Food & FMCG recruitment
  • Rec Logo
    Candidate
    UK Report on Jobs - April 2021 Update

    ​The UK Report on Jobs was released today, produced by the REC and KPMG.For jobseekers, it makes for encouraging reading - permanent and temporary job vacancies rose sharply in March and vacancies expanded at the quickest rate since August 2018.For employers, increased market confidnce should start to unlock those who have been reluctant to consider a move, and salaries rising should play a factor in this. But employers also report a skills gap - construction, IT and retail all have incompatible supply and demand.What's your experience? Have you seen these trends play out, or noticed something different?UK Report on Jobs

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  • Laptop
    Candidate
    Can you 'Beat the 'Bot?'

    ​Can you Beat the ‘Bot?We’re hearing more and more of our candidates tell us they struggle with applications made direct to organisations. Despite ‘having everything they were looking for’, the candidate receives a message they’re not progressing through the process.It’s a lose-lose all round.And the chances are the CV just hasn’t got through the computer screening.We've put together some hints and tips on how to optimise your CV for a role you suspect may pass through a ‘bot.Our first tip. Keep it simple.Remove any fancy formatting and symbols, logos etc. The software just can’t cope with it. Write a Word document that’s text focused and clear. Some ATS systems can’t process pdf files, and nor do they like graphs, charts and tables. Plain text files work really well for ATS software, but they do limit your formatting options.If you get through to interview, send through your formatted CV prior to interview which may be appropriate if you’re in a creative role such as a design or marketing role.Our second tip. Make your contact details visible. One thing we see many candidates do is to include name, address and contact details in the header or footer of the CV. For some people, it's an obvious place to tuck them away neatly but...Some ATS systems can’t process data in the header or footer so make sure you pop your contact details in the main body of your CV.  It’s suggested that up to 25% of candidates have contact details buried in the header or footer of their CV. Our third tip. Keywords. Oh don’t we love them?Not to be confused with buzzwords such as ‘proactive’ or ‘self-starter’, keywords highlight the soft and hard skills you have.Collect the keywords for the role you are applying for. Pick out the key terms and start to populate them into your CV. Now, there’s an optimal repetition of keywords and each algorithm will perform slightly differently. Some ATS systems will optimise the prevalence of the number of times a term appears, whereas others assign an estimated amount of experience for a particular skill based on its placement in the CV.In an ideal world, you optimise for both, but it’s a balancing act and after the ‘bot has done their bit, your CV will be read by a human so it still needs to read well.Our fourth tip. It’s a no to charts, graphs, images.‘The computer says NO’.You might be thinking about a certain David Walliams with that phrase, but the ‘bot will boot you away. As amazing as CVs look with fantastic formatting, it won’t get you through the door.Recruiters also prefer straightforward CVs. Part of our job is to gain the insight into our candidates and we add this into how we present you to our clients.And our clients say, 100% of the time, they just want the best person for the job.Our fifth tip. Simplify.Keep your bullet points simple. I think you’re getting the message by now. A solid circle, line or square works well, sadly emojis do not.Same with your design. Text where the ATS isn’t expecting it causes upset, as does irregular ordering of your experience. Always, always, most recent role first, and go back from there. Absolutely fine to ‘squeeze’ your earlier career (remember the 2 page rule) and back to keywords. You can overdo them which has the same effect – the computer says ‘no’.Good luck with your CV if you’re entering a process which involves a ‘bot. And take heart, these systems do work for many businesses and many, many candidates have successfully moved into roles when they’ve applied this way.There is tech available to help you…check out sites such as jobscan or zipjob that can be helpful.Remember, at the end of the day, humans make hiring decisions not computers. Need more advice on hiring, job searching or CV writing? Get in touch with us, we're happy to help.

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  • How to make your CV have impact
    Candidate
    Your CV - How to Create Impact

