UK labour market transformed 2020 was a year like no other. Every business had to adapt and evolve their operating model to survive and grow in the ‘new norm’. The UK labour market was transformed by the disruption of Covid-19, while some sectors grew as a result of changing consumer habits, many others faced declining revenues, heavy job losses and widening skills gaps. The December 2020 report from the Office of National Statistics paints a gloomy picture. It shows that from February to December 2020, the number of payroll employees fell by 819,000 - although the larger falls were seen at the start of the coronavirus pandemic - and the period of August through to October saw redundancies reach record highs.Unsurprisingly, the Bank of England November 2020 Monetary Policy report highlights, that redundancies in 2020 were predominantly in sectors that were hit hardest by lockdown including hospitality, retail, travel, leisure, automotive and aviation. New hope for 2021 Although we start 2021, with a newly agreed Brexit deal which governs bilateral trade worth more than £650bn and we have the hope brought by new Covid-19 vaccines, it remains clear that we still have huge economic challenges ahead, with a long road to recovery. The ongoing impacts of Covid-19, particularly the recent increase in infection numbers and subsequent national lockdown, making sense of Brexit and the upcoming IR35 tax reforms (for the private sector) all present challenges for UK business. This uncertainly doesn’t make for very pleasant, uplifting New Year reading! However, unlike any other economic downturn or crisis, it is important to remember that this pandemic has forced innovation, business wide transformation and prompted organisations to adopt new ways of working - all of which may have positive long-term effects.There are also areas where employers have ongoing or even increased demand for specific skills and expertise - especially when it comes to driving their digital transformation agenda and ensuring their organisational structure is fit for purpose in this new era of work. We are also working with a (significant) minority of organisations that see the current volatility as an opportunity to invest, grow and seize market share. Well capitalized, forward looking organisations are pressing hard on the accelerator and we remain optimistic about the prospects for new opportunities in 2021.Find out if your skills are in demand in 2021, check back here soon to read our specialism market updates and top senior roles in demand this year. IR35 impacts to contractor market 2020 saw Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay announce that IR35 tax reforms to the private sector would be deferred to 6th April 2021. The decision was announced among a £330bn financial package to protect the UK economy from the coronavirus outbreak and helped to alleviate one aspect of uncertainty for a large proportion of UK contractors.Although this was supposed to give private sector businesses crucial extra time to review and refine their interim hiring strategies - organisations needed to prioritise cashflow preservation, business continuity and their survival last year.As such, what we saw was an immediate shift to many organisations dramatically reducing Interim / Contractor resources and hiring flexible labour on an inside IR35 basis only. Indeed, many businesses made the decision to institute a blanket ban of personal service companies (PSCs) rather than contend with the perceived risk of potential financial liability for tax, should contractors later be deemed in scope of IR35. We started to see that these blanket ban, risk-averse reactions to IR35 were depriving some companies of their competitive edge and ultimately, their ability to attract the best interim talent. We saw other companies take a more measured response, engaging with third parties to apply IR35 determinations for each role, such that they could continue to benefit from the breadth of the interim labour market. That said, as Covid-19 continued to put increasing pressure on the cost-base for many businesses last year, we saw a swing from the use of LTD contractors to umbrella companies, fixed-term contracts and Statement of Work consulting delivery to resource transformation programmes and projects.So now, with the clock ticking to April 6th 2021, we are likely to see a revival of day rate contract roles as businesses continue to review and amend their processes to ensure business-critical projects stay properly resourced in 2021. As such, we anticipate much more of a balance this year between permanent, fixed-term contract and both inside and outside IR35 contract roles as the level of understanding of how to apply the IR35 rules in a compliant, yet pragmatic manner increases. Contact us to learn how our solutions for individual IR35 determinations and Managed Solutions can help deliver a compliant and cost-effective answer to flexible labour demands in 2021. Brexit hinders access to flexible labour market The UK now implements a points-based immigration system, similar to the one already in effect in Australia. Under the new rules, the vast majority of foreign nationals trying to work, live and study in Britain will have to apply and pay for an online visa. For many, these new visa requirements are now a pre-requisite for working in the UK. There are extra checks and implications that employers need to be on top of; and risks if they are not. There are fines and criminal sanctions if business employ people unlawfully. This increased level of bureaucracy and the subsequent compliance implications for UK employers is likely to hinder and slow access to the flexible labour market across Europe. As such, ‘visa ready’ candidates will have a competitive advantage as employers won’t need to go through all the extra checks. Under the immigration system, points are awarded for a job offer at the appropriate skill level, knowledge of English and being paid a minimum salary. Skilled worker visas will be awarded to those who gain enough points.Applicants will have to reach a mandatory threshold of 50 points before they are considered for immigration to the UK. Mandatory criteria from the Home Office says migrants will need to have a job offer in the UK from a licensed sponsor (20 points), the job must be at or above the “minimum skill level” (20 points), and the person applying must be able to speak English “to an acceptable standard”, (10 points).There are, however, special rules for individuals who are already working in the UK. If they’ve been a resident here for 5 years or more, they will be granted ‘Settled Status’. If they’ve been in continuous residence for a shorter time period they will be awarded ‘Pre-Settled Status’. However, even if an individual has the existing right to work in the UK under one of these statuses, they must still apply to stay lawfully employed. If you are an employer or candidate and unsure if or how these changes affect you, please contact us. We are happy to help and point you to the right resources.
