Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?

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Financial Services

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General

22/10/20

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Even though it appears that the world has turned on its head right now, surprisingly we have seen an increase in the number of professionals who have decided now is the time to make a move. Why now!? … well along with all the other changes lately, candidates are experiencing a range of changes to their roles, and for some, the negatives are outweighing the positives. In order to ascertain whether a candidate is ready to move, I have look for the five P’s in my conversations. What are these five P’s I hear you say?, (or maybe not, and lockdown is getting to me already!):Payment – It’s usually the first reason I get from a person looking for a new role, but the truth of it is that although payment or feeling you are being paid fairly is important, it’s only ever part of the reason you look to change your job. There is more to life than money and being in a very well paid job that you hate will never last! With people currently working from home and saving on travel, lunches and the extortionate amount of coffee we purchase – payment is only ever part of the puzzle! I regularly speak to candidates who are being paid up to 20% below the market average salary and when I ask them about making a move and tell them the disparity, they often respond with, ‘but I’m happy in my job’. This might sound crazy to some, but another ‘p’ is priorities, and everyone’s are different! People – Now, more than ever, people’s relationships with their colleagues are being tested. But not how you might think - I have spoken to professionals who are no longer searching for their new role to escape interpersonal challenges at the office, because rather than sitting beside someone for eight hours a day, it’s now virtual meetings a couple of times a week! Similarly, I have other candidates who were staying in roles just because they had very strong relationships with their colleagues, and that was the most positive aspect of their working day. Plateau – Growth is important and feeling like you are learning and growing year on year is an integral part of your career happiness. However, if this doesn’t go hand in hand with at least some of my other ‘P’s’, it’s unlikely that you will see a professional leave when they have hit the glass ceiling in a company they love working for. Often these candidates will actively seek out other opportunities for growth within their organisation. Sometimes candidates will give lack of progression as the reason when in fact they are unhappy with other aspects of their role. Place – Location and commuting are less relevant at the moment than ever before. Having to battle the traffic on the stairs in the morning is the most many of us have been doing recently. However, one consideration under this point at the moment is - has your employer made your ‘place’ any better for you? I spoke to a candidate recently and part of their reason for wanting to make a move was because their company did not provide them with a monitor to work from home comfortably. A monitor is a relatively small thing, but it helped the employee to work more efficiently. This was the last straw for them and gave them the drive they needed to look for a new role. I have also spoken to candidates who have praised their companies for sending a desk, supplies, treats and anything to make their working from home life better.  These acts of kindness by employers are earning loyalty points with employees. " Praise – People who feel appreciated by their colleagues and managers for the work they do generally work harder to continue this circle of praise. It’s human nature to seek positive reinforcement that we are good at our job and really appreciated for the work we do.So what can we take from this? That you can be well paid and feel you are developing within a company, and still be motivated to move. Similarly we can have great work colleagues and feel valued in our role, and still seek something more in our careers. However, in my opinion and experience, if your job ticks most of the P’s then are you really looking for a new job, or just testing the waters?I think we will see an even bigger focus on being content at work going forward, because although our work life balance might be a bit better these days, our job is still a big part of our lives. I would be very interested to hear if you think there are other strong motivators that drive professionals to leave, or stay in a role?

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Even though it appears that the world has turned on its head right now, surprisingly we have seen an increase in the number of professionals who have decided now is the time to make a move.

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Sarah Fallon

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Sarah Fallon

Sarah Fallon

by

Sarah Fallon

Staying ahead of the game - safeguarding for the future
Staying ahead of the game - safeguarding for the future

