Business services: do millennial’s want a job or an experience?

Business services: do millennial's want a job or an experience?
(Adventureland, Miramax)

Working in recruitment you hear the word ‘experience’ a lot…Usually, in business services positions, it is within the context of what a candidate can bring to a position, or specific experience a client requires: what previous experience do they have, how much experience is required for a role, that kind of thing.


But, as more and more millennials enter the workforce, I’ve noticed that this word is now being used more commonly to describe what a company can offer you…There are a still lot of lazy stereotypes regarding a millennial workforce, but if you want them to want to work for your business services company (or any other company!), you may want to take some notes – starting with the end of these tired stereotypes.


Millennials are the first digital natives to enter the working world and this hasn’t been lost on us recruiters. The differences between this generation and their predecessors, however subtle, can have a huge impact on what someone expects from a job.


Whilst millennials want essentially the same as everybody else; enough money to live comfortably, career progression, a friendly team and a good work/life balance. How these areas are prioritised is slightly different…


Increasingly, a higher value is being given to a positive work culture over what a starting salary may be. Millennial workers are frequently less engaged by the prestige of a company, as they are more inclined to work somewhere where they believe their work is meaningful and the company that they work for has a strong social purpose. Just because a company is a reputable brand, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a desired workplace.


In a current candidate-driven market, millennials are being more and more selective over their future potential employer.


You may have noticed recently that a lot of business services companies are now online so that they can showcase who they are and what they are about directly to a young, digitally engaged audience. Technology has changed, and it now allows millennials more access to research companies, check reviews and identify other employees via platforms such as LinkedIn.


Whilst each millennial worker is different, generally, they all want purpose over a paycheck (with a dash of success thrown in there!). They are likely to search for opportunities that will enable them to learn, grow and develop, and if companies want to get the best of the next generation to work with them, they will need to adapt in order to survive…


In such a competitive market, recruitment is a two-way process and companies need to sell their opportunity as much as the candidate sells themselves.


But what do you think? Do you work in business services or are you a millennial? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or email me at

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.

Can you get fun accountants?

Can you get fun accountants?
Can you get fun accountants?

Whenever someone is introduced as an accountant, whether this is at a party or a networking event, quite often you see the rest of the group’s eyes glaze over and images of grey, boring suits flash in their mind.


If I asked you to picture an accountant right now, in fact, that’s probably the exact image that you would think up.


Whilst there may well be accountants that do fit this description, there are also plenty that don’t!


Accountancy, believe it or not, can actually be kind of exciting…

Working as an accountant, each work day has the potential to be dramatically different from the next. Accountancy provides the flexibility to avoid boredom, as it is essentially a function of any business so there’s the opportunity to work in a variety of different business settings.


Accounting has changed over the years. Gone are the days where you are perceived to be sitting behind your desk, crunching numbers all day on Excel and being antisocial and systematic. Companies are utilising their finance teams and allowing them to work more operationally with other departments.


As a result, there is a real demand for management accountants who, in addition to the core finance and accounting skills, can offer strategic thinking and commercial insight, combined with influencing and, ideally, leadership skills.


Emerging technologies are changing the way in which finance works too. Many companies now use cloud-based systems, analytic solutions and newer digital tools such as robotic process automation that can take out some of the more mundane tasks of accounting, and free up more time for forward thinking and driving business performance.


Being an accountant opens up the door to be able to understand all operations of a business, as when it comes down to a business making important decisions, the money involved becomes a major part of the process. Working in accounting puts you in a great spot to be able to contribute to the success of the business by helping leaders make smart financial decisions.


For more information on exciting opportunities in finance and being a fun accountant, email me at

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here

Transitioning from the corporate world

Transitioning from the corporate world

It’s been 6 months since I took the plunge. I made the move from the corporate recruitment world to working for a small business with a close friend. And I haven’t looked back.

In these months of working at re:find I have learnt a lot, and I mean a lot! One of the main things being that everything you do is a reflection of you and your brand. There are no corporate layers to hide behind, your actions reflect you and whatever you do has an impact on your own reputation in the market.