11 Jan 2021
In my last blog I shared how the HR function is continually being challenged to design and deliver new organisational structures to ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness in the ‘new norm’. If you want your business to thrive in this new era - you’ll need to change your organisational design and evolve your talent development strategy. But what are the mistakes to avoid? Here are some ‘process’ and ‘people’ mistakes to watch out for… Design/process mistakes 1. Embarking on Organisation Design (or redesign) without strategic clarity - Without strategic clarity, the process of designing new operating models and developing the right people capabilities, cannot even begin. 2. An endemic attitude that the organisation is fully future proofed - If business leaders do not even contemplate change - then an organisation’s people, systems and processes do not develop or advance and are left to stagnate. Overtime, this endemic attitude will erode your ability to compete. 3. The strategy changes but the structure does not - In this scenario, business leaders are not making the connection that organisation redesign is required to efficiently and effectively execute the new strategy. 4. Not enough time is spent on modelling & testing different structures - Often, not enough quality time is spent with executives to test out and play through the behavioural and cultural dimensions of different restructure scenarios. This is a vitally important step which must not be rushed. If you can agree on a set of core design principles everything else falls into place so it is worth spending time on. 5. Processes are not sufficiently scrutinised - Processes should be deconstructed and scrutinised to understand where they hand off into other departments and where behaviours exist which enable or derail these processes. If you don’t thoroughly decompose processes and look at them through a customer centric lens you won’t understand where design flaws exist.6. Functions focused on effectiveness report to those focused on efficiency - Always avoid having functions focused on effectiveness reporting to functions focused on efficiency. If you do, your organisation’s processes and systems will be so tightly controlled that you will diminish your ability to adapt to change and overtime you will lose your effectiveness. 7. Functions focused on long-term strategy report to those focused on short-term results - The demands of today always overpower the needs of tomorrow. That’s why you never want to have functions that are focused on long-term strategy reporting to functions focused on driving daily results. If you do, you will lose the ability to develop products, brand and strategy over the long-term.8. Moving people into different roles without addressing problems - Using external impacts as an opportunity to move people into different roles without having the hard conversations about, say, poor performance is a big mistake. This is like “moving the deckchairs on the Titanic” – the ship will always sink in the end!9. Design does not address power structures - Organisation design (or redesign) is more than just aligning/realigning reporting lines. Often ‘new’ structures fail to ensure that there is clarity, authority, and accountability around each business unit. Ask yourself, is your ‘new’ structure really just the old one with a few additions? Do employees still have to deal with pre-existing bureaucracy? 10. Mistaking consulting others for decision-making - The old story describes how a committee came together to design a horse and because no one person took accountability for decision-making, everyone had a view that had to be included. Result: a camel! To avoid decision making by committee your new structures must empower the right people to make decisions.11. Reward is forgotten about - Reward structures (financial and non-financial) should be considered as part of any new design. Reward packages across different business units must not inadvertently limit the development of individuals or stunt the growth of ‘leaders in waiting’. Ask yourself, do your rewards drive the right behaviors and encourage individual contribution for the success of the organisation as a whole? For example, do you have KPIs which link to reward and are based on more than just financial targets i.e. customer retention? Development/people mistakes 1. Forgetting to take people on the change journey - New organisational design is implemented by command and control forgetting to engage and involve. This means any change you introduce is less likely to be understood and is therefore less likely to embed or ‘stick’. 2. Leaders talk too much to the company goals point and not enough to the people point - To ensure maximum contribution from the workforce, leaders have the complex but essential job of communicating the company purpose and vision with clarity - so that each individual understands how they can contribute with meaning. When individuals know how to contribute in the service of the organisation, they can link their personal aspirations for growth and fulfilment to the company goals - resulting in maximum employee engagement, satisfaction and contribution. You should be aiming for the ‘apex’ as demonstrated by the BlessingWhite X-Model of engagement: 3. Complacency about the workforce / team - Assuming people are the constant due to market/economic/pandemic volatility is a huge mistake - ambitious people will move if they don’t feel valued. Great people are always great people and great businesses will create opportunities for them. As such, your retention strategy should remain a high priority. 4. A lack of focus on culture - Don’t forget the words of the legendary management consultant and writer Peter Drucker, ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’. He asserts that although strategy is important – you should focus on building an empowering culture as it is the surest route to organisational success.5. Focusing too much on teams rather than individuals - Having too much of a focus on team performance can mean that individuals are often overlooked and do not develop to their full potential. Don’t apply a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to talent management. 6. Teams put together with little consideration for what makes a team effective - Remember that effective teams have a blend of strengths and profiles. For example, an entire team of extroverts who are the ‘ideas’ people, will never embed a change or realise strategy without the support from the more detail oriented ‘completer-finishers’. 