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Loren Von Sternberg

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Loren Von Sternberg

Talent Acquisition & HR Recruitment

I manage the HR and Talent function here at Pro and am responsible for recruiting and onboarding all hires into the business. We are in a period of growth and looking to hire at all levels, from grads/trainees up to Senior Managers.

 

I fell into my career in recruitment after starting in sales jobs and have never looked back since.

 

Outside of work I am always planning my next holiday, whether it be a short city break, exotic beach or travelling around and experiencing different cultures (and food!). One of my favourite recent trips was travelling around Bali and Indonesia – although I did manage to do it in style!

loren's latest roles

  • Diversity Assessment Framework Coordi...

    Negotiable

    Diversity Assessment Framework Coordinator London 3 Month Temp Contract Starting ASAP Up to £120 a day Our client, an International NGO, is seeking a Diversity Assessment Framework Coordinator to work on Pro...

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  • HR and L&D Administrator

    £25500 - £26500 per annum

    HR and L&D Administrator London Starting ASAP - 1 Year Fixed Term Contract Part Time Up to £26,500 (Pro Rata) Our client, an Independent Charity, is seeking a HR and L&D Administrator to join their team on a...

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  • Senior HR Manager

    Negotiable

    Senior HR Manager West Yorkshire Our client, a UK based Charity, is seeking a Part Time HR Director to develop their provision of people services across the organisation at a strategic and operational level....

    Read more...
  • Head of Transformation

    Up to £70000 per annum

    Head of Transformation up to £70,000 18 month FTC Do you have experience of transformation across a complex large scale organisation? Are you looking keen to work for a client that truly embodies flexible wo...

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  • Recruitment Manager - Legal

    Up to £65000 per annum + Amazing benefits package!!!

    Recruitment Manager - Legal Competitive salary + Personal Bonus + Team Bonus + Much more! Are you looking for the next step in your recruitment career? Are you keen to manage a team? Do you have what it take...

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  • HR Business Manager

    Up to £55000 per annum

    HR Business Manager Are you a seasoned HR generalist with proven experience within the Higher Education sector? Have you got the confidence and gravitas to advise and influence senior stakeholders? Are you a...

    Read more...
  • Recruitment Consultant (Legal)

    £30000 - £50000 per annum + Commission & Outstanding benefits

    Legal Recruitment Consultant We are super busy here at Pro-Recruitment Group and are looking for experienced recruiters that want to develop and progress within the Legal Private Practice market. We have wel...

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  • L&D Partner

    Up to £40000 per annum

    Learning & Development Partner London As an L&D Partner, you will primarily be responsible for the design and delivery of tailored programmes, covering induction, talent and leadership across the business, w...

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  • Senior Manager - Legal Recruitment

    Up to £65000 per annum

    Senior Manager - Legal Recruitment London Base Salary up to £65,000 + Commission on personal billings + bonus on team performance Here at Pro-Legal we are hiring for a Senior Manager to step into a role over...

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  • HR Data, Systems and Processes Officer

    £20 - £23 per hour

    Role - HR Data, Systems and Processes Officer Contract - 6 months (with a possibility of extension or going permanent) Are you an experienced HR Systems specialist that is available immediately or on short n...

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  • Senior HR Business Partner

    Up to £55000 per annum

    Senior HR Business Partner Up to £55,000 Are you an experienced generalist that has a background of working within the charity of not for profit sectors? Have you worked in large scale complex organisations?...

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  • HR Advisor - Employee Relations

    £35000 - £38000 per annum

    Role: HR Advisor - Employee Relations Location: London Salary: Up to £38,000 Contract: 12 month fixed-term contract Reporting into: HR Partner Profile: Are you an experienced HR Generalist, able to deliver a...

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What people say about Loren

You are one of a select few in this industry that genuinely empathise with people's situations and really try to find the right people for Pro Group so just wanted to say thanks and keep it up! 

Loren managed my end to end recruitment process during my move to Pro, and have to say she was incredibly proactive! I immediately bought into her relaxed, honest and consultative approach, and for this reason also quickly found myself bought into the business...

Loren approached me with great first impressions and is truly dedicated to role. She has good in-depth knowledge of the company and has a friendly, responsive and personable approach, which made the whole process a lot smoother. All you need in a great Internal Recruitment Manager!

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Companies Loren has worked with

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Here at Pro-Recruitment Group, we are always searching for new talent. Pro-Group consists of Pro-Tax, Pro-Legal, Pro-Finance, Pro-HR and Pro-Marketing. We offer our clients and candidates a premium recruitment service that ensures most of our work is from repeat business and word of mouth.

GradTouch help people find their ideal graduate career. They don't just advertise companies, they try to get as much out of them as possible to make sure graduates know they're the right employer for them.

