Archives

Remote Working is back……

March 23rd. “You must stay at home”. Boris ordered what the smarter people and smarter workplaces had implemented a week or two earlier. “Work from home if at all possible”. Everyone, from contact centre staff to the top executives had to forgo their offices and work from home. Many believed it would last just a […]

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Boardroom clear-outs. A new epidemic? Investors become Dons.

Tom Hagen was removed as Consigliere by Don Michael Corleone, replaced by Michael’s father, the former Don, Vito, soon after Michael assumed the lead of the ‘family business’. “You’re not a wartime Consigliere Tom” was Don Corleone’s reason to his adopted brother. Godfather analogies are rife through business leadership & advice, from “Go to the […]

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The one with Recruitment and a Coronavirus

***April Update below*** Welcome to the post-apocalyptic recruitment market. Just two weeks after writing about how having No Office was deemed a greater attraction, and greater modern indicator of success than having a Hollywood-esque swanky Corner Office, we’re all being encouraged to work from home. Adopting this new thing called ‘social distancing’. The Covid-19 Coronavirus […]

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Virtually Perfect – 20 Tips to Perfect Your Video Call/Interview

Between Social-Distancing, Self-Isolation and increasing Societal Lockdown, traditional meetings have virtually been all been converted to ‘virtual’ in the last two weeks. The UK was well behind the Far East and the US in the proportion of video meetings. In 2019 43% of US business meetings were ‘virtual’ compared with just 7% in the UK. […]

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31 Hacks to Help Your Next Career Move

Today, approximately 8.3m school pupils return to school for the new school year. If the other 8,299,999 were anything like my 10yr old daughter, the end of another summer and beginning of the new school year brought a mix of emotions – part excitement, part dread. At the same time, 31m adults likewise ‘return’ to work after summer, many returning to […]

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We’re Running Out Of People….. Beating Full Employment

The UK is running out of workers. Depending on whose definition you use, we are at, or very close to Full Employment. At 4% the unemployment rate is at the lowest level for almost 50 years. 4% is even well below the current rate in historically low-unemployment countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Canada.  An […]

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First Impressions. 13 tips & why you should look at your feet when meeting someone.

“You have less than 30 seconds to make a first impression”. An old adage that everyone got taught as soon as they were expected to make an impression. Is it right? Or is it 7 seconds like my old school careers guidance counselor repeatedly repeated? (whilst wearing hush-puppies and a corduroy jacket with at least 20 […]

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Hitting the Bar on Transfer Deadline Day

A quick scan through any news channel or Social Media timeline yesterday will highlight that it was Transfer Deadline Day. For a proportion of the population, that meant it was a day filled with constantly reloading sport website pages or even more obsessively, take the day off work to watch Sky Sports. For the remainder, […]

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Why Recruitment Is Like Gin

Seemingly the world’s most tenuous subject for a blog? But bear with me. Gin really is the same as recruitment,….. As anyone who knows me will testify, the only thing that can challenge my family and my business for space in my life is Gin. Gin is my Kryptonite, what started as a means to […]

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Recruitment Grid Girls?

Last week signalled the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote in the UK, thanks to Manchester’s Emmeline Pankhurst. A landmark moment in sexual equality, arguably THE greatest landmark in UK history. It paved the way for the first sitting female MP in 1919, and the first female Prime Minister in 1979, all of which […]

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15 ways to boost Christmas Spirit (and Staff Retention)

Merry Christmas. On some level, everyone loves Christmas. Halcyon memories of childhood, giddiness of our own children….or giddiness of adulthood festive expectation. Or all three. But for employers/business owners there is a lot of fear. We all know that once the Christmas lights go up, productivity levels tend to go down, mirrored, in all probability, […]

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Dear America….

