Below we have summarised three top articles for March 2021: Lockdown boredom drives the UK video games market to a £7bn record high During 2020 the UK video games market has been fuelled by an unprecedented boom in the popularity of mobile games, consoles and VR headsets. This soaring demand can largely be placed with the increased need for at home entertainment during the pandemic. The result was a huge £1.9bn increase on money spent on gaming entertainment compared to 2019’s figure. This boom in demand for entertainment has also prompted gamers exploring new technologies, such as VR. Meet music’s most hated man—and he is the industry’s top dealmaker In recent months, huge waves have been caused within the music and IP rights industry. Most music fans have never heard the name Merck Mercuriadis, CEO of Hipgnosis Songs Fund. But they may well be aware of the assets he’s been aggressively buying up for the past three years. In just three years he has spent $1.8billion of investor funds buying the rights 60,000 songs. That includes thousands of songs, including some penned by veterans like Neil Young and Barry Manilow and others from newer artists like Ed Sheeran and Shakira. A year on from the first lockdown, what has become of travel? As lockdown restrictions are lifted and the roadmap out of the pandemic starts to take shape, people can begin to contemplate what holidays might look like in 2021. This article explores emerging trends around staycations and the growth of the UK adventure holidays. In tandem, the article also interrogates if cities will avoid over-tourism, if travellers will utilise electric travel to avoid airports and what people want from a post-pandemic holiday.
In 2021, 68% of businesses are prioritising recruiting candidates directly to their companies. However, this is not always best for the jobseeker and their candidate experience. In some cases, the disruption in the economy, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased volume of job applications has led to an absence of feedback during the recruitment process. I speak with many people who feel frustrated due to the shortage of responses and lack of meaningful feedback, both from recruiters and direct applications and interviews. Below we have detailed a great strategy on how you can achieve better engagement from organisations after applying for a vacancy. Make yourself known If I was to ask any hiring manager, “what are the top three qualities you look for in a candidate?” Most of them would say: A positive attitude towards workA good cultural fit for the business and the teamSomeone who is keen to get stuck in to a project or business So, before you apply for a role, identify the business’ website and social media pages and ascertain the business culture and think about what you can contribute. Next, find the relevant hiring manager or a person from the talent acquisition team. Send them a message on why you would like to work there and why you believe you are a good fit for the role. Use Glassdoor, LinkedIn and relevant FinTech articles to inform your message. Look at what they are working on and ask yourself - how could I add value? You don't need to cover every point, but make sure it is relevant and appropriate. This tactic will show that you have a positive can-do attitude, you are passionate about your work and you’re engaged with their business. This will increase the likelihood of them meaningfully engaging with you in the application process. Ensure your CV is the best it can be Producing a stand-out CV could be a whole article on its own! But we do have some straightforward tips for you to get started: Always use job descriptions to tailor your CV for the role you are applying for. Use the job description to cover off relevant experience, key achievements and highlight your essential skills.Job applications are not a numbers game. To increase the chances of hiring managers engaging with you, focus on producing a high quality application as opposed to a high volume application.Make sure your CV is easily readable. Time is precious to hiring managers, meaning most CV’s are reviewed promptly, so make sure it is formatted appropriately and you have checked the document thoroughly for any mistakes.You should clearly bullet point main details and key achievements. This means that essential factors are not missed. Credibility- it’s a powerful thing! CVs, applications and interviews are an opportunity where you can demonstrate the skills you have. Anybody can say they are an expert in something, but how many people go far enough to prove it? Use statistics, previous performance reviews, LinkedIn recommendations and GitHub to evidence and embed your credibility. This will increase the likelihood of them engaging with your job application." Ensure you're prepared for the interviewAgain, this is something I could spend some time going in to detail explaining. However, a few key points would be:What’s their innovation?Who are their competitors? When were they founded?Who is conducting the interview? What is their background? You may be asked directly what research have you conducted. So, if you can demonstrate knowledge on their market, you will be showing initiative and where you can add value. Close the interview like a Pro Every interview ends with your chance to ask questions. People always remember a good closing question! This gives you the opportunity to gather all the information you need to make a decision on whether you are interested in the role. Ask what you need to, but take this as an opportunity to build rapport. If they haven’t covered it already, ask them: How long have they worked for the business?How have they found it, compared to their previous employer? Rapport is a key tool in your arsenal, we all want to work with people we find pleasant. I would also prepare other questions including: challenges they face in the role currently, what are the key factors they are looking for from this person? Follow up In the wise words from my mum: "manners cost nothing". Following an interview, an email thanking the hiring manager for their time, the positives you have taken away and why you think you’re a good fit for the role is a nice touch that will make them remember you. It is key to remember you are representing your own brand. You should make an effort to leave a positive impression; one impression can be a hundred impressions. The FinTech community is small and people talk. I have plenty more tips and tricks up my sleeve, so feel free to contact me for advice on how to secure your next FinTech role and keep an eye on our website, we have new vacancies coming in daily!