We are always searching for new talent. Take a look at the opportunities

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loren's articles

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Fallen Out of Love With Agency Recruitment? 6 Things to Consider - Agency vs. Internal Recruitment

Posted by Loren Von Sternberg

Over the last few years, the number of businesses who are hiring or setting up internal talent functions also means that more and more agency recruiters are moving into in-house roles. As an agency recruiter who moved internal myself, I understand the appeal and there are pros and cons to both roles. I currently recruit internally for Pro-Recruitment Group, so the majority of my hires are experienced agency recruiters. Day after day, I hear recruiters tell me they want to go internal and get out of agency. When I ask why there are a myriad of reasons - some based on misconceptions, some the right reasons to make the move, and everything in between. For anyone thinking of making the move here are 6 things to consider: 1. ‘I don’t want to do business development/sales’ This is probably the most common reason give by recruiters who want to move into internal recruitment. They are fed up of generating new clients and selling to existing ones in saturated markets. As an internal recruiter there is just as much selling, but rather than to clients and candidates, you need to be able to sell to stakeholders and candidates. Unless you are working for a huge well known brand, most people will not have heard of the business and you won’t have a queue of people outside waiting to be hired. You will be having to go out and generate your own candidates and sell sell sell! They are probably in high demand and you are working in a candidate short market, which is why you were hired as an internal recruiter! If the candidate isn’t interested in your business or role, then you are not going to place them! Working agency recruitment, you are likely to have at least have a couple of clients that may suit their requirements, increasing the likelihood of them working with you and you placing them. Once you have sourced the candidates who are right for the role and have shown interest in your brand and business, you then need to sell each and every candidate to your internal colleagues and stakeholders. As well as this, if your candidate is not successful in the end then you don't have the option of suggesting another business or role to them - something that is always an option working in agency. If you feel your strength is on the delivery side, there are a number of agencies that already have a wide and varied portfolio of clients and accounts. In which case, you could be better off moving into a role like this where you are still focused on candidate delivery while working with a specific portfolio of clients who you get to know and work with much more closely. This way, you have the benefits of working in agency recruitment, whilst moving away from bringing on and developing new clients. 2. Salary One of the initial attractions of moving into an internal recruitment role is the higher base salary than you typically get in agencies. One of the things that some people forget to do is look at the entire package. Some companies do offer commission for their internal talent acquisition teams, which could rely on targets around number of hires, reducing the cost per hire, or even new hires passing probation - all to ensure the candidates you find are ‘good hires’. The additional bonus or commission you get is not likely to be as lucrative as what you could receive working for an agency, or even as clear as your agency commission structrure, as working in an agency is all about your billings and the profit you are making for the business. If you are looking to make the move internally, make sure to compare the overall package for earning potential and make sure the job, salary and career progression are in line with your current needs as well as your future career plans. 3. Progression A lot of us ‘fell into’ recruitment, but the initial draw and what keeps a lot of people in the industry is the fact it’s a meritocracy based business. Your progression is in your hands - the better you perform, the quicker you can progress. This may not always be the case in an internal talent acquisition role. Even if you are in a very large company, the internal recruitment team will only make up a small number of the total employees - probably with one Manager/Director above you, making the scope for your progression harder to map. If you are in a smaller business you may be in a stand-alone role newly created to save the company money on bad hires, agency spend and to increase headcount rapidly. If this is the case, your employer may not even have thought about what your progression could look like beyond you achieving this. One of the things that is a big change from agency recruitment and will challenge you and be a big part of your personal growth and development is the scope of your role. An internal talent acquisition role can encompass more than just recruitment, with aspects of your role inclusing HR, L&D, and even setting up initial recruitment processes. Your progression may not be as fast as in agency, but your progression could see you expanding your skillset and take you down a wildly different path to that of agency recruiting. When you are interviewing, have these conversations early on about what success looks like at that business, how it’s measured and what your long term career can look like and progress to. It may include further professional qualifications like CIPD, or new and various ways you can add value to the business that could also be outside the remit of recruitment. 4. Day to day Recruitment agencies do all they can to invest in you generating candidates and new business, and making it as easy and hassle-free as possible for you to do both and make money. Everyone will have a database/recruitment software for daily use, you probably have a LinkedIn recruiter license to head-hunt and advertise jobs, a number of job boards to advertise on, job board CV databases and even a marketing team to promote you, your personal brand and your jobs. Most agency recruiters work in a vertical market so use the same pool of candidates meaning you can get referrals and build a reputation by becoming a specialist in your market. If you move into an internal role, you may not have access to all the same tools to source candidates, as they can be a high cost to a business that is looking to reduce or streamline its spend on internal hiring. Working in talent acquisition, your daily tasks and processes will probably have a wider remit as you are involved not just in sourcing candidate, but their entire lifecycle with the business. So, day-to-day is managing stakeholders expectations (rather than clients), meaning you may have a more strategic impact on the business' recruitment processes as a whole. At times it may be more admin heavy as you will most likely have control of all of the processes once an offer has been made, including paperwork and on boarding. 5. No KPIs or targets This is probably the biggest frustration I hear when speaking to agency recruiters. I recently spoke to a candidate who, if they didn’t hit their weekly (which were ridiculously high and irrelevant) KPIs they had to stay late the following week! Unfortunately it’s something I hear all too often in recruitment, and when people of working in a business with super crazy KPIs for the sake of having something to measure, of course it’s not going to be a rewarding and motivating environment! If you are frustrated by this and the environment you are working in then maybe it’s not agency recruitment, but the specific agency you are working in. There are a number of different working styles and cultures in other businesses that may be better suited to you. Recruitment is a sales and target driven business so of course business' will have KPIs in place, but it’s about establishing the right goals and using them in the best way to measure success or identify developments areas. In an internal role there will still be KPIs and objectives to hit, albeit different to agency ones. Generally they will be around reducing agency spend, reducing cost per hire, reducing time to hire, increasing headcount, and reducing attrition rates. 6. Culture Culture is a huge driver in recruitment - the amazing incentives taking you on trips around the world, top hotspots and luxury restaurants and bars. Being around like-minded sales people who are doing the same job as you, the camaraderie of celebrating when you finally close that tricky deal you have been working in for months, cheering you up when there has been a counter-offer or the candidate has pulled out at the last minute. It’s your team who you share those highs and lows with in the rollercoaster that is recruitment. This is the most common thing I hear that people miss when they either move internal or even set up on their own - they miss the buzz of having others doing the same job around them and understanding their challenges as well as their successes. When I moved back to London after a number of years in agency recruitment, I was open to both internal and agency roles. I went to three different businesses for internal roles in sectors I was interested and excited about, but they were stand alone roles - either sitting in the HR team or setting up the business' internal function. None of the people around me seemed to really understand recruitment or headhunting, the salaries were less overall when I took my commission into account, and I couldn’t see myself working for any of the businesses or Managers/Directors I met. Moving into an internal rec2rec role was never in my plans until I met Pro. Our MD Pat Keogh is an inspirational leader who I wanted to work for as soon as I met him and I was still surrounded by like-minded people and ways of working that suited my style. If you are feeling like you are at a crossroads and ready for the next challenge, make sure to really think about your reasons for wanting a move, and what you want to achieve before deciding to only look down the internal route. Meet a few different businesses and benchmark them against the company you currently work and see the differences. When it comes down to it, it’s your career and you have to go to work everyday so make it count and make sure it’s a job, company, environment and culture you love, whether this is agency recruitment or an internal role. We are looking for recruitment consultants to join the Pro family. If you think joining our close-knit organisation could be the right step for your career, please contact Loren von Sternberg on 020 7269 6358 or loren@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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The Pro-Group Christmas Quiz 2019

