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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.


Christmas Tax Facts and Trivia to Raise a Seasonal Smile

Are you a Tax Manager, Tax Director or tax professional? Do you think you know all there is to know about tax? Well, with Christmas around the corner and the festive party season underway, what could be more appropriate than Christmas tax trivia and facts? Who knows, it may even be a topic of conversation around your Christmas dinner table this year… Let the Trivia begin! Christmas shop: · The average home will splash out £809.97 at Christmas; on food and drink, travel, decorations and presents, with the latter accounting for 58.5% of the budget. · Tax accounts for more than half of the total cost of the average family’s Christmas alcohol shop, a study by the wine and spirits industry has found. While alcohol duties are typically higher per head in Finland, Ireland and Germany, British consumers pay more alcohol tax than the citizens of most other European Union member states. Decorations: · The cost of decorating your office is tax deductible as running costs of the office. Candle Taxes: · From 1709 to 1831 Great Britain had a candle tax and forbade people to make their own candles without a licence. This tax condemned generations to rushlights (candles made from dipping rushes in animal fat) or darkness, not just at Christmas but throughout the year. You could light both ends at once but rush lights burnt quickly - hence the term ‘burning the candle at both ends’. The unpopular tax helped to ensure that the means of candle production was controlled. Snowballs: · A VAT tribunal found that a Snowball (the marshmallow variety you eat) is, in fact, a cake, so just like Jaffa cakes, Snowballs are zero-rated for VAT. The Christmas day service: · 13% of families in the UK always attend church on Christmas Day, a number of countries in Europe have a church tax including Austria, Iceland and Germany Christmas turkeys: · 10 million – The number of Turkeys cooked in the UK every Christmas. It is often traditional for some employers to provide their employees with a small gift of a Christmas turkey, a bottle of wine or box of chocolates. The tax rules are that if employees earn at the rate of £8,500 per annum their benefits must, therefore, be declared on form P11D and they are taxed at the cost to their employer. Christmas Day tax filing: · While millions of people are exchanging presents, feasting on turkey, and nodding off in front of the television, 1,600 people are expected to take time out from the yuletide festivities and do their tax return online. Hopefully, this stockingful of tax facts and trivia have been of interest and that you enjoy the festive season to come! For more information about this article, or to speak to Christina about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696357 or


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 Christina about opportunities that promote diversity and inclusion, contact her on 02072696357 or


5 Things You Must Know Before You Take The Job

Are you a Tax Manager looking to move jobs within the new year? Taking a new Tax job, whether it be a Tax Senior Manager to a Tax Director, can be exciting but also an overwhelming experience. Besides using a Tax recruiter to ease you through the process, there are a number of things you should think about before committing to a role. In this short article, I'll give you my top five considerations when deciding on whether to accept a job offer or not. Why do they do what they do? Whether it’s a Big 4 firm, a commerce or industry business, a Top 10 or a boutique firm, it is important to understand exactly why they do what they do. The passion behind the senior stakeholders in the business will directly affect how they work and how they work with you, as well as how the entire business operates. It is also important to join a business that has beliefs aligned to your own. If your work ethic is different to the company you join, you may find it difficult to adjust. Culture and Office Environment There is nothing worse than going through the entire interview process, meeting colleagues and feeling assured that this was the right place for you, to then find on your first day a culture you are just not happy with. Always ask in your interviews what the culture is like. Do they have nights out with the team? Do they have regular sporting activities? How do the team deal with another member being sick? What are the company values? These questions and the responses will allow you to evaluate the company’s culture. The discussion about the office values will also help clarify the position’s work-life balance and will allow you to fully understand how the team support each other. Workload Would you want to go into a job thinking you will have a few small projects to start with, only to find out that there is a huge job that you will be working solely on for months? It is important to know what your workload will be before you join so that you can prepare yourself and efficiently manage your time. Are you ready to take on the challenge of restructuring a tax team, or would you rather join a firm that is more established for you to develop in your own role? Current Events You should research the current events before going for an interview. It is even more important that you know exactly what is going on within the team you are joining so that you can hit the ground running. Every industry has sources to keep you abreast of the news in both your sector and your company depending on which organisation you are looking to join. The past & the future How long has the company been around? What were the major events that lead the company to be the way that it is now? What are their successes and failures? The way a company and senior stakeholder team learn from mistakes will tell you everything you need to know about how they will manage you and your team. A senior leadership team that takes the time to train and develop a team who have mistakes may suggest a better attitude towards their people, whereas a leadership team that let go a team that makes mistakes may allude to their priority for excellence only. As for the future, while all companies will be focused on growth, it is how they plan to grow that can tell you a lot about the business and how that business will run with you. After taking the time to assess the above points and talking them through with a tax recruiter, you should not only have a better understanding of the company but also a better idea of exactly what you want to get out of this new opportunity. To speak to Kevin about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696321 or


