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Have you got the X – Factor? Who’s Got Talent? Blah Blah Blah

This is going to be a very short note because of time pressures.

The best people with great references are in demand and companies will pay over the odds to attract them.

Message ends.

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2013 Countdown

Companies are already preparing for a busy 2013, with site launches and work in progress going full steam ahead. The search for some excellent candidates is still the main focus, as talent shortages are pushing salaries through the roof. The word “bonus” is back and it means that provided goals are achieved, you should be looked after.

We are beginning to see the knock-on effect of 2008, when 10,000+ housebuilding personnel lost their jobs.

Certainly, 10,000 faces haven’t returned to the world of property or anywhere near the number of staff required to fill special roles. Every employer wants a candidate with a good track record, which means the person they are searching for is probably quite happy doing the same job for someone else. It’s just a matter of identifying them and asking someone like me to tap them on the shoulder and ask a few delving questions about career aspirations, hoping that they could be persuaded to jump ship for the right reasons.

So what if you are one of those “I could be persuaded?”

My advice would be to engage with a recruiter who actually understands your role, not just the job itself, but the culture and dynamics of the office and business as a whole. After all, it’s a people thing. Not everyone is going to get on with everyone else. They may put on a brave face in the interests of staying employed, but more often, personalities are the main reason for change at some point however painful.

Are companies recruiting? Yes.

I’ve had the busiest two years, since 2007.

It’s all about timing. It only takes for a change in directorship to upset the apple-cart and before you know it,  it’s time to move on.

Maybe your face doesn’t fit anymore. Maybe your new boss has other ideas about who they want in their team. Whatever the situation, now is the time to invest in yourself and explore opportunities.

Be careful though. Speak to recruiters you can trust with your life (no joke) as I’ve heard some pretty dreadful tales about lack of confidentiality, leading to problems.

Linked In is a favourite if mine. Here’s a tip; If you want to change jobs and to be discreet doing it, don’t link to recruiters. Instead, contact them directly. As soon as you link to a recruiter, everyone in their network and your own will see that you have linked. The reach is far and wide. Someone once told me that we are all only 6 steps away from anyone in the world. Judging by Linked-In, it seems more true than ever. My network reach of people reading messages is about 7 Million ! I certainly don’t have that many candidates, so it’s quite astonishing to comprehend.

Don’t be in a hurry to send over your CV either. Recruiters that are interested in you, not your CV, will offer to meet up.

Don’t allow the recruiter to “Go Fishing” with your CV

Don’t become another CV arriving in the inbox of a company who may or may not be recruiting right now.
There are severals reasons why this can be bad news. If your CV is sent speculatively by a recruiter who doesn’t know you or hasn’t met you, you may be dismissed by the recruiting company. It might be the case where a recruitment agency is appointed on a retained basis and the client will only deal with the ‘retained recruiter.’ If your CV has arrived by other means, you may blow your chances of an introduction, because the client will not wish to pay fees twice. The retained recruiter will find a candidate that isn’t going to complicate matters.

Your recruiter should only send your CV to a client whom you have discussed and given express permission to send your CV on your behalf.

Too often. CV’s land in the most dangerous places when dealing with amateur recruiters. The next conversation is in the company kitchen, because your CV has been noticed in the in-tray of a director and suddenly you are being discussed by staff who are eager to find out who is being considered, when in point of fact, it’s not their business.
Two sugars and some milk later, you are known to a couple of folk who have contacts in the company you work for and bob’s your uncle ! You’ve been found out searching for a new role without even discussing it ! The recruitment industry is full of amateurs, hoping to make a quick buck. Just be very careful who you trust your career with.

I’m worth a lot more than this?

I am often being called for salary benchmarking purposes, particularly as we approach the new year. Candidates are very keen to find out the going rate for their role. It’s not surprising, since pay rises have been very low or non existent, whilst the economy recovers. People are often made to feel that they are lucky to be in a job, rather than be asking for a pay rise.