7. Having the wrong people in the right functions - Your structure is only as good as the people operating within it and how well they’re matched to their jobs. Placing people in misaligned roles is always a recipe for failure. If you don’t align the competencies and natural behaviours of an individual to the requirements of a specific job - they simply won’t perform. If your organisation is making any of these blunders it is a sure sign that your ‘new’ structure will only have a negative impact on performance. Contact us We would love to hear from leaders on how you are redesigning your organisation to operate effectively in this new era of work. If you need help finding exceptional HR professionals with experience of delivering OD&D transformation, please get in touch.Equally, if you are a permanent or interim OD&D professional, we are here to support your job search. To speak with an HR recruiting expert and to discuss our latest opportunities please contact me. Download our Organisation Design & Development Insight Paper Download our full insight paper to learn:How HR's priorities have shifted and been impacted by the PandemicHow businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating modelHow OD&D expertise has been propelled to the foreWhat OD&D specialists can help with What the signs are that your organisational structure may not be fit for purposeThe People and Process mistakes to avoid when it comes to restructure Download
14 Dec 2020
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS CREATING EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCESTo celebrate Stanton House’s ten-year anniversary we have profiled the unique journeys of some of our employees. Every one of their personal successes is an accomplishment for our whole business and we want to celebrate these. The My Stanton House Story blog series looks at what they’ve learned, why they love what they do and how they have progressed their careers. Changing courseBefore embarking on my career in recruitment I was a qualified Early Years Teacher and co-managed a nursery where I was responsible for 80 children each day - there was lots to deal with there! I had been in the Education sector for five years and decided that it was no longer for me. So, I took a role in Sales - selling training courses such as PRINCE2 or Six Sigma.Unfortunately, my first experience of the Sales world was not a positive one. We were micromanaged and told when we could take a lunch break, when we could go home and we even had to ask to go to the toilet! My employer regularly enforced ‘power hours’ where our chairs would be taken away and we weren’t allowed to sit down until we had made a sale. I knew I had to leave and decided to try recruitment as I remembered how much I enjoyed the internal recruitment I used to be responsible for at the nursery. Taking a wrong turn I interviewed with Stanton House and another much smaller boutique recruitment consultancy. The smaller agency was very quick to make me an offer, whereas the manager I met at Stanton House wanted to go for a drink/coffee with the team before making that offer. I was flattered by the quick offer and made the hasty decision to join the boutique agency. Unfortunately, I soon discovered that there was a real lack of structure, support or training. The business had no specialism focus, so I didn’t feel like there was a clear career path or that I could become a recruiting expert within a specific profession. After a year there, I knew that I wanted to leave and join an organisation that would invest in my training and development and that’s when I found myself in conversations with Stanton House once again! Finding my way backI will never forget my interview with Kate Wood, my current manager at Stanton House - we instantly clicked. She was clearly an expert in her field and wanted to develop her team. I came away feeling truly inspired and I just knew that I wanted to work with her and learn from her. In 2019, I joined Kate’s Finance team in Reading and less than a year later, I was promoted to Consultant. My first six months got off to a flying start. I placed ten new candidates into roles, made it onto the high achievers’ lunch club and even won the office bake off! I now feel more ‘in charge’ of my own future as I finally have the structure, support and clear career path, I have craved for so long. I have recently taken on the challenge of extending our Finance recruitment coverage across Surrey and Sussex which is a fantastic opportunity. My skills, confidence and recruiting expertise have grown so much since joining Stanton House. I put this down to the fantastic training here but also the continuous support I have received from colleagues across the business. Thriving in a culture of support & collaboration People here go above and beyond to help you. It’s common to see peers giving up their own time on desk to provide training sessions for colleagues and to support the development of others. In this competitive market I think that this is probably a very rare thing and speaks volumes about the culture and people here. Just recently, I reached out to a colleague in another team to support me with an area of my role that I am struggling with. They spent some time planning what to share and discuss with me and then set an hour of their time aside to take me through it all.I have learnt that to succeed you need to be prepared to work hard, put the effort in and be a team player. Setting reasonable expectations and realising that success doesn’t come overnight is also important. Yes, there are some quick wins, but you need consistency, tenacity and resilience to really reap the rewards this profession provides. It might stroke my ego slightly, but for me there is no feeling like the thrill of placing a candidate into a role when you’ve been up against another agency. You are on a briefing call with several other agencies and it’s a race to find the best candidate! Equally it is incredibly rewarding to find someone a role which they absolutely love or finding a hiring manager a real superstar who will go on to add real value. To start your journey with us and to find out about the current opportunities we have available please contact Meg Appleby, email@example.com, 0779 590 9781.
