Thursday, 12 November 2015

How to survive your first 3 months in your new job

So you’ve landed that awesome public practice job that you have always wanted, so what happens next? Well, firstly you should give yourself a nice pat on the back and secondly, you have around 3 months to slot into your new role. Here we’ll talk about some proven tips that can really help you to gain a foothold in your new company and could even ensure that you make sufficient impact to stand up and be noticed.

If you are unsure, always ask
Everybody has to start somewhere and nobody will expect you to hit the floor running but so long as you pick up information in a steady manner, you will be just fine. If you are unsure of a particular process, simply ask your colleague because they will be more than happy to fill in the gaps. The worst thing that you can do as a new starter is to try and wing it, write down your queries as soon as they occur and that way, you’ll be able to ask relevant questions that will get you off those starting blocks a little faster.

Learning on the job
Your recruitment consultant should be able to give you a heads up with regards what you can expect in your new role but as soon as you walk through those doors, it is your time to shine. Use your3 month probation period to gain as much information as you can because although it may seem a little hard to swallow, you can actually be up to speed by the time those 3 months have passed you by. Find out what you need to know, where you can find this information and remember to write any titbits down that may serve you well later on.

Choose new friends wisely
We all enjoy having social interactions in the office however, until you thoroughly understand the workplace dynamic, try to hang back before telling anyone your life story.

Finally, try to avoid making a judgement call about your new career until you have given it a fair chance. The job will become easier once you have learnt the ropes and can stand on your own two feet. 

Thursday, 22 October 2015

How to ensure your top candidates stay interested

It’s one thing finding the best candidates for your latest position but how do you keep them interested after the interview. This is a modern day dilemma that seems to be on the rise, you like what you see and decide to offer them the job. But there’s a problem; they either fail to reply or simply tell you that they’d prefer to continue looking. Here we look at some of the best ways to minimise the risk of this happening to you in the future.

Collection of data 

Even before the interview, you can put your candidates off by almost forcing them to fill in lengthy application forms that kind of mimic the details that they’ve included on their CVs. Take a closer look at these forms and ask yourself how you would feel when asked to duplicate the data required?  These are still considered to be a great way to gather relevant information about your prospective employees but try not to pack in too many questions because you could be losing some very good candidates this way.

Post interview behaviour
Nobody likes to be kept in limbo after a job interview and this is why even the most promising candidates may start looking elsewhere. Ensure that this doesn’t happen to you by sending out an email to the applicant or to their agency as soon as you can. You don’t have to promise them anything but by keeping them in the loop you should be able to retain their interest long enough to make a decision. The same goes for the initial job application; it doesn’t take long but will decrease the chances of those top drawer candidates becoming restless.

Offering the job
Although you may be of the mindset that once you make the offer, they will find it hard to refuse, that simply is not the case anymore. Not only should you offer them a fair salary but you also need to be able to answer any questions with regards to a promising career path. It may be possible that they have received other offers and if you bear this in mind, try to remain competitive at all times. You should also remember that they are allowed to take their time when deciding on your offer and always avoid rushing them because this can quite often come across as desperate.

If you have the right candidate for you latest vacancy, follow these tips and you have a great chance of making them an offer that they will accept. Always remain honest and transparent throughout the whole process and remember that courtesy is key when communicating with all of your candidates.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Succession Planning in Accountancy

Accounting firms have never been as reliant on succession planning as they are right now. Just cast your mind back to the financial crisis and you’ll remember how up in the air each and every industry was. But with effective succession planning in place, that need not be the case in the future.

More than risk mitigation
The whole point of having succession planning as part and parcel of your overall business plan is to create a sense of confidence amongst your colleagues in the workplace. If your employees understand where they are heading in the future, surely they will be more motivated to step up to the plate and deliver on a daily basis? This strengthens the overall structure of your company and it is a common factor in UK accountancy firms today.

Long or short term?
Succession planning can work in both long and short term timespans and both of these will help to retain your key employees in your accounting firm. But on the whole, long term succession planning is where we should be concentrating our efforts. Consider the talent or lack of it at middle and senior manager levels and you’ll start to realise just how vital this strategy actually is. It does of course depend on the size and structure of your firm but where possible it would be better to develop your existing employees and reinforce your company’s loyalty instead of risking diluting the very same by employing external candidates?