We feel your pain. You didn’t get the President many of you wanted. You didn’t get the President most of us wanted you to get. But as President Obama predicted, the sun still rose on Wednesday. It rose again yesterday and today. It will rise again tomorrow. We now see protests, complaints and anger. Don’t […]

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Your Life, Your Career…Your Hands. Lessons from Tony Robbins

“Whether you believe you can do something, or believe you can’t; You are probably right”. It’s a great quote, said by Henry Ford but adopted by 1,000s. It relates to self belief, and specifically, the power of the subconscious mind – both of which are the cornerstone of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. The power of the sub-conscious mind is […]

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Pay Peanuts, Get….Old Etonians

Fat-Cat pay stories took an unusual twist over the last week in the wake of the Panama Papers leak and the UK media’s determination to find a story worth reporting. Having seen that both the Prime Minister & Chancellor of the Exchequer have declared all income, and paid all due tax (in excess of 40% […]

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Gambling with Murdoch

Take a look at yesterday’s Sunday Times appointments section….or rather, the appointments page, gone are the days when it had its own section. It now struggles to even fill a whole page. And yet, there is still approaching £100,000 worth of advertising contained within that one page, with each advert costing £10-15,000. Amongst them only one quotes […]

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New Year/New Challenge? Market Review of 2015…£1m of Live Roles for 2016

Happy New Year! The beginning of 2015 saw unprecedented activity in Executive Search, activity levels which only increased as the year developed, mirroring business confidence and general economic optimism. That momentum was carried into 2016, even before it began, with over £1m of live vacancies to start our New Year. Details on those below. 2015 saw salary levels begin […]

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Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot?

Happy New Year! Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot? Ok, it’s a rhetorical question asking if old times should be forgotten and more generally a ‘call-to-remember’ long standing relationships.  As a Head-Hunter, old acquaintances and long-standing relationships are the back bone to my USPs, and my life.  But what of the past? Christmas and New Year is […]

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Competency Based Interviews: What to ask. How to Answer

Competency Based Interviewing is often seen as a dark-art from the mystical world of HR. Or just BullS**t. Truth is, it’s neither. Many of my clients scoff at HR functions that use highly scripted CBI questions, decreeing them as far too fluffy. And they can be right at that. I’m vocal about interview style. My […]

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10 Top Manchester Roam-Working Venues. (Mindfulness at Work)

I’ve always been classed as a Maverick, never more so than with interviewing. It’s led to my biggest career arguments spanning 20 years: My interview training back in 1994 that insisted interviews were a scientific process. The 60+ yr old Executive Search stalwart in 1999 that reprimanded me for being conversational, and smiling, during an […]

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31 Hacks to Help Your Next Career Move

Earlier this month, approximately 8.3m school pupils returned to school for the new school year. If the other 8,299,999 were anything like my daughter, the end of summer and beginning of the new school year brought a mix of emotions – part excitement, part dread. At the same time, 31m adults likewise ‘returned’ to work […]

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Too Fat To Get A Job?

A recent conversation with a business journalist started with the bizarre comment that her research had uncovered that ‘Fatism’ didn’t really exist in recruitment. I nearly spat my Gin & (light) Tonic out. Fatism exists in life, and most certainly in recruitment. First Impressions count for everything. I blogged on this subject last year and […]

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20 tips to turn your next Video Interview into an Oscar winner

It’s over 50 years ago that JFK defeated Nixon in the first ever, televised presidential debate. JFK won, not just because of what he said, but because he and his team knew how to manage that new medium. He knew that a blue shirt played well on screen, Nixon just wore his standard white and […]

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“I’m ‘oot” – What now for Scotland’s ousted MPs?

If yesterday’s polls are to be believed, the SNP are about to reclaim Scotland, predicted to win every one of the 59 Scottish seats. Big political statement, a potential Tsunami over British Politics,….and a worrying invasion over English politics and political power if Ed Miliband [or his union backers] happen to a) win the largest […]

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What’s your WHY?

