Race for Life – aim high, break your boundaries and achieve your goals

Race 2crop

On Sunday 14th June 2015 I achieved something for charity, my workplace colleagues and for myself.  I completed the Race for Life Bournemouth and ran 5k.  For those who do not know me I was that potato on that couch!  I was asked by my work colleagues to join the team – my immediate response was ‘I am not running, I will walk it, that’s all.’ Oh, how a couple of months can change your perspective when you are surrounded by focused and supportive people.

I, like many people constantly review what we have not achieved and review our failures,  but when do we look at the successes and celebrate them?  I have learnt by focusing on that end goal it helps when the journey is not smooth.  On my travels I had many deviations and crossroads, however the more training I did the more I was focused on the end goal the ‘hic ups’ did not matter so much.   I am now applying my learning to my work.  I am picturing my end goal and when it does not quiet go to plan I say ‘ok go back to the crossroads’ or ‘on this occasion I am going to take the diverted route’ and remarkably with the end destination in sight it is amazing how quickly you are back on the ‘positive route.’

I meet many determined candidates who wish to change direction.  You can always tell which ones are going to be successful.  When I meet them for the first time they are the ones who already have a picture of their next role and they are able to describe the type of employer they aspire to work for.   You know with this amount of focus it is only a matter of time before they are successful.  They too have challenges on the way such as an unsuccessful interview; however they take the feedback and focus on improving on areas of development.   I want to add value to their journey and where appropriate introduce them to potential employers to support their own proactivity and determination.  Finally I love celebrating with them when the reach their final goal – that new job.  That is regardless if it has been via Engage or not – it is about the satisfaction of helping them achieve.  I am thanked just as much for support as I am for providing the right career opportunity.

That leads me to my work colleagues – I have been on the receiving end of support and encouragement.  I know without their support the journey would not have been so enjoyable.  Leading up to the event I was taken aback at the hard work put into giving us runners moral support.  There were banners, t shirts and daily updates on progress, proactive work on sponsorship and most importantly support on the day at the start and finish line.

None of the above it rocket science, deep down we already know this, however by reading and listening to other peoples’ journeys and goals it helps motivate you to focus on your own.

Guess what – it works!

Job vacancies outstrips candidates for first time since recession


The number of job vacancies has overtaken the number of job seekers for the first time since the recession, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from Adzuna.co.uk.

Competition for jobs passed a milestone in October 2014 as the number of jobseekers finally fell below the number of advertised vacancies – with 887,771 jobseekers compared to 936,596 advertised vacancies. This equals a ratio of just 0.95 jobseekers per vacancy, down from 1.02 in September. Year-on-year, competition for jobs has fallen from a ratio of 1.69.

Total advertised vacancies increased 25.1% year-on-year in October, hitting 936,596 available positions. This comprehensively beat the previous post-recession high of 906,191 set in September, representing a monthly increase of 3.4%.

Advertised salaries increased 4.3% year-on-year in October to £34,670, outstripping a low Consumer Prices Index inflation rate (1.3%) to provide the UK with its first taste of respectable real wage growth since before the recession. This is the third consecutive month in which annual salary growth has kept its leading margin on CPI; in real terms, advertised salaries have gone up by £997 over the year to October.

Sally BennettEngage Executive Jobs Executive Recruitment Director, Sally Bennett explains: “With job vacancies now outstripping jobseekers, using an experienced recruitment specialist has become even more paramount in assisting a company in the recruitment process.  Searching and selecting high calibre candidates in a candidate short market enables clients to spend their time doing what they do best; running their department to optimum levels of efficiency.  Meanwhile, we not only seek out the best potential candidates for our clients using a variety of methods including a specially adapted motivational tool to identify candidates’ key motivators, we can also advise on how to retain employees – be it through engagement, company benefits or bonus incentives, or clearly identified promotional career paths within the company.  All these aspects are becoming increasingly important to retain the best employees – after all, no one wants to spend time and money recruiting and training the best staff only to see them move on to a competitor in a couple of years.”

To speak to Sally about your requirements as a client or jobseeker, or to take advantage of our motivational tool call 01202 674488 or email sally@engageexecutivejobs.com

Financial and banking sector enters top 5 growth industries for first time this month


The finance and banking sector entered the top 5 growth industries for the first time this month, as searches for finance vacancies hit an all-time high for 2014.

Despite the fears surrounding the skills shortage, latest figures released show that jobs in the UK have increased across all industries in October compared to September 2014, reflecting the continuing decrease in the UK unemployment rate.

Compared to October 2013, the data revealed that the number of job vacancies  in Transportation has risen by 46%, Real Estate by 42%, Hospitality sees a 37% increase whilst Construction and Education have also experienced a healthy increase, clocking up a respective 35% and 32% rise on last year.

As well as recording great improvements in job vacancies, Education (+7%) and Real Estate (+5%) came out as top growth industries between September and October with Financial Services recording its first entry into the top 5 with 5%,  whilst Banking (+5%), Accounting (+5%) and Transportation (+4%) also saw a rise.

