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

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CMA and Kingman review: Where are we now?

Following on from my recent article, The Big Four: Are the auditors ready to be audited? , the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) are working through their report, and Sir John Kingman has started to release his initial thoughts and findings. This has prompted the initial response from the Big 4 and several challenger firms. Here we will consolidate that information to give us a picture of where we are to date and how this will define the audit market for years to come. The ICAEW have told the Competition and Markets Authority that they feel the current approaches to audit change are solving the wrong problem and will not solve the problems of corporate accountability. The ICAEW suggests that the proposed “ring fencing” of the big fours audit offerings would create difficulties since the integrated multi-disciplinary firms operate to a single standard of professionalism and ethics, and work within a consistent professional culture across their firm’s work. They have suggested the focus should be on strengthening the firms’ culture to ensure that auditors maintain objectivity when conducting the audit. However, were the CMA to go down the separation route that the requirement should initially only apply to the big four. To extend it to the challenger firms would be likely to act as a significant disincentive to joining the FTSE 350 audit market. It is great to see some agreement from all of the big four on where we are to date and cohesion in their thoughts of how improvements can be implemented. Leaders for PWC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY have all admitted to MPs that the quality of their audit work needs to improve. Speaking at the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee’s inquiry into the future of audit in the UK. They have all agreed that a market share cap was a good idea but that other proposals would not help improve quality – namely joint audits or spinning off audit processes. Bill Michael, UK chairman of KPMG, broke ranks to say that separating the audit firms is the “right direction of travel” but not “an electrifying” ring fence. The challenger firms however are mixed in their thoughts. Grant Thornton CEO David Dunckley said that the CMA recommendations “as a package” could open the barriers to entry for challenger firms auditing the FTSE 350. Where the results will lead remains to be seen but all firms are reacting in a positive manner and looking to embrace the required change within the market. For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk

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The 6 Biggest CV Mistakes

Writing a CV can be a daunting task on the face of it. You have to concisely summarise your entire working life into a few short pages and hope that your personality shines through enough that the HR manager will pick up the phone. With so much time and effort going into covering every single detail and crafting that perfect paper representation of you, are you missing the bigger picture? Our expert recruiters breakdown the six most common CV mistakes that may be killing your chances at success. 1. “I have good attention to detail” Ahh, one of the most frequently used terms in a CV when describing personal attributes, and what a great attribute to have! However, word of warning, if you are going to use this term make sure there are absolutely no typos in your CV. There’s nothing worse to be claiming to be something you’re not when it comes to applying for jobs. Always proofread your work, then proof it again and then get another set of eyes over it. Simple mistakes say a lot about a person and a huge 43% of hiring managers said they dismiss a CV because it contains typos! 2. Order, Order! It’s always a great idea to put the order of your previous jobs in chronological order, even better when you date them so it’s obvious where you worked, when and how long for. What’s confusing is when there is no order or reason behind the ordering of the past experience. It instantly sends out a bad message and reflects badly on your organisational and communication skills and almost immediately disqualifies you from progressing further. 3. Me, Myself and I One of the biggest bugbears that hiring managers have when looking at CVs is the use of I. Your name is at the top, it is implied that the document is about you and nobody wants to go through the repetition of “I did this” or “I did that”. It’s a surefire way to getting the reader to dismiss your CV almost instantly. Your CV is a factual representation of you be sure to keep it impersonal, concise and accurate. Instead of using “ I automated the hiring process...” opt for “Automated the hiring process…” 4. Tailor Made When writing a CV it’s always a great idea to tailor it to the role or firm that you’re applying to. Unfortunately, when it comes to CVs, one size doesn’t fit all. Whether you’re using a CV template or writing a CV from scratch, to really maximise your chances you need to really spell out the reasons why the hiring manager should choose you and the best way to do this is to match your experience up with the ideal candidate specification. Although it may seem like this may take a long time it is definitely time well spent. 5. OTT While it’s fine to show a bit of personality in a CV do not go over the top. Nearly 40% of respondents in a YouGov poll put poor design down as a reason to disqualify an applicant. So what counts as over the top? Unusual fonts for one. Stick with Arial, 11pt in black. Easily read, smart and formal it’s always a winner with recruiters. What paper should you use? Easy, white A4, that’s it. Do you need any snazzy borders to jazz it up? Absolutely not. Remember this is a professional document with the aim of selling you in a few seconds. You’ll definitely stand out using unusual formats, fonts and colours but not in the way that you want. Bullet points are your friend here. They’re to the point (no pun intended), easy to read and are great for people who are reading in a rush. 6. Honesty is the best policy Nobody likes being lied to. However, with one-third of CVs and job applications containing falsifications, it seems that the majority of applicants feel it is permissible to embellish their experiences to some extent. Now, by no means are we here to judge you, no, no, no we would just strongly advise against it for these reasons. Applicants tend to big up their CVs out of fear that their experience is not impressive enough. However, dishonesty is always risky, whether it is a small fib or a whopping great lie, chances are you will get found out. Companies usually carry out their due diligence and more often than not your white lie is uncovered and your reputation is left in tatters. Who wants to hire an ousted liar? If by some chance you don’t get caught out and get the job you now have to perform at the standard you perpetuated on your CV. This can get extremely awkward and embarrassing… There we have it if you are already avoiding these mistakes you're a CV superstar. If not, then why not? If you’re able to follow these simple steps your CV will be infinitely better. Remember if you need help or a professional point of view then our expert recruitment consultants are always happy to give you a few pointers.