This question was posed to me last week. It hit me harder than the best shot I took in the boxing ring last year. It is possibly the best question, and response ever. The question poser was a former advisor to 3 different FTSE-100 CEOs and one of the most enigmatic leaders I have ever […]

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Think Different. Think Chemistry Fit. (No Such Thing As Bad PR)

I got into recruitment nearly 20 years ago with the phrase “Gary, you’re a gobby little sh*t. Ever considered recruitment?”. My career as an accountant was ended with a 50% pay rise and a company car. My personality had got me the job. 6 months later it saw my Mondeo GLX company car replaced with […]

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Manchester Mayor: Please, Not Another B****y Councillor

So Manchester is getting its devolution. Great news. Another first for the UK’s second city. As part of the deal, we also get a Mayor, our own ‘Boris’ to oversee Greater Manchester in a similar fashion to the remit the real Boris has overseeing Greater London. I was asked to speak (to rant on a […]

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Recruitment Lessons from The Savoy

We are lucky enough to have just enjoyed a weekend at The Savoy in London, to celebrate my wife’s Birthday. Of all the uber-premium hotels in London, The Savoy ranks high on anyone’s list, especially after a £220m refurbishment ready for it’s 125 year anniversary this year. Coupled with arguably the coolest list of former […]

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Has the Elevator Pitch been replaced by the #TweetPitch?

Short is good. It’s been a life mantra of mine for years ever since my sub-5 foot Grandmother reminded me that “you don’t get diamonds as big as boulders”; …but brevity is becoming ever more important. Modern life is more immediate. We no longer want to wait; immediacy is key. 25 years ago we would […]

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Get Serious (or buy a Jester hat)

For weeks on end, for 10 years, millions of TV viewers have watched Simon Cowell and his successors publicly berate dozens and dozens of people, all with a quest to exploit their talent in the name of success. Many people proudly stride onto the X-Factor stage, convinced their talent is world class only to be ripped to shreds and […]

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Interviewing. 20 Questions That Could Make All The Difference

For all its flaws, the interview is still the best means of assessing individuals for a specific role…..but only if done properly. Let me start by saying there is no definitively perfect interview. My approach and style certainly isn’t, and thus what you read below is wholly subjective.  However, the way I conduct my interviews, […]

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21 reasons why there is more to Head-Hunting than using LinkedIN

“We’ve decided not to appoint a headhunter, we’re going to have a look on LinkedIN instead.” Possibly the most increasingly common thing I have heard from businesses with a need to recruit in the last year or so.  LinkedIN has, without doubt, revolutionised people’s ability to network and to forcibly expand their own networks of contacts (much as the premise […]

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What to do WHEN you get HeadHunted….

We’ve all been HeadHunted. It’s flattering, but when that all important call comes from a true Corporate HeadHunter…are you ready? This could be a genuinely life changing experience, many of these calls I have made have ended up making the recipient a (multi)millionaire. ….So how do you make sure you are not caught off-guard, pre-screened […]

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Getting Noticed by and Networking with HeadHunters

Would you sell your car and walk home if someone offered you enough money for it? If you wouldn’t, you are unlikely to be commercial in your life, or your career. Same is said for building a relationship with Corporate HeadHunters.  Whether you are actively seeking to add to your own team, actively searching for a […]

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CV Tips: 20 Things to do…..20 Things to avoid!

Let’s start by blowing a myth away. The 2 page rule is nonsense. Do NOT try and fit 20 years into 2 pages by using font size 4 and margins measured in millimetres. Follow the below rules and your CV will be the perfect length, whether 1 page or 7. Your CV is your Sales Document, […]

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Christmas Chemistry Lessons.

We are lucky enough to have just returned from our Christmas break; Four magical days at the venue of our wedding reception, the incomparable and opulent Prestonfield in Edinburgh. The setting could not have been better for an enchanted festive family break to reward for a busy year. A country estate built for the Lord Provost in […]

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Dark-Art of HeadHunting?