09 Dec 2020
There is an understanding that the context within which most organisations now exist has completely changed. Business leaders are asking themselves what must we stop, what must we start and what must we keep doing that is still part of our core value proposition, and that we need to adapt?This means, that in most cases and across most sectors, a change in business strategy is required - and most likely a change in Operating Model with associated Organisational Design and Development (OD&D) to deliver that strategy. That’s a lot of change leading to more change!“Organisation Design is the process and outcome of shaping an organisational structure to align it with the business purpose and context in which it exists.” CIPD"Organisation Development is the planned and systematic enabling of sustained performance in an organisation through the involvement of its people.” CIPDReading these definitions, it is clear to see why demand for professionals with specific Organisation Design and Development expertise has significantly increased as businesses seek to realign their structures and people capabilities to their new strategic objectives. There can be no doubt that the on-going and wide-scale imperative to evolve business strategy is the overriding driving force, right now, for work in this specialist area. What does an OD specialist do?It is the job of the OD specialist to present and evaluate different models and ways of working which deliver outcomes aligned to strategic drivers/goals. ‘‘One of the fundamental questions OD specialists are there to answer is “if this is our new strategy, how should we best organize ourselves?” The strategic drivers need to be established and be translated into a set of design principles / hypotheses that are evaluated and tested throughout the re-design work. It’s important to realise that Design is an iterative process; done correctly, decisions are tested against the design principles / hypotheses so as to ensure proper debate and examination of the proposals against the strategic goals. You should expect to prove some and disprove others if you are managing the process well.” Steve Lungley, Organisation Design & Development Consultant Business leaders realise the benefits of organisational restructure Increasingly, business leaders are making the connection that how their organisation is designed and how their people are developed will determine how efficiently and effectively it is able to perform in the ‘new norm’.“If an organisation has a flawed design (processes and people), it simply won’t perform, or indeed survive. It must be structured (or restructured) to create a design that supports its purpose and business strategy. However, it is important to recognise that an organisation isn’t simply the “boxes and wires” which make up an org chart. An organisation is about enablement and engagement. This means that an organisation can be successful irrespective of its structure – it’s about attitudes (mindset), clarity of focus (outcomes) flexibility (the journey) and culture (beliefs, assumptions & values).” Rachel Letby, Management Consultant & Organisation Design & Development Expert A sound organisational structure will make it clear what each function and person does, and is accountable for, within each location. The design will also make clear to what extent its/their authority reaches within its/their domain and across the organisation. However, organisations must also seek to strike a balance between being ‘fixed’ (overly bureaucratic) and ‘flexible’ (ambiguous). This is a fine line to tread!What’s more, business leaders must understand that designing a structure that is fit for purpose is just one of many steps. These new structures, responsibilities and ways of working must also be underpinned with robust people change management approaches to ensure transformational success. This involves: Processes:Understanding the imperative for change and the environmentUnderstanding the business processes, workflows, roles and responsibilities, volumes of work, activity analysis and resourcesDesigning and testing new structures, workflows and internal governance frameworksPlanning and managing the transition from the old structure to the newImplementing and monitoring the change People:Measuring performance, efficiency and effectivenessAssessing resources, skills and capabilities Developing the right behaviours and interactionsDetermining and applying the right learning interventions Embedding and sustaining a cultural change This is a complex area of work which shouldn’t be a one-time exercise. It takes time and often requires the help of an OD&D expert to formulate sound design principles which can be used to guide your organisation's restructure. There can be no doubt, that demand for HR professionals with experience of delivering OD&D transformation, across the breadth of these deliverables, will continue unabated as the world of work continues to evolve. Contact us We would love to hear from leaders on how you are redesigning your organisation to operate effectively in this new era of work. If you need help finding exceptional HR professionals with experience of delivering OD&D transformation, please get in touch. Equally, if you are a permanent or interim OD&D professional, we are here to support your job search. To speak with an HR recruiting expert and to discuss our latest opportunities please contact me. Download our Organisation Design & Development Insight Paper Download our full insight paper to learn:How HR's priorities have shifted and been impacted by the PandemicHow businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating modelHow OD&D expertise has been propelled to the foreWhat OD&D specialists can help with What the signs are that your organisational structure may not be fit for purposeThe People and Process mistakes to avoid when it comes to restructure Download
25 Nov 2020
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS CREATING EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES This year Stanton House celebrates its ten-year anniversary. To reflect on a decade of success, we are taking a look back at the unique journeys of some of our most loyal customers - uncovering how we have helped them with their careers and hiring endeavors over the years. This week, we interviewed Gary Eaves, Director at embracent (no relation to our Co-Founder Nick Eaves!) who first became a customer ten years ago and with whom a trusting relationship has endured throughout. Gary has had a unique journey with us having been both a candidate and a client over the years. embracent has since become a trusted partner to Stanton House delivering several technology initiatives for us. We have even collaborated on insight papers and co-hosted events together to bring expert insight to our customers. Read his story… How did you come to know Stanton House ten years ago?I was working for a consultancy and had been contemplating taking the leap into independent consulting/contracting when I first met Nick and Neil. They had just founded Stanton House and were looking for some support around IT and the systems required to support the business. It was a lovely conversation and it was interesting to hear how they wanted to disrupt the market by offering something different to other recruiters - a much more personal experience and significant focus on finding high quality candidates to meet client demand.I had a few conversations with Nick and through a common contact of ours took on a programme management role for a large transformation project at the UK’s largest housebuilder. It was great working with Nick as he helped me through the whole transition, providing more than the typical recruitment agent guidance and even helped me to set up my limited company. I genuinely felt that Nick cared about me being successful in the role and we had regular check-ins throughout the contract. How and why have you stayed connected?I have pretty much stayed linked into Stanton House ever since. I have run three major programmes placed by Stanton house and recruited dozens of contract and permanent resources through Stanton House. Right now, I am engaging them as a preferred supplier to support the growth of our technology consultancy business - embracent.I have used agencies to recruit permanent and contract resource over the years and I am not sure they all have the same ethics that Stanton House adopt - to really ensure the client and candidate are happy and getting the experience they want. As a client, I love the fact that Stanton House go the extra mile, they really try to understand the requirement in detail, the culture of the business and personality that would fit well within the team. They have a huge network and can find solid candidates time after time. They take the complexity out of the process by presenting 3-4 solid candidates that perfectly match our requirements. I feel like they really care and I depend on them to find the right people…quickly. How has embracent partnered with Stanton House? We’ve partnered in many ways over the years. For example, we have recently produced insight papers on Robotic Process Automation and co-hosted virtual roundtables on intelligent automation for Finance Leaders. embracent have also delivered a number of technology projects for Stanton House including Intranet build, the delivery of automation to drive back office efficiency and more recently, the development of a KPI dashboard to help increase Business Intelligence capability. I look forward to another decade of partnership and collaboration! Please get in touch for hiring or career advice. We are here to support our customers in these difficult times and forge enduring partnerships.
