Work hard and earn more. That’s the basic rule of recruitment. The more candidates you place the more money you will make! Here at Pro, you will start earning from day 1 on every placement you make. Our experienced consultants can also earn up to 40% commission on their billings, which is the most lucrative in the market!
When you run a recruitment desk you run it like your own business to ensure you are making money. At Pro-Group each consultant is responsible for building and developing their client relationships. The better the client relationships the more business!
If you have a competitive nature, then recruitment is for you! There are many recruiters out there and you have to be the best to succeed! Here at Pro, we are specialists in our markets, offering a bespoke recruitment consulting service to professional services across Tax, Legal & Finance. We have PSLs with some of the biggest clients in the UK and Internationally – and we’re still growing! This means we are beating our competition every day to keep our clients on board.
4. Changing people's lives
Recruitment is one of the careers where you can change people’s lives for the better! As a recruiter, you get to facilitate offering your candidates their dream job and to search and provide the ideal talent for your client. Pro-Group provides a service that ensures that both candidate and client get an experience that they remember with a solution that works well for everyone.
In recruitment, no day is ever the same. You are dealing with all types of people, offering them jobs and earning money to do this!
Want to know more about recruitment at Pro?
Loren von Sternberg
Loren is an experienced recruitment consultant who currently manages all Pro-Group's internal vacancies.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 269 6358
Congratulations on securing your interview. The next step is to thoroughly prepare yourself for the forthcoming interview, which is often where most candidates fall down. It’s certainly no secret that the Pro-Recruitment Group successfully gets over 80% of candidates through to second interview and over 60% of these are then offered the job. If your Pro-Recruitment Consultant has not booked you in for a full interview briefing, call them to arrange this. Here are the secrets…
Location & appearance
Research the company & interviewer
Know your CV
Know the vacancy you are interviewing for
Interview questions & competency
The interviewer will often look for key skills and characteristics via certain questions. To answer these types of questions there is a technique that we recommend, use the acronym ‘STAR’.
S – Situation
Always be very specific in describing the situation, use names of people, use client types and describe the situation as if you were telling a story
T – Target
This is where you describe what your target outcome or objective was in any situation.
A – Action
Talk about what you did to solve the problem and reach the objective. Also cover the problems encountered whilst trying to solve the problem, what actions you took to overcome these problems and how they impacted on your objectives. A common mistake is when people describe “what we did” and “how we resolved the issue” when it should be “what I did”. The interviewer wants to hear about YOU not your team.
R – Result
What was the outcome, and what did you learn from this going forward.
Your chance to ask questions and get the interviewer onside
- ‘Why did you join the firm and what was the attraction?’
- ‘What is your background and how did you find the transition to this firm?’
- ‘Where do you see this team/department going in the next few years?’
- ‘I see you wrote an article on X – did you get much feedback on that?’
- 'Who was the last person recruited into the team at my level and how are they getting on?’
- ‘How does the firm/team compare against its rivals in the market?’
- ‘What is the atmosphere and work environment like’
Closing the meeting
As you can see preparation is paramount and this goes for whether you are a graduate to a Head of Department – Preparation, Preparation, Preparation.
Handing in your notice
The above is a comprehensive protocol to navigate you through the interview process to getting the offer and handing in your notice. As experts in this field, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone to us and we can further talk you through any aspect you are not sure of.
Alison Keogh - Associate Director
020 7269 6312
Conor Dilworth - Director
020 7269 6339
Andrew Clark - Associate Director
020 7269 6351
Switchboard: 020 7269 6333
The single most important thing when you are looking to get a new job is your CV. Regardless of how strongly you may be recommended, if your CV doesn't hit the right buttons, it is very unlikely you will be invited to an interview.
Most CVs are poor. Very few are excellent. This is why, however good you think your CV is, it is worth doing everything you can to improve it still further and make sure your CV is as good as it possibly can be.
What makes the perfect CV?
The answer is that it varies according to the position you are hoping to secure, the market at that point in time and the individual who is likely to be reading it.
For this reason, whilst there are a lot of rules which do apply to most CVs, we don’t see CV writing as a tick box exercise. We believe that an individual’s personal qualities and ambitions in addition to their expertise and experience need to be reflected in a really good CV.
We also know that different employers want different types of CVs, so the same CV may not be appropriate for all potential employers for the same individual, looking for the same position, in the same market at the same point in time.
At Pro-Recruitment, we ask our clients what they want to see in a CV in order to help you get an interview, so we know when changes need to be made.
How do you get the perfect CV?
The simple answer is to let us help. All we need from you is the core content and we will do the rest. At the very least this new CV will enable you to make comparisons with your current CV, which you can choose to accept or not, as you see fit.
We are not the only recruitment consultancy to offer such a service, but the key is not what consultancies do, but how well they do it. Our clients tell us that our CVs are way ahead of our competitors. We pay detailed attention to the layout, the style, the content and the order of that content to ensure that the information jumps off the screen / page and that it makes a lasting and positive impression.
All we require from you is the core content, which should include:
Many candidates prefer to come and meet with us to discuss their CVs as we can sit and discuss their employments and draw from them much more relevant detail from them. Having met with one of our consultants, you will immediately see the difference in the quality of your CV and the number of interviews that you will be called to.
Once you have prepared this core content, simply email us at email@example.com and we will respond with our professional recommendation.
Social Media Recruitment
The statistics are that Linked-In has over 200 million members and that they have a new member every two seconds. They certainly claim they are the future of the recruitment market. True, they are an exceptional ‘live’ database and many members will update their Linked-In profile far quicker than their CV. We have even heard that one recruitment agency has stopped using their own in- house candidate database in favour of Linked-In. This, I sense, is quite extreme especially if you consider that Linked-In may have a limited shelf life. We are now in a market place where pretty much everyone can be found online, including Linked-In, Facebook and Twitter, no matter what generation you are from. If you want to get recruited, you need to get social!