TeaserChange & Transformation
In the modern world of business, change management plays an important role in delivering results and ensuring employees are successful. With rapid development in technology and new digital solutions, it’s all the more important that businesses know how to adapt their processes and use change management methods to pave the way for organisational transformation. Effective change management is crucial for the growth of any business. It’s essential for achieving long-lasting success and navigating through the “new normal”. Now’s the time for business leaders to assess existing models and evaluate what needs to be changed to keep moving their companies forward. We’re exploring some of the key areas of change management and why they’re so important for business transformation. The Employee Experience Companies that want to endure must be skilled at organisational transformation. Effective change management remains integral to successful business transformation. While change management covers a broad range of processes, it’s always focused on the people. Change management involves maintaining a constant workflow while communicating seamlessly with employees. Thus, enabling them to remain motivated during the introduction of new tools and technology. Transformation in the workplace is vital for realising growth, and change management has a significant impact on employee engagement. Managing successful periods of change can increase employee morale and drive positive team-building. However, during this process of change, leaders must understand how to change their employees’ mindsets to ensure everyone is moving in the same direction. Improving performance The change management process is about positioning a business so that it can meet the challenges of constant change in a competitive environment. It’s imperative for staying relevant. Change management is intrinsic to business transformation, and a key advantage is that it has a positive and direct impact on performance. Change management encourages innovation and increases productivity, which in turn, leads to stronger business performance. If companies want to succeed long-term, leaders need to understand the importance of continuous improvement, upskilling and flexibility in the face of uncertainty. As change management strategies progress from defining the vision to target setting, every level of the company is affected, including employee performance. By implementing new methods, leaders can improve processes and the overall performance of their teams. " Leadership and cultureLeadership and culture have a massive impact on organisational transformation. Modern leaders have a growth mindset and are able to think globally, developing full-fledged strategies that will serve the company for years to come. Therefore, leaders have a fundamental role to play in managing change. When businesses grow and change, this can often lead to much stronger leadership as managers will have to prepare for the responsibility, inspire their team and take on new initiatives. Right now, there are few skills more important than a leader’s ability to manage change and adopt new practices. However, it’s worth mentioning that despite the importance of change management, many organisations fail when launching new change initiatives – which is often the result of poor leadership and communication. That’s why it’s all the more important for leaders to be able to articulate their vision to employees to pave the way for concrete, systematic change.How Marks Sattin can help your businessAt Marks Sattin, we have a dedicated team of recruitment consultants who are committed to developing careers and helping clients secure high quality candidates. We specialise in a variety of markets, including financial services, professional services, executive search and commerce and industry. We pride ourselves on delivering an effective and efficient service to our clients, and we’re able to build positive and strong relationships with the companies we work with. If you would like to learn more about how Marks Sattin can help with your recruitment, contact our team today. Alternatively, keep reading our content for more interesting news and insights.