17 Nov 2020
Download your copy of our insight paper It’s no surprise that most businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating model in recent months. As a result, business leaders have come to recognise the importance of Organisational Design & Development (OD&D) expertise and the vital role HR functions serve in ensuring organsational structures and processes are fit for the ‘new norrn’. Download our insight paper to learn:How HR's priorities have shifted and been impacted by the PandemicHow businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating modelHow OD&D expertise has been propelled to the foreWhat OD&D specialists can help with What the signs are that your organisational structure may not be fit for purpose The People and Process mistakes to avoid when it comes to restructure Download
10 Nov 2020
Just as many of us had started to return to the office, a second lockdown now looms. The prospect of living and working from home - all of the time - is not a pleasant thought to have to come to terms with once again.As such, it is so important that we look after our mental and physical wellbeing and ensure that we continue to instill healthily remote working habits in these difficult times. Creating a dedicated, comfortable remote workspace is one of the most important things we can do to stay productive and healthily. So, if you haven’t taken all of the steps needed to create a home working environment that works for you and you’re still putting up with desk set-up, furniture or equipment bugbears - now is the time to rectify these issues. Your employer might also be moving towards more flexible, remote working post Covid-19, so it really is worth taking the time to re-think your setup and make it suitable for the longer term.For example, if you managed to work ok from your sofa last time it might now be worth considering the benefits of a separate workspace or zone (if possible) where you can work without distractions. Not only will this benefit your levels of focus and productivity, but importantly for your mental health, it helps separate your day-to-day life from your work. Likewise, it is important that you have comfortable furniture and an ergonomic set up. A good desk set-up You might assume everyone automatically sits ‘correctly’. But it turns out sitting is a bit of an art and doing it wrong can affect all different parts of your body. Poor posture can cause repetitive strain injury (RSI), headaches or aches and pains elsewhere. The NHS outlines the following factors as essential in how to sit at your desk correctly: Adjust your chairThe best chairs for working are adjustable, so that you can move the height allowing you to use your keyboard properly. This is with your wrists and forearms straight and parallel with the floor. Your elbows sit rest by the side of your body, with a 90-degree angle at the elbow joint.Support your backYou should also be able to adjust your chair so that it supports your lower back. You can do this by changing the back position and tilt options. Your knees should be slightly lower than your hips.Have your screen at eye levelIf a screen is too high or low, you’ll be bending your neck all day. Instead, your screen should be directly in front of you (roughly an arm’s length away). If you use a laptop, you can place it on a laptop stand and use a separate keyboard to achieve this.Have the keyboard straight in front of youWhen typing, you want the keyboard to be right in front of you, making sure your arms are still bent in an L-shape with your elbows at your side. You can leave a gap of around 4-6 inches at the front of your desk to rest your wrists when you’re not typing. Some people use wrist rests for extra comfort.Rest your feet on the floorYour feet should be flat on the floor. Some people also use a footrest if that feels comfortable. You shouldn’t cross your legs. If you have difficulties in doing any of this speak to you employer, they may be able to help with practical solutions. After all, an uncomfortable, poorly thought out workspace can affect your productivity. Finally, here is a really helpful guide to creating a healthy and productive workspace. It shares key facts and statistics about working from home, the technological and cultural challenges faced by remote workers as well as practical tips and advice to manage health and maintain work-life balance whilst working from home.
03 Nov 2020
Download your copy of our insight paperLaws and regulations governing privacy and the protection of data, particularly sensitive personal data, continue to proliferate across the globe. But why should CISOs care about data privacy and how should they manage regulatory transitions to ensure their information security program stands up to data privacy protection laws? To get ‘real’ insight into this topic, we hosted a virtual roundtable where we invited a small group of top CISOs, operating in highly regulated industry sectors in the US, to share their lived experiences. Our guest speaker Robert Ball, Chief Business Development Officer & General Counsel from Ionic, also shared insight into why the domain of the CISO has expanded in light of emerging data privacy and protection laws. Download our insight paper for the key takeaways from the event and to discover 10 technology tips for CISOs to effectively manage data privacy. Download
29 Oct 2020
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS CREATING EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCESTo celebrate Stanton House’s ten-year anniversary we have profiled the unique journeys of some of our employees. Every one of their personal successes is an accomplishment for our whole business and we want to celebrate these. The My Stanton House Story blog series looks at what they’ve learned, why they love what they do and how they have progressed their careers. Why I moved to Hong Kong with Stanton House and never looked back Prior to joining Stanton House in 2016, I worked for a Boutique Financial Services search firm in London, where my focus was on global FIG Investment Banking and Private Equity mandates. I had completed FIG Banking hires in Hong Kong which had given me an appreciation of the market.At the time, I had university friends who lived and worked in Hong Kong. They had always spoken so highly about the place and told me that if I were ever given the opportunity to work there - I should grab it! I was fortunate enough to have been introduced by my school friend Henry Yeomans (our current US Vice President) to Nick Eaves (Co-Founder) and Dave Fleming (Managing Director) to explore the potential for me to work for Stanton House in Hong Kong.I quickly knew it was what I wanted and was excited to be given the opportunity to develop our Asset Management offering across Asia Pacific. Laying the foundations for successBefore moving my life to Hong Kong, I worked in our London office for six months. This was invaluable time which I used to build internal relationships, hone my processes and map the Asset Management market in Hong Kong. By the time it came for relocation I had a good sense of who the firms were in this space and the roles I wanted to focus on. Having a clear conviction in the plan I had gave me the confidence I needed to really make the best of the opportunity ahead of me.I appreciate more than anything else the maturity within the company. I have been afforded a lot of responsibility and autonomy to follow a plan. This has been supported by the wider business (and for the most part) has brought success. Gaining new experiences & expertise There can be no doubt, that starting a new desk from scratch, moving to the other side of the world and becoming a top performer within two years is no easy feat! Along the way, I have gained