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Hays and The Times Name Louisa James as PA of the Year 2011

Hays and The Times have announced that Louisa James, of Wandsworth, London, has triumphed in the Hays and The Times PA of the Year Award 2011, being named the country’s top PA. Her energy and enthusiasm have seen her expand her role, embracing significant project management and organisational leadership such as being actively involved in the ‘Jamie’s 30-minute meals’ award-winning app, helping her secure the top spot.

PA to the managing director at Jamie Oliver Ltd, Louisa was announced as the winner at an awards ceremony held by Hays, the leading recruiting expert, at Flemings Hotel, Mayfair, London on the 19th of May. Louisa has won a five night break for two in Prague, courtesy of Portman Travel. She will also receive a place on The PA Retreat, an intensive residential training programme for management PAs, courtesy of Castalia Coaching & Training.

Louisa said: “I feel so honoured to be chosen as the PA of the Year. I give my job my all, and to be recognised like this is a wonderful feeling. People often don’t realise the huge impact PAs can have in an organisation, so it’s wonderful to be acknowledged like this.”

Second place was awarded to Christopher Juliff, diary, visits and events manager to the NHS chief executive. The judges praised Christopher’s passion for his career and his expertise, along with his outstanding attention to detail in a high pressured environment. They also noted his strong personal commitment to the diversity agenda.

Third place went to Zara Dyer, PA to the managing director at Liverpool Football Club. The judges were impressed by her passion for developing a PA network in the North and skill in being able to support her boss in a way that maximises her time and effectiveness.

As well as the three finalists, the three runners up were: Jennifer Batty, executive assistant to associate and executive directors of Russell Reynolds Associates; Lisa Partridge, PA to Michael Caines MBE and Sharon Walsh, executive assistant to the HR director at Channel 4

The awards were presented by Michelle Mone founder and co-owner of MJM International and creator of Ultimo, the UK’s leading designer lingerie brand.

Michelle declared: “Congratulations to Louisa, who has fought off some stiff competition to claim this year’s Award. She and all the finalists have shown just how valued the roles of PAs and executive assistants really are. People in this role make a considerable contribution to businesses across the country, so it’s great to be putting the spotlight on them.”

This year’s judging panel consisted of: Susie Barron-Stubley, managing director of Castalia, the coaching and training company; Gareth Osborne, director general of the Association for Personal Assistants (APA); Laura Richardson, last year’s winner; and Geoff Sims, managing director of Hays PA & Secretarial.

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Hays Reports Graduates Turning To UK Call Centres To Get A Foot On The Career Ladder

Hays, in conjunction with the Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service initiative, has reported that UK call centres are attracting more graduate employees.

Hays Contact Centres revealed that over two in five (43%) call centre managers have experienced a rise in graduate applications over the last twelve months and 35% of call centre workers are now educated to an undergraduate university level, compared to 25% in 2009.

The level of interest from graduates is not surprising, given that there are currently around 70 graduates for every job vacancy compared to just 31 graduates in 2008, suggesting that graduates are making a smart move in turning to UK call centres for employment opportunities.

According to the survey of 286 call centre professionals, working in the industry offers a real chance for career progression, with 54% of call centre agents agreeing they have a clear opportunity to progress beyond their current position, compared to just 40% in 2009. Over half (58%) stated they would like to develop a long-term career in the industry and the signs are encouraging, as 55% of UK call centre managers started out as agents.

The survey also suggests that graduates will benefit from excellent training and development opportunities in the call centre, as 65% of managers spend more than 20% of their time coaching or training team members, and one in four at least 40% of their week.

Simon Thorpe, Programme Director at Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service, said: “There are record numbers of graduates looking for work this year and it’s encouraging that so many are attracted to the call centre industry. UK call centres offer excellent training opportunities and competitive salaries, plus the opportunity for graduates to develop their careers and move up the ladder, both within the call centre and across the wider organisation.”

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Hays and AmicusHorizon Working With Tenants To Get Them Into Employment

Hays Social Housing, the leading recruiting expert, is working in partnership with AmicusHorizon, one of the largest housing associations in the South East region on a job seeking skills programme.

The three-month programme, which was set up because residents said they needed support in gaining employment, has already secured jobs or training for several tenants and has improved the employability of many others.

The programme started in June with introductory seminars and a series of one-on-one career coaching sessions. Each participant also attended five Hays workshops, which taught them how to write a successful CV and best practice interview tips. Residents were also given access to a ground breaking on-line career programme which was developed by Hays specifically for AmicusHorizon.

Helen Kirk-Brown, Regional Manager at Hays Social Housing, commented: “This partnership is a fantastic way of supporting residents into employment and is essential in such a tough economic climate. To date the participants have completed placements within local businesses and are now working with us to establish personalised long-term career plans. Whilst the project isn’t yet complete, we have already achieved outstanding results as several residents have already secured employment or training opportunities.”

Alma Haq, Resident Involvement Manager at AmicusHorizon, added: “This is the first time we have run a scheme like this and I am extremely pleased at how it is progressing. We are delighted with the commitment the participants have shown. Local businesses have also been very supportive towards the programme. Hays is working hard to ensure residents are equipped to find employment for the long term and it’s great for our residents to know that help is at hand.”

