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

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

All I Want for Christmas...

Whilst driving into town last week, I spotted my first decorated house of the Christmas season – nice and early and hats off to them, nice and gaudy too!  For a lot of recruiters, the first strains of Noddy Holder and the mere sight of tinsel sends a shiver through the bones.  

There seems to be a perception amongst some in the industry that upon opening the first door on the advent calendar, businesses across the region down tools for the year and get stuck into the eggnog.  

From my own experience, while December may not be the busiest month of the year, it’s by no means the quietest either and for a smart HR Manager, there are ample benefits of completing pieces of recruitment in the festive season.

For starters, there is the obvious benefit of securing a great candidate during the month and having them ready to sit down at their new desk on the first day of the New Year.  As a business, we moved into our new property on the 3rd January and it proved a great psychological boost to everyone at Exclusive...New Year, lovely new offices, new faces and it has led to us going on to have our most successful year yet.  There’s nothing like a rested and refreshed team with New Year’s resolutions still intact to really push things forward in January and think of the benefit of having a new member of the team to boost them even further!

December also tends to be a good month for attracting some great candidates.  As a generalisation, it tends to be easier for candidates to make availability for interviews over the party season and indeed as many firms do ease off in the run up to Christmas, the competition to attract the very best talent becomes slightly less fierce – a great time to steal a march on your rivals!

Bear in mind too that although January tends to be the busiest month in terms of candidate movement, a lot of this is driven by people being disgruntled with their own roles and realising over the Christmas break that they would simply rather be anywhere other than with their current employer.  It might sound like I’m making this up, but ten years of recruitment experience has taught me that motivations for moving on tend to be more reasoned and driven by ambition in December than they do in the New Year when it is generally more a case of ‘(I’m a frustrated HR Professional) Get me out of Here!’

Do feel free to give us a call over the next month and tell us about your recruitment plans as the year draws to an end.  We’ll be here working away, candle burning on desk right until Santa flies overhead on his sleigh...ho ho ho!

Managing Consultant

Exclusive: Recruitment & HR Consultancy
Newcastle, Leeds & Aberdeen

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Lifting the Lid... The much needed return!

As with most industries over the past 5 years, recruitment has been hit hard by the recession. As we emerge from the recent double dip, we hoped, as did many of our clients, that this would see an end to the sharks of this industry, that they would swim off into waters new. We hoped that the remaining recruiters would operate ethically and with a high degree of integrity. We hoped, therefore, that our past series of articles on ‘lifting the lid’ would become obsolete in this new era of cleansed recruitment practices.

But no - just like the City financial practices that brought the country to its knees – lessons have not been learned and unethical, wide-boy practices have returned. And so has our series of blogs.

In turn we hope that by educating and exposing these practices that our client base will be better prepared and able to spot the sharks in the waters, ending once and for all these practices.

When is an introduction an introduction?

It’s a very common misconception that whenever an agency sends a CV first, the client is then contractually bound to see that candidate via said agency.

In-line with unethical practices, many agencies are simply now advertising a vacancy and then immediately forwarding the CV to the client. They do this in the hope that their CV’s land first so they can argue it constitutes an introduction.

 It does not.

An introduction occurs when you interview the candidate and not before this point.

I make this point as we are hearing of an ever increasing amount of candidates that are being sent to clients without their prior consent. The client then feels compelled to interview via this agency and the candidates feel effectively ‘hoodwinked’ into attending.

If you receive a CV without requesting it, or you are informed the candidate was not aware that their details were sent to you, you are not contractually bound to see this candidate via this agency.

The choice, as they say, is yours; choose the ethical recruiter or the unethical recruiter?

Not much of a choice, is it?

If you have any questions on recruitment practices you would like answering, please feel free to email me directly.

Kind Regards as always

Managing Director

Exclusive: Recruitment & HR Consultancy
Newcastle, Leeds & Aberdeen

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Tone on the Phone

As a strong believer in Customer Excellence and high expectations of service level provisions, I always do my utmost to ensure every piece of communication, whether written or verbal, conveys exactly what I need and want it to.