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10 Things You Didn't Know About: Ben Hooper, Head of Outsourcing at ABG

Ben Hooper, Head of Outsourcing and Financial Accounting at Arram Berlyn Gardner has gained extensive experience in the UK providing professional services to a wide range of clients. Ben spent 4 years working in the Cayman Islands with a Big 4 firm with a particular focus on the Captive Insurance industry. He now specialises in supporting UK and international businesses with their internal accounting and finance matters. What three traits define you? I take pride in being reliable – inside and outside of work. I’m collaborative; I like working in a team and don’t believe its good to try and do everything yourself. Most of the time I think I’m patient – but maybe just not when I’m driving! What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? I had a weekend job in a garden centre when I was a teenager; watering plants, sweeping up and helping people carry bags to their car. Not exactly a springboard to a career in accountancy but it was fun. How do you define success? I think it's important that you can take pride in your work and enjoy it at the same time. If you can go home at the end of the day saying those two things you are doing pretty well. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this? I would love to have gone to chef school – so maybe I’d have my own restaurant. Nothing too fancy though! What is your personal philosophy? Never think you know it all. Always be open to learning or experiencing something new. How do you start your day? Always with a coffee. I really enjoy my 20-minute walk to the office from the station in the mornings too. What’s your favourite thing about working for your current company? It’s a very friendly firm and, while we all work hard, there is a more relaxed atmosphere than many places I’ve worked before. There are lots of opportunities to get together socially which helps maintain that. What are the secrets to good leadership? For me, it's about creating space for your team to get outside of their comfort zone while always feeling the support is there. You are only as strong as the people around you so it's crucial to keep them developing. What makes your company unique? I know its a cliché but it’s the people. Right now we have some very talented staff coming through the ranks and it will be exciting to see how we’ll develop as a firm over the next five years. Who do you most admire in your industry? Right now I am hugely impressed with the pace of change in cloud accounting and the software companies that are driving this development. They have completely changed the game. It’s a fantastic time to be in Outsourced Accounting as there are constantly new ways emerging to differentiate yourself as a provider and improve both service quality and efficiency. For more information about this article, or to speak to George about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696318 or george.tatnell@pro-finance.co.uk

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Create a culture where everyone has equal opportunities