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Financial Services

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General

16/10/20

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Looking forward to the end of the year, it is unfortunate to state that the Covid crisis is still a huge part of our lives, and with this comes the expanding impact on the global economy. True, a few sectors have done well under lockdown conditions but they have been the exception. It has been suggested that by the time this crisis is over, it could, through the destruction of the economy, cause much more harm to the financial system than the 2007 financial crisis, with talk of a V-shape recovery becoming muted. The future is somewhat unknown, and with no vaccine, the virus will continue to change the world we know.The financial sectorOne particular sector which has weathered the storm is banks and other financial intermediaries. They did this by being quick to react and adjust to the new business environment. An environment that requires more attention to liquidity management, conducting business over a long distance, and offering more time and support to their clients. However, the real test will come when the debt moratorium ends. Banks will need to have a clear picture of the outlook of their clients and their new risk profile. " Brexit in the backgroundThere is also no forgetting Brexit, rearing its head in the background of the pandemic. While we wait for a negotiated deal, the outlook is still concerning, as things will not be the same for most businesses moving forward. A new normal and a new kind of relationship with the EU requires a full-scale reassessment of risk. Banks and other financial intermediaries will need to upgrade their risk management systems, just like they did post the 2007 financial crisis. Like before, banks that stay ahead of the game will emerge as clear winners. Safeguarding for the futureRisk - when the ceiling has been lowered on the revenue front, it makes sense for banks to focus their attention on risk, and to put in more efforts to minimise foreseeable loss. Among other things, banks will want to recalibrate their credit risk models, taking into account the varied impact of Covid on all the economic sectors.Credit quality - financial institutions will need to reassess the credit quality of their clients after they emerge from the crisis; paying particular attention to those in sectors that had been more exposed to the fall out. New data and assumptions will have to be incorporated into the model in order to determine EBITDA, free cash flow and costs.Technology - This will, of course, play an important role in risk management. Banks will employ new technologies to help manage operational risk, credit risk as well as market risk. If the 2007 crisis is any indication of things to come, a lot of hard work will have to be put into the management of credit and operational risks, employing new technologies to monitor banking operations, review data and reconfigure risk models.Talent insightFor now and for a long time to come, talented risk managers and professionals are what banks will continually need - people with the right set of skills and experience. Unfortunately, the talent pool of risk managers has not been expanding in line with the new demand.Over the past decade as regulatory demands were on the rise, becoming increasingly more complex, no meaningful efforts were made to attract more talented people into the field of risk management. This has led to a shortage of skilled risk managers even before the emergence of the pandemic. Given the urgency of our current climate banks will not have the time to train people and will need to recruit. This is where we come in, if you're a professional within risk, please get in touch now.

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It has been suggested that by the time this crisis is over, it could, through the destruction of the economy, cause much more harm to the financial system than the 2007 financial crisis

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Deem NaPattaloong

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Deem NaPattaloong

Deem NaPattaloong

by

Deem NaPattaloong

Roles in demand across Specialist Markets
Roles in demand across Specialist Markets

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Professional Services

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General

06/10/20

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2020 has been an unexpected year across the world, and it has been crucial to monitor and deal with all the effects of the Covid pandemic in business and in our personal lives. Amidst this crisis we have also had the uncertainty surrounding Brexit looming over us, which has left many businesses trying to deal with the immediate challenges to society and the economy at large. The effects of both have been felt, and we can see this within the jobs market.   As experts within specialist markets we have been privy to fluctuations within specific industries. Below are some of our observations across the market.Custom and duties tax specialists We have seen an increase in activity and growth across custom and duties tax specialists for large import/export FTSE businesses. Particularly businesses are looking for candidates on an interim basis to make sure effective processes and controls are implemented. This is an evolving space and once we have further clarity we expect demand to increase. In the last 6 months, we’ve seen an increase in recruitment activity from businesses in industries such as food manufacturing and FMCG that have had an increased demand for their products on the back of lockdown. In addition to this, businesses that do a significant amount of importing and exporting see customs and duty as a key area of focus with Brexit looming, and we have advised and recruited for several clients who have required specialist knowledge. This is a niche skill set that can be provided at premium rates by consultancy firms, but there is a recent trend to bring this expertise in house. The cost of doing this would be in the region of £40-50k for a perm hire and c£250 per day for a temp hire - watch this space if you're a candidate within this market.  Audit and riskAudit and risk have also experienced an increase in resource on both the temporary and permanent markets. As organisations seek to learn effectiveness lessons from the crisis they require resource to conduct and undertake Covid specific reviews. In addition, the offering of flexible working arrangements also provides a great opportunity to test network capabilities as well as controls across user access, disaster recovery, business continuity, as well as high level IT controls testing to ensure remote working does not compromise the risk appetite of the business. Start ups Over the past 6-12 months we have also undertaken a number of start up engagements, helping businesses recruit permanent heads of department to develop strategy internally. This is a trend we expect to continue as businesses look to cut spend on consultancy fees and take ownership of these disciplines, ensuring a consistent level of quality and cost efficiency.  To view more of our live roles, visit our job search page.

