FMCG and Consumer Goods recruitment
  • BBC
    Client
    It's a digital world

    It’s a digital world – how the world of FMCG and Consumer goods has changed in May 2021It really is. And more so since Covid. We’ve said many times, Covid has accelerated things. And we’ve seen that in the FMCG and Consumer arenas that we recruit into.Here’s some insight into how the market has behaved, and this week we’ll share how things have changed in this space.So, what have we seen? Well, in contrast to a year ago, we’ve seen an increase in the number of roles within marketing, and digital marketing. The explosion in online sales has been so great, that many retailers, (and perhaps those who hadn’t paid as much attention to online), have been on an upward trajectory in digital marketing.POS, once the focus of many merchandising teams, has had to shift into online POS and Customer Experience is key. Gaining insight into the attitudes and behaviours of shoppers has been critical to success and we’ve seen a shift in roles towards our clients seeking candidates with specific online and digital marketing skills. Specifying which retailers a candidate should have experience with, such as Amazon, has heightened demand for those in these areas.Who’s busy, busy, busy?The Toy industry has performed well over the last year. Perhaps there’s an element of pester power, but lockdown and spending more time at home has no doubt been the key driver in this market.But coupled with this, there’s also been a key trend in people wanting to lift the spirits of their families, and those of friends and colleagues. Gifting has also overperformed and whether we’ve become more compassionate or not, business operating in these areas have been recruiting candidates with digital and consumer marketing skills.Just like we saw in the Engineered Products review, products for the home and garden have spiked, and candidates with knowledge and skills in these areas have had their choice of roles.But all of our clients are still cautious. Once people start to travel again, will there be the same demand? Time will tell, but many HR teams are paying close attention to the OD within their businesses as to over-recruit now, means pain later.Euromonitor discusses many of these trends, and consumers demand for increased activism from products will only increase, as will their expectation of a seamless online experience. https://www.wsj.com/articles/ten-global-consumer-trends-for-2021-11610976600What do candidates wantOh, can we ever tell? Well, this is a candidate led market. It was before, but it’s grown. People are very focused on the culture of a business – is it right for me? Will I be able to develop my skills and experience? Does the business have a wellbeing agenda? Candidates want to feel valued, that they’re a person, not a number. They’ll research staff turnover and attrition, who also works there and are there long-term prospects? They want trust, not micro-management.They also want a straightforward recruitment process. Most first interviews are still taking place online, and in the case of remote working, at second and subsequent stages as well. This streamlines the experience of candidates, and in the world of those who create and market customer and consumer experience (CX), it needs to.More than ever, candidates are expecting flexibility. Hybrid working is here to stay and coupled with that, benefits are also important. It was reported on 6th May by the BBC, 43 out of 50 big employers asked stated they do not intend for staff to return to the office or workplace full time.Will the upwards demand for candidates continue? We think so in 2021 and we’re busier than ever in this area. And with opportunities aplenty, why not?It’ll costWith the rising demand for marketers over sales professionals, salaries for astute marketers are escalating. Bigger businesses are paying more, pushing salaries upwards and annual salary reviews need to reflect the work that’s gone in, and the results. And for those with strong online retailer experience, www.amazon.co.uk, www.AO.com and suchlike, this knowledge can command a heftier package.We’re seeing an increase in counteroffers in this area. In April, 4 out of 5 offers to our candidates were met with a counteroffer. That’s scary stats for Hiring Managers and HR teams. And the counteroffers have been generous, making ‘staying’ even more appealing. But the overriding view of this sector, is that it’s never been more exciting. Pace, innovation and competition has driven change like ever before, and we suspect this trend will continue.For more information or to discuss, please contact us or get in touch with Zoe Gudgeon

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  • Engineering recruitment trends
    Client
    The Engineering Market April 2021