Posted by Loren Von Sternberg

On Wednesday 4th December, Pro-Recruitment Group held its yearly infamous Christmas Quiz. We welcomed the best and brightest from across the worlds of Tax, Legal, Finance, HR and Marketing to compete in our annual competition to win the title of 'Pro-Group Christmas Quiz Champions 2019'. View the Christmas Quiz 2019 Questions and Answers here! It's that time of year again where we welcome our clients to compete in our annual Christmas Quiz, which this year was held at the 5* Jury's Inn Hotel in Holborn. Everyone welcomed the festive spirit and 22 teams went head-to-head against one another to win first prize! Pro's Managing Director Pat Keogh hosted this year's quiz alongside Jennifer Nelson, Manager of Pro-Tax's Regional team, and the competition between teams was evident from the outset! Rounds one to three saw Pat and Jen asking questions from the categories of TV & Film, General Knowledge and Sport - we learned that Game of Thrones had 73 episodes in total, reminisced about Gareth Southgate's infamous waistcoats, and who knew that the first living creature in space was a fruit fly! The picture round is always a winner and this year was no different. "Ohh I know him - what's his name again", and "Who on earth is that" were some of the most common phrases heard around the room, along with"That's that girl from Love Island!" Halfway through the night, everyone helped themselves to some well-deserved food while the first half of the quiz was marked and teams were given their ranking order - it was a close contest and needless to say people's competitive natures were revealed even more! The second half of the evening saw the 22 teams competing in the final few rounds for first prize! The Science & Nature round came first with people attempting to figure out the average number of teeth an adult has - which isn't the easiest thing to do after free-flowing drinks all evening... Then came our 'Famous Firsts' rounds which proved to be a point of contention for many teams with people debating "Oxford vs. Cambridge" for the first university built in the UK. The 'What Comes Next' round really put teams to the test - figuring out who came next after Monica, Erica and Rita in Mambo Number 5 was something that could only be solved by people singing until they got to Tina! One of the evening's highlights was the final (and most popular) music round. We played Old Town Road backwards which caused confusion up and down the room and challenged people with what year Destiny's Child's 'Bootylicious' was released. To top it off, we had the whole room singing Backstreet Boys and a medley from the Greatest Showman! Answer sheets were scored and totals counted, and Jen was responsible for the big reveal. Coming in last and winning the coveted last place Christmas puddings were Deloitte's 'Accountaholics'! We had a three-way tie for second place - Gunnercooke's 'George Quizra', the 'Quizmas Crackers' from Fitzgerald & Law, and from Sony, the 'Jammy Tax Dodgers' - which could only mean one thing... a tiebreaker challenge! One representative from each team was called to the front to guess how many chocolates were in the jar, and the 'Quizmas Crackers' guessed the closest winning them second place. And winning by only 2 points, and crowned the champions of Pro's 2019 Christmas Quiz were the 'Noel-It-Alls' from Simmons Gainsford! A huge thank-you to everyone who came along and participated - we hope you all had a fantastic evening and enjoyed it as much as we did! Special thank you to all the staff at Pro who make the evening such a success every year. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2020! View the Christmas Quiz 2019 Questions and Answers here! To find out about upcoming Pro-Recruitment events or to speak to us about joining the Pro family or your recruitment needs, contact Loren von Sternberg on 020 7269 6358 or loren@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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Moving from Practice into Recruitment: 60 Seconds With James Thompson, Consultant at Pro-Finance