Having recently had an experience of ‘bad customer excellence’ as well as a misunderstanding of message simply due to tone of voice or choice of phrase within an email outside of work, I’ve been wondering whether we realise that what we say or write can be both conducive and counter-productive to business development and the overall perception of a company’s employer branding.

Take for example a phone call I received recently; A service we were looking to use was no longer available due to personnel changes. However, the tone of voice used to convey this was not conducive to building a positive customer relationship. Rather, it was belittling and made me question why we would look to use their services in the future; surely Customer Excellence has to go along the entire Supply Chain, not just stay within one company?

What can be learnt from this? Sometimes it’s not what you say but rather HOW you say it. I am sure we have all had occasions when a company has not been able to live up to expectations on delivery of services or services offered. However, what makes the difference is how they inform you of this and how they go about rectifying any situation.

So how does this affect my role within Exclusive Ltd? As the company lead for our Customer Excellence programme, I ensure that every customer, whether Client or Candidate, receives the level of service they would expect from a Recruitment and HR Consultancy. If this falls below expectations, which rarely happens, then this is discussed as a business to see how we, as a company, can move forward to set things right, but also to see what lessons are to be learnt. As I often said to pupils when teaching “it’s ok to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them” – nobody can be perfect every time.

Even today, customer service has been coined as the future battleground in competitive times for companies who are looking to grow their business. As Exclusive Ltd is a proud member of the Service Network and recent recipient of Highly Commended at the Culture for Success Awards 20120, it is a company-wide belief that high standards of customer service should not just be another area of competition, but rather an integral part of any service provider. As such, Customer Excellence and a Culture for Success are at the heart of every decision made and every communication, whether verbal or written.

For further information on how our Customer Excellence programme is used by Clients and Candidates, please visit our website www.exclusiveltd.co.uk and click our independently hosted Customer Services tab.


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Social Network

Wherever you are, you cannot escape Social Media – that is near enough fact - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, to name but a few, follow you wherever you go.

Never before has it been so easy to communicate with others – We live in the age of Smart Phones, Tablets, Androids and Apps, meaning that you are never far away from knowing what is happening around you, in near enough ‘real time’.

For this reason, it is important that businesses utilise Social Networking to their advantage. What better way to connect with similar organisations, clients, candidates, staff than using this powerful tool?

Not only is it usually free, or if not, relatively inexpensive, but you are in control of the tone of your correspondence, meaning that YOU set the standards for your company’s image.

However, it is crucial that you use these platforms in a professional way, as these things can sometimes backfire on you.

Take, for instance, the high brow retail chain, Waitrose.

After asking people on Twitter why they shop there, they were inundated with responses such as: ‘#I shop at Waitrose because I once heard a 6 year old boy say “Daddy does Lego have a ‘t’ at the end like Merlot?”’

I am not sure that was the response Waitrose was hoping for, but they do say there is no such thing as bad publicity...

At Exclusive Ltd, we love using Social Media to connect with our clients, candidates and network as it is a way for them to get to know us as a company - what we offer, how we work and it enables us to show our personality and professionalism.

Through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, Exclusive Ltd posts new vacancies and information on a regular basis but without crossing the ever annoying ‘spam line’. Naturally, we also communicate with our connections on a one-to-one basis; in that sense, we make everyone welcome when they join our network.

When used properly and professionally, Social Media can work wonders for a company – We have all seen through the Google Chrome ad how the Cambridge Satchal Company started – an idea in a kitchen and a blog.....

Internet Marketing Consultant

To connect with Exclusive Ltd visit http://www.exclusiveltd.co.uk/

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Why ‘Exclusivity’ Saves You Time AND Money

As an experienced Search Consultant, nothing loses my interest quicker than being told that a vacancy has gone out to several different recruitment companies.

When asked why the recruiting company felt the need to send out the job spec to a myriad of potential suppliers, the common answer is that they wanted a choice of candidates and to ensure that they were getting the very best person in the marketplace.

The result was far from this.  

What they actually received was an initial flurry of activity followed by a stream of unsuitable CV’s.

