January 24, 2013 10:11 am

Recruitment Diary: January 24 2013

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Interims Following last week’s cover feature on interim executives, Russam GMS, a UK provider of interim managers, offers its latest six-monthly snapshot of the market. It sees “some positive signals in a no-growth economy”, with overall interim activity increasing by 3 per cent in December compared with a year earlier, but falling back by 1.5 per cent on the numbers for June 2012, always a busy month. It says assignments are mainly focused around growth and average daily rates for December fell slightly to £593 from £619 in June.

Apprentices Barclays celebrated hiring its 500th apprentice last week, with 500 more to be recruited by June. The bank says its project is having an impact: 86 per cent of apprentices taken on were previously not in any form of employment, education or training and 37 per cent joined with fewer than five GCSEs grade A-C. Barclays reports strong retention levels and performance ratings, and line managers have also praised the apprentices’ excellent work ethic and attitude. The 500th apprentice, by the way, is Ross McMahon, aged 18, from Milton in Glasgow, who will be working in the bank’s Glasgow city centre branch.

Advice Jobseekers who have not had to “market themselves” for some time might heed a warning from Simon Gray, director of recruitment firm Cherry Professional. He says those leaving long-term posts are in a similar position to prisoners after serving a 10-year stretch: “Their surroundings are unfamiliar, and time, people and technology have moved on. It’s no wonder they’re confused. In my experience, jobseekers react in two ways: they try to pretend nothing has changed; or they try to understand the modern job market and how best to place themselves within in it.” He describes how to do this in his book Super Secrets of the Successful Jobseeker, published by Harriman House. His advice includes: understand what a future potential employer is thinking, and how you can tailor your skills and experience to their requirements; remember who the competition is and differentiate yourself from it; read newspapers, talk to the professionals and do your homework on the local business scene.

Leadership Since the financial crisis, a new range of challenges has rewritten the leadership skills and styles required of the best European executives, according to a study by Korn/Ferry International, the executive search and talent management consultancy. Its interviews with more than 100 senior executives in the European Union finds the most important skill is now the ability to “deal with ambiguity”, a trait that didn’t even make the top 10 five years ago. Perhaps it was called something else then – I thought negotiating the unknowns of economies and markets was always a leader’s job.

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