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Amidst this crisis we have also had the uncertainty surrounding Brexit looming over us, which has left many businesses trying to deal with the immediate challenges to society and the economy at large.

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David Clamp

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David Clamp

David Clamp

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David Clamp

Future prospects for the professional services market
Future prospects for the professional services market

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Professional Services

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General

30/09/20

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What should we expect from our current market, and what is the future for roles in professional services? In times of crisis, the accountancy industry tends to thrive. But will the profession still be a stable career choice in the months and years to come post-Covid19? New research would suggest a resounding yes! The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) shows that the accountancy and finance sector is seen as the third most stable profession, behind health and pharmaceuticals and teaching, which is good news indeed. " A downturn will, at some stage, lead to an upturn in the market. The 2008 recession is testament to that. Accountants found themselves in demand to help companies restructure, identify unnecessary expenditures and navigate complex – and possibly advantageous – tax laws. With this in mind, what are the prospects of securing a new job in accountancy over the coming year?Prospects over the next 12 months“Finance is recession-proof,” says my colleague Karen Chilton who adds her insight on the recruitment landscape for an article in the AAT.“Accountancy isn’t a luxury for business: it’s important.”In the immediate future, accountants will be busy, as companies dealing with the financial havoc caused by the coronavirus, and certain sectors will profit. Karen continues: “we have seen an increase in vacancies for insolvency practitioners; something that’ll become increasingly important over the next few years.”The surge in insolvency/restructuring experts is perhaps no surprise given that the revenue streams of many firms have been decimated by coronavirus, meaning they’ll be looking to cut costs and consolidate resources.Prospects over two to five yearsWhen the financial crisis triggered by Covid-19 subsides businesses will want to future-proof themselves, if this happens again, to make sure that all staff are upskilled and able to work across multiple sectors. Also, data analysis will be key, and an accountant with this knowledge will be in demand. The skill set will be someone with good accountancy skills, with the ability to interpret data to highlight where opportunities might be within a business, or new markets they can access, or even make businesses more lean.Accountancy practice prospects going forwardThere could well be more openings within the accountancy practices due to clients needing increased help/advice when dealing with the economic chaos unleashed by Covid-19. This presents a good market for young job-seekers.Coupled with the government’s furloughing scheme complicating payroll runs for many companies, smaller practices will need to take on people to perform these tasks. A payroll assistant, and software packages that they use, may become a sought after commodity.Audit opportunities in the futureDue to changes in audit regulations, second-tier firms will find audit assignments pushed out to them, rather than the big four, so there could be opportunities within these firms. These second-tier firms will be good places for accountants to find work, because they will be getting busier, and will want to find quality candidates.Please visit our dedicated professional services page for more content, opportunities, and advice. 

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What should we expect from our current market, and what is the future for roles in professional services?

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Josh Rufus

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Josh Rufus

Josh Rufus

by

Josh Rufus

How to impress the C-Suite: General Counsel interview tips
How to impress the C-Suite: General Counsel interview tips

