Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the team at Very Important Personnel!


First of all, a huge Thank You and Merry Christmas to our Clients, Candidates and everybody else who has offered support to us here at VIPersonnel in 2017.

This year we have once again surpassed our own expectations, hit and exceeded targets, acquired some fantastic recruitment tools that will help us recruit even more effectively next year, built relationships with even more clients and met some great people along the way.

We are extremely grateful for the ever growing number of Clients who continue to use our services, we hope you have enjoyed 2017 as much as we have. Having you on board has really made a difference, not only financially but personally. Your custom and consideration has enabled us to keep on doing what we love, here’s to an even better business year in 2018.

Also, a massive well done and congratulations to our successful candidates this year. We managed to help even more candidates than last year, matching their skills to jobs that were both ideal for the candidate and advantageous for our clients. We hope you have enjoyed your new roles so far and will continue to do us proud and make a great future for yourselves at your new companies.

For those we are yet to help, why not take a look at what vacancies we have moving into 2018, You’re next career might just be a click away… 

Have a very Merry Christmas!

See you in the New Year!


Change. One word that instantly inspires a range of different emotions and metaphors. Sometimes change is good, sometimes it’s not so good. Whatever we decide, I think we can all agree that change is usually executed for the better.

What we know for certain is that change is always nervously awaited. People don’t like the idea of change, because we get so used to things as they are, we find comfort in routine and not being directly affected by sporadic movements that can alter what we deem ‘the norm’.

Change at work is always difficult to deal with because more often than not, there will be differing views on the matter within the team.

Anything that effects team morale is a huge concern for business owners because as they should know, people are the most important component for success. Therefore, if they’re unhappy, there’s no way success can materialise.

There are a few things to take into consideration when dealing with change in the office, for employees and business owners.

Win the majority vote

As a manager it is imperative to announce news that effects the whole office positively, ensuring you’ve taken everybody’s considerations into account.

You need to convince your whole team and not just base your final decision on your own benefits. As a good manager, your team should already trust you to make the right decision but you need to illustrate why you deserve that trust and the only way you can do this is by making it an easy transition for all.

As an employee, listening to your manager explaining a need for change can be confusing. However, think about how you can use this opportunity to your advantage. Perhaps this is your chance to rise to new challenges. If you’re supportive during the process, your manager will notice and appreciate your efforts and will listen when you’re looking to discuss your professional development.

Keep talking

Communication is key. You may think you’re keeping the news under wrap but people are intuitive and more often than not, your team will already know something is coming.

It’s really important you avoid gossip because this will make your team feel uneasy as they will assume you’re not being honest. As a manager, you should recognise the different personalities in your team and identify coping strategies for every individual, as some people will need more encouragement than others. You must treat every employee as an individual.

Employees, don’t be afraid to talk to your colleagues and your manager about your concerns. There’s no point letting it all build up and coming to your own anxious conclusions.

An open door policy goes a long way. Change sometimes inspires fear, the only way to cure this is to find clarity.

Remain optimistic

This is the most important component of all. Remember that negativity spreads, so if you’re not spending time ensuring messaging surrounding the ‘change’ are positive, you could be in trouble.

The same goes for all employees, as long as you’ve taken the above steps, there’s no reason why you should see this as a bad omen. I know change is scary, but a lot of change is good. It provides you with a basis for improvement and can give you a fresh start.

Think of change like chance; there is no right or wrong in a moment of chance, but taking one is always a step forward.

Article courtesy of:
James Caan CBE
Serial Entrepreneur and Investor in People with Passion


For a great book on dealing with change, read “Who Moved my Cheese” by “Dr Spencer Johnson” 

You can buy the book here. 

Spencer Johnson, MD, is one of the world’s leading authors of inspirational writing. He has written many New York Times bestsellers, including the worldwide phenomenon Who Moved My Cheese? and, with Kenneth Blanchard, The One Minute Manager. His works have become cultural touchstones and are available in 40 languages.



Recruiters Fees

When I hear that companies avoid using recruitment agencies due to the excessive recruiters fees, it makes me wonder, why? I also wonder what they would feel comfortable paying, or more to the point, how little they know about what recruiters actually do to warrant charging that amount of money.


Recruiter’s fees in brief.