Posted by Loren Von Sternberg

James Thompson is a recruitment consultant on the Pro-Finance team. Before moving into recruitment, James worked as a tax accountant in both practice and industry for over 4 years. He now specialises in recruiting Corporate Finance professionals in London and across the UK, and works with accountancy practices from the Big 4 and Top 10 to boutique Corporate Finance and consultancy firms. In the below interview, James speaks to us about his time before recruitment, how he has found the transition between practice and recruitment, his journey at Pro, and offers advice for anyone thinking about a move into recruitment from practice. 1. What were you doing before your career as a Recruitment Consultant? After completing a degree in Business Management at The University of Manchester, I found myself at a bit of a crossroads as to what I wanted out of my career. I started a temp job at an accountancy firm in Leeds and suddenly I was in a permanent audit role. After a year in audit in Leeds, I moved back down to London (where I am originally from) and with my experience I ended up in a Corporate Tax role in a small, city-based accountancy firm and started studying for my ATT Tax qualifications. After three and a half years working at the same firm, I started to feel a little frustrated. Like many who are unsure about their entire career being in practice, I decided to make the move in house where I started working at a large insurance firm covering international tax. Whilst I enjoyed having a different dynamic in the role, I realised that it wasn’t only practice that I didn't enjoy - I just wasn’t suited to a career in tax. 2. What made you consider a career in recruitment? Whilst working in tax, one of my favorite parts of the role was the client-facing side, so I began looking at careers that revolved around this. I still wanted to utilise the skills I had built up working in tax and use my qualifications, so I started to look at recruiting into accountancy firms. I had come across Pro-Group before as a candidate - they had a great name in the market and I thought very highly of the consultants I had dealt with before. I reached out to them and I was quite surprised to find that others, like me, had started their career in practice before moving into recruitment. Not only is working in recruitment all about people which made it the natural choice for me, what also attracted me to recruitment was the social, fast-paced and potentially lucrative nature of the role - you work your desk like your own business so the more I put in, the more I get out of it. 3. How has working in practice helped you recruit into the practice market? The fact that I am recruiting into accountancy practices has definitely helped my transition into recruitment. As I have worked in both practice and industry, I understand the market and know the challenges both my clients and candidates face. I understand the workload, the culture, the deadlines and I also know how tough it can be working and studying for your exams and the pressure that comes with it, so can really understand the candidate perspective on a personal level. This is the same for clients too - because of my background I understand the intricacies of the business and what they need in a strong candidate. This means I am able to see things from their point of view and I know the best ways to interact with clients and candidates alike, enabling me to provide a personalised consultative service. Not only this, but because Pro has a strong presence in the market I was able to get stuck in and pick up clients and candidates quite quickly. At the end of the day, you are dealing with people and it’s all about understanding the market and people’s motivations, as well as matching this to what your clients want. 4. What was the transition like from practice to recruitment? The transition hasn’t been too difficult, but I think the biggest difference has been the speed at which you need to react to the job. Working in tax you know your workload and deadlines and manage your time to those - in recruitment, prioritising your work is so different. What you are focusing your attention on can change so quickly, so even if you plan your workload it can very easily change with one phone call. I have had to learn to structure my days very differently and work in a way that is more proactive than reactive. There have been some challenging moments and I’ve had to adjust to certain elements, primarily changing the ways in which I prioritise my work and getting to grips with the pace of recruitment. I am specialising in corporate finance which can be a challenging market in itself, but I have loved the challenge and enjoyed my time so far - a day in recruitment is never dull! 5. What’s been your favourite part of moving to recruitment? So many things! The buzz of making my first placement was exactly the kind of buzz and sense of achievement I was looking for in my career. I have also loved the social side that comes with recruitment - I am out meeting clients and candidates on a daily basis. My team is very social, like-minded and of a similar age, and collectively has so much market knowledge that I am learning from. Not only this, but at Pro the commision structure is so rewarding that I am really able to take control of my earnings and make more money based on how well I perform. Recruitment can be tough, but the fast-paced nature combined with the social side of things mean that life is never quiet - there is never a moment to be bored. 6. What has your journey been like at Pro? I have been here for just over 8 months now, and the training has been amazing! I started off with quite a lot of classroom training with a peer group, as well as on the desk and one-to-one training. Initially I was shadowing the more experienced consultants on their client and candidate meetings, and as my confidence and knowledge grew I started leading meetings alongside more senior colleagues whilst I found my feet and to keep me on track. Now, I work much more independently - leading my own meetings, building up my network and pipelines, and making placements. I was really encouraged to get stuck in straight away and in my opinion, one of the best things is that everyone has been so open and helpful and I have had the opportunity to learn from those around me. 7. What do you like about Pro? The main thing that attracted me to Pro was the people and the culture. It’s a very collaborative working environment and my colleagues are all specialists in their market and want the people around them to be successful. Everyone is supportive and management really invest in your training and personal development. It’s also great being in the heart of the city - we get to enjoy going to local pubs, finding new lunch spots, and socialising right in the middle of London. 8. What kind of person do you think suits a role in recruitment? Someone with high energy, who is outgoing and articulate, and is comfortable talking to people. If you have the ability to empathise with and understand other people you will suit a role in recruitment - it’s all about people skills and being proactive. If you are willing to work hard and you’re also looking for a fast-paced, sociable working environment, then a role in recruitment could be the right choice for you! 9. What advice would you give someone thinking about a move into recruitment from practice? If you enjoy the client-facing side of practice, then moving into recruitment gives you that with the added buzz and thrill that comes with the sales aspect of the role. Most importantly, do your research and make sure it’s right for you - speak to agencies with a good reputation in the market and take the time to find out about their culture and if your personality will fit in. It’s never too late to make the move, and if you like the idea of using your experience and skills in a new and consultative way, then it will be as rewarding as you think it will! For more advice on making the move into recruitment and joining Pro-Recruitment Group, contact Loren von Sternberg on 020 7269 6358 or loren@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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The Unique Challenges and Rewards of Working in Charity HR