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Legal

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General

30/09/20

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A good interview is often overlooked by experienced lawyers, with the view that they are somewhat straightforward. For example; my client has seen my candidates CV thus my candidate knows that they’ve got the skills required. This seems simple, but it isn’t always the case, particularly as more and more businesses are choosing to bring their legal function in-house.They need to get it right the first time, interviews can be lengthy and tough for the candidate and expensive for businesses. With this in mind, I’ve penned my top tips for candidates interviewing for GC positions. Though these tips apply to anyone, they’re most relevant to General Counsel and Head of Legal when interviewing with C-Suite and non-legal stakeholders. Research goes a long wayThis goes without saying. You need to know everything you can about the business you’re interviewing for, your recruitment consultant will put some literature together for you, although it’s important to do your own research. For example; what’s the strategy of the business and do they have an existing legal function? Who’s interviewing you and what’s their background? Recent trading history and are they currently raising capital or going through M&A? All of the above will help you brush up on any particular technical areas that may arise. As ever, the more you research, the better prepared you’ll be. Showcasing your technical skillsYou’ve made it this far in your in-house career and it’s clear that your technical capability is going to be on-point. Nonetheless, you can fully expect to be thrown a curveball in an interview. Most of the time (when being asked a technical legal question by a non-legal stakeholder) their line of questioning will be influenced by recent activity or communication that they’ve had from their overpriced external counsel. So, how do you prepare for this? It’s a simple one,  a large part of preparing for an interview is to research your potential new employer’s recent trading history. This will give you some big clues as to what legal advice they’ve taken. Perhaps they’ve been involved in some tricky M&A work, maybe the not-so-recent changes in GDPR had a delayed impact or they’ve expanded their business to operate overseas. All of the above can be easily researched and a consultant will put together information for you to reference, making your research much easier.One key skill you should be learning TODAYIn my opinion, the following skill is one of the most important attributes of in-house counsel, a skill that you’ll learn early in your in-house career and one that will never leave you. This is your ability to respond to a scenario with three options, varying in risk, and advise on which option will yield the best outcome. Your interviewer may choose to present you with a scenario, wanting your advice. This is a great opportunity for you to exhibit your excellent and eloquent verbal communication capabilities (incredibly important to C-Suite).What to provide:Provide the interviewer with three succinct responses to their scenarioTheorise each response advising on the levels of risk associated with each. Then advise on your preferred routeThis applies to EVERY ad hoc advice you’re asked to provide throughout your career.  I’m so confident with how impressively important this skill is, that in some cases, I advise creating your own scenarios to display your advisory and reasoning skills. " Show how you can add valueIf you're being interviewed by a CFO, you will need to show the interviewer that you’re going to represent a huge saving versus the rates the existing external law firm is charging them. There are multiple ways of doing this:Look back at a time in your career where you’ve provided advice that would have cost your previous employer in external feesGive an example of noticing a change in regulation that would have resulted in a fine or having to instruct a specialistTalk about your value add in a business capacity, it’s likely that you’ll be stepping away from providing technical advice and that you’ll be working in a strategic role, much like a COO.Having an extra head in an operational sense adds exponential valueThe main thing to remember here is; QUANTIFY! Put a monetary figure by each of your examples. This massively lends perspective to your interviewer and can look very impressive. Interpersonal skills are keyThis is often overlooked as an important skill in an interview, as some lawyers rely on their immense IQ to carry them through an interview process. However, GC’s can regularly become one of the most talked to people in a business. As all streams of an organisation may choose to contact you for ad hoc advice. Being able to quickly build a rapport with your interviewers will be a good representation of your ability to do this across the business and may be what sets you apart from others interviewing.For more general interview advice visit our career advice hub.

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A good interview is often overlooked by experienced lawyers, with the view that they are somewhat straightforward.

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Angus Denny

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Angus Denny

Angus Denny

by

Angus Denny

Thinking of taking recruitment in-house? Pros and cons of going it alone
Thinking of taking recruitment in-house? Pros and cons of going it alone