For further information about Hays Social Housing and social housing jobs interested parties can visit: www.hays.co.uk/socialhousing

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Hays Reports Millions Being Spent On Coaching Without A Business Purpose

Hays Senior Finance reports that while multi-millions of pounds are spent on coaching across the UK, 15% of organisations admit they have absolutely no measurements in place to assess the impact of their programmes.

A new survey from Hays Senior Finance, working with expert coach/ mentors LeaderShape, shows that coaching is often undertaken without evaluating the return on investment. The survey also shows that 68% of businesses fail to use coaching directly to address corporate objectives and outcomes are often simply referenced at a personal level.

According to the data, the majority of coach-mentoring programmes are for individuals, with 72% deployed to develop individual talents or address personal worries.

Chris McCarthy, director at Hays Senior Finance, said: “In far too many cases companies are leaving it to individuals to set the framework for their own coaching or mentoring – with little or no reference to business needs. They then fail to check the standards of their programmes and show little concern for the outcomes. Support can be extremely effective when a professional starts a new role, but it is essential it is carried out in the right manner by people who understand the specific needs of these individuals.”

The survey showed that if a senior finance professional leaves within three months of starting a new role not only is there a financial cost, but it dampens staff morale. The vast majority of respondents (96%) agreed that these appointments would benefit from confidential support during this period.

One major concern revealed by the Hays Senior Finance/LeaderShape survey is the lack of ongoing professional development for providers. Internal coach-mentors are the preferred choice by those who use coaching, with 73% of companies using in-house support. However, 16% of coaches and 28% of mentors do not receive any training or support themselves, while companies describe 29% of team or group facilitators as untrained.

Chris Gulliver from LeaderShape commented: “This is a very expensive missed opportunity for UK Plc in fast-moving times. Increasing amounts of money are being spent on coaching as a universal panacea but many companies have no comprehensive overview or sense of purpose.

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Hays And ICM Partner To Deliver Enhanced Recruitment Services

Hays Accountancy & Finance, the leading recruiting expert, has signed an exclusive partnership with the Institute of Credit Management (ICM) to provide members with an enhanced, dedicated recruitment service. Complementing its existing strategic partnership to provide recruitment services outside of ICM’s core scope, as a Corporate Partner Hays will offer members additional priority services.

ICM members will continue to benefit from Hays’ regional network of offices and access to the latest job opportunities. As Corporate Partner, Hays will also offer members a priority service, which will include essential information in an annual salary guide, careers advice from expert recruiters and Hays will host exclusive national and regional networking events, which will include speakers such as ICM’s Chief Executive, Philip King. As part of the partnership Hays has also confirmed that it will be a sponsor of the ICM regional roadshows and the ICM Awards.

ICMos previously worked with Hays to develop an online skills test, which already forms part of every candidate’s screening and registration process when they register with Hays. It provides employers with extra information about jobseekers and additional insight into how well suited a candidate is to a role, thereby giving employers added confidence that they are recruiting the best candidate.

Ceinwen Wilson (née Walker), Credit Control Business Director at Hays, comments: “This exclusive partnership demonstrates our commitment to the industry, allowing us to continue to meet the complex needs of credit control professionals. As a Corporate Partner, we look forward to working even more closely with ICM and offering members a priority service so they have access to essential information which will help them progress their careers.”

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Hays Reveals Over Half Of Employers Welcome Flexible Working Legislation Despite Extra Cost

Hays, the leading recruiting expert, has revealed the results of new research that shows over half of employers (55 per cent) welcome plans by the Government to introduce legislation requiring them to offer flexible working to all employees. Seventy per cent expect an increase in requests for flexible working and nearly 40 per cent are bracing themselves for a resulting impact on their budgets.

The survey of over 680 workers and 420 employers undertaken by Hays in June 2010 found that more private sector employers expect an increase in their costs if staff take up the offer of flexible working than in the public sector (44 per cent, compared to 33 per cent).

Employers offer flexible working primarily as way of supporting their employees, with just 18 per cent reporting it is just to comply with existing legislation. Only 29 per cent feel offering flexible working is integral to the success of their business.

From the perspective of employees, almost half of all workers (46 per cent) say their current employer does not encourage flexible working, rising to over half in the private sector. Furthermore, some of the options most sought after by employees are the ones they believe are unavailable.

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Hays Reveals The UK’s Jobs Offering The Best Opportunities

Hays, the leading recruiting expert, has revealed the top ten job areas, which are currently exhibiting the strongest demand for candidates in the UK.

As a result of long development cycles the pharmaceutical industry came out on top of the new “most wanted” list. Areas such as regulatory affairs, health economics and statistical programming are faring particularly well due to the increase in safety measures and the need to check products going into the prescription markets.

The second key area revealed by the research was banking jobs in the city. In particular, the banks are looking for revenue generators who are client-facing, with a strong banking background and appropriate levels of managing risk and control, as the majority of investment, corporate and retail banks are still trying to re-build their businesses.

Doctors, qualified social workers and other healthcare professionals all came out well, benefiting f r o m a more secure job environment due to prevailing shortages. The NHS has an ageing workforce and specialist nurses are particularly in demand across the UK.