Posted by Loren Von Sternberg

Neither employment law nor candidate’s needs and expectations change from sector to sector, yet working in an HR role for a charity does come with certain challenges specific to the charity and non-profit world. Despite the challenges that come along with HR work in the third sector, there are various rewards including work-life balance, autonomy in your role and job satisfaction which undoubtedly make charity HR a career path worth considering. Our specialist charity and Not-For-Profit recruiters have provided insight into the key challenges and rewards that come with working in a charity HR role. The Challenges of Charity HR Funding & Resourcing Priorities It is not surprising that funding is one of the key challenges faced by HR professionals in the charity sector. Charities are accountable to their funders and often need to be more transparent than private sector companies, and it is important to make beneficiaries feel confident that their donations are being spent wisely and the charity’s budget is being maximised. With Not-For-Profit organisations often under the spotlight about budget spend on administration and overheads, HR professionals can find themselves having to justify spending charity budget on systems or people-related initiatives. The spending of donations on every job advert, new product, training day or induction may need justifying, and getting the message across that HR initiatives are actually highly cost-effective and will deliver savings for the charity in the long run can be a challenge. Recruitment Some HR professionals find it very easy to fill vacancies within charities, often with people who are passionate about the cause and mission of the charity and who are keen to get involved and make a difference. However, recruiting within the third sector does come with its challenges. Frontline staff, particularly staff or volunteers working with vulnerable individuals or children need to be strictly vetted. Additionally, salaries are generally lower in the charity sector which makes recruiting the right people tricky when the best talent could get higher salaries elsewhere or in the corporate sector, particularly with back-office roles like finance, legal or marketing. The key to overcoming this challenge is to develop a creative approach which focuses on building the charity’s brand and cause and highlighting non-financial benefits like flexible working, good work-life balance, learning and development opportunities, and the chance to make a real contribution. Commercial Drive More and more charities are having to take a more commercial approach in their work and charging for services that may have been previously free. This can lead to unrest among employees, particularly if they feel these changes are counter to their values, and charity HR professionals can find themselves having to work hard to communicate the necessity for commerciality to staff members, to keep up staff morale. Ethical Issues There are pressures on charities to be more transparent than ever regarding their policies and practices. Charity HR staff are faced with the challenge of finding the right balance between fulfilling the charity’s aims and making difficult people-related decisions. In other words, balancing a fair, practical and consistent method for effectively managing employees without compromising the atmosphere of passionate care which is often at the heart of the working environments of many charities. It is also very important that HR policies reflect a charity’s mission. For example, a mental health charity should undoubtedly have an excellent internal support structure and resources available for employees, and a children’s charity should have flexible working opportunities and childcare available for working parents, and policies such as these will need to be drawn out and implemented by the charity’s HR department. The Rewards of Charity HR Making a Difference Many HR professionals who end up working in the third sector do so because they have a commitment or draw to a particular cause. But regardless of this, working for a non-profit organisation can provide a great sense of job satisfaction and a feeling of making a difference in society, and therefore employees are often people who are very passionate and value-driven - which only makes the day-to-day experience of a charity HR professional an enjoyable and fulfilling one as well. Autonomy & Progression As of October 2018, there were 168,186 registered charities in the UK, and the majority of these organisations aren't able to go out to an agency for HR - everything needs to be done in-house. This means that teams are smaller - you may have a team of 3 or 4 instead of a department of 20 in a larger organisation, which in turn means that an HR charity role involves wearing lots of different hats and taking on a generalist role as opposed to a role focusing on one specialist branch of HR. This grants you autonomy in your role, more opportunity to implement change, and the chance to broaden your experience and skill set as an HR professional, and you may find there is a shorter route to progress within the organisation. Other Benefits Charity roles can sometimes be overlooked by HR professionals but no longer is the charity sector seen as the ‘poor cousin’. In reality, third sector organisations can be equally exciting and fast-paced as the commercial sector and also come with benefits like a better work-life balance and the opportunity to utilise your HR skills and experience in an organisation that is contributing towards a cause you are passionate about. For more information on this article or to speak to our specialist recruitment consultants about your next HR role in the charity sector, contact Loren on 020 7269 6358 or loren@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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Two-Thirds of UK Workers Don't Receive Work Perks - Why Employee Perks are so Important!