10 Things You Didn't Know About: Sue Lucas, Partner at Moore Stephens

Described by clients as the ultimate professional, Sue Lucas has advised a large portfolio of large and small companies, developing areas of expertise including the construction sector and corporate structuring. What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago on how to make Partner? To identify new business opportunities, know your own strengths and weaknesses and work on them, continually develop technical ability, and understand how to manage change and people. Most importantly ensure your contribution to the whole firm is positive and profitable. What do Moore Stephens do well? Offer consistent and effective high-quality solutions to both our clients and our team whilst staying true to our values. What is your biggest bugbear about CVs? None really. Everyone communicates differently, however good structure, clear detailed explanations and of course an ability to spell is always desirable! How would your team describe you? Passionate, driven and approachable. If not in tax, what would the dream be? I have a mixed client base who always require tax solutions, the variety keeps me engaged and interested so I have no desire to change other than perhaps running an OMB. Biggest superstition/fear? Nothing really frightens me other than the terrible horror movies my teenage sons' watch! What is your morning routine before work? Walking through the woods to the river with my 10 year old black Labrador. Skiing or beach? Both, the more holidays I take the more effective I become. Who is your hero? Derek Corke, he is the partner that mentored and promoted me 25 years ago, a wise and empathetic individual who empowered myself and some of my current partners to think about an accountancy practice in a different way! What is your life hack/top tip? Be happy, family first, know who you are and stay true to your personal beliefs. For more information about this article, or to speak to Ashleigh about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696324 or


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


Why You Should Start Your January Job Hunt Now

Although Christmas is just around the corner you may want to consider starting your January job hunt now. According to Indeed, there was a 64% increase in Britons hunting for jobs in January compared with the previous year. Competition can be fierce, so whether you're in the Legal, Finance, Tax or HR sector why not get ahead and start your job search now. This quick read will give you some tips on how you can make the most of your time in December so when January comes around you'll be in the front running for that dream job. Whilst there are few people who can muster excitement at the thought of returning to their 9 to 5 these blues can often be masking a deeper issue – you aren’t fulfilled at work. Every year we experience our highest volume of applications in January (and our highest volume of vacancies) – this year make sure you’re doing all the right things to cheer up your new year: Ask the important questions; Why aren’t you happy at work? Does your year ahead look identical to the year just gone? Are you still waiting for that ever-promised promotion? Do your colleagues keep asking to “touch base about your blue-sky thinking to get your ducks in a row”? Is the Central Line drudge getting too much? Whatever the reason, make sure you identify what it is making you unhappy. Make a shopping list; What is essential for you in your new role? As recruiters, we hear the same things every day: Better work-life balance, a new challenge, opportunity for promotion. These are all very valid requirements but make sure you really drill down on what that means. Will your work-life balance come from a move closer to home/ a commute in the car/ flexible hours? Is your challenge to manage a bigger team or to move into a different area altogether? - Update your CV; Whilst there’s no such thing as the perfect CV, a good resume is half the battle. Here are some top tips for when you’re making updates: - Put yourself in your prospective employer’s shoes. What would you like to see on a CV? - Does your CV read like a job specification? If so, add detail – projects worked on, size and scale of clients, volumes and values of work, key achievements etc. - Make it clear and concise – Cut out the casual bar work you did in 2005 but make sure your most recent role is detailed - Avoid the cover letter – if you are considering multiple career options then write variations of your CV instead. The average reader will look at a CV for 5-7 seconds and will disregard a cover letter entirely. - Ask for help – We run regular events and webinars on how to get the most out of your job applications and there is always a consultant willing to provide you with advice. Update your Linkedin profile; Better than having to trawl through job boards and emails, let the recruiters come to you. You can now set your profile to open to new opportunities, allowing recruiters to get in contact with relevant opportunities. As with your CV ensure that your profile is up to date with a professional photo and details on your role and responsibility. Also highlight your career progression – a block on being a manager for five years is far less impressive than seeing that you were promoted every year for years to get where you are today! Speak to us; With over 20 years’ of recruitment experience in the tax market we are more than happy to give you advice on the job hunt – we operate a no hassle approach are happy to update you on the market with no expectations from our side. For more information about this article, or to speak to Dominic about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696310 or