Below we have summarised three top articles for February 2021: KPMG UK appoints first female leaders in 150 years KPMG has appointed female leaders for the first time in it’s 150 year history. Bin Mehta has been appointed stand-in Chairman whilst Mary O’Connor has been promoted to acting Senior Partner. The appointments come in the wake of insensitive comments by Bill Michael that has put the firm’s culture under scrutiny. LVMH signs champagne deal with rap star Jay-Z Jay Z rarely misses. Whilst Champagne sales have fallen dramatically in 2020, Armand de Brignac sold over 500,000 bottles in 2019. With economies slowly opening up this is a high profile and obvious move for the LMGH group’s Moet Hennessy. Jay Z has sold 50% of his business at a price that is currently undisclosed. LVMH reported revenues of €44.7bn in 2020 and is home to 75 luxury houses across 6 different industries and this deal fits seamlessly into their growing portfolio which includes the likes of Louis Vuitton, Givenchy in fashion and Moet Hennessy in wine and champagne. This is unlikely to be the only major deal that Jay Z is party to this year with Oatly, another business he holds a stake in reportedly targeting a $10bn IPO later this year. I love working from home… but Will working from home become the new normal? That is still unclear. However, YouGov have produced some astounding findings on what people really think about life working from home. Initially it seemed that the mirage of indefinitely working from home had become a reality yet, as the pandemic has continued to effect how we work, more and more we are finding this oasis to be a gruelling one. 30% of respondents reported an increase in their working hours since working from home and a whopping 53% feel as though the have to be on call at all times for their bosses. Working from home has certainly come with some strings attached and it will be interesting to see how businesses develop their own ‘return to the office’ strategies and what employees will actually want. The report also covers perceived effects on mental and physical health, general happiness and productivity.
We recently asked our community two questions via a quick poll on our website: When do you think employees will return to the office? Do you think we will ever return to the office full time? We are pleased to report that 1,573 respondents took the time to give us their opinion, thank you for your contribution! Here are the results: We must caveat the above results by stating that we ran this poll the back end of last year, before the second strain and third lockdown came upon us. Our circumstances are changing rapidly, however when we originally asked this question, most people thought that we would return to the office sometime in Q2 (45%). Regardless of when we will return to an office environment, most respondents believe that flexible working is here to stay, with 'a large percentage continuing to work from home due to a reduction in office space to save costs'. Another respondent echoes the above by commenting: Now that people have proven that they can work just as effectively and collaboratively while being remote, I think most people and businesses will adopt far more flexible work patterns where appropriate. This means that cost savings can be realised through cutting down on office space, while also giving employees a better work life balance. " You can read a related article we published called, ‘Rethinking workspaces – how will your company adapt to the new normal?’.However there were challenging arguments to the above train of thought, with one participant stating, 'Though it was a good experience to do smart working, for creation and idea development, working together is a more conducive environment'. In addition, some respondents flagged that the road to recovery will not be so clear cut, commenting, 'Due to the disruption, recovery is likely to be asymmetric and non-linear across industries and geographies', while another drew attention to some of the challenges, saying 'most organisations haven't yet implemented the correct H&S approach in terms of safely bringing people back to the office'. The dominant answer to this question, at 43%, was ‘No, we won’t return full time’. The main reasons participants voted this was the substantial savings that businesses have made when they cut the office rents and related facilities from their overheads, as well as the benefits of not having to face the daily commute.However, with 38% of respondents voting for ‘Yes, we will return full time’, and a substantial number of people saying they are not sure, there isn’t a clear cut winning answer to this question. Interestingly, there were far more arguments in favour of the return to the office environment in the qualitative data, for example, one comment said, 'It's more efficient to work at the office, it allows for a better balanced work life, and people are naturally attracted to working with people'. Other comments echoed this sentiment for instance, ‘People miss the social aspect of the office environment, they miss their colleagues’, ‘An office environment is more conducive for collaboration and innovation’, ‘collective work is more focused and purposeful. This makes gathering in one space natural’, and ‘there are mental health implications from working full time in isolation’. One participant drew attention to the loss of office culture that we all experience when we work remotely, and pointed out that New and/or young employees need the office environment in order to network and learn a company’s culture and the way things are done. " While we all acknowledge that we are overly dependent on virtual meetings at the moment, one commented on the drawbacks of virtual meetings, saying, ‘Body language and personal interaction are a core component of work and interpersonal relationships, which you cannot get remotely'. Similar to the sentiments in the first question, many participants believe that the answer isn’t ‘a’ or ‘b’, the answer is one of flexibility and a ‘blended’ approach. (You can read a blog we published pre-Covid on this topic called, ‘Is flexible working a win win?’, which examines the practical challenges of ongoing flexible working, and some legal obligations for employers).It’s clear that people are keen to get back to normal at least some of the time - the office is normal, with one professional citing all the ‘normal’ things we are missing, such as ‘Connecting with people. Sharing a conversation without having to dial in. Going for a coffee break. Travelling. Having a proper desk. Sharing a smile!’.
