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Our founder, Jeanette Robinson, set up Cavill Robinson Finance Recruitment in 1992 to provide professional accountancy recruitment for Cambridge and its surrounding areas. Today we have an exceptional reputation for providing a thorough and first class service to our clients, which range across a broad spectrum of industries and organisations in the local region. We value the strong and in many cases long lasting relationships which we have built up and appreciate the business which our clients and candidates entrust us with. Please read our Testimonials to see what clients and candidates have to say about us and how we work.
I have known and worked with Jeanette on recruitment in a number of businesses for over 25 years. She is very thorough and professional in her approach and the team that work with her are friendly and helpful. Jeanette has an extensive knowledge of the recruitment industry and also the recruitment market in Cambridge, which is invaluable in finding the best candidate for the position."A Professional Approach" Colin Faiers : Head of Accounting and Finance - Sidney Sussex College
I have had the pleasure of working with Cavill Robinson on a number of occasions over the past few years and would have no hesitation in recommending them. They provide a very professional service. I am particularly impressed with their methods that ensure that they only put forward carefully selected candidates that meet the selection criteria. Their hands-on approach ensures that they fully understand both the candidates they are putting forward as well as our company, which includes understanding the culture of our organisation and appreciate that this is an important factor."They understand the culture of our organisation" James Martin: Head of Finance -The Technology Partnership
Savills use Cavill Robinson as their preferred agent for recruiting accounts staff because they have a proven record in matching candidates to both the role and the culture of the organisation in which the candidate is being placed."A proven track record" Andrew Tucker : Head of Finance - Savills
Having found the recruitment process more time consuming over the last few years and having had some rather bad experiences with agencies, Cavill Robinson are a refreshing change. They do more than just send CV's, as care is taken from every perspective to make sure they know in detail our requirement and from an applicant's view, what kind of employer we are. Recruitment is a two way process so it is important the "best fit" for both us and potential employees is the focus rather than just sending lots of potentially unsuitable CV's for us to review. Applicants are interviewed and screened prior to being recommended for interview with us thereby making sure we have a considered selection of suitable candidates resulting in our recruitment process being streamlined and efficient. Their approach is always very professional and I am happy to recommend their service to other organisations considering using an agency either now or at some stage in the future."A refreshing change" Sherry Woolsten: Director - The Payroll Services Company
Having dealt with a few employment agencies, I found Cavill Robinson to be by far the best. Jeanette was professional whilst being very warm and friendly, she had a genuine interest in me as a person as well as a client and I didn’t feel our initial meeting was so much an interview as a chat with a friend. I actually found my new role via the first application I made with Jeanette, she has the know how to present you, both skillset and background wise, in the best and most honest way to the potential employer, so if you’re looking for a new role definitely give Cavill Robinson a call.A Genuine interest in me as a person - Karen Summerbee
I’d like to commend the team at Cavill Robinson for the professional way they have dealt with all aspects of my temporary placements over the last two years. The placements I’ve had over that period have consistently met my requirements; from timespans and income, to ensuring that my levels of experience could be used by Cavill’s clients, making me feel that I made a worthwhile contribution in helping with their immediate needs."Placements met my requirements" Robert Sabak
Cambridge Businesses Face Major Recruitment Challenges Caused By The Pandemic
Cambridge Businesses Face Major Recruitment Challenges Caused By The Pandemic I recently conducted extensive phone research with 45 Cambridgeshire-based businesses across a wide range of industries. My goal - to find out what issues they have faced while recruiting and onboarding during the pandemic. This has highlighted major recruitment challenges that companies have been grappling with - as well as changes to the jobs market that companies will need to adapt to longer term too. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the revelation that a large number of employers did not see Zoom interviews as part of their new normal once the economy has fully opened up again. Nearly a quarter dislike Zoom interviews and it was a recurring theme that they are no substitute for face-to-face interviews. So what are the key points to have emerged that you should be aware of? Let’s dive in... Remote recruiting isn't working for everyone The remote video meeting platform Zoom has been one of the success stories of the COVID-19 pandemic and some employers praised its use in remote working. However, almost a quarter of the Cambridgeshire companies I spoke to were less than impressed with its role as a recruitment tool. Among the criticisms of remote video interviewing were: ● Limited information from eye contact and body language ● Reduced personal touch ● Some interviewees unfairly impacted by poor internet connection ● No chance for potential hires to sample company culture ● Technical issues One conversation with a hiring decision maker revealed that the impression they had of candidates often changed significantly following a second round face-to-face interview. "There's no substitute for sitting across a desk from someone, seeing their body language." It wasn’t all downside though. Employers highlighted that video interviewing means that job interviews are typically shorter now - and there's not the logistical issue of booking meeting rooms. What