Posted by Loren Von Sternberg

In the past, a paycheck, pension scheme, and a water cooler or the odd work drink might have kept your employees happy. But, the office environment has refined and has become one of the most important things employees look for and expect from their workplace. According to a study conducted in 2018 by the Association of Accounting Technician’s (AAT), British workers spend an average of 3,515 full days at work over their lifetime, and the average person works 188 days of overtime throughout their career. That’s a lot of a person’s lifetime spent at their job, which makes it all the more important to ensure your employees enjoy coming to work! Office environment can be the difference between retaining good employees and losing them, and the future of your workplace and the happiness and productivity of your employees may depend on how you, as a business, offer perks and workplace benefits. However, recent CV Library research which surveyed 1,200 UK professionals has shown that almost two-thirds of British employees don’t receive work perks or benefits, despite 84.9% of employers believing that work perks are crucial. So, why are work perks and office environment so important? One of the most effective ways to heighten your companies’ public profile is taking care of your employees - in doing this, not only will you be looking after your current employees but the calibre of future candidates will increase. Having surveyed Pro’s recruitment consultants, 84% mentioned that company environment and benefits were one of the key factors in influencing a professionals decision on whether they would apply for a job or not. If you’re an employer who has never really liked the idea of the office being ‘fun’ and casual, you can blame Google for that! Larry Page and Sergey Brin, students at Stanford and founders of Google, began the workplace revolution that has now impacted so many companies across the corporate world, scrapping the traditional serious office mould and making work a fun place to be. This was the starting point which had a domino effect on the past ten years of HR innovation from flexible working arrangements, to ping pong tables and beer at work, to great emphasis and pride in individual achievements - all of which grew from Google’s mantra that ‘you can be serious without a suit’. As Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library has argued, extra benefits are an important part of a job offer and contribute to your enjoyment in a role. When looking for a job, it’s important to have an idea of what you want from it, and perks and benefits are one of the key things that can attract a potential employee to your company - particularly when it comes to Millennials who now make up over 50% of the UK workforce! What are the most popular work perks? There are so many perks and incentives that can be introduced to make your workplace more productive, as well as somewhere people want to go. For example, simple things like giving employees the opportunity to refresh their mind, offering longer lunch breaks to allow for exercise during the day or providing ‘chill-out’ areas in the office can go a long way. Not only do these initiatives improve health and wellbeing, but they also allow employees flexibility in their routine. As well as this, the majority of UK workers said flexible working was important, and more and more companies are beginning to offer flexible working arrangements to their employees, whether this be flexitime, working from home, half-days or job sharing. Countries like Germany and Sweden have even experimented with shorter, 6-hour working days and have reported a reduction in sick days and an increase in productivity. Aside from working patterns and initiatives like bonus schemes, there are lots of creative work perks you can offer. In fact, in the recent Great Perk Search, ping pong tables ranked highest out of all office perks, scoring 95 out of 100 - and is probably one of the cheapest and easiest perks you can introduce! Another popular and easy work perk to introduce is free tea and coffee in the office, with 40% of people voting this as a top perk in a recent survey by Reed. Staff discounts, the odd free lunch in the office and birthdays off are all things which are rated popular among UK employees, and things that could really contribute towards your office environment. People work harder in jobs they care about, and the right office environment can make or break this. Making work more enjoyable for your employees doesn’t always mean changing what they are doing, just how they are doing it. Here at Pro, we have an office environment that reflects what our employees want from their workplace, as well as ‘Pro-Perks’. From team nights out and drinks every Friday, to flexible working arrangements and birthdays off, to free tea, coffee and fresh fruit in the office, and even “Pawternity Leave”, we offer everyone who works at Pro a long list of perks and benefits that motivate people and make work a dynamic, fun place to be. By getting our environment right, we have succeeded in creating a workplace where people are encouraged to thrive and develop, and everyone is a valued member of the Pro family. If you would like to join the Pro family or find out more about what perks and benefits we can offer you, contact Loren on 02072696358 or loren@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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Why You Should Be Looking For Your Next Role In Recruitment

