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We deliver the best recruitment news and advice to the Tax, Legal, Finance, HR and Marketing sectors, including market updates, CV tips, interview advice, and exclusive interviews.

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How to Use FinTech to Enhance Your Legal Career

What is FinTech? This innovative sector has transformed the financial services sector and the way organisations interact with their clients. In simple terms, FinTech is the use of technology to provide financial services in a more secure and efficient method. FinTech essentially describes the intersection between finance and technology, and today's FinTech market has been characterised by significant growth. As a result, FinTech players need to have a clear competitive edge which can be achieved in certain key areas which including getting regulatory compliance right and making the right partnerships at the right time and on the right terms. So what does this mean for lawyers? To gain this competitive edge and succeed in the current FinTech market, the key is high-quality and innovative legal advice and this is where lawyers come in, guiding market participants through the various business and legal issues in this growing, exciting sector. FinTech challenges established ideas, but as surmised by DLA Piper, also provides an opportunity for existing market participants to diversify their product range, improve efficiencies, manage risk more effectively and reach a wider customer base. The wide establishment of FinTech has brought together Financial Regulation and Technology practice areas and with any new partnership between two existing sectors, legal and regulatory challenges are created which in turn requires comprehensive and in-depth legal advice. Despite the volume of financial regulation controls decelerating and other countries lowering regulation in order to compete for the FinTech crown, existing regulation is becoming increasingly complicated. The number of FinTech start-ups is still significantly growing and UK FinTech investment reached £2.6bn last year - and almost £995m has been invested in UK FinTech in Q1 2019 alone! As a result, legal expertise in this sector remains in high demand, with Data Protection and Intellectual Property posing substantial challenges for new start-ups along with ensuring full compliance. Global FinTech investment also rose rapidly last year, with KPMG reporting the figure to be around $112 billion - up 120% from 2017. With this, the top international law firms and most entrepreneurial boutiques are recognising the long-term goldmine that is the FinTech sector. With the likes of Simmons & Simmons and Slaughter & May offering free legal services to start-ups, they are not only demonstrating their legal expertise but also building valuable and profitable relationships in the long term. Why is this a good time for lawyers to get into FinTech? There are so many opportunities for legal professionals when it comes to working in the FinTech sector. This sector offers the chance to work flexibly both with start-up companies and major financial institutions who are looking to incorporate the innovative technologies that have been changing the landscape of the financial services sector in recent years. Being a niche and growing sector, lawyers with extensive legal expertise in this area are quite rare, which leaves open great opportunity for talented lawyers wanting to transfer into and excel within this booming area. Essentially, a combination of a strong academic background and either Financial Regulation or Technology experience can give you an in – and if you have experience in both practice areas, you are a prime candidate for both newly formed FinTech teams and established financial institutions. For more information on this article, or for Legal jobs in London or Nationwide, contact Henry on 020 7269 6342 or henry.hillier@pro-legal.co.uk.

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Workplace Wellbeing in the Charity and Not-For-Profit Sector

It has been recently reported that 7 out of 10 employees have admitted to suffering from stress, financial strain and other personal issues over the past five years. It has become all the more important that employers, including those within the Charity and Not-For-Profit sector, know and understand the prevalence of mental health issues in the workforce and do what they can to create an open culture where employee mental health is addressed and understood. Due to increased awareness regarding mental health, we know that at least 1 in 4 people will experience mental ill health at some point in their lives, that stress is the number one reason for employee absenteeism and, crucially, that many often feel unable or afraid to speak about their mental health openly in the workplace. However, this year as a nation, we have seen the highest amount of policy focus and public awareness regarding mental health than ever before - undoubtedly steps in the right direction. It goes without saying that one of the key issues facing any employer is the retention of their valued workforce - an issue that unfortunately is only amplified in the charity sector, due to the plethora of other issues compounding the struggle to keep a hold of top talent. One way in which organisations can ensure the retention of their top talent is by focusing on the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce, by creating an open culture and putting in place frameworks to understand and support employees. The Challenges of Supporting Employee Wellbeing in the Third Sector Working in the Charity and Not-For-Profit sector does offer a number of benefits that give it the 'feel good' factor and a competitive edge when it comes to wellbeing and positivity about work over other industries. One of the most obvious benefits is the opportunity to contribute to a worthwhile cause and actually make a difference in the world. Knowing that the work done by charities benefits so many people is often cited by our clients as one of the biggest draws of the industry, and one of the main reasons people decide to work for an organisation in this sector. In many cases, this ultimately results in a sense of positivity and self-fulfilment, which has the potential to improve one's wellbeing. This is great news for HR professionals working within the sector. Everybody knows a happy workforce is a productive one and this is a charity’s greatest asset! The third sector has known this for some time and it is certainly the sector which acknowledges and recognises most the issues of mental ill-health, and its early embracing of the concept of office wellbeing is really paying dividends whilst other sectors scramble to catch up. However, work in the third sector does have its challenges when it comes to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of employees. Issues or problems at work can often be heightened in the Not-For-Profit sector, as employees tend to be more emotionally engaged with their job and the cause they are working for. As well as this, the reliance of many charities on networks of volunteers, part-time employees and people who work remotely also brings up its own wellbeing challenges, as well as what Maurice Wren describes as a "churn mentality" in the voluntary sector, which leads to feelings of job insecurity. Yet, as a general rule, organisations in this sector have a smaller budget and therefore less manoeuvrability when implementing initiatives to improve employee wellbeing. There are initiatives that large, private sector companies may be able to introduce for their companies which just aren't possible for charities and Not-For-Profit organisation, such as private medical care and counselling, or complex frameworks to support employees financially. The unpredictable and unreliable nature of funding in this sector means funding for staff wellbeing and development often competes with the pressure to invest all resources into supporting vital charitable work and this, in turn, means that organisations need to rely on effective, but cheaper initiatives to support employee wellbeing - which doesn't come without challenges! Despite this, charities and Not-For-Profit organisations, again and again, find creative and effective ways to improve wellbeing in the workplace. They offer fun and relaxed office environments - with some organisations allowing pets in the office which is proven to reduce stress and provide a happier working environment - flexible working arrangements including mental health and 'duvet days', and support networks within the organisation itself, to name but a few. This sector still remains ahead of the game in understanding, showing compassion, and supporting employees' mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Here at Pro, we pride ourselves on our commitment to the welfare of our employees. Pat Keogh, our Managing Director, founded Pro-Recruitment Group in 2007 with the vision of creating the best workplace for employees, which, in turn, he believed would equate to a successful business. Our approach to wellbeing is reflected in our 4.6 out of 5 Glassdoor rating and some of the stand-out benefits that we offer here at Pro, put in place with our employees' wellbeing in mind, include flexi-time, 'dress for your diary', free tea, coffee and fresh fruit, corporate gym membership, private healthcare, return to work meetings and a "buddy system", and the creation of a fun culture and family-feel atmosphere. We regularly meet with and speak to a range of HR professionals from the Charitable and Not-For-Profit sector, and time and time again wellbeing does seem to be at the top of many charities agendas - although, of course, there are always improvements to be made across the board when it comes to people's mental health and wellbeing. For more information on this article, contact Claire Stradling, Manager of the Charity and Not-For-Profit team here at Pro who specialise in recruiting Finance, HR and Marketing roles in the Third sector.