The demand for candidates to fill a wealth of IT jobs has risen by nearly 30% in 2010. This is partly down to the release of MS Windows 7, which has helped increase the demand for IT staff to support home users or smaller organisations.

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Employers On Look Out For Specialist Legal Skills

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people, has revealed that whilst it is premature to talk about a recovery in the legal market, signs are emerging that recruitment activity for certain niche skill sets has remained steady.

Hiring levels for transactional roles within private practice continue to remain static, but organisations are still keen to bring in specialist skills within certain sectors, such as professional indemnity, clinical negligence and insurance. Regulatory experience is also sought in both commerce and private practice, as employers continue to assess risk, particularly within the financial services sector.

“Although we cannot say with any degree of certainty that the market has turned the corner, we are experiencing signs of cautious optimism. Private practice firms are recruiting, particularly if they have a commercial and strategic reason to do so, for example senior level partners who have a following of clients,” said Helen Godwin, Regional Director at Hays Legal.

Demand for in-house roles has risen within the banking and financial services sectors, particularly in the derivatives, funds and asset management sectors. Organisations in the public sector are, however, beginning to be more cautious, “Although activity in the sector as a whole has slowed, given that organisations are wary of the political landscape and spending cuts, opportunities in niche areas such as childcare still exist, as councils seek to enhance their childcare legal teams,” affirmed Godwin.

The economic climate means that employers are still being very specific about their skills and experience requirements, thereby prolonging the recruitment cycle. “Firms are looking for individuals who tick all the competency boxes and can demonstrate a combination of technical skills and specialist knowledge. A track record in business development and a deep understanding of the commercial drivers of running a business are a definite plus,” continued Godwin.

For junior lawyers, conditions are the toughest for a decade – the number of training contracts has fallen and with trainees doing paralegal work, it has become even harder for qualified lawyers to find work. Adopting a flexible approach is very important, “My advice is to think strategically about the area of law you want to go into as some areas, such as clinical negligence, insurance and employment, are more recession proof than their more ‘glamorous’ counterparts,” noted Godwin.

The message for jobseekers is that they must be supremely well prepared given the intense competition to ensure they give themselves the best chance of securing a role. “I cannot stress enough the importance of researching the organisation and preparing for competency based interviews,” continued Godwin.

Ensuring that skills are kept updated is another important factor to help boost the chances of employability, “We would encourage young lawyers to take advantage of any networking opportunities and attend any relevant legal courses. Brushing up on areas such as employment law, restructuring and insolvency is a smart strategy, as recruitment for these skills will pick up in 2010,” concluded Godwin.

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Steady Growth In Demand For Retail Banking Roles

Hays, the world’s leading recruitment experts in qualified, professional and skilled people, has reported that despite difficult trading conditions, there has been a steady growth in demand for retail banking roles.

Signs are emerging that the market is starting to pick up, with organisations starting to prioritise recruitment. Tessa Hollingworth, Operations Director at Hays Banking, explained: “Clearly, we’re not out of the woods yet by any stretch of the imagination, but we are experiencing an increase in the demand for a variety of banking roles, particularly within the major retail banks and building societies.”

Building societies are looking to fill variouis banking jobs, from cashiers and customer service advisers through to assistant managers, senior branch managers and regional managers. “Recruitment is taking place across the board with these organisations looking for a mix of junior candidates and for those with managerial experience,” added Hollingworth. “Organisations will look carefully at an individual’s work history – evidence of loyalty to an employer is advantageous. Prior experience is preferred for more senior roles although for the more junior roles the right attitude is just as important.”

Recruitment in corporate banking jobs and commercial banking jobs has also picked up momentum, with a demand for restructuring and recovery roles in particular. These are challenging roles and individuals need to be excellent problem solvers and have first-class communication skills. Distressed debt is one of the key issues in today’s market and specialists with this specific experience remain highly sought after in the current market, given the requirement for strong credit, risk and accounting knowledge. “Employers are keen to hire individuals with excellent relationship management skills and strong credit skills,” added Hollingworth.

Business development also remains a focal point for retail banks and building societies with a strong track record in sales being one of the key competencies sought after by employers in the field of business banking jobs. Professionals can use their transferable skills from the wider retail environment to put them at an advantage when applying for jobs in this sector. Qualified financial advisers who are able to achieve targets consistently are also highly sought after, relevant industry qualifications such as FPC/CeFA are essential.

Professionals looking for retail banking jobs need to differentiate themselves in the current market and this means being thorough with CV preparation.

“With competition for roles extremely high, it is in the interests of every individual to spend as much time as possible refining their CVs. Candidates also need to work on their interview technique and be aware of competency based interviews and what employers are expecting,” continued Hollingworth. “For all roles, providing clear examples of past achievements and the impact they have had on the bottom line is particularly important. Specialist recruiters can provide tailored advice to help candidates in all aspects of the recruitment process.”

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Hays Reports Energy And Sustainably Skills Required For Building Services

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people, is reporting that despite difficult trading conditions employers’ confidence is improving with positive signs for recruitment activity in the building services sector, especially for candidates with specialist skills, such as sustainability and energy efficiency experience.

Recruitment activity for jobs that require energy and sustainability expertise has remained steady across the public and private sectors, with employers particularly keen to attract individuals with a track record in implementing policies to reduce the carbon footprint and emissions of buildings.