that means in practice is that companies are able to see more 1st round candidates because of the time saved through remote interviewing, which improves diversity hiring and reduces the likelihood of good candidates being screened out prior to the interviewing stage. Remote onboarding is a challenge It’s not just recruiting without meeting people that’s proving a challenge. Several employers also voiced concerns about remote onboarding, with new employees finding it difficult to learn and integrate with teams and employers less able to support them. Without face-to-face time in the early weeks of joining, there’s a risk that new hires can feel like outsiders. Extroverts are less likely to suffer than introverts was another interesting point that was made. In the Finance positions we specialise in, there was a particular discomfort that became apparent in some of the calls - namely trusting people an employer has never met with having access to financial information and accounts. This suggests there may be some pent up demand to make Finance hires as lockdown measures unwind and companies are able to meet potential hires and new hires again. Remote hiring has broadened the talent pool and made companies reassess their operations One big change the pandemic has had on hiring has been in reducing geographical limitations. As one person commented to me, "the pandemic has jumped us forward 5 years". It's highlighted that offices aren't always needed, that staff can be based geographically in areas besides Cambridgeshire. Indeed it's even encouraged companies to take a fresh look at outsourcing some of their business functions. How enduring this change proves to be will be fascinating to watch. If companies prove to be willing to employ people who are either fully remote or only hybrid / partial office workers, that has two major implications. For central Cambridge roles, it's a great improvement for local candidates to have work from home and / or hybrid working as an option. The horrendous commute and park & ride element of working in a city centre job is made much more tolerable for local candidates if it becomes less of a daily requirement. So a company’s appeal as an employer of local candidates is enhanced. But also the available talent pool could be far more geographically dispersed, with companies hiring team members in locations further afield. Considering new hires based in places with lower costs of living and fewer employers competing for those staff could be a long-term game changer. The jury is out on this one though. To what extent will companies want a return to office life as restrictions are lifted? The answer may mean that this is a short-term blip in hiring dynamics, or a longer-term structural change. Time will tell. Recruitment agencies that furloughed staff have let down employers in need of support A number of the companies I interviewed criticised the lack of support they had received from recruitment agencies during the pandemic. They felt that too many recruitment agency staff were furloughed, so by the time they were fully resourced and able to provide recruiting support, it was too late because employers had had to resort to direct hiring. That has both impacted some recruitment agencies’ prospects of winning future business but also left employers swamped with poor quality applications. Around 13% of businesses told me that while there were no shortages of candidates for jobs, the overall quality tended to be poor, with two mainstream job boards named as particular culprits for providing low calibre candidates. Furlough was also blamed for creating a shortage of quality candidates, with many people not considering a career move all the while they were on furlough. Plus candidates have been more wary of moving jobs during the pandemic, scared of trading the security of their current situation for the uncertainty of joining a new employer. It should be said that filling contract roles has proven easier than permanent hires. People have been more willing to take a contract job in recent months, where pre-pandemic it was a struggle to get the right people to accept such roles. Hopefully as restrictions are eased and furlough is wound down we’ll see permanent hires become easier to make too. Brexit, online recruitment platforms and other issues Interestingly, only one employer brought up the issue of the UK's withdrawal from the EU. They highlighted the complexity of sponsoring people from overseas and the need to pay for costly lawyers to resolve issues. Their experience has been that many highly skilled workers are struggling to obtain visas. Brexit very much took a back seat to the challenges raised by the pandemic though, at least amongst the companies I interviewed. Other issues that were raised by some of the employers I interviewed included: ● Confusion over where to advertise and which recruitment platforms to use is causing employers to resume working with recruitment agencies ● There’s the expectation of a backlog of vacancies to fill due to businesses holding back on recruitment while claiming furlough payments and / or not wishing to recruit during lockdown. As we all look forward to the resumption of more normal trading conditions, it will be fascinating to see how recruitment evolves. The pandemic has revealed some of the upsides technology can deliver, but it has also reminded us of the value of human contact and the personal touch. Should you need any support in the coming months, feel free to reach out to the team at Cavill Robinson and we’d be delighted to help. About the Author: Jeanette Robinson FREC (Hon) Jeanette Robinson and her company, Cavill Robinson Financial Recruitment have been recruiting finance staff for a wide range of companies and institutions in the East Anglian area for nearly thirty years. Jeanette started her business career training to be an accountant with Coopers and Lybrand (Now PWC) in London before moving into finance recruitment. She worked in the London marketplace for six years before moving to Huntingdon and setting up her own business in Cambridge in 1992. She still works hands on in the business and is passionate about providing a high standard of service to those companies which use her services. Call her on 07710 133034 for both advice and help on any finance recruitment matters you may have.