Most agencies only charge a fee upon a successful placement. This fee is usually a percentage of anything from 10-30% of the candidates starting basic salary. Having worked in commercial recruitment now for several years, I’d say 15% is the typical percentage an agency would charge for your average job role. The equivalent would be slightly less than 2 months’ salary of that candidate. Sounds a lot I hear you say? The thing is, recruitment agencies do much more than send a couple of CV’s followed by an invoice.

So how is the fee justified?

A fair question which deserves a fair answer. Charging a client thousands of pounds for merely providing an introduction to a candidate does seem absurd, and, for those outside the process it does appear to be an extortionate amount of money for what seems like a very small amount of work. Think again.

What you get for your money. The recruiters expert knowledge of the industry, their extensive network to find the best fits for the role, and their management skills to ensure a smooth and easy process, up to and including ensuring the candidate turns up to work on their first day.

When a company decides to instruct a recruitment agency, the client has already started getting their money’s worth, after all they aren’t just paying for a few CV’s. There is substantial amount of work the recruiter has to put in in order to successfully fill that vacancy. Let’s not forget that the recruiter’s fee is comprised of two separate charges; a charge for the time, expertise and effort put into the role, and a charge for the risk the agency accepts under a contingency model.

From the moment a recruiter receives a job, the work begins. From sourcing suitable candidates, making hundreds of calls, Identifying available candidates, explaining the role over and over again, taking time to meet and register candidates, prequalifying and assessing as well as personality profiling them, all to ensure a successful placement. This process takes a lot of time and is one of the main reasons a company would benefit from using agencies. It doesn’t stop there. There are a number of risks involved for the recruiter, they often work a large number of roles at once, some not even resulting in a fee. Many companies decide to instruct more than one agency at a time, meaning the recruiter is facing competition and a chance they might not make a fee at all. There is a very high likelihood that the time and effort a recruiter puts into a role will not result in a fee and placement, then it makes sense that a recruiter has to charge a higher fee for a successful placement – simply because most of their work will not result in a fee.


So, whilst an individual fee for a successful placement may seem excessively high, it has to be considered within context: in order to make that placement, the recruiter used their recourses in order to find the right candidates, they put the time in to prequalify them and more importantly, the company ends up with no hassle, no stress, more time and a fantastic set of candidates to choose from.

Costs aside, the long term benefits of using a recruitment agency far outweigh the cost of getting it wrong.

If you think it’s expensive to employ a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.

Very Important Personnel- Our Values

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the team at Very Important Personnel!

Not much going on in this post other than a huge Thank You and Merry Christmas to our Clients, Candidates and everybody else who has offered support to us here at VIPersonnel in 2016.

We are extremely grateful for the ever growing number of Clients who continue to use our services, we hope you have enjoyed 2016 as much as we did. Having you on board has really made a difference, not only financially but personally. Your custom and consideration has enabled us to keep on doing what we love, here’s to an even better business year in 2017.

Also, a massive well done and congratulations to our successful candidates this year. We managed to help even more candidates than last year, matching their skills to jobs that were both ideal for the candidate and advantageous for our clients. We hope you have enjoyed your new roles so far and will continue to do us proud and make a great future for yourselves at your new companies.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

See you in the New Year!

New year, New Job? If you are already looking for your next move in 2017, see what Jobs we are recruiting for going into 2017 here.

Room 101 for Recruiters

Room 101 for Recruiters

Very Important Personnel has created it’s very own Room 101 for Recruiters.

Call it a list of constructive criticism, or just me having a mid-week moan, either way I’m convinced I’m not the only recruiter that encounters these irritations on a daily basis.

There is nothing more rewarding as a recruitment consultant than to proudly advise one of your candidates that they got the job! Of course, like most things, you have to take the good with the bad.
The recruitment scene is forever changing, but some things never change…


Spelling Errors, Typos, and Poor Grammar

There are no excuses for spelling errors on CV’s, we’ve surely all heard of spell check, right? One of the most commonly words I find miss-spelled on CV’s is ‘Liaised’.
There are other commonly found mistakes such as consistency in past/ present tense. I wish people would make their minds up if they are still doing the job or if they are telling me about a job they have now left.


Dates of Employment

Now we don’t expect a lot here, just simply the month and year you started and ceased employment. It still amazes me how people can get this so wrong through lack of attention to detail. Also, June is spelled ‘June’ NOT ‘Jun’. This has to be one of my main pet hates, it just looks plain lazy. PLEASE can we start typing the whole word?!


