FMCG and Consumer Goods recruitment
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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
    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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  • 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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  • Interview Preparation Recruitment
    Candidate
    How to prepare for interviews post COVID19

    ​The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down and in particular the world of work. In its wake, it has caused uncertainty for the future and will undoubtedly change the recruitment process forever.While the lockdown has seen us all go through a raft of emotions, it has also been an opportunity to reassess what we want from our future and in particular our careers. Regardless of whether you were furloughed or not during the pandemic, the questions you will be asked in future interviews might look very different.Whether you’re looking for a new job or wanting to jump from one career path to another, we have put together some potential questions that interviews may include post-COVID-19.“How did you spend your time in lockdown during the pandemic”.If you’ve been furloughed, we understand it can be easy to sit back and binge-watch a Netflix series or if you have dependents having to undertake care duties can hamper any grand plans for self-development.What employers will be listening out for here is how you managed to make use of this time productively whether this is reading books, exercising, working on professional skills, homeschooling the kids (leadership and mentoring) or listening to podcasts while doing housework.“What did you do to support your employer during the Pandemic”.If you’ve still been working during this period. Consider what you have done to help your employer navigate the situation.Think about how you added value and where you stepped up to deal with challenges, and how you might have supported your colleagues through this too.A new employer will be listening out for cues you are proactive, can take the lead, are reliable and can be trusted.“Tell me a time during lockdown you surprised yourself”.Behavioural interview questions such as “tell me about a time when”, are used to get to know an individual’s personality/character and can be asked in both negative and positive ways, for example:Positive – “tell me about a time when you reached a goal.”Negative – “tell me about a time when you failed at work.”You might have found juggling work and homeschooling quite easy. Or you might have developed a new skill, hobby or done something else impressive.If you aren’t already, using ajournalis a great way to keep on track of those small wins during this period and allow you the opportunity to look back and reflect on your achievements. Journals are usually assumed to be a way of just scribbling your thoughts onto a piece of paper. This is an important feature, however, not the full use or potential. A journal allows you to write down daily goals, targets, wins and lessons learned.“Due to the pandemic, the talent pool is a lot more saturated, explain to us why we should choose you to fill the position over the competition”.This is your moment to sell yourself, and if you don’t take the opportunity, someone else will. This question is always a challenging one, so make sure this is one you prepare for. Consider what is it that makes you stand out, what value do you bring to the organisations you work for, what knowledge and expertise can you bring, what are you like personally?A great example of what employers look for in an employee is their commitment and accountability for your professional development. The world of work is changing, even more rapidly than pre-COVID-19 so make a commitment to yourself to keep learning. If you need some guidance as to where to start, check out our recent blog, in which we rounded up a range offree online resourcesto begin your learning journey.“Describe a difficult situation in which you came out better on the other side”.This is a question that was often used before the pandemic. Now we can use COVID-19 to our advantage to answer this question. By working on being productive at home and working on professional and personal development, you will be able to come up with many answers for the question. For example:“The recent pandemic disrupted my day to day life immensely, but I decided to use the extra time I had after being furloughed efficiently. I allowed myself set times for relaxing and watching my favourite series but filled my days with developing my skills for my professional future. For example, on my LinkedIn, you can find the certifications for online courses I undertook such as…..”​At Expion, we’d love to hear how you’re working on productivity and what you’re learning right now.If you’re an employer, what questions are you now asking?Tweet us @expionUK.

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  • Professional Development In Recruitment
    Client
    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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  • Ir35 Recruitment
    Client
    All you need to know about IR35 changes

