YOUR NEW CHALLENGE BEGINS HERE - 17TH JULY

Financial Controller £100,000 - £110,000 per annum + bonus + benefits Bristol HR Change Lead £50,000 - £60,000 per annum + benefits Kent Interim Finance Director £800 - £1,000 per day London Financial Accountant  £300 - £350 per day Berkshire Lead Salesforce Architect £600 - £650 per day London Finance Manager £60,000 - £65,000 per annum + bonus + benefits package Reading Financial Controller £80,000 - £90,000 per annum + car + up to 40% bonus Surrey A wider selection of current vacancies can be viewed on our opportunities page or get in touch for a confidential discussion about how Stanton House can help you hire great people or assist with your own career goals.

Caroline Lansbury on making the move to perm and becoming our first Chief People Officer

Caroline Lansbury on making the move to perm and becoming our first Chief People Officer

“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you” – Steve Jobs. On paper, Interim was the logical choice. It was flexible, offered more money, gave me complete choice over who I worked with - when and where - and provided me with diversity that I really enjoyed. But, if the vision is compelling and it completely sucks you in, then I guess that’s what you have to follow. Stanton House has been my constant. The company that I gave everything to as a Consultant. I did a lot of project-by-project work but I genuinely feel; despite working on a contract basis, that the work I have achieved with Stanton House has been no less than anything I would have given to the company as a permanent employee.  A lot of this is due to mindset. I always felt part of the business and had always placed myself in their story. They always included me fully as well.  I would celebrate their successes and take pride in the achievements of their workforce in a completely personal way. I built strong relationships with key stakeholders and I have an undeniably strong work ethic; I hope that my delivery always matched.  However, when I recently sat down with Neil and discussed the prospect of a permanent position I was overcome with a feeling of vulnerability that I hadn’t felt in over a decade. I hadn’t considered a permanent role for several years, so to even think about perhaps losing my flexibility, potential breadth of experiences and with the reality of having to make changes to my childcare (never straightforward!), it was a terrifying concept – something I simply hadn’t contemplated or considered in a very long time. As much as I love consultancy work, the prospect of walking away from Stanton House really upset me; the opportunity was too exciting and I just couldn’t picture saying goodbye. My work wasn’t done! I knew that Stanton House needed an ongoing investment in Learning and Development but I didn’t know to what extent it could go, how my own career development if I were to commit to the role would be impacted and indeed if there was a true hunger for whatever that might look like. I very openly discussed the objectives that I had regarding my CPD, flexibility and the excitement I would miss from my former life as well as the balance that would be needed for this to work with my family. So, as every brave 41-year-old woman does, I asked for the job that suited me. A job that would fit around my family, offer the opportunity for career development and most importantly, a job that ensures I can continue to add true value to the business.  This resulted in a 4-day a week position that has very quickly evolved into a bigger role, with even greater remit of responsibility, inclusion and influence in the company. It was incredible to together create a role that ensures I will never begrudge the commitment that I chose to make and at the same time allow me to lead by example to current or prospective Stanton House people wanting to go into senior positions, in a way that suits them. This has given me even greater confidence that I have made the right decision and I am thrilled to be working for such an agile and forward-thinking company that truly allows me to add the value that I know will benefit all of our people; our greatest asset after all. 