    ​Your CV – HOW TO CREATE IMPACT Your CV is a sales document. Its purpose is to spark enough interest in you that the reader calls you for an interview. Your CV needs to stand out – you’re competing with other applicants and the pressures the reader has on his/her time. If you’re lucky, a 15 second scan is the most your CV will command (if it’s not read by computer…), and the majority of these precious seconds will be spent on the first page. Start with adding your contact details: list your mobile number, email address, LinkedIn profile and your home location. Consider layout – make it smart and easy to read. We advise a line under your name including the information above. Saves space and looks professional. Generate a Personal Statement/Career Profile. This takes thought. Think about who you are, what you offer and what you are looking for. Don’t fall into the trap of being very ‘high level’ with lots of descriptive words but no substance. Tailor your CV to the role you are applying for. Don’t think the reader will be searching for hints as to why you applied. ​​Qualifications – where to put them? Our rule of thumb – if your qualifications are directly relevant to the role or field you are in, make sure they are visible. You can also include them in your personal statement/profile e.g. CIPS qualified Procurement Manager with 15+ years experience in the FMCG industry…. A relevant degree or advanced qualifications can also be included e.g. Degree qualified Senior Technical Manager with in excess of 10 years’ experience working with the UK retailers including M&S, Tesco and Asda. Include other relevant qualifications if they add value and list courses attended/other qualifications towards the end of the CV. Don’t list every piece of training you’ve ever attended, it’s not necessary. And if you’re not qualified in your field, state what you DO HAVE…e.g. 8 years’ experience turning underperforming brands into market leaders within 18 months. Responsible for successful new product launches gaining 15% market share in 12 weeks. ​Experience. Important part of a CV. And it’s EASY to waffle. Please don’t. We strongly advocate a brief description of the business you work for/worked for – what they do/did, key customers and products. Let your CV tell the full story, and allow the recruiter to visualize the context of where you work. It’s likely the reader won’t have time to Google your employers and if your CV is read by a recruiter or HR Manager new to the sector, they won’t yet have detailed knowledge. And if you are the Hiring Manager and there’s little or no description, some candidates ‘hide’ these nuggets of information in the description of the role. Look for key words and phrases to gather the information you need to decide to meet. Brevity prevails when we get to experience. List 3-4 key responsibilities and 3-4 key achievements for each role. Avoid a ‘copy and paste’ of your job description, it’s not IMPACTFUL, we want to know HOW GOOD you were at your job. ​Previous/Early career – how to position this on a CV? Many people struggle with this, and simply add, and add and ADD to their CV. Candidates worry that leaving something out may jeopardise their chances of an interview. I get it. It’s part of what made you what you are today but listing responsibilities from your first job in 2000 (or before) isn’t going to add value. It will DETRACT. ‘Squeeze’ down the CV. Listing early roles with employer and job title will still show progression but without dragging the CV onto page 3. And here’s the elephant in the room. Age. Candidates who are later in their career worry about this a great deal. CVs no longer include DOB (and recruiters remove them anyway) but it’s not necessary to list dates for all of your early career roles. Simply pop ‘Early career includes’ and list. And move on. ​​Having spent the week talking about what to include on your CV we thought we’d include some things to leave out. Date of birth – please. It’s not required and we remove it anyway if we represent you. But if your CV is on a job board with DOB, address and a few other details, identity theft is very easy for those who know how. So please protect yourself. Marital status, number of children, where you were born (yes really) aren’t things an employer needs to know. Reasons for leaving. Yes, we see them and they’re never good. Don’t apologise if you were made redundant. It’s life. Explain briefly at interview and focus on the reasons you want to join a business. Playing golf ‘badly’. This is our number 1 hate. We are yet to be convinced it’s funny. Think about your personal interests if you decide to include them. What do they say about YOU? Have you raised money for charity, are you a member of a club or society? Do you train regularly? Much, much better than stating you’re not good at something or making a joke. References. Bit of a GDPR nightmare and not required. Once you’re offered a job, send discretely with permission to your future employer. And please, please ask someone to proofread. We've just opened a CV of a chef. He’s in charge a full kitchen BRIDGE would you believe?​A CV critique is just part of the service we offer to our candidates. If you need support with your CV and you work in the sectors we cover, then please get in touch for more information - we're just a phone call away.

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  • Businesses who are hiring or creating jobs
    Candidate
    Who's Hiring?

    ​Who’s Hiring? Plenty of business are hiring right now. And for those who have lost their jobs in the Food & FMCG arena, we thought we’d round up some of the businesses who we’ve seen are investing and hiring. We know it’s tough out there to find a new role, but we thought this knowledge would be helpful.Not all these businesses will have vacancies right now, but they may have coming up.Our advice to you would be to make sure you sign up for any job alerts and follow the business on LinkedIn. See if there’s anyone you know working for a business of interest to you and connect with them. Get some hints, tips and knowledge before you apply.Remember – preparation shows. Get ahead. There are more candidates in the candidate pool, but it doesn’t mean they are more appropriate. So, don’t be put off. And if you have a link to a business already, you are normally then best placed to see any vacancies first.So here’s our round up of some of the businesses getting active with their cash and their jobs.Cadburys are moving manufacturing to the UK with a £15m investment in Bourneville:https://londonlovesbusiness.com/cadbury-to-move-from-germany-to-uk-with-15m-investment/Biscuit sales are booming in Northumbria and are investing 6 figures to expand production of their gluten free products – great news for anyone who’s a consumer:https://www.business-live.co.uk/retail-consumer/northumbrian-fine-foods-make-six-19752243ECD are benefitting from part of £100m investment in the Tech Valleys in South Wales, and it’s more than just food businesses that gain the grants available:https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/story/news/tech-valleys-manufacturer-of-dried-foods-and-nutrients-amongst-beneficiaries-from-new-investment-gra/PFF, who normally make packaging for supermarket products, have expanded into supporting the NHS and healthcare workers with PPE:https://bdaily.co.uk/articles/2021/02/15/northern-food-packaging-firm-launches-ppe-division-after-creating-100-new-jobsAnd First Milk are dividing a £12.5m investment between plants in Cumbria and South Wales:https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2021/03/01/First-Milk-invests-12.5m-in-cheese-and-whey-processingBottling business MEG are ploughing investment into their South Derbyshire plant, creating 150 jobs:https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2021/03/01/150-jobs-to-be-created-at-new-bottling-plantPukka Pies have invested almost £5m in their pant in Leicestershire and allowed them to invest in NPD and enter the Vegan market:https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2021/03/01/Pie-maker-Pukka-announces-4.5m-Syston-bakery-investmentWyke Farms have created a new export centre, and also heightened their green credentials:https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2021/02/19/Cheese-maker-Wyke-Farms-posts-record-salesAnd Mackie’s Crisps have invested in Perthshire:https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2021/02/15/Mackie-s-Crisps-invests-750-000-in-vegetable-crisps-factorySedamyl (a former Tate & Lyle site) are creating 75 jobs in Selby:https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2021/02/08/Sedamyl-80m-investment-in-Selby-plant-to-create-75-jobsBranston have brought in a new MD to support a £12m investmenthttps://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2021/02/05/Potato-firm-Branston-appoints-MD-to-support-12m-investmentAnd these are just the stories from the last few weeks.If you’d like to know more about hiring in this market, let us know – we’re happy to help. 

