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A Day in the Life Of Recruitment Marketing Specialist Manager: Annalisa West

Marketing is an amazing sector and requires individuals of both intelligence and creativity. They use these attributes to draw and hold our attention and make us buy into the vision they are depicting. This is why the Find Your Flex team is excited to get the perspective of the amazing Annalisa West; Recruitment Marketing Specialist Manager for St. James’s Place.

We cannot wait to hear all about the day to day working life of such a varied and interesting role and hope you will find it inspiring and beneficial!

What does a working day look like for a Recruitment Marketing Specialist Manager?

My day can range from having meetings with key stakeholders, to creating promotional videos and writing articles for both traditional and social media.

How do you find a work life balance?

I’ve learnt to compartmentalize my life, be extremely organised and have a process for everything to maintain a good work life balance. Since becoming a mum this has become even more crucial because life is busy! Success for me regarding a great work life balance depends on having the right mindset and ensuring I don’t become overwhelmed, I always think ‘process not outcome’, which really helps. Regarding work, I set goals with workable, realistic steps of how I’ll achieve them. I have a clear process every day; I create a daily ‘to do’ list and I use the Eisenhower Matrix to plan my work in order of priority. What really helps is that, since having my first son (who is now 6), I am a homeworker. St. James’s Place are superb at looking after their employee’s welfare in this way and have certainly provided me with unwavering support, which I believe is reciprocated in the work I am able to produce for the company. Every Sunday evening I look at my work diary to plan what’s happening for the week ahead. I do this with my husband, who does the same, so we’re both aware of each other’s work commitments for the week.

In doing this we can then ensure that whatever responsibilities we have to our sons and our home life for the coming week are organised around work commitments. With anytime that’s left I plan when I can exercise and have time alone in my garden, which changes from week to week. Exercising 3-4 times a week and getting in my garden are non-negotiable things for me to do, even if it means fitting them in at six in the morning or in the evening when my children are in bed. I’m a keen gardener and always have been, it’s a creative outlet for me that I love where I can just switch off. I’m a firm believer that in order to bring my best to my work and home life, maintaining a good work life balance, I need to take care of my mental and physical health. Having time to switch off in the garden and exercising regularly definitely supports this.

Are there opportunities to progress?

Yes, St. James’s Place are very supportive of professional development, in fact I go so far as to say it’s actively encouraged, as part of our culture, for everyone to be the best version of themselves. If I’ve ever felt I the need to develop an area of my skills which will enable me to do my role more successfully, I can honestly say training has been fully supported throughout my (almost) 11 years with the company. There is a fantastic programme of internal workshops and training and opportunities to move jobs internally are openly advertised on our intranet for everyone to see. If you work hard at St. James’s Place it does not go unnoticed, it’s a great organisation that feels like a family, despite being a FTSE 100 company, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

I’m also delighted to be an integral part of the marketing team who promote our Academy programme, offering opportunities to people outside of the organisation a chance to change career and progress professionally. It’s a joy to interview people who have joined our Academy programme and hear how we’ve empowered them to begin a new career and it has changed the lives of both themselves and their family! So many people get to a stage in their career where they don’t feel they can progress, and they need a new challenge or a completely new career direction. For them the Academy is a fantastic programme. The programme offers high calibre and driven individuals an exciting chance to begin a career in financial advice.

What is the best part about being Recruitment Marketing Specialist Manager?

As I mentioned, I’m positively changing lives; with the promotional material I create I’m helping to find the next generation of Financial Advisers. This is so important to me in a profession where there’s only (circa) 26 thousand Financial Advisers in the UK and there’s literally millions of people with money to invest, who don’t have a Financial Adviser and would benefit from their guidance. I’m excited by the fact that I’m helping to make a difference to the profession and to help increase the avenues to advice for these investors. I also know, having interviewed many of the people who I’ve helped to attract to join St. James’s Place, that becoming a Financial Adviser is the best decision they’ve ever made and it has changed their lives in numerous ways. There’s so much satisfaction in knowing my role in the team as a marketeer is helping to make a difference to so many people, those who join us and become top-class Financial Advisers and those people who become clients of St. James’s Place and gain, in my opinion, the best financial advice.

Is there a difficult part to your job?

Working with such a diverse group within St. James Place, it can be challenging to meet the production requirements for all the individual people or teams who want some form of marketing material. On occasion for logistical, time, budgetary or even creative reasons it’s not possible to give them precisely what they want and having to say ‘no’ when a piece of work someone wants just isn’t achievable is always tough. It doesn’t happen often and normally at worst we find a workable middle ground, but when it does it becomes a problem for which we always try to find a future solution.

If someone was considering a career in your area of expertise, what advice would you give to them?

If you like storytelling, be that written or visual then, go for it! because you’d love a career in marketing. It’s challenging in a positive way; ascertaining the best way to engage with people, taking their vision (or sometimes just a thought) and turning it into a living breathing product designed to engage people and make them feel a certain way, understand a specific concept or just think about a new subject is very satisfying when it works well. There are often times when frustrations and complications test you along the way, but that makes it all the more fulfilling when your finished product is made public and does its job. It really does make you feel like you have achieved something, and I love it!