Posted by Loren Von Sternberg

As a recruiter, we seek out the best talent for our clients and to do this, we are trained to headhunt and go after the passive market. Research conducted by LinkedIn Talent Solutions has shown that 70% of the global workforce is made up of passive talent who aren’t job searching, with only 30% actively job seeking. Most good recruiters try to connect with a target candidate, whether they are actively searching or not, to get to know them and their career aspirations and build a relationship for the future - even if this is just meeting for a coffee. However, when the tables are turned recruiters are so often reluctant to take their own advice and meet for a conversation or coffee regarding their own career. It is interesting how, whilst recruiters are finding their candidate’s roles and matching them with the right company based on their requirements, so many recruiters are not happy themselves in their own role for an array of reasons and feel ‘stuck in a rut’. I have tackled some of the most common trends and gripes that our recruitment experts here at Pro so often hear from other recruiters. Is it the job or the company? I hear people say they want to move out of recruitment, perhaps into something a little different, yet many of these people are excellent recruiters with high billings. So, why would they want to leave? A large part of this comes down to the particular agency and environment they are working in. As agencies grow and bring in new hires, the company culture and values evolve, and it may no longer be the right fit for you like it was at the beginning of your career. There are so many different types of businesses, leadership styles and working arrangements out there in the current market, that it may not be that you have fallen out of love with the job itself, but instead that another agency may be better-suited to you - one where you can be successful and still love the work you do. Would internal recruitment suit you more? One of the common themes I often hear is that recruiters want to move into an internal recruitment role. A lot of the time, this is to move away from sales and Key Performance Indicators. However, once they make this move many realise that sales remain just as big a part of their role. You are still headhunting, still set KPIs and still selling a company - which in reality, can potentially be tougher as you will be responsible for reducing agency spend and reducing the cost per hire. If your aim is to move away from sales, a role with no selling, negotiating or influencing would be a better choice than internal recruitment. If you still get a buzz from bringing on a new client, or the satisfaction from finally having a coffee with the ever-elusive candidate you have been trying to meet for months, then you definitely still love recruitment! The dreaded KPIs… Every agency works differently, and even teams within that agency work differently from one another. I recently spoke to a recruiter who was targeted to how many Business Development calls he made in a day. It didn’t matter if he BD’d a new client, got a meeting and secured roles if he didn’t hit the daily KPI of 20 he would be reprimanded in front of the rest of the team. How pointless and demoralising is that? There is a fine line when it comes to measuring Key Performance Indicators for a recruitment company. Some agencies have no KPIs at all, but then how can you tell if what you are doing is successful? However, not everyone needs or requires the same KPIs - we all work differently and have different strengths, so when it comes to measuring your performance there is no one-size-fits-all approach. If you feel that your way of working and your company’s policy is a mismatch - find an agency that works like you and lets you be successful your way! Its all about the money money money… Is it? It can be, yes, but it is also about knowing your worth as a recruiter and an employee. You may be being underpaid - or overpaid for that matter - and not even realise it! Until you start finding out about other companies’ salaries, commission and bonus schemes, coupled with a work-life balance so you can spend some of that hard earned money, how do you benchmark yourself? I recently spoke to someone who told me their bonus was excellent and they were very well looked after at their current company - but they were only making 8% of their billings and when they compared to other agencies, they realised they really were being shortchanged. If you feel underpaid, undervalued or want to know how your commission compares to others, then get out there and have those conversations. Get a clear idea of what other commission structures look like, do the maths and compare it to yours, but make sure you have a clear understanding of exactly how you can earn - if this isn’t explained to you with clarity, do you really know what you are going to earn in your next quarter? Progression opportunities In recruitment, we have heard it all, the good the bad and the ugly. The changing of the goal posts for promotion; the promotions of people to management with no training to back it up; the frustrations of unachievable targets to progress. LinkedIn research found that the #1 reason people change jobs is career progression, so when looking for your next role, make sure you know where you want your career to go and find out what you need to do to get there. Nobody wants to work their hardest to be held back when they should be flying. If you feel you are being held back in your current role, perhaps it’s time to have a serious look at your career and what you want out of it. Company culture We hear it time and time again - ‘I’m looking for the right culture’ - and the right culture is different for every individual. So, forget about the culture cliché and think about what really is important to you. What kind of people do you want to work with, what office environment would suit your personality and style, and what kind of team you would like to work within? Once you know this, it can help you narrow down the wide array of recruitment opportunities that are out there and find the right one for you where you can thrive. ​ These are probably all conversations you have daily with candidates but never think about with regards to yourself and your own career. Well now’s the time - is it the right time for you to start looking for a new role? To chat about your future career in recruitment, and to find out what we can offer you here at Pro-Recruitment Group, contact our Head of Internal Recruitment Loren on 020 7269 6358 or email loren@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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Will Brexit affect the graduate job market?

Posted by Loren Von Sternberg

As a graduate, the prospect of job hunting after university is often a daunting task, made even more so when you find yourself asking the question, “Is Brexit going to affect me finding a job after I leave university?” - Read our Jobseeking Tips for Graduates in 2019 You are by no means alone in this concern, with the future of the UK labour market at the heart of what Brexit means to so many people. Whatever your political persuasions, whether you voted leave or remain, or whether you’re just tired of hearing the word “Brexit”, you should probably be thinking about how Britain’s jobs and careers are going to be affected as a result of the UK’s current economic and political climate. Despite the political disruption Brexit has brought upon the UK since the government triggered Article 50 in March 2017, the UK graduate labour market is yet to experience any long-lasting or damaging impact. However, British employees expressed concern for the labour market as early as December 2016, just a couple of months after it was announced that the government intended to invoke Article 50. A Glassdoor survey conducted at this time revealed low employee confidence in the British government, with 24% of UK respondents expressing concern that Brexit would affect their companies and over a quarter of Londoners reporting that they would consider leaving the UK to work in another European country post-Brexit. Research carried out more recently in the early months of 2019 show similar results, particularly with regards to graduate employment. A survey conducted by The Independent found that more than three-quarters of this year’s university graduates believe Brexit will have a long-term negative impact on their careers, with 52% believing it will be more difficult to secure a graduate role. If we look back at graduate employment around the time of the 2008 financial crisis, we see a similar pattern in the thoughts and concerns of students. Around half of those who left university in 2008 say that the economic crisis had a negative impact on their career with stunted and delayed salary increases, and Milkround found that 36% of 2019 graduates are expecting a similar trajectory. Should Students Be Concerned? The annual report conducted by the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU), What do graduates do?, suggested in October 2017 that any setbacks Brexit may bring for the British economy would be less severe for graduates and any damage to the UK graduate labour market was likely to be temporary. Fast-forward a year to the most recent of these reports and this appears to be correct. The latest edition reveals a relatively healthy graduate labour market with 74.3% of graduate respondents in employment within six months of graduating - considering the current political and economic climate, that’s pretty good! Data on current recruitment activities also suggests that Brexit should not have an overwhelmingly negative impact on graduate employment this year. In fact, the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) found that almost three-quarters of employers are planning to continue hiring in a similar fashion this year regardless of Brexit, as well as anticipating an 18% increase in the number of planned graduate hires and a 47% increase in planned apprentice hires for 2019. So, perhaps the graduate job market isn’t as bad as you might think? However, it is still important to consider steps to make sure you are in the best position possible to succeed in your job search. The graduate labour market remains competitive, so here are some tips from industry experts at Pro to help you along the way! 5 Jobseeking Tips For Graduates in 2019 Make the most of the resources available to you There are countless resources dedicated to graduate employment at universities - make the most of them! Attend career fairs, get advice from your union’s student services and go along to networking events - you never know who you might meet or what advice you might get that will help make sure you are in the best possible position. Don't forget to register yourselves with recruitment agencies, there are many who focus on providing opportunities for graduates, as well as those looking to hire for themselves!​ Do your research Make sure to do your research and put time into getting to know your preferred industry inside-out! Learn what employers are looking for and identify skills gaps that you can fill - this way, when you complete online assessments or attend interviews, you are presenting yourself as a knowledgeable candidate. Expand your skill set Do what you can to make yourself more attractive to potential employers by showcasing your skills. ISE research found that employers are most concerned about finding specialist candidates for entry-level roles - something like completing online courses to gain practical skills for your preferred industry could set you apart from the crowd! Aside from this, understand the value of the transferable skills you gained at university, and learn how to showcase these in a way to demonstrate why you are the right candidate. Be flexible In the graduate job market, you need to be ready and willing to be adaptable - there is nothing wrong with perhaps adjusting your long-term sights to get a foot on the ladder. Start looking for entry-level roles before you finish university, but also consider temp work or summer internships. Getting some relevant work experience on your CV will prove valuable when you get round to interviewing for roles against other graduates. Build resilience The graduate job market is always competitive but with the added pressures Brexit will potentially bring, build resilience and remain focused on improving your personal and professional skills, including your CV and interview skills, to get a positive result at the next opportunity! If you are looking for a graduate opportunity, contact Loren on 02072696358 or loren@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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Why Become a Trainee Recruitment Consultant?