Less Published Adverts
There has definitely been a decrease in hard copy advertising; this is due to social media recruitment, better networks and online advertising, so jobs are not always published in magazines. Companies are also pushing their own internal recruitment teams to hire directly and furthermore they are offering mouth watering referral fees to employees who can refer ex-work colleagues or friends. Lastly, in an austere economy one of the first casualties of cost cutting is advertising. When the market recovers fully, we will certainly see more magazine adverts appear.
Where are all the jobs?
This is a common cry from candidates who are searching for a new role. As specialist tax, legal and finance recruiters we have our ear firmly to the ground when it comes to the volume of vacancies in the market place. What many candidates do not realise is that the volume of jobs is still out there; in fact the trend is that there is 12% more jobs now than this time last year, they are just not in the usual places. By that I mean historically you could contact two or three market leaders in tax, legal and finance recruitment and get all of the live roles in the market place. Now the landscape has changed. Yes, you will still speak to the market’s recruitment specialists but you also need to be ‘social media’ aware. This comes in the form of being on Linked-In, having a Facebook account and following tweets.
Employers Recruiting Directly
There is no secret that employers are attempting to directly recruit tax, legal and finance professionals. It’s probably never been easier for them with access to job boards, Linked-In and Facebook. Again, the economy dictates that some HR and Recruitment functions now have more capacity to focus recruiting directly, especially if they only have a low number of live vacancies. The recruitment agencies just have to work closer with their clients and not see this as an affront on their business. It is therefore essential as a candidate that you work in partnership with one of the industry’s preferred tax, legal or finance recruitment agencies. Clients are cutting down on the number of recruitment agencies they use, so it’s paramount that you opt for an established brand.
Market more fragmented than ever
The major specialist recruitment agents in the UK market have on average between 25 – 40 employees but their market share has dipped slightly with the advent of these ‘one man band’ outfits. The truth of the matter is that candidates should never put their eggs in one basket and registering with two agencies is better practice, especially if you are looking for a role in Commerce & Industry. Recruitment agents that tell you otherwise are fearful of their competitors. But it’s not simply how many recruitment agencies you register with, but which ones. You need to select your agency carefully and consider their brand image, are they recognised as a market leader, do they have a sufficient coverage for the market you want to work on? Do they have good testimonials, this is always proof they are respected by their clients and candidates alike.
The future of Tax, Legal and Finance Recruitment
There will always be a significant place for the ‘old fashioned recruiter’ who has strong client relationships and networks – social media recruitment is not a client’s ‘silver bullet’ to replace them. Recruiters just need to change to a shifting market, embrace social media and realise the fact that clients will try and recruit directly. What does this mean for candidates? Well, firstly your first port of call would be to still speak to your recruitment agent(s) but also to be available online, even if you are not actively looking. Statistics show that over 30% of new hires were simply headhunted or were approached and decided to move. As the economy picks up we will see more recruitment via the traditional methods such as agency or hard copy advertising, but for now candidates need to think of all the various channels that they may be recruited by, and ensure they are visible and social.
Pro-Recruitment Group is one of the UK’s leading tax, legal and finance recruitment agents and are preferred suppliers to the Big 4, Top 100 accountancy practices, Magic Circle, Silver Circle, the FTSE 100 & 250, and leading Investment and Retail Banks.
For further market commentary or to discuss your next move or hire, please get in touch:
Pro- Legal - Conor Dilworth | 020 7269 6339 | Conor.firstname.lastname@example.org
Pro-Finance - Andrew Clark | 020 7269 6351 | Andrew.email@example.com
The hard work is over and now you can concentrate on where you want your career to go and how to get there. Having qualified you don’t necessarily have to move but you would be wise to at least have a ‘career health check’ and ensure you are on track to get where you want to be in the medium and long term.
Ask yourself these questions first:
Pro-Recruitment Group offer far more than just helping you finding your next challenge; we offer full career guidance and we are happy to assist you with all of these questions.
Have a read through our guide, we hope you find it enlightening and should you have any questions then please contact Pro-Recruitment to discuss your current circumstances.
It’s not always inevitable that you have to move in order to achieve your goals so you are always well advised to speak with your Manager or appointed mentor at you current employer. You are at a natural crossroads of your career and your employer would rather you speak to them now, then when you come to hand in your notice and leave them.
Want a copy of the Newly Qualified Guide?
1. Profile Pictures
Employers respond better to a profile that has a visual representation of you. Ensure that you have a profile image that is professional and a background photo that is representative of your personality and/or the sector that you are part of, or looking to be part of.
2. Personalise Your URL
Your public profile URL is completely customisable, and having a URL that is simple and clean makes you look more professional.
3. Tailor Your Headline
A LinkedIn search will start with the text that you have put in your headline. To ensure that the right people find you, tailor your headline to include certain keywords they will be searching for.
For example, instead of having “Tax Associate” in your headline, “Private Client Tax Associate” will help a potential contact find you much easier.
You can also use this tip to add key words in other sections of your profile, such as your summary or experience, to further ensure you will appear when people are searching for you
4. Promoting Your Profile
A LinkedIn Badge is a great way to drive traffic to your profile, and there are a variety of different designs to choose from.
Whether you have it on your personal website, or in your e-mail signature, it is sure to get more people looking at your profile.
The skills section of your profile is not only a place to tell your potential contacts what you can do, but also a place where people can endorse you for those skills.
Adding the correct skills will allow your existing contacts to endorse you if they so wish, and the more people that endorse you, the higher that skill will rank on your “Top Skills” list.
While there is no way to guarantee your connections will endorse you, it is so easy that most contacts will do it when the option presents itself.
6. Showcase Your Work
LinkedIn has the capacity to host images, videos, documents, presentations and links, and you can add them to the Summary, Education and Experience sections of your profile.
Showcasing what you can do will make your profile more attractive to your potential contact, and will also allow employers to see what you can do even before they get in touch with you.