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12 Tips to Become a Successful Recruiter

As a recruiter, it's your job to get the best talent through the door and provide your company or client with the right candidates who will make an impact. While each recruiter has different specific strengths, there are numerous commonalities among effective recruiters. Becoming a great recruiter takes skill, intuition and lots of practice, and our recruitment experts here at Pro have put together 12 Top Tips on becoming and remaining a successful recruiter. So, what makes a good recruiter? 1. Answer/return the call The most successful recruiters will always get back to people whether it is good or bad news and offer full feedback, or even just a quick update call. Don’t be that ever-elusive recruiter who doesn’t get back to their candidates or clients! If you went for a job and no one got back to you, even if you were not successful, would you be happy with this? 2. Make the most of your day Recruiting is like juggling plates. You will have business development calls, candidate calls, interviews, meetings, adverts, applications and emails amongst a barrage of incoming calls. Plan your day to make sure you hit your targets and deadlines, even when you find one situation takes up most of your afternoon unexpectedly! 3. Network Building your network of both existing and potential clients and candidates is key. Keeping in regular contact with active job seekers and clients you have placed with will keep you fresh in their minds to come back to. Attending industry events and lunches, alongside social networking are all effective ways to increase your means of generating the best candidates. 4. Build your personal brand Make sure you are delivering the best service to both clients and candidates alike! When you are generating business from a referral or placing candidates because you have been recommended, you know what you are doing is working! If you do a fantastic job, that candidate you placed last year will remember your excellent service and when they are recruiting for their own team, you will be the person they think of to contact. 5. Listen As a recruiter, you need to listen to both your clients and candidates alike to ensure that you fully understand every detail of what that individual wants. Just because you have recruited for a similar role for a competitor, both the role and what another client wants from a candidate will not necessarily be the same. The same goes for your candidates - understanding their wants, needs and goals will help you to match them to their perfect opportunity. 6. Drive and Determination To be a successful recruiter you need the drive and determination to succeed. You will need to pick up the phone to make cold calls, call candidates, headhunt the passive market and be proactive in your approach. 7. Never stop learning Making sure you are up to date with your knowledge and methods of working will help you stay ahead of your game. As an industry, recruitment is always changing and developing. Trends in the markets change, and tools and techniques are ever evolving. It’s hard to imagine a time without LinkedIn and social media as a recruitment tool; yet not that long ago it was unknown. The way clients are now recruiting is also changing to suit their needs, especially as we are now in such a buoyant market. 8. Ask questions Every successful recruiter has managed to hone their questioning skills to ensure they are finding out more than their competitors and able to make the best matches. Ask the right questions and don’t be afraid to dig deeper to clarify the answers. Knowledge is power in recruitment. 9. Have a thick skin There is a lot of rejection, and some days you may not get the results you want. The important thing is to be able to bounce back, keep positive and stay persistent. If you continue to be proactive you will be a huge success! 10. Think outside the box The most successful recruiters show entrepreneurialism and innovation in the ways they can source and fill vacancies. There is a lot of competition out there from thousands of other agencies. Make sure you are finding new and clever ways to work with clients and candidates alike and show you are different and why. Don’t be afraid to change the way you work because you are comfortable with your processes. 11. Work as a team There is a wealth of knowledge and skills across your business. Work alongside successful recruiters and you will pick up tips and styles to help you improve. Even the most seasoned recruiter can learn from a junior member of the team, and sharing knowledge and best practices will widen your skill set to ensure you are a top performer. 12. Know your market If you work in a specialised vertical sector then make sure you are up to date with industry news and market knowledge - to be the best recruiter you need to know your market inside-out! Here at Pro-Recruitment Group, our teams specialise in Tax, Legal, Finance, HR and Marketing recruitment. Each team prides themselves in being market specialists, who research and learn every day from a wide range of resources available to them. We hold events within these specialised areas to network with professionals and ensure our teams are up to date with their knowledge. We also source Consultants who have worked in these industries previously and so have hands-on experience within their sector, including Solicitors, Partners of Law Firms, Tax Seniors and Accountants. As a company, we are in a period of growth. If you are interested in becoming a market specialist and developing your career with Pro-Recruitment Group, contact our Head of Talent Loren on 020 7269 6358 or loren@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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7 Steps To Getting A Promotion In Your Legal Career