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  • Francesca F1 Picture
    Client
    Formula 1 - My Passion

    ​My passion: I’ve been a major follower of F1 since a child says Francesca LoughreyFollowing Formula 1 helps Francesca Loughrey, Associate Director at Expion Search & Selection, switch off at the weekend. No-one in my family is into motorsports, so they were surprised when I quickly became hooked after I stumbled across a Formula 1 race on the TV at the age of 15.  At first, I enjoyed the excitement of seeing fearless drivers race the fastest cars in the world, often pulling risky manoeuvres which sometimes led to glory (and others to disaster).  Over the years I had become more interested in the strategic element of the sport, finding a fascination in the making of the right or wrong call when to re-fuel (when it was still permitted) or stop for tyre replacement and how this could make or break a driver’s race.  I’ve followed some great British drivers over the years, cheering on Damon Hill, Jenson Button and then Lewis Hamilton. I’m a huge Lewis Hamilton fan – seeing him battle his way past most drivers on the track from the beginning of his career - truly inspirational. In 2018, I was lucky enough to attend the British Grand Prix and thought he was set for a home victory when he qualified on pole; unfortunately, he got spun in his first lap landing him right at the back. However, the real inspiration that he is, Lewis managed to overtake nearly every car on the track that day, finishing second place. It was a fantastic show of true fighting spirit. I owe a lot to Formula 1, for me, it has been so much more than just being a sport or just a hobby for the weekend. It’s been a way of keeping me inspired and motivated. Lewis’s motto is to ”never give up”This is something I try to live by when faced with difficult challenges in life. Determination and hard work are things you need to succeed in the recruitment industry I’ve worked in for 17 years now; Lewis and Formula 1 provide that motivation I need to keep achieving the best.Luckily for me, I have been fortunate enough to tie my passion for Formula 1 with my working life moving into Automotive recruitment 13 years ago, and I’ve stayed in this sector ever since.  The continually evolving technology fascinates me in general, especially with rules tightening to reduce the environmental impact of transport. It’s impressive to see technologies first developed by Formula 1 being transferred to the types of commercial vehicles that my clients and candidates work with. Commercial vehicle operators are under more pressure than ever to increase efficiencies of their fleet, and I love discussing this with them – often finding they have a shared love of motorsport.About Francesca LoughreyFrom starting as a stand-alone specialist recruiter 13 years ago, focusing on the automotive industry, Francesca has grown a highly successful recruitment business with a team of recruiters who deliver tailored resourcing campaigns to organisations across the UK. Believing in success due to specialist, in-depth knowledge of the automotive and engineering markets and aconsultative approach, Francesca ensures that the best candidates are matched with relevant positions.​For more information on roles in Automotive, Logistics & Distribution please get in touch with us at Expion - we're happy to chat all things recruitment and Formula 1... 

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  • Manufacturing Recruitment
    Client
    Insight and Intuition - Engineered Products and Manufacturing

    ​Many key hiring and recruitment trends have been announced over the last few weeks. Surveys, reports, all written to help give us insight into what the market’s doing, and where it might be going.We’re all ears, and we’ll share with you some of what we’ve seen develop across the market, and within Engineered Products and Manufacturing.Covid will be dominant through the summer, well into H2. I think we all guessed this, but it’s interesting to see how businesses will manage through. Vacancies are already up in some sectors such as Building Materials, and we see more positivity starting to creep in. Summer recovery won’t be a ‘return to normal’. What’s that anyway? I think we’ve all forgotten and have all adapted but in business, investment in ‘clicks not bricks’ is evident as more people work from home permanently, and businesses will rely on a flexible workforce, including temporary labour, to manage the change.Resilience is key in a volatile and complex environment. Employee engagement and retention is even more important, as is the financial flexibility and businesses are even starting to stockpile talent. Take note.D&I is a top strategic concern. Recruitment and staffing firms can be a catalyst for change but don’t get left behind with this. It is here and embracing D&I can attract fantastic talent to a business of any size, especially in a skills short market such as engineering.Platforms are being developed and enhanced all the time. It’s the new battleground. From recruitment platforms to commercial and businesses evolving from B2B to B2C to explore new channels.Omni-channel staffing. Whats that? It’s multi-faceted ways of recruiting. From inhouse referrals through to advertising, networking and Social Media. It’s a full-time job. We should know. But balancing the channels is a skill and manufacturing businesses need to ensure they maximise the whole talent pool when recruiting, not rely on one or two sources.Automation has accelerated during Covid, and job losses have been harsh. But it’s here to stay and people displaced are retraining.Reskilling is big business and so much is offered from government funded initiatives, through to staffing firms skilling staff. This is evolving weekly, and for anyone in a position to upskill themselves, the options are vast. We'd love to chat to you about how we can support with your hiring needs, contact us here

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  • I Stock 000021983572 Medium
    Client
    Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical Recruitment - Utilising Extra Capacity