A Dark Art? Not really. True Head-Hunters will typically have approaching 20 years commercial experience, often far more.  Their knowledge base of high-performance individuals and key leaders is typically immense and when married to an ability to map, research and approach unknown individuals in target organisations becomes a compelling skill. True and effective Head-Hunters are great […]

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An Interview on Interviews

Interview skills are probably the hardest and most underestimated part of the recruitment process. It is the biggest area we have to train our clients, and something everyone thinks they can do…until they are faced with doing it. This is the transcript of a recent interview I did on Interviewing for an Exec Search Publication: […]

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Bale and Able?

Yesterday, Gareth Bale stood proudly in the Santiago Bernabéu stadium wearing his Real Madrid shirt. He showed his ball control skills, until he dropped the ball. But is he the only one? The move has been on the cards for months, and has had universal approval (even from most at White Hart Lane given the […]

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Thatcher & Women on Boards

Last week saw the passing of one of the most influential figures in the Women in Business argument, controversial Women’s Libber, Margaret Thatcher. It also saw the stark news that Lord Davies’ Women on Boards agenda was faltering. Thatcher was a self-declared non-feminist, famously stating “The feminists hate me, don’t they? And I don’t blame […]

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Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! New job in your life or new talent in your business, the New Year is a great time to reflect on the old year and make plans for the new. 2012 saw me set up in business, and end the year not only profitable but in better position that the year started […]

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The Risk of Recruiting a Bunch of Bankers?

Sir David Walker started his new job yesterday as Barclays Chairman. Less than 24 hours in, he has already announced he is to clear out a great number of non-exec directors and pave a similar route for execs…. and already he has received great applause for that announcement. Rid the bank of the scourge of […]

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What’s wrong with women?

I love women. We all love women. Lord Davies wants us to make sure we have at least 25% of them at every party. Martha Lane Fox wants more than that. Viviane Reding wants even more still, and wants to enforce it with a 40% quota backed by European Law. I am of course talking about […]

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Women in Boardrooms: Supply not Quotas.

Last year, Lord Davies of Abersoch decreed that businesses should have 25% of the seats around the country’s boardrooms occupied by women, and set a target of 2015 for the top 250 businesses in the UK to get there. A year on, how is positive discrimination going? Well, the FTSE-100 now has 16.7% female board […]

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Replacing Diamond as a “Gilt’s Best Friend”.

“Barclay’s CEO, Bob Diamond, resigns with immediate effect” the Sky News tickertape announced just before 7.30am a week ago today, 3rd July. I was at the gym and the whole place stopped to read the story before gradually nodding with the appearance of a David having finally defeated Goliath.  Over the following few hours, news […]

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Manchester: The True Second City

I’m a Yorkshireman. For those that don’t understand the War of the Roses and the 600 years of subsequent ‘discussion’, it puts in to context the magnitude of what I am about to say. Manchester is kicking a*se. I may be currently heading south away from Manchester at c120mph courtesy of Richard Branson, with my […]

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Pick on the Big Guy(s)

We’ve currently got four FTSE C-Level searches live; three FTSE-100, one FTSE-250; two CFOs, two CEOs. It’s a great coup, but the stories behind them are also very telling of the market. Last year we saw what was branded as ‘Arab Spring’; the uprising in several ‘Arab’ nations, entire populations typically fighting against tyrant leaders, leading […]

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What happened to the ‘Job For Life’?

It’s my wedding anniversary today; four years, no time at all in the halls of marriage….. but in career terms, four years is now a well above average tenure. What happened to the ‘job for life’? Times move on, businesses move on and careers have certainly moved on. The average (median) tenure for people’s current jobs […]

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Be Serious.

For weeks on end, for almost 10 years, millions of TV viewers have watched Simon Cowell publicly berate dozens and dozens of people, all with a quest to exploit their talent in the name of success. Many people proudly stride onto the X-Factor stage, convinced their talent is world class only to be ripped to shreds and tossed on […]

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Celebrating Success

In a session with a business mentor last week, he posed an interesting question: What is Success? It got us all thinking. Success appears to be an increasingly unused term, and the celebration of it ever rarer. A by-product of the current macro-economic environment? It certainly shouldn’t be.  Success is no more difficult to attain in tougher […]

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