Senior Level Positions On The Move


Good news in The Global Recruiter.


“A poll of director level interim managers conducted by Interim Partners has found the market for senior level executives beginning to pick up. The survey found 56 per cent of senior interim executives saying that more businesses were taking on interims at a senior management level, up from 47 per cent in 2012 and 43 per cent in 2011, in order to meet a growing demand for top executives.

According to Interim Partners recruitment amongst the most senior level executives has been very restrained since the credit crunch since cost cutting saw many senior management jobs removed. However, even though the senior level jobs market is improving, pressure over boardroom pay and other corporate governance issues have encouraged more board executives to avoid the increased burden of compliance by becoming interims.

Interim executives are managers or senior executives, at or just below board-level, who are recruited on a short to mid term basis. Just as a rise in the use of contractors normally predicts an increase in the hiring of permanent staff, so an increase in interims is seen as an early indicator of increased demand for senior executives.

“Senior level recruitment has lagged behind other hiring since the recession, but these figures suggest that the recruitment market for Directors is finally thawing out,” says Adam Kyriacou, Partner at Interim Partners. “Businesses need to be fleet of foot as the economy recovers and interim managers can give a business the sudden increase in capacity and expertise needed to take advantage of growth.”

Read the full story in The Global Recruiter, here.

How to Fast Track Your Way to the Top

Many would argue that you simply can’t fast track your way to the top, and to reach the peak of your career takes time and hard work – which we don’t dispute.  However, these tips, collated with information from an article in Forbes can help you reach that little further, and a little bit faster, than colleagues who may not be implementing these techniques.

Make a plan.

In order to achieve your full potential, you need a plan – a blueprint of some form for your long-term career plan, focusing on what you ultimately want to achieve, as well as the interim steps you will need to implement in order to get you there.

Remember the old adage; ‘The best laid plans…’ and be prepared to make adjustments as you go along, but always keep your ultimate goal clear in your mind.

Get an education.

Although we are all familiar with multi millionaire entrepreneurs who tell us in their autobiographies how they left school at 15, but, had their own company at 21, these are the very rare and unique exceptions to the rule.  A good education is the foundation for your career.  Don’t underestimate that. However, if you are not academically minded, this does not mean you must gain numerous degrees or be deemed a failure from the start.  A good education is about going as far as you can with your abilities before departing from formal education and reaching out to other areas in order to gain the experience you need.


Networking can open doors for you that may otherwise be firmly shut. The more people you know, and who know you, and like you, the better. Its all about connections and networking helps you make those connections

Work hard.

This is one area you simply can’t fast track.  Work hard, work harder than the rest.  Put in the hours and then some more.

Treat everything with urgency and volunteer for high-visibility projects. Always seek to contribute more, and be known as the go-to person or the get-it-done person. There is no replacement for hard work.

Work beyond your current responsibilities

Don’t let yourself be limited by what you are officially assigned to do; work beyond achievements that are obvious or expected.  Stand out from your colleagues.

Develop an “I will do whatever it takes to get the job done” attitude.

Equalise your work attitude and your work aptitude. Most people work hard, but if you’re the one with the ‘can-do’ attitude, your managers will certainly recognize and appreciate it.

Become a resource.

Continue building your own skill and knowledge outside the job.  Keep growing your expert status and credibility in your field, not just within your company.

Become an industry expert.  Read, study, follow industry leaders on social media outlets, and attend industry conferences. Seek out mentors; those you respect and are motivated and inspired by. This helps you grow beyond your job to know the industry and others in it. These relationships can open up tremendous possibilities for mentoring and advancement.

Dress for success.

Don’t look at how your peers are dressed; look at how the top executives are dressed. Dress for the position you want, not the one you have.

Think and act a level above.

Just as you need to dress for success, you need to act at least one level up as well. However, don’t lose sight of your current responsibilities.

Get to know your company and your boss.

Understand the company’s values and your boss’s priorities, and align your efforts with their goals and objectives.

Keep an on-going success file.

Record and file all of your achievements, especially those that align with broader company priorities.  Find ways to keep your boss and others informed of these achievements so you are recognized increasingly as someone leading company success beyond your own responsibilities.  This list is especially helpful at annual review time when you need to stand out from your peers.  Having a measurable and quantifiable record of your achievements will help you in your promotion aspirations.

Be a team player.

Managers look very carefully at how employees work with the rest of the department and other departments.  Being seen as a team player and someone who can work well with others, will help you in your career.

Express Appreciation

Everyone likes to be appreciated and by showing your appreciation to a senior level manager or CEO, you are showing that you actually take notice of any mentoring or advice they have given you, as an individual or even if the mentoring is done as a weekly/monthly department meeting.  It shows you are taking everything on-board and are keen to improve both your own abilities, but also those of your department.