While the transition from the corporate world hasn’t been easy, there has been a lot of adjusting into new ways of working. Below is my list of attributes that I feel are needed to survive in a small business and how it differs from the corporate recruitment world.

In order to succeed, you must be self-motivated, nobody will tell you what to do. This is good in a sense, as it means you don’t have anyone checking up on you. Allowing you to have free rein to get on with things. It can be hard to be self-motivated without a team around you, but my main motivation is that I genuinely care. I care about helping businesses meet their objectives, I care about understanding my client’s needs and care that my candidates get the right advice. I also care about my reputation. And, as I said before, every action is a reflection on you, so maintaining my reputation and providing the best service is super important and another reason to care. On a personal level, I want, in fact, I need, to perform well to provide for my family and that motivates me even more.

Next, there are no more pointless KPIs. Which means that you can focus on the important things that allow you to grow your business. Of course, KPIs can be important within a business and can provide incentive and motivation for staff. But for me the focus is now not on the number of CV’s I have sent or the number of meetings in the diary, it is about helping clients and candidates. I feel we are making a difference, providing our customers with a great service and focusing on the things that make the biggest impact rather than completing a box-ticking exercise.

What I enjoy about working for a small business, is the freedom to choose who you want to work with. The biggest change is the ability for me to say no to working with a client who doesn’t share our values. We are trusted advisors to our clients and candidates, we build strong relationships and really get to know our clients and their businesses. This means we can add real value. As we’re not just a number on a PSL or are being told by head office who we can or can’t work with.

Possibly one of the best rewards is that I have complete autonomy to work when and where I want. The greatest benefit of this is that it enables me to spend time with my family. With traditional corporate recruitment firms, you are expected to be in the office from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday. I am not saying that we don’t put in the hours, we do, and in actual fact, I probably work more hours now than I ever did before, but they are flexible and seamlessly integrated into my life. I know what I need to do so I get it done, even if that is at home.

Remote Working
You have the flexibility to work from anywhere, so if the office gets a bit boring you can pick up your laptop and find a good coffee shop to work from. With the help of WIFI accessibility, cloud-based systems and my smartphone, I can seamlessly move between the two: working in the office and working remotely. I am now able to work from anywhere and be more productive

Now, I’m not saying that it’s plain sailing and, as we all know, working for yourself has its own challenges. But I can say that the benefits and opportunities that it opens up, means that I can concentrate more on the things that matter. This is going to make the biggest impact for both my customers and my family.

Have you transitioned from corporate recruitment to a small business or vice versa? Or are you looking to work with a small business?

To have a chat about your executive search, contact me at

You can view more about Carl Hinett our Executive search of HR professionals specialist here.

Ten tips for transformation go-live success

Business transformation success

In this installment of In:site we speak to Simon Brown.

Simon is a veteran of six end-to-end Transformation and Shared Services Programmes (since 1996). Simon often gets asked: what works best, what advice would you give?

There is no single “cut and paste” solution since each company has its own culture, its own spend budget and change readiness agility. There are certainly some common factors if applied with the correct level of dedication and follow-through, which can make a great difference to the speed of implementation and effectiveness of your transformation.

However, Go-Live is that high profile moment when you turn all the thinking, planning, blood, sweat and tears of knowledge transfer, including the processes which you lift and shift or lift and transform, into a new operational model. A model which the customers can see, feel, touch and truly experience. It’s similar to opening a store or restaurant and suddenly your customers are ready to consume your products and services and give you feedback on what they did or didn’t like.

So here are my 10 top tips for Transformation Go-Live Success:

1. Begin with the end in mind

Establish a visual blueprint of your future organisation, your Target Operating Model. Be clear on the deliverables and desired outcomes. As well as the measures of success in terms of operational effectiveness, customer satisfaction and cost efficiency. Define and agree these upfront with your key stakeholders. Plan ahead and get answers to these points before you get sucked into the doing mode.