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HR

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General

15/09/20

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The economy has contracted in the wake of Covid-19, and so too have business budgets. We’ve seen a slowdown in recruitment activity around the world, with UK hiring halving in June 2020 compared to June 2019, and some organisations shedding staff or closing their doors entirely. Despite these trying times, however, we are also seeing many businesses emerge stronger from lockdown. Some industries are experiencing growth – the likes of pharma, e-commerce and digital communications are all thriving – and many organisations are now looking to the future. Part of this includes strengthening teams and adding value through the strategic hiring of A-player professionals.This raises an oft-asked question: Is in-house recruitment a better option than using a recruitment agency? With all eyes on budgets and the bottom line, some might argue that an in-house hiring process will save on cost – but does it deliver the same results, and how much is your internal team’s time worth? We’re exploring the pros and cons of in-house recruitment.Pro: It can seem more cost-effectiveWhen reducing budgets and trimming costs, the outsourced recruitment function can be the first thing to suffer. External expenditure on hiring is a cost some companies think they can no longer justify. Instead, some businesses take their recruitment in-house, relying on hiring managers, HR teams or dedicated in-house recruitment professionals to identify, attract and hire the right people. Aside from time, there are many hidden costs to recruiting inhouse that business leaders do not anticipate. " These can include: subscriptions to premium social media accounts, advertising on job boards and other platforms, recruitment software and having a presence at recruitment shows. If your business hires high volumes every year, then these costs may be justified, however this is limited by both the capacity and capability of your in-house team.Con: It can be extremely time-consumingNever underestimate the value of your team’s time. Specialist recruitment companies have vast networks of vetted candidates, both active and passive. They tend to be well-known in their fields, highly social and always making new connections. This means their potential candidate network usually far exceeds that of an in-house team, and they can contact pre-vetted candidates quickly. In-house teams can struggle to have this reach and impact and typically take longer to search for, vet and contact candidates.Within Marks Sattin, we’re seeing some companies choosing to take their recruitment in-house, only to get in touch down the line after realising how much time it takes to identify a quality shortlist of candidates. When you consider that one third of vacancies in the UK are considered hard to fill, it’s no surprise that teams often struggle when taking recruitment in-house. Writing and advertising vacancies, proactively headhunting and contacting passive candidates, responding to questions and applications and vetting CVs all takes an extraordinary amount of time – and that’s before you even start scheduling interviews. For in-house professionals who are also juggling other responsibilities, this can become too much and many businesses end up reverting back to an outsourced model.Pro: You can boost your employer brandingAn in-house function means you’ll own the end-to-end recruitment process and be solely responsible for the candidate experience. This presents a great opportunity to build your employer brand and take control of how you are perceived by potential employees.If you outsource your recruitment function to a specialist recruitment agency, you’ll be trusting them to represent your company appropriately and guarantee the best possible candidate experience. They will often act as the initial touch point and introduction to your role and company. This means a good recruitment agency will take the time to get a strong understanding of your company culture, requirements, role and business objectives.Con: You miss out on expert insightsIf you hire an in-house recruiter to your organisation, make sure they have a deep understanding of your industry and wider market trends. A good recruitment partner will not only understand what developments, opportunities and challenges are emerging in your industry – whether that’s a new technology making waves or new legislation creating qualification requirements – but also what the market is like for candidates and clients. Crucially, they need to know about the specific roles they are searching for.This is especially important for executive search, where passive candidates need extra incentives to change roles. Executive recruiters must understand their markets inside out, and know what will incentivise certain professionals to move, something which in-house teams may not always understand. In-house professionals usually recruit for roles across the whole business, whether that’s a marketing intern, CFO or diversity manager, and it can be challenging for them to get a deep understanding of each of these very different roles.Save time and get the best candidates with Marks SattinWe are proud to be recruitment specialist in our markets of financial services, commerce and industry, professional services, executive search, business change and technology. We have 32 years’ experience and pride ourselves on repeat business, excellent customer service and our candidate care, where we source, meet and screen every candidate ourselves. We build long-term relationships that allow us to understand your business and requirements, ultimately saving you time and money and delivering professionals we know will be successful. Register a vacancy with us to see how we can help you.

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Is in-house recruitment a better option than using a recruitment agency? With all eyes on budgets and the bottom line, some might argue that an in-house hiring process will save on cost – but does it deliver the same results, and how much is your internal team’s time worth? We’re exploring the pros and cons of in-house recruitment.

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Carmine Scalzo

by

Carmine Scalzo

Carmine Scalzo

by

Carmine Scalzo

Rethinking workspaces – how will your company adapt to the new normal?
Rethinking workspaces – how will your company adapt to the new normal?