Senior Managers; Making Your Employees Happy

For senior managers, an important element to keeping all areas of production high, and the running of your department smooth, is the happiness and contentment of your team.  Below are just 3 simple ways in which you can improve the contentment of your employees, which in turn are going to have huge benefits to your department and company.

Invest in them

Employees are unlikely to be happy if they continue to come to a job that offers no room for growth and advancement. Offering training opportunities and mentorship helps an employee feel they are improving themselves, professionally, as well as being valued by their boss and company. The best businesses out there invest in their employees. Send them off to conferences; encourage them to grow in their understanding of your industry by spending a bit of time and money on their professional advancement. This shows you have high expectations of their future within your Company and you see them as a long term investment.

Bonuses – Say Thank You!

Offering bonuses – no matter how small – improve morale within your team.  Bonuses make your staff feel valued, increases their loyalty to an organisation and makes them want to work harder for you.  The bonus doesn’t have to be financial.  Depending on your industry and the type of work your employees do, offering small tokens of appreciation – such as a voucher for a meal at the local restaurant, flowers etc – will make employees feel their work, particularly in hard economic times, is not going unnoticed, or unappreciated. Have clear work targets and acknowledge when these are achieved.  So often an employee will feel the brunt of not reaching a target, yet their effort and achievement goes apparently unnoticed when they do.

Make the work environment comfortable

It may sound obvious, but making your employees work environment comfortable, will go a long way to making them want to be at work.  Although work production is of course your primary objective, working in a sterile office environment with no ‘distractions’ will actually have a negative effect on your staff. A decent coffee machine, complimentary soft drinks, fruit and biscuits, an area away from their desks to relax – just a quiet corner of the office space with comfortable chairs and a sofa, if you can’t allocate a separate room – all makes a huge difference. Out of the office, if budget permits, and your employees have to travel in the name of business, booking them a business class seat on a flight or into the airport lounge or a first class train ticket, will not only make them feel appreciated, but will mean they arrive at their destination refreshed and better able to deal with the business meeting.

Behind Every Great Company is a Great Leader.

An amazing piece by Amy Rees Anderson in Forbes this week, who discusses how good leaders are invaluable in business and how there is a huge difference between being a ‘boss’ and a ‘leader.’

It may sound obvious to some, but it is a very true fact that in order for a company to become a great company, it needs great, inspirational leaders behind it. Great leadership has a positive effect throughout the whole company, filtering through all areas of corporate culture and behaviour. 

Great leaders make their employees feel important, and an intrinsic part of the corporation as a whole.   Promotional decisons are based on picking people of integrity whose talents and experience best fit the positions. Employees are encouraged to compete with their own best to get ahead and they understand that helping their coworkers to succeed is the best way to get ahead themselves. The result of good leadership is high morale, good employee retention, and sustainable long-term success.

Read Amy’s article in full here

Counteract Executive Stress – Live by the Sea!

Following on from our previous blog post, ‘Executive Stress,’ reports show that people living near the sea suffer lower levels of stress. 

A study conducted by the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Exeter, showed that the small but significant results could have many explanations, not least the factor of an increased opportunity for an outdoors lifestyle and physical exercise as coastal dwellers are more motivated to go for a walk along the coast.

Lead researcher, Dr Ben Wheeler, also looked at the possibility that ‘being beside the seaside’ gives us a mental frame of mind relating to a more relaxing environment.

To read the full article, click here.

Engage Executive Jobs are located just a stones throw away from Bournemouth Beach; with over 7 miles of award winning beaches stretching from Sandbanks in Poole to Hengisbury Head, we are also part of the Jurassic Coast with it’s collection of hidden beaches, coves and bays.  If you are looking to move into a new senior or executive level position and think living by the sea will benefit yourself and your family, do not hesitate to contact us for a friendly and confidential chat.

Apprenticeship Vs Degree – Can Apprenticeships ever truly match a degree?

In todays world, it’s generally accepted that to go far in your career, you will need a good degree behind you before you even start on the career ladder, but as Matthew Hancock discusses, improvements in apprenticeships, the rising cost of staying on in higher education and a changing ethos regarding education and training, is all starting to make apprenticeships look like a very valid option for some people seeking employment in specific industries.

Matthew Hancock MP, discusses how apprenticeships may soon be on parr with a degree, in The Telegraph.

How Great Bosses Motivate Their Employees

There are so many aspects to being a great boss and they are not all to do with fullfilling quotas and making money – far from it.  A remarkable boss is a motivator, someone who is respected as opposed to feared by their employees.  A great boss knows how to interact with their staff, to make them feel they are part of the same team; yet equally, knows when to step back and take control.

Inc.com have listed qualities that we at Engage Executive think are spot on.

In the article, Jeff Haden, outlines 5 all important aspects that make a remarkable boss. 

Develop every employee

Deal with problems immediately

Rescue your worst employee

Serve others, not yourself

Always remember where you came from.

Read this article in full here

As a respected Executive Recruitment Partner, recruiting for senior level and executive positions around Dorset and Hants, we certainly understand and agree with Jeff’s article.