    ​The Engineering MarketEngineering is a well-documented ‘skills shortage’ and as recruiters, we know that it can be hard for businesses to attract talented engineers with the skill set they require.This week, we’ll be looking in more detail at the trends and challenges facing businesses recruiting in this area, and what this means for candidates who are considering a career move.According to machinery.co.uk, 85% of manufacturing businesses are feeling the strain of a lack of skilled workers (March 2021) and 18% of businesses are understaffed across their engineering teams.We concur. Since January this year, 30% of the vacancies that we have taken on at Expion are within engineering. And the roles are across the board. From Head of Engineering and Chief Engineers, through to multi-skilled and packaging engineers.What’s the cause of the skill shortage? Over 40% of businesses cite a lack of qualified candidates, along with an aging workforce and a lack of willing apprentices. But what of the stats? Around 186,000 new engineers are needed until 2024, but there’s a deficit of 20,000 annually according to Industryeurope.com. Can we blame Brexit? Perhaps, but the skilled workers scheme shouldn’t prevent anyone with engineering skills coming to the UK, although with Covid, I suspect this scheme hasn’t been truly tested.So if you’re recruiting in engineering and feeling the pressure, you’re not alone. How to attract engineers into your businessThere’s no one size fits all. We recommend creating a ‘proposition’ to share with recruiters, or work with your recruiter or HR team to create one.It’s like a sales tool. Have a brainstorm of why someone would want to join the business and the team. What makes you unique? What can you offer that another business can’t? I’m not talking about money here – it’s about opportunity, progression and engineers love to have the chance to broaden their experience. And if you’re recruiting in project engineering, what’s the value of projects an incoming project engineer would be able to work on?Be open (as much as you can) on the specification of the candidate. A tight spec with a long list of must haves is a sure way to reduce your candidate pool. Could you attract someone from an industry that isn’t performing so well? Aerospace firms have been hit hard by Covid, whereas those in FMCG, Pharma and Distribution have thrived.Are you paying competitively? If you’re below market rate, you’ll find yourself short of talent and unable to compete. Could you consider someone part-qualified? Supporting someone who is training can be a good way of managing salary banding and contributing to developing future succession for your business. Keep ‘em sweetRetaining your engineering talent is one way to avoid having to recruit. But it’s deeper than that.We’re seeing a lot more commitment to personal development, and employers offering to pay costs and give time out to study for engineers who wish to continue their studies, as far as degree level and masters in some cases. Engineers seeking chartered status can be picky over who they join, and will want to ensure that the business will seek to support them, often within a defined time period. Staff are far less likely to leave if you are funding their development, and especially if there’s a tie in period after qualification. Francesca, who heads up our Automotive division said ‘Businesses are also paying the fees and supporting their engineers in achieving chartered status’She added ‘A lot of companies are pushing on with apprenticeship recruitment programmes.This is a stark contrast to the last recession where the large majority pulled out of their apprenticeship schemes, and it's a sign that they have felt the pain of a diminishing candidate pool’. There are other insights too. From offering secondments to other departments/divisions and involvement with business initiatives (D&I, wellbeing), businesses are driving ways to not only develop, but keep their talent. Who’s helping? From government, schools and organisations working in the sector, there are numerous initiatives to encourage young people to pursue STEM careers. The long term vision is to encourage more people into skills-short areas, but will they ever catch up? We don’t know. But there are a variety of people and organisations helping. From the Automotive 30% Club to The Engineering Development Club, these organisations promote STEM careers and run programmes in schools to inspire and motivate young people to consider technical careers. The growth of the UTC framework of schools is designed to bring technical vocations to life for young people and grow the next generation of engineers.  #stemambassadors also do amazing work in schools. Talking about the day-to-day life of people in industry makes STEM careers seem less ‘technical’ and more achievable. Let’s hope these amazing initiatives have a big impact on the future of our engineering capability Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Diversity and inclusivity are rising up the agenda for many businesses, who are also looking at creative ways to attract a diverse candidate pool - through cross-training, mentorship and buddy systems to really support people from diverse backgrounds in joining and building a long-term career in the engineering sector. There are also plenty of initiatives around accessibility. How can employers make roles more accessible to candidates with disabilities? Many websites are being modified to ensure accessibility for all, and this should also mean an increase in applications from diverse applicants. And don’t forget, every recruitment process needs to be accessible to all.Want to know more? Contact our team here   

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  • UK Recruiter
    Client
    Personal Development - To qualify or not to qualify?

