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I am one of the founders and Managing Director of the Pro-Recruitment Group which was formed in 2007. As well as running the business I also still recruit at Partner level and team moves for a small number of clients.
I have an extensive network in the tax market both in practice and in-house having recruited for this specialism for over 20 years.
I worked with the legal firm Fladgate Fielder before joining KPMG in their tax department. After several years of practising tax, I decided to join the world of recruitment where I joined a large national recruitment firm. It was then in 2007 that I founded the Pro-Recruitment Group.
Outside of work I am an avid traveller and being half-Thai I have a real passion for the Far East. I am also a keen snowboarder, hockey player at Barnes Hockey Club, Chelsea FC supporter and dad to a beautiful boxer dog called Tess. If I was not in recruitment I would own a BBQ smoke pit restaurant.
As the UK starts to ease lockdown we are speaking to many organisations about their return to work. How do you feel about your team coming back? Has lockdown given you time to reassess flexible working options? Do you have the right team in place? As well as keeping up-to-date with the latest Government guidance, here is our advice to employers looking to manage their team’s return to work: Communicating with your teams Phased return stages Workplace Risk Assessment Coming into and leaving the office New ways of using your workspace Managing holidays and employee wellbeing Communicating with your teams As an employer, it will be your duty to ensure that you discuss any plans for your employees to return to work as soon as possible. We suggest talking about: When they might return to the workplace How they will travel to and from work How health and safety is being reviewed and managed – you should share the latest risk assessment where possible, more advice on this will follow below Planned adjustments to the workplace, for example additional hand washing facilities, staggering start and finish times to avoid overcrowding or floor markings to help people keep 2 metres apart If there will be a phased return of the workforce, for example some staff returning before others Flexible/working from home arrangements and support Wherever possible, you should speak to your staff before making a decision or putting plans in writing. This can help you better understand their needs and concerns and supports an ethos of being included in organisational decisions. Phased return stages Where employees have been furloughed, you should consider to operate a phased return. It is necessary to reduce the numbers of people at the workplace to comply with social distancing, plus the workload is likely to slowly increase over time rather than immediately returning to pre-pandemic levels. WIth many worried about their employment status during and after this pandemic, it’s important to ensure that you communicate that the phased return is purely for employee welfare and safety and not necessarily a reason to doubt future employment. Across London and the rest of the UK, thousands of employees are being asked to return to work. But many employers are faced with a furloughed employee who refuses. If this situation arises, you will need to look for compromises. Be proactive in speaking to the employee to determine their specific issues and concerns and then work with them to look at alternative options. Can they work from home and, if an employee is unable to work from home, what specific health advice is available to you as their employer that could be shared with them. Could they be placed in an alternative role in the business in which they do feel safe? These factors will need to be taken into consideration during what is a concerning period for many. Workplace Risk Assessment Preparing the workplace is essential. Setting out clear standards and processes will reduce the worry for your teams and minimise health and safety risks for you and your employees. In every workplace, increasing the frequency of handwashing, and surface cleaning Government guidelines suggest that employers should make every reasonable effort to enable working from home as a first option. Where working from home is not possible, workplaces should make every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines set out by the government (keeping people 2m apart wherever possible). Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full, in relation to a particular activity, such as meetings and group activity, you should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between your staff. i.e: Ensuring the activity time is as short as possible Using markers/barriers to seperate people Side-to-side working rather than face-to-face Fixed teams/partnering to reduce the number of people each person comes into contact with. With limited people in the office/workplace per day. Introducing a one-way systems One-to-one assessments with every employee returning to the workplace must be conducted to establish the level of vulnerability to COVID19. The government has clearly stated that No one is obliged to work in an unsafe work environment. Coming into and leaving the office The government has highlighted that the steps that will usually be needed are: Staggering arrival and departure times at work to reduce crowding into and out of the workplace, taking account of the impact on those with protected characteristics. Providing additional parking or facilities such as bike racks to help people walk, run, or cycle to work where possible. Limiting passengers in corporate vehicles, for example, work minibuses. This could include leaving seats empty. Reducing congestion, for example, by having more entry points to the workplace. Providing more storage for workers for clothes and bags. Using markings and introducing one-way flow at entry and exit points. Providing handwashing facilities, or hand sanitiser where not possible, at entry and exit points and not using touch-based security devices such as keypads. Maintaining use of security access devices, such as keypads or passes, and adjusting processes at entry/exit points to reduce risk of transmission. For example, cleaning pass readers regularly and asking staff to hold their passes next to pass readers rather than touching them. See here for further government guidance on travelling to and from work. New ways of using your workspace Reduce movement and discourage non-essential trips within the office, for example, restricting access to some areas, encouraging use of telephones and cleaning them between use. Restrict access between different areas of a building. Ie. 2 people in the kitchen at any one time and Sharing the responsibility of wiping down surface areas upon leaving the space. Reducing job and location rotation. Introducing more one-way flow through buildings. Reducing maximum occupancy for lifts, providing hand sanitiser for the operation of lifts and encouraging use of stairs wherever possible. Managing use of high traffic areas including corridors, lifts turnstiles and walkways to maintain social distancing. Managing holidays and employee wellbeing As an employer, you know it's your duty to ensure that you support your team’s physical, mental and environmental wellbeing. Your approach to holiday is likely to depend on how much work there is in the pipeline. If, even after lockdown restrictions are lifted, workload is low, you may want to consider preventing employees from cancelling their previously approved holiday to ensure employees are available later in the holiday year when workload may increase. Quite fairly, you may have employees who are reluctant to take holiday whilst many travel restrictions are in place, as an employer you can also require them to take leave, subject to legal requirements under the Working Time Regulations/any procedure set out in a collective agreement or contract of employment. You should also be mindful of various issues including health and safety obligations in ensuring that employees have reasonable breaks for their mental and physical wellbeing. Share government health advice and helplines for wellbeing if they need further support that you feel you are not able give, To conclude, there are many factors to consider to ensure that you, your business and your employee are safe during this period of further transition back into the workplace. The CIPD suggests that it is important to ensure you can meet three key tests before bringing their people back to the workplace: Is it essential? Is it sufficiently safe? Is it mutually agreed? We are speaking to many clients who are phasing returns for their teams and will make it our duty of care as recruiters to share best practice. If you need any support with your plans, we are here to help. Contact your specialist recruiter for immediate support Here, email email@example.com or call 020 7269 6333
You are invited to Pro-Group's breakfast event and seminar in collaboration with the Bank of England on Thursday 21st May 2020, 08:00 to 10:30 in Central London (details upon formal invitation). Senior Economist and London Agent for the Bank of England, Rob Elder, will be presenting the Bank's latest updates and there will be a chance for Q&A. Timing could not be more appropriate and topics will include: Newly formed government COVID-19 Brexit Budget Announcements Economic figures Andrew Bailey, the new Bank of England Governor The seminar is a seated breakfast and the audience will be for CEOs, CFOs, Tax, Legal & Finance Partners and Heads of Tax. As with all Pro-Group hosted events, this is by invitation only and there is no charge. This will be our most popular and insightful event this year and we expect it to book out quickly. Please complete the form below to reserve your seat. Form ID:5398 For more information on this event, please contact Pat Keogh on 020 7269 6311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Soft skills? What are they and why do they matter? Business leaders are becoming more aware of the importance of emotional intelligence, the capacity to be aware of, control, and express emotions and the ability to handle interpersonal relationships with empathy. These are skills which cannot be quantified but have a huge handle on the success of an individual’s career. According to the World Economic Forum, by the year 2020, more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to those jobs today – while soft skills in the workplace will be in higher demand than the narrow technical ones. Here are 5 reasons why soft skills matter. 