When you initially recruit new employees, why not start as you mean to go on by developing the best candidates for the future accountancy roles? Instead of filling that hole in the future, you can already have a handle on who will be the best person for that job by following the codes set out by long term succession planning.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Get the most from your recruitment consultant

Thanks to a new initiative that is the brainchild of The Recruitment and Employment Confederation, the overall value of the entire profession is being strengthened. The whole idea of taking your job’s overall impact on your life to the next level is surely both worthwhile and long overdue.

Jobs transform lives
That is the name of the initiative and the REC hope to raise awareness of just how vital recruitment firms really are when it comes to finding that perfect career choice. As a part of the ‘Jobs transform lives’ initiative, REC have made 6 videos that look closely at how certain individuals pay testament to how the correct career and subsequent job choice has had such a positive effect on their lives. Each of these case studies can be accessed via the Daily Telegraph website and they will be there for 10 weeks.

The importance of jobs
Although people are well aware of how important jobs happen to be, the REC are concentrating on how valuable recruitment agencies are when it comes to finding the best choices for each individual. According to a survey carried out recently, the following results were collected about what people regard to have the most profound effect on their lives:
·        77% of people in the survey believe that choosing the right job is the most important life decision
·        73% were of the opinion that starting a family was the most important life decision
·        65% thought that choosing what to study at school/college was the important
·        64% believed that choosing where to live was the most important decision in their lives

Getting the best from your own recruitment consultancy
So there we have it, if you fit into that 77% and are looking at your own career or perhaps you are just leaving college/university, maybe it is time to look for the best recruitment consultancy that matches your own aspirations? At Wavelength our philosophy is to provide an efficient recruitment service in Recruitment for Public Practice Accountancy firms, we take the time to understand both the candidate and the client’s needs when placing someone in a job.
Your career choice will have a profound effect on how your life pans out so never underestimate the importance of having a strong ally in your recruitment consultancy.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

How your Facebook profile can affect your career prospects

Facebook has gone from strength to strength since it appeared what seems like ages ago and these days even your prospective employers are getting in on the act. With way over a billion regular users worldwide, it is not surprising that most job applicants will probably have a Facebook account. But it may be sound advice to take another look at how your own profile may be perceived before filling out that application form. Here we look a little closer at the new trend that is offering recruiters an invaluable insight as far as weeding out undesirable candidates is concerned. A recent survey taken from over 1,800 HR managers has unearthed some very revealing evidence as far as our social media accounts and job applications are concerned. We’ve also consulted a separate survey taken from 2,000 young people who have social media accounts just to balance this article out.

How is your profile?
We all have seen the evidence of a wild night out or a particularly messy holiday splashed all over a Facebook profile, that’s part of the whole idea of social media after all. Have another look at your timeline and see if you can find any evidence of this type of shenanigans before your next recruiter stumbles onto it. Nobody is an angel but surely some things are better kept private? Especially as far as finding that killer job is concerned.

What they don’t want to see
Just imagine if you were an accountancy recruiter or HR professional in an accountancy firm and you had 4 or 5 Facebook profiles in front of you. It could be that the applicants are all very similar but where one or more of the applicants have plenty of photos showing him or her quaffing alcohol without any issues, would you offer this person an interview ahead of the other applicants? We know what the answer is likely to be, so why risk the chance of ruining your opportunity just because your Facebook profile is a bit over the top?

Important statistics from the survey
In terms of figures to back up these claims, please take a look at these because you may just be a little shocked to discover how high some of them are:
  •         90% of employers admit to checking Facebook profiles for vetting purposes
  •         55% of recruiters have decided against hiring applicants after checking their social media profiles
  •         22% of social media users aged between 14-25 will post pictures of their nights out onto their profiles
  •         24% have no privacy settings on their social media profiles

Some tips that you may need to know
Okay, nobody enjoys looking at a boring social media profile, so how can you maintain the status quo whilst still staying in the market for some attractive job roles? Simple, all you need to do is take a closer look at those privacy settings and start putting them into action. You can easily tweak them so that only your Facebook friends can see your updates and that will help a lot. But whilst you are at it, why don’t you go through your profile and get rid of those dodgy updates as well? Swearing, anything sexual and of course the booze related photos aren’t really that important are they? You could always open up a new account with an alias if you absolutely must be seen as the party animal, but do it sooner rather than later. From our own experience as a Public Practice Accountancy recruitment agency, we know that our own clients will look at social media profiles and actually include this as a vital part of their own selection process.