How Will Lockdown 3 Affect Hiring in Cambridgeshire?
The New Year's festivities had barely come to a close when Prime Minister Boris Johnson was on our screens again, instructing us all to stay home to help in the fight against COVID-19. A third national lockdown became inevitable when COVID case numbers soared to record highs over the holiday break. This was partly due to the spread of a particularly contagious variant of the virus that has particularly affected London, the east and the south east. As with the first lockdown, which was announced back in March 2020, people have been instructed to work from home where they can, schools have closed (except for the children of key workers) and travel has been severely restricted. 'Lockdown 3' is expected to remain in place until at least the middle of February although there will be regular reviews. It is expected that the country will be phased back into the regional tier system when the government decides they can relax restrictions. Much hope is being placed on the vaccination program which, at the time of writing, has seen more than 3.5 million people receive injections. What does this mean for Cambridge businesses? While jobs will inevitably be lost as some businesses either fold or decide to lay off workers, the outlook isn't all bleak due to a combination of government support and the unique employment mix of the region. The furlough scheme, whereby the government pays the majority of eligible employees' salaries, has already been extended by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, giving eligible businesses security at least until the end of April. While salaries have fallen across the country, Cambridge is expected to resist this trend. In fact, statistics have shown a slight rise in the city's annual salaries between 2019 and 2020. This is in stark contrast to the aftermath of the 2018 economic crash which saw local salaries plummet by 15%. One key reason for this is the region's jobs mix which is slanted towards sectors that have been less impacted by the pandemic. These include R&D, pharmaceutics, tech and food. In many sectors, the job supply has actually increased as employers recruit to meet new, sometimes unexpected demands. These include educational software (edtech) firms that have risen to meet the need for quality home learning resources. Another example are those local manufacturers that have turned their factories into production lines for 3d printed face masks or ventilator components. Many companies have also had to increase their internal IT provision to support home-working employees. This has led to significant IT recruitment drives in some cases. How can Cambridge businesses attract top talent? With salaries in Cambridge expected to remain roughly stable, businesses should look beyond renumeration to attract the best people. It also goes without saying that they should not be looking to reduce salaries to take advantage of the increase in employment demand. So what are some tips for company recruiters? 1) Focus on job security. This is likely to be high on many candidates' priority list as many will have been in previously secure roles and may still be recovering from the shock of having their rug pulled out from under them. Companies that have shown support and compassion for the workforce during these tough times (e.g. extending the furlough scheme to employees with home-schooled children, inviting furloughed staff to virtual meetings, etc.) should highlight these positives in their campaigns. 2) Clarify your home working policy. While candidates remain uncertain about the length of the current lockdown, they will want to know about home working provision. Will they be given access to company-owned devices and networks to do their work or will they be expected to use their own? When lockdown ends, will they be required to return to a physical place of work or will home working be an ongoing option? Local statistics show that most people (39%) prefer an even balance between the two while 35% would like to work from home permanently, even after lockdown. 3) Set out your COVID safety credentials. Working in a COVID-safe environment is likely to be a high priority for employees expected to travel to a workplace. Detail all the measures you have taken to keep people safe and healthy (not forgetting mental health). 4) Create an attractive travel policy. Provision for parking, for cars and bicycles, might be appealing as employees seek to avoid public transport. 