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Loren Von Sternberg

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Loren Von Sternberg

Head of Talent Acquisition

I am originally from London, and then I moved to Manchester to go to University. I had a couple of Field Sales jobs before I found the wonderful world of recruitment. I previously recruited professional services and also internally. After a number of years in recruiting in Manchester I moved back to London and joined Pro Group.

I am the Internal Recruitment Manager at Pro Group, and I help to achieve the Pro vision – "build a team of over 100 passionate people, creating an inspired, successful and friendly environment."

Outside of work I am enjoying rediscovering London after so many years ‘up north!’ I am a keen swimmer and will be completing a charity swim later on in the year.

The best holiday I have been on was when I went to Cuba. It is an amazing country with incredible people, and of course the most beautiful beaches. To make it even better it was where my boyfriend proposed to me!

loren's latest roles

  • Recruitment Consultant

    Up to £40000 per annum + Amazing benefits package!!!

    Recruitment Consultant London 40% Commission and over 26 benefits! Are you looking to take control of your own career? Would you like to work at a company that has flexible working hours, has an office bar, ...

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  • Executive Search Consultant

    Up to £50000 per annum + Amazing benefits package!!!

    Executive Search Consultant Professional Services London Up to £50,000 + OTE over £100,000 Are you an experienced recruiter looking to take your next step into a niche and rewarding sector? Would you like to...

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  • Recruitment Consultant (Tax)

    Up to £40000 per annum + Amazing benefits package!!!

    Tax Recruitment Consultant Pro-Recruitment Group is looking for an additional Tax Recruitment Consultant to join their highly successful Tax team. We have the largest Tax Recruitment Team and Brand in the UK...

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  • Tax Recruitment Consultant

    Up to £45000 per annum + Amazing benefits package!!!

    Tax Recruitment Consultant Role: Leveraging off the company's excellent reputation within the Tax market space, you will be working for one of London's leading tax recruitment agencies. With embedded relatio...

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  • Manager - Legal Recruitment

    £45000 - £60000 per annum (OTE £110,000) + much more!

    Manager - Legal Recruitment Up to £60,000 + 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 takes to ...

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  • Recruitment Consultant

    Up to £40000 per annum + Amazing benefits package!!!

    Recruitment Consultant Here at Pro-Recruitment Group we are serious about empowering our Recruitment Consultants to be successful and happy as well as supporting their career progression and development. We ...

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  • Recruitment Consultant (Charities Div...

    Up to £45000 per annum + Amazing benefits package!!!

    Recruitment Consultant Our Charities and NFP team are seeking talent to join our rapidly expanding team. Our team bond is really strong which summarised by our team motto - "work hard, laugh hard" And we do ...

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  • Recruitment Consultant (Legal)

    Up to £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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  • Legal Recruitment Consultant

    Up to £45000 per annum + Amazing benefits package!!!

    Are you a legal recruiter looking for a new opportunity in a support and friendly environment that offers a market-leading benefits package? We at Pro-Legal are recruiting into our Private Practice team and ...

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  • Recruitment Consultant (Accountancy P...

    + Amazing benefits package!

    Recruitment Consultant - Accountancy Practice We are super busy here at Pro-Recruitment Group and are looking for experienced recruiters that want to develop and progress within the Accountancy Practice mark...

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  • Tax Recruitment Consultant

    Up to £40000 per annum + + Amazing benefits package!

    Tax Recruitment Consultant Pro-Tax is widely regarded as the market leader in the recruitment of tax professionals in the accountancy market, so we are able to offer recruitment consultants warm, established...

    Read more...
  • Recruitment Consultant

    Up to £40000 per annum + Amazing benefits package!!!

    Recruitment Consultant London Up to £40,000 + up to 40% Commission on your billings and over 20 perks and incentives Are you an experienced recruiter looking for their next step? Have you been trying to work...

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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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Click to EditWe are always searching for new talent. Take a look at the opportunities

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loren's articles

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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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Millennials in the Workforce