October 2018: Tax Movers & Shakers

Practice Hardwick & Morris LLP has announced that Kevin Offer, formerly of Gabelle, has joined the practice as a Partner effective from 1st October 2018. Kevin is a tax specialist with particular interest in the taxation of high net-worth individuals, sportsmen and entertainers. He is a Chartered Tax Adviser and a Fellow of the ICAEW. White & Case LLP has promoted 41 lawyers around the world to its partnership. The promotions are effective from January 1, 2019, and represent 12 of the Firm’s global practices in 15 locations. Laura Hoyland has been named a partner in the Global Tax Practice in London. Laura advises corporate and individual clients and family offices on direct and indirect tax aspects of financing and corporate transactions including capital markets, securitizations, bank finance, asset and share transfers and restructurings. Kreston Reeves has announced the appointment of Colin Laidlaw as director of VAT and Duty who joins the firm from RSM. Laidlaw is based in the South East and will work across the firm’s Sussex, Kent and London offices. He has considerable experience having previously worked at BDO, KPMG and HM Customs & Excise. He has over 30 years’ VAT experience. KPMG Manchester partner promotions: VAT specialist Sarah Anthony is a member of the indirect tax team and has over 15 years’ experience advising clients spanning the public and private sectors. Rick Nash is a member of the tax team, specialising in mergers and acquisitions, and has over 18 years’ experience with KPMG. Commerce & Industry Mark Feldman has joined Smiths Group from Pearson as Group Tax Director. James Marsom has joined Nuveen from Legg Mason, he is now the International Tax Director. ION have appointed Damien Kieran (previously of Laird PLC and Boeing) as Global Tax Director.


Technology - the Future Partner in Your Tax Matters?