7. Blog & Website Links
Instead of just copying and pasting the URL to your blog or website, you can easily optimise these links to say anything that you want. Customised text is more attractive and may win a click from your potential contact over a simple URL.
As recruiters, we spend a lot of time interviewing candidates, and we have seen the good, the bad and the ugly! If you ask any recruitment consultant, they will have some hilarious horror stories from interviews, but we will always remember the outstanding candidates who have impressed and gone on to have very successful careers; the candidates who have worked hard to make sure they are a head and shoulders above other candidates.
Here are a few tips that will help you to beat your competition and nab the career of your dreams….
Location and Appearance
It sounds obvious, but make sure you know where you are going and what time you need to be there! Prepare your route and consider how long it takes to get there so you can make allowances for traffic and inevitable public transport delays!
Make sure you are dressed appropriately!
Men – dark suit and plain shirt and tie. No brown shoes with blue suits or that novelty tie/cufflink set that you haven’t had the chance to wear yet.
Ladies – Dress smartly but conservatively; wear a dark suit with a plain shirt or smart dress. Make sure your heels are not too high (you don’t want to trip up on your way into the interview room) and remember it’s a job interview, not a fashion competition!
Do Your Research
Make sure you research the company thoroughly before you get there. If the company has been in the news recently you will get a great picture of further information that may not be on the web site.
Check out your interviewer on LinkedIn, see if they have written articles and ask questions when you get there. This will earn you serious points.
Also ensure you have a list of questions prepared for the end of the interview.
First Impressions Count
Arrive 5 minutes before the interview. If you are too early or late you will not look respectful of time.
Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake – practice on a friend if you need to as there is nothing worse than having a limp wet lettuce or a ‘crack your meta carpels’ handshake.
Make eye contact and smile. This shows you come across as confident and calm.
Prepare for Competency Questions
The interviewer will be looking for key skills in your previous role that can demonstrate your ability to perform in the role you are interviewing for. Always give tangible examples using the STAR method
S = Situation. Be specific in describing what you were responsible for.
T = Target. Describe what your overall outcome/objective was.
A = Action. How you went about achieving the outcome/objective (Cover any issues you may have had to overcome to get there).
R = Result. What was your outcome, did you achieve it, and what did you learn for the future?
Close the Interview
Ask the interviewer the next stage of the process and if they have any reservations about your ability to do the job. This is your opportunity to address any concerns the interviewer may have, or clarify any areas you may not have covered throughout the interview.
Be positive, upbeat and thank the interviewer for their time and a firm handshake on the way out.
Loren von Sternberg
Loren is an experienced recruitment consultant who currently manages all Pro-Group's internal vacancies.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 269 6358
Many firms require their future partners to attend a partnership panel interview as part of the partnership admissions process. With good reason many partnership candidates dread this part of the process.
In this article, Heather Townsend, author of ‘Poised for partnership’ and co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’, explains why many great candidates fail at the partnership panel interview.
1. Your business case is not strong enough
Many talented professionals make the mistake of treating admission to the partnership as ‘just another promotion’. It isn’t.
It is where your partners value you, and what you can bring to the partnership, highly enough to give you a small slice
of the business. This means that you need to be able to demonstrate how you and your practice will quickly increase the overall profits of the firm. After all, no partnership will want to admit a new partner knowing that this will mean a smaller profit share.
2. You’ve not got compelling answers to the ‘why me?’ and ‘why now?'
Going for partnership is a competitive business. Typically a firm will decide on how many partners they can afford to make up to partner in any one year. As a result if there are more strong candidates than partner vacancies, not everyone will get through. This is why it is vitally important to help your partners understand in your partnership panel interview, why YOU should be made up to partner, and why NOW. For example:
3. You don’t demonstrate you think and act like a partner yet
I’ve sat there in partnership panel interviews and seen a good candidate manage to destroy their case for partner by some of the answers they give to questions. The interviewers will be looking for signs that you think and act like a partner. For example, are you putting the firm first before your own interests? Very often these signs will be intangibles, such as being more concerned about hitting your own targets than helping your team develop and hit their targets.
Gone are the days where most partners grew up in the practice they joined as a trainee. Many firms are now actively recruiting at a senior level in order to get the right talent to join their firm at partner level. Typically most new lateral hires at partner level are given 2 years grace to start meaningfully to deliver to the profit of the firm. Therefore, what do you need to do to successfully establish yourself as a new partner in a new firm?
In this article, Heather Townsend, co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’, shares her tips on how you can quickly hit the ground running and establish yourself in a new partnership.
1. Do your due diligence on whether you truly belong in the new firm’s culture
How you ‘belong’ rather than fit in the new firm’s culture is very important. How things were done in your old firm may rapidly backfire on you in the new firm. You may find that decision-making, risk, adherence to internal processes and procedures, team working, cross-department collaboration or even how the hierarchy works, very different in the new firm. Therefore, you need to understand before you join whether this feels like a comfortable berth, which you can grow, and blossom within, or whether you will be a ‘fish out of water’. There is so much at stake here for your reputation and future career, you can’t afford to join a firm where you have to work hard everyday just to fit in.
2. Don’t oversell your client following
Most senior lateral hires come with an expectation that there will be a client following that comes with the fee earner. In fact many business cases are based upon the likelihood of which clients will follow the fee earner. However, unless you negotiate otherwise, you will find that your old firm will throw resources to aim to keep your client portfolio within the firm. This means it pays to be very cautious about exactly who will or wouldn’t follow you. Overselling your client following could jeopardise your future in your new firm.
3. Prioritise building your internal network and knowing exactly who are the influencers within the partnership
An easy source of new business can be from internal referrals or your partners crossing selling you to their clients. Building the internal network is not just about maximising your work winning opportunities, it’s also about establishing yourself in the partnership so you can play your full part in practice development. You need to know who are the movers and shakers within the partnership, who are the key influencers, and who will throw their toys out of the pram if you don’t consult them. Fail to do this and it can become very hard to get things done.