Do you think it’s time for your promotion? The thing to note about career progression is that you’ll need more than simply the correct experience. Knowing what else you need to address with your employer, as well as how to bring the issue up, can be the key to getting your desired outcome from the conversation. Here are 7 handy steps you can take to get the promotion you’re after to propel your legal career. 1. Ask your employer The first thing to do is make sure you’ve stated your aspirations to your manager in clear terms. Set up a meeting with the appropriate authority to talk about your career, and the direction you’d like to take it in. Make clear how you see yourself progressing, and offer an ideal timeframe. Letting your employer know what your goals are may further incline them to move you up when the opportunity arises. An ideal conversation would also expose you to the opportunities currently available within your organisation. This should help you plan your next move. Generally, higher positions will involve greater freedom and autonomy, but also greater responsibility. You can’t go wrong by requesting greater responsibilities. Signalling a wish to do more important work should make your intentions clear in a non-obtrusive way. The old saying goes: ask and you shall receive. The first step, then, is to ask. 2. Sell yourself If asking alone got us the results we wanted, we would all be living out fully idealised lives. You need to do more than just ask – you need to display your credentials. Take notes of the work you’ve done to help your firm reach its strategic goals. Keep these achievements in a log, and make them prominent during your meeting with your manager. Beware: stating that you simply deserve to be moved up is by itself not a good tactic. Showing why you’re an important asset to the firm is better. Basically, you need to quantify your results. You might even show them some of your lesser-known accomplishments. Try to promote yourself in a way that also casts your colleagues in a better light. 3. Acquire additional skills Often, your current experience may not cover the requirements for a promoted position. Some positions you would like may require additional qualifications or skills, required even for internal applicants. Find out what these requirements are and take matters into your own hands by acquiring them. As technological skills change rapidly, you need an ever-increasing skill set to keep up and stay ahead of the game. Spending extra time to learn new things for a role you want is almost always worth it. If for some reason you miss the promotion, you’ll still have gained a new skill to add to your CV, which will help you if you choose to seek a new job. 4. Move sideways Instead of keeping your eyes on the role above you, perhaps try looking to the side. Sometimes a movement to a different but related niche or a different role at your same level may be a more lucrative career move. Not every promotion involves a direct movement upwards. This is especially useful in cases where someone directly above you is blocking your progression. Trying new responsibilities may even come with a pay rise or more flexible hours. You’ll gain new skills and expand your portfolio, which better equips you for when it’s time to move up. 5. Start asking questions Building a strong team allows managers to outsource expertise to their employees. As an employee, you should ask your questions to demonstrate your own value. There’s no creed that dictates employees must agree unequivocally with everything managers say. At times, it’s better to be inquisitive. But there has to be a balance: interested is not the same as irritating. Learn how to inquire with integrity, with the correct backup, and when to continue. 6. Realise your shortcomings It’s easy to take credit when things go well. Showing that you’re able to take blame when things go wrong, however, is a greater display of responsibility. It’s generally nicer to admit to your own failures and work on them, rather than hear about them from someone else. When things aren’t running smoothly, communicate this with your manager in a professional manner. The next step is to make clear how you’ll improve the situation, and show willingness to tackle it. Promotions are about accountability just as much as pay rises. Prove your accountability and maturity, and the rewards will come. 7. Keep working hard Amidst all this, it’s important to keep a cool head and remain focused on the work you’ve been currently delegated. Taking time to consider greater goals and larger-scale projects is useful, but not at the expense of your day job! Promotions are rarely certain. If you struggle with your current work, you’ll have a harder time convincing those above you that you’re suited for more senior responsibilities. If you feel like you’re stuck in a position with no progression, the industry experts here at Pro-Legal can help you find your next career move. For more information on this article, or for Legal jobs in London or Nationwide, contact Henry on 020 7269 6328 or henry.hillier@pro-legal.co.uk.