Are you a Tax Manager or Tax Director seeking to streamline and manage your tax function through the use of technology? With almost daily advancements in technology, it is an exciting time for the Taxation industry. Yet digital disruption needs to be carefully analysed, while it provides many solutions to long-standing issues it also throws many new challenges. As a Tax Recruiter, a crucial part of my role is to observe the current trends in the market and be aware of the factors which will ‘shake up’ the tax industry and its demand for talent. This article looks to bring to light some of the Tax industry's most innovative ideas and predictions and how they'll affect your company, career and the demand for skills and future talent within the industry. PwC has stated that technology is one of its ‘mega-trends’, and emphasises that “successful companies must find ways to bridge the gap between their current capabilities and the future reality.” While Tim Steel from EY confirms that “Digital technology transformation is the single biggest disruptor in the tax profession”. But how is tax technology being implemented by business? One of the best examples of tax technology implementation has to be HMRC. Their Making Tax Digital campaign is part of the governments plan to make it easier for smaller businesses and individuals to stay on top of their tax affairs. HMRC have lofty ambitions to become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world. With tight resource constraints, the need to streamline and improve efficiency has facilitated rapid growth of their technological offering. HMRC has exploited new digital technologies meaning all of the UK’s smaller businesses and individuals will have access to their own digital tax account. For example, with over 9% of UK households owning a voice-based technology device and the expectation that this will increase to 40% by the end of this year HMRC are trialling ways in which they can use devices such as Alexa to engage customers. Whilst this may seem trivial on the face of things, the aim is to reduce the need for customers to contact call centres. Predictions and Breakthroughs PwC predicts that “more companies will use their enterprise-wide financial systems to prepare tax calculations (e.g. income tax accounting and indirect taxes), thereby replacing spreadsheets and/or traditional tax technology solutions.” In addition, “the majority of tax functions will rely on professional data analysis tools to assist in the decision-making process in areas such as risk detection, planning and overall business support.” With more technological breakthroughs emerging, a successful tax professional will need to focus more on the utilisation of data and technology and companies will be required to re-evaluate their current talent needs against these additional capabilities. Training requirements With technology rapidly shifting the remit of tax functions, it is imperative that any tax professional looking to future-proof their future takes the opportunity to embrace technology. Take advantage of training programmes offered by employers to remain current in the market. Whether you attend seminars, courses or have a professional mentor, look to advance your understanding of how tax and technology can work together and how this can positively impact your current/future firm. Recruitment During the recruitment process is it important for companies to question the candidate’s skillset to ensure that they meet the growing demand within tax technology. Do candidates have a solid knowledge of technological trends and how the tax technology landscape is shifting? Candidates should be able to demonstrate their knowledge of tax technological compliance and the implementation of new systems. These skills have become highly sought after by companies as the industry becomes increasingly reliant on tax technology. Cybersecurity issues According to a UK Government study, over four in ten of all UK businesses suffered a breach or attack in the past 12 months. Whilst firms are ushering in the use of artificial intelligence to streamline their process, hackers are also deploying their own versions of AI to achieve their own unethical end goals. Measures such as the Government backed, industry-supported Cyber Essentials scheme offer industry-leading expert advice to companies on how to protect themselves against cyber threats. It’s important that all companies invest in security solutions to protect their tax technology systems. The introduction of GDPR earlier this year means that firms have an important part to play in protecting sensitive customer data. For so long the issues of data privacy and data security have been viewed as separate entities with differing objectives, the introduction of global regulations has forced business to reevaluate how they gather, process and store their data. While tax technology keeps changing the face of tax functions across the industry it is important for professionals, from Tax Partners to Tax Directors to Tax Managers, to ensure they are keeping ahead of the technological curve. As a Tax recruiter, I have witnessed first hand, the effect that tax technology is having on candidates either coming to the market or already in the industry. From my experience as a Tax Recruiter, those who fare best and excel are those that have embraced tax technology early, follow technological trends and have a full working knowledge of new systems and how to implement them. For more information about this article, or to speak to Christina about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696357 or


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.