so much experience and significantly increased by specialism and local market knowledge.The area I work in is highly specialised, as such, I work get to with clients and candidates across multiple countries, including Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. Each market with its own cultural nuances, practices within business and market trends which I have become an expert in.Living in Hong Kong or Singapore you really do feel as if you are part of the growth engine of the global economy. In four years, I have seen a huge number of firms set up in Asia – all of them looking to capitalise on the region’s growth.I had little exposure to global Asset Management employers before joining - but now I have an incredibly strong network and client base which I intend to stay close to for the foreseeable future. On a day-today basis I have conversations with really engaging, interesting and smart people. They generally are all very passionate about their careers and development and that rubs off on me! Learning & developing new skills My personal skills are always in development, but I would hope that as a Manager, I have now learnt how to get the best out of others and am no longer purely invested in my own individual performance. Working with a group of consultants who improve month by month or year by year is incredibly rewarding. It is a great feeling to see team members engage more with their customers and ultimately become trusted partners. Learning and Development is a fundamental reason as to why this business has and will continue to succeed. Having a dedicated resource for training is one step but when the resource is invested in everyone’s growth within the business it has a massive effect on performance and the identity of the company. The amount of time and effort which goes in to help consultants hit high performance gives us a massive competitive advantage in our marketplaces. Directors, Managers and Consultants alike – we are all afforded great career development here and are provided with constant resource towards improvement, coaching and development plans. Facing new challenges The global pandemic has been the greatest challenge since moving here. Understandably hiring freezes took hold and we have had to ensure that we continue to add value to our customers during difficult times. We are doing this by helping our customers to reassess and reset their strategic goals - aligning them with the right talent and skills to help them transform and grow.We have a culture here of being obsessed with the customer experience. It is about winning but winning in the right way and building long-term relationships that can weather the storm that is Covid-19. We have all had to adapt to working from home and meeting with customers on video calls. This has not detracted from our objectives or performance and in fact, somehow, we feel more connected to colleagues in other countries. There is a real sense that we are pulling together as one during this time. Relocation on the cards once more!The opportunity to move to Hong Kong with Stanton House is one I will be forever grateful for. After four years I have progressed from a Senior Consultant through to being a Manager - where I now look after the entire Investment Management offering for Asia Pacific. The experience has helped me to develop both personally and professionally, but my story of international travel does not stop there. This month, I will be relocating from Hong Kong to Singapore to help grow our presence across the country. I am excited for my new adventure in Singapore to begin! To start your journey with us and to find out about the current opportunities we have available please contact Meg Appleby, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0779 590 9781.
21 Oct 2020
Convincing decision makers to invest in Cyber Security According to Senior Technology Leader, Dan Crisp, there are several strategies which can be used to get past organisational resistance and convince decision makers to investment in Information and Cyber Security. Read his guest blog below to learn more... Dan Crisp, Senior Technology Leader About Dan CrispDan Crisp is the founder of Digital risk Insight, a technology risk strategic advisory consultancy. He began his career as a technology merger & acquisitions analyst at Citi. Subsequently, he led the technology risk, cyber risk, and Basel programs for JP Morgan Chase in the US. Dan went on to serve as Chief Operations Officer for Barclays Global Information Security in London.Dan also served as the CISO and Chief Technology Risk Officer for BNY Mellon with technology risk, cybersecurity and data privacy oversight responsibility at BNY Mellon Corporation and its affiliates and subsidiaries. While there, he led the innovation, development and deployment of a global technology risk regulatory controls and analytics system for technology and privacy risk. Many decision makers overestimate their company's cybersecurity defenses – ‘no news is good news’ and they may not be enthusiastic about allocating more budget to protect themselves. One of the biggest barriers experts in my line of work find is convincing executives that doing nothing allows cybercriminals to gain advantage and potentially is putting the company at peril. I believe that there are several strategies which can be used to get past organisational resistance and convince decision makers to investment in Information and Cyber Security: 1. Reframe success metrics - what worked before is no longer effective It is an arms race, what used to work doesn’t work six to twelve months later, you’ve constantly got to be thinking about upping your game and getting that across to non-technical people is essential. For want of a better analogy – executives need to understand that they can’t simply buy the car and then continue drive it for a decade - without servicing it - just because they don’t want to spend further money or buy a new one.Use problem statements to help push back on the status quo and facilitate conversations as to why what you’ve always done is no longer good enough. Here is an example:“Our information security management system requires reassessment and transformation to ensure continued effective protection for our clients and the company.” 2. Benchmark with peers to challenge assumptions about the adequacy of cybersecurity investmentsFor example, when the Travelex breach occurred in London other currency exchange companies wanted to make sure it didn’t happen to them. There were questions like – what was Travelex’s Cyber Security footprint? What was their approach to risk management? How did it compare to their own company and therefore, how likely was this to happen to them? 3. Follow the organisational expectationsUse provided expected financial templatesWork with finance in advance to ensure your budget can withstand challengeUse storytelling to illustrate the risk Although it’s important that you have done your homework, laid out a clear budget and you speak the language of finance – you want your conversations to be risk based- not dollars and cents based. 4. Refine your presentation approachKeep the focus on the risk to the organisation (operational, reputational, regulatory, litigation, etc.)Present in non-technical languageUse storytelling to illustrate the riskCreate a sense of urgency. Inaction is dangerous.Leave a strong document trail leading to the person(s) who grant budgetAlways provide a follow-up email regardless of the meeting outcomeYou want to leave a strong document trail, and I call that the smoking gun, where it’s been explained in layperson’s terms and is abundantly clear to the budget granter – this is what’s at stake... 