    ​We recently share our insight into the world of Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical Recruitment. Now we’re delving deeper into a key trend we’ve been seeing - Utilising extra capacity.The need to manufacture the Covid vaccine in the UK has been a topic for discussion for a while. We work with Wockhardt who make the Astrazeneca vaccine, and recently Fujifilm Diosynth gained approval to make the Novavax vaccine.But what’s the impact on recruitment?They’re recruiting. Not that that’s a surprise, and the impact of Fujifilm Diosynth needing an additional 300 skilled staff in the North East is a positive one. Great for the local area.But it also has an impact on other businesses in the region. Draining the candidate pool leaves fewer skilled workers for other businesses initially. All businesses in the area need a clear recruitment strategy to hire in the right people and must have a compelling proposition for the market.We’ve seen many manufacturers have to flip their manufacturing model. Changing shift patterns to extend manufacturing hours, and varying terms for workers adds even more pressure onto HR teams, who are already stretched to capacity.Once recruited, new workers need a sound onboarding experience – the last thing a business needs is people exiting due to the absence of a proper welcome.IR35 is still rearing its head. We’re seeing an impact on the availability of interim contracts as companies prepare to navigate through the changes (and we still believe they will come), and interim professionals reluctant to look at FTC roles. A stale mate possibly?The over-riding feeling within the Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals world is one of anticipation and excitement. Bringing manufacturing into the UK to avoid import pressures from Brexit is heralded as great for the UK. And we agree.For chat about any aspects of recruiting into the Medical Devices & Pharmaceutical market, please contact us - we'd love to hear from you  

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  • Kpmg
    UK Report on Jobs - February 2021 update

    ​​As part of our service to clients, we are pleased to provide access to market information, insight and data.In February 2021, KPMG and the REC published their report on jobs (updated from January 2021) which is essential reading for anyone in a recruiting or hiring role. We hope you find it useful.UK Report on Jobs

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  • Pexels Pixabay 35629
    Client
    Food & FMCG - What's the market doing?

    ​We’ve worked in the Food & FMCG industry for a while. And we know quite a few people as you’d expect. But what’s actually going on? We hear reports of booming sales and output yet parts of the industry are on their knees. How do you navigate through this space if you’re hiring or job seeking?Just like asking Jeremy Clarkson on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, here’s what we think:The skills gap is real. So even though there are perceptions there are more available candidates, that doesn’t make their experience necessarily right for the roles that businesses are recruiting for.Networking is abundant. And by that we mean there are plenty of people connecting, collaborating, sharing information. And we see this continuing. Some businesses are on their knees. Those supplying Food to Go products have found it tough. You can’t make for M&S café, if M&S café isn’t open. Nor can you easily flip to something else. We’ve seen casualties in readymade meals and convenience foods. We’re all at home, more available to cook. Some businesses have boomed. Not just in loo roll, but bakery, ambient grocery and meats/meat alternatives.To meet demand, we’ve seen businesses look to create extra capacity. Through changing shift patterns to longer working or overtime, these changes all affect the working lives of manufacturing staff and require the skills and expertise of HR teams and strong leaders to make it effective.Health, Safety and Environmental roles have come to the fore like never before. We’ve placed several people in these roles over the last 12 months and quite rightly, the ‘safety first’ message is being heard loud and clear.Leadership is key. Like never before. Finding people who are able to ‘take others on a journey’ is the most important behavioural capability we’re asked to identify when we’re looking for candidates. We’ve seen a reduction on emphasis on qualifications and more focus on the qualities and cultural fit of candidates. Senior level candidates have ‘dipped down’ to apply for roles less senior than their previous positions. Whilst some businesses view these candidates as a flight risk, many have embraced the opportunity to bring in expertise where previously they’ve been unable to.I.T. is KINGWe did know this before Covid, but creating efficiencies in the supply chain are advancing, and data analysts and scientists are in demand for developing sophisticated, intuitive systems.Emerging businesses with a lower capital risk are emerging as never before. Factories are expensive beasts to run, so creating agility in the supply of products through 3rd parties and co-packers is smart business for smaller companies. To find out more about the market, and what we can do for you, contact the team here.

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  • Colin D Jn J Zw Ys Wy7o Unsplash
    Client
    Automotive, Logistics & Distribution - The Road Ahead

    ​Automotive, Logistics & Distribution – The Road Ahead There are huge challenges ahead for the Automotive, Logistics & Distribution industry as what Boris Johnson terms the “green industrial revolution” is underway to drive us to a low carbon economy.   This race to innovate set against the backdrop of the global pandemic has created a unique set of demands for vehicle operators.   Here’s some of what we’re seeing: Diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned from 2030 and HGVs will soon follow.  As a result, we need the engineering and technical skills to manage high levels of electric or hybrid vehicles on the road – and at present (according to the Institute of the Motor Industry) only 5% of vehicle technicians are trained to work on these vehicles.  Furthermore, training in the vehicle retail world plummeted by 85% in 2020 when many dealerships furloughed staff and reduced investment in training following a slump in retail sales.  Product and strategic specialists with electric vehicle knowledge, data scientists, data analysts and business information specialists are all in demand as large Automotive fleet operators seek to understand how to decarbonise their fleets whilst meeting changing customer demands. Supermarket home delivery and parcel delivery from online shopping demand has exploded, so fleet managers, account managers, technical operations and workshop operations staff in these sectors are in demand, however on the flip side of this, businesses who deliver supplies to and remove waste from the hospitality sector have experienced a huge loss in demand through the sustained lockdowns and tier system closures the industry has seen. One might expect an influx of candidates wanting to move from badly impacted to booming sectors however we’re seeing many candidates choose to stay with their current employer to maintain furlough eligibility and redundancy rights so competition for talent is sharpening.For more information on the future of the Automotive, Logistics and Distribution recruitment landscape, please get in touch with Francesca Loughrey, we'd love to hear from you. 