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


6 Staff Retention Tips To Improve Your Business

Are you supporting a high growth business in the UK but also one who suffers from 15% or higher staff turnover rate? As recruitment specialists, we know that a key goal of yours it to keep your staff happy, so your business can flourish. According to Glassdoor, the average employer spends about £3,000 and 27.5 days to hire a new worker. We work with businesses who are working really hard to improve their staff retention. This speedy 2-minute read will give some insight about how you can improve your employee relations and your staff retention. 1. Certainty 2. Variety 3. Significance 4. Connection 5. Growth 6. Contribution 1. Certainty Job security is one of the key aspects that you need to promote within your company to improve staff retention. Whether you are a HR Director or a Tax Recruiter, all employees need to have confidence in the security of their job. Doubts over the company's success will have a big impact on performance and your bottom line. If employees feel stressed, their work will suffer and this will have a knock-on effect on the team. How do you prevent uncertainty and negative gossip? Keep your staff informed on how the company is performing. Keeping your team in the know will build trust and develop strong employee relations. If your staff can see how well your company is performing then they'll feel more certain about their job security. Also, reassure your team of their value to you and the company. Employees like to feel wanted and needed. 2. Variety Variety is the spice of life! Talent and skill utilisation is another factor your key employees seek in your workplace. Often, when candidates register with us they want to try something new but are unable to do so in their current firm. Motivated employees want to contribute to work areas outside of their specific job description. Think about offering work that wouldn’t fit into their portfolio. How many people in your business would value from working in another team or on a different project? You need to know their skills, talent, and experience, and take the time to develop this to your advantage. 3. Significance Everyone loves to feel important! However, With 69% of workers polled saying their boss didn’t support their career goals, it seems as though this point is being overlooked by many. We like to think that our actions have an impact in the world and that we add real value. If someone is doing a good job, ensure that they know about it. Making sure that your team know that they are valued will go a long way in the company. Frequently saying ‘thank you’ goes a long way. As recruitment experts, we head from candidates looking to move and there is a common theme that people don’t feel valued. Your staff members must feel rewarded, recognised and appreciated. This can be reflected by pay rises, job titles or heaping praise on someone in front of others. No member of staff should be made to feel like an unnecessary cog in the machine. 4. Connection Team rapport is essential for any company to be successful. Team building activities, nights out and regular meetings are great ways to ensure staff bond. The change of scenery can only add to this positive feeling. This is something many companies miss out on and it does make a difference. We at Pro-Group pride ourselves on our family-feel office and this team-bonding time is essential in maintaining a happy workplace. The saying “You spend more time with the people you work with than you do with your friends and family” is very true. That's why creating a welcoming place where people enjoy their environment is imperative. Don’t get us wrong, employees are there to work but you must strike a healthy balance to create a conducive environment. 5. Growth People like to feel that they are growing/progressing in life. To achieve growth, they must be challenged, do not let someone stagnate! According to a survey by totaljobs, 68% of employees have changed jobs because of a lack of learning and development opportunities. Your best employees, those you want to keep, seek opportunities to learn and grow in their careers. Without the opportunity to train, attend seminars and courses employees feel they will stagnate. A career-orientated and valued employee must experience growth opportunities within your organisation. They also need to see a space that they can grow into; otherwise, they won’t grow. When was the last time you asked an employee if they felt they were developing or asked them what else you can do to help develop them? 6. Contribution This is tied in with several other points in this guide to staff retention. You need to remind your team of how they're contributing to the company and how well they are doing! There are a lot of points above that feel very obvious, I’m aware of a number of companies that don't install the simplest of these policies. Try to implement just one or two of the above suggestions to retain your best staff, or stop and ask yourself, do you do this for your staff already? Some of these suggestions cost you nothing but a little time and effort. The outcome - You will be more likely to keep your superstars with you for the long haul. It’s essential to take a step back sometimes and ask yourself - How happy are your staff?. Are you meeting all their needs? If not, why not!? If you’re struggling with retaining your staff and seeing your attrition rate creeping up, speak with one of our experienced recruitment experts who will give you an insight into the current candidate market. Pro-Recruitment is a recruitment agency in London and our consultants specialise in Tax, Finance, Legal and HR jobs and are able to offer expert advice on employee relations, generalist hr to talent acquisition. Contact us today on 02072696333 for a discussion on your recruiting and talent needs.