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7 Steps To Getting A Promotion In Your Legal Career

Do you think it’s time for your promotion? The thing to note about career progression is that you’ll need more than simply the correct experience. Knowing what else you need to address with your employer, as well as how to bring the issue up, can be the key to getting your desired outcome from the conversation. Here are 7 handy steps you can take to get the promotion you’re after to propel your legal career. 1. Ask your employer The first thing to do is make sure you’ve stated your aspirations to your manager in clear terms. Set up a meeting with the appropriate authority to talk about your career, and the direction you’d like to take it in. Make clear how you see yourself progressing, and offer an ideal timeframe. Letting your employer know what your goals are may further incline them to move you up when the opportunity arises. An ideal conversation would also expose you to the opportunities currently available within your organisation. This should help you plan your next move. Generally, higher positions will involve greater freedom and autonomy, but also greater responsibility. You can’t go wrong by requesting greater responsibilities. Signalling a wish to do more important work should make your intentions clear in a non-obtrusive way. The old saying goes: ask and you shall receive. The first step, then, is to ask. 2. Sell yourself If asking alone got us the results we wanted, we would all be living out fully idealised lives. You need to do more than just ask – you need to display your credentials. Take notes of the work you’ve done to help your firm reach its strategic goals. Keep these achievements in a log, and make them prominent during your meeting with your manager. Beware: stating that you simply deserve to be moved up is by itself not a good tactic. Showing why you’re an important asset to the firm is better. Basically, you need to quantify your results. You might even show them some of your lesser-known accomplishments. Try to promote yourself in a way that also casts your colleagues in a better light. 3. Acquire additional skills Often, your current experience may not cover the requirements for a promoted position. Some positions you would like may require additional qualifications or skills, required even for internal applicants. Find out what these requirements are and take matters into your own hands by acquiring them. As technological skills change rapidly, you need an ever-increasing skill set to keep up and stay ahead of the game. Spending extra time to learn new things for a role you want is almost always worth it. If for some reason you miss the promotion, you’ll still have gained a new skill to add to your CV, which will help you if you choose to seek a new job. 4. Move sideways Instead of keeping your eyes on the role above you, perhaps try looking to the side. Sometimes a movement to a different but related niche or a different role at your same level may be a more lucrative career move. Not every promotion involves a direct movement upwards. This is especially useful in cases where someone directly above you is blocking your progression. Trying new responsibilities may even come with a pay rise or more flexible hours. You’ll gain new skills and expand your portfolio, which better equips you for when it’s time to move up. 5. Start asking questions Building a strong team allows managers to outsource expertise to their employees. As an employee, you should ask your questions to demonstrate your own value. There’s no creed that dictates employees must agree unequivocally with everything managers say. At times, it’s better to be inquisitive. But there has to be a balance: interested is not the same as irritating. Learn how to inquire with integrity, with the correct backup, and when to continue. 6. Realise your shortcomings It’s easy to take credit when things go well. Showing that you’re able to take blame when things go wrong, however, is a greater display of responsibility. It’s generally nicer to admit to your own failures and work on them, rather than hear about them from someone else. When things aren’t running smoothly, communicate this with your manager in a professional manner. The next step is to make clear how you’ll improve the situation, and show willingness to tackle it. Promotions are about accountability just as much as pay rises. Prove your accountability and maturity, and the rewards will come. 7. Keep working hard Amidst all this, it’s important to keep a cool head and remain focused on the work you’ve been currently delegated. Taking time to consider greater goals and larger-scale projects is useful, but not at the expense of your day job! Promotions are rarely certain. If you struggle with your current work, you’ll have a harder time convincing those above you that you’re suited for more senior responsibilities. If you feel like you’re stuck in a position with no progression, the industry experts here at Pro-Legal can help you find your next career move. For more information on this article, or for Legal jobs in London or Nationwide, contact Henry on 020 7269 6328 or henry.hillier@pro-legal.co.uk.

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5 Mistakes People Make When Looking For a New Job