Meeting efficiency targets is high on the agenda of most organisations and if a candidate can demonstrate experience in this field, this is a definite advantage and will improve the chances of being shortlisted.

“We have noticed that there are a range of permanent, temporary and interim opportunities for those individuals with energy efficiency experience. The types of role that employers are looking for include energy managers and facilities managers,” commented Mike McNally, Business Director at Hays Building Services.

Experience of Display Energy Certificates (DECs) and Advisory Reports is a fundamental requirement. “The requirement for DECs only came into effect towards the end of 2008 and these need to be renewed every 12 months, therefore local authorities and institutions need specialists in this field to ensure that targets are being met and that they conform to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD),” continued McNally.

The equivalent for commercial and private buildings is Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). Low Carbon Consultants advise on the design and operation of commercial buildings to meet the highest energy efficiency standards complying with Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) of the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive (EPB) and can subsequently qualify and attain the Low Carbon Energy Assessor (LCEA) grade.

These skills and qualifications can be easily transferred from the private to the public sector, which increases an individual’s employability and can make a significant difference to those looking for building services jobs, particularly during the current downturn. “Achieving LCC status not only means that individuals can command better salaries but these specialists can make a real difference to consultancies and bring in much-needed project work,” added McNally.

The competitive recruitment market means that jobseekers with senior strategic project management skills and evidence of cost savings on projects will clearly hold the upper hand. Delivering cost effective solutions and adding value are very much the order of the day. “It is imperative that individuals spend sufficient time on their CVs and quantify their achievements, carefully detailing all the projects they’ve worked on and the impact this has had on the bottom line. Prior experience of the implementation of energy saving technology should always be included when applying for building services jobs,” explained McNally.

Chartership, qualifications and a solid Continuing Professional Development (CPD) record are all important considerations. “Individuals need to focus on career development and networking is a major part of this. Organizations such as the CIBSE, HVCA and the ECA hold numerous monthly meetings across the UK and are free to attend,” concluded McNally.

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Acute Shortages Across UK Nursing Sector

Hays, the world’s leading recruitment experts in qualified, professional and skilled people, has reported that the acute shortages felt across the nursing sector in the UK has led to demand for professional staff from overseas.

The most affected areas for nursing jobs are in critical care (ITU), A&E, theatre, intensive care (ICU) and accident and emergency medicine nurses, with skill shortages also apparent for obstetrician and gynaecologist, orthopaedic, anaesthetic and recovery nurses.

“The available talent from abroad throws an important lifeline to the UK given the pressing need for skilled nurses. Around 10% of nurses working in the UK have trained abroad and the shortage of skills can only be adequately filled by targeted international recruitment,” commented Simon Hudson, Director of Hays Global Resourcing at Hays Healthcare.

A combination of more effective utilisation and retention of skilled nurses, increased emphasis on training new nurses and, in the short term, increased international recruitment, would seem to provide the optimal solution to the nursing jobs crisis.

“While most of our temporary and permanent recruitment is carried out locally, the demand for certain skills has outstripped supply. It is therefore our responsibility to help clients attract these key professionals from outside their local market,” stressed Hudson.

An international presence in 28 countries enables Hays to reach and target this extended pool of nursing professionals. “Our office network means we can source candidates from abroad and assist UK employers in finding correctly qualified nursing staff to meet their requirements,” added Hudson.

Hays Healthcare has now added a comprehensive project methodology programme, LOCATE, to its portfolio to provide further support to employers via its global network.

“This gives employers extra confidence to partner with us to fill the gaps in their workforce,” explained Hudson. “The new methodology, within an international recruitment context, helps our clients through the process – it is innovative and comprehensive, detailing exactly how each project will be handled to ensure that it is a success every time.”

The problems facing the nursing sector in the UK are further compounded by an ageing domestic workforce – around 60% of the worker population is due to retire over the next decade. However, the shortage of nurses is not just limited to the UK with demand outstripping supply across the world, which in turn fuels a cyclical international movement of labour in the nursing profession. Many UK nurses are leaving to go and work abroad, to destinations such as Canada, Australia, the Middle East and the United States. Hudson explained: “Clearly, lifestyle and financial reasons rather than an inability to find a job in the UK are two of the key motivators.”

Hays has also launched the Hays Healthclub, which supports existing and new workers. It provides new Hays members and those who refer others for roles, which are suffering from skill shortages with a £250 Healthclub bonus.

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Recruiting Private Sector Talent Is Now A Priority For Public Sector

Hays Public Services has revealed the results of a new survey which shows that more than 80% of public sector organisations believe skills shortages in their organisation would be best filled by private sector workers.

Employers based across public services divisions including education, central and local government, housing, the NHS, charities and not for profit organisations stressed concern about the lack of commercial talent. 47% of respondents also said there are widespread skill shortages generally and this needs to be addressed in order for quality services to be delivered.

Concerns expressed by respondents identified shortages in management skills (54%) and indicated that the most valuable attributes a private sector candidate can bring to the public sector is commercial expertise (61%) and creativity (17%). Other attributes include a different drive and ethic.

The time to move to the public sector may be now, with 63% of employers confirming they have noticed an upturn in applications. Significantly 86% believe this increase is beneficial with job candidates bringing a diverse range of skills experience and willingness to adapt to new methods.