After investing a huge amount of time sifting through CV’s and rejecting most of them, it’s not surprising that they were left wondering how recruitment companies can justify charging a fee for this!

In my opinion, recruitment at any level works best when it works in partnership, with both recruiting company and recruitment company, accepting responsibility for ensuring a successful conclusion to the search.  This is even more important at executive level.

The success of a search assignment starts long before a suitable candidate is sourced.

  It begins with investing the necessary time upfront to ensure that you are selecting the best recruitment company and approach to ensure success. Taking the time to carefully select the consultant you are to work with on your recruitment is the first step towards ensuring success.

Working with a Search Consultant on an exclusive arrangement is key to reducing the amount of time you invest in the process. It also reduces the risk of a failed search or of hiring the wrong candidate – other outcomes that will take up more of your precious time - and ultimately cost you more money.

Long-term, the benefits of working closely in partnership with your search consultant are magnified.  They will know you, your company, the culture, the history and your future vision. They can offer additional value through advising on current employment trends, compensation packages, competitor insights, etc. 

With global competition for top talent on the rise, there has never been a better time to start building your relationship with a Search Consultant.

Head of Executive Search

To find out more about how working on an exclusive basis with Exclusive can save your time AND money, contact Clare on 01661 867 730 or clare@exclusiveltd.co.uk

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Being World Class

I was lucky enough to attend the fascinating ‘Be World Class’ conference last week in which outstanding individuals from various disciplines, including the worlds of sport, gastronomy and business spoke about how they had reached the levels they have today.  The event focused on the key attributes that made these people ‘world class’ and whilst some of the themes were those that you would expect (dedication, time, a genuine passion for what they did), some were actually external factors that had pushed them on to excellence (right place at the right time, life changing event etc..)

Putting this into a business, or more specifically recruitment context this got me thinking what role organisations could play in developing a world class environment in which their employees could reach their own full potential.  I think that this is the key here – I would never claim, nor hope to be truly ‘world class’ in comparison to some of the people that I heard speak at the conference but certainly would one day hope to be.  In maximising your own potential and delivering the best that you can, all of the time, then you can at least share some of the attributes that these outstanding performers list as being key in taking them to where they are.

So, what can employers do to harness that potential and how can they use their recruitment process to be the first point of advertising themselves as a ‘world class’ organisation?  Firstly, I think that in the same way that the individuals I was mentioning stressed that they achieved what they did by dedicating time to the process, I think that in giving time to each piece of recruitment, an organisation can really set themselves apart from the field.

I’m thinking of one specific example of an organisation that I am dealing with at present, who have not only taken the time to engage with me as their recruiter but dedicated time to putting a real plan in place for the piece of recruitment that they are carrying out, including putting together a highly detailed job description and profiles of key individuals in the business, all to be presented to candidates at the outset of the process and really bringing the business to life and ‘selling’ it as a world class place to work.

Likewise, organisations with a highly engaged workforce that act as champions for the business in all manner of subtle ways, really give off the feel of world class places to work.  I recently placed an individual in a business and when it came down to her making a decision between the offer given by them and another, more financially lucrative offer from a different organisation, she chose the former in a heartbeat.  The reason?  Everyone that she had come into contact with throughout the recruitment process had come alive when they talked about the place that they worked and their own role within it.  The evident pride shown by the employees persuaded that candidate that she would be walking into a world class environment and swung the balance for her.

Not all of us will reach the Olympics, climb Everest or run 66 ultra-marathons in 66 days (I know!) but each of us can do our own little bit to be part of something world class and when you think of it like that, that’s something pretty special!

Gareth Harrison CIPD
Managing Consultant

To join us at Thursday's Be World Class Conference and for an Exclusive Ltd discount code, click Here

If you would like to speak to a member of our own World Class team, click Here

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Great Leaders: Leading from the front...

This is a blog Simon Hartley wrote for Exclusive Thinking some months ago. We have chosen to re-publish this in the light of the upcoming Be World Class Conferences, on October the 18th and 25th.

recruitment consultants

Great leaders lead from the front. Having worked in professional and Olympic sports, I have been fortunate to have seen several World Class leaders at work. Whether in sport or business, great leaders seem to have a magical combination of passion, energy, drive, focus and determination. Obviously, those are not the only qualities required to be a great leader, but I would argue that they are vital components and are often the elements that set the truly inspirational leaders from the rest.