4. Know what is expected of you
At a simple level you probably know what is expected of you – grow your practice profitably for the firm. But do you really know at a detailed level what is expected of you? Therefore, before you join aim to truly understand exactly what you need to achieve within 3, 6 and 12 months of joining the firm. What you may be informally or formally measured upon may not be written down anywhere, or even discussed at interview. Your due diligence process before signing on the dotted line needs to identify the real detail of exactly what the firm expects you to do. Oh, and don’t be surprised if the goal posts move between you accepting the partnership offer and starting in the firm.
5. Deliver on your business case
You will almost definitely have been hired with a specific business case. It’s very simple, if you want to successfully remain a partner within the firm, you need to deliver on this business case.
6. Smooth any ruffled feathers of junior or senior staff
Very often you joining a firm has resulted in a more junior member of staff feeling like their career progression has now been stopped. This can generate ill feeling, which can potentially destablise your team or department before you have even joined. If you do find yourself in this situation, you need to work hard to rebuild the relationship and identify ways in which you can actively help them progress their career. You may find that the ruffled feathers may not always be amongst the junior staff. It could be that you coming in means that other partners will find that it becomes harder for them to grow their own portfolio or achieve their career aims. Your great performance could highlight where other partners are not achieving as well as they need too. Don’t always assume that everyone will welcome you joining the firm…
7. Be careful with your restrictive covenants
Whilst more and more firms are taking the pragmatic view that they can’t stop a client following a departing fee earner, firms will from time to time aim to enforce a restrictive covenant. Make sure that you are not promising something to your new firm which you can’t legally agree to. In the same vein be very careful to exactly identify what you are signing up to in your new firm. Ideally you want to be able to take any clients or relationships that you have introduced to the firm with you if the new role doesn’t work out.
Heather Townsend helps professionals become the Go-To Expert. She is the award-winning author of 4 books, which include: ‘Poised for partnership’ and ‘How to make partner and still have a life’
More articles are available on Heather Townsend’s website howtomakepartner.com
While other agencies offer a salary guide that covers all sectors within tax, legal or finance, Pro would like to offer you a bespoke salary guide, sent to you by one of our dedicated consultants and tailored just for you and your needs.
Please register below for your customised salary guide, including market commentary and career advice tailored to you.
As the festive season is fast approaching and we are wrapping up for the next year, it is important to stay focussed on how to excel in your career. In her insightful article below, Internal Recruitment Manager Loren Desmond offers 12 top tips on becoming and remaining a successful recruiter.
Answer/Return the call
The most successful recruiters will always get back to people whether it is good news/ bad news and offer full feedback, or even just a quick update call.
Don’t be that ever-elusive recruiter who doesn’t get back to their candidates or clients! If you went for a job and no one got back to you, even if you were not successful, would you be happy with this?
Make the most of your day
Recruiting is like juggling plates. You will have business development calls, candidate calls, interviews, meetings, adverts, applications and emails amongst a barrage of incoming calls.
Plan your day to make sure you hit your targets and deadlines even when you have to deal with a random situation that takes up most of your afternoon unexpectedly!
Building your network of both existing and potential clients and candidates is key.
Keeping in regular contact with active job seekers and clients you have placed with will keep you fresh in their minds to come back to.
Attending industry events and lunches alongside social networking are all effective ways to increase your ways to generate the best candidates for your clients needs.
Build your personal brand
Make sure you are delivering the best service to both clients and candidates alike! When you are generating business from a referral, or placing candidates because you have been recommended, you know what you are doing is working!
If you are professional and do a fantastic job that candidate you placed last year will remember your excellent service and when they are recruiting for their own team, you will be the first person they think of to contact.
As a recruiter, you need to listen to both your clients and candidates alike to ensure that you fully understand every detail of what that individual wants. Just because you have recruited for a similar role for a competitor, both the role and what another client wants from a candidate will not necessarily be the same. The same goes for your candidates, understanding their wants, needs and goals will help you to match them to their perfect opportunity,
Drive and Determination
To be a successful recruiter you need the drive and determination to succeed. You will need to pick up the phone to make cold calls, call candidates, headhunt the passive market and be proactive in your approach.
Never stop learning
Making sure up are up to date with your knowledge and methods of working will help you stay ahead of your game.
As an industry, recruitment is always changing and developing. Trends in the markets change, and tools and techniques are ever evolving. It’s hard to imagine a time without LinkedIn as a recruitment tool; yet not that long ago it was unknown. The way clients are now recruiting is also changing to suit their needs, especially as we are now in such a buoyant market.
Every successful recruiter has managed to hone their questioning skills to ensure they are finding out more than their competitors and able to make the best matches. Ask the right questions and don’t be afraid to dig deeper to clarify the answers. Knowledge is power in recruitment.
Have a thick skin
There is a lot of rejection, and some days you may not get the results you want. The important thing is to be able to bounce back, keep positive and stay persistent. If you continue to be proactive you will be a huge success!
Think outside the box
The most successful recruiters show entrepreneurialism and innovation in the ways they can source and fill vacancies.
There is a lot of competition out there from thousands of other agencies. Make sure you are finding new and clever ways to work with clients and candidates alike and show you are different and why. Don’t be afraid to change the way you work because you are comfortable with your processes.
Work as a team
There is a wealth of knowledge and skills across your business. Work alongside successful recruiters and you will pick up tips and styles to help you improve. Even the most seasoned recruiter can learn from a junior member of the team, and sharing knowledge and best practices will widen your skill set to ensure you are a top performer.
Know your market
If you work in a specialised vertical sector then make sure you are up to date with industry news and market knowledge.
Here at Pro-Recruitment Group our teams specialise in Tax, Legal, Finance and Education recruitment. Each team prides themselves in being market specialists, who research and learn every day from a wide range of resources available to them. We hold events within these specialised areas to network with professionals and ensure our teams are up to date with their knowledge. We also source Consultants who have worked in these industries previously and so have hands on experience within their sector, including Solicitors, Partners of Law Firms, Tax Seniors and Accountants.
