who are not quite sure what path to take or what career they want to go into. Recruitment can be a very rewarding career and with the sector continuing to grow, now is the best time to start considering this as an option. Here are some points that might help you to decide whether working in recruitment is the right career path for you, and some top tips on what it takes to work in this exciting, fast-paced environment. Recruitment gives you opportunities to work in different industries Within recruitment there are lots of different sectors you can choose to work in such as Legal, Finance & Accountancy or HR. Choosing a sector that you already have knowledge of can make it a lot easier when going into recruitment, for example, some of our Legal Consultants are non-practising Lawyers. If you have worked or studied in a particular sector before, you will have a better understanding of what clients and candidates are looking for and also the challenges they are facing in the market. Once you have chosen a sector it does not mean that you have to work in that sector for the whole of your career. Recruitment allows you to develop many transferable skills, so it is fairly easy for you to change roles if you decide to move into a different market area for example. Career development opportunities in recruitment Recruitment is a very exciting career to get into but it can also be challenging so you have to be sure that it is suited to you. As with many sales roles, there are highs and lows so perseverance is key. It is important that you have the ambition and drive to want to succeed as a Recruitment Consultant, and there are plenty of opportunities where you can progress quickly and increase your earning potential. At Sellick Partnership we offer a variety of opportunities – all of which are integral to the success of the business. Whether you join as a fresh graduate or as an experienced recruiter there is a career path for you. If you would like to learn more you can visit our work for us page. Learn new skills Recruitment Consultants learn many skills throughout their careers which will benefit you both personally and professionally. This is great if you decide to have a sector change within recruitment or even a career change later down the line. Most of the skills are transferrable such as communication, organisation, negotiation and problem solving and are great to have and include on your CV and will be relevant to most roles. Be in charge of your own success in recruitment Being a Recruitment Consultant can be like running your own business. You are in charge of managing your clients and candidates so it is really important you are organised. This means that the more work you put in the more rewards you will get making you in charge of your own success. At Sellick Partnership we offer an uncapped commission structure meaning there is no limit to how much you can make. Rewarding career with great earning potential and benefits Recruitment Consultants can be rewarded very well for just doing their job and there are lots of opportunities to earn commission. Recruitment Consultants here at Sellick Partnership all get their base salaries along with commission for positions within our specialist areas: Legal, Finance, HR, Housing & Property Services, Actuarial Procurement and Change & Transformation. We offer an extremely competitive commission structure which is uncapped, meaning there is no limit to the amount of commission that our Recruitment Consultants can make. So more sales means more commission with no limits. We also do not have a billing threshold, as soon as you start billing you start earning commission. Recruitment Consultants get to help people find their dream role! Recruitment can be a very rewarding career, not only in terms of remuneration but also in terms of helping other people find their perfect role. Our Recruitment Consultants are responsible for helping candidate’s find their dream job that is right for them. This means helping people progress in their careers, increase their earning potential and often supporting candidates who are considering relocating. If you would like more information on graduate recruitment please feel free to get in touch with myself, or visit our work for us page. Alternatively, you can check out our latest internal vacancies here.