2. Create a compelling vision to move forward

By working together on the design team and actually articulating the vision by physically drawing a tableau to describe your future state, you are creating something which you can show and share with others to get them involved and engaged. A picture is worth a thousand words: it draws people in, starts a conversation, creates meaning and a dialogue for change. Hopefully, it also provokes a response and creates an emotional reaction. So to gain momentum to move forward we need to create a compelling vision, a good story, something to believe in, to follow and to become part of.

3. Engage your key stakeholders early and enlist business “change champions”
Before you start to implement your new ways of working, be sure to get real supporters from the business on your side. Change champions are leaders and role models. They are well respected by other managers and thus engender + enable peer and cascade credibility to the transformation story. Identify and enlist “change champions” who can talk positively about the benefits of self-service, portal and system technology. This will allow HR business partners to actually spend more time supporting the business agenda and less time as a pair of hands on administration.

4. Align Systems with Processes
Generally, alignment is the key word. Alignment of activities, sub-projects and work-streams are key to the successful implementation + end user digestion of the transformation and changes to the ways of working. Having a clearly coordinated and well-structured Project Management Office with a well-bundled communications plan can really help to present the transformation as one initiative, not a thousand unrelated busy tasks. Just like the air traffic controller the role is to ensure that planes take off and lands safely at the right time in the right place.

Align Process + System
System design and implementation and process design and implementation need to happen in parallel, to be aligned. You can’t implement a system without a clear and consistent set of global processes, and global processes will only work if the system enables the necessary transactions.
Roles and workflows must be defined and aligned. One without the other = an unholy and costly mess and lots of re-work.

Align Portal with People
Think about what is relevant for the end user when designing your intranet portal. Ensure navigation and access to information is simple and easy. Use a search engine with keyword enquiry. The most frequently asked questions that employees normally ask are the ones to ensure you have written good content answers for on the portal. Keep these answers up to date, relevant and fresh and you will save everyone time.

5. Hire an HR Shared Services Team Director and Team Leader EARLY

Sadly, all too often companies make the mistake of leaving it until their new HR Service Centre is up and running before hiring the HR Service Director, and team leaders. It is a mistaken belief that it is costly to hire these roles early. Particularly if they are an additional cost to a headcount not yet saved elsewhere in the organisation.

My counter proposal is to hire these pivotal roles early. Select those who are change agents, good at stakeholder engagement + employee relations, and particularly strong on the delivery of customer service satisfaction: the most important metric there is! Make them part of your pre Go-Live project team, conducting knowledge transfer, engaging early with key stakeholders and hiring the team. If they are involved in this it will build a stronger psychological contract and a vested interest to build the best team, the best processes, lay the best foundations for the new house right from the start. That’s actually cost effective!

6. Be clear on HR roles for the new HR Model

The HR Community will have one question on their mind as you announce your HR Transformation program: What’s in it for me? Behind that question lies their hierarchy of needs: What happens to me, when, what are the opportunities/options for me, and what if there are no opportunities for me? Don’t pretend that these questions can remain unanswered. Don’t leave the elephant in the room unannounced. Don’t lose trust. Acknowledge that their questions are relevant and real. Be honest.

You may not have all the answers yet but do your best to outline the road-map and the 3 routes to be taken:
a – you can be selected for a role in the new model,
b – you can grow your CV in change and project management,
c – there is no clear role yet defined that we can see for you.

However, if you stay and help with knowledge transfer, a fair and respectful package and support will be there for you if ultimately no suitable roles match for you.

7. Change Management is Key

Don’t underestimate change management or the time it takes. Give quality time to this. Behaviours don’t change on paper or after a single slide deck presentation. You are promoting a new concept and at first, it seems just a concept, a rather uncomfortable concept. Until people see how it works for them. There is a change for line managers to become more empowered and empowering as People Managers.

Have the courage to spend time with HR to help them through their personal transition. They need to accept that the change must come from them.

8. Rule of 8: communicate, communicate, communicate

In turbulent change, you can never over communicate.

When the game is changing, the old rules and framework will not be the same anymore, this is where you have to help the team to take it all in and to adjust to the changing environment. People often don’t hear, and sometimes don’t want to hear, the first message of change. They just don’t take it in. So say it again and again and again but with the same core message. Repeat it 8 times or more, nearly everyone will hear it, internalises it and recognises it as their new terms of reference.