If you are interested in being a market specialist and developing your career with Pro-Recruitment Group do not hesitate to get in touch with me for further information. We are in a period of growth and are looking for talent like you! Call me for a confidential discussion 0207 269 6358 or email me email@example.com.
In February 2016, Nottingham born and bred Sam Mould got in contact with Pro-Group Internal Recruitment Manager Loren Von Sternberg to enquire about an opportunity. We conducted a Q&A with Sam to ask him why he decided to relocate, and what exactly about Pro-Group drew him in.
Why did you choose to relocate to London rather than another city nearby Nottingham?
I was very happy in Nottingham, but when it came to relocating London was the only place I considered. I knew from visiting, people I know and the fact that there is so much happening here, that London was the place to be and that relocating here would be a great opportunity for me both personally and professionally. On a personal level, it was a great opportunity to experience a life in a completely different environment. On a professional level, all businesses have their base here and people travel in from all over the UK, it seemed to make perfect sense to me that London was the place to move to.
How have you found the transition in moving to London?
Relocating always has it difficulties but you settle in very quickly here. Another advantage is the attraction of London means you are surrounded by a number of people who have relocated as well from all over the country and beyond, meaning you’re always going to have people on hand who understand what it’s like for you to relate to. Pro Recruitment were also a massive help with the transition, before moving, I was given advice during my interviews on places to live and what it’s like to work around here. There is a lot of work put in to ensure you settle in to the company well and to help make that transition as smooth as possible, which was a huge help for me personally when I first started.
Why did you decide to come to Pro Group?
Making the right choice in finding a job/company (with moving and everything else) was really important to me. After a lot of research and looking online I only ended up contacting Pro Group as it seemed the perfect fit. From the website alone, I could tell this was a firm that was very professional, has exciting growth plans and a real presence in the market place. On top of this it was clear that Pro Group had an excellent work culture that I felt confident I could settle into and job opportunities that offered excellent benefits, as well as clear and realistic progression plans which have not been offered to me anywhere else. From initially contacting the firm and right through the process of securing my role, these factors were maintained and reinforced. When offered the position, I knew I was accepting a great opportunity on so many levels.
Which opportunities & benefits can London & Pro offer you that you didn’t have in Nottingham?
The big appeal with London is the fact it is the business hub of both the UK and globally, and logically mass opportunity comes with that. Work in London is also generally much more lucrative, certainly in comparison to where I came from. Pro in particular stood out to me with a fantastic bonus, an array of frequent rewards and incentives, their benefits package is like nothing else I could find on the market. The package goes much deeper than just financial gain, with regular social events, incentive based afternoons out and all expenses paid trips abroad, it makes work a whole lot more rewarding beyond just what London has to offer.
What is the lifestyle (outside of work) in London like?
London has something to offer everyone and the choice of things to do outside of work is nothing like anywhere else. With easy access anywhere at any time with the public transport links, it’s easy to fill your weekends and evenings with things to do that you would not get the opportunity to do elsewhere. Because of the great community here, you’ll find a number of us regularly socialising outside of work hours and we can all have a great laugh together beyond the standard office hours.
What does London have to offer that other cities don’t?
London is one of the most unique places in the UK, and there is so much going on it’s very difficult to get bored or run out of things to do. There’s a buzz about the place that again you also don’t find anywhere else in the UK, and there are people from all walks of life all around you. It’s well worth experiencing.
Are you looking to relocate and explore the benefits of London? Take a look at the opportunities here at Pro Group.
Ashleigh Polakiewicz is originally from Perth, Western Australia. Having recently taken on a new role as Associate Consultant here at Pro-Tax, here's what she has to say about her journey with us so far...
Having been in London for just under a year I found myself in a job which offered little to no progression. Finding myself bored I decided to look elsewhere. I asked my friends and colleagues for some advice and found that recruitment was continuously being recommended. Eventually I thought “hey, why not?” I’m personable and people find me easy to talk to? And perhaps my twangy Australian accent would be a selling point!
But how would I fare?
From day one I was thrown into an intensive multifaceted training programme which was a flurry of dialing, slide presentations and regular feedback sessions on my progress from fellow consultants and our designated trainer. Having started alongside five Associate Consultants, most in the same boat as me all recruitment newbies, we quickly bonded and became extremely competitive. As intense as it was it was the perfect introduction to the world of recruitment, and much more supportive than some other recruitment agencies who seem to adapt a policy of sink or swim.
Three months in and I have found myself settled and a solid part of the tax practice team. Aside from the constant ridiculing of my Aussie pronunciation of regional towns (Nor-Witch), as this is my first role in recruitment, I must praise Pro on the supportive and family like atmosphere they have created. I would recommend it to anyone.
Apart from the lack of deadly animals, what’s the biggest difference between Oz and the UK?
Very cliché but the weather and how dark it gets in winter, It is extremely hard to get used to.
What other career paths did you consider before recruitment?
I considered a range of environmental opportunities trying to follow on from my BSc.
What other locations in the UK can you not pronounce?
Basically all the shires, Yeovil, Bury St Edmonds (that came out as Mary St Poppins somehow)
What’s your favourite thing about London?
How there is always something new and exciting to do no matter what time of the year it is
Are you looking to relocate and explore the benefits of London? Take a look at the opportunities here at Pro Group.
A recent report states that women now make up 29% of hires to UK boards last year. In light of Alison Keogh’s latest promotion to our board as Director, and in tune with International Women’s Day, we explore her journey with Pro-Recruitment and advice on how to make it to the top in recruitment.
Tell us about yourself and your journey with Pro-Recruitment:
I started with Pro-Tax back in 2008, I joined as a Consultant and less than 10 years later I am now a member of the board, I have worked my way through Consultant, Senior Consultant, Manager, Associate Director and now I have reached my ultimate goal.
What is your biggest achievement/accomplishment in your career so far?
