FMCG and Consumer Goods recruitment
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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