That’s true enough, but there is a key difference between incremental salary rises and recruitment teasers. The new employer has to temp with more than just the career opportunity, so make it count when negotiating your next role. If you need advice, in confidence,  just call me.

Here’s looking forward to a very busy 2013.

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Bestheadhunter's Blog

What does the financial calendar in your business, mean to you?

Does it mean, extra pressure to meet those short term and vital goals? Does it mean having to work extra hours for no extra reward or simply time to focus and concentrate more than ever in areas of the business that you thought had nothing to do with you?

Whatever Year End means, for some, it will mean change and more than likely, unexpected change.

The grass is greener.. or is it?

What’s the saying? Better the devil you know…

One thing is for sure. Where there is change, there is uncertainty. An unsettling feeling, which if not embraced can be destructive and demotivating. Often companies fail to keep people informed of the KPI’s. The Key Performance Indicators, which are extremely useful in making sure that everyone buys into the goal or task in hand, whilst having an appreciation…

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Year End? or Dead End?

What does the financial calendar in your business, mean to you?

Does it mean, extra pressure to meet those short term and vital goals? Does it mean having to work extra hours for no extra reward or simply time to focus and concentrate more than ever in areas of the business that you thought had nothing to do with you?

Whatever Year End means, for some, it will mean change and more than likely, unexpected change.

The grass is greener.. or is it?

What’s the saying? Better the devil you know…

One thing is for sure. Where there is change, there is uncertainty. An unsettling feeling, which if not embraced can be destructive and demotivating. Often companies fail to keep people informed of the KPI’s. The Key Performance Indicators, which are extremely useful in making sure that everyone buys into the goal or task in hand, whilst having an appreciation of what can happen when things go slightly off course.

Someone once told me to make every decision in your business day, as if you own the company. Whilst in most cases this could lead to some extreme and thoughtless action, for the most part, it’s actually a pretty useful way to reflect upon something before acting. Would you make the same decision, if you owned the company? What impact does your decision have on others? How will your proposed actions affect your business now, or in the future? Who is affected? What other ways could you arrive at the same end?

The thing about managing people and the expectations of others, is to have empathy. Truly see the other person’s viewpoint from your own position. See the situation, through their eyes, not yours.

When facing tough times, maybe financial or immediate goals and deadlines,  just consider your own actions and how they affect others.

Just this week, I’ve talked two people into staying in their jobs despite their desire to leave and change for something new. Is the grass greener they ask? Will I have to put up with the kind of crap that I’m dealing with now?

It’s not a perfect world, but teams that think alike and have the dynamics of a growing fast paced and progressive business, can work in harmony. The secret of course, is good management. Recognising that it’s not all terrible and that success and work are only in that order in the dictionary.

Headhunting is not just about sending a few CV’s.

If it’s done properly, everyone wins.

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Tax your granny and a pasty !

Why is VAT levied on the renovation of old buildings, but not on the sale of new houses?

By adding 20% on the cost of refurbishing or maintaining to improve existing buildings is crazy.

The Government needs to bring the tax system in line with their policies and the tax anomaly that is completely ridiculous for our heritage and the environment. How many more obstacles will be put in the way of small to medium enterprises who refurbish and sell renovated old homes?

The whole system of zero VAT is fine for volume Housebuilding groups, but if you want to improve the carbon efficiency of an older dwelling you are gonna get stuffed for 20% VAT on the materials and labour to do the job.

Better insulation for an old school house means HMRC are better insulated by 20% !
Isn’t it time that they felt a chill or two? Back to school Osborne !

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Cracking start to 2012

I have my ears very close to the ground and with a portfolio of clients ranging from a few units a year to a couple of thousand, I’m quite well placed to not only ask some delving questions, but get truthful answers from respected and trusted clients.

So, what’s happening in the market right now? 