Stanton House appoints two Managing Directors and a Chief People Officer

Stanton House appoints two Managing Directors and a Chief People Officer

As Published in Recruiter Magazine. 2018 was a year of exponential growth and significant expansion at Stanton House with the opening of a new office, the launch of a new business and more than 50% headcount growth. Six months into 2019 and it doesn’t look like the customer-focused recruitment consultancy is planning on slowing down. On 1st July, Stanton House appointed Lee Costello and David Fleming as Managing Directors while onboarding their first Chief People Officer, Caroline Lansbury. Lee Costello has been a Director at Stanton House for more than eight years having co-founded the company’s Reading office in February 2011. He has watched the regional business grow from strength to strength, moving into its third premises and adding Cyber Security, Finance Transformation and Human Resources to its offering.  David Fleming has similarly worked with the business since 2011 and will now take on a breadth of new responsibility and the strategic direction for all of Stanton Houses’ London teams including Change and Transformation, Technology, Accounting and Finance, Finance Transformation and Senior Appointments.  Caroline Lansbury recently joined the business having worked for five years as a Qualified Executive Coach on a contract basis for business leaders across a multitude of business disciplines, including Stanton House. Caroline now joins Stanton House permanently as part of the Operational board with her main focus on development of the workforce. With more than a decade of experience as a Senior Manager within the recruitment space herself, she understands all too well the challenges facing todays leaders in this fast-paced, challenging and constantly evolving sector. Neil Wilson, CEO and co-founder of Stanton House said: "We are beyond excited to welcome Caroline to the Board and to celebrate the combined 16 years of hard work, devotion and passion that both David and Lee have invested into our business. “All three will continue to play a leading role in ensuring that we maintain our focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences and in developing our people to be best equipped to succeed in a challenging environment. I look forward to seeing the huge impact they will have on the future growth and success of Stanton House.”

Should a CISO report to the CIO?

Should a CISO report to the CIO?

With the role of a CISO under constant scrutiny it’s hard to know where they stand. Do they report to the board, are they part of IT, are they best suited as part of the permanent function or do we interact with them on a virtual basis? There are so many questions surrounding the role of the CISO that it’s incredibly hard to stay up-to-date but one debate remains prominent and that’s whether a CISO should report to the CIO. In the last six months we have been speaking to CISOs across the globe to get their opinion on the current Cyber landscape as part of our new white paper. We ask them about the role of the ‘accidental CISO’, what the future holds and how the title is evolving but one topic that kept arising was the relationship with the CIO, and overwhelmingly, it appears to be a negative one. One of our contributors raised a vital point – IT is a peer of Cyber, not a superior.  She went onto explain: “A CISO should aspire to become Head of Information Risk and Compliance. It’s not all about IT. Unfortunately, as soon as the word “cyber” became trendy, the pernicious assumption followed that IT should and could handle all aspects of Cyber. This trivialises the non-IT aspects of security; information does not become irrelevant simply because you have printed it out! A person who knows our acquisition plans isn’t an IT issue, but could be an information security issue, for example. “Another aspect of this assumption which is troubling is that the CIO’s performance is primarily measured upon system uptime and delivery of new features. Confidentiality, and for that matter integrity, is not as highly featured in their playbook; so, if information security is reporting to them, they cannot prioritise it. Therefore, if the CISO is reporting into the CIO, you have an inherent conflict of interests. IT should be the peer of information/cyber security, not its superior.” With IT and Cyber arguably having a conflict of interests, is it wrong for us to assume CISOs now report to CIOs? I’m keen to hear your views on the matter – do the two go hand-in-hand?

Prescriptive hiring and avoiding insanity

Prescriptive hiring and avoiding insanity

Peter Glenn is the Founder and Partner of Fifty ID, a Private Equity backed business actively engaged in the acquisition of on-shore wind turbine sites. He is recognised as a pioneer in renewable energy asset aggregation with extensive transactional, capital raising and execution experience within global infrastructure and Private Equity firms. As someone with a hugely diverse career history, Peter believes hiring managers should throw away the checklist. First things first, I have no one single specialism. I have operated across the Finance, Transport, software, manufacturing, retail, renewables and property sectors, to name a few. I am also not degree educated and joined a five-year apprenticeship scheme when coming out of education. I worked in a number of roles within large corporates in my early career which gave me great knowledge of different business models and these organisations provided excellent training to use as building blocks for my career. The hardest thing I did in my career was leave full-time salaried employment. I didn’t have a mentor but I spoke to friends and family regarding my decision and it was one of the best things I have ever done. As I was looking to start up a business in a new sector, I made sure I was spending time with contacts of mine who operated in that space who I could learn from, gain a deeper understanding of the business model in order to help get clarity of mind for my own business plan. But really; when you think about it, businesses are similar. There are only so many ways you can buy and sell stuff, whether that is a product or a service. Each sector will have different rhetoric but ultimately its all the same thing. Its only people which truly distinguish one company from another and how they operate internally. When I was in the earlier days of my career, it was daunting when applying for roles in a space where I hadn’t worked before. Of course, you doubt yourself and you must believe in yourself, your own abilities and you mustn’t restrict yourself by only applying for roles similar to those you have done before. It was the most rewarding of experiences and I would encourage others to do the same. Make sure you really think about your achievements and have tangible examples to support your experience. The hardest part of starting in a new sector is terminology and the rest is white noise. If you demonstrate you have the aptitude to pick things up quickly, you will be on the right track. Another thing that is of great importance is meeting people who operate in that space. Be inquisitive and ask intelligent questions, sign up for industry newsletters, bulletins, look at the key players in the market and what content they are publishing, and then network. Not everyone likes networking events but I would encourage meeting as many people as you can and putting yourself out there. You never know where one conversation may lead you. For full access to Peter's interviews and the rest of our white paper 'Exploring the Benefits of Career Diversity' follow the link below.  Download our white paper