5. Use the three-slide technique Problem statementRisk storytelling Solution with costingThe discovery of the three-slide technique is a defining moment in my career. When I was working for a bank, we had a Big 4 consultancy firm provided us with a 40-slide presentation deck, which we spent quite a bit of money on. We were to use these slides to present our justifications to the board for asking for exponentially more money. The CISO I worked with at the time said she didn’t want to use them. She only wanted three slides. One explaining what the problem was. The second was to be the scary slide – explaining what would happen if they didn’t address the problem. The third was the solution and cost. It was so powerful and effective that we got the funding we asked for. I have gone back and used this technique, incrementally, for projects and programme fund raising with great success. 6. Use narratives to illustrate the risk of inactionI have found the use of narratives incredibly powerful. We used to call those the scary slides i.e. here’s an example of something that has happened recently and here’s why it might happen to you.News headlines cause decision makers to take action — even if it's short lived Storytelling activates sensory centers in the brain that make people relate to the story on a personal level — it places them inside of the storyStorytelling is extremely powerful when it comes to marketing and other forms of communicationUse storytelling to demonstrate the risk, create a sense of urgency and leave them with the impression that you have laid this at their feet, with all of the risks and consequences outlined and now the decision is in their hands.You almost want to worm into a person’s thinking so that they wake up in the middle of the night thinking about what you’ve laid at their feet. You want them thinking - what if we have a cyber-attack and I’m the budget granter who said no? That said, it’s important to use storytelling to convey the drama for you- you want to portray yourself as the calm and collected person who has the plan.A helpful the trick for me with the storytelling is to make them as scared as you are and no more. If you’re stretching your own fear, it's going to be transparent. Remember...you are competing for finite resources and budget. The best storytelling wins the day and the funding! Download our insight paper For more insights from top CISOs download our recent insight paper. It features the key takeaways from our recent CISO virtual roundtable where the challenges of setting best practice for secure remote working and obtaining budget were discussed. Download Speak to a Cyber Security recruiting expert If you need help finding and hiring exceptional Cyber Security professionals or you are searching for your next opportunity, please get in touch to speak with a Cyber Security recruiting expert at Stanton House.
20 Oct 2020
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS CREATING EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCESTo celebrate Stanton House’s ten-year anniversary we have profiled the unique journeys of some of our employees. Every one of their personal successes is an accomplishment for our whole business and we want to celebrate these. The My Stanton House Story blog series looks at what they’ve learned, why they love what they do and how they have progressed their careers. CHANGING GEARS ON MY RECRUITMENT CAREER Applying my change management knowledge to the world of recruitment After graduating from my Masters in Organisational Change & Consulting in 2016 I was unsure about where I wanted to start working. I knew that I wanted to continue developing my knowledge in change management and business psychology and I wanted a job that was fast-paced and had a lot of interaction with people. I applied to roles in management consulting businesses, organisational development think tanks and engaged with a recruitment to recruitment business. After being introduced to several recruitment businesses, Stanton House’s vision and culture really stood out to me. I felt so connected to the business that it was the clear choice to start my career and I joined their Change & Transformation team as an Associate Consultant! Learning the art and science of recruitment I embarked upon the six-month induction programme which offered very well-rounded training covering the entire recruitment process. Coaching, roleplays, observations, and general feedback have always been encouraged which has massively helped me with my personal and professional development. In the recruitment team there were lots of opportunities to rekindle old client relationships. This relied on being proactive to highlight these opportunities through effective use of our CRM and engaging with consultants across the business to understand the history of client relationships. There were also lots of opportunities to get involved in wider organisation design and development where I contributed to different project teams to help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our operating model.I worked my way up and was promoted to Principle Consultant in 2018 - having developed business from different industries including Financial Services, Media, and Pharmaceuticals. It was shortly after this, that I decided to seize on the opportunity to change tack completely and join our HR team as Talent Development Partner, focusing solely on Learning & Development (L&D). Changing course into Learning & Development (L&D)Changing course in my career and moving from a role in recruitment into L&D has been the best decision I have made professionally. Being able to contribute to someone’s personal and professional development is incredibly rewarding. I have been able to provide employees at Stanton House with guidance, coaching, tools, and lots of feedback! Initially, I was a little nervous about making the move and how others might respond but I absolutely love how much everyone has supported me through. What’s more, to help with my transition into L&D, Stanton House sponsored my professional qualification with the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Professional Development) and later this year I will be certified with a management level qualification in HR. I am so thankful that I can apply the HR theory I have learnt and continue to develop a strategic approach to my role. My next challenge During my time at Stanton House I feel that I have gained so much knowledge across Sales, Talent Acquisition, Coaching, L&D and Organisation Design & Development. I have also gained just as much, if not more, in developing my personal skills such as listening skills, my self-awareness, and discipline.I definitely always have the ongoing question of where am I going? Is this where I should be? And these worries are ones that have led me into moments of ‘paralysis’ where I feel nervous about making any moves in my career. Learning how to manage my own worries through a lot of introspection and grasping new coping mechanisms has been the biggest enabler for me to acknowledge this challenge and not let it block me from delivering or seizing upon new opportunities. In fact, after two years in L&D I have just taken on the exciting challenge of designing and delivering a new Exceptional Performance Programme for our recruitment consultants. So far, I have loved just how much autonomy I have been given to create a coaching course that will develop the quality of their work across the sales process. I don’t have a manual of what is right and wrong, but I’ve been able to reflect on and use my past experiences as a recruitment consultant to deliver something really bespoke. To start your journey with us and to find out about the current opportunities we have available please contact Meg Appleby, email@example.com, 0779 590 9781.