Posted by Loren Von Sternberg

The world of work has changed over the last few decades, previously job stability or a ‘job for life’ were the main drivers for working. Now with Millennials and Gen Z making up over 50% of the workforce, and set to rise to 75% by 2025, employers need to offer something a little different to keep them engaged! Here are ways to hire and retain the top talent out there. Do you develop new skills and learning opportunities to grow? According to Glassdoor, if employees do not feel challenged in a given role for a 10 month period there is a higher chance they will leave their company for the next job. By offering a chance to develop, both personally and professionally, you will be able to retain the best staff and they will become your future leaders. Here at Pro, your progression and training are mapped out from day one, and on average it takes 8.5 months for someone joining in an entry-level position to achieve their first promotion Do you have a flexible workforce? There is a common misconception that the 18-34 age range is not a hard-working generation. In a study conducted by Manpower 73% of this age group work more than 40 hours per week (nearly 1/4 working over 50 hours per week), making them the hardest working generation. With such a busy schedule and technology these days, a lot of jobs can be done from the moon if you have a laptop and a mobile. We completed an employee engagement survey at Pro and one of the top motivators was our flexible working hours, the ability to work from home and the flexibility to manage your own diary and the ability to maximise your workday such as going to the gym on your lunch break and not being clock watched. What benefits do you offer? We have all heard of the offices with PlayStations in the break out areas and table tennis tables to ‘let off steam’ but whilst these novelty perks may get people through the door, with the working schedules expected they are usually redundant. Offering tangible perks and benefits that actually make a difference. A recent report by Thinktank showed that one in three of Britain’s millennial generations will never own their own home. At Pro, we offer a mortgage fund which is a savings account where we match up to 50% of your savings. Does your company have a Corporate Social Responsibility? In a survey conducted by Fortune 2/3 18-34 year olds a more likely to want to work for a firm that gives to charity. Here at Pro our current Corporate Charity is BCADH and we regularly hold events to give back to those less fortunate – here are a few of our team cooking lunch for 150 homeless people at Bloomsbury Baptist Church. Stopping the negative connotations of millennials As a ‘millennial’ myself, when I hear people talking about the ‘millennial generation’ my instant reaction is to roll my eyes be disengaged. This word seems to be tarred with the impression that we are lazy, entitled, idealistic, job hoppers and not serious about a career. As evidenced in the above points, we want to grow and develop and considering the retirement age increasing, making sure we are happy in our jobs and are making a difference. At Pro, the 60% of us fall into the millennial category, with some of our most senior and successful leaders in this bracket. We are big believers in diversity and 48% of our staff are women, which is unusual for the markets and sectors we cover. If you want to find out more about a company that is changing the perceptions and connotations of millennials and empowering you to fill your potential then get in touch with me now on 0207 269 6358 or loren@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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The Pro-Group Christmas Quiz 2018

Posted by Loren Von Sternberg

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 Loren about joining the Pro family or your recruiting needs, contact her on 02072696358 or loren@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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Mental Health and the Workplace: 4 Things Employers Should be Doing

Posted by Loren Von Sternberg

As we all know, 'Mental Health in the Workplace' has been a hot topic over the last few years and it is good to see that a vast number of organisations are taking it far more seriously these days, with CIPD research showing a steady increase in the number of employers raising awareness of mental health across the workforce. Here at Pro-Recruitment Group, we are increasingly being asked by candidates about employer’s wellbeing policies when considering a job offer and, on some occasions, before they have even stepped through the door at interview stage. The findings of the latest annual 'Health and Wellbeing at Work' survey by the CIPD, based on replies from over 1,000 UK organisations in reference to 3.2 million employees, reflected employers' growing recognition of their critical role in improving the health of the working-age population. However, research conducted by the CIPD in partnership with Simplyhealth has shown that one in six organisations are still not doing anything to improve employee wellbeing. Stress-related absence from work has increased over the last year in nearly two-fifths of organisations and this year, an increased proportion of employees have blamed management style for this. This research also found that less than a third of senior leaders encourage a focus on mental wellbeing through their actions and behaviour - some candidates are even stating that a lack of wellbeing recognition is a key reason for leaving their current organisation. But just how damaging can a lack of acknowledgement around mental health be, not only on the individual but also when it comes to retaining and hiring employees? What can employers do? Employers can do a lot to encourage a culture of openness and to look after their employees' wellbeing - in this day and age, it’s vital that a workplace is a safe place for people to discuss mental health. Here are 4 things that organisations can do to look after employee health and wellbeing in the workplace. 1. Encouraging people to talk can be key. Although there has been a significant amount of progress recently on mental health and wellbeing, some people are still not comfortable with discussing the topic openly and may fear being stigmatised. We all want to appear strong and capable in the workplace, so this is not particularly surprising, and it can also be difficult to admit to yourself that your mental wellbeing is suffering - or indeed recognise some of the symptoms. At Pro, we have introduced wellbeing questions and objectives into our employee review and appraisal system, and wellbeing has also become a topic that we discuss alongside performance-based reviews. ​ 2. Return to work interviews are incredibly important in discovering mental health issues and ensuring an organisation is offering support to anyone affected. It is vital that these are conducted with all employees after a period of absenteeism and not just when there is a potential issue, and should be enforced as company policy for all to support people's return to the workplace. The average level of employee absence this year is the lowest ever recorded in the last nineteen years which demonstrates the improvements made in recent years to support employees. However, while minor illness remains the most common cause of work absence, mental ill health is increasingly prevalent as a cause of both short- and long-term absence. 3. Providing training and strengthening the capability of line managers in the workplace with regards to mental health is also pivotal in promoting employee wellbeing. CIPD findings showed that health and wellbeing activity has more positive outcomes where line managers are bought in to the importance of wellbeing. Managers don't need to be health experts, but it is important to recognise warning signs of ill health and recognise the value of wellbeing at work. Training and equipping employees to act as Mental Health ambassadors, or the introduction of a 'buddy system' in the workplace are also things that encourage a culture of openness around the topic of mental health. 4. Introducing wellbeing initiatives, and continuously evaluating and improving these initiatives is an important responsibility of organisations when looking out for the wellbeing of employees. Having a standalone mental health policy for employees, or initiatives like offering counselling and mental health support, employee assistance programmes, flexible working arrangements and encouraging activities that promote a healthy work-life balance are all things that will help to ensure employees feel supported at work. Here at Pro, we recently spoke to a charity who had introduced 'mental health duvet days'. The organisation allowed their employees three designated duvet days a year which were not taken from their overall holiday allowance, where they could look after their personal wellbeing. Another organisation followed a similar path, offering five 'duvet mornings' a year. This may sound generous, but organisations who have introduced initiatives such as this have found that sickness and absenteeism reduced quite significantly as a result. People are an organisation's greatest asset, and so looking after people at work in these ways should not be considered a benefit, but a necessary support for businesses and their employees. As Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE, President of the CIPD has stated, building compassionate workplaces goes hand in hand with acknowledging the complexity of people's lives in today's modern workplace and having respect for people as individuals. Here, there is a strong association with better health and wellbeing because a compassionate culture is one which encourages trust and openness, and where people feel confident to discuss any issues and receive the support they need. Some of these may seem like small steps to make, but they are steps that could have a huge impact on the wellbeing and mental health of employees at work. As well as this, integrating compassion as part of your organisation's wellbeing strategy may end up being a huge selling point to potential candidates, as well as an effective tool for increasing staff retention and wellbeing. For more information on this article or to speak to Loren about HR initiatives or your recruiting needs, contact her on 02072696358 or loren@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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7 tips to getting noticed on LinkedIn