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  • Iet Logo
    Client
    Our insight into Engineered Products - what the market is doing

    ​What gives us our #expertopinion in Engineered Products Recruitment? Well, we’ve been operating in that sector for many years, and our resident Steve McKiernan has his eye on what’s changing, and what’s not.Here’s how we see things at the moment:There’s a real variation of demand across the sector. Some areas are in decline (Aerospace), others are flat (Automotive/OEMs) but with some signs of improvement, and other sectors are in growth (Building Materials such as Steel, Fabrication and products used in construction). The impact of Brexit. Manufacturing has shifted both ways, in some cases into the UK such as our clients Jotun and Emerson. Others haven’t been so fortunate, and seen manufacturing moving overseas.There’s still a skills gap. People with strong technical and engineering skills are badly needed (Engineering is identified by the IET as a desired skill and 1 in 2 businesses are concerned that the skills gap will affect business growthhttps://www.theiet.org/media/press-releases/press-releases-2019/18-november-2019-1-in-2-uk-engineering-and-technology-firms-are-concerned-that-a-shortage-of-engineers-in-the-uk-is-a-threat-to-their-business/)Our clients recognise this. Even though there are more candidates available does not mean they are more appropriate.IR35 will affect Engineered Products as April 2021 approaches. Whilst there are more available contractors, some have taken FTC roles within businesses. We predict that within Engineered Products, along with other manufacturing businesses, the risk of high levels of attrition is great once the market picks up after April and more lucrative day rates are available.We've plenty more to talk about, just get in touch and see how we can help you.

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  • Hiring
    Candidate
    Latest trends in Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical Recruitment

    ​Spotlight on the Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical market.What gives us our #expertopinion in Medical Devices & Pharmaceutical Recruitment? Recruiting into the regulated sector has always been challenging but #Covid has accelerated things.Here’s the state of the market at the moment in January 2021There’s still a skills gap. In demand are people with experience in Quality, Regulatory, Validation, R&D and QPs. Good candidates are in demand and employers need to be creative in how they attract talent.To recruit effectively, a well-established network is vital. Having established relationships with a broad range of people brings knowledge, recommendations and credibility. All important for an effective recruitment process in a market where candidate supply is dwindling.Hiring Managers are well qualified, capable people, but they’re not recruiters. To successfully hire, you need a partner who can support you, whilst you do your day job which you’re brilliant at.Trends we are seeing are salaries rising as demand for candidates grows, and candidates requesting clear career paths once established in post. Commitment from the employer to employee about personal growth, and flexibility to entice a move.Growth in businesses where there is spare manufacturing capacity – we’ve already seen this with one of our key clients, Wockhardt, who are manufacturing the Covid vaccine.We expect to see greater hiring in the supply chain, not just as the vaccine is rolled out, but lessons are learned once the initial surge is through and supply chain security is advanced.Emerging businesses as new technologies are developed, rolled out and market adoption increases, along with an appetite for investment and acquisition.For more insight into recruiting into Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals, please contact Richard Clegg or a member of the Expion team - we're really happy to help whether you're a client or a candidate.

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  • Kpmg
    Client
    UK Report on Jobs - January 2021

    ​As part of our service to clients, we are pleased to provide access to market information, insight and data.In January 2021, KPMG and the REC published their report on jobs which is essential reading for anyone in a recruiting or hiring role. We hope you find it useful.UK Report on Jobs

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  • UK Recruiter
    Client
    Tales from the Covid mist

    ​Our director, Caroline Vooght, is a guest blogger for UK Recruiter, a well respected source of information for the recruitment industry. Here she shares her insights into the experiences of many working within the UK Food & FMCG manufacturing industry during Covid.UK Recruiter - Tales from the Covid Mist

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  • Pharma Jobs
    Candidate
    Pharma recruitment during Covid

    ​All manufacturers have had to adapt during Covid, and the Pharmaceuticals industry is no exception. Richard Clegg gives his insight into how the changes have affected the industry, and what the future holds.Pharma Jobs - Pharma recruitment during Covid

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  • Listening Skills In Recruitment
    Candidate
    The real reasons for leaving a role and listening skills