Andy Robling, Director at Hays Public Services, said: “The recession has forced people to re-evaluate their perception of a job in the public sector and they have come to realise that it offers comparable pay, generous benefits and a challenging, yet rewarding, environment. At the same time, many public sector organisations are undergoing a period of change and commercial expertise is highly valued to manage this process and drive efficiencies. Employers need to make sure they are tapping into this pool of talent. Jobseekers with a commercial background have never been more available or more willing to make the move.”

Although almost two-fifths of public sector employers are adamant that the recession has enabled access to a pool of talent that may otherwise not have been on offer, there is also the concern that once the economy picks up many of the new workers will leave and go back to previous private sector employment, once again leaving a dearth of skills.

About Hays Public Services:
Hays Public Services is part of Hays plc and specialises in public sector jobs including social housing jobs and a range of jobs in education.

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Hays Social Housing Reports Increase In Demand For Housing Professionals

Hays, leading specialist recruiter, has stated that the government’s plans to secure a brighter future for school leavers amid the rising tide of unemployment, has led to an increase in demand for support workers.

“We are experiencing a steady demand for social housing jobs, particularly for support workers to undertake varying assignments with the 16-25 age group and this requirement is expected to increase as government grants for supported funding become available,” said Matt Lewis, Business Director at Hays Social Housing. Support workers typically assist individuals in hostels and refuges with their lives and the transition back to work. This means the skills employers are looking for include proven experience with client groups and an ability to undertake support plans.

In line with the government initiative, Hays Social Housing has been partnering with social housing providers to offer careers advice to tenants and youngsters that are at risk of being made homeless. “We’ve been running a series of workshops with a focus on how to create a winning CV and how to conduct yourself during an interview. The sessions have had a positive impact, helping to break down some of the barriers that are preventing individuals from fulfilling their true potential,” explained Lewis.

The recession, which has brought hardship to many families, has also fuelled an increased demand for specialist help for those at risk of having, or who have had, their homes repossessed. “The demand for housing advice officers has increased significantly over the past few months. Salaries have remained stable given the increased competition for skills to attract the best applicants, as pressure for these services continues to increase,” continued Lewis.

Due to the changing regulatory framework, one of the key trends has been the increased focus of housing associations on their customer service provision, which has led to a requirement for tenant and community engagement, neighbourhood involvement and inclusion. In addition the Decent Homes Programme continues to fuel tenant liaison opportunities with organisations such as contractors, building and utilities companies’ officers. Meanwhile, there is also a demand for housing policy roles that focus on strategy and commercially-minded individuals who can drive efficiencies and generate new business.

“Housing associations are looking for individuals with transferable skills to work as leasehold officers, liaising with private landlords and carrying out risk assessments,” added Lewis.

Two of the key requirements for individuals in social housing jobs are a solid work history and an ability to hit the ground running. While CIH qualifications are important, particularly for senior roles, these are not usually a pre-requisite. The demand for social housing professionals is likely to continue given the pressing need to increase the supply of affordable housing, as highlighted by the government’s commitment to build new homes, which is a continuing sign that the sector remains buoyant.

About Hays Social Housing:
Hays Social Housing is part of Hays plc, specialising in a range of social housing jobs including housing benefit jobs and supported housing jobs. It is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. The Group employs 8,294 staff operating from 380 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms.

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Hays Highlights The Demand For Specialist Treasury Accounting And Systems-Based Experience Has Increased Over The Past Six Months

Hays, the specialist recruitment company, highlights the demand for specialist treasury accounting and systems-based experience has increased over the past six months. The increasing focus on compliance has led to a stronger focus on individuals with regulatory experience.

Hays, the specialist recruitment company

“Employers are looking for accounting and systems based personnel, in contrast to the same period a year ago when we were experiencing a very high demand for treasury operations managers, working in broad roles and overseeing small teams on the general day-to-day operations,” commented James Crichton, Senior Business Manager at Hays Treasury.

James continued, “Employers are particularly keen to hire individuals who can demonstrate a solid understanding of IAS32 and 39, for both permanent and interim assignments.”

The role of the corporate treasurer has also assumed greater importance during the current downturn, as treasury departments are coming under increasing workload pressures. At the more senior end, applicants need to demonstrate accounting qualifications, strong relationship and change management experience, while strong analytical and systems skills are prized at the more junior end of the market, ideally gained in a complex, multinational environment.

“Employers are looking for accomplished technical and behavioural competencies when recruiting for their corporate treasury jobs,” noted James Crichton.

There has also been steady growth in interim and temporary roles, particularly for strategic (as opposed to operational) appointments, which has fuelled demand for experienced corporate treasurers that are available for contract work. Required competencies include bank relationship and cash flow management expertise, two skill sets that have surged in demand during the current downturn.

“Companies that had previously not employed a dedicated treasurer are reaping the benefits of having an in-house expert, particularly in the management of cash flow”, James remarked.

Another key trend has been an increase in recruitment activity for permanent senior level positions. A number of new posts have been created to accommodate experienced professionals who are able to take on the Head of Treasury role and make fundamental changes to the organisational structure of the accounting function.