1. Soft skills are the new hard skills It might be your hard skills that get you the interview, but it’s the soft skills that bring you success in your career. Soft skills like awareness, curiosity and the ability to connect, refer to personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. They’re becoming the hard skills of today’s workforce - it’s not enough to be highly trained in technical skills without developing the understanding of how to work with others harmoniously. More and more organisations are including psychological testing as part of their recruitment process because of this. 2. The ‘super-powers’ that make us ‘super-humans’ We’re not describing the Marvel and DC characters on our cinema screens. We’re looking at real-life traits that enable us to foster trust, build relationships and make colleagues ‘human’, rather than cogs hired simply to be part of the organisational machine. Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center, has all concluded that 85% of job success comes from having well‐developed soft and people skills, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills). We want to know that the colleagues around us can add value to each other emotionally as well as technically. Given that we spend more time with our colleagues than our friends and families, having a team around you who can empathise with you is what makes work a great place to be. 3. They are sculpting the future of work The workplace has evolved. The need for a dynamic of interpersonal skills are becoming ever more important and can’t be ignored. It’s important to be aware of the vital role that soft skills play within your team and your own personal development. The acts of listening, presenting ideas, resolving conflict, and fostering an open and honest work environment all come down to knowing how to build and maintain relationships with people. It's those relationships that allow people to participate fully in team projects, show appreciation for others, and enlist support for their projects. 4. They make good leaders What do we all look for in a good leader? Yes - technically skilled, experienced mentors all help to develop a good functional manager to maintain a status quo in the workplace. But what sets a manager and a leader apart is balancing those technical hard skills with the soft skills that are essential for a business to thrive. Having a leader who can make quick decisions and problem solve is important, but the ability to empower their team, understand team morale, and listen and recognise certain emotions in their employees is what truly makes a good leader. Gary Vaynerchuk has mentioned that although most people think of him as a "mouth," he promises he's really "an ear disguised as a mouth." As Vaynerchuk advises: "To be a great leader, you have to be a great listener." This rings true for everyone, inside and outside of work. And in the workplace, there’s nothing more motivational than having a leader who wants to understand you as a person, your goals as well as your gripes, as opposed to a boss who simply manages their team. 5. Soft skills cultivate a productive workplace Soft skills can be difficult to objectively measure (unlike technical qualifications, which can be tested). However, when you look around your own office, it is usually fairly easy to find those employees lacking soft skills. They are the ones unwilling to accept any kind of change, the ones unable to effectively work and communicate with their colleagues. As employers, as much as we should be supporting our staff in developing technical skills, we should be encouraging our teams to adapt and focus on emotional intelligence - this comes innate to some, but can also be taught through good leadership. Understanding, communication, empathy and harmony in the workplace makes the perfect recipe for success. For you as an employee, you want to be happy in your workplace; for you as an employer, you will see increased productivity. To conclude; people, it seems, still have one commanding competitive advantage over technology - the ability to understand other people. To express empathy, communicate persuasively, and seek common ground in a manner that allows groups to agree on an action plan and, more importantly, to feel collectively invested in its success, has far more value to an organisation that the collective focus on technical and vocational skills. It’s the companies that nurture these kinds of abilities that will have a competitive advantage which sets them apart from the competition. Soft skills are those that cost the least to develop, but in practice have the highest value. For more information about the skills organisations are seeking in the workplace or if you’re looking for more recruitment advice, please contact Pat Keogh on 020 7269 6311 or email email@example.com.
