Building confidence in women in business

Building confidence in women in business

We are hosting an event to empower, inspire and build confidence within our female network.  We want to facilitate an open space for female leaders from a variety of business disciplines to learn from each other through sharing and discussing the challenges they have faced throughout their careers. Our interactive workshop hosted by the Director of Learning and Development at Stanton House and our panel of incredible thought-leaders will allow our guests to come up with tangible steps to enhance their voice in the board room and build a strong internal brand. We have chosen to exclusively invite our female network to this event to provide a safe space; under Chatham House rule, to discuss past experiences. If you are interested in coming along to our event please do get in touch.

Can you be a finance leader without leaving the desk?

Can you be a finance leader without leaving the desk?

We regularly talk about the evolution of the accountant. How crunching numbers is a thing of the past and now encompassing leadership qualities, social skills and the ability to partner with the business is the most-desired skill-set. But, while we talk about the changing role of the accountant how much have organisations’ requirements of them changed? I had a conversation with an HR Director yesterday who was new to a finance function and curious of the typical personality traits belonging to a finance professional. I discussed the transition-like period we find ourselves in where finance people are expected to be socialites, leaders and walking calculators all at the same time and it’s creating a somewhat divide between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ accountants. It made me realise that when I started working in the finance space four years ago, accountants had a traditionally administrative responsibility to the business and any added charisma was a bonus. Now however, it seems like this is an absolute requirement for most accountants.  They are no longer operating a back-office function but rather they need to be the go-to people in a business, expected to forge relationships with leaders beyond the finance function and be a point of contact for leaders. Without possessing these leadership and social skills, accountants are less likely to secure a role and it seems to have become more of an unwritten rule across the industry. We have recently produced a white paper that identifies the benefits of career diversity for finance professionals which you can download via the link below and in the meantime, it would be great to hear your thoughts on the evolution of the accountant. Can you be a successful finance professional without leaving the desk?                        Download a copy of our white paper

How do we keep women in STEM?

How do we keep women in STEM?

Getting girls into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is no longer an issue, the problem we are now facing is getting them to stay. I recently attended the Women in Tech Conference and was astounded to hear that 70% of female STEM candidates leave the industry once they graduate. A surge in the number of schools and organisations encouraging young women to take up STEM subjects in the past five years has clearly had a hugely positive effect but we have a greater problem facing the industry if almost two thirds are leaving post-graduation. Scottish Power is one organisation trying to battle the problem with their Women Returner Programme in partnership with Equate Scotland. It offers STEM women who have taken a career break of two years, and who are looking to get back into the workplace, a structured and supportive programme to brush up their skills and rebuild confidence before returning to STEM employment on a more permanent basis. It is having an enormously positive impact on women and the STEM sector but they can’t solve the issue alone. When discussing the lack of retention, it was suggested that there are not enough female representatives at Scottish universities to act as a point of contact for STEM women and female students can feel alienated or over-powered on a course which is often heavily male-dominated.  Outcomes suggested included female mentors at universities and in the workplace, course and industry language containing less masculine terminology and interestingly, companies should only be advertising essential criteria on job descriptions to encourage female applications. It was proposed that women will not apply to roles unless they meet 100% of the desired requirements on a job specification whereas male professionals will apply for a role, even with just 60% of the requirements being met. As a recruitment partner I will now be ensuring I only advertise the essential criteria in a bid to attract more female STEM talent but I am keen to hear your thoughts on what more can be done to attract women.  Please get in touch and join the conversation – how do we keep women in STEM?

Making your next move, what are you motivated by?

Making your next move, what are you motivated by?

We are witnessing an increase in the number of established Change professionals enquiring about a move into the start-up world. The reasons tend to be in order to move away from the bureaucracy of the corporate world and as a way to diversify their resume but how much do these professionals truly understand about the start-up world and how do they know it’s the right move for them?  I would never dissuade anyone in my network from making a career move but I do encourage them to think less about the type of company they are looking for and more about what they are motivated by and how they deliver. I had this very conversation with a candidate this week who has been a PMO and Project Management Consultant. She has carried out a multitude of roles across different industries and despite being able to outline her achievements; she hadn’t thought about what she was motivated by, clouding her judgement over the type of company she would thrive in.  By truly understanding her motivations and how she delivers, she was able to definitively describe her ideal place to work and that didn’t come as a result of thinking about the company size, structure or reputation but rather how she fit into the bigger picture.  You really do need to think about your own motivations. If you are passionate about an industry (e.g. FinTech), have the ability to pivot between disciplines; regardless of your specialism, and if you have the pace to keep up in a high-growth environment - a start-up may be your perfect company but you need to think less about the type of company and more about why you want to join. We have just created a white paper focused on the transition senior professionals make into the start-up world. We exclusively interview two established professionals who have spent decades working for FTSE listed corporates, multi-billion-pound conglomerates, start-up and SME companies – they discuss the benefits and the downfalls of working for each and offer advice to any other professional seeking a move. Please get in touch to request a copy of the paper and join the conversation – do you know what you are motivated by at work?