Find a mentor who you aspire to be

Find a mentor who you aspire to be

In June I co-hosted the first of our Women in Business event series and it was beyond anything I could have imagined. At the age of 24, at the start of a budding career in recruitment, I was sat amongst more than 40 exceptional female leaders, all at the very prime of their careers – at the top of the ladder, or on their way there. They spoke openly about the challenges they still face despite their place at the board-room table: Imposter Syndrome, not being true to their authentic self and trying to balance motherhood with leadership without guilt or the feeling of failure. It was something one of our speakers, Elona Mortimer-Zhika of IRIS, said that really put everything into perspective for me.  “Find a mentor who you aspire to be.” She had stressed that after nearly a decade in the c-suite she had struggled to find a mentor, not due to a lack of available people but rather, a lack of established women who she aspired to be. As a female leader and a mother, she wanted to find an exceptional women who also balanced everything, who excelled in her career and loved her family but unfortunately, most women in a leadership position have had to compromise on this altogether – not something she aspired to do. Finding someone who you admire, whose shoes you one day want to fill and who you aspire to become must be more inspirational and motivating than seeking guidance from someone on a completely different journey. This completely echoed how I was feeling. Lucky, proud and excited to be surrounded by such influential and inspirational women. There wasn’t a person in that room who I wouldn’t be proud to be one day and couldn’t help but take note of the tips and tricks being shared across the room which will no doubt help me, as a woman, succeed. The event was truly inspiring for everyone in the room and to bring the conversation to you we are creating a white paper, focused on building confidence in women and helping them find a voice in the board room.  Please get in touch if you would like to receive a copy of this paper once published and join the conversation – have you found a mentor who you aspire to be? 

Why are organisations blind to part-time talent?

Why are organisations blind to part-time talent?

As an HR Leader, I have seen this issue become increasingly prominent over the years and while it frustrates me; above all, it confuses me how organisations struggling to attract the top tier of talent are turning their backs on a whole other pool. As a husband, this issue became all too personal for me recently as I helped my wife embark on a new job search.  She has a degree in Marketing, spent seven years as a police officer and a further three years managing a local business - all whilst raising our three children - and now, our children are at school and she is looking to return to work on a part-time basis which is proving to be quite the challenge. I soon realised that the awareness I thought I had for the issue was a microcosm of the struggle part-time talent face and just could not believe how difficult it was for her to find a role that utilises her incredibly varied skill-set on a part-time basis. Whilst we are truly blessed to have our wonderful children, it has dawned on me that I have taken for granted the sacrifice my wife took when leaving her career and equally, how even as a leader in HR, I was naive to the lack of businesses willing to find  a way to incorporate part-time people into their business, despite their value. Why should anyone who has such great skills be made to feel like they have to devalue it all when they want to return to work? I would love to hear your opinions and experiences with finding a part-time role - please join the conversation, why are organisations blind to the amazing part-time talent we have on the marketplace? 

Data Scientists; scientists or magicians?

Data Scientists; scientists or magicians?