Posted by Loren Von Sternberg

Having been in the recruitment industry for many years, across a variety of sectors and agencies, now my role is to recruit recruiters. One of my favourite questions to ask is ‘how did you get into recruitment’ as most experienced recruiters ‘fell into’ recruitment and ended up loving it. Most recruiters, as children, didn't say, ‘when I grow up I want to be a recruiter’ but they were looking for a career where they could utilise their people and sales skills whilst having the ability to earn a lot of money and have a career that progression is actually linked to high performance, whilst making an impact to businesses and candidates lives. Times Are Changing I am speaking to grads regularly who have heavily researched the industry and are looking to start a career in recruitment after they graduate, and we are even seeing a influx of people who have had careers elsewhere (Lawyers, Tax Analysts, even bin men!!) and decided they wanted a change after understanding the consultative nature of recruitment and are looking to develop their skill sets making use of their previous work experience - rather than just ‘falling into’ recruitment. As an industry, recruitment generally has quite a high turnover, as when you research a career in recruitment you see the glamour of taking clients and candidate out for lunches and drinks, and going to events and networking, the rewards like high-end restaurants and all inclusive holidays, amazing commission structures, which is all part of the attraction to the role. Yes, we do get all of these things, but the reality is there is a lot more to the role and to get these wonderful perks. You have to work hard, be persistent and then you will reap the rewards. Your First 18-24 Months in Recruitment This will be the biggest challenge. You will be spending a lot of time calling clients and candidates alike (probably leaving more voicemails then you ever thought possible) on the phones, building your reputation, client base and candidate pools and working long hours. There will be a lot of rejection and some lows, but the highs and the pure excitement when you are placing your candidates into their dream roles at your fave client will massively outweigh these, and when you get your commission you realise, yes it was worth staying late or meeting candidates before and after work as you will be remunerated very generously. But overall, Your life in recruitment will be a rollercoaster. The Industry Recruitment has a higher turnover than most - mainly because people are not prepared for or realise all of the above until they start. Some of the huge household name recruitment agencies hire large numbers of entry-level Recruitment Consultants with the plan they will lose 3 out of 4 hires! That’s a retention rate of 25%! We regularly hire Associate Consultants, which is our entry-level Recruitment Consultant position, alongside experienced recruiters as part of our growth plan at Pro-Group. One of the things I am particularly proud of is that out of our Associate Consultants we hired in 2018 we have retained 70%, which is well above industry standards. In fact, after hiring Associate Consultants for Pro-Group for the last three years in 2018 60% of our top ten performers joined us as Associate Consultants. In fact, one person who joined us in March 2016 has been promoted three times and finished last year as a Managing Consultant with a small team under him. The Biggest Question... Something you are probably asking is how. How do we manage to retain and develop our staff so well? Firstly, we have a rigourous but fun assessment afternoon, where you will be exposed to all the task you would do as a recruiter. This really help to give candidates a clear idea of the role and what is expected of them and what they should be doing on a daily basis. Secondly, training. We are big on training and use resources and industry leaders both internally and externally with both classroom-based and on the job training. Your first six weeks will be intense and jam-packed with training, across every single part of the recruitment process no stone will go unturned! Thirdly, you will be supported by Directors, Managers and the wider business to help you in any way possible and with a clear plan of what is required of you as well as what you need to achieve to be promoted. When you see so many successful and motivated colleagues around you getting promoted this cannot help but spur you on. Lastly and probably most importantly, the culture at Pro-Group. Genuinely, one of the nicest places I have ever worked - take a look at what others have to say here>>. 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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