The question is; how do we foster these elements? Do they happen by chance? Are leaders born with those qualities or are they nurtured? Can we build these essential components and develop them? If so, can we also develop them in others?

In my experience, these components can all be developed. I don’t think they are manufactured. I am not sure that you could send someone on a course to learn passion, drive, energy, focus or determination. However, they can be developed. In fact, I believe we cultivate them, just like we do when growing plants. Often we need to create the right conditions for them to flourish. Plants need the stimulation of heat, light, water and nutrients for them to grow. I believe that it is a similar process with these components. We need to provide the stimulation and create the conditions.

Passion, energy, drive, focus and determination are under-pinned by three key elements. These three essential elements are the same elements that we require to perform at our peak. The trio work in combination. It is very difficult to have one of them unless we have the other two, because they depend on each other. You can’t grow plants with light but not water. You need to have all of the vital ingredients working together.

So, what are the three crucial elements? It’s not rocket science. Our three amigos are Confidence, Focus and Motivation. Simply put, our passion comes from our motivation and our belief. In order to have motivation, we need a compelling reason to engage in something. That reason has to be incredibly important to us. Many leaders are following their dreams. It is their dream that gives them the compelling reason. When we have the compelling reason and we know how important it is, we start to take on the ‘nothing will get in our way’ mindset. However, the reason alone is not always enough. If we are to throw ourselves into it, we also need belief. For example, we need to believe in ourselves, our team, our strategy and in what we’re doing. Therefore, we have to have confidence & belief to give us the passion, energy, drive and determination. We need rock solid confidence in order to keep going when things look gloomy. There are always bumps in the road. Sometimes we go for long periods without results before we become successful. If we don’t have unwavering confidence, we’re likely to give up.

Even with the power of confidence and motivation, we will not be successful without focus. Having energy is great, but it’s only useful if we direct it. Without direction we become enthusiastic fools. Great leaders have a very simple and clear focus. This simple, clear focus directs them and also helps them provide a simple, clear focus to their teams. Focus is the foundation, upon which we are able to grow confidence and motivation. When we have a simple, clear job, we are likely to be able to do it well. If we can do the job really well, we become confident. When we are confident, we enjoy doing that job and we want to do it again. Therefore we develop motivation. Motivation is often comes from confidence, and confidence from focus.

Personally, I don’t think great leadership should be left to chance. I believe it should be cultivated, grown and nurtured. There are great leaders all around us, just waiting for the right conditions to thrive.

Simon Hartley - Executive Coach

Out with the old, in with the new?

I recently had an interesting experience with a service provider that I have been a loyal customer to for the past 7 years. Over these 7 years I have taken out a number of products with them and been every sense of the “perfect” customer – reliable, loyal and lucrative. So why is it then that when I wanted to take out a new product with said service provider, which was being offered to new customers at a discounted rate, I was told that I would not get that rate but have to pay double, all for the same service.

This example of “rewarding” customer loyalty left a very sour taste in my mouth. In my mind, your current customers are your best asset. These customers provide you with repeat business, strong references, and become an advocate for you in the marketplace which is an extremely valuable tool for any growing business.

We have all experienced at some time, a business that is so busy chasing after new customers they neglect to service the customers they already have. New customers are imperative to growth of course, but even more important is retaining your existing customers who will provide the foundation for sustained growth.
A client, who recently enlisted me to assist in recruiting a senior member of staff, explained the reason he wanted to recruit a permanent member to the team rather than a contractor “to ensure the skills & experience were retained on a long term basis”.

This synergy applies to the customers that Exclusive deal with, we see our current customer base as our “permanent” members as these are the clients that know our skills & experience and trust us to deliver results on any assignment they enlist us on – thus we want to retain them on a long-term basis.  Our “contractors” are new customers who we have to establish a trust with in order to work in partnership with them and ultimately turn them into long-term clients.