There has been a growing recognition of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace over the years. This year it has been very refreshing to learn how firms are promoting a positive integration between work and life, to create an environment that influences career development and that empowers everyone. Furthermore, promoting an environment regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, disability, religion or sexual orientation, encourages individuals to feel valued for being the person that they are. Take some time to read some examples of how the Big 4, Mid-tier firms promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace: Big 4 PWC EY Deloitte KPMG Mid-Tier Grant Thornton BDO RSM Encouraging diversity at Pro-Recruitment Group: Here at Pro-Group, recruitment consultants are trained on diversity and inclusion and for each individual piece of recruitment we do, we will ensure that we present a diverse pool of candidates to our clients that match the brief. We have strict guidelines on equal opportunities and diversity and pride ourselves on ensuring our attraction methods reach as diverse a pool of talent as possible in-line with our client’s own policy. Some examples of this include: - GDPR compliant recruitment website & CRM system. - Drafting advertisements in a way that encourages applications from all suitable backgrounds. - Support for the unemployed – offering interview training and coaching free of charge for those in long-term unemployment. We also provide business attire and dry cleaning in preparation of interview as well as working with a firm who work exclusively with ex-service personnel looking for employment. - Engagement with colleges, universities and schools. An example of this is when Tom Eagle, Associate Director, recently presented to students at LSBU about a career in tax and finance and provided key interview tips and guidance. - Engagement with groups such as LGBTQ, disability, communities and BEME groups. This is an ongoing progress and championed by our own diversity and LGBTQ champion here at Pro – Matt Davidson – Principal consultant in our Not-for-profit team. - Women in Tax – Alison Keogh, Director, is part of a network for women in the profession to raise the voice of women. We have also chaired an event with Sue Kukadia (Global Immigration Specialist) on diversity and inclusion and an event with BDO challenging views on disabilities and those facing long-term unemployment. - Our Not-for-profit and charities team have key relationships with many charities that exist to serve the disadvantaged and a wide section of the community and society. We regularly engage with our contacts in these organisations when searching for talent both for specific pieces and on an ongoing basis. - Our CRM system has over 90,000 candidates on it from a wide range of industries and backgrounds. Example of our own Findings Below is our analysis of that last six months placements around D&I and gender: - Out of the placements we have made this year in tax across both in-house and consulting, 65% of them have been male. - Out of 22 placements that we have made in-house 12 male and 10 female. - Out of 111 placements that we have made in consulting 64 male and 47 female. - Out of the 22 placements that we made in-house, from consulting firms only 3 were female and 5 were male. - Out of the other 14 people that we placed in-house they were all from in-house tax teams 7 were male and 7 were female. - In terms of advertising, 53 of the 111 were from advertising the rest were from pro-active approaches on our database and LinkedIn. - Out of the 53, 24 of them were female and the rest male but its about 50/50 from in-house and consulting. - Diversity and inclusion have a big influence towards my role and the relationships that I have with my network, to ensure that I can deliver the needs of both my candidates and clients that I am working with. For more information about this article, or to speak to Dominic about opportunities that promote diversity and inclusion, contact him at dominic.watt@pro-tax.co.uk

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Outsourcing in Practice – Bridging the GAAP

If you have been keeping an eye on the market, you have probably seen the ever-growing outsourcing divisions developing across the Top 100. From a recruiter’s perspective, I have seen individuals from an accounting and business development background setting up outsourcing divisions and then looking to grow at a rapid rate. Why are accountancy practices increasingly looking to outsourcing departments? Well, it is down to the fact that organisations benefit a great deal from the use of outsourcing departments, it makes them far more efficient, supports business decisions, reduces costs and ultimately, allows them to become far more competitive. A Broader Market An outsourcing department will typically house a range of functions for their clients to utilise and can include everything from company secretarial to compliance and business advisory services to payroll. Thanks to the broad spectrum of services covered, outsourcing divisions are producing exceptional, well-rounded candidates, even in the larger, more niche organisations. Exposure to Clients Outsourcing divisions seem to be renowned for providing exposure to client management much quicker, with everyone spread across so many functions and with the extensive client interaction required. In summary, you will become well-rounded, you will better your interpersonal skills, you will learn to manage portfolios and you will be able to advise business to a much greater extent. Bridging the Gap to Industry I have heard many a story of an Outsourcing Senior or an Outsourcing Manager moving to an internal role with one of their clients – this often stems from an ‘Interim FC’ secondment offered to them or simply a great relationship built over years of service. Many of our clients in practice are aware this can happen, and that outsourcing helps candidates bridge the gap to industry, however, many divisions are now shaped to be fluid and adapt to his natural progression. Outsourcing bridges the gap to industry but not only this, as outsourcing covers the wider spectrum of services and small firms are known for creating great generalists, the big firms are looking for people with small or Mid-tier experience. It’s a huge game changer in the world of accountancy! The response to outsourcing by accountancy firms and the way the market has swung towards this service line shows what huge potential lies in this area of practice. It is a fantastic demonstration of the accountancy world taking a modern outlook in what is considered a stereotypically traditional world. Given the growth of some of the divisions we have been working with, many are already planning on succession, giving managers goals to become Partners and Seniors goals to become Managers. You may find you join a Mid-tier practice with the aims of going into industry or a Big 4 firm but then find you progress rapidly, love the environment and decide to stay put for the long run! The important thing is that you open doors in all directions. So, if you are working as an Accountant and want to fast-track your progression, open doors in all avenues and probably earn more doing so – I recommend checking out a few Outsourcing teams. For more information about this article, or to speak to George about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696318 or george.tatnell@pro-finance.co.uk

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The Big 4: Are the Auditors Ready to Be Audited?