You could also delete any inactive social media accounts because your prospective employers could also find these and who knows what you thought was cool two or three years ago? Think about your professional future, take care of your social media accounts and you could soon land that dream job you always wanted.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Vocational Course For Students

Why More and More Students Are Opting for Vocational Courses
Although there is little doubt that A-Levels are an excellent way for 16-18 year olds to increase their knowledge whilst looking to universities and possibly securing a workplace opportunity for the future, there are other ways to do this effectively. In fact, according to studies from AAT, students who choose a vocational course are making a very wise choice indeed.

Financial independence
No matter how much we may love our jobs, the bottom line is usually the same – hard cash. Prospects and job satisfaction come a very close second but who doesn’t automatically look at the salary on offer when we browse through job websites and broadsheets? The following facts speak volumes in favour of taking a vocational course such as accounting instead of either leaving at 16 or doing A-Levels:
·        40% of vocational students own their vehicles
·        Two times as many vocational students own their homes
·        30% are able to buy most things that they want to buy
Debts and more
The very structure of vocational training allows students to get real time work experience, preparing for accountancy careers, whilst studying for their qualifications and it is this exposure to the practicalities of life that prepares them for day to day living. This is reflected in the fact that vocational students are less likely to fall into debt compared to their counterparts. University students will also build up a considerable debt by way of the steep annual tuition fees, not to mention the additional costs for rent and food.
Practical experience pays off
By the time university students are ready for some real work, the vocational guys and girls will already have 3 or 4 years’ experience under their collective belts. This is usually reflected in at least several pay rises and even a promotion for those ambitious enough to earn their colours.
This isn’t to say that the vocational route is for everyone but if you are in doubt whether or not to commit to 3 years or even more at a bricks and mortar university, why not do yourself and your future a great big favour and look into the myriad of vocational educational options out there as well?

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Aggressive Recruitment in the Audit Arena

Although aggressive recruitment tactics have been around for some time now, the sheer intensity of this rather crude process seems to be sweeping the world of accountancy today. It appears that senior auditors are so in demand that the largest UK accounting firms are employing headhunting tactics that seem to have forgotten all about business ethics to say the least.

The Big Four

As far as these guys, Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG, are concerned, it appears that their own staff has been targeted recently by a number of recruitment firms and to say that these approaches have been aggressive is an understatement. Most of this activity has been aimed at colleagues just below the partner level and the fact that it is now legal for firms to place their audit contracts up for bids more often than previously has meant that this trend has increased dramatically recently.

Limited Resources

So back to the increase in audit bid action, this has placed huge demands on the resources available as far as auditors are concerned and as result, more firms are looking to boost their own talent pool. It has even been suggested that many accountancy firms have expedited their own tenders in order to attract more senior auditors. This ‘war for talent’ is threatened to spiral into something even more distasteful because the world of accountancy has always been considered to be rather sedate and civilised when compared to other industry sectors.

The Candidate’s Perspective

For those who are in senior auditing positions and are starting to bear witness to this unsavoury behaviour, how do they react? Well, perhaps the recruitment agencies in question need to answer some pretty serious questions with regards to their ethics. Although the financial gain for both parties may seem worthwhile, it surely will be short term and how about the new role itself. 

What happens when the new employee isn’t quite the perfect fit and what if the audit is not successful either?Surely the candidates themselves need to be asking some serious questions before even considering making such a big move? Hopefully this aggressive headhunting will start to fade out and the once stable world of accounting will return once more. 

At Wavelength we place an emphasis on understanding both our client and candidate’s needs and requirements when it comes to employment in Public Practice. We do not believe in time wasting and our team have a wealth of knowledge of the accountancy profession which ensures we place the right candidate in the right job.

If you are looking to recruit or if you would like to further your career, our team can help. Please feel free to contact our team to discuss your requirements further.