“Companies are increasingly looking to bring in specialists who can not only head up their departments but who have the leadership and management skills to drive through change and establish a separate identity for the treasury function,” continued James.

There has been a clear shift of emphasis in the demand for jobs in treasury during the last six months, and the overriding message is that applicants with the right accounting and systems experience and qualifications are well placed to succeed in the current market. However Hays warns that the onus rest on the individuals to show that they have the right skills and background. Individuals who do not have the required experience will find it more difficult to move into treasury roles, as employers are increasingly looking for very specific skill sets.


About Hays Treasury:
Hays Treasury is part of Hays plc, and offers a wide range of Tax and Treasury roles including corporate tax jobs, personal tax jobs and tax investigations jobs. It is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. The Group employs 8,294 staff operating from 380 offices in 27 countries across 17 specialisms.

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Continued Demand For Specialist Contact Management Skills Reports Hays

Hays Recruitment has reported that the current economic environment is likely to fuel further demand for senior contact centre jobs with the trend set to continue throughout 2009.

“As we see further company restructures, organisations will increasingly focus on process improvements and management of costs. Employers are looking for individuals who can demonstrate significant business re-engineering and change management experience,” said Lorna Shakespeare, senior manager at Hays Contact Centres.

Employers are looking to bolster recruitment within their support functions, where the demand for resource planning and forecasting jobs for senior managers remains steady. Other areas of focus for call centre employers include performance management, workforce management, dialler management and MI management, which is reflected in the demand for experienced professionals.

“These specialist skill sets are harder to source and all play a key role in improving efficiencies and reducing costs. Salaries for these support roles have remained pretty competitive,” continued Lorna Shakespeare.

Although jobseekers for senior roles will typically have five years’ experience, coupled with a strong technical knowledge of industry systems such as Total View, Blue Pumpkin and Avaya, organisations are also placing great emphasis on people management skills.

The public sector is creating opportunities for more traditional call centre jobs, particularly for senior customer service manager and operational manager roles. Jobseekers with previous private sector experience are a major plus for many organisations. “Skills are very transferable and the public sector welcomes applications from those with private sector backgrounds, particularly given that many of them will already have experience driving cost and efficiency savings. Salary and benefits packages are also enticing,” explained Lorna Shakespeare.

Applicants do, however, need to apply additional effort to make sure that their CVs are tailored to specific job requirements. Providing a detailed picture of their experience is imperative to emphasise suitability for the role.

However, as long as jobseekers maintain a positive and realistic outlook, applicants with the right set of technical and personal skills, particularly in the change and people management fields, can excel in the current marketplace as evidenced by the steady demand for interim and permanent contact centre jobs in both the public and private sectors.

Hays Contact Centres is part of Hays plc and specialises in contact centre jobs including customer service jobs and collections jobs. It is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. As on 30 June 2008, the Group employed 8,872 staff operating from 393 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2008, the Group had revenues of £2.5 billion, net fees of £786.8 million and operating profit before exceptional items of £253.8 million. The Group also placed around 80,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 300,000 people into temporary assignments. The temporary placement business represented 49% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 51% of net fees.

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Demand For Specialist Telecoms Talent Reports Hays Telecoms

Hays Telecoms has reported that employers are seeking specialist telecoms talent, with business and core networks, content and media, mobile and wireless, all experiencing steady recruitment activity.

High on the list of desirable skills is the demand for individuals with experience of transmission, provisioning and planning of fibre networks.

“People skills and advanced technologies are being used to streamline networks and follow best practice in and around transmission of the data to make networks more productive,” commented Lee Chant, Managing Director at Hays Telecoms. The key skill sets that employers are looking for in networks jobs are engineering based; knowledge of products such as LAN, WAN, Cisco and Juniper are particularly sought after while other networks (Extreme, 3Com etc) and infrastructure skills (Cat5, Cat6) are also currently sought after.

There is also a requirement for internal network security jobs within companies and their Firewalls. Companies are looking at their present networks to ensure they are accurately mapped – central to this enhancement is fibre optimisation and the design of the most efficient circuits to execute customer requirements and service. “Network optimisation is very much a buzz phrase around the industry at the moment,” noted Lee.

Recruitment activity for core network jobs is also remaining resilient, as many companies seek to win provisioning, transmission and design work. The current economic conditions have also provided a good opportunity for companies to complete their design and network planning, which has led to equipment upgrades and work around network efficiencies. This has fuelled demand for specialists with experience of Juniper, Cisco, Huawei, Ciena, and more driving environments such as IP, MPLS, VPLS, ATM, Frame Relay, SDH, PDH and DWDM. “Other buoyant skill sets include TDM, VoIP, SIP, H.323, IMS, Intelligent Networks, CPE, Ethernet and Dark Fibre,” added Lee.

Linked to the core networks is the content and media side of telecoms. The race is on for companies to corner the market in the ‘quad play’ arena, namely providing the ‘four in one’ home broadband, TV, telephone and mobile services. Investment in research and development has generated mobile and wireless telecoms jobs, as companies strive to gain a comparative advantage over their competitors. Mobile applications, mobile content, Symbian, J2ME, Multimedia, Broadcast, IPTV, VoD, DTV,H – DAM, EPG, Triple/quad Play are all desired skills.