It was a quiet start to the year in 2020 for in-house legal recruitment as law firms were offering cheaper fees with secondment opportunities competitive to the cost of hiring. This choice was favoured throughout the year, leaving recruitment quiet. Although we expect this model to change because of the hidden costs of instructing external solicitors. With the impacts of the virus arriving in Q2 the market froze, with a wake up call in the later part of Q3 and Q4 where we saw a hiring pick up in fintech and payments. This was down to start-ups receiving funding, where investors saw a "safety net" in place internally taking the form of a legal, risk, or compliance professional. This unfortunately did not turn into direct hires for legal professionals still leaving them to the wrath of external firms (as mentioned above), and an abundance of time wasting recruitment processes prevalent in the uncertain market of 2020. Looking Forward to 2021 We are not out of the woods with the pandemic (by any stretch) and we will still be feeling the strain of future uncertainty when making decisions on technical and expensive hires. Although most businesses are comfortable with offering positions under newfound working from home capabilities; in a lot of cases, businesses haven’t been making hires where there has been company demand (due to uncertainty). This has manifested as a strain on the successful growth of businesses and we are hoping this will be rectified through 2021. Brexit on the other hand has had a positive impact on the in-house legal market, as businesses have been putting their contingency plans in place (establishing themselves geographically within the EU). We have seen great opportunities for in-house counsel and this could continue through 2021. The potential growth and change of regulation that Brexit will bring could see an emergence of Brexit specialist lawyers, much like the GDPR in 2016. In 2021 we expect the backlog of roles, put on hold during Coronavirus, to rear its head. " This demand should grow over the coming months, and below we look at how this might manifest by industry sub sector and position: Financial Services - Like the market itself, benchmarking salaries and predicting areas of hiring is very tough to do. The following is based on regular candidate and client conversations and explores the main areas of practice applicable within a few core sub-sectors of the in-house legal and the financial services market.General Counsel, Fintech & Payments - the position of general counsel became exceedingly popular in 2010 and has continued to rise in popularity throughout subsequent years. Changes in regulations and business management styles have led to companies hiring in-house lawyers at very early stages of company growth. This is particularly true in the payment and fintech market, where we have seen notable growth over the past few years, where cost saving proves to be a choice when looking to hire in-house legal counsel at early stages rather than outsourcing legal work. With this in mind, it’s important to note that key commercial attributes are required for general counsels in the start-up and scale-up markets, another key skill is risk management. I predict this area to pick up in the coming months.Company Secretary, Financial Administration and Outsourcing businesses - the typical in-house company secretarial appointments have been in decline over the past few years, with fewer limited companies choosing to make this instruction and more businesses offering excellent ‘outsourced’ co-sec services. With this in mind, I’d predict that the businesses we predict continued growth for company secretarial positions in financial administration companies.Legal Counsel, General Commercial (low-mid PQE) - hiring at this level is often a favourite for heads of legal and general counsels across all of the in-house FS market. Taking the view that candidates who’ve had a great technical grounding at a top 10 firm will be able to directly transfer their skills to the commercially minded in-house teams. Though this strategy often works, it certainly has its pitfalls. Q1 2021 will see a push on hiring from private practice as technical skills become more