Looking for a new job can be a daunting and stressful task and there are a lot of obstacles that are out there to trip you up if you're not careful. However, if you are able to stick to a few carefully considered rules your job hunting experience can be a lot easier than originally anticipated. 1. Thinking that having a good CV is enough… So many people in the professions we work in (Tax, Legal, Finance, HR and Marketing) have an excellent CV. You have a great degree, great qualifications, you trained at a great firm and maybe you are in the industry now? With your impressive CV, it is so easy to be led into a false sense of security. Sure, you will get interviews and sure, people will want to talk to you, but that is just the very start of looking for a new role and there is so much more to it. Take a look at more advice on what to avoid in your CV here. 2. Registering with too many agencies When you decide that the time is right and your CV is complete, one of the worst things you can do is register with multiple agencies. Why? You get confused, we get confused and there will be overlap. Quite often clients will give a specialist job, like a tax opportunity to a niche tax recruiter of a legal role to a specialist legal recruiter, this means a lot of us have the same roles and there will be a duplication of what you get to hear about. You will have many people calling you and it can be hard to keep track of vacancies that you have been spoken to about and who has arranged your interviews. We recommend registering with one or two agencies to give you great coverage in the market and to ensure that you have the best of both worlds, just in case clients have gone exclusive. Choose the market leaders and people that you genuinely enjoy talking to as this will make the process as smooth as possible for you. 3. Not preparing for your interviews Preparing for your interviews is vital, it genuinely is the basics that you need to think about. Your experience and CV is not enough and it is so important that you do your research into the firm, understand why you want this role over any other and why you want to work for that particular company, so often candidates are rejected because of either lack of knowledge, lack of passion or lack of decisiveness. At Pro-Group, we pride ourselves on the time we invest in ensuring we provide good interview preparation tips, take a look at our interview prep advice here. 4. Being closed The biggest principle to learn here is to be transparent, not just with your recruiter but with your potential future employers. Some recruiters tell you to be guarded, tell you to keep remunerations to yourself and they negotiate it for you, don’t tell people where you are interviewing (this only protects agencies its nothing to do with how it will help you), quite often if I know exactly where a candidate is interviewing we can have an honest and open discussion about the pros and cons of each firm, ultimately recruiters want to win, but after doing this for so many years, I find if you genuinely want the best for your candidates and you did “win” then they will always come back to you at a different point in their career and thank you for being honest. 5. Doing it all for money You finally get the offer that you want and you resign, then your current employer who is devastated to be losing you and then they up your salary.why now? It’s far cheaper for them to up your salary by £5,000 - £10,000 as replacing you will be significantly more expensive. If it is all about the money, have this conversation before you start steps 1-4, it saves a lot of time and your employer may well give you the pay rise you deserve without you having to go through quite a stressful process to get there. For more advice on working with the recruitment agency that suits you, speak to Alison on 02072696312 or alison.humphries@pro-tax.co.uk.

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Women in Tax – An Inspiration to Men and Women Worldwide

As a recruiter specialising in Tax recruitment, it is important that I observe the market trends and monitor the supply of skilled tax professionals in order to educate my clients when supporting their recruitment needs. When discussing the specific details about my client’s teams and asking why quality candidates should consider working for them, I am specifically intrigued to learn about the career development opportunities and previous ‘success stories’ within the firm, in order to inspire the candidates that I am working with and ensure my client is potentially the right future employer for my candidates. In this month’s Orange Top, I am discussing female professionals within the tax industry as Women in Tax highlights that “top women leaders are making strides in a field traditionally viewed as male-dominated”. A few examples of women who have progressed their careers in the tax industry include: Heather Miller, is Senior Tax Manager at TWP Accounting, prior to joining, she was the Head of Private Client Tax at Price Bailey, having gained extensive experience working at a start-up private client tax boutique, running her own consultancy and most recently with Magic Circle law firm Clifford Chance. Joanna Santinon joined EY 19 years ago and is a Tax Partner who leads a successful part of the UK tax practice in London. In addition, Joanne founded the EY FTSE Women's Network and won the Accountancy Category for the 2013 Women in the City Woman of Achievement Award. Jean Stephens runs RSM International and has been working there for 21 years, which includes 11 years working as Chief Executive. HERE is an inspirational article Jean has written to highlight the secrets of her success: What can we learn from these success stories? It is important for women embarking on a tax career to know that they can reach the top of their profession and employers should encourage this, Deloitte states that “Employers need to understand that gender equality creates the potential for better, more informed decision-making in our societies, an educated and diverse source of talent”. Gender equality means that women are also able to inspire both men and other women, the next generation and act as role models within the tax industry. For more information about this article, or to speak to Alison about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696312 or alison.keogh@pro-tax.co.uk

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International Women’s Day 2019 - #Balanceforbetter

The International Women’s Day website says that balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. That collective action and shared responsibility for driving a gender-balanced world is key. International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women - while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance. Movements like #IWD matter because what held true in 1969 holds true today, that the stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says 'it’s a girl’. (Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm). And it is this stereotyping which holds back not only women and men, but it also holds back our economies. The economies in which we want to see growth, year in, year out. We live in a system which needs to hear the business case for everything. And even though I disagree with this starting point when it comes to matters of social conscience and equality I will toe the line today because these messages need to be heard. 65 countries lose $92bn in annual GDP by investing less in girls’ education than boys. (Yann Borgstedt, The Womanity Foundation) Globally women work two-thirds of all working hours, but get 10% of the income (Yann Borgstedt, The Womanity Foundation) The 2015 McKinsey Power of Parity Report says that in the full scenario of gender equality being achieved globally, $28trillion, or 26% would be added to global annual GDP by 2025. The report links gender equality in society to gender equality at work, acknowledging that one is not possible without the other. Here’s an example of how social inequality can cause economic problems. China’s Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s created opportunities for women in growing industries and the government specifically supported women in setting up SMEs. The even earlier Land Reform Act of 1950 enabled peasant workers to own their own land – this included women. Much of China’s growth in the last few decades was built on the woman-friendly foundations of these actions. Then came the one-child policy – the population was growing at a worryingly high rate. And from here came the stark realisation that despite the gender-equal policies of a few decades earlier, the higher social capital attached to having a boy over a girl had not changed. Attitudes remained as they had always been and new-born girls were abandoned to die or be adopted. Whilst the Chinese economy continues to grow at the moment, it faces uncertainty ahead. There are 50 million fewer women than there would have been if it weren’t for the one-child policy and the social inequality which led to boys being favoured over girls. This alone could lead to a 3% cut to China’s GDP. Yes, it’s an extreme example. But it illustrates the point - social inequality will continue to impact economic progress if we don’t address it head-on. Balance matters, it’s not just a slogan or a trending topic on Twitter, but a true indicator of what we could achieve if we work together – men and women – to create a world where opportunities are available to all, regardless of background. The reality is that everyone gains from the full social and economic empowerment of women. A more prosperous society is good for us all. #balanceforbetter This article has been contributed by Heeral Gudka (click to find out more about Heeral). Heeral Gudka is the founder and director of Convergent Consulting, with expertise in helping leaders create inclusive environments and work in a manner that motivates themselves and those around them. She set up her coaching business after 15 years in the insurance industry, experiencing first-hand the impact that intelligent and genuine leadership has on people, and also the impact of poor leadership on productivity and morale. Heeral has worked with Hiscox, SAGA, Tandem, Argenta, Conyers, Dill & Pearman; Freisenbruch-Meyer, AON Bermuda, The Honeypot Children's Charity and CCS Group. Twitter Linkedin