“Although the sale of mobile handsets has slowed, companies are looking to invest in product development, such as mobile TV applications,” Lee explained.

Another area of growth is the field of technology to support collaboration, video-conferencing and web-conferencing. Knowledge of Cisco and Tandberg are proving to be the most in demand skills, as well as general IP networking experience relating to conference bridges. Employers are looking for professionals with web-based video conferencing experience, using sophisticated Telepresence technology. “The advantage of these products is that they save money and are environmentally friendly,” concluded Lee.

About Hays Telecoms:
Hays Telecoms is part of Hays plc and specialises in a wide range of telecoms roles fromconvergence jobs to jobs in broadband. Hays is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. The Group employs 8,294 staff operating from 380 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms.

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Oil And Gas Sector Remains Attractive Option For Engineers Says Hays

Hays, specialist recruitment company, survey shows demand for qualified engineers in the oil and gas sector remains resilient despite the downturn and this is reflected by the competitive salary and benefits packages on offer in the industry.

The 2009 survey, which was conducted in partnership with the Energy Institute, analysed trends in the oil and gas jobs sector, showed pensions were top the list of desirable benefits for almost 80% of workers, followed by annual leave entitlement (71%), health insurance (66%), and bonuses (58%).

“Nine day fortnights are also fairly typical of the oil and gas sector, enabling workers to take a supplementary day off every other week. We are also seeing car allowances at all levels, including for more junior roles,” commented Eliot Davies, National Operations Director for Hays Oil & Gas.

Many companies also sponsor career development, offering to pay for further training – this is borne out by the number of workers who hold a postgraduate qualification (43%). The survey also revealed that over half of oil and gas workers saw their incomes boosted by bonuses (58%), which can climb as high as 20% of base salary. Indeed, almost half of oil and gas professionals (45%) are expecting to receive a bonus this year. The opportunity to work on projects globally is also attracting jobseekers to the oil and gas industry, demonstrated by the survey findings, which reveal that two thirds of respondents deemed this to be either important or very important.

“Although Aberdeen is still seen as a centre for engineering excellence, many head offices located in the city will offer opportunities for secondment abroad,” stated Eliot.

The commercial experience of principal and contracts engineers is also highly sought after, along with C&I, structural and mechanical engineers. While some employers require specialist oil and gas experience, others are considering taking on construction sector professionals such as quantity surveyors where skills can be easily transferred across industries.

“We are experiencing particularly strong demand for intermediate and senior level reservoir engineers, geoscientists, geophysicists and people with FEED experience,” Eliot commented.

Salary bands for oil and gas engineers in the sector vary from £28-36k at the junior level (for individuals with one to three years’ experience), £35-50k at the intermediate level (three to six years’ experience), £48-70k at the senior level (seven to 10 years’ experience) and £60-120k at the management level (10 years’ plus experience).

About Hays Oil & Gas:
Hays Oil & Gas is part of Hays plc, the leading global specialist recruitment group, specialising in a range of oil and gas jobs from piping and drilling jobs to field engineer jobs. It is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. The Group employs 8,294 staff operating from 380 offices in 27 countries across 17 specialisms.

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Hays Reports Interim Learning And Development Professionals Still In Demand

According to Hays, the leading specialist recruitment company, while the current market may have impacted the recruitment of permanent learning and development jobs there continues to be fixed term contracts available for senior interim professionals.

“We envisage that employers will be using interims more regularly to identify organisational requirements on an ad-hoc basis to deal with specific requirements,” observed Heidi Waddington, Managing Director for Hays Human Resources.

Organisations are looking for practitioners with a strong commercial background and a track record in the management and development of staff. The emphasis has shifted from core training delivery, to a more strategic requirement to identify and implement bespoke programmes that are linked in to an organisation’s overall talent management programme. Investing in leadership programmes and competencies remains an important aspect of organisations’ HR strategies, as the importance of succession planning becomes ever more important, particularly during difficult economic times.

“There is a greater focus on talent-management and identifying key players in an organisation. Some of the larger organisations typically will forge associations with leading business schools to develop in-house programmes”, Heidi continued.

While organisations continue to review their cost efficiencies and examine ways in which they can streamline their HR operations, learning and development jobs remain
a central point of the HR function, despite the fact that resources are being stretched and that these skills have to be picked up by HR managers.

“Although companies remain keenly focused on the management and development of their people, line managers are having to upskill and add to their remits, particularly within small and medium sized organisations that are increasingly relying on in-house recruitment expertise rather than external training providers. Of course, in certain regulatory fields, there is always a requirement for training delivery,” Heidi explained.

Typically learning and development jobs do not follow a standard HR career path, in contrast to that of the HR generalist. An individual specialising in learning and development will have usually started life outside HR before making the transition to learning and development, albeit they would have had some involvement with training and development within a commercial environment. Skills can be easily transferred across from other disciplines, as long as they have previous training and development experience.

Learning and development remains closely linked to organisational development, particularly during difficult times when the need to invest in staff becomes greater and the reduced staff numbers need to acquire and make up for any ‘lost’ skills. Organisations will rely on interims to design programmes and to use their change management expertise in order to shape overall company structure and ultimately lay the foundations to provide challenging and rewarding careers for staff. The role of the learning and development manager spans across the whole talent agenda, looking closely at development needs and at staff retention.