With 97% of the UKs FTSE 350 companies currently being audited by just 4 accountancy practices, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has called for an inquest into the audit market. Recent high-profile failures such as the collapse of BHS and Carillion have only added to the growing concern that the audit market is broken and in need of reform. But how can the Big 4 put their best feet forward and show that they are doing everything they can to improve their auditing processes? In this 2 minute read I'll look at the feedback given by the Big 4 to growing criticism amid their auditing process and whether or not they're doing enough to answer their critics. The so-called “Big 4” Accountancy practices PWC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY have all issued statements highlighting where they feel there is room for improvement. "the audit function needs to change to improve audit quality" EY issued a public response stating: “In order to ensure capital markets are trusted and what companies report to the public is trusted, the audit function needs to change to improve audit quality and the audit itself needs to be modernised to meet public expectations. It is vital that this should be accompanied by further reforms to ensure healthy regulation fostering greater accountability of auditors and management, new corporate reporting rules, an enhanced audit product, stronger regulation and reinforced public interest. Reforms to audit alone will not restore public trust, sustained confidence or prevent corporate failures.” PWC focused their response around three key areas; quality independence and choice. These issues are “interconnected and will require a holistic package of measures to address them effectively particularly in the context of the wider global market. We also believe that the sequencing of those measures will be important in ensuring that the right solutions are put in place to support the audit of the future.” Bill Michael Chairman and Senior Partner of KPMG LLP commented; The purpose of audit needs to evolve and quality needs to be enhanced to meet the challenges of evolving markets and needs of stakeholders; potential conflicts need to be demonstrably managed more clearly and effectively; and the market needs to be accessible and attractive to firms capable of delivering high-quality audits. "there is no one simple or quick solution that addresses all of the CMA’s concerns" Deloitte has acknowledged; “We are clear that there is no one simple or quick solution that addresses all of the CMA’s concerns. A small number of solutions that have been discussed, such as breaking up the largest four firms, would not solve the question of choice and will undoubtedly impair audit quality. Consequently, a constructive, aligned and complementary set of remedies is required.” It seems for once that the Big 4 are all in agreement! There does need to be wholesale and industrywide changes to address the public concern and restore consumer confidence. These changes must be implemented cohesively and with the support of the mid-tier firms who will undoubtedly benefit from the increase in competition that will be offered. The future of audit is changing, to what we do not yet know. The market study is expected to be completed in 2019 and I for one will be interested to see their findings as to whether the market is working as it should be. For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk

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The Pro-Group Christmas Quiz 2018

On Tuesday 4th December, Pro-Recruitment held its infamous annual Christmas Quiz, and what a night it was. With the best and brightest from across the worlds of HR, Tax, Finance and Legal, 26 teams went head to head for the much-coveted title of Pro-Recruitment Christmas Quiz Champions 2018. The competitive streak in some of the teams was evident from the outset and with company rivalries and reputation at stake, the night promised to be a hotly contested one. With Directors Pat and Ali compèring, the first three rounds flew by. Who knew the USA won the boomerang throwing championships in 12 out of the first 13 years when it was introduced in 1981? The picture round proved to be a point of contention for many teams and “Ohh that’s what’s his face” and “I know her but I just don’t know her name” were heard up and down the room. With the first half of the quiz out of the way, it was time for some well-deserved food. Whilst the room was happily munching away and assessing their individual performances the scores were being totted up by our expert markers. Scores at halftime showed that it had been a very tight half, with a mere three points separating the top five teams. With the food cleared away, the quiz was underway again with everything to play for. The Science, Christmas and What Comes Next rounds really put the teams to the test and threw out some curveballs such as, Who played the character Lee Christmas in The Expendables series of action films? The final (and most popular) Music round was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the quiz. We had Director Alison rapping the lyrics of the hit song In My Feelings, Drake eat your heart out is all we can say! We found out that Paul McCartney’s middle name is actually... Paul, go figure. To top it off we had the whole room singing along to the Lighthouse family trying to figure out the next line. The quiz concluded with the revealing of the answers to the picture round, Elon Musk makes a very convincing Santa. Pat was responsible for the big reveal and coming in a very respectable third were PWC’s We Are The Quiz Wells hot on the heels of Elman Wall’s Penny Patrol in second. The undisputed champions of the Pro-Group’s Christmas Quiz 2018 were Kingston Smith’s We Count Ants who now have bragging rights going into 2019’s quiz. Thank you to everyone who came and participated, we hope you all had a fantastic evening. Special thanks to all the staff at Pro who worked so hard to make the event such a success. We all look forward to seeing you again in 2019. To find out about upcoming Pro-Recruitment events or to speak to George about your recruiting needs contact him on 02072696318 or george.tatnell@pro-finance.co.uk