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10 Things You Didn't Know About: Mandy Eddolls - HR Engagement Director

Mandy Eddolls is the Interim HR Engagement Director at University of Warwick. She is an expert on developing People & Organisation strategy to effect major transformational change and drive performance and engagement, has a wide experience of stakeholder engagement and a broad range of experience in different sectors. 1. What three traits define you? Resilience, pragmatism and humour 2. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? I once had a summer job in a company that organised artificial insemination for dairy cattle herds. I hasten to add that I had a job in the office there! 3. How do you define success? Doing the right thing, not the easy thing 4. If not HR, what would the dream be? Gardener. I love my garden and am happiest when I’m there. As long as I have someone who can do all the heavy manual work for me! So maybe a supervisory gardening role 5. What is your personal philosophy? That life is awfully short, and we should grab all the opportunities that we can. 6. How do you start your day? Grumpily. I’m not very talkative in the morning and prefer to keep myself to myself for the first hour or so, listening to the radio or checking Twitter while drinking lots of coffee 7. What’s your favourite thing about working for your current company? Higher Education is an endlessly fascinating sector – you get to meet some amazing people who really do change lives in the course of their work 8. What are the secrets to good leadership? Humility, visibility and never forget that you’re part of a team as well as leading it 9. What is your favourite holiday destination and why? Brittany – it’s diverse, great climate, great food and even better wine 10. If you were able to invite 4 people to dinner (alive or passed), who would you invite, and why? Alun Wyn Jones – as a proud Welsh woman, I’d like to say thank you to him for thumping the English at Rugby on Saturday, Alan Bennett because his wry observations on life, politics, love and class have been constant reading through my life, Cardinal Wolsey – history presents him as a deeply paradoxical man – greedy and abstemious, philanthropist and self-serving, chaste and yet over indulgent – I’d like to see for myself and Vic Reeves because he’s funny, strange and very talented. For more information about this article, or to speak to Akhil about your recruiting needs or HR jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696350 or akhil@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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How To Achieve A Hassle Free Career Change

Our needs as a person change as we get older or work in one job for a long time. This means that our wants and needs change as our lives do. It is not surprising then, that many people at some point in their lives feel like a career change may be necessary. This is not only a profession change but you may seek a different role within the same sector. For instance, some people who have a tax manager job may realise that they want a tax job in commerce, or a Lawyer making a move into legal recruitment. The idea of job jumping may feel daunting, which is why we have compiled a list of ways in which you can find a new career in a stress-free fashion. Network Before you change career, find out a bit about that role. You may want to do some background research to make sure that you know everything you can before jumping ship and onto another. Talk to people who work in the role you see yourself working in and research the companies you would like to work for and the specifications of the jobs they have going. In short, be prepared and know what to expect and before you make the decision to leave your current employment, work out if this is truly the career change for you. There are many networking events for the wide variety of careers out there and it may be beneficial to hear a professional talk about how they cracked into the industry. If nothing else, this might provide comfort, there are others like you looking for the same sorts of jobs. Fear can be stifling As stressed before, the idea of changing jobs can be daunting. It can mean that you end up paralysed by the magnitude of the task and this can lead to a vicious cycle in which you will be unsatisfied and frustrated. Many people stay in a job they don’t like because of the financial and personal risk they have to put themselves through. Job hunting in a new marketplace leaves you feeling vulnerable so instead of screaming to high heavens “but I won’t be able to pay my rent” when asked when you will be making your career change, instead tell yourself “I will find a way to pay my rent.” Turning all your hurdles into new challenges will lead to less fear and more self-betterment. The challenges ahead will themselves be character building. Following your passion vs following what you’re good at Everybody wants to follow their dreams but there is a difference between following unachievable goals and following what you’re good at and makes you happy. Many people want to work as a filmmaker but if what really draws you towards that role is the creativity of it then you can find many other roles where you are using your skill set and knowledge that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be in that specific role. You can cultivate your passion in many different roles and fields and therefore you should never restrict yourself to one unachievable field where you can find yourself trapped in a nigh impossible job search. Motivations It is always good to take a step back and really consider your motivations for leaving your current role. Often people will have bad or stressful days; an argument or a heavy workload may mean that you are frustrated with your job and may feel an impulse to throw in the towel. However, once you take a step back you can really weigh up the long-term effects on you of staying where you are against your leaving your job. A considered and tactical approach always leads to a more satisfying end result. You may realise that your skill set is actually being wasted on your current role and only when you really identify your strengths will you be able to see this. This is why you will always benefit from reflection before making the plunge into the unemployment pool. Finances Money isn’t everything but you need to make sure you can survive when unemployed. Don’t quit your job if you’re in a rocky financial position. Make sure that you can find a way to keep afloat whilst unemployed and this may mean that you have to spend a period of time-saving up or paying off those debts that you owe. If you are in a position where you feel like you need the money you are making from your current job then maybe right now isn’t the best time to quit. You want to be in a relaxed position when you leave your job, not an anxious one. If you're looking to make a move in your tax, legal, finance, HR or marketing career, or open to exploring opportunities in recruitment, please call Loren von Sternberg on 020 7269 6358 or email loren@pro-recruitment.co.uk​