15 Oct 2020
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS CREATING EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES OUR STANTON HOUSE STORY: WHAT'S IN A NAME?Our CEO and Founder, Neil Wilson reflects on the naming of Stanton House as we celebrate 10 successful years in business… Reflecting on 10 successful years2020 will surely be remembered as a year of extraordinary change for people and businesses around the world. It is also a huge milestone for Stanton House as we celebrate ten years in business this October. There have been so many challenges, learns and successes along the way - and almost a decade later - I can say that I am incredibly proud of the resilient business we are today.I profoundly believe that our raison d'etre (reason for being / purpose) which is to ‘create exceptional experiences’ has been the guiding principle which has enabled our diversification, international expansion and continued growth. It has been - and will continue to be - central to all that we do. Over the last few weeks, I have found myself reflecting on the early stages of our journey where - Nick Eaves (Co-founder) and I - laid the foundations for Stanton House. Everything from making the initial decision to start our own business to securing funding and creating a brand identity. However, I specifically wanted to address a question that comes up time and time again. ‘Why did you name your business Stanton House? Why, like so many other recruitment companies, didn’t you use your own name “Wilson” or a combination of yours and your founding partner’s “Eaves”?’. Naming Stanton HouseIn the summer of 2010, once we had decided to take the brave step of setting up a brand-new recruitment business, Nick and I started mapping out what would make the company different and we also started to think about what we would name our company. We were clear that we wanted to develop a scalable, customer centric operating model - but by far the most difficult part was determining the name. We also agreed that we didn’t want to use our own names. Why? Truthfully, our egos were not big enough for that. We went through three stages, taking three months, before we found and finally settled on Stanton House.Stage 1: Realisation Nick and I tried to find the perfect company name. One that would make people sit up and take notice. One that would be synonymous with the amazing company that was being formed. One that would immediately conjure up an image of a business that was fresh and which would blow the industry apart. We wanted an obvious association with concepts such as Customer Experience, Excellence, Relationships, Standing out from the Crowd. This would be straightforward – or so we thought!Days passed with a few suggestions offered up by one and immediately ruled out by the other. We considered Latin alternatives when the English words seemed too obvious. We looked at new words formed from a combination of two words we liked - ‘Relatience’ - anyone? As days turned to weeks the initial energy had disappeared and we were both hoping that the other would suddenly be struck with a moment of inspiration. It didn’t happen. We needed help.Stage 2: Professional help We enlisted the help of brand name specialists. They organised and facilitated multiple sessions. We brainstormed company names for two whole days. The shortlist comprised of: Depth, Polestar, Tomorrow, Futureproof, Acuity, Likemind, Mindshare, Clarity and Alchemy. There was a bit of enthusiasm for Alchemy but there already existed several companies with that name including another recruitment company. Two days later we realised that we couldn’t saddle our beloved, yet to exist company, with any of these names. We were back to square one.Stage 3: Defining some rules It was now late August 2010. Although we had failed in a simple but crucial aspect of starting a business we were not deterred. Better ideas had started to form by now. We had defined some clear rules to guide us:1. The company name should be two words2. Definitely not two names (as in Eaves & Wilson Associates) 3. The second word should be a place or destination. Somewhere people would be happy to go.4. The first word didn’t matter too much We began to realise that our company name didn’t have to be clever or meaningful. Looking at other world-famous brands it was very clear that it would be what we stood for that would count. The company name would become synonymous with that, not the other way round. So, the options for the second word became: Place, Garden, Road, House, Green, Castle, Park, Wood, Forest or Hill.We went through so many possibilities for the first part of the name: Types of tree, plant and flower, colours, animals. I remember that we liked a lot of the combinations with ‘Oak’ but they were already far too popular. The next possibility to review was a list of place names. We were pretty desperate by now. We took a few that we liked Boston, Stanford, Stanton. Finally, we were close. Boston Park was the favourite. Domain names taken. Boston House, already taken. Boston Green, taken. Stanford sounded good. However, just recently Allan Stanford had been imprisoned for fraud in a high-profile case so that felt wrong.What about Stanton? It resonated with me in particular as one of my favourite footballers growing up in Scotland was Pat Stanton. Stanton Green, Stanton Park, Stanton Place – all domain names taken. Stanton House was free. Done. We bought Stantonhouse.com that night. Huge relief all round. Imagine not being able to start a business because you couldn’t come up with a name!It’s now hard to imagine being called anything but Stanton House. To start your journey with us and to find out about the current opportunities we have available please contact Meg Appleby, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0779 590 9781.For more on what it took to start and build Stanton House listen to Nick Eaves in the Stanton House episode of the RAG podcast.
06 Oct 2020