Nothing short of exceptional

Nothing short of exceptional

It is not lost on us that our purpose of creating exceptional customer experiences is a pretty punchy commitment, particularly in a recruitment context which involves a fair few moving parts!  But, we have never been afraid of aiming high and we believe that it all starts with the right values. This means that even if we can’t guarantee a beautiful outcome for our client or candidate customers in every process, what we can deliver is honest, timely and straightforward communication and the application of our considerable expertise to help maximise the chance of a great outcome.  Just to remind our customers and ourselves of our commitment; no pressure, we have our purpose on the wall of our new meeting rooms in very big letters, alongside three unique examples of how our consultants have personified our values of Integrity, Energy and Ambition. These examples come in the form of direct feedback from our network and we are constantly changing them to display the most recent praise. If you have any feedback for us, I would love to hear it as we are always learning and striving to improve and this is only possible in partnership with our customers.

Is HANA experience necessary?

Is HANA experience necessary?

As organisations move to HANA in a bid to improve operational efficiency, cut costs and enhance performance, I am asking if our talent pool is moving in the same direction. With small companies and specialist technology firms moving from ECC to HANA, we are getting more and more requests from our network for skilled professionals with HANA experience – but, with the cloud technology being a new phenomenon, how can we expect everyone to be ahead of the trend? I am wondering if experience with HANA is all that necessary and you can't get the experience without working on a HANA project and it seems you can’t work on a project without the experience – it’s a catch 22 that is costing the industry. With larger companies stepping back and waiting for smaller firms to pilot the idea, I can’t help but wonder how successful the first wave of implementations are when we take a closed-minded approach to hiring.  Is it time to stop looking for experts in HANA and start thinking about re-skilling our existing workforce in how to use this new and exciting enterprise cloud technology?

YOUR NEW CHALLENGE BEGINS HERE - 15TH MAY

YOUR NEW CHALLENGE BEGINS HERE - 15TH MAY

Finance Analyst£48,000 - £50,000 per annumGlasgow Head of Finance Transformation£700 - £900 per daySurrey Talent Development Partner£70,000 - £75,000 per annumBerkshire Commercial Performance Manager£70,000 - £78,000 per annum + bonus + benefits packageLondon Senior Network Security Consultant NegotiableBerkshire Process Excellence Project Manager£350 - £360 per dayWatford Senior ETL DeveloperUp to £60,000 per annumHigh Wycombe 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.

Practice vs. Industry; what’s making people move?

Practice vs. Industry; what’s making people move?

Over the past six months I have been following the career journeys of three established finance professionals, each starting in Practice and entering Industry at different stages of their lives. While some argue it’s best to stay in Practice until you have tired the resources available to you, others are keen to explore the opportunities on offer as soon as they have qualified and I wanted to find out a little more about the market trends and what; if anything, is making newly qualified professionals jump into Industry. The first thing that came as a huge shock to me was the sheer number of professionals seeking a new opportunity. 98% of people surveyed, currently within a Top 10 firm, are considering a move out of Practice.  Out of those 98% of newly qualified professionals, the biggest determiner when researching new employers was the location. 84% of people surveyed said the location was the most important factor followed by 82% who said salary and 75% who said it was the reputation of the company that mattered most. Interestingly, 83% said the least important factor was the social media presence belonging to that organisation. Other factors cited as very important was the size of an organisation, their CSR policy and the flexible working policy in place but it’s clear the location and benefits package is pulling many professionals out of Practice. To receive a copy of our white paper which includes organic research, exclusive interviews and opinions on the benefits and downfalls of Industry and Practice get in touch and, in the meantime join the conversation. What would make you move out of Practice?