Posted by Loren Von Sternberg

Looking for a new role? Not sure where to start the job search? Frustrated with your current role but not sure what to do next to make use of your skills? If any of these questions hit home then maybe its time to broaden your horizons and start having serious conversations about your career. One of the best ways to find out about new roles and finding out about opportunities that match your current and future needs is to speak to a specialist headhunter/recruiter. They are able to give you information and advice on the market as they are speaking to people like you every day. They will have good relationships with their clients who may even be able to create a bespoke role for you and introduce you to companies and roles you may not have even thought of. So how do you get noticed by the right headhunter? 1. Make sure you have an up to date LinkedIn profile. Put some time in to show the real you and stand out from the crowd. The more information you have in the profile, the more targeted roles and information you will receive. Make sure you fill in every section – one of the areas that people commonly leave out is education. If you have studied hard for an industry recognised qualification make sure you have included this – it may be the difference in you getting the job and the salary you are offered! If you regularly update your experience and skill set as your role develops, or you work on a new project, it will mean you can catch the eye of the right person at the right time. 2. Make sure you have an appropriate photo. Yes, you may have looked great in that suit as an Usher at your mate's wedding, but if you are holding a glass of champers then this is not the professional look you want to convey to future employers. Make sure you look neat, tidy and professional and remember a smile goes a long way! 3. Use your headline. Make sure you keep it short and sweet and personalised. By using this instead of the standard job title and including some keywords that appeal to your audience and your sector you will attract more profile views and so you appear higher in searches. 4. Include any professional achievements. You can include this in your Summary section. If you have been the top performer or have won industry awards, then this is your opportunity to show off your hard work. Any web links, videos or media can also be included in your summary to back this up. Alternatively, why don’t you include some innovative ideas you have implemented in your current company/role. When the reader sees your profile, this will highlight how great you are, and people will want to come to you to talk about new and more challenging roles – maybe even a career path you haven’t thought of (or knew existed) before! 5. Get yourself recommended! This is an opportunity for colleagues, managers, clients, and peers to talk about how great you are. What better way to impress a future employer than by having people you have worked with take the time to write a paragraph about how fantastic you are in your job. Start reaching out today – it may even prompt you to mention tasks, projects or personal traits you had forgotten about, or took for granted (as well as boosting your professional ego!) 6. Keep yourself relevant in your specialist market. Share and post interesting articles, blogs and any industry relevant content (not guess how many jelly beans are in the jar) to your network. This will increase your profile visibility and ensure you are seen as a leader in your field. 7. Finally, update your privacy settings to open to opportunities. This is hidden from your current employer and means you can be approached by specialist headhunters with relevant, targeted and specific roles – potentially even before the role has gone out to market! Go on, try out these tips today – you never know it may be the first step towards your dream job….

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