CV Novels

The best CV’s are those which are clear, concise and informative. Employers and recruiters alike want to see bullet-pointed sections to your CV. This makes a much easier read and allows the reader to quickly identify the important or relevant part on your CV. Most people will give up reading through pages of your life story, so keep it simple!


Photos on a CV

Unless you are applying for an Acting or modelling role that requires a ‘headshot,’ there is absolutely no need to include your picture. You want to be judged on the quality of your skills, experiences and employment history, not your age, hairstyle, weight or eye colour. And if you are going to do it, don’t apply for a professional role with a picture of you out on the town with a cocktail in your hand.


CVs sent in PDF Format

Unless specifically requested otherwise, CV’s should be sent as a Word Doc. Anything else like PDF, Mac file, or Zip files are utterly annoying. A recruiter simply does not have time to download and convert special files.


The old Hit and Run

This one really grates on me. If you are seeking work, please be mindful that your future employer or recruiter my need to speak with you. Don’t apply for a job and then not answer your phone or reply to emails.
Another example of the hit and run scenario: When you receive an application from a candidate but when you call them, they aren’t looking for work anymore!

I am, I have, I like, I, I do…

Upon opening a CV, a personal profile is normally the first thing to be read by a recruiter. We already know who the CV is about so please refrain from using so many I’s.
Another peeve of mine is how people think its ok to talk about themselves in third person. “Jimmy is an enthusiastic and hard-working individual, he enjoys…He is…” To me, this just sounds like someone else wrote Jimmy’s CV.

These things are not major dramas by any means but something that all Recruitment Consultants have in common I’m sure.

So… What would you throw into Room 101 for Recruiters’?


For ways to impress your future boss, click here

The Average Salary

The average salary for workers in the UK is expected to rise by 3% in 2016 which is great news for us all and shows real sign of growth as an economy. Some workers can anticipate their pay to grow more than others. That is according to Robert Half’s new 2016 Salary Guide. It suggests that the average salary in the UK will increase by 3% in 2016, up from 2015’s 2.6%.

Thinking of starting a career in Finance or IT? It may be a good time to do so. Jobs within these sectors are expecting salary rises between 5.7% and 7.4% in 2016, a huge rise gap between other sectors. There are reasons for the dramatic increase. There are definitely skill shortages and year after year, less skilled professionals available to these industries.

For instance, Gibbs S3 recently warned that the skills shortage in cyber security sectors has reached a crisis point.

Phil Sheridan is the Senior Managing Director at Robert Half UK. He explained: “The greatest salary increases are a clear indication of where the imbalance between supply and demand is highest.

“This is creating upward pressure on salaries for hard-to-fill roles such as applications developers, compliance experts, and information security managers; who are so essential to organisations operating in today’s fast-evolving yet tightly regulated commercial environment.

“Employers are having to move quickly to secure the best candidates and are offering other benefits to attract top professionals such as flexible working, annual leave and career breaks.”


Robert Half has created a list of the ten jobs expected to receive the biggest pay rise in the upcoming year. You can read the full list below.

1. Mobile Applications Developer

Expected salary increase: +7.4%

Expected salary: £32,500 – £61,500

2. Web Developer

Expected salary increase: +7.3%

Expected salary: £36,500 – £55,000

3. Junior Compliance Associate

Expected salary increase: +6.8%

Expected salary: £22,500 – £36,500

4. Information Security Manager

Expected salary increase: +6.6%

Expected salary: £63,250 – £97,000

5. Operation Risk Manager

Expected salary increase: +5.7%

Expected salary: £53,500 – £90,500

6. Financial Controller

Expected salary increase: +3.9%

Expected salary: £76,500 – £104,500

7. Senior Finance Manager

Expected salary increase: +3.7%

Expected salary: £54,250 – £64,750

8. Financial Business Partner

Expected salary increase: +3.6%

Expected salary: £47,000 – £59,750

9. Regulatory Accountant

Expected salary increase: +3.5%

Expected salary: £55,250 – £78,500

10. Qualified Management/Financial Accountant

Expected salary increase: +3.5%

Expected salary: £44,500 – £59,750

Interview Do's and Don'ts

Strangest Interview Questions

Some of the Strangest Interview Questions are being asked in interviews lately, and you might be surprised at some of the companies that are asking them. People often prepare themselves for the typical interview questions like: What is your biggest weakness? Or, where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? – but have you ever been to an interview and had a curveball question thrown at you? Ever been asked anything like this before?