    ​I’ve been in recruitment since Ant and Dec were in Byker Grove (well almost!) and of course I’ve had my fair share of conversations with candidates about their reasons for leaving their current employer (RFL). Nothing new there. Recently, though, I’ve seen a real shift in the openness being offered by candidates, and it’s this interesting change that brought me to write this.As a recruitment ‘newbie’ in the noughties, I was taught to question and query every RFL given to me. Make sure you REALLY know, I was told. Ask again in a different way, ask for references…the reasons go on and on. As a youngster, I probably asked too much, was too intrusive – in the wrong ways.Over the years, I’ve refined what I ask, how I ask it and always been very conscious of my audience. It would have been unheard of for a candidate to give anything but a standard response (new challenge, lack of opportunities), until recently, when I spoke with a candidate with a different story to share.I’d received a CV from a male candidate, experienced in his field and with a wealth of knowledge (assuming the CV to be correct!). A few years ago, he opened up about how one of his close friends lost their teenage son suddenly. Overnight. Just like that. He explained how this event had had such a profound impact on him, he lost his way at work, and couldn’t focus or gain satisfaction from the field he’d been working in for many years. This led to a cycle of depression, and he eventually left his role, took some time out and subsequently found another position with a similar business to the one he’d left. Should be the end of the story, shouldn’t it?Not so. The reason that he was talking to me was that he’d not been able to perform to the standards the new business required, and he’d been let go from his new role after a year. I felt for him. And I admired his approach to be open and honest with me, someone he’d never met and didn’t know.It got me thinking. There’s plenty of talk now about mental health and I strongly suspect that had this happened now, he’d have had access to more support than has ever been offered.But the real change I felt was that as a recruiter, we have such a duty to support candidates, whatever their reasons for moving on. Not everyone has a CV stuffed full of market-leading achievements, an array of blue-chip businesses they’ve worked for, and a first-class degree. That’s not how life works.I was humbled by his experience and the pain he’d been through. I felt compelled to make sure that I think carefully about how and why we ask about reasons for moving on. And to bear in mind that everyone has a back story and things going on that no-one knows about. My approach is now different. The candidate in question will absolutely secure a new role – he’s good at what he does. I wish him well.What have I changed, and how can we, as recruiters, show the empathy and respect for individuals we should, while still hitting the never-ending targets (whether in house or agency). My thoughts are as follows:Take time. Listen to what people have to tell you, rather than simply listen to reply.Have an open mind. The experience people have shapes them, and everyone has something to contribute.Challenge perceptions with hiring managers. Gaps in CVs, unusual RFL, changes in direction all mean something to the individual, and there could be a real opportunity for someone in a business if the ‘norm’ is challenged.Think like a candidate. How do they feel? Looking for a role can be extremely humbling.Give an amazing candidate experience. As recruiters, we’re ambassadors for our clients and hiring managers, and we need to make them stand out.And so my final thoughts are this as a recruiter. We deal with people, not in people. And we have an opportunity to leave an impression on our candidates as they do with us.In the words of the late Maya Angelou (American Poet):I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.Author, Caroline Vooght – Business Unit Director​​​I’m an experienced recruiter with over 20 years in the industry and a specialism for recruiting in the food/FMCG industry. I’ve grown and developed teams and love supporting others.Source: https://ukrecruiter.co.uk/2020/02/28/listening-skills/

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  • Market Changes Interviews
    Client
    How the market has changed…..July 2020

    ​How the market has changed…..July 2020I said on a previous post that Covid hasn’t changed anything, it’s simply accelerated things. And I meant it. One thing I’ve learnt over many years in recruitment is this. Nothing stays the same and markets change quickly.We couldn’t have seen a much quicker charge than we have done over the last few months, and this week I listened to a very informative webinar by Alex Fourlis – MD for Careerbuilder and Broadbean and James Osborne – Chairman of TRN. Both highly respected and knowledgeable with access to a lot of data. They outlined just a few of the changes that they’ve seen and there are some interesting outcomes.We all know that the number of advertised roles has fallen. Generally, by May, there were half the number of manufacturing roles advertised. Interestingly, regional variance was minimal so the effect was national, despite the peaks of the virus in London and then the Midlands/North during that time. There’s no surprise that applications per role are up an average of 35% per role but whilst applications per role increased, the actual number of jobseekers fell.Fewer people looking can be attributed to many things – Lockdown I suspect, and the furlough scheme have kept many people at home and with some feeling of security that they still have a job. And I’ve seen some fantastic examples of businesses and teams who have kept in touch above and beyond what you’d expect. Scavenger hunts, quizzes, online Pictionary – we’ve all done them and for those who have participated, they’ve been the ‘glue’ that’s kept the team engaged and not reaching for the job boards to start a search for a new path.There have been more temporary opportunities – companies are needing resource but unable to commit to longer-term employment. These roles have benefitted those who haven’t been furloughed (and some who have), and jobseekers have been able to find alternative roles, or join businesses temporarily where demand has been substantial such as supermarkets and distribution.Where is the demand and the highest number of roles? Top 20 professions, and no real surprises here, are Support Workers, Nurses, Warehouse Operatives, Software Engineers and more recently, Teachers. Makes perfect sense. And there’s plenty of talk about people reskilling and retraining to fit the evolving workplace. Recruiters can play a key part in this and I’ve seen fellow #APSCo members doing this well within their internal academies and training their own recruits, alongside up-skilling talented candidates for their clients.The lifecycle of jobs is also changing. Average time a role is now online is 10 days, down from 25 days at the start of 2020. Could the impact of this restrict the stream of talent? If recruiters are overwhelmed by response and are closing roles earlier, have we maximised access to the talent pool? Time will tell.I said at the start of this that Covid is an accelerator, and in no small way either. The use of technology for communication, meetings and interviewing has affected everyone. But the use of more sophisticated AI in recruitment makes some people uncomfortable and it will be an interesting time ahead to see how this affects diversity and the corporate D&I agenda.Data is king. It always has been. Never more so in how we work and how we monitor activity and work flow. I suspect we’ll see a decrease in time to hire as processes speed up through enabling technology, and candidate engagement is high on the agenda. Leaders, managers and employees now need to start analysing data and using it to drive efficiency, but without losing the ‘human’ touch.What will the rest of 2020 bring? Whilst things are still slow, there are signs that activity in the market is starting to build, and I predict that once the schools return in September then demand for candidates and jobs will inflate further. This downturn was created by an event rather than by economics and I’ll agree with Alex James and many thought leaders on this, that recovery will be quicker than after the financial crisis. There is a real will of the people to get things moving again, and I for one can’t wait.Thank you for Alex and James really insightful webinar and look forward to hearing their thoughts as the recovery builds.#alexfourlis#jamesosborneCaroline Vooght – July 2020

