I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Tony Restell about tips to hire and to get hired for Finance Professionals in the Cambridgeshire area. The below video is a result of that interview:
The Accountancy Job Market: Tips to Hire and to get Hired (Video Transcript)
Interview with Jeanette Robinson by Tony Restell
Hi everyone, Tony Restell from Social Hire here. Thanks so much for joining today's video interview.
I'm delighted today to be joined by Jeanette Robinson and Jeanette's going to be talking to us about accounting jobs, finding an accounting job and employing accountants in the current market climate. Thanks for joining us today Jeanette, do you want to tell people a little bit about your business?
Yes, first of all thank you very much for inviting me onto this.
Cavill Robinson Financial Recruitment is a business I set up back in 1992. We basically do finance jobs for really all across the board, from Accounts Clerks through to Finance Directors. Permanent, temporary and contract. We primarily serve the Cambridgeshire marketplace and round the borders of Cambridgeshire as well. So we're quite specific. Yes, that's us.
Brilliant. So starting there, if you were to give candidates one piece of advice, looking for a job in accounting and finance at the moment, what would be your top tip?
That's an interesting question actually Tony.
I've been doing some recruitment recently for finance managers and the thing that has come across very, very strongly from that, is that people don't read adverts carefully enough. And they don't answer the question that the advert is posing.
So, I think what I would say is my main tip is make sure that you answer the question that the advert is posing.
And by that I mean if, for example, you read through an advert and it says you need monthly management accounts or you need cash flow or you need budgets. Those things have to be on your CV, in the same words that the advert is using. Preferably they have to be on your first page of your CV and they have to be bullet pointed.
If you make a CV easy to read for the recruiter, whoever is receiving that, whether that's an HR person or a recruiter, and you have the words on your CV that are in the advert, you are more likely to go on the yes pile. For example, with these finance manager roles that I've been recruiting for, I've had over 70 responses for one of them. I was looking for royalties and I was looking for Sage 200. But I probably had two CVS that had those things on in those 70. They went into my interview pile straight way. There were other people who looked as if they could do the job and I actually phoned them. And I said, do you have royalties? Do you have Sage 200? And in some cases those people said to me, yes I do. But it wasn't on their CV. So they nearly went in my no pile and they nearly lost out on an opportunity. And there is this assumption I think, I found throughout my career actually, that recruiters have some sort of crystal ball whereby they look into it and amazingly, these things come out at them, even though you've not put it on your CV and that strangely doesn't actually happen. So people actually have to put things on their CV.
And you probably need to highlight things as you go through an advert. Highlight the things in that advert and then do a reconciliation with those things as to what is on your CV. It will your up job chances and it's not rocket science, but people don't seem to do it for some reason. And I think there's this perhaps concentration that you have to put everything you've ever learnt on a CV. But actually, it's like an exam. You actually have to answer the question, so you don't have to put everything you've ever learnt on a CV and you can leave things off that you've done, it's not a problem. You've got three pages to sell yourself. I mean all a CV is, is a tender document to get you to that next step, to get you to interview. So you've got sell yourself in those three pages.
You know, I don't really need to know that you've got a dog called Rupert or you know, 2 wonderful children, what I'm looking for is those things in the advert, they need to be on your CV. So that's my top tip to people.
I was gonna make the analogy of reading the exam question properly.
Yeah it is very much about reading the exam question properly. Yeah, absolutely.
And if we flip that over and think about clients, you know what would be some advice you would give them to try and hire in this marketplace?
Yes, well, clients are interesting because obviously at the moment clients are looking at the marketplace and they're thinking there's lots and lots of people out there. So I'll do my own recruitment. And I would say to a client, if you want to do your own recruitment that's fine. You know, you've got the choice of the different methods that you can use. But what I have seen throughout my career and I've been in this now for over 30 years. But what I've seen throughout my career is that this stage off a recession cycle, that's what clients do. At the next stage of the recession recycle, they then come back to agencies because they realise just how long it takes to do recruitment and how difficult it actually is when you do it and how much of their time is taken up by it. So, for example, the example I gave before with the finance manager you've got to read through 70 very complex CV's. Have you really got the time to read through 70 very complex CV's?
You know and that's just the start of the process, you've then got to actually arrange the interviews which again can be quite time consuming. You've got to do the interviews yourself. So you know an agency, a good agency should give you maybe three, maybe four people and they should all be good people. In order to get to those three or four people, I've interviewed a lot more than that. You know, I might have interviewed 12 to 15 people for you. At that level, it's an hour and a half's interview per person. Have you really got all that amount of time? You know that's already over a week of your time probably gone, whilst you're trying to do your day job as well. And there's no guarantee at the end of that process that you're going to find the right person. So if you've got all of that time, then fine, go ahead, do your own recruitment. But if you haven't then go to an agency and when you go to an agency, don't think you can push a good recruiter down. As I had last week, somebody saying, will you do something at 5% for me? I had another one saying would you do something at 10%? I turned them down. I don't need to work for that kind of money. A good recruiter will know their worth. They will know they're good at what they do. And they will turn business down if you're going to take the mickey out of them. So, you know, that's really what I would say, pay people for the work that they're doing. Make sure you have a good recruiter and then partner with them. Make sure that they know your business. Make sure that you've given them a good job spec. Make sure that they've asked all the questions that they need to ask, to make sure that they can save time for you. So all have to do the is interview three or four people and your job should be made a lot more simple in terms of the recruitment that you do.
Yeah, that's what I'd say.
Do your own recruitment if you want to, but if you want to use us partner with us.
I'm very conscious of time, but if you could think of everything you've learnt in your career and
recruitment, what's the one most important thing you've learnt that you'd like to share with others?
I think the thing that I've learnt is that people are endlessly fascinating. They're just really interesting and they all come with a backstory and it doesn't matter how long you know somebody for or how long you interview somebody for, you're never really going to know them properly. They're always going to do things that surprise you and take you off guard and I think from that I would say that as a recruiter, you need to treat people as individuals, you need to listen to them and take on board what they say but also allow for the unexpected.
Terrific, Jeanette, some really great advice today. Thank you so much for your time.
Thank you Tony.
If anyone would like to find out any more about you and your company, is there a web address or any other contact?
Yes, so Web address is www.cavillrobinson.co.uk
I do free tutorials for people on their CV's, so if anybody wants to message me on LinkedIn, you know, they can find me quite easily, so do feel free to message if you want to.
Excellent. Thank you ever so much for your time.
Thank you, take care.