Here at VIP, we have assembled a collection of the Strangest Interview Questions that – believe it or not – You may have to answer one day.

“If you were asked to unload a 747 full of jellybeans, what would you do?” – Bose

“If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?”

“What was the last book you read?”

“You are hosting a dinner party and must invite 3 famous people. Who would you choose and why?

“Can you calculate how many tennis balls are used during the course of Wimbledon?” – Accenture

“What is the worst decision you have ever made?”

“What would I find in your refrigerator?”

“Describe the colour yellow to somebody who’s blind.” – Spirit Airlines.

“How would you sell a fridge to an eskimo?” – Harrods

“How would your friends describe you in 3 words?”

“How would you deal with someone who was rude to you?”

“What did you do last weekend?”

“Is a Jaffa cake a biscuit or cake?”

“What cartoon character would you be and why?” – ASDA

“If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them how would you choose which ones to answer?” – Dropbox

“Explain to me how you would change a bicycle tyre”.


So, next time you attend an interview, it might be worth preparing yourself for the Strangest Interview Questions you can imagine, if that’s even possible. These types of questions are asked intentionally to put you on the spot, to test your ability to explain a process clearly, to delve deeper into your personality or personal traits and even just to see how your mind works. It’s not uncommon for employers to favor personality based questions over typical interview questions. Expect the unexpected.

Make a Living Doing what You love

Can you really make a living doing what you love? If you succeed in doing so…tell me how. The answer to this question isn’t exactly straight forward.

To get paid for doing what you love is very much a dream for most of us, the truth is, we all have the potential to achieve this goal, however the road to get there is normally a lot harder than you would expect. Then again, I suppose this all depends on what it is that you love doing.

So, can you make a living doing what you love? Yes and no. The answer lies within the thing that you love doing, not every dream job has profit potential, and some dream jobs are so much of a dream you can only pray that a miracle happens. Take being an Astronaut for example, this is a job that only 1 out of roughly 13.8 Million people will ever experience. So this tells us that we have to be realistic with our goals. Not only that but some dreams and some hobbies make worthless businesses. Professional Careers just don’t exist for everything. So, whether your hobby/interest leads you to a new career or even starting your own company here are some pointers on what to look for.

For a business to work there has to be at least two things considered: a product or service, and customers willing to pay for that product or service. If what you love to do isn’t useful to anyone else, or if it doesn’t create worth for other people by solving a problem, then you’re probably never going to make money doing it. A Passion isn’t enough if there’s no business model.

With that said, turning your passion into a realistic business or career shouldn’t be too hard after all. We have established that there needs to be a demand and that we need to be realistic in achieving it. So what else do you need to consider?
• Would you still enjoy your hobby/passion full-time?
• Are you good at it? Or do you have qualities that could be considered relevant to the job?
• Have other people asked for your help related to your hobby/passion?
• Are there enough people out there willing to pay to benefit from your expertise?
• Are there other companies delivering the same service? If so, would you be able to serve this market better or come up with a niche business model to make you stand out and be better?
• Could you deal with everything that comes with pursuing your hobby, for example; if there was a lot of admin to take care of, would you still enjoy it?

There are so many other things to consider before you make a living doing what you love. If you can identify all of the things that are stopping you, you’re already half way there. The next step is to find ways to pursue your goal. Taking tests, attending interviews, tracking down the best point of contact, researching your market, setting up meetings, whatever it is that you have to do, just remember it can be done. If other people are doing it, so can you.

Interview Preparation

Interview Preparation

Before the interview…

 Find out exactly where the Company are based.

  • Is there parking available?
  • Do you need to call ahead in order to get past security for the building?
  • Do a trial run to ensure you leave in plenty of time to get to your interview at least 15 minutes before the time state More importantly, this will give you an indication of how long you will be travelling on a daily basis and if this will fit with your personal circumstances.

 Find out exactly who you will be meeting and their position within the Company.

  • Find out if they are on LinkedIn/ Facebook so you have an advantage over other candidates and know what to expect.

Do your research on the Company!

  • Get as much information as you can from your consultant; previous candidates they may have placed at the Company, their background, what is good about the working environment.
  • Take a look at the Company website, particularly the “About Us” and “Careers” pages. Make sure you have some information so that you are able to demonstrate your interest in the Company.
  • Research the Companies competition
  • If you already work in the industry speak to existing employees and ask them why they like working for the Company.

Go through the job specification with a fine tooth comb!