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General

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General

01/09/20

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Akin to the tourism and travel industry, the commercial property market has undergone a real shake up over the past number of months. We have been speaking to many business leaders who are desperately trying to balance a host of decisions, such as social distancing, rental agreements and remote employee engagement. In order to answer some of these prevalent questions our Managing Director, Matthew Wilcox, hosted a discussion on these topics with flexible work space experts Instant Group. Instant Group place more than 11,000 companies in flexible work spaces annually around the world. The panel of experts included Matt Dawson - Strategic Sales Consultant, John Williams - Head of Marketing, and James Booth - CFO. They tackled the many uncertainties, below is a summary of short Q&A video snippets: Is the office dead?   What is remote working and what are the cost implications of not having a physical office? Motivating a remote workforce    What is the future role of the office?   Five predictions for the future of Corporate Real Estate We now have to question what is the purpose of the office? The new role of a Head of CRE (Commercial Real Estate)   The importance of office design to entice employees to visit   If you would like to contact us for more information on this webinar or general market trends, you can email us at marketing@markssattin.com. Alternatively, follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date on business and recruitment trends.

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Akin to the tourism and travel industry, the commercial property market has undergone a real shake up over the past number of months.

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Alastair Paterson

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Alastair Paterson

Alastair Paterson

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Alastair Paterson

Survey results: Business response to Covid-19
Survey results: Business response to Covid-19

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Financial Services

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General

31/08/20

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‘The only constant is change’ has never rang more true and there is no facet of business that has not been changed dramatically by this year’s global events. It is not about adjusting to any ‘new normal’, it’s about making sure you can adapt adequately to this new, more rapid pace of change'. During May 2020, we produced a survey for our contacts to understand how their business was reacting to the pandemic and to gauge overall market sentiment. We received over 130 responses to key questions relating to their thoughts, reactions and predictions regarding the unprecedented level of change we are experiencing. Although market conditions are changing daily, the ease of lock down has brought a wave of positivity as we look to rebuild on the disruption of the past few months. With this in mind, the below report outlines some of the findings from our research, and our predictions for the future. Covid-19 survey

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The only constant is change’ has never rang more true and there is no facet of business that has not been changed dramatically by this year’s global events. It is not about adjusting to any ‘new normal’

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David Harvey

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David Harvey

David Harvey

by

David Harvey

Preparing you for competency based interview questions
Preparing you for competency based interview questions