desirable. Though the real battle starts when marking sure the incoming candidates have the commercial acumen needed to succeed in-house. Brexit Lawyers (Global) – as mentioned above, the impact of Brexit on the in-house legal FS market can certainly be seen as a positive, especially as more businesses start expanding their teams to include specialist lawyers within separate legal jurisdictions. We expect to see this impact take several years to fully establish around what the requirements will be. With this in mind, cross-border counsel and dual-qualified lawyers could be in higher demand through the year.Final wordsPositively, it’s going to be a good H1 for in-house lawyers, certainly in comparison to all of last year. In a nutshell, the pending market growth will be down to an uptake of confidence about hiring amidst the pandemic, meaning the recruitment market will be able to pick up on the roles put on pause through 2020. In light of a hopefully improved market, where will we be focusing our attention?In Q1&2 will be focusing on senior positions in the start-up/scale-up markets and the consumer-focused fintech market. We will also be focusing on low to mid-level PQE commercial lawyers looking to step out of the practice environment. Armed with this knowledge, we will continue to be reactive to the market as we proactively provide our recruitment and search services to our clients and candidates, and offer career advice to anyone looking to move roles or expand on their teams - find out more on our legal team here.
Below we have summarised three top articles for January 2021: The lies we tell during job interviews Throughout our lives we are conditioned to tell lies, to make both ourselves and others feel good (or to protect someone’s feelings). Does this come out in job interviews? Psychologists think yes and by both the candidate and hiring manager. One of the first pieces of advice we give to candidates is that a job interview is a two way process; it’s about a company deciding if you’re a good fit for them and for you to see if they are a good fit for your career and ambitions. With this in mind, all parties are selling and as such it’s likely that both are lying as much as the other! In my experience as a recruiter for instance, a hiring manager has never told me: ‘our culture is terrible and we work longer hours than we have to’. Yet sometimes, this is the case! Equally, candidates rarely say that their next job is ‘all about the money’ or that they like to ‘put in the minimum required and clock off at 5pm on the dot’. Of course, interviews are an integral part of all processes, recent studies have just investigated people’s behaviour in more detail. Still working from home? Make sure you claim your tax relief With the tax year coming to an end we thought it important to revisit one of Martin Lewis’ best finds last year. With the pandemic forcing millions to work from home, the UK government sent up a microservice to enable remote workers to claim tax relief. Even if you have worked at home just for a day, you may be entitled to a years worth of relief. Martin Lewis explains more. Thinking of relocating to the country? What will happen to house prices in 2021 The pandemic caused economic turmoil last year however UK house prices still rose, hitting a record high at the end of the year. It still remains relatively unclear as to what the ‘new normal’ will mean for time spent in the office however, what can not be denied is the interest in residential housing outside of the major cities. One positive of the pandemic is that businesses are better set up than ever to offer their employees flexible working and there is no doubt that whilst some will go back to normal, many will not. For this reason, the property market in 2021 will be looked upon with keen interest by many. With companies now set up better than ever to enable their workers to operate remotely, many have been thinking about relocating to outside of the major cities. It does however still remain unknown what the new normal will look like with regards to time spent in the office but one positive is certainly that businesses are now better setup than ever for their employees to work flexibly.