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10 Things You Didn't Know About: Lee T Murphy, Managing Director at The Accountancy Partnership

Lee T Murphy MAAT ICPA is the Managing Director at The Accountancy Partnership, with over 8 years’ experience in accounting and finance and 10 years’ experience in business. The Accountancy Partnership is focused on providing an affordable and quality accountancy service to business of all sizes across the UK. What three traits define you? Determined, Innovative and Forward-thinking. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? Calling random customers to see if their Yellow pages had been delivered! How do you define success? By the impact you have in your industry and by how much you can improve customer’s lives. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this? I would start an educational company focused on tailoring education to how an individual learns with the courses only teaching what is relevant in their chosen industry. What is your personal philosophy? To do my best work every day. How do you start your day? I list three things in Trello to do that day which are focused on improving the company which I then prioritise over the day to day work. What’s your favourite thing about working for your current company? The people. We have such an innovative and friendly team that it’s a pleasure to work amongst them. What are the secrets to good leadership? Lead by example Listen to employees Keep the structure as flat as possible What makes your company unique? The whole service we offer is completely unique in the UK. We are constantly pushing the boundaries of what an accountant-client relationship is and we’re first to market with lots of innovative software features. Who do you most admire in your industry? This may sound strange but I actually admire HMRC. Whilst they’re a long way from perfect they are very focused on technology and improving systems every day. The HMRC developers we have worked with have always listened to input and tried to adapt where possible. For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk

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Is Your Long Commute Really Worth It?