    ​Personal development is a hot topic, and there's an ongoing 'pressure' to ensure CPD is top of the agenda when it comes to appraisals, promotions and secondments.But what does it deliver? Caroline has written a guest blog for UK Recruiter on this very topic - read the article here.

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  • Helix Facebook Horiz
    Client
    The Power of Three - Everyone Matters. Clients. Candidates. Colleagues.

    ​The Power of Three – Clients, Candidates, ColleaguesEveryone Matters.Here at Expion, we believe that everyone matters. Our clients and candidates tell us that we offer an exceptional and consistent recruitment experience allowing you to benefit from our expert opinions and supporting you on every step of your recruitment journey.What sort of support do we offer?How our Colleagues SUPPORT our Candidates.We give CV advice. If your CV isn’t suitable for the role we’re talking to you about, we’ll tell you. And share with you a template and a step-by-step guide to make your CV shine.We give Interview Coaching. We really do. We have an inhouse Interview Coach, Liz, who works with our candidates before interview. She ensures everyone is prepared for interview, understands their ‘Red Thread’ and is able to articulate their experience well.We’ll ask about your other interviews. Not so we can pit others against you. But to share any knowledge we might have about that business. Give YOU an outsider’s view. As our candidate, you’ll have additional information to help you decide which role is best for you.We’ll meet you. We place you and you can expect a visit from us on site. It’s a proper check in, catch up and a way we can ensure we’ve done all we can to support you to settle in.There’s plenty more. But it’s only by working with us, you’ll get the real ‘us’. How our Colleagues SUPPORT our ClientsThat might sound obvious. But it’s about doing the extra and building a true partnership that we think makes us stand out.We’re your eyes and ears. Sensing how a candidate is feeling, where there’s a risk we might lose a valued candidate from the process and providing that insight to a client. We advise clients to include incoming team members in team communications, team lunches (Covid permitting) and even the Christmas party if it’s the festive period.We can let you know what others are doing in the market. If we’re proposing a retainer to you, we’ll provide insight into your competition for candidates. Often overlooked, this can make all the difference to developing the role proposition and landing that ‘gem’.We’re market savvy. As members of APSCo and Elite Leaders, we have access to market reports that others don’t. And as our client, we’ll share. All part of the service. How our Candidates SUPPORT our ColleaguesYou may ask what we mean by that. But it’s a partnership right?We can only be as good as the information we have. So the way to work well with a recruiter is easy. Be honest, be upfront and respond.Make sure we’ve got your up-to-date CV. You’d be surprised how many people have old CVs saved in job boards and then get upset when they apply with an old CV and think we’re in the wrong.Be honest about your salary expectations and don’t over-egg what you’re looking for. We’re open with our clients so be open with our colleagues to make sure there aren’t any surprises as the process goes on.Tell us what’s important to you and why you’re interested in the role. A ‘new challenge’ is very vanilla and 95% of candidates give this as a reason to look. It’s a good reason but make it specific if you’ve applied to a role and help our colleagues do their best work for you.And give us feedback. If you’re not interested in a role, let us know. We’d rather you select the role that’s right for you than feel cajoled into proceeding with a process that you don’t have your heart in. How Clients SUPPORT CandidatesWere you expecting that? Perhaps not, but the goal is to recruit the right person for your business isn’t it?A recruitment process is like dating. It's getting to know each other, putting in the work and showing your best bits. And for a business recruiting, it’s making sure your chosen candidate chooses YOU. I'm not talking about overinflating and over promising. But making sure they are as right for you as you are right for them. There's no one size fits all, but if you are interviewing, think about how the business portrays itself, who you meet during the interview process and how you feel around the people you'll be working with. Here are things I've seen businesses do well:Invite the candidate to a team lunch after the interview. It's more relaxed and makes them feel 'included' early onInclude incoming team members in team training and team building events prior to startingShare business updates, company information (where possible) so someone joining feels part of the business before they are 'in the building'Have a senior member of staff call to welcome them. Amazing how powerful that can beSend them some products (if you can) that they can share with friends and family. Makes the incoming employee proud of who they work for before they do! The list is endless, but it’s important not to overlook. If you’ve made an offer to someone and they have a 3 month notice period, that’s a long time for their current employer to try to persuade them to stay. And it's also a canny way of batting away any counteroffers. How our Clients SUPPORT our ColleaguesThey do. Perhaps we’re just lucky. But having a supportive client #makes all the difference to us and helps us to do our job better.You might be thinking, how can a client support a recruiter?Here’s what I’ve seen clients do wellBe open and transparent about the work you’re asking us to do. If there’s internal candidates, preferred candidates and other recruiters in the mix, just let us know. Allows us to be more open with the candidates we represent, and we in turn represent you more accuratelyOpen communication with the line manager. Hearing from the ‘horses’ mouth the nuances about the role and the attributes a candidate should possess helps to make the role ‘come alive’. And it gets us excited about finding candidates for the roleInvolving us in the process. Hearing our thoughts on candidates and why we think they should be considered. We get under the CV (and some CVs don’t necessarily make candidates shine). And some clients ask us to conduct the first stage interview with the line manager saving the client time and resources.Helping us get paid! You may chuckle but we don’t have any other income and providing PO numbers and making sure invoices are approved are vital to the lifeblood of any business. We love partnership. And we value it. Thank you to all the clients who offer us that ‘hand of friendship’. And to find out more about how what we do could SUPPORT you so get in touch