  • Pick out the key words in the specification and prepare examples of when you are demonstrating these skills in your current role.
  • Are there any points in the specification that you have not covered before or do not have experience of? Be prepared to answer questions related to this in your interview.

Know your CV!

  • Make sure you know your CV inside out; dates, reasons for leaving each role and most importantly your achievements in each position.
  • Be prepared that if you felt it important enough to put in your CV- they will find it important enough to ask you about it at interview!!

Find out the structure of the interview:

  • Will it be an informal chat with the line manager?
  • Will you be meeting the Director if you are successful?
  • Will the interview contain Competency based questions?
  • Are there any tests involved?


Do you need to prepare anything specifically for the interview? And are there any materials you use in your current role which you could present in your interview to demonstrate your skill set?

Ensure you have prepared answers to all standard interview questions. Think of some questions to ask them.

As well as researching the Company, try to look at any recent news articles and changes to the Company so that you are able to ask your interviewer what effects this has had on the business/ industry.

Questions the Interviewer may ask you…

  • Strengths & Weaknesses
  • Why do they want the job?
  • What do they know about the company?
  • Examples of Customer Service and how they have handled situations
  • Aspirations / Where do they see themselves in 5 years?
  • If they were an animal what would they be and why?
  • What do you want to achieve in life?
  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • What did you learn most in your last job?
  • If I obtained a reference from your last employer what would it say?
  • How do you spend your free time?
  • Of all the jobs you have done, which did you enjoy the most and why?
  • What has been the most difficult career decision you have had to make?
  • What is your greatest achievement to date?
  • What motivates / demotivates you?
  • What makes you angry / frustrated?
  • Tell me about yourself
  • How would you deal with an irate customer?
  • How would you persuade your current Manager to spend money on new equipment?
  • What major challenges did you face in your previous role? And how did you overcome them?
  • What are your salary requirements?
  • Tell me about any issues you’ve had with a previous boss?


For our downloadable interview tips and preparation,  Click Here: 



Applying for a job with a CV and covering letter

The UK Recruitment Scene

The UK Recruitment scene is on the verge of a huge growth spurt as the economy has dramatically improved this year which has urged employers to be a little more adventurous. This change is great news for both employers and employees. This means job activity is on the rise for the very near future and this goes for most industries as opposed to the decline back in 2008/09.

So what can we expect to happen?

The truth is that it is highly unlikely that enough good candidates are out there to meet demand. If employer attraction strategies and recruitment processes don’t change then employers can expect to face a far tougher future. In a hotter market, these shortages will become more severe; because as employers find recruiting more difficult, it becomes more tempting to simply invest in current resources. The buyback, where an employer tries to entice a current employee to stay at the point of resignation, was a rarity in recent years but is now very much in the spotlight again.

To get ahead of a rapidly rising market, employers are going to need to alter their ethos significantly and be prepared to make big changes to their attraction, selection and on boarding processes.

What does the changing landscape look like?

Job boards and social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, have significantly changed candidate attraction strategies; yet most employers aren’t prepared for what happens when these become less effective for attracting the best talent.

High calibre candidates are looking for employers to come to them. Even if that initial sell which draws them into the process is persuasive, most employers’ recruitment processes are reminiscent of a recessionary mentality and have the bureaucracy to match. If an employer really thinks it can win the war for talent by asking prospective candidates to fill in forms, wait for weeks for feedback, attend lengthy assessment centres and then accept lowball offers, they are mistaken.

Employers need to be more responsive. Having processes which attract and select the best talent is an out-and-out no-brainer, mainly due to the fact that many candidates realise how they are treated through the interview process which is an indicator of how they’ll be treated as an employee. UK employers need to be smarter, more decisive and more flexible if they want to get the best candidates on board. It is much better to focus on the one superb candidate and put them in front of the CEO after a first meeting, rather than gear up expectations, both internal and external, to a lengthy ‘robust’ process with many interview stages and paperwork only to obtain a mediocre hire at the end of it.

Candidates are now looking to engage with their employer in a very different way than they did previously and are expecting a relationship which is more personal, flexible and equal than ever before. Take Sir Richard Branson and his new “Flexible Holiday Entitlement Scheme”; a huge reminder to all UK employers that valuing an Employee’s needs is key to retaining and attracting staff. A big advertising budget, slick processes and improved technology will all help, however if an employer can successfully engage with its potential employees, then they can look forward to a brighter future.