Back in 2014, I was given the responsibility to head up part of our business that needed help, guidance, structure, motivation and above all a leader, I was tasked with turning this part of our business around. It was a huge task and something I was a little hesitant to take on board, however I was able to take the challenge and succeed, developing some fantastic Consultants and recruitment experts along the way.
If someone in your team were to describe you in three words, what would they be?
Motivational, structured and supportive
What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?
As a young female entering into the tax profession it was sometimes hard to get taken seriously, a lot of hard work, understanding of my market, successful placements and many networking evenings, weekends and lunches have shown people that I know my market, I take work and my job very seriously and this has boosted my credibility within the industry.
Based on your own experience, what advice would you give to women considering pursuing a senior role in recruitment?
Two things - take yourself seriously and invest in one firm. If you don't take your role seriously then your clients, candidates and colleagues won't either. Also, moving from one firm to another doesn't help your credibility. Clients appreciate longevity and they know that you are obviously good at your job if you stay at one firm for any length of time, it helps with consistency and you follow people throughout yours and their careers.
Why do you think diversity is so important in the workplace?
Within our workplace we have a 50:50 split of men and women, this has happened by us wanting a different mix of people in the business than by design. Each business or each board needs different opinions and different viewpoints, the more emotionally intelligent different people within a business the fairer the business will be.
If you're looking to take the next step in recruitment, or would like any further advice, you can contact Alison Keogh at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 020 7269 6312
Prior to getting into the recruitment world I previously worked with KPMG and Fladgate Fielder, and I was fortunate enough to have some excellent Managers who gave me some good insights into how some Partnerships look at salary reviews. This, combined with over 20 years in recruitment and constantly helping candidates get the best salary, has meant that over my time I have advised on most areas of salary negotiation. With this in mind, I have put together 5 top tips that you need to know when you are negotiating your pay rise.
1. Know your market
First, you must establish what sort of market you are in. By this I mean is it candidate driven or job-driven? At the time of writing this blog (March 2017), we are in a strong candidate market, which means there are far fewer tax and finance candidates than there are jobs. This gives you a stronger point from which to negotiate.
Secondly, consider your experience and qualifications. Any professional qualification will mean you should be in a certain salary banding. For example, at the time of writing this, a newly qualified ACA within a London accountancy practice can expect a salary of £45,000 - £55,000. The lower end of the range will be with smaller practices and the upper end with a Big 4/profitable boutique. If you are unsure of your salary banding, call me to discuss or request your bespoke check salary guide here.
2. Know your profitability
Very few candidates know how much they are making for their firm. You should be familiar with your charge out rate, your recovery rate, and from this, you can work out your profitability for the firm. For example, if your charge out rate is £100 and you work at a 95% recovery rate, your billings will look like this:
Some practices work on the principle of a third, which means a third of the billings will be salary, a third will be overheads and a third profit.
Have you done your maths?
What are you worth?
What is your worth to the company? We have looked at your market and profitability but what are you actually worth to the company? By this, I mean how valuable are you to them? You need to consider the type of work you deal with; Is it advisory, compliance or better still are you a business developer? Obviously, the more specialised your work is, the more value you should have in the business and the less they will want to lose you. Any employee who is a business developer, or who has developed strong client relationships, will be highly valued. On top of this; Do you help out with other areas of the practice? Can you cross-sell? Operationally are you involved in recruitment or a sector leader?
4. Make the right approach
This is the hardest part to master - the negotiation. I am never of fan of anyone who tries the hard line approach (which for me is ‘pay me this or I’m off!’). Most bosses are commercial people and know that their number one asset is their staff, so you don’t need to be heavy handed.
Often bosses are too busy running the business to stop and consider salaries, and a simple nudge from you will suffice. Know your worth (as above), and simply be calm and have an open discussion as to what you think your salary should be, the reasons you think this and what the company will get in return (which is a highly motivated employee, someone who is loyal and committed and will be an advocate for the business). A commercially savvy boss will not want to lose a valued member of staff, and having to replace you will likely cost a recruitment fee, disruption with clients and potentially an effect on morale.
So to recap, know your worth, know what you want to be paid, approach your boss in a calm, non-confrontational way and appeal to their commercial mind.
5. Fallback procedure
Hopefully the above will help you get the salary you deserve, but sometimes you need to have a fall-back plan to rely on. What if you do not get what you think you deserve?, What is your next step? I would never advocate having a job to go to and then trying to negotiate a salary rise as you have out the horse before the cart. Negotiate first, and then let the firm try and resolve your request. The next step after this is to consider the wider market and other opportunities. As a recruiter, this might sound counter-intuitive, but more often than not, you are better off negotiating and staying put (assuming you like the firm and have a decent career path!) as building your internal network, getting to know the business and them getting to know you will take time.
If you would like any salary advice or would like to chat to me about salary negotiations, please feel free to contact me on 020 7269 6311 or drop me an email at email@example.com
Looking for your next vacancy within Practice?
Author Pat Keogh
Bio Pat Keogh is Managing Director of Pro-Recruitment Group. Pro-Recruitment Group consists of Pro-Tax, Pro-Finance, Pro-Legal and Pro-Education.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 269 6311
Becca Ly is the Group Marketing Manager at Pro-Recruitment Group
With the recruitment market becoming more saturated, it can be hard to decide on which agency to speak to when you are ready to move from your current role. Of course, you should research the company and the organisations they work with, especially if there is a particular company you’d like to work in, but what makes a recruiter stand out?
Here are 4 things you should look for in a recruitment consultant…
One of the most important aspects of a good Recruitment Consultant is how professional they are. How can you expect to obtain a job at a Big Four, Top 10 or FTSE 100 business if the person that is representing you cannot hold themselves in a professional manner?
Regardless of your situation, your recruiter should be serious about both their job and yours, and should go the extra mile to show you as such. The way their adverts are written will help you identify a professional consultant. For a recruiter, adverts are their shop window. The care and attention a consultant puts into their adverts can tell you a lot about the way that they work.