9. Think of knowledge transfer as a joint project team

Create a project management team mindset with a clear charter and purpose. It’s about collaboration, it’s not about wanting to let employees in that country down. This approach sets up conditions for success.
Spend time and money doing as much face-to-face/voice-to-voice knowledge transfer and training as you can. It’s about giving and receiving the gift of knowledge and it can actually be a reward for an employee to get the opportunity go to another country to do this.

Steer clear of any connotations of “taking over”, “raiding their brains”, “us and them”. They set an unhealthy atmosphere for the project and must be confronted early if they arise.

10. Go-Live is just the start!

Check that the new roles, systems and processes are working, especially beneath the surface. Ensure that people are trained for their new roles and that they have actually made the behavioural transition from old state model to new state new model and new actions.

Actions are everything. Read verbal and non-verbal signs. Praise adoption and good examples of the new ways of working. Encourage customer feedback on the service and be quick to improve the service where needed. Nip the bad habits in the bud and the signs of old ways of working via firm, constructive feedback with SMART examples.

Take time to positively celebrate Go-Live day with a drink and a cake as a milestone achieved. It marks the end of the beginning; the start of a new life-cycle of continuous operational excellence.

Simon Brown Associates

To discuss further, you can email me on

You can view more about James Cumming our change and business transformation specialist here.

How do you tailor your CV to a job?

Tailoring your CV

Job hunting can sometimes feel like an odious long-winded task. Everything is questioned, from how you dress at an interview, to why there is a gap on your CV, to why you may have decided to go to university to study Zoology, but are now looking to focus on a career in marketing. Before the stage of being questioned is reached, however, it is always good practice to alter your CV to suit the job role that you’re applying for, as it outlines your passion for the role. But how do you do this efficiently?

1. Is it unique?
To ensure your CV and cover letter is unique for each role you apply for, it is a good idea to have a master copy that you then use as a starting point for each role. If you are applying for two different industries, then have one master copy for each. Alter the order of your sections to suit the role, it allows the recruiter to scan the CV to see that you do have all they are looking for quickly. If you are applying for a role that requires a university degree, then give this section priority and put it towards the top.

2. What words are you using?
Think about the words, especially the adjectives, which are used within the job specification and mirror them in your skills section in your CV. Put it in a different order to ensure it is not too obvious. Try to use some technical jargon that is relevant to the sector you are working for, for example, if you are applying for an HR role, ‘blue-sky thinking’ may be beneficial to use. Using these words envisages experience, as well as understanding of the sector. Also, try to not overload the CV with jargon or “fancy” words, it can cancel out your understanding and can look a little desperate.

3. Have you carried out a search?
Have a look online for job adverts that are similar to the role you applying to, so you can ensure you have an in-depth understanding of what is required in the position you are applying for.

4. Done any research?
Do a little research into the organisation you are applying for. Find out about their reputation and how they present their culture. This would be beneficial when looking at the ‘interests’ section of your CV. If the company has a ‘work hard and play hard’ culture then there would be no qualms in talking about your social interests. Whereas, if the organisation is one that concentrates on remaining professional at all times, you would then only include a select few of your interests that would suit.

5. Be Positive
Try to not be negative in your CV, it can show that you are lacking self-belief or confidence. We all have something we are working on or want to improve, turn that into a positive on your CV. For example, a job seeker may have basic spoken communication skills when applying for a HR Officer role. It can be stated that the job seeker has a basic set of spoken communication skills but with the passion to learn more.

If you think this role is perfect for you, this will show in your CV and cover letter, so ensure you apply for roles that work for you. As well as making sure your CV is concise, intriguing and interesting, the pointers above should help you to get you that dream job or least get you into the right direction. Make sure no exceptions are made, you never know when luck will strike. Good luck jobseekers!

To have a chat about your executive search, contact me at

You can view more about Carl Hinett our Executive search of HR professionals specialist here.