What does it take to be a successful CISO?

What does it take to be a successful CISO?

We interviewed CISOs from across the world and asked them to give their best piece of advice to aspiring CISOs.  Here’s what they said: “Volunteer more and set up your own labs at home. The more experience you get, the more understanding you have and the better position you will be in at the point of interview.” “You need to be inquisitive, curious and a good marketer. You need to understand how people think and you need the IT experience, tech understanding and soft skills.” “A CISO should have held senior management roles in many industries, not just security. They should have held significant budget, be able to understand an operating model of a business, have grown-up conversations with a Finance Director, Technical Analyst and be able to explain security to the broader business. Qualifications are a bonus; I would pick experience over certificates every day.” “The ideal CISO should be mature, have experience of walking in the shoes of other people who have held budgets, understand that you cannot seek perfection and that you will need to support the business and understand where it’s going, its constraints and then implement realistic robust solutions and work with the whole business to achieve it. They need to translate security into business terms and have strength, credibility and wisdom.” If you have any advice for aspiring CISOs please join the conversation and if you would like a copy of our upcoming white paper focused on the evolution of the CISO please get in touch.

Why do we use our qualifications as a shield of armour?

Why do we use our qualifications as a shield of armour?

Your qualifications should be seen as a badge of honour. They evidence your hard-work, expertise and dedication and open more doors than you might be able to open without them but they shouldn’t be your everything. Competency-based interviewing has gained pace over the last few years as a way of focusing on an individuals values and behaviours while preventing unconscious bias against those who are not degree educated but, are they serving their true purpose? Every time I meet a new candidate I ensure I ask a blend of both technical and competency-based questions to really fathom an insight into the way they behave and react in certain situations but it seems increasingly, professionals are falling back on their qualifications thinking it’s all their recruiter or prospective employer wants to hear. This afternoon I met with a senior Finance Transformation Lead who really brought this issue to life. I had asked her how she effectively inspired individuals in her team, working underneath her in a programme. Rather than describing ways in which she can inspire, lead, motivate or encourage (all things she then went on to prove) her response came down to her technical expertise of finance processes. Contrary to popular belief, we really do want to find out more about you as a person. Your resume gives us the crucial information, an interview is an opportunity to fill in the gaps and discuss your strengths, weaknesses and abilities outside of your on-paper skill-set. Are you a candidate struggling to answer competency-based questions or are you a hiring manager facing the same problem, I’d like to hear from you – why do we use our qualifications as a shield of armour?

Stanton House has been shortlisted in The Global Recruiter Awards

Stanton House has been shortlisted in The Global Recruiter Awards

Stanton House has been shortlisted in this years’ The Global Recruiter awards as the Best Medium Recruitment Business and we couldn’t be prouder. Now celebrating its tenth year, these honours have truly become the industry’s own awards, held in high regard by everyone in the recruitment industry, and by wider users of recruitment services. Nick Eaves; co-founder and Chief Customer Officer at Stanton House, said: “2018 was a year of significant investment and considerable growth at Stanton House but our focus on creating exceptional customer experiences remained at the forefront of anything we did and everything we care about. “It is always great to be recognised externally as a result of our business success, our extensive CSR efforts and our exceptional people but in the last 12 months our efforts to create truly insightful content, introduce a phenomenal Learning and Development Programme and welcome more extraordinary consultants into the business has made this recognition even more special. "We look forward to attending the awards in June and in the meantime, we will continue to work hard to add value to our customers and to further develop the relationships with the people that make our business tick."

Are you too corporate for a start-up?

Are you too corporate for a start-up?

More established professionals than ever before are leaving the security of a corporate behind to join a start-up in the hope of achieving a greater work life balance, faster career progression and a voice in the decision-making process. But, despite an influx of established professionals joining the disruptive world of work, we ask why the conversation is only being geared towards millennials. We have created a white paper focused on the transition senior finance professionals make between start-up and corporate companies.  We follow the career journey of the former CFO of the Royal Bank of Scotland - responsible for its merger with corporate giant, Natwest - She describes the lessons learned and offers an insight into what each type of company can offer while an established CFO who has spent three decades working with multi-million pound corporates, exciting start-ups and Private Equity firms explains the benefits of working for each. To receive a copy of our white paper and hear the stories of our established finance professionals - please get in touch, and in the meantime join the conversation - are you too corporate for a start-up?

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