5) Improve the candidate experience. Even before the pandemic, optimising the candidate journey has been a priority for many companies as they recognise the influence of social media and review sites such as Glassdoor on brand perception. With many interviews now conducted via video conferencing software, time to hire has fallen in many recruitment campaigns. This provides an opportunity for smart recruiters to invest more resources into improving the overall candidate experience. In summary, Cambridge and the surrounding areas will be affected by the ongoing COVID pandemic and jobs will inevitably be lost. However, many sectors will remain resilient and, on the whole, salaries are likely to remain stable or even increase. Therefore, we advise recruiters looking to bring in top talent to focus on increasing their competitiveness through ensuring a positive candidate experience and highlighting their ability to provide a secure and COVID-safe working environment. Links/Resources: Cambridge salary statistics: https://www.plumplot.co.uk/Cambridge-salary-and-unemployment.html Work from home statistics (may want to leave out as a potential competitor): https://www.prs.uk.com/news/2020/recruitment-and-the-eastern-region-s-recovery http://www.economicswebinstitute.org/glossary/unemploy.htm
How To Survive Working From Home
With Covid creating the need for more working from home, finance staff in Cambridgeshire are having to adapt to the new normal. I was speaking to a client this week who told me she "hates" working from home. As someone who has been primarily working from home now for a few years, I was genuinely surprised as I love it. So I thought it would be helpful to all of you finance and accountancy professionals who have been catapulted from an office existence to the isolation of home to write a few tips on how to cope. The benefits of working from home Pre-Covid the “working from home” statistics were very positive, and no doubt reflected the Cambridgeshire region accurately. 40% of people feel the greatest benefit is the flexible schedule Companies allowing remote work have 25% lower employee turnover People who work remotely at least once a month are 24% more happy / productive 74% are less distracted and 86% are less stressed 21% would give up holiday allowance to have flexi-working (69% of millennials would give up other benefits) Plus, working from home saves at least 11 days per year travelling – so a lot less time (and miles) on the A10 and M11. My 8 Tips for Finance Professionals and Working from Home: 1) Have a structure to your day. This is extremely important as otherwise you will go in one of two directions. You will either do nothing at all or you will spend hours in front of the computer without giving yourself a break. 2) Working from home can be very intense. You can almost by accident, find yourself not moving from your computer screen from early in the morning to late in the evening. Your Things to Do List should incorporate breaks which you can tick off as well as work 3) You should schedule "Catch Up with Colleagues" calls into your weekly diary. These can be about work or just social. Either way, they help you stay connected and stop the feelings of isolation. I usually have early morning calls with staff and then one later in the afternoon. It helps us to review work, keep on track and exchange ideas. Zoom and Teams is really helpful for this and helps you stay connected. 4) As I said before, working from home can be intense and when I started doing it, I often found I had finished all my work early. If this happens, don't worry that you've missed something. It's just that without many interruptions, you get a lot more done in a lot less time. You can use that extra time to do something for yourself, whether that's learning a new skill or housework. I personally love that aspect of homeworking. 5) Try and go for a walk outside at some point during the day. It gives you fresh air and makes you feel as if you are still connected to the real world (as much as this is possible at the moment!) 6) If when things get back to normal, you are still working from home, take yourself off to a local cafe or restaurant once or twice a week for lunch and enjoy a restful hour or so away from your desk. 7) If you have children, find out from your boss when you have deadlines for work and find out if they are happy for you to work outside the 9 to 5. One of my employees has a two-year-old and she frequently (pre this situation) takes her child to child groups in the morning but then does work for me in the early evening when her child is in bed. It suits her and it suits me. Flexing your work can be a major plus point when you work from home. 8) Another plus point: You don't have to commute, and you can stay in bed a bit longer as a result! So, in short, you can be more productive at times that suit you in less time than normal. Perhaps you’ll reduce debtor days, or have more time to plan your strategy, create reports etc… Plus more time with the family or for yourself. Have a good week and remember working from home can be really rewarding. Jeanette