Thank you to Annalisa for sharing your insights as a Recruitment Marketing Specialist Manager!

The Find Your Flex team would like to thank Annalisa for highlighting the amazing hallmarks of her role! It’s truly inspiring to gain such a balanced perspective on what working in a senior Marketing role looks like and know that anyone who reads this will know they have the perfect insight into whether this would be a career that they themselves would aim for

There are many different careers out there and if you want to gain some more insights, why not check out A Day in the Life of The Head of UX and Optimisation: Becky Franks?

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Business Careers Future of work Interviews And CV's Recruitment

Salaries In Job Descriptions: Candidates want Employers to be Upfront

Find Your Flex is a platform with a purpose. And that purpose is to build a better future of work for all. Today we are discussing salaries in job descriptions!

Recently we conducted a poll on various social media platforms on the inclusion of stated salaries in job descriptions. The response was overwhelming.

We asked the question: “If a Salary isn’t stated on a Job Description does it put you off?

The post went viral, reaching over 100,000 views and over 4,100 people voted. 84% of people who voted said; yes they would be put off by a job description that does not state a salary.

Many of the voters supplied their reasons why and we noticed a particular pattern forming.

No Time for Time Wasters

It usually puts me off entirely. If the job sounds like a particularly good fit and I enter a discussion with a recruiter about it, the salary range is the first question I’ll ask. If the recruiter won’t give me the salary range at the start, I’ll politely end the call there as I don’t want to waste my time.

The most prominent reason given for why people would be put off applying, was that they didn’t want to waste time.

Supplementary to that was that most people apply for jobs that will continue to facilitate their lifestyle needs.

Applicants don’t want to waste their time applying. Only to find out further down the line that the salary will not sufficiently meet their needs.

How can you make a decision about viability of changing a role/ company if you can’t equate whether you could continue to afford to live your existence?

Applicants also see this as a lack of respect in valuing their time. Or even shows ignorance about the amount of time and effort candidates put into their job applications.

If a candidate really wants a role they can spend hours catering their CV and covering letter specifically to that role and company.

Why should you spend the time and energy polishing a resume, applying, stressing, interviewing, waiting…just to find the salary range is something you would have never applied for in the first place?

Salaries in job descriptions – a lack of transparency results in a lack of trust

Good candidates who pull out are less likely to apply to the organisation again and more likely to share their experience with their connections.

No company should ever underestimate the power of word of mouth.

It only takes one applicant to have a bad experience during the recruitment process for this to snowball. Social Networking and Social Media is a huge part of our daily lives.

All it takes is one post by an applicant with the right social connections to spread the word about how poor an employer’s recruitment process is.

I somehow always get the impression that these companies are looking for the highest skilled employee who ticks all the right boxes whom they can then insult by offering as little as possible for their services.

This all contributes to a company’s brand reputation. When it is clear that one aspect of the business has a negative reputation, it starts a domino effect in the eyes of the public. It’s clear to see their train of thought:

If a company has poor recruitment, they must be a poor employer. If they’re a poor employer, the service can’t be great. If the service isn’t great I should take my custom elsewhere.

Even in its simplest form, if you’re not being open about yourselves as an employer, why should candidates trust you?

Believe you are good and fair employer? Then literally put your money/salaries where your mouth is so candidates will know it!

If you are proud of what you pay your people you will have no problem, putting this out.

Don’t play games with people’s livelihoods

What puts me off is when the recruiter asks what salary you expect. I just reply, asking what the company is offering. You can’t beat around the bush… it gets you nowhere and does no one any favours in the long run … Be up front and don’t treat it like a game. Life is too short!!

Even if salaries are negotiable, a range between the minimum and maximum should be advertised to show applicants where they stand.

And once those negotiations begin, both parties need to be forthcoming about what their expectations are to meet a certain salary.

This is important as salaries can also help an applicant determine their level of seniority.

The ludicrous requirements for even the most junior roles make it difficult to determine the seniority, in a way that salary absolutely defines.

In negotiating anything, both sides need to be aware of the stakes. A candidate needs to know what it is they are negotiating for. It is better to state a salary in the job description than make applicants struggle to negotiate in the dark. This is just another form of playing games.

And its important that the employer is not considered a dictator, as this once again impacts their reputation. If the salary is negotiable, both parties must have something to negotiate with.

“Negotiating power lies with the employer if a salary isn’t listed. Whilst you can negotiate during the final stage of interviews, you should at least see salary expectations and that your potential employer has done some research into the role before you apply.

Just ticking a recruitment box?

It makes me feel like the recruiter is just trying to collect CVs to stick in a database and tick a box.”

This may not be just about salary. A lack of effort and details in a job description will be a sure sign to any applicant that the employer is not overly interested in the quality of the applicant.