When approaching new customers, it is so important for any organisation to ensure they have the resources to consistently deliver to all of their clients, and to ensure every client gets the same service.
At Exclusive we are selective with the clients we work with. We ensure that we only work with customers that we can deliver results to and create a long-lasting partnership. This ensures all of our customers, whether new or existing, get the same high levels of service and allows us to consistently deliver outstanding results.

Laura Weaving
Divisional Lead - Oil & Gas, Energy & Marine

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Be World Class Conference 2012

Following the success of last year’s event, Exclusive Ltd are proud to be the headline sponsor of this year’s Be World Class Conference organised by sports psychologist and performance coach, Simon Hartley.

Being hailed as the must attend event for businesses in the North East and Yorkshire, all speakers promise to give an insight into what makes them World Class, which is something we at Exclusive Ltd aspire to be.

Being a small business, we know what it takes to separate yourself from the rest and to stand out during turbulent economic times. This is where the work of Simon and his speakers comes into play,  giving you the confidence and inspiration to Be World Class.

Simon has pulled together some truly motivational speakers, ranging from a Michelin Starred Chef to a record breaking ultra distance Athlete, all of whom know the dedication and enthusiasm it takes to become the best in their field.

 Each speaker will take their time to advise and inspire you on the different elements it takes to make yourself and your business extraordinary and above the rest, ranging from guidance on mental toughness, attention to detail and on world class preparation.

The idea behind the conferences came to Simon following his work as a sports pyschologist:

“Working with world class athletes and sports teams for many years led me to ask ‘What is it that makes some people exceptional? What differentiates them from the ones who almost made it?’ As a sport psychologist, I want to get underneath the skin. I want to understand how world class performers think, how they make their decisions, how they respond to challenges and set-backs”.

 During the conference, we will share both their inspiration and a host of amazing insights.

“We’re going to put you in the shoes of our world class speakers. We’ll present you with a real life challenge that our speakers have encountered and ask what you would do in that situation”.

The days also include a Q & A session, which is something not to be missed, giving you the opportunity to interact with the speakers and start adopting the traits that will build you to Be World Class.

The conferences are held over two days, in Newcastle on 18th October at the Centre for Life, and in Leeds on 25th October at the Royal Armouries.

At Exclusive Ltd, we are offering a special discount on tickets to the events, which can be found on our website at BE WORLD CLASS  

Siobhan Baranian

Proud to be Different

recruitment Newcastle When I created Exclusive, I wanted to be different to the rest of the Recruitment and Consultancy market. A focus on values, personality and flexibility rather than KPI’s and Hotlists was at the core of what I planned, after my experience working for a Global Blue Chip Consultancy.

In 2007, Exclusive was born and since then, my team have gone from strength to strength. Within a year we had expanded, in 2009 we opened our Yorkshire office and in 2010, due to a demand in the market, we expanded our Recruitment Services to cover more professional areas.

In the last year alone, we have been awarded ‘Highly Commended’ at the Culture for Success Awards and expanded our Recruitment division to answer the needs of a skills short Aberdeen Engineering market.

You may have seen in our e-Marketing and Social Media that Exclusive have been announced as Headline Sponsors for the Be World Class Conferences and I feel this stands as a testament to what I wanted from the start; to be a class above the rest and to be unique in the market.

The Be World Class Conferences are the must attend business events for organisations throughout the North East and Yorkshire who aspire to Be World Class and rise above their competition. Presented by a range of amazing individuals, you can learn the secrets to making you and your businesses extraordinary. (You can find a list of the speakers on the Be World Class Conference website).

The Be World Class Coaching from Simon Hartley recognises the very best in Business and Sport and I am delighted that we have been picked as the leaders of his mission. Standing alongside major players in Education and Law, marks Exclusive not as a simple ‘Recruitment and HR Consultancy’, but as something more.

Exclusive have a special discount for tickets at the upcoming Be World Class Conferences, and I do hope that you can spare a day to come and listen to the truly world class speakers, including a Michelin Starred Chef and a record breaking athlete.