TeaserFinance & Accounting
I think we can all agree on a less than fond farewell to 2020, and a warm, but cautionary welcome to 2021! While I’m not one to dwell on the past, I think it can be useful to reflect on the hiring trends of last year in order to understand and anticipate some factors that may impact the market this year. As we know, when the pandemic hit last year, everything went on pause - pretty much all hiring processes went on hold as we all tried to understand the economic impact - cue no hiring! As time went on and restrictions eased, this abated slightly, however it was only in Q4 2020 when employment opportunities began to return across finance, technology, project management and consultancy. A trend we are noticing now is that expectation levels on job fit have jumped considerably, clients are being more particular than usual. The consensus from clients is that unemployment is high, which is the case for some industries and demographic groups, however, that has not translated drastically into the realm of professional job opportunities, where it’s business as usual to a large extent. January 2021 sees us still in a “full employment” market across the professional services landscape." I am pleased to report that our business has enjoyed a very strong start to the year with plenty of jobs and activity. Throughout Q1, we would expect to see investment return, projects to gear up once again, and digital transformation will restart, or start at pace. Coupled with the above, pent up demand will likely see a sizeable increase in hiring levels from March/April onwards as the vaccine roll-out begins to take hold. An influx of professionals We are likely to see an influx of professionals returning to Irish shores throughout H1 this year. From speaking to candidates who are based abroad at the moment, the pandemic has given impetus to return home, perhaps a little faster than they originally planned. We are expecting to see a similar trend with candidates returning from the UK, driven by Brexit finally coming to fruition. EU regulators want certain business conducted in the EU, meaning Ireland’s financial services industry could have much to gain. In summary, there will be a demonstrable increase in opportunities in the Irish professional jobs market which we believe will coincide with strong talent returning to the country from overseas, where they will have gained invaluable experience. These factors point to a busy period of business and economic growth as we begin to get back on track in 2021 and beyond. Professionals will have plenty of opportunity, and firms will need to be agile in their hiring practices to secure the talent that is required to deliver on ambitious plans.
I don’t think anyone would disagree that 2020 was a tough year. In recruitment we are usually on the sharp end of economic turmoil, so I’m very empathetic to people’s struggles, especially those seeking new employment. However the good news is that over the last couple of months we have seen some glimmers of hope. Since last September there has been a slow but steady incremental demand for accounting & finance talent in London. This was precipitated by the gradual reopening of offices, and clearing the hiring backlog which was created in the late spring and summer months due to the COVID restrictions and the extreme uncertainty. Candidate needs have changed Whilst firms were constrained and had conservative hiring plans, the risk appetite among candidates for a new role, company, or location change surprised us - this has no doubt been triggered by the enormous lifestyle changes that we’ve all been contending with recently. Many people have decided to escape that city in search of open, more green spaces, and the vast majority of candidates we speak with are expecting a new level of work flexibility to support their personal and family interests.A large dichotomy between company attitudes to hiring! Some firms are making the hiring process so cumbersome that both parties lose interest half way through the process. It’s not uncommon to see a candidate going through six or seven rounds of interviews, without receiving an offer at the end of the saga. Whilst other organisations are very quick to bridge the skills gap, recognising that finance departments need enough resources to operate effectively. The overwhelming message that we are receiving is that accountants are feeling jaded, given they are working harder than ever with less moral support and fewer resources. Now businesses are starting to see cracks appear and recruitment is back on the agenda. " It has largely been an employer’s market lately, where candidates have very realistic expectations and businesses have been able to secure strong candidates quickly. We are also seeing a fresh demand for niche skillsets, such as: Regulatory Reporting, IFRS 17, and Technical Accounting, which has led to competing offers and a shortage of candidates with the right skills. The projects that were put on the long finger are now back in focus.In contrast to the 2008 crisis, we haven't seen many redundancies within financial services firms. Nevertheless, businesses are reassessing what skillsets they require from senior finance leaders in this uncertain environment. Unfortunately we have seen some cost cutting at the very senior end of the market with opportunistic or knee-jerk removal of CFOs and Directors who may have been seen as an expensive luxury in a stale economy, however these people will be an absolute necessity to have in place when businesses return to growth mode. We’re expecting risk appetite to accelerate Going into spring 2021 we fully expect that positive news on a vaccine will spur a newfound confidence, and risk appetite will accelerate the need for additional resources and new expertise, leading to a war on talent. Our advice would be to really look after those star employees who you want to keep as they will be approached by other companies! If you are thinking about growing your team or department, it may be worth getting ahead of the game and kicking that process into action before you lose out, or have to pay salaries over the odds.If you are considering recruitment options, or want to discuss your own personal circumstances, then please feel free to call me for a chat on 079 6337 0126, or drop me an email.