Adi Andrei has more than 20 years of experience building real-world intelligent systems for NASA, Phillips, Unilever, British Gas, Sixt and others. He is an expert in Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Process Optimisation and has become a thought-leader in Data Science, known especially by his two Patents and three Certificates of Recognition for contributions to science from NASA. Despite his endless achievements in the field, Adi describes the mystery involved in Data Science and how it should be seen, by its human face. The human race did not stop evolving when it reached homo sapiens. Even though physically we may be identical to our ancestors from 200,000 years ago, when we look back at how much our view of the world and ourselves has changed; even in the last few millennia, there is no doubt that, as a group, we are going through a continual process of evolution in awareness of our world and of ourselves. This is reflected in our way of life, and especially nowadays in the technologies we are using. Everything we do in Data Science is not new. It has been done in different ways since the 50s in fields like operations research, industrial engineering, statistics, and artificial intelligence. What is new is that we have reached a point in time where we produce more data in a day than we had done in the whole of humanities history before. But data by itself cannot directly be used; we need to make sense of it, to understand what it means. The concept of Data Science emerged as a way to define this need and the tools and technologies used to address it. As a profession, it has appeared in a point of time in our evolution when we are moving into a new level of awareness and it is bringing with it new concepts. Data Science is as mystical as you can get in an everyday business environment and Data Scientists are sometimes being seen as magicians and revered almost as a new kind of priesthood. For full access to Adi's interviews alongside our other features and research. Download our white paper 'Identifying the Human Face of Data Science' below. Download your copy of 'Identifying the Human Face of Data Science'

80% of candidates ask for flexibility so why are just 20% of companies taking note?

80% of candidates ask for flexibility so why are just 20% of companies taking note?

My role allows me to meet exceptional people every day. Intelligent and remarkable people looking for the next step up the ladder or an entirely different career altogether and despite the variety, the majority of my candidates have one thing in common and that’s the need for flexibility. 8 in 10 candidates I meet, who are both male and female and of different ages, ask me for a role that allows for flexibility. These are the very best people on the market, or what I like to call grade-a candidates. From graduate to senior-level directors, this is the most sought-after talent pool and their main criteria is really quite simple. I ask everyone I meet for their top three wants and in the majority of meetings, flexibility is key alongside something about their ideal role and culture. These candidates are deriving from the Big 4 or blue-chip companies who already offer flexible working to some degree so if you are a company that doesn’t, quite simply, you are going to miss out on the top tier of talent.  A flexible working policy portrays you to be a forward-thinking business that truly cares about the wellbeing of their workforce and the ROI can be shown through the productivity, alignment and satisfaction of your staff and of course above all, your talent attraction and retention. When I bring this conversation to my clients who aren’t as forward-thinking about topics such as flexible working, I get the following counter points.  Does it drive or hinder production? Can I trust my workforce to work remotely? What effect does this leave on the workforce who remain in the office? We live in an age where the best talent want flexibility and so in order to attract them, it’s non-negotiable. Flexible working isn’t simply a millennial fad that accommodates for a work pub balance. The most senior people of any blue-chip, multi-national and Big 4 organisation work flexibly and at our Women in Business event last Thursday we heard from several established women who told us they are more productive when working from home and in fact, it’s what makes them willing to check their emails at weekends. It is something that boosts productivity, drives alignment and loyalty to your organisation and encourages a culture of trust and wellbeing and most importantly, it’s not just for mothers. Men, women, senior professionals and graduate workers. They all want flexible working and for every company that doesn’t there are several forward-thinking businesses that will.  My message is simple. Embrace agile working and use it to attract the talent you need to take your organisation to the next level. I’m keen to hear from you – do you have a flexible working policy and does it help you thrive at work? And, if you don’t, I’d like to hear more about how you think it might help. 