    ​If you are a business hiring contractors or you are self-employed, you will have heard about IR35. It’s essential for contractors, recruiters, and employers to understand the rules around off-payroll working, also known as IR35, as new changes come into effect in April 2021.Below, we have put together some answers to frequently asked questions that will help you understand more about IR35 and the changes to come.What is IR35?Back in 2000, HMRC introduced the ‘off-payroll working rules’ (IR35) to tackle ‘disguised’ employment. This is when a contractor is essentially working as an employee but taking advantage of the tax efficiency of working through a limited company. If a contractor is caught doing so, they will be required to pay any tax and national insurance (NI) due as if they were an employee – resulting in a significantly bigger tax bill than usual.The introduction of the new IR35 rules was designed to assess whether a contractor is genuine rather than a ‘disguised’ employee, to ensure they pay the correct amount of tax.IR35 tends to apply when the following conditions are met:The individual performs services for a client.The work is provided under a contract involving an intermediary.The services are provided under an agreement between the client and contractor, meaning the contractor is classed as an employee.What is the Status Determination Statement?A status determination statement (SDS) is a comprehensive statement from the client which declares a contractor’s deemed employment status following an IR35 assessment, detailing reasons for reaching this conclusion.Under the new IR35 rules, the employer (referred in the law as the ‘end client’) will be made accountable for any IR35 judgements. Previously, this determination was left to the contractor to decide. Now it is up to the end-client to choose using reasonable care and share this, in addition to any reasoning behind the decision, to all parties in the supply chain.End-clients must take ‘reasonable care’ when making a status determination decision. HMRC has stated blanket decisions (i.e. that an entire workforce is caught by the off-payroll rules) does not constitute ‘reasonable care’ – and is of bad practice.According to the new rules, all clients must demonstrate that they have assessed IR35 correctly but may be expected to take a higher degree of care by larger companies that have more significant resources to contribute to compliance. Should the client fail to provide ‘reasonable care’, they will inherit liability, whether they are the relevant ‘fee payer’.What’s considered in an IR35 decision?IR35 will affect contractors who work in the same way as an employee of their end client but get paid via an intermediary – (i.e. their own limited company). Determinations are dependent on several criteria:Control –this is often grouped with ‘supervision’ and ‘direction’ referring to the level of control the contractor has over the work executed. A contractor must not be under the direction or control of the client business. They must have the freedom to carry out the contract, using their expertise, as they see fit. If you are in charge of how your contract is completed and work according to your schedule, this suggests you have the necessary control over what you do, leaving you outside IR35.The Right of Substitution –this relates to the services of the person with significant control (PSC). It is the right of a contractor to send a replacement to perform services for the client on their behalf. Typically, the PSC selects a contractor on the criteria and agreement of the client (usually the sole employee of the PSC). However, for an assignment to fall out of scope, the business must be willing to accept a substitute contractor (through the same PSC) should the originally selected contractor not be able to complete part of the work. The business isn’t allowed to interview the replacement contractor and must accept the choice of the PSC. For a contract to fall outside IR35 rules, it should specify that a substitute contractor can complete work on your behalf.Mutuality of Obligation –this refers to a shared obligation between the worker and the work provider (client). The contractor mustn’t do any other work for the business, and the company is not obliged to provide additional work outside the contract, nor on completion. This constitutes a contract of employment. If your agreement states that you can’t take on different clients while working for your current client, it could mean you fall outside IR35 rules.If you pass the above criteria, you will be classed as ‘outside’ of IR35 rules and can continue to invoice and pay yourself through your own limited company. If you are deemed ‘inside’ IR35 and HMRC declare an employment relationship, tax and National Insurance will be deducted from earnings and any liability for missing tax is the client’s responsibility.Who’s affected by the IR35 changes? And how?Firstly, the legislation applies to medium and large businesses. If you are classed as a small business with less than 50 employees, typically under £10m turnovers, these changes don’t apply.The changes in IR35 will not necessarily affect the self-employed, sole traders and umbrella companies. HMRC decided that instead of the contractor, the end-client will determine their IR35 status with the fee-payer picking up the IR35 liability. This means some umbrella companies will be affected if they manage the accounts for contractors and pay them as a PSC. You may be affected by IR35 if you are:a worker who provides their services through their intermediarya client who receives services from a worker through their intermediaryan agency providing workers’ services through their intermediaryWill IR35 changes continue to go ahead?This is the most frequently asked question, and our answer is yes, we believe so. The changes made to the off-payroll rules were due to come into effect on 6 April 2020. This has since been delayed until April 2021 to help businesses deal with the economic impact of COVID-19. The delay is not a sign of cancellation with the changes being made law in July 2020. This means that HMRC would have to apply to challenge the law for the changes to be cancelled.What happens if my contract runs post-April 2021?You should proceed ahead as though the legislation is already in place and undertake a full status determination statement. To do so, you need to make sure suitably qualified people carry out the SDS within the client business. The role and activities taking place must be thoroughly interrogated to make sure the answers given are answered correctly and in full as this is key criteria for HMRC. The status determination must be communicated throughout the recruitment supply chain.Do you require further help?With the changes to IR35 going ahead in April 2021, we can provide you with a solution that removes the risk of an HMRC challenge through a compliant status determination tool.To discover more, please do not hesitate tocontact our friendly professionalstoday or make sure to follow us onLinkedin,FacebookandTwitterfor frequent updates and advice.​​

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  • APSCo Logo
    Candidate
    Director of Expion to return as member of APSCo Representative Committee 2020

    ​We are thrilled to announce…Following a highly competitive election campaign, Expion director Caroline Vooght has been re-elected a member of the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) representative committee for another two-year term. This role will see Caroline continue the responsibility for the strategy and direction of the trade body until 2022 alongside other committee members.APSCo is the only international trade body for the professional recruitment sector formed to represent, and support recruitment firms engaged in the acquisition of professional talent on behalf of their clients.Caroline heads up Expion’s Silverstone office, which was established in 2014, with Expion becoming APSCo members in 2017. During Expion’s time as members, we have seen significant benefits of being part of such a well respected trade association.Commenting on the re-election, Caroline Vooght, Director of Expion Silverstone said: “I’ve been in recruitment for over 20 years working for some smaller, quite niche businesses as well as in the larger corporate world. I’m absolutely thrilled to be on the representative committee for another two years and certainly feel as though I can bring the perspective of the smaller member to the committee and ensure that APSCo continues to provide amazing support to all members across the industry. Thanks, so much for voting for me!”Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo, said: “APSCo works hard to represent the interests of its members, and our representative committee provides the experience, expertise and guidance needed to help us shape the strategy of the organisation moving forward.”“Once again this election featured an excellent field of candidates and a hard-fought election process. I’d like to thank everyone who put themselves forward, nominated others and voted. As I’m sure that former and current committee members will agree, the role is not only prestigious but also incredibly hands-on and enjoyable. We are delighted to have such a strong group to guide us through to 2022.”Expion recruits for an ever-growing client base focussed in the Manufacturing, Engineering, FMCG/Food and Pharmaceuticals sectors. Roles have included the CEO of theUK Tea & Infusions Associationthrough to recruiting more than 50 members of staff forNestle UK & Irelandin areas as diverse as R&D, engineering, production, operations and quality.To discuss how Expion can support your recruitment needs,contact ustoday.

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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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