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The Real Reason You Should Be Taking That Headhunt Call

Are you bombarded with phone calls and Linkedin InMails from headhunters? Do you ignore the messages coming through? Well, now it may be time to rethink your stance on headhunters. If you are being actively headhunted it is usually because you have experience that is highly in demand in the market and you stand out from the crowd. Here is a guide as to why you should take that call. A good recruiter who has genuine opportunities will tailor their approach as they (or their client) have identified and highlighted you as a key candidate. They will have read your profile and done their research to make sure they are coming to you with options that will be of interest based on your experience. Make sure you investigate their background and experience too. If they are approaching you from a brand known in the market and have a credible history and expertise recruiting into your market, then they should be able to give you information and advice on the market. Headhunters are speaking to your peers and competitors every single day so even if you are happy in your role you can at least benchmark yourself against others who are similar and understand market trends. Good headhunters are not just looking to make a ‘quick fee’ and sell you a role you do not want, but to build a relationship with you for the future. They want to understand your motivators and drivers and have serious discussions about your career and how to take it forward. They will be wanting to give you access to opportunities that match your needs both now and, in the future, and become your trusted advisor cementing their reputation and brand within their specialist market. Quite often headhunters are given roles before they go out to market. If you have a good relationship with that headhunter, you will be finding out about potential career opportunities before the rest of the market knows about them, and if they are working with their clients on a retained or exclusive basis to hire the top talent in the market this may be your only chance to hear about the opportunity. You may be looking for a new role but have not seen anything advertised. Make sure you are upfront and honest with your headhunter as they can go to their clients on your behalf and discuss bespoke roles to you. Your dream job may even be created for you if you utilise your headhunters network to get in front of them. You may not be on the market now, but in your career, that is likely to change. The headhunter you have ignored for the last two years may now be your only way to get the job of your dreams. Even if you are not interested in a conversation now, you may be in the future, so be honest with the headhunter about your career plans. Having conversations early and making your headhunter aware of where you want to be, means they will be able to come to you with the right opportunities as and when they arise. Even if you decide not to go take the conversation further, you have built your network for the future. If you are not getting headhunted then look out for my next article on how to make your profile stand out and become more attractive to recruiters and get yourself headhunted. If you're looking to make a move in your tax, legal, finance, HR or marketing career, or open to exploring opportunities in recruitment, please call Loren von Sternberg on 020 7269 6358 or email loren@pro-recruitment.co.uk​​​

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Introducing Pro-Marketing

In December 2017, I joined Pro-Recruitment Group’s highly respected charity and not for profit team to start a Marketing, Communications and Fundraising division to add to the existing recruitment offering of Finance, HR, Legal, Tax, and Executive Appointments. I am now delighted and excited to share, that 14 months on, I can officially introduce Pro-Marketing as the latest brand of the growing Pro-Recruitment Group family. So where did it all begin? Prior to joining Pro-Recruitment Group, I worked for a global recruitment agency where I specialised in permanent Marketing and Communications roles for a variety of sectors. I wanted to join a team where I could become more of a market specialist focusing on permanent, contract and interim hires in a market that would give me greater fulfilment. Being a regular fundraiser and participant in charity challenge events away from work meant that a move to recruit in the third sector was appealing and natural. Highlights so far! I have enjoyed starting a new division establishing some long-standing relationships with a wide range of organisations across the UK. Partnering with a variety of large international charities through to small start-ups has been exhilarating and each recruitment campaign has offered different challenges. My clients have included high-income, well-established organisations through to smaller more niche charities. It has been extremely rewarding introducing professionals equipped to fulfil each client’s requirements, for example start-ups have needed brand marketing to establish their online presence and larger organisations have needed PR expertise. It has been enjoyable working such varied marketing, communications and fundraising roles but as the workload got increasingly busy mid-way through 2018 it was quickly apparent that I could not manage it all alone and so Loren Von Sternberg did a wonderful job in finding Ethan Bresnett to come and support me. Ethan has already contributed greatly to the rapid growth of Pro-Marketing by leading many successful recruitment processes. Away from talent searching, I have had the great pleasure of being involved in the following: In September 2018 I was honoured to be invited to lead and present several evening sessions to many skilled charity events professionals at the illustrious Churchill War Rooms for the Special Events Forum on the topic of Career Development as well as participate in a panel Q&A. In December 2018, I took part in the London Santa Run in Victoria Park where, as part of a team, I completed a 10k run whilst modelling a Santa outfit to help Starlight Children’s Foundation. Focus for 2019 Ethan and I looking forward to widening our client base focusing on mid to senior level roles on a permanent, contract and interim basis. Please do get in touch with us to find out more about our exciting opportunities for 2019! nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk 0207 269 6338 ethan.bresnett@pro-recruitment.co.uk 0207 269 6362