Are you a Finance, Tax, Legal or HR professional commuting over two hours every day? According to the TUC, the service sector has seen the biggest increase in travel time over the last decade, with 130% more workers travelling for two or more hours a day than in 2004. Serious disruption at Paddington, a week of strikes on South Western Railway coupled with major signal failures has spelt misery for thousands this month. Leading many sector service professionals to question whether their commute is worth it? This blog will take a quick look at the pros and cons of making long commutes and what alternatives are out there. Money Let's be honest, money is the reason a lot of people commute to London. According to the office for national statistics, jobs in London topped the regional list for median earnings for full-time employees by place of work, at £713 per week. This is £124 more per week more than the next highest. Salary bands for jobs in London are often higher, but, there a few things you should consider. It is well known that rent and house prices in London are far higher than anywhere else in the UK. You get less for your money and pay a premium for the privilege. Whilst rent prices are often lower outside of the city you have to consider the cost of commuting into London. According to the BBC, a full-time worker on the median wage for London will spend an average of 11p in every £1 of their salary on an annual pass, after tax. Prices are set to rise by 3.2% next year too. While jobs in London are often a popular choice among professionals, it is worth looking at opportunities outside of London. For example, a Tax Director working for one of the Big 4 firms in London can earn anywhere from £110,000 to £200,000. If you compare that with one of the Big 4's regional offices, Tax Directors can command anywhere between £95,000 and £140,000. We recommend that you speak with a regional recruiter, whether it be Finance, Tax Legal or HR, you never know, there could be something a lot closer to home! Timing According to the government's transport statistics report, people working in London have the longest average commute. With the average rail commute taking 59 minutes compared with the average driving commute taking 30 minutes in the UK, how much of your time is lost getting to and from work? As the saying goes “Time is Money” and while there are many compelling arguments in favour of counting time spent commuting as work time, this has yet to come to fruition. Working locally gives you the flexibility to drive to work and cut down on the time spent in transit. That means more free time to spend with the family, exercising or even finishing off your CV. Again there are a few things that you need to consider about commuting via car. Firstly, do the local roads become carnage at 8 am and 6 pm? Also, will finding that elusive parking space add to your morning stress? Ref: Department of Transport. Transport Statistics Great Britain 2017 The commute to London isn’t straightforward either. House prices in commuter towns are still pretty high, even more so when they’re in walking distance of a rail station. If you’re not fortunate enough to live close to a station how will that impact your commute? Will you need to drive, get a lift or even take a bus? These all add time and money to your commute and a missed connection is the worst way to start a working day. When you do finally arrive in Central London, how far from the office are you? If you’re lucky you can walk or make use of one of the many cycle hire schemes the capital has. Otherwise is it another packed bus or tube ride? One upside of a long commute is the opportunity for a bit of personal time, you can make the most of your transit time in however you see best. According to a study conducted by Dr David Bissell of Australian National University participants said commuting time was the only time they got to themselves during the week, and so used it to dream, relax and meditate. Conclusion With everyone’s situation being different, there's no clear answer as to the best solution. Different routines work for different people, however, you can always make an informed decision if you know the facts. Essentially, it is a toss-up between time vs money. Does the money you earn at work justify the time you spend commuting? Gain an understanding of salary differences for jobs in London compared to where you live and then look at the financial impact that both options have on your life. Take into account commute options and you can start to build a picture of which option works best for you. Don’t forget to take into consideration flexible working options that may be available to you which could ease your commuting situation. There are clearly a few options here and depending on influences such as salary and expense, the following could work for you: Live regionally but work in London - rent is a lot cheaper and your salary will still be at a premium, although travel costs may be significant Live and work in London - save money on travel but use a lot of that top end salary on higher rent prices Live and work regionally - generally earn considerably less but benefit from cheaper housing prices. The problem is that with less public transport, comes the need to potentially own a car, another sizeable cost. Pro-Recruitment is a recruitment agency in London and our consultants specialise in Tax jobs, Finance jobs, Legal jobs and HR jobs. Our recruiters are able to offer expert advice on jobs in London and nationwide as well as CV advice. Contact us today on 02072696333 for a discussion on your next career move.

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Never Underestimate The Influence Of Company Culture on Staff Attraction

Due to the competitive nature of the market, high-quality candidates are often presented with four or five offers of employment for their next position. As a result, clients are constantly asking my advice on how to attract and retain the best talent out there! Whilst excellent rates of pay and opportunities for progression are two of the most obvious ways to attract the right team members there are other more subtle and engaging ways to maximise your staffing potential. According to Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success. With that being said, below we will explore some creative ways to motivate and reward your employees when they go above and beyond. Not to mention ways to create a company culture that'll be the envy of your competitors and attract the top talent in the market. Social functions We spend between eight and ten hours a day with our work colleagues so having positive relationships is important for both productivity, employee relations and staff morale. Having regular social functions strengthens these bonds and leaves your staff looking forward to going to work! It is also beneficial to break down some of the hierarchal barriers that can unconsciously arise in a formal office environment. Extra holiday allowance for charity and community work Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been one of the industry's key areas of focus for 2018 and what better way to engage with your team than support them in causes close to their own heart. Deloitte found that 76% of Millennials now regard business as a force for positive social impact. Whilst CSR benefits the employee directly they will feel that you as the employer see them as more than a body on a chair and are aligned with their motivations and ideologies. Flexible lifestyles need flexible working A common market misconception is that flexible working means an hour either side of rigid core hours in one location. In fact, flexible working is so much more than this due in part to technological advances. According to a survey conducted by PowWowNow, 67 % of employees polled wish they were offered flexible working. On top of that 58% of people believed that working away from the office would help the become more motivated. Several of my key clients have implemented flexible locations whether this is working from home, regional offices or we workspaces. If you are reactive to your employees’ needs, chances are they will be appreciative. Let staff chose their own benefits and incentives Not every employee is the same and every individual will have key drivers as to what would make them feel rewarded. By allowing employees to have an input in their own personalised incentive scheme you again reinforce that you are a people focused company. Whether this is additional time off, financial reward or something more tangible such as a bottle of wine or meal with a loved one allowing them to chose can really pay off. These are just some of the ideas that I have suggested to clients and have been implemented across several offices. If you feel that your company does not value you as an employee, or indeed you are an employer looking to attract and retain the best staff in the market please do call for an initial discussion. For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk

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