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  • Insightful Books Recruitment
    Client
    Insightful books to support business leaders with effective management

    Effective management is essential, now more so than ever to ensure your success as a business and as an employee. As a result of COVID19, many business leaders and management teams are working harder than ever to adopt a strong business strategy that will carry them through the current crisis. This will include reviewing budgets and projects, supporting team members and helping teams adapt to new ways of working. This can mean that investing in your professional development can be pushed back. However, leaders and managers who should really consider the benefits of reading, not only to support career growth and development but to improve personal wellbeing too. Right now, you might feel that reading is an extra pressure on your time that you don’t need, but with so many business leaders willing to share their expertise, learnings taken from reading could have far-reaching benefits, especially when it comes to improving your day to day activities. There are hundreds and thousands of books available filled with reflections and advice on leadership. But finding one that’s interesting, insightful, and both practical in your industry, while entertaining to read can be tricky.To help you get started, and in line with National Book Month, our directors James Didgiunaitis and Caroline Vooght, share their top 12 suggestions which feature some world-renowned business leaders and strong-minded individuals.Building Winning Teams: Leadership Tips from the Changing Room to the Board Room– Brian NobleWhy this book is important:This book includes all the learnings from life in high-level sport and how this can be applied to business strategy – simple yet brilliant.Winning!: The path to Rugby World Cup glory  – Clive WoodwardWhy this book is important:The story of England’s only Rugby World Cup win but more importantly an essential guide to succeeding in business.Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE– Phil KnightWhy this book is important:Just Do It! A fantastic read of how just one man made the most well-known, recognisable sports brand.Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies– Jim CollinsWhy this book is important:Jim Collins is both a great researcher and an engaging writer, and he illustrates lessons about greatness through fascinating success case studies. Good to Great– Jim CollinsWhy this book is important:It is widely regarded as one of the most important business books ever written, describing how companies and organisations canachieve greatness. This management book is full of ideas and inspiration as well as being a fast-paced novel.How the Mighty Fall– Jim CollinsWhy this book is important:Find out how Collins offers leaders the well-founded hope that they can learn how to stave off business decline and if they find themselves falling, reverse their course.Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success– Matthew SyedWhy this book is important:Black Box Thinking is the willingness and tenacity to investigate the lessons that often exist when we fail, but which we rarely exploit. It’s about creating systems and cultures that enable organisations to learn from errors, rather than being threatened by them.Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take– Simon SinekWhy this book is important:You are going to get value out of this book. Simon Sinek teaches an important lesson that all business owners, marketers, and team leaders need to know. “Because in business it doesn’t matter what you do, it matters why you do it.” Inspiration is key.The Jersey: The All Blacks: The Secrets Behind the World’s Most Successful Team– Peter BillsWhy this book is important:This internationally best-selling book represents a team with a better winning record than any other sports team in history. Standing head and shoulders above their nearest rugby rivals, this book gives the inspiration you need to build a strong team in the workplace.Legacy– James KerrWhy this book is important:Legacy is a unique, inspiring handbook for leaders in all fields, asking important questions such as, “What are the secrets of success – sustained success? How do you achieve world-class standards, day after day, week after week, year after year? How do you handle the pressure? How do you train to win at the highest level? What do you leave behind you after you’re gone? What will be your legacy?”Getting to Yes with Yourself– William UryWhy this book is important:Good negotiations contribute significantly to business success. Practical and effective, this book helps readers reach an agreement with others whilst helping to develop healthy relationships to benefit your business.The Fear Bubble: Harness Fear and Live Without Limits– Ant MiddletonWhy this book is important:Fear is a barrier to success. “Fear can be used in so many ways. For me, fear is my reason for success. It’s a horrible feeling to have, but it does make you succeed.” – Ant Middleton.Are you interested in other methods of employee development? Check out our recent blog providingfree educational resourcesto improve efficiency, productivity, skills and development.At Expion, we’d love to hear how you’re working on productivity and what you’re reading right now. Tweet us@expionUK.​

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  • Post Covid Interviewing Skills
    Client
    UK Recruiter: Interviewing in a post-Covid world