But it is clear that to some applicants, an unstated salary is a red flag that employers do not care about the application and are just ticking a HR box.

Thus sending a message that employers don’t care enough to put in the research of the role they are recruiting for. And what the standard salary is for such a role.

If you don’t advertise a salary then for me it says to a potential applicant is these guys are potentially looking to do this on the cheap or have no idea about the marketplace and so can’t even pitch a salary for the role.”

It can also show a poor HR department or recruiter. As top quality candidates who know their value will be looking out for a salary. These will be less likely to apply for the role.

Where an abundance of perhaps under-qualified candidates will be in their place resulting in hours of sifting through applications.

“It usually means HR and hiring managers spending unnecessary time sifting through more CV’s and interviewing candidates that if they discover the salary is too low will pull out.”

Salaries in job descriptions: The candidates have spoken. Now employers must listen

The response was loud and clear. The general theme that employers have a responsibility to state salaries in their job descriptions cannot be ignored.

If employers continue to omit such crucial information from the job description they not only risk losing potentially amazing recruits, but could be doing substantial damage to their brand reputation.

To conclude, its not difficult to state a salary in job description, even if its a range between the minimum and the maximum, at least then everyone knows where they stand. The only one that stands to miss out on not stating a salary is the employer.

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Industry Flexers

Focussing On The Candidates – Diversity In The Recruitment Industry

“If companies want gender balance and diversity, they need to embrace different ways of working.”

A guest post from Karen Camilleri, Associate Partner at executive search and interim management consultancy Green Park. Karen specialises in the recruitment of Business Transformation and Change professionals. She is also the proud mum of a little boy of 6. Here she discusses life in recruitment and why flexible working is necessary for a diverse workforce.

How Do You Feel The Recruitment Sector Has Changed Over The Last 20 Years And Why?

Industries have been changing at a furious pace. As organisations fight to stay relevant, we’re seeing greater demand for professionals with experience in leading change and transformation projects.

Leaders with these skills are a commodity and the recruitment sector, which 20 years ago was client-led, is now much more candidate focussed. Organisations are therefore looking for recruitment partners that bring a human touch. One’s that have structured and well supported talent networks that they can tap into. Employee Value Proposition is now a key consideration and element of any talent strategy.

In Your Opinion How Can The Recruitment Industry Best Facilitate Flexible Working?

I think the industry needs to think about deliverables rather than face time in the office. For example, I’m measured against targets which don’t reflect on the number of hours I spend physically at my desk. Instead I work two days from home and I use the office as a base for business meetings.

Companies need a culture where employees are trusted to deliver and manage their time how they see fit. After all, if employers want to address gender balance and diversity, they need to embrace different ways of working. Otherwise they will be fishing in a narrow pool of candidates!

Employers should be proud of their staff and support them as they juggle family needs and work priorities. It’s a proven fact that employees who are able to engage with family or other personal needs are happier and this reflects in their productivity and output.

What Is Green Park’s Diversity Practice And What Are Its Aims?

Today, most business leaders know that diversity and inclusion (D&I) are critical to performance. However, many lack the expertise to achieve their D&I goals. Our D&I Consultancy helps clients approach diversity in a more skilled, mature way. They help them to build their internal capability and knowledge.

Our D&I services include assessments, audits and diagnostics; independently validating diversity strategies, role model development and leadership training; business intelligence and market mapping, talent management and direct hiring strategies.

The Green Park Diversity Team Are The Most Diverse TFL Board In The Organisation’s History. Why Are diversity And Inclusion Initiatives Vital To Creating Successful Talented Teams?

We believe that our clients deserve more choice. That means widening the talent search to look beyond just the usual suspects. Studies have consistently shown that more diverse organisations perform better in many ways. Team collaboration, retention, productivity and market share are all areas where companies that rate highly for D&I, score better than those that don’t.

How Can Candidates Be Assured That Potential Employers Are Committed To Diversity And Inclusion?

Green Park actively campaign for measures to boost diversity, equality and inclusion. But for now, candidates may want to look at a potential employer’s pay gap reporting. It’s also worth exploring whether an organisation puts its money where its mouth is. For example, Intel put $300m into hiring programmes for women and minorities between 2015 and 2020; and spent $1bn with women and minority-owned suppliers.

Thank You For Speaking To Us. Any Words Of Wisdom To Candidates Who Are Embarking On A Career Change Or Returning To Work After A Career Break?

Believe in yourself – if you don’t, hiring managers won’t either!

Look for a work-life balance that works for you. If an organisation won’t accommodate your terms, then use this in your deselection process – don’t work for a company that’s not culturally aligned to your values. Whatever working arrangement you organise, remember the employer is getting great talent out of it, so don’t feel guilty.

Don’t plan too far ahead. Live in the moment. That’s for the returners! As for the career changers, use your network and keep track of the movers and shakers. Connect with coaches and sponsors who have also made those step changes in their career. They can provide you with insight and tips.

Karen Callimeri from Green Park Consultancy