Kind Regards as always,

Mark Ions
Managing Director

To find out more about the event, visit our website.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A Look Into Our World

It’s estimated that 80% of people go to work to do a job that they’re indifferent about. Around half of those actually hate the work that they do. In contrast, I love my job. With almost 17 years’ of recruitment and career development experience under my belt, I’d say that it’s a pretty good job I do! Even so, it’s not the easiest career I could have chosen. Alongside the definite highs, Recruitment brings with it many unique challenges. I hope to share some of these with you in this short blog.
  • Recruitment is the only job in the world where the product has a mind of its own
    Look at it this way. You sell widgets. You go out and get the order, you agree a price, you produce the widgets, deliver them and get paid. At no point does the widget jump up and say ‘Sorry – I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to go to that company’. This may sound strange, but this is what happens to recruiters every day. We do a great job of taking a job order, sourcing suitable candidates, delivering a shortlist, managing the process, getting the offer negotiated and agreed and, out of the blue, the candidate changes their mind and rejects the offer. Often, we have spent weeks, possibly months, working on this assignment and, during one short phone call (or generally email these days), it’s all over. 
  • The client changes their mind
    The majority of recruiters work contingently. That means that we only get paid on results, i.e. when a candidate accepts an offered position. As well as the above situation, many recruiters often face the frustration of clients changing their minds about recruiting for a position. Sometimes this will be part way through the recruitment process, for example when a suitable shortlist is presented. Often, it can be at the very final stages, when budgets are suddenly cut, an internal candidate is sourced (there wasn’t anyone suitable internally two weeks ago!) or a piece of work lost. Again, let’s go back to the widget manufacturer. I come to you and order 10,000 widgets. You buy in the stock, bring in extra temporary labour to fulfil the order, manufacture the widgets, box them up and get them ready to ship. Job done. You call to advise when the shipment will be delivered and I tell you ‘Sorry – I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want the widgets now’. Of course, this would never happen in your industry. It happens in the Recruitment industry every day.
  • Recruitment lacks the respect of many other industries
    Over the last 17 years’ I’ve been fortunate to work with some brilliant, talented, professional, intelligent, well-qualified individuals. I have a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Law, several coaching and business mentoring qualifications and continually strive to learn, grow and master my trade as a Recruiter. My colleagues at Exclusive are similarly well-qualified and talented recruitment professionals. Why then, do people sometimes throw scorn on our profession? I agree that there are some less professional Recruiters out there in the marketplace. However, should we not be judged on individual performance and ethics, rather than making sweeping statements likening us to used car sales people? This may come as a shock to some people reading this blog – we really do want to do a great job, give you a premium service, help you recruit the best talent in the marketplace, or get the best job in the marketplace. All we ask is that you – client or candidate – work with us, as professionals, to allow this to happen. 
You’re probably wondering now, given the above, why I even do this job, let alone love it! To me, recruitment is the best career I could have ever chosen. I love people. Moreover, I love helping people find solutions to their most pressing problems - whether that’s recruiting exceptional people for a client, or working with a candidate to help them find an exciting and challenging new position. I love forging new relationships, learning about different businesses and seeing people and companies grow and prosper through some of the strategic appointments I’ve been involved in over the years.

I feel really fortunate when I get up every morning, wondering what today will bring (no two days are ever the same in recruitment) to know that I’m in the 20% that really love their job.
Clare Fenwick

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Reading Between the Lines

A foray into the world of Recruitment and Advert ‘jargon’ 
As the person within Exclusive who lovingly acknowledges all Applicants and Candidates when they initially apply for, or express interest in a particular role, I see many applications every day from prospective Candidates. Unfortunately, I am also the harbinger of rejection when they are unsuitable for the roles they have applied for.

The reasons for this are many and varied, but the most frequent causes for being unsuccessful on application would be due to;

  • Lack of experience either within a specific type of role or sector 
  • Lack of relevant ‘time-served’ experience or qualifications 
  • Relevance of previous experience when compared to our Client’s Job Description 

In light of this, I have put together some ‘read between the lines’ tips and handy hints for when you are looking for that new role or challenge, and how to become more successful in your search.