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  • Rec Logo
    Client
    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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  • Francesca F1 Picture
    Candidate
    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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  • 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
    Client
    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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  • Pharma Jobs
    Client
    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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  • UK Recruiter
    Candidate
    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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  • Ben Wicks Dvn G7c Zh4 Wm Unsplash
    Client
    Engineering candidate crisis?!

    ​In common with most industry sectors, manufacturing and engineering companies know what they want from job vacancy candidates – the highest calibre of person they can attract. Manufacturing & engineering companies are looking for the most talented individuals who possess a broad range of skills and who can fulfil the expanded roles open to them, as companies seek to maintain profit margins. This scenario has created an unusual situation, one in which engineering candidates are both extremely marketable and difficult to attract. It also means that the best are in the top jobs and if they can be persuaded to look elsewhere, they become prime targets for counter offers as their current employers seek to retain them. Not an easy business, recruiting.Right person, wrong job? Or right job, wrong person?Finding the right person for the right job is a skill in itself. High demand for quality at senior management level has created a supply shortage. And this in turn, has led to ideal conditions for the use of very targeted search. There has been a significant shift in recent times towards targeted ‘head-hunting’ – so much so that it could soon outstrip both other main methods of recruitment, advertising and database services. A combination of all three can be used to ensure every avenue is explored to seek out those highly capable -but rare – “passive” candidates. Traditionally, head-hunting tended to be used at boardroom and senior level among those commanding high salaries. But slowly it has moved down the scale to involve talented engineers and we are now seeing it graduate into the sphere of contract / interim engineering recruitment as well. One of the main reasons has to be that recruitment companies have more than proved their worth in the head-hunting sphere. So, what are the advantages to using outsiders for recruitment as opposed to keeping the job in-house? There are a good number of reasons for letting the experts take the strain. Let’s explore just a handful of them, all pertinent to the engineering sector -market knowledge, recruitment expertise, cost savings, thoroughness of the selection process and sensitivity (also known as secrecy!).Market knowledge: Recruitment and selection specialists operate in the manufacturing and engineering sectors on a daily basis. Their store of knowledge equips them with the expertise to provide clients, who may only recruit sporadically with the latest state of play. The experts can make sure the company doing the recruiting knows exactly what it is stepping into.Recruitment expertise: Specialist agencies have the resources, the contacts and the systems in place to ensure they reach out to as many relevant candidates as possible. Doing the job in-house means there is rarely the time, the depth of expertise or the candidate network available to ensure the best available people are delivered.Cost savings: Put simply -and in terms which will please finance directors and accountants-using a consultancy saves both time and money. Employ a consultancy and it will advise and deliver a solution, which leaves the engineering company free to go about its core business. And don’t forget the ‘hidden’ savings-by using the experts you get the right solution at the outset so that unnecessary expense is not incurred.Thorough selection process: Agencies’ selection processes are robust, resulting in shortlists of thoroughly pre-screened and well-informed candidates. The processes are designed to increase the client’s chances of recruiting and retaining the most suitable person for a specific job.Sensitivity requirements: There are a variety of reasons for running a covert campaign-reasons which often negate any possibility of the recruiting company managing the process itself. Examples of the need to maintain secrecy include: running a search or a blind advertisement to recruit for a new confidential role and the thorny question of salary disclosure leading to internal remuneration issues.Retention is also an important issue. It is not a lot of good filling a post with exactly the right candidate if he or she then ups and leaves in quick time. Recruitment consultancies can help by keeping in touch with their candidates long after they have started work to help them settle in and to flag up any problems before they can escalate.Experts in recruitment should take the time to listen to the employer and then make recommendations based on their industry experience and their knowledge of the individual role in question. Any recruitment consultant worth his salt will not just agree with the client but also challenge the or assumptions in order to ensure their requirements are realistic and result in the formulation of a recruitment strategy which is both appropriate and achievable.Check that a potential consultancy has got an extensive network of contacts and a thorough understanding of the calibre and availability of candidates, the types of employer and the issues within each core sector. If they do, they are well placed to advise companies and candidates alike and to introduce people to the most suitable opportunities for them to develop their careers.THREE TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL RECRUITMENTFirst, have an attractive salary / rate for the role. Benchmark with your industry sector if you need to, but make sure the remuneration is right to attract the calibre of individual you require (Recruitment companies can help with this).Second, put together a detailed job specification for the role. Include in this any new skills and experience a candidate can bring to your organisation. Then use that specification when tackling the interviewing process.Third, move through the interview process swiftly. Time after time good candidates fall out of the job race because of long time delays!​Richard Clegg is a Director at Expion Search & Selection and specialises in retained search for specialist roles.