WEBINAR - How to negotiate a pay rise

We’ve all thought about it… asking for an increase in salary. Salary negotiation is a key skill which will help you throughout your career. Whether you’re a Solicitor or Accountant, a Tax Manager looking to get to Tax Partner, or just a Generalist HR professional exploring salaries in your current role, this webinar will give you some essential advice to plan and execute a strategy to help you get you the pay rise you deserve. This webinar will explore: How to successfully negotiate a pay rise in your current role and for a new job or role The 3 key things you need to do to prepare BEFORE you go in and ask for a pay rise How men and women approach pay rises differently and what you can learn from each gender How to calculate what you are really worth to your firm What to do if your firm doesn’t agree with your pay rise How to answer the question from a recruiter “what’s your current package?” When should you tune in? Thursday 22nd November 2018 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm GMT Join Heather Townsend and Pat Keogh and take away tips on how to best negotiate your salary and pay rise! Heather Townsend is the co-author of ‘‘How to make partner and still have a life’. She is the global expert in what it takes to make partner in a professional practice. In the last year, she and her team of coaches have helped several people make partner and worked with clients from all the major continents of the world. Pat Keogh is one of the founders and Managing Director of the Pro-Recruitment Group which was formed in 2007. As well as running the day-to-day business, Pat also recruits at Partner level across several sectors. He has an extensive network of Tax, Legal, Finance and HR professionals in both practice and in-house having recruited across several sectors for over 20 years. Can’t attend live? You should still register! We’ll be sending out slides and a recording of the webinar to all registrants.


5 Scary Candidate Profiles that give us the Fright!

It’s Halloween and the spookiest time of the year. However, some of these candidate profiles continue to haunt recruitment processes throughout the year leaving prospective employers howling at the moon. Below are a few examples of the phantom offenders that can keep us up at night. The Crypt The Cryptic candidate who holds back on valuable information. Whether it be parts of their salary package, dates on their CV, who else they’re interviewing with or the real motivations for leaving. Not only does this hinder in getting the candidate across the right positions in the right time frame but gaps on CVs will be picked up on throughout the process, references won’t correlate, salary negotiations will fall down at the end of the process and a level of non-commitment will linger throughout on all sides. The Ghost That great candidate who we’ve built up a good relationship with, registered and got the CV out the door to their agreed options. All is going seamlessly and then they disappear. Like a ghost they don't return calls or reply to emails, they can even fail to turn up to meetings or interviews, never to be heard from again. It, of course, leads to a barrage of calls and emails from us which is understandably even more frustrating and infuriates the employer too – who won’t forget very quickly. The Jekyll & Hyde This is the candidate who we’ve spent a lot of time talking to and even met, we know their backgrounds and aspirations, we’ve prepped them and sent them to the interview. Then a transformation happens to the candidate en route. Suddenly when it’s crux time in front of the interviewer all the preparation goes out of the window and the candidate becomes a different person. Overbearing, argumentative, unengaging, shy, or even beastly. The Swarm Beware of the swarm! It might seem like a good idea when first starting out on your job search to apply to many multiple agencies. However, this is a very diluted market and with your CV being sent out multiple times by different agencies it very quickly muddies the water with internal recruiters and employers. It is also much more difficult to keep track of where your CV has been sent, by whom and how you are being perceived. By using a specialist recruiter, you are sure to work closely together to approach each role specifically and to the correct line in a slicker process. The Witch or Warlock These are harder to spot at first. Excellent candidates boasting excellent CVs and experience able to bewitching throughout their recruitment processes summoning offers with the purpose of leveraging for counter offers, promotions and salary hikes. Whilst perhaps short-term gain, often this will lead a sour taste in the market and statistically, 80% of people who have accepted a counter offer will not be at their current employer in six months and 93% will not be there in eighteen months’ time. If you are reading through any of these and hearing yourself relate to too many of these traits and wondering why the recruitment process isn’t running quite as smoothly as hoped, then have no fear; we have a number of blogs to help with everything from preparing your CV and interviewing techniques to addressing the counter offer. If you're looking for an experienced Tax recruiter I recruit from Big 4 heads of departments to Tax Managers and more. With nearly six years now in recruitment and two specialising within London tax recruitment, my London tax network is expansive, interesting, varied and ever growing. Get in contact today for more information on the current market or a discussion about your recruitment needs.



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