Inspiring, Engaging and Eye-opening, a glimpse into our first Women in Business Event

Inspiring, Engaging and Eye-opening, a glimpse into our first Women in Business Event

40 women in one room discussing confidence, empowerment and equality and you can’t help but walk away inspired.  Our Women in Business event took place on Thursday evening in Reading and it was truly a spectacular affair. The evening was opened by our incredible panel of speakers: Xenia Walters, Group CFO of SDL and Elona Mortimer-Zhika, COO of IRIS Software Group. The two influential female leaders shared their stories and struggles of reaching the top and how they developed confidence in the board room which was followed by an incredibly-powerful workshop hosted by our newly-appointed Chief People Officer, Caroline Lansbury. The series of interactive group and paired activities was centred around finding your voice, having a brand and not losing sight of your authentic self. The round-table conversations had on the evening truly opened my eyes to the very-similar struggles that women at the top face which seem to exist across different organisations, business disciplines and locations.  One piece of feedback really summarised the tone of the event which was; “I never attend women’s-only events. They are either filled with women lacking any femininity who judge you for wearing a dress or simply, they profess a hatred for men and tell you what you should be doing and should be feeling. This event showed me that there are women, just like me, facing the same struggles and they aren’t afraid to be themselves and we are all completely free of judgement. I can’t wait to come again.” From the very start of our event-planning journey, we agreed to hold our event under Chatham House Rule to ensure we provide a safe space for women to interact openly with one another and know that nothing shared will be repeated outside of those four walls.  It was wonderful to hear so many of the stories shared but also to see how open and comfortable our guests felt amongst like-minded women, who were essentially strangers.We had one aspiration for this event and that was to help senior women build their confidence but the fruitful conversations had on the day truly opened our minds up to the many other issues many women in the board room face today and so we decided to continue the conversation with a white paper, tackling these very issues. Such topics include being a mother and a leader, avoiding the guilt and finding the balance; how having it all was a myth; not being afraid to make an impact and have diversity of thought; finding a mentor who you aspire to be and being a role model to others; being lonely at the top and being your authentic self and, why you should work hard on something that people take notice of. Our white paper will offer you a chance to explore the conversations had on the evening and read both the incredible stories of our speakers and the phenomenal thought-leadership from our Chief People Officer, Caroline.  To receive a copy of our white paper once it’s published, please get in touch, and in the meantime – please join the conversation and tell us what issues you face at the top.

A Glimpse into Reverse-Mentoring at BNP Paribas

A Glimpse into Reverse-Mentoring at BNP Paribas

Célisiane Rosius was the Project Manager at BNP Paribas Personal Finance and responsible for their global reverse-mentoring programme. She is an expert in digital transformation and held responsibility for developing the digital skill-sets of 24,000 employees around the world.  BNP Paribas Personal Finance launched its Digital Reverse-Mentoring Programme in September 2017 which sees millennial staff teach senior and c-suite colleagues how to embrace the digital world. The programme was created by Celisiane, whose primary focus is to digitally transform the workforce. This scheme allows for the transfer of knowledge between three working generations. BNP Paribas Personal Finance launched a reverse-mentoring pilot for the Executive Committee in 2014 but it ended quite quickly so when I was asked to start the programme again I made sure I asked everyone for their feedback on the previous experience, we took that information and created a whole new programme.  We had a bigger population and had asked all of our high potential staff to take part. We had 30 volunteers to start with and they helped us grow the scheme into what it is today – 110 trained mentors in 18 countries and 140 managers have been mentored. I created five modules for the relationship to follow including how to manage your identity online, how to increase influence online, the future of digital and the way the digital world is changing work inside of BNP Paribas Personal Finance.  I then asked everyone that was interested in the programme to take an online test which would help us match mentors to mentees. The mentor would then select three of the modules to teach the mentee followed by a final feedback session. The relationship is completely confidential, I don’t have any idea as to what they say but what I did find out; from my own experience as a mentor, was that it wasn’t purely about the transfer of digital knowledge. It was and remains to be about behavioural skillsets too. Mentors have to apply online and have to be willing to partake in the relationship for six months and respect that it is private and confidential. You have to be compatible with technical skills, social network and be under 40. You have to speak at least one common language with your mentee and be aware that it is volunteering. You need to donate your time outside of your working hours and it can add up a full day in the six-month relationship. As part of their application, mentors have to take an online test which has a minimum pass mark and if successful, they will be invited to an enrolling session. We have a lot of IT people who actually fail the test as it’s about social networks, online influence and leadership as much as it is about digital skills. We then offer a full training programme which includes an education of the modules, an introduction to mentoring and a coaching session on soft skills.  It is very important to build soft skills as you will be communicating with some of the most senior people in the company. Both participants remain committed to their signed confidential waiver and at the end of the relationship they can continue to mentor one another or shake hands and say goodbye. Mentors can go on to mentor another mentee in the company, 1 in 2 decide to start again so now I have mentors who have already had three of four mentees before them.Sometimes the mentor has more to gain than the mentee because they can network with people they wouldn’t usually have access to. Reverse-mentoring provides a huge opportunity to have direct access to senior colleagues you wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to work with.  Using myself as an example, I’m 28 years old and have been working here for just over a year yet I am the digital mentor of the CEO. This is a huge opportunity for everyone taking part. For full access to our interview with Célisiane and the rest of our reverse-mentoring white paper, please follow the link below. Download our reverse-mentoring white paper