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General

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Career Advice

12/08/20

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Competency based interview questions vary widely between sectors and depending on the level of responsibility to which you are applying. The type of competencies against which you will be assessed also depends on the role and the company who is interviewing you. For example, some companies view leadership as a competency on its own whilst others prefer to split leadership between a wide range of components (creativity, flexibility, strategic thinking or vision for example). Adaptability - Adjusts to changing environments whilst maintaining effectiveness. Which change of job did you find the most difficult to make?Tell us about the biggest change that you have had to deal with. How did you cope with it? Compliance - Conforms to company policies and procedures. How do you ensure compliance with policies in your area of responsibility?Tell us about a time when you went against company policy? Why did you do it and how did you handle it? Communication - Communicates effectively, listens sensitively, adapts communication and fosters effective communication with others. Verbal Tell us about a situation where your communication skills made a difference to a situation?Describe a time when you had to win someone over, who was reluctant or unresponsive.Describe a situation where you had to explain something complex to a colleague or a client. Which problems did you encounter and how did you deal with them?What is the worst communication situation that you have experienced?How do you prepare for an important meeting?Tell us about a situation when you failed to communicate appropriately.Demonstrate how you vary your communication approach according to the audience that you are addressing.Describe a situation when you had to communicate a message to someone, knowing that you were right and that they were wrong and reluctant to accept your point of view. Listening Give us an example where your listening skills proved crucial to an outcome.Tell us about a time when you were asked to summarise complex points.Tell us about a time when you had trouble remaining focussed on your audience. How did you handle this?What place does empathy play in your work? Give an example where you needed to show empathy?Describe a situation where you had to deal with an angry customer. Written What type of writing have you done? Give examples? What makes you think that you are good at it?How do you feel writing a report differs from preparing an oral presentation?What positive and negative feedback have you received about your writing skills? Give an example where one of your reports was criticised.How do you plan the writing of a report? Conflict management - Encourages creative tension and differences of opinions. Anticipates and takes steps to prevent counterproductive confrontations. Manages and resolves conflicts and disagreements in a constructive manner. Tell us about a time when you felt that conflict or differences were a positive driving force in your organisation. How did you handle the conflict to optimise its benefit?Tell us about a time when you had to deal with a conflict within your team.Tell us about a situation where conflict led to a negative outcome. How did you handle the situation and what did you learn from it?Give us an example where you were unable to deal with a difficult member of your team. Creativity and Innovation - Develops new insights into situations; questions conventional approaches; encourages new ideas and innovations; designs and implements new or cutting edge programs/processes. Tell us about a project or situation where you felt that the conventional approach would not be suitable. How did you derive and manage a new approach? Which challenges did you face and how did you address them?Tell us about a situation where you trusted your team to derive a new approach to an old problem. How did you manage the process?Tell us about a time when you had to convince a senior colleague that change was necessary. What made you think that your new approach would be better suited? Decisiveness - Makes well-informed, effective, and timely decisions, even when data is limited or solutions produce unpleasant consequences; perceives the impact and implications of decisions. What big decision did you make recently? How did you go about it?How did you reach the decision that you wanted to change your job?Give an example of a time when you had to delay a decision to reflect on the situation. What did you need to do this?What is the decision that you have put off the longest? Why?When was the last time you refused to make a decision?Give us an example of a situation where you had to make a decision without the input of key players, but knowing these key players would judge you on that decision (e.g. superior unavailable at the time).Tell us about a time when you had to make a decision without knowledge of the full facts.Tell us about a situation where you made a decision that involuntarily impacted negatively on others. How did you make that decision and how did you handle its consequences?Tell us about a decision that you made, which you knew would be unpopular with a group of people.How did you handle the decision-making process and how did you manage expectations?Tell us about a situation where you made a decision too quickly and got it wrong. Why made you take that decision? Delegation - Able to make full and best use of subordinate, providing appropriate support. What type of responsibilities do you delegate? Give examples of projects where you made best use of delegation.Give an example of a project or task that you felt compelled to complete on your own. What stopped you from delegating?Give an example of a situation where you reluctantly delegated to a colleague. How did you feel about it?Give an example where you delegated a task to the wrong person? How did you make that decision at the time, what happened and what did you learn from it?How do you cope with having to go away from the office for long periods of time (e.g. holidays)? Explain how you would delegate responsibilities based on your current situation. External awareness - Understands and keeps up-to-date on local, national, and international policies and trends that affect the organisation and shape stakeholders’ views; is aware of the organisation’s impact on the external environment. Describe through examples drawn from your experience how you measure and take account of the impact of your decisions on external parties.Give an example where you underestimated the impact of your decisions on stakeholders external to your organisation. Flexibility - Modifies their approach to achieve a goal. Is open to change and new information; rapidly adapts to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles. Describe a situation where you had to change your approach half-way through a project or task following new input into the project.Describe a situation where you started off thinking that your approach was the best, but needed to alter your course during the implementation.Describe a situation where one of your projects suffered a setback due to an unexpected change in circumstances.Describe a situation where you were asked to do something that you had never attempted previously.Give us an example of a situation where your initial approach failed and you had to change?Describe your strongest and your weakest colleagues. How do you cope with such diversity