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  • Award Recruitment Expion
    Client
    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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  • Sara Codair A350 Uo4e F8 Unsplash
    Client
    COVID-19: How recruitment needs to evolve to ensure business continuity

    ​Currently, at the time of writing, UK cases of Coronavirus have hit 1,950, with global cases reaching 203,617. With the situation changing daily, there is the question of what should our response to it be, especially when it comes to recruitment?With the virus beginning to have a significant impact on businesses across the country, it is imperative that companies start to plan and adapt quickly to meet the changing situation. For production-related environments, particularly manufacturing, engineering and pharmaceutical, there is likely to be a rise in recruitment needs to address both an increase in demand and to account for shortages in staff due to illness.According to the government’s action plan against Coronavirus, the latest estimates suggest that up to 20% of the UK workforce could be off sick during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. For manufacturing businesses that are unable to offer the flexibility to work from home, this could have a significant impact on both their business and output.First and foremost, there are ways employers can mitigate the risk of spreading the virus throughout the business, for example, back-office staff, where possible could be made to work from home, minimising the spread of infection and enabling you to have essential staff on site.However, with the expectation that there are likely to be gaps in your headcount, now is the time to assess your recruitment strategy and identify where you may need to consider interim or fixed-term contract (FTC) staff at a time when the majority of the industry will be looking at doing the same thing.So how can you ensure you can recruit effectively under the current circumstances?Engage with a recruitment partner who can take the pressure off your business at a time when you are likely to be having to communicate with your employees, customers and your supply chain. Provide a clear overview as to where you expect to have gaps in your business. What resources are specifically required to ensure as close to normal operations?At Expion, we’ve worked with many organisations as their trusted recruitment partner of choice. Helping them through the recruitment process, in particular, to minimise the impact the early phase of recruitment can have on their business.Recruitment, goes without saying, is best-done face-to-face. This allows you to build rapport and assess body language helping you to identify if the individual us the right fit for your business. However, under the current circumstances, both the recruitment industry and wider businesses need to look at ways in which they can use technology to minimise gaps in their headcount and the impact that could have on their business.While telephone interviews might have been the norm in the past, it is worth considering how video calling tools could replicate the face to face experience as much as possible, allowing you to find the right fit for your business.Video calling tools such as FaceTime or WhatsApp and video conferencing tools including Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams can be used to communicate and engage with potential candidates online. Although a virtual interview doesn’t replicate the face to face experience, it does get you as near as possible to the human connection by allowing you to assess facial expressions and levels of engagement still when speaking virtually to candidates.With more and more businesses being forced to think outside the box when it comes to their recruitment strategies, those who get started sooner rather than later will see the most benefit.​If you are looking to work with a recruitment partner who can support your needs at this time, contact us to find out more about our approach.