    ​Will it be different? Should it be different? And can it be different? Yes, yes and yes. And here’s why I think so.We published an article recently about different questions that we predict will become included in a post-Covid world, encouraging people to explain what they did during the pandemic. Did they volunteer, take a different job, or become a homeschooling ninja? Maybe all 3. Or maybe none of the above and they simply followed advice to stay home and save lives. I’m not to judge which would have the most impact or be seen as the ‘best’ answer but mark my words, I believe those questions will come, and everyone will need to be prepared to answer them.But is that the only change that’s likely to come from this? This is a time to radically change how we interview. It’s happening already. Most people are now convinced that video interviewing (Zoom/Skype/Teams) is perfectly viable and is likely to form the basis of many 1st interviews from now on. I agree – it’s more time-efficient, cost-friendly and can cut down a lot of unnecessary activity.There are plenty of options to automate this part of the process if you feel inclined (and there’s some brilliant tech available to do so), as more redundancies occur, application numbers have a canny knack of soaring. And thus presents an opportunity to embrace a broad range of people, skills and capability, and so whichever way you wish to tackle it, tackle it you should.But mostly it’s the format I think should change. Now, don’t get me wrong, competency and biographical interviews allow the interviewer great insight into experience and capability, and in turn, whether the candidate has suitable skills to fulfil the role they are being interviewed for. However, we are moving towards a world where many people are being displaced. Airlines, for example, are laying off swathes of staff, some of whom may never return to the world of aviation, and will be seeking roles in different industries, sectors and disciplines. They will have a multitude of transferrable skills, and while a well-structured competency interview will pull some of these out, plenty may be missed.So what to do about this? How can we, as recruiters, lead the way in challenging the norm in interviewing? While many dread the ‘Tell me about Yourself’ question, I think we should embrace it. Fully.Let’s give candidates the chance to talk about themselves openly and what they value, what they can bring and ultimately, how they can be an amazing addition to the business – your business and your team. I’m not advocating hour-long presentations here with power-point galore…that would be too much. But it’s about giving people that chance to really think about the skills they have for a role, why they want it, and how they can contribute. Proper job descriptions and an insight into the business and the team to be shared with the candidate before the 1st interview (using technology of course) with a brief to prepare a short piece about yourself and your suitability will allow them to do this.I hear you mutter – candidates will hate this. Possibly some will. But some will embrace the chance to have a voice, show capability and strength, and actually talk about things that they might never be asked. If you gave me this chance, what might you find out that’s not on a CV? You’ll find out that I’m actually a qualified fitness instructor (not relevant to my recruitment job), but it taught me to be able to speak to groups of people with confidence and encourage engagement, and that I used to be in the Royal Naval Reserve. Both of these experiences built me as a person yet are so unlikely to come out in an interview, and won’t feature on a CV necessarily.This won’t suit every role of course, but I think it could open the doors for candidates who are changing sector, to demonstrate capability and strengths which may not be evident. In fact, in the recruitment sector, when I recruit for my team, I’m not looking for people who have necessarily already been in recruitment. I’m looking for the skills and aptitude to be able to build relationships, be resilient and hardworking. There are plenty of people who will have these skills and be able to show them off using this approach. And that’s why I think we should give candidates more of a voice. To tackle assumptions that can be so easily made when a CV is read. I’ve heard some shocking preconceptions recently which I won’t repeat, but this could also ‘weed out’ people who aren’t really dedicated to the cause.There’s a danger with a video 1st interview that candidates won’t take them seriously. Too easy to ‘no-show’. In fact, I quake in fear that we’ll get dropouts at the last minute that will disrupt and disappoint. That’s a tale for another day…but to ask candidates to put in a small amount of effort prior to a Zoom will surely tackle those who are ‘in’ and those who are ‘out’.I suspect not everyone will agree with me. But I listened to a talk last week by Grant Leboff who said:Covid 19 changes nothing. It has simply accelerated things. I agree.​This is a guest post provided to UK Recruiter‘s: Recruiting Weekly Series by Caroline Vooght, Director at Expion Search & Selection.

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  • Award Recruitment Expion
    Candidate
    Caroline wins Innovation Volunteer of the Year Award, again!

    ​Our director, Caroline Vooght, has been working hard to provide the generation of the future with inspiration and awareness of future possibilities and career path options. In recognition of this, Caroline was awarded the 2020 Tom Maccabee Inspiration for Innovation Volunteer of the Year Award, alongside TD Group’s Tony Priest.Over the year 2019/20, working withSilverstone ParkandAutomotive 30% Club, Caroline delivered essential skills support such as C.V. and cover letter writing at a series of tailored events to support career aspirations at educational facilities. The facilities included Kingsthorpe College, The Buckingham School and Sponne School, which in the 2019/20 academic year, reached more than 1,000 Key stage 3 (KS3) students between the age of 12 and 14 years.But this isn’t the first time she has won the award, as Caroline also received the award last year when she was recognised for her outstanding contributions throughout 2018/19 -including several visits into schools as well as taking part in multiple inspirational events. Tim Maccabee, who presented the award to this year’s award winners said: “Caroline’s and Tony’s contributions have been prolific – Inspiration for Innovation is there to improve the information for young people at a really important stage of their lives and it’s great to have volunteers, like Caroline and Tony, who are so passionate about supporting young people by helping them understand the opportunities and giving them the confidence to pursue their ambitions.”Are you looking for advice on CV writing and interview preparation?A truly inspirational woman, Caroline finds volunteering so worthwhile as it allows you to have a positive impact on a student’s future. Caroline advises: “When it comes to applying for a new job, your CV is your first impression in the recruitment process and your opportunity to display what makes you a strong candidate. As a school leaver, producing a professional CV or UCAS Personal Statements can feel like a daunting task. “Starting a career is hard to do, and young people need support, and the right people around them to guide, advise and encourage. “As a parent myself, I’ve had recent first-hand experience of watching young people navigate CV writing and interviews, along with making decisions about their future and career path. Coupled with my years as a recruiter, this inspires me to want to support as many young people as possible to have the best possible chances of success, regardless of the path they have chosen.”Putting together a successful CV is easy once you know how to. It’s a case of taking all your skills and experience and tailoring them to a specific job role you wish to apply. Contact Caroline and our friendly team for more information or follow us on our social media platforms for the latest industry news as well as tips and tricks in recruitment.

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