This month is certainly an exciting one here for everyone at Pro-Recruitment Group. We’ve moved! Our wonderful team is expanding and we needed a bigger space to operate in. It’s been a huge operation to pull off and the process didn’t come without its fair share of challenges. We want to share this momentous occasion with you so sit back, grab a cuppa and we’ll tell you all about our big move. We decided at the beginning of 2018 that we needed more space. Then came the big decisions… What next? Where would we go? How would we decorate it? We wanted to minimise disruption for our amazing team here at Pro-Recruitment Group, so knew we wanted to remain within walking distance of our original office in Farringdon There are 3 reasons for finding a new home for The Pro-Recruitment Group: Space When we first moved into our last office, there were 20 of us and plenty of room. When we left, in December 2018, there were 65 and space was getting tight. We now have more of an open plan so we're all working closer together - and a fantastic new kitchen to get away from desks for lunch and to admire the view across St. Paul’s whilst making your brew!. Visibility In our last office, we were on the first floor of a building surrounded by jewelers! Although a fantastic part of town, wasn’t suited to our clients and candidates and while we really liked our neighbours, our new office in Blackfriars makes it easier for us to speak to you! Location What a difference a mile makes. By moving - we are now 3 mins walk from City Thameslink, 3 mins walk from St.Paul’s tube line and 4 mins walk from Blackfriars station. There are lots of reasons to be excited about the office. We wanted to ensure our team understood that the space belonged to them. It’s all the little touches that make the office feel like the Pro-Group home. Our meeting rooms are named after chess pieces - to help you with your strategic moves (get it?). The kitchen is fully equipped with a full breakfast bar, beer and wine fridges, and plenty of storage, everyone has lockers to store their personal belongings - all of this highlighted with the fact we have ceiling to floor windows and access to a balcony which runs right around the building and 360 views of Blackfriars and St Paul’s Cathedral. The office location is also a huge bonus, as people can now walk into town and access a range of shops in their lunch break. It has been an exciting twelve years for us and this is a proud moment for the Pro-Recruitment Group. We now work in an office that we can really call our own. Not only will the new office accommodate our expanding team, but it will also allow our family-feel culture to well and truly blossom. I would love for you to come and see it for yourself – you’re always welcome, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 020 7269 6311! Bring on the rest 2019 in our new home! Our new address is 69 Carter Lane, London, EC4V 5EQ
We’ve all thought about it… asking for an increase in salary. Salary negotiation is a key skill which will help you throughout your career. Whether you’re working in finance, tax, legal, HR or marketing and exploring salaries in your current role, this webinar will give you some essential advice to plan and execute a strategy to help you get you the pay rise you deserve. This webinar will explore: How to successfully negotiate a pay rise in your current role and for a new job or role The 3 key things you need to do to prepare BEFORE you go in and ask for a pay rise How men and women approach pay rises differently and what you can learn from each gender How to calculate what you are really worth to your firm What to do if your firm doesn’t agree with your pay rise How to answer the question from a recruiter “what’s your current package?” To speak to Pat about your recruiting needs or jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696311 or email@example.com
We’ve all thought about it… asking for an increase in salary. Salary negotiation is a key skill which will help you throughout your career. Whether you’re a Solicitor or Accountant, a Tax Manager looking to get to Tax Partner, or just a Generalist HR professional exploring salaries in your current role, this webinar will give you some essential advice to plan and execute a strategy to help you get you the pay rise you deserve. This webinar will explore: How to successfully negotiate a pay rise in your current role and for a new job or role The 3 key things you need to do to prepare BEFORE you go in and ask for a pay rise How men and women approach pay rises differently and what you can learn from each gender How to calculate what you are really worth to your firm What to do if your firm doesn’t agree with your pay rise How to answer the question from a recruiter “what’s your current package?” When should you tune in? Thursday 22nd November 2018 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm GMT Join Heather Townsend and Pat Keogh and take away tips on how to best negotiate your salary and pay rise! Heather Townsend is the co-author of ‘‘How to make partner and still have a life’. She is the global expert in what it takes to make partner in a professional practice. In the last year, she and her team of coaches have helped several people make partner and worked with clients from all the major continents of the world. Pat Keogh is one of the founders and Managing Director of the Pro-Recruitment Group which was formed in 2007. As well as running the day-to-day business, Pat also recruits at Partner level across several sectors. He has an extensive network of Tax, Legal, Finance and HR professionals in both practice and in-house having recruited across several sectors for over 20 years. Can’t attend live? You should still register! We’ll be sending out slides and a recording of the webinar to all registrants.