Unconscious bias in the hiring process

In my recent white paper 'Exploring the Benefits of Career Diversity' I asked the CFO of Byron Burger, the Director of Diversity and Talent Transformation at Kantar and the founder of PE-backed renewable energy firm Fifty ID what they thought of unconscious bias the hiring process. This is what the three professionals had to say: Russell Hoare of Byron Burger; “Depending on what level I am recruiting for; I make a conscious effort to hire people with diverse career history. At the mid-level where you are responsible for managing people and interacting with the business, I would look for someone from the Big 4 or mid-tier firms who may not have any industry experience. They have grown up working in teams and will be open to new ideas, working with different clients and engaging with different individuals. If someone had obtained their ACCA within industry and done it themselves, they wouldn’t necessarily have had this team interaction in the same way. At the lower level it’s all about personality and energy as it’s important for those individuals to meet as many people across the business as possible. You can teach someone a new sector, but they must come with the right attitude. At Financial Controller level I wouldn’t be worried about sector experience. It may even work against you as you’d end up putting in place all of the procedures you had seen before, regardless of whether they had worked or not. On the management accounting side, sector experience is more useful and they would have a far better understanding of trading reports.It is important during the interview process that you, as the hiring manager, are working closely with your recruitment consultant. They should have done the pre-screening and if they feel someone is a perfect personality and cultural fit for the business, that should be as important as looking at the CV. Keep checking you are making the right recruitment decisions and utilise a strong People or HR Director. These individuals should question management on why they made a hiring decision and to ensure decisions were made for the right reasons. Public companies have a lot of governance around this and I think the private sector is in a better place.They are not being forced to hire based on diversity and can focus on finding the right person for the task at hand.” Lisa Monteith of Kantar; "You use process to minimise the risk of bias so therefore a structured process minimises the risk of unconscious bias existing in the recruitment process. You ask everyone the same question in the same way against predefined evidence. We put our managers through assessor training, so they understand how bias can creep into decision making and have explored anonymised selection. This is when the recruiter will sift the CV and decide that they fit our criteria, the manager will then conduct a structured interview without sight of the CV but against pre-defined criteria. In this way, the decision is based purely on the information elicited from the interview– it’s evidence-based selection. We have done this for senior appointments but it’s still hard to bring in on across all levels of hiring given volumes however we are looking at a platform designed by behavioural scientists that works on volume by applying anonymisation and randomisation. In all, the focus has to be on people’s capabilities, skills and behaviours and less about education or specific sector experience.” Peter Glenn of Fifty; "We need to keep an open mind when first meeting someone and focus on their achievements. This is where is it important to gather different perspectives from key stakeholders within the business and work with a strong People and HR function. The risk with hiring is that you never truly know a person until they have been working in the company with you for six months. There may not be a solution to this but I would say understanding a person’s aspirations and motivations from the outset is essential as this will give you an indication into what their drivers are and what keeps them motivated." For full access to the interviews and white paper, please follow the download link below but in the meantime, join the conversation - what do you make of unconscious bias in the hiring process?      Download

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