Job Titles

Let’s not get stuck on formalities here; we all know that different companies will have differing titles for certain roles within their organisation. A Building Maintenance Officer in one company could be called a Site Manager, Project Manager, Yard Manager or Facilities Officer in any other company. The important part of the Job Title falls under your remit, in both your current role and the one for which you are applying.

However, it is always prudent to remember that certain roles will require quite specific experiences, eg HR Manager or PSV Master.

An opportunity to progress....

This little gem is used often and frequently by both Consultancies and Companies looking to attract Candidates, who are already working within a particular Sector, although not exclusively. It may be that, if you apply for this role and cannot show demonstrable experience either in Financial Services or Oil and Gas or Healthcare Provision, chances are you will be unsuccessful.

However, if you are able to portray quite strong transferable skills and/or similarities in your personal sector experience, then make sure you highlight this in the relevant part of your CV eg you are looking to apply for an Engineering role at a Nuclear Plant, and your experience is within engineering the power systems within submarines which run on nuclear energy, then there is a similarity and something transferable.

A relevant qualification in....

Employers and Consultancies use this phrase to distinguish between different types of roles. Project Engineers roles may appear frequently, but they can encompass a vast range of Sectors and experience. If an organisation are looking for an Applicant with a ‘relevant qualification in Marine or Subsea Engineering’, then that gives you considerable insight into the type of Projects you will be part of, on successful completion of your application. Also, it denotes that the role you are thinking of applying for does require either ‘time-served’ or studied qualifications as well as experience within that type of Engineering etc

I guess it goes without saying that, again, certain roles will naturally require specific qualifications such as a Master will require a Class I CoC, or someone looking for Junior Finance roles will, more likely than not, require an AAT Certificate.

Relevant Experience

At Exclusive we always try to provide as much information as possible in our adverts, to allow prospective Candidates the ability to properly assess themselves against the role before applying. Whether this information is with regards to the type of work/projects you will be involved in, or about the Client’s organisation in general and where they are positioned in either the geographical or global market is very much dependent on the information our Client is happy for us to divulge at an open public level.

In cases where we are unable to give detailed information, all applications are individually assessed against the criteria as supplied by the Client.

Above all it is important to remember that rejections are rarely, if ever, personal. If you are finding your applications are being rejected for similar reasons time and time again, why not speak to your Consultant (if you are registered with a Consultancy) or ask someone for advice on tweaking your CV to give you the best possible opportunity.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Don't Forget To Subscribe

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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

UK Offshore Wind

NOF Energy and Energi Coast recently hosted a UK Offshore Wind Conference at St James Park that we attended and we wanted to share some information from the day.

Speaking organisations at the event included: The Crown Estate, DECC (Department for Energy and Climate Change), BIS, Areva, Mitsubishi, EDF Energy Renewables, Siemens, Energi Coast, NOF Energy, OGN Group and Technip.

offshore wind
The event, attended by most of the large players in the Offshore Wind sector, highlighted the key issues and growth areas surrounding Offshore Wind in the UK. According to the Crown Estate, in order for the UK to hit its Renewable Energy incentive by 2020 the projected costs will be in the region of £50 billion.  

Key actions to reduce this cost include: larger more efficient turbines (companies such as Mitsubishi, with their 7MW turbine ‘SeaAngel’ with a rotor diameter of over 165m, and Siemens with their upcoming 6MW turbine, are paving the way for larger scale and more efficient solutions); optimisation of installation procedures (Mitsubishi using new digital displacement drive;  organisations such as Technip acquiring SubOcean for their cable installations; OGN Group developing 3 and 4 leg steel jacketed foundations) and greater competition (there is increasing competition between the EU and the UK and specifically countries like Germany and further out China, are seeing increase in investment in offshore wind creating a much larger competitive base for the UK).

A recent report from DECC highlighted Ernst & Young’s ‘attractiveness index’ for renewable energy solutions to demonstrate that the UK is currently leading the way in Offshore Wind. This is proven by the UK with some of the most innovative and high profile wind farms. With 217 turbines that can power up to 750,000 homes, the London Array Wind farm off the coast of Essex & Kent, will be the largest in the world once completed and is expected to start sending energy to the National Grid by next Spring.