It’s busy. In fact, it’s busier now than it has been for quite a while. Sales are up, just about everywhere and housebuilding groups have a desire and hunger to produce more new homes, despite the planning frustrations that exist and have yet to be ironed out. There have been some very encouraging numbers from plc groups, as they report an upturn in volumes and in revenue, leading to better margins.

Some offices are growing and some are at “the bend of the knee”. Teams are stretched with this upturn and I see new opportunities being created to support departments facing overload.

The secret in any business is knowing just when to add those extra bodies before your current workforce get so fed up, they disappear elsewhere.

Are you paying enough? Are you being paid enough? The last few appointments I have been pleased to secure have been surprising. It’s not all about money, but it all helps as they say. There have been some eye opening basic and bonuses being suggested and this because although there are still relatively few jobs around, the clients are demanding a prescriptive set of skills and this means that few will be considered unless their face-fit‘s.

Team dynamics are all important. I’m not going to get into a whole load of recruitment speak, but put simply; If you have the same work ethic and vision as your team, it tends to work well. Things only fall apart because of people’s expectations and management style or underperformance.

Do you have to be a robot to succeed in some organisations? Yes. Some companies don’t want innovation, vision, thought, they want action and action now, their way, not yours. I take for granted that people understand the differing cultures of each housebuilding client, but of course they don’t. So it’s always refreshing for me to assess whether someone is likely to fit in to a team or an organisation.

When things are going well, the little details can be overlooked and not questioned. When things are tough and you are up against it, every little details is under the spotlight. Just make sure that you have everything covered, because if you don’t, you will be under the spotlight and it can be very revealing.

Companies have learnt some lessons from the 2008 horror and one lesson is to the have the right people doing as much as they can to achieve common goals. Some of the issues I get to discuss are:

Don’t fall victim to office crap. Talk to one another instead of emails. Get off your backside and see the person you want to discuss something with if possible. Don’t have meetings for the sake of meetings. Get something done and get it done quickly. See the bigger picture and consider your actions and the effect they have on others, both in the business and externally. We all make mistakes, but make them quickly and don’t repeat them. Do something good for the better of your team and your business everyday. See work as a challenge and to be thought of as someone who contributes, rather than causing obstruction. You can climb the ladder which ever way you wish, but it’s much safer if you have people at the bottom securing it. If you are already at dizzy heights, don’t forget those that helped you get there.

Career advice, Career Planning, Confidential discussions always welcome.

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Time to Leap ?

Look before you leap…

If you are considering a move this year, you’d do well to speak with me. Some very exciting un-advertised roles are emerging and knowing the likely moves well ahead of the job market will ensure that you are kept confidentially informed of up-coming changes.

2016 isn’t far away and the industry is already beginning to struggle to find very good talent for multi disciplinary roles in the sector. It has something to do with the market shrink 4 years ago when we saw 10,000 housebuilding personnel trashed.

So where are the best people? I know where most conscientious individuals are hanging out, so it’s only a matter of time before I tap them on the shoulder and offer something more exciting and rewarding.

If you haven’t spoken to me about your immediate wish to move, then I would suggest getting in touch. If you are responsible for finding the best, most appropriate talent for your teams, we should speak.

Call Simon on today on 07554 234567 or email simon@nicejobs.co.uk

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Busiest year since 2007

For those that have met with me in some hotel for a couple of hours or so, will have no difficulty whatsoever with the headline to this blog. For they will quickly realise that in my usual ‘no-bull” style, that when I say busy, I mean busy. You could ask; “Are you busy, or busy making money?”. Both. The unfortunate thing, is that my business only accounts for a percentage of  the market share. Clients will favour what I do over others and I can only handle a number of searches at any time.  It’s not even about time management. All headhunting assignments are completed to the clients requirements and meeting candidates, offering the best advice I can give them, takes a large slice of my day. The end result, with any luck (and some skill) is that the right people are found and have happy careers. The housebuilding recruitment market is improving nicely and I’m still a great believer that some very good people are not being rewarded as well as they should, relative to effort, commitment, knowledge, expertise, passion, flair, management skill and a sheer hard-work ethic.