of personalities?If we gave you a new project to manage, how would you decide how to approach it? Independence Acts based on their convictions and not systematically the accepted wisdom. When did you depart from the “party line” to accomplish your goal?Which decisions do you feel able to make on your own and which do you require senior support to make?Describe a situation where you had a disagreement or an argument with a superior. How did you handle it?When do you feel that it is justified for you to go against accepted principles or policy?Which constraints are imposed on you in your current job and how do you deal with these?When did you make a decision that wasn’t yours to make?Describe a project or situation where you took a project to completion despite important opposition.When have you gone beyond the limits of your authority in making a decision? Influencing - Ability to convince others to own expressed point of view, gain agreement and acceptance of plans, activities or products. Describe a situation where you were able to influence others on an important issue. What approaches or strategies did you use?Describe a situation where you needed to influence different stakeholders who had different agendas. What approaches or strategies did you use?Tell us about an idea that you manage to sell to your superior, which represented a challenge.What is your worst selling experience?Describe the project or idea you were most satisfied to sell to your management.Describe a time where you failed to sell an idea you knew was the right one. Integrity - Ability to maintain job related, social, organisational and ethical norms. When have you had to lie to achieve your aims? Why did you do so and how do you feel you could have achieved the same aim in a different way?Tell me about a time when you showed integrity and professionalism.Tell us about a time when someone asked you something that you objected to. How did you handle the situation?Have you ever been asked to do something illegal, immoral or against your principles? What did you do?What would you do if your boss asked you to do something illegal?Tell us about a situation where you had to remind a colleague of the meaning of “integrity”. Leadership - Acts as a role model. Anticipates and plans for change. Communicates a vision to a team. Tell us about a situation where you had to get a team to improve its performance. What were the problems and how did you address them?Describe a situation where you had to drive a team through change. How did you achieve this?Describe a situation where you needed to inspire a team. What challenges did you meet and how did you achieve your objectives?Tell us about a situation where you faced reluctance from your team to accept the direction that you were setting.Describe a project or situation where you had to use different leadership styles to reach your goal.Describe a time when you were less successful as a leader than you would have wanted to be. Leveraging diversity - Fosters an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences are valued and leveraged to achieve the vision and mission of the organisation. Give an example of a situation or project where a positive outcome depended on the work of people from a wide range of backgrounds and ideas.Tell us about a time when you included someone in your team or a project because you felt they would bring something different to the team. Organisational awareness - Demonstrates an understanding of underlying organisational issues. Describe a project where you needed to involve input from other departments. How did you identify that need and how did you ensure buy-in from the appropriate leaders and managers?Describe a time when you failed to engage at the right level in your organisation. Why did you do that and how did you handle the situation? Resilience and tenacity - Deals effectively with pressure; remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks. Stays with a problem/line of thinking until a solution is reached or no longer reasonably attainable. Tell us about a situation where things deteriorated quickly. How did you react to recover from that situation?Tell us about a project where you achieved success despite the odds being stacked against you. How did you ensure that you pulled through?Tell us about your biggest failure. How did you recover and what have you learnt from that incident?Give us an example of a situation where you knew that a project or task would place you under great pressure. How did you plan your approach and remain motivated?How do you deal with stress?Give us an example of a situation where you worked under pressure.Under what conditions do you work best and worst?Which recent project or situation has caused you the most stress? How did you deal with it?When did you last lose your temper?When was the last time that you were upset with yourself?What makes you frustrated or impatient at work?What is the biggest challenge that you have faced in your career. How did you overcome it?Tell us about a time when you pushed one of your ideas successfully despite strong opposition.Which course or topics have you found most difficult? How did you address the challenge? Risk taking - Takes calculated risks, weighing up pros and cons appropriately. Tell us about risks that you have taken in your professional or personal life? How did you go about making your decision?Please describe one of your current or recently completed projects, setting out the risks involved. How did you make decisions and how do you know that you made the right ones?What risks do you see in moving to this new post? Sensitivity to others - Aware of other people and environment and own impact on these. Takes into account other people’s feelings and needs. What problems has one of your staff or colleagues brought to you recently? How did you assist them?Tell us about an unpopular decision that you made recently? What thought process did you follow before making it? How did your colleagues/clients react and how did you deal with their reaction?How do you deal with “time wasters”? Give a recent example.When was the last time you had an argument with a colleague?When did you last upset someone?What steps do you take to understand your colleagues’ personalities? Give an example where you found it hard to adjust to one particular colleague. Teamwork - Contributes fully to the team effort and plays an integral part in the smooth running of teams without necessarily taking the lead. Describe a situation in which you were a member of a team. What did you do to positively contribute to it?Tell us about a situation where you played an important role in a project as a member of a team, not as a leader.How do you ensure that every member of the team is allowed to participate?Give us an example where you worked in a dysfunctional team. Why was it dysfunctional and how did you attempt to change things?Give an example of a time when you had to deal with a conflict within your team; what did you do to help resolve the situation?How do you build relationships with other members of your team?How do you bring difficult colleagues on board? Give us an example where you had to do this.

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Competency based interview questions vary widely between sectors and depending on the level of responsibility to which you are applying.

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Paul Roche

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Paul Roche

Paul Roche

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Paul Roche