Are they using the technical language that your industry understands? Have they included everything that is necessary for you to make an informed decision that this role is for you? Have they checked spelling and grammar to ensure their adverts are as clear and concise as possible?
Being accountable for work is a quality that exists within any good work ethic. Unfortunately, it is too often the case that a substandard recruiter will be less than accountable for your career. A good recruiter will take full responsibility (within reason) for you and your career. They will be open and honest with you about their process and opportunities suitable for you. A recruiter that stays accountable is a recruiter that is fully confident in their process and will be more likely to find the role to best suit you.
Recruitment is about matching the right job seeker with the right opportunity. A recruiter’s commitment to this will be key in fulfilling their role as the ‘match-maker’, as well as achieving the best for the job seeker and the organisation. While you will not be the only professional they are working with, they should make you feel that you are the most important. A committed recruiter should pre-empt your needs as a professional, and be determined to find a solution.
Your consultant will be part of a larger team of recruiters that will have similar opportunities. These opportunities should be just as available to you. All agencies should promote the ability to encourage and inspire other team members to perform better.
A recruiter who works well with their team will allow you access to the most suitable opportunities, regardless of who the main contact for the job is. Your consultant should understand exactly what you are looking for, and should share your requirements with their colleagues to ensure you get your perfect job.
Leaving your current job can be a daunting prospect. A good Recruitment Consultant will relieve you of your worries and help you through the process of finding a new job. Here at Pro, we pride ourselves in embodying the values above, with P.A.C.T at the centre of everything that we do.
Find your perfect tax, legal, finance or education opportunity...
Why do they do what they do?
Whether it’s an accountancy firm, a commerce or industry business, a law firm or a school, it is important to understand exactly why they do what they do. The passion behind the senior stakeholders in the business will directly affect how they work and how they work with you, as well as how the entire business operates. It is also important to join a business that has beliefs aligned to your own. If your work ethic is different to the company you join, you may find it difficult to adjust.
Culture and Office Environment
There is nothing worse than going through the entire interview process, meeting colleagues and feeling assured that this was the right place for you, to then find on your first day a culture you are just not happy with.
Always ask in your interviews what the culture is like. Do they have nights out with the team? Do they have regular sporting activities? How do the team deal with another member being sick? What are the company values?
These questions and the responses will allow you to evaluate the company’s culture. The discussion about the office values will also help clarify the position’s work-life balance, and will allow you to fully understand how the team support each other.
Would you want to go into a job thinking you will have a few small projects to start with, only to find out that there is a huge job that you will be working solely on for months? It is important to know what your workload will be before you join so that you can prepare yourself and efficiently manage your time.
Are you ready to take on the challenge of restructuring a tax team, or would you rather join a firm that is more established for you to develop in your own role?
You should research the current events before going for an interview. It is even more important that you know exactly what is going on within the team you are joining so that you can hit the ground running. Every industry has sources to keep you abreast of the news in both your sector and your company depending on which organisation you are looking to join.
The past & the future
How long has the company been around? What were the major events that lead the company to be the way that it is now? What are their successes and fails?
The way a company and senior stakeholder team learn from mistakes will tell you everything you need to know about how they will manage you and your team. A senior leadership team that takes the time to train and develop a team who have mistakes may suggest a better attitude towards their people, whereas a leadership team that let go a team that makes mistakes may allude to their priority for excellence only. As for the future, while all companies will be focused on growth, it is how they plan to grow that can tell you a lot about the business and how that business will run with you.
After taking the time to assess the above points, you should not only have a better understanding of the company but also a better idea of exactly what you want to get out of this new opportunity.
Looking for your next tax, legal, finance or education opportunity?
We know that moving firms can be a great way to progress your career. It’s also not without risk and many lateral moves, despite the best intentions, go wrong. We've partnered with Heather Townsend, co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’ to produce a series of webinars to help you with the transitions.
Register your place - July 4th 2017 Webinar:
In this article, Heather reveals the classic and often career-limiting mistakes people make they move firm.
Not enough due diligence on your new employer and why it hasn’t worked out at your current firm
Too many people move to a new firm based on hope; hope that the grass is greener in the new firm. If you don’t do your due diligence on your new firm, there is the potential that you could be swapping one version of work hell for another version of work hell. For example, what have you been hired to do for the firm? What does success look like in the new role? What are the hurdles you will need to overcome? Why have so many people left the department in the last few years?
One of the biggest reasons for lateral hires leaving within 18 months is that there is a mismatch of expectations between them and their new firm. This happened to me personally! I thought I was joining a firm to be working with two particular partners. Instead, I ended up working with someone else completely different. I left by mutual consent 3 months later! Throughout the hiring process your aim is to find out exactly what you will be doing and what success looks like at one month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months into the role.
It’s not enough to do your due diligence on your new firm, but you also need to do it on yourself. You need to get brutally honest with yourself and examine why you are looking to move. How much of your problems are due to your firm and how much due to you? It’s never solely the fault of the firm. For example, if you didn’t get the career progression you wanted, how much did you take responsibility to drive your own career? It takes ‘two to tango’ when it comes to problems at work. In your new role, what will you need to change to avoiding bringing all your work problems with you?
When I was at…
There is nothing more guaranteed to wind up your new work colleagues than hearing, ‘when I was at x firm we did it like this’. Whilst you may be suggesting a great and potentially much-needed improvement, this often falls on deaf ears. Before you start making suggestions about how to improve things take the time to properly listen and truly understand the new world you are in. You need to earn the right to suggest improvements to how things are done. Additionally, try to avoid ever saying ‘when I was at...’.
No transition plan
Very often people’s transition plans look something like this, resign then tell the key people that need to know I am leaving that I am leaving, have ‘leaving do’, start a new job. That’s not enough! Your transition plan needs to include the following:
How to secure my internal and external network before I resign, particularly if I am likely to be sent on gardening leave and restricted in who I can contact
How to build up my network in my new firm before I start. Especially those people who I will be working with closely.