DECC awarded investments of over £6.9 billion in the year up to 31 March 2012, which created over 20,000 jobs around the country. This is assisting organisations in driving forward renewable energy solutions within the UK. An excellent example would be North East based OGN Group, who were recently awarded over £690,000 to assist with the development of their steel jacketed foundation prototype which will be built in their proposed new 36,000sqm offshore wind fabrication facility at their site in Wallsend.With all this investment and creation of jobs, a major issue for the Offshore Wind sector is the skills shortage that is becoming apparent.  

The event highlighted the need for ‘up-skilling’ in this area.  Organisations such as Renewable UK, alongside colleges and centres for excellence in offshore training around the UK, can assist with training staff to chartered status or learning specific skill sets. OEM organisations such as Areva mentioned the transfer from industries such as Aerospace, Automotive and Oil & Gas as ways to transfer skilled workers into the Offshore Wind sector.

Exclusive has a team of experienced recruiters in the Offshore Wind, Energy and Oil & Gas sectors who understand the need for exceptional staff in order to continue to drive forward and implement the ambitious plans and ideas of organisations in this sector. 

We can assist with recruitment needs, regardless of how specialist, and explore methods of recruitment outside the normal to overcome skills shortage issues – whether organisations need a specific skill set, want to recruit international talent, need to fill an extremely niche role, we can meet the needs and ensure organisations have the very best people in the market.

Laura Weaving
Divisional Lead

For further information please contact our Offshore Wind, Energy and Oil & Gas team:

North East
Office: 01661 867730

Aberdeen Office: 01224 912 151

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

HR; Friend or Foe?

So many businesses are apprehensive to introduce HR into their organisation, whether the HR is simple guidelines or assigning a HR Consultant or even developing a HR department.  Whatever level of HR involvement, much of this apprehension is the fear of the unknown with so many questions needing to be answered; what actually are the HR rules & regulations, how do I apply them, who can help me, how much will support cost, what do I do next and so on.

But with anything in business, until you have tried it you will never realise the benefits it has for your businesses efficiency and profitability!  Speaking from experience I have and still am witnessing a small local business which is screaming out for some HR guidance and in this case HR could be their friend…..
The Company Owner and Manager runs his service business with just three employees but believe it or not, with just a small staff team there have been HR elements to be handled including absenteeism issues, motivation matters, maternity allowances, flexible working requests and general attitude and behaviour problems. Phew! What a list for one Manager to deal with all alone!

The Manager has always hoped to avoid HR at all costs as a part of his business because of the fear of it, seeing it as an unnecessary factor which takes up too much time, effort and money when he has always believed he could resolve any employment matters informally through ‘chats’.  As a result he doesn’t have contracts of employment issued, basic policies and procedures available or consistent rules in place.  Consequently he wants to rectify these issues but doesn’t have the confidence to do so as there has always been a lack of clarity and confirmation of the boundaries.  

He now feels completely overwhelmed and frustrated with his one burning question being ‘where do I start?’ but the answer is simple ‘go back to basics and start from scratch!’.  So yes, involve HR by introducing at the very least some common ‘terms and conditions of employment’ to set the ground rules for all employees.  These terms and conditions will be the starting point for addressing any issues in the team which don’t seem to adhere to the company standards.  Believe it or not I am sure his employees will appreciate such standardisation as they will have a better sense of knowing what is expected of them and also what they can expect from their employer as employment is undoubtedly a two way process. 

In this situation, HR can definitely be his ‘Friend’……maybe next time we can consider how HR can be deemed the ‘Foe’?!?!?!?

For more information about our HR Services, please feel free to contact us


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Manager, Leader, Teacher or Coach?

In the fight to win employment after redundancy, you need to be more than ahead of the game, you need to be the prize, the person that everyone wants to employ.

So you’ve been a Manager before, you’ve worked hard, made your mark on the business, excelled in customer relations, increased business three-fold and still you can’t secure employment – Why?

The game has changed. No longer are you expected to just ‘manage’ the business and the people, you are expected to combine managing, with leadership, teaching and coaching as well.