We are approaching the next financial hurdle for many housebuilding groups and it is vital that they have a strategy for change and growth where staff are concerned.  This doesn’t mean change for the sake of change, but with so few good people in the industry, it makes sense to have the best available working within the right company. I’ve always relied upon qualitative recruitment strategies, which work well.

Some extremely exciting salaries are being offered to key personnel and most people are out of touch with salary offerings and expectations since 2008. If you are not sure either how much to pay staff to retain or recruit them, it’s quite likely that I can shed some light for each discipline. If you’ve been working for a company for some time without a review, it might be worth chatting.  Sometimes, you will find that you are already at the top of the barrel, so keep your head down and carry on.

Attitudes to internet recruiting are much the same as before. It’s takes a long time to find the best people through the internet alone, as most ‘good people’ are doing a good job somewhere else, not looking at job boards or have any interest in moving companies. For this reason, I have been busy with retained assignments, searching, meeting and short-listing the ideal people for each role.

Where are you in your career? Have you got stuck in a rut? Are the people around you not as effective as you expect? Are you worth more? Is there a better option? How long should you stay in a certain role, before promotion? Is now the right time to move?
I can tell you that most recruitment for the New Year is already being locked-up. Don’t search in the New Year with everyone else, start talking now…

Most discruntled employees, are fed up for a couple of reasons.

1. They’re not hitting it off with their immediate boss.

2. They don’t see a future.

There’s always the money thing, but actually, job satisfaction, job security and future opportunities for growth are pretty high up on the list.

One more thing.. Don’t get caught up with email chat. Long term relationships are made from a dialogue (yes, actually speaking to one another!) This means that unless you are prepared to speak with me, I can’t really help you. Further and if you are applying for a certain job, I’ll need to meet you too !  I’ts not that I’m living in some dark age, I’m really up to date. I have just about every product and gadget that apple have ever produced. Contact is easy, but within the constraints of time.

Unless you are a client (paying my fee), my time is otherwise FREE.
Make use of it.

Thanks for reading….

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Only the best will do.

When a client says, “Only the best will do”, it really means that in order to satisfy the clients’ requirements, I have the task of finding someone very special to join their company. Candidates are hand picked, based upon skill-set, experience, expertise, background, career aspirations, short, medium and longer term plans, etc.  Above all “Fit-in Factor” Will their Face-Fit?

If you are a candidate looking for a new opportunity, consider a few things;

  • Which company would I like to work with and why?
  • What are the key reasons for choosing to work with a particular business or brand?
  • Why should they employ you, over others?

If you are honest, these questions will either pose a challenge to answer, or you may find them very easy.
The difficulty often lies in not knowing enough about a business or their culture from the inside. Ok, external perception is one thing, actually working within the business is often a different kettle of fish.

Don’t cast your net too wide, otherwise you are likely catch the attention of the wrong businesses and drown very quickly.

Clients (housebuilding groups) are extremely fussy and will expect a new calibre of personnel. The industry has seen thousands of people being made redundant over the last 3 years and hundreds have left the industry for good. This brings several challenges for both candidates and clients.

It’s very difficult to apply for a role beneath your level of experience, because all too often, the applications are dismissed as “Unsuitable” or “Over-Qualified” etc.
Some heads of department will see the application as a threat to their own position and dismiss them automatically and some will embrace the idea of a better qualified individual who’s going through a rough patch and make the most of them.

One thing is for sure, whoever you are, whatever you do – great advice is available from someone who’s worked within the business, sat in board rooms, understands every role and culture of company, dealt with some difficult individuals and placed many people in jobs that they enjoy over the last 9 years.

Confidential Career Advice is always available and it’s FREE

Is that my phone ringing? ….

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