How to bring with me stuff which I want refer back to in my new role. For example, your personal records of your key KPIs and work-related achievements?
What I want to achieve in my new role and by when?
Which of my clients do I need to alert to my impending firm change? How best to let these clients know?
The professional world is a small one. You never know who knows who and where colleagues may pop up again. I remember recently being asked about my views on a former team member who ten years ago made my working life hell. You can bet that I didn’t give a glowing recommendation! It is essential that you act professionally and avoid bad-mouthing your soon-to-be former firm as you exit. This means doing a complete handover of your current workload and leaving your affairs in good order before you exit the building.
Neglecting to build the internal firm network
It can be all too easy to get stuck into the work on your desk when you arrive at your new firm. Whilst it’s important to hit your chargeable time targets it’s essential to build a strong internal firm network as soon as possible. For example, who are the movers and shakers in the firm? Who holds the power? Who will support your career? Which partners need to be consulted or they will throw their toys out of the pram? As a new hire into a firm you have the luxury of a short honeymoon period, where you don’t have a full caseload and can meet and greet people in your firm. You will never have this luxury again in your new firm. Use it wisely!
Start as you mean to go on
Starting a new role gives you the opportunity to change how you work and when you work. In fact, the first 90 days in a role will set the pattern for how you work for this firm. After this point your working hours and style are pretty much fixed. However, most people take their bad habits with them from firm to firm without ever stopping to think about what they will do differently at their new firm. Therefore, before you start do a list of the things you want to change in your new role. What are you going to do to make this happen?
Changing firms can be a great way to progress your career as well as get more fulfilment from your role. To give yourself the best possible start in your new role make sure the role and firm is a good fit for you. And, prioritise establishing your new internal firm network.
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 her and her team of coaches have helped 7 people make partner and worked with clients from all the major continents of the world.
Wondered what your first 100 days joining a big firm as a senior manager, director or partner in a large firm would be like?
Heather Townsend, author, professional speaker and executive coach, will be sharing her insight into how to prepare for your new role in a big firm and what to expect in your first 100 days. She will be joined by John Moss, executive business coach with over 30 years of experience with working with consultants, accountants and lawyers in practice and Pro-Recruitment Group’s Tax Director, Alison Keogh, who will share expertise from a recruiting perspective.
Register your place - These webinars have now taken place.
To receive your recording, please leave your details HERE and our consultants will be in touch.
What will the webinar cover?
What you must do BEFORE you join and then in your first 100 days if you want to career to thrive in your new firm
How to establish yourself in a new firm and partnership when you know hardly anyone
How to quickly bring your previous clients with you even if you have restrictive covenants in place
How to deal with professional jealousy and nip any reputational issues in the bud which may come from people who you have blocked their route to partner
Absolute no-no’s you need to avoid if you want to quickly create strong relationships with your new colleagues
Complementary career planning session
Heather is offering 5 people a complementary career planning session. By the end of your telephone or skype based session with Heather, you will have a headline strategy and plan of action for how you are going to progress your career.
Tune in to the webinar for your chance to win.
We know that moving firms can be a great way to progress your career. It’s also not without risk and many lateral moves, despite the best intentions, go wrong. We've partnered with Heather Townsend to produce a series of webinars to help you with the transitions.
Changing firms can be a great way of accelerating your career progression. With so many lateral hires leaving before two years into the role, Heather Townsend, co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’, explores the six essential things you must do to set yourself up right in your next role.
1. Exit gracefully from your previous role
The world of professional services is small. Everyone seems to know everyone. Therefore, you can’t afford to let a bad impression develop when you leave your soon-to-be former firm. If you are not put immediately on gardening leave, then make sure you do a full and complete handover before you leave. Remain professional always and aim to leave your relationships at your old firm strong and healthy. You may never know when you will need your former colleagues help again!
2. Clarity expectations of what you have been hired to achieve
Most so-called poor or bad hires are because of a mismatch in expectations between the individual and the hiring manager. Therefore, take the time to dig and explore what you have been hired to do. This can change between offer time and the day you join, so make sure that you are have an on-going dialogue with your new line manager about what you are expected to do when you join.
3. Build up a strong internal firm network
Your future career prospects and effectiveness in your new role are highly dependent on how well you build a strong internal firm network. Remember that your new role technically starts on the day you accept the job offer. There is no need to wait until your first day in the role to meet your new work colleagues. In your conversations with your new line manager find out how will be your key stakeholders and aim to have met them or spoken to them before your first day in the role.
4. Identify what will be different for you in your new role
It can be very easy to take all the problems of our previous role with us to our new role Starting a new role gives you the opportunity to change how you work and when you work. You effectively get a clean slate when you start working for a new firm. In fact, the first 90 days in a role will set the pattern for how you work for this firm. After this point your working hours and style are pretty much fixed. However, most people take their bad habits with them from firm to firm without ever stopping to think about what they will do differently at their new firm. Therefore, before you start do a list of the things you want to change in your new role. What are you going to do to make this happen?
5. Find out how things work around here
Every firm has a unique culture. Part of what you need to do in your first few weeks in the role is get immersed in the culture and find out ‘how to get things done around here’. What do you need to do or behave like to achieve your objectives? There will often be an acceptable way and an unacceptable way. For example, is it more important to emphasise ‘we’ or ‘I’ in your achievements? Is working from home encouraged or frowned upon?
6. Rebuild your personal career plan
Starting a new role in a new firm is a good time to rethink your personal career plan. After all, you don’t want to take the mistakes of the past with you. What do you want to achieve in the next 3 years? What needs to happen to achieve this? Your career plan needs to answer these (and more) questions.
To set yourself up for success in your new firm have clarity on what your new firm expects from you, establish a strong internal firm network and understand ‘how to get things done’ in your new firm.
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 her and her team of coaches have helped 7 people make partner, and worked with clients from all the major continents of the world.