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  • Professional Development In Recruitment
    Candidate
    Online resources to support professional development

    ​Professional and personal development has never been as critical as it is right now. As a result of COVID19, the world of work is set to change massively and will force businesses to evolve at a faster rate than they could have possibly have imagined.Skills gaps and the onset of Industry 4.0 have been talked about for years, but the Coronavirus pandemic is set to force unprecedented changes.If you’re looking for a new role at the moment or considering what your career path might look like in the future right now is the perfect time to consider what skills you may need to develop.To help you along the way, we’ve rounded up a range of free online resources to begin your learning journey.The Open UniversityOffering over 900 free courses via its online platform OpenLearn you can choose to take bite-sized development courses which range from beginner introductions to learning right through to advanced development.Covering a range of sectors including Science, Maths and Technology, Languages, Money and business and many more, there is an abundance of individual courses which will help you enhance existing skills and develop new ones.Some of the stand out courses relevant to the majority of job roles include:Communication, management and your contextDeveloping career resilienceIntroduction to operations managementThe importance of interpersonal skillsUpon completion, you are provided with a ‘Statement of Participation’, allowing you to evidence your learning.LinkedIn LearningIf you have a premium LinkedIn account, you can take advantage of LinkedIn learning at any time. If you don’t, then sign up for a 30-day free trial.While a lot of the courses are focused on tech, digital and marketing roles, there is a wide range of business-specific classes too. From learning how to build a product roadmap, to motivating your team to learn and even, how to be promotable, there is something to meet all learning needs.An added benefit of LinkedIn learning is that you can also choose to display your completed courses on your LinkedIn profile, allowing you to demonstrate your commitment to personal development.UdemyAlthough not usually free, Udemy has released a collection of over 150 free courses. These include programmes such as helping learners adapt to working from home and even searching for a job. For managers, you might find their course on leading a remote workforce useful!However, if you’re looking for something a little different, they have everything from Astronomy to teaching your kids to code.SkillshareCurrently offering two months free access, Skillshare has a range of classes covering a variety of business and personal development topics. Still, it also extends to fun courses that you might like to undertake ‘just because’. These unique activities always look good on your CV and are great to have in your back pocket when the interview question ‘tell us something we don’t know about you’ comes up.Skillshare classes focus more on interaction rather than lecturing, with many users updating and posting regularly. Available both online and via an app, Skillshare makes learning easily accessible.Marketing & Digital SectorsIf you work in a creative, sales or marketing role or are looking to get into the industry, there are a significant number of free resources at your disposal. From Google’s Analytics Academy and Digital Garage to Hootsuite and Hubspot, you have all you need to develop your digital analytic skills, through to understanding the basics of SEO, marketing automation and social media marketing.PodcastsPodcasts are an often overlooked resource when it comes to self-development. Perfect for listening to on the commute, or even just around the house, they are a great way to enhance personal development and learn industry-specific knowledge.While you can access a range of podcasts through Apple and Google, The Manufacturer has listed their most listened to podcasts in 2019, while SME.org also has a vast array of podcasts covering a variety of topics across manufacturing, engineering, aerospace and many more.​At Expion, we’d love to hear what you’re learning right now or if you have any other resource recommendations. 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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