Recruiters get a bad rap, unfairly so in my humble opinion. I’ve worked with, been headhunted by and got to know some amazing recruitment consultants. So to defend their honour I’ve decided to dispell the 10 most common misconceptions that are thrown around about the industry and the people that work in it. 1. That we all lie We don’t. Well, not the good ones at least. It doesn’t benefit the candidate, the client or ourselves. Reputation and relationships are a huge part of the recruitment industry and you don’t get very far building up a negative reputation. 2. That we are all sharks This is one we get all too often. There are a few that give the whole industry a bad name. These guys message any potential candidate as soon as they get a hot job. They don’t really give much thought into who they’re messaging and usually employ a generic “I’ve found the perfect role for you” and quickly disappear without a trace when you do get in contact and your experience doesn’t match what they’re looking for. Onto their next target. This is an extremely ineffective way of headhunting and a waste of our time so we don’t do it. 3. That we work for our clients and not our candidates Ok so technically we are paid by our clients but that doesn’t mean we don’t have our candidates best interests at heart. Ensuring that candidates have a positive experience and secure the job that is right for them is one of our top priorities. Making sure that we are transparent throughout the entire process is key to keeping candidates and clients happy. 4. That we are worse than estate agents and are only after a quick deal Nobody’s worse than estate agents, nobody! Just kidding…. Again, we’re not after a quick deal. We’re keen to build lasting relationships with clients and candidates. A huge part of the industry is built on referral and reputation and it’d be impossible to build either of these if we just rushed deals through. 5. That recruiters dodge your calls if you aren't on interview for them Why would we go out of our way to dodge a call that if a candidate is not an interview for a specific job? Recruiters can be incredibly busy, juggling clients, candidates and leads take up a lot of time. Drop your consultant an email and let them know you’d like to speak with them and they should get back to you. If they’re still ignoring you one of the consultants here at Pro will happily speak with you! 6. That we are second-hand car salesmen, we’ll sell you the dream and ruin your life We’re specifically contacting candidates because we think that they’d be a great fit for a role that we’re working. Recruiters present all the information, including benefits and incentives, that the client has given them. When a candidate is asked for an interview it is a great opportunity to ask the right questions and gauge for themselves whether or not they think they’d be a good fit for the role and the company. 7. That we take a % of the basic salary that the candidate is offered FAKE NEWS. It is 100% free at every stage for the candidate. We agree all our fees with the client prior to the actual hiring process and it is the client who pays the fees NOT the candidate. 8. That we are just 'sales people’ This is incorrect as we act as consultants who advise both candidates and clients on the current market to ensure we find the best people for the role and that candidates are aware of their worth in the market. In addition, we guide and coach candidates through the recruitment process to ensure they are successful through the process to hopefully receive an offer. 9. That all we care about is money Well, recruitment is a business like any other but to say that we solely care about money is a bit unfair. We act as an ARM for our clients to ensure we reflect their brand and their values in the best way possible to attract suitable candidates. Overall, we provide a valuable service to both our clients and candidates that goes beyond simply just caring about money. 10. That we are all KPI driven Every job has targets and KPIs, Traffic Wardens to Teachers to Doctors. Working towards a target isn’t necessarily a bad thing, we’re not going to throw a candidate under a bus just because we have to make a target, this isn’t Wall Street. We want to and need to be successful, meaning we’ll work hard to succeed by placing candidates with clients. Which can only benefit the people that we’re working with.
It’s just a few hours to go before five brave Pro-Group members of staff embark on the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home's ‘Stray Over’ where we have raised over £2,500 for the privilege to stay overnight at BDACH. I say a privilege because it is, and we are very proud to partner and sponsor such a great cause. Prior to owning my 7-year-old boxer dog (Miss Tess), I would visit the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home once a month just to get a chance to donate money and in return see some wonderful dogs and cats that just want to be loved. BDACH do a wonderful job of caring for and re-homing so many cats and dogs and this is a charity so close to my heart. So close to my heart in fact that as a company we have implemented ‘pawternity’ which means if any member of staff adopts a cat or dog, they are entitled to 7 days pawternity to spend with their new furry friend whilst they get used to their new home. We have our sleeping bags ready, flasks filled and we are ready for the night, bring it on BDACH. A shout-out must go to all of those who gave generously and helped us reach our target. A special mention must also go to: QNS LinkedIn Volcanic eTax Jobs Totally Legal Seaforth Land Mark Bailey - Who was so kind as to shave my head for me Pat Keogh Managing Director Pro-Recruitment Group.