About Hays Human Resources:
Hays Human Resources is part of Hays plc, the leading global specialist recruitment group, and specialises in a range of HR jobs from diversity and equality jobs to training jobs. It is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. The Group employs 8,294 staff operating from 380 offices in 27 countries across 17 specialisms.

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Hays Reports Field Sales Experience Sought By Employers To Ride Out Recession

Hays, leading specialist recruitment company, has reported that the need for employers to fine-tune their sales teams is becoming ever greater during the current downturn. An experienced sales team that can hit targets and deliver much needed income streams will help organisations counter the adverse recessionary forces prevalent in the

“There is a demand for field sales operatives at the moment across industry sectors for all levels of experience, particularly junior and middle range roles. Demand for senior appointments has been more affected by the downturn but there are still good opportunities for the right calibre of individual,” said Kevin Dunbar, National Business Development Manager at Hays Sales, “Having a strong sales force in place, underpinned by an effective strategy, remains one of the best ways for organisations to trade out of this recession.”

One area where the demand for sales experience has become apparent is in the public sector, with a particular focus on IT field sales. Continued investment by government in the upgrade of its IT development infrastructure has led to an increase in demand for experienced professionals.

Kevin continued, “Professionals with public sector account management experience, for example in the health and central government sectors, are in demand”.

A track record of success is very important in an industry where achievements are highly visible and dependent on targets being met. The rewards for the right people also remain competitive and individuals can expect a company car, laptop, mobile, as well as other standard benefits, such as pensions and private healthcare.

“Uncapped commission is still being offered by some companies and this remains one of the key benefits offered,” Kevin added.

One of the main issues facing employers is attracting a suitable calibre of applicant, as the sales discipline suffers from high levels of staff turnover. Ensuring that the recruitment process runs smoothly is imperative. Kevin explained,”Employers can sometimes recruit the wrong person for the role in the first place and this leads to increased attrition rates. This can be reduced by preparing detailed job and person specifications, carefully highlighting the competencies required, and establishing a thorough interview process.”

Despite the difficulties faced by certain sectors of the economy, the demand for field sales remains resilient. “The individuals that are most in demand are those that are not simply managing existing clients but also achieve business development with new clients,” Kevin concluded.

About Hays:
Hays Sales is part of Hays plc, the leading global specialist recruitment group and specialises in a wide range of sales jobs from fundraising jobs to telesales jobs. It is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. As at 30 June 2008, the Group employed 8,872 staff operating from 393 offices in 27 countries across 17 specialisms.

For the year ended 30 June 2008:
– the Group had revenues of £2.5 billion, net fees of £786.8 million and operating profit before exceptional items of £253.8 million;
– the Group placed around 80,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 300,000 people into temporary assignments;
– the temporary placement business represented 49% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 51% of net fees.

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Communication Roles Rise In Public Sector Says Hays

Hays, the leading specialist recruitment consultancy, has revealed that marketing professionals are benefiting from the steady flow of jobs being created by the public sector and certain skill sets, such as communication roles, are experiencing an increase in demand. These roles are coming into their own during the current downturn, given the need for employers to bolster levels of employee engagement, drive productivity and push the efficiency agenda during these economically challenging times.

As the interest in public sector marketing opportunities grows, the added job security and range of flexible benefits offered are luring communications professionals away from the private sector. The majority of marketing jobs in the public sector are communications related with an internal or external focus: “There are opportunities for suitably qualified communications professionals right across the public sector, from entry level Communications Assistant through to the more senior roles, including Head of Internal Communications or Communications Director,” informed Matt Anderson, Managing Director at Hays Marketing.

Skills can be easily transferred from the private sector, although previous experience is an advantage and jobseekers need to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the systems and processes that are used by public sector organisations.

“Given the intense competition for roles at the moment, jobseekers need to show a strong degree of commercial awareness and be able to communicate with internal and external stakeholders alike,” continued Matt Anderson.

A stronger desire to work in the public sector was one of the key findings of a recentHays survey, which revealed a marked rise in the number of professionals looking to cross over from the private to the public sector in 2009, as compared with a year ago. Almost three in four respondents cited a greater level of job security as the main reason for considering a switch of sectors (73%), followed by an improved work-life balance (59%) and the enhanced benefits on offer in the public sector (37%).

“Some applicants are considering a reduction in salary as a trade off for the enhanced job security of the public sector but there are still some very interesting opportunities for professionals to develop their careers,” noted Matt Anderson.

Although recruitment activity in the public sector remains more buoyant than the private sector, opportunities still exist for experienced communication professionals, particularly within some of the larger commercial organisations.

About Hays
Hays Marketing is part of Hays plc, the leading global specialist recruitment group, specialising in a broad range of marketing jobs from pr jobs to digital marketing jobs. Hays is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. As at 30 June 2008, the Group employed 8,872 staff operating from 393 offices in 27 countries across 17 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2008:

– the Group had revenues of £2.5 billion, net fees of £786.8 million and operating profit before exceptional items of £253.8 million;
– the Group placed around 80,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 300,000 people into temporary assignments;
– the temporary placement business represented 49% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 51% of net fees.

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