Angela takes a break from the writing duties this week and has handed over to Oli Sanford-Scutt, our Manager – Commercial Finance. This week, Oli shares the top tips he is giving job seekers and hiring managers at the moment, as well as his thoughts on what is currently happening in the market. 

Scroll down to read more or… watch his video straight from Nana’s lounge at Consult HQ.


What skills are hiring managers looking for in job seekers

The ability to look past your job role. Many people in their current role focus on what they do, but they don’t know the impact that it makes on the wider finance function. As finance functions evolve, I think it’s more important than ever that you become more “in the know” about how your role impacts the layer above and the layer below in the wider function, and across the business. You’ll become more confident in your role and progression becomes a lot easier.

Additionally, the ability to be adaptable, especially as finance functions are becoming more agile. Being open to taking on more responsibility, maybe being open to covering people while they are away, will help with your progression too.

Finally, the softer skills are always important, communication especially, the ability to build relationships with key stakeholders and communicate outside the function is becoming increasingly a hot skill in demand.


What are the biggest tips you are giving job seekers at the moment?

Do your research. If you are going for interviews, looking at opportunities, know what that business does, know who the role reports to and what the team looks like, as best you can. Ask questions of the recruiters you are speaking to. Know what the company is doing, any hot topics, are they in the news, try and understand the business as much as you can.

And don’t move just for money. A lot of people feel motivated because they want a pay rise, and they jump for an increase. In that scenario, often within 3-6 months they look to move again because things don’t work out. So, move for the right reasons, be selective on what is right for you and stick to your guns. People have more than one reason as to why they might want to leave a role, so think about what is important in your next step and stick with it.


What is happening in the market right now?

It’s busy, despite what the media says, and a testament to that is how busy we are. We have had back to back record quarters in the number of placements we have made. Companies are focusing more on business partnering and commercial insights, so finance functions are changing. People want to know how they are spending their money, are they investing in the right areas and what is the ROI on that investment.

Therefore, a number of opportunities that didn’t exist in the market a few years ago are being created. If you look below the tip of the iceberg there is actually a lot of positivity and activity due to these newly created roles.


What are the biggest tips you are giving companies at the moment?

Dedicate time to the recruitment process, companies are not setting aside or preparing for this. What this means is there is quite often delays in the hiring process, especially when people take annual leave, or they get busy or its month end. But this is when you lose good candidates because the process becomes too drawn out.  Act quickly if you’ve got someone that is a stand out, don’t delay the process, move at a pace where you are going to secure them.

Lastly, don’t undercut on salaries, the market pays what the market pays, and to secure the right people in a very busy market you have to pay where the market is at. There are more newly created roles out there, so finding the right people and getting them at the right time is becoming increasingly difficult, especially if their current employer is willing to counter offer.

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