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15 Best Reasons Why Tax Deadline Day Was Missed

Deadline day was done and dusted last week and whilst I’m sure most were done timely and without hinder, HMRC has released some of last year’s legitimate excuses as to why some didn’t quite make the cut off on the 31st. Take a look at this quick read and try not to laugh out loud! 1. My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me 2. I’m too short to reach the post box 3. I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my third maid was very slow to learn 4. Our junior member of staff registered our client in Self Assessment by mistake because they were not wearing their glasses 5. My boiler had broken and my fingers were too cold to type 6. My tax papers were left in the shed and the rat ate them 7. I’m not a paperwork orientated person – I always relied on my sister to complete my returns but we have now fallen out 8. My accountant has been ill 9. My dog ate my tax return 10. I will be abroad on deadline day with no internet access so will be unable to file 11. My laptop broke, so did my washing machine 12. My niece had moved in – she made the house so untidy I could not find my log in details to complete my return online 13. My husband ran over my laptop 14. I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for 5 years 15. I had a cold which took a long time to go It wasn’t just excuses for being late that raised the odd eyebrow; there were also a few questionable expenses claimed also. 1. A carpenter claiming £900 for a 55-inch TV and sound bar to help him price his jobs 2. £40 on extra woolly underwear, for 5 years 3. £756 for my pet dog insurance 4. A music subscription, so I can listen to music while I work 5. A family holiday to Nigeria For more information about this article, or to speak to Rebecca about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696320 or rebecca.english@pro-tax.co.uk Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/self-assessment-returns-unbelievable-excuses-and-dubious-expenses https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hmrc-reveals-top-10-worst-tax-return-excuses-for-201314

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60 Seconds with Carla Roberts - Head of Legal Services and WTT Legal Ltd.

Carla is the Director of Legal Services at WTT Legal Ltd. Carla is a dual qualified lawyer (US/UK) and has extensive experience in employment law, IR35 advice, commercial contracts, data protection and insurance law issues. Prior to joining WTT, Carla was Senior Legal Counsel at Alexander Mann Solutions Ltd., Head of Legal at Gattaca PLC and Compliance Manager at Capita Group PLC. What made you want to become a lawyer? My father was a lawyer, my brother was a lawyer, and I worked as a claims adjuster dealing with lawyers- so it just seemed a natural progression! What does WTT do well? We are viewed as trusted advisors to their contractors, many of whom are faced with difficult (and often life-changing) tax demands and issues. We established the action group “Big Group” which has provided contractors directly affected by HMRC’s legislative changes with a collaborative voice. What’s your favourite thing about working for WTT? WTT is a dynamic, forward-thinking organisation of professionals - this is a refreshing change from the usual corporate non-flexible model adapted by most large companies. What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago on how to shape your career? I think I’ve been very lucky to have been able to mould my career around a few skills which are transferrable. I worked in the insurance sector for over 20 years but because I had compliance and legal qualifications, I was able to seek new career opportunities in entirely different sectors - i.e. recruitment and employment law. I therefore think that it is important not to focus entirely on one skill during your career – by diversifying you are able to have a much more interesting (and marketable) future. When is the right time to start building your network and how is best to achieve this? I still have connections from my first job as a claims adjuster in California- it’s never too early to network. Who has had the greatest influence on your career? When I moved to England from California in 1996, I wasn’t qualified to practice law here, so I accepted a job for a loss adjusting company. Whilst I was there my manager offered to subsidise the cost of the QLTT over a 3 year period (Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test). As we were a young family with limited income, I would not have been able to afford that cost on my own. That opportunity therefore allowed me to qualify as a lawyer in the UK- I will always be grateful for that. What qualities do you look for in potential candidates hoping to join your team? Enthusiasm, intelligence and a desire to learn. What do you think will be some of the major changes to the legal profession in the future? The legal profession and its regulators have accepted that innovation and an entrepreneurial approach are essential for law firms to thrive in the future- the relatively new ABS model has allowed law firms to bring in non-lawyers and I think that this more open-minded approach will enhance the profession. How will flexible and agile working impact law firms in the future? Flexible working IS the way of the future and all law firms will need to adapt to remote working- it brings lots of benefits. The legal profession is very traditional and is probably one of the last to embrace this model, but it is happening. How can lawyers and firms ensure they are at the forefront of progress and innovation in the legal market? To remain at the forefront of progress and innovation in the legal market, you need to be able to take risk - you need to grasp new ideas and go for it. Otherwise, you simply get left behind as there is someone else who is willing to capitalise on a new idea! For more information about this article, or to speak to Chris about your recruiting needs or Legal jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696361 or chris.excell@pro-legal.co.uk.

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