Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Consultative Partnership Approach

Heading up our office in Aberdeen, I am always proactively looking for new businesses that we can partner with. During this process clients understandably want to know what sets Exclusive apart from other “agencies”?
Simply put it is that we are a consultancy that work in partnership with our clients and candidates  to essentially match partnerships rather like a relationship, where both parties are fully informed and confident in the opportunities each can offer. This provides a rather stark comparison to providing an “agency” service of simple CV and job specification matching, where no real personal or skills matrices are matched between parties and thus can provide a rather “potluck” approach to acquiring new employees.
After speaking with a candidate last week whom I headhunted for a specific role it was brought to my attention just how very differently we do work as a consultancy.  I had been tasked by a growing subsea organisation with finding very specific and highly experienced subsea personnel for a range of new projects they had recently won. With very exacting requirements and high demands from their own client, it was important to this organisation that new people from the market were introduced to them rather than the rotation of stale shortlists that often seem to circulate.
Embarking on a very focused search and selection operation, I identified a list of possible matches and began the contact. Lengthy conversations began where not only were the company and job opportunity discussed at length, but also the aspirations and experience of the candidate was probed into in detail, to ensure that this would be a strong match.
For the candidate I mentioned, on this particular occasion the opportunity discussed would not have offered the growth this candidate was looking for, as his own personal aspiration was to make an international move in the next year, one that could not have been facilitated by the client at this time.
The candidate was very surprised at not only how much I knew about the company and its operations but how genuinely interested I was to create a longer term relationship, despite this particular role not being right for him. There was no pressure to try and pigeonhole him into the role, which is often done by “agencies” which would have plugged the gap for 6 months or so but ultimately left the client and candidate disappointed after this time.
To round this up, what makes us different to an “agency” here at Exclusive to our clients and candidates is that we are not only knowledgeable and innovative to allow us to use our market knowledge to find candidates that are not available on the open market, but also genuine and honest, so that when we do find those gems, they are perfectly matched with an equally ambitious company to ensure a long and happy partnership.

Laura Weaving

Divisional Lead
To find out more about how I can help you, please contact our Aberdeen Office on 01224 912 151 or via our website www.exclusiveltd.co.uk

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Graduating into the real world

When I applied to University some seven years ago, I was under the illusion that I would come out with my degree and step straight into my dream job (whatever that might turn out to be- I think it changed from Magazine Editor, to Novelist to-yes, I even imagined this at one point- Blue Peter Presenter).

Now there was one thing that the Career Service at school must have forgotten to tell me- how you imagine your career to pan out when you are 18 isn’t necessarily how the real world works.

Once I had finished my undergraduate course, I was left wondering what I needed to do to further my skills and stand out above the other hundred or so who had also graduated with me- so, like a number of graduates, I decided to continue my studies.

By the time I graduated from my Masters in Journalism in 2010, there were rumours flying around how school leavers were being strongly advised not to embark on a career in Journalism or PR- that there were no jobs going- partly due to the recession, but also, as the rise in Social Media was turning everyone into ‘Citizen Journalists’- the need for the skills I had spent four years at university and summers on placements in London working on, were no longer widely sought.

Again, I exhausted the usual graduate options- I hadn’t been travelling yet- so after working in a call centre for nine months, I set off to camp through the southern states of America.

Three months later when I arrived back to my parents’ house, I had a sudden panic- as is the case with the majority of people in their mid 20s, I was faced with a ridiculous amount of student loan to pay off- and after realising that I couldn’t run from the ‘grown up world’ anymore, I began seriously looking for jobs that I could gain a career from.

I decided that the best way to start would be to write a list of the skills I had gained from my degrees, internships and work placements and to then search for roles that I could find that would be suitable and apply for as many as I could.

Sounds easy enough right? Well, I found out very quickly through sifting through pages on Google and various recruitment sites that it is anything but easy- four times out of five I would find a role that seemed on my level, only to find that it had expired six months before. Many others were unpaid and temporary (I was somewhat shocked about this at first, but soon discovered that many companies are trying to get people to work for free) and when it came to registering with recruitment agencies- because I didn’t have qualifications in administration, they didn’t even want to know my first name, let alone look at my CV.

Luckily, through meeting so many people through my degrees and work placements, I have made a number of contacts who work within relevant fields-Marketing, PR, SEO Consultancy- and I came across Exclusive through using my networking abilities (ironic after spending hours and hours filling in online applications).

Within twenty minutes of sending my CV over to Mark, the Managing Director, I had a confirmed interview- I couldn’t believe it, not only had I managed to find someone who would give me the time of day, but I was actually personally emailed by the person who owns the company!

This is the thing I respect most about Exclusive- you aren’t connecting to a laptop- you communicate with actual real people (after receiving a number of automatic replies when applying for jobs, this is exciting).

Throughout my interview, I was treated like a real young professional- which may sound obvious, but I have had so many experiences of people looking at me like just another graduate, and I appreciate it so much. I felt relaxed and was honest- it felt more like a professional conversation between adults and if I could give companies one bit of advice when interviewing graduates it would be to treat them with that respect, because trust me, it helps!

Something I have learned from my time here at Exclusive is that it is so important for companies who are recruiting and those who specialise within the field, to remember what it is like starting out or moving on in your career. Through its Recruitment placements and HR Outplacements, Exclusive always treats everyone as an individual regardless of their circumstances for needing our services.You are never on the receiving end of an automatic email, they are lovingly hand typed by myself and chances are we will be seeing you for a cup of coffee- made by yours truly.

Internet Marketing Consultant

Exclusive: Recruitment & HR Consultancy
Newcastle, Leeds & Aberdeen

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The real reason top talent leave their jobs

I read recently that people don’t quit their jobs – they quit their bosses!

I’ve worked as a Headhunter since 1996. Although I know that I’m good at what I do, it still surprises me just how ‘open minded’ to new opportunities the majority of people out there are! 

I’ve been given all of the usual reasons why people are open to new opportunities – more money, lack of career progression opportunities, seeking a new challenge, wanting to secure something closer to home or in a different location, etc. – However, as I get to know the candidate and the relationship becomes much deeper, it’s astounding how many people are actually trying to leave a bad boss behind!

So, what makes a ‘bad boss’? Generally, bosses aren’t bad people – they just lack the insight and experience of what makes other people tick. Recognition and praise for a job well done are two of the most effective ways to make an employee feel valued. Being listened to – and heard – is also often cited as an example of what makes a Manager a ‘good boss’.

We are all busy people, leading busy lives. Managers are often being pulled in many different directions – internally as well as externally – in the company they work for. As such, they often feel that they don’t have the time to spend listening to, understanding and recognising the efforts of their team. However, think of how much time (let alone the associated financial costs) is spent in recruiting replacement members of your team.

As we enter the run up to Christmas and the end of the year, life becomes even more hectic and our time ever more scarce. However, this is exactly the time of year when employees look to employers to share some of the festive spirit, by sharing some of themselves. Now is the time to take a step back and fully appreciate that it’s the people that make up an organisation – they are your primary asset and competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

2012 has seen the economy start to stabilise and many sectors have started to grow again. As such, the war on talent will become even more competitive as we head into 2013. Make sure that you make time to hold on to the people you have!

Head of Executive Search

Exclusive: Recruitment & HR Consultancy
Newcastle, Leeds & Aberdeen