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Our client is a reputable, friendly firm based in Leicester. They\'re looking for a Legal Secretary to join their Commercial Property team on a permanent full-time or part time (4 days) basis. You will provide secretarial and administrative support t

Junior Site Engineer   LeicestershireKirkland Associates are seeking a Junior Site Engineer to join a growing team and attend multiple sites throughout the midlands. Working within Groundworks and Civil Engineering Projects you will be managing

Customer Service Advisor

£25,000 - £25,000

We have a fantastic opportunity for someone looking to develop their career and unlock opportunities!  This is an exciting time to join them as they have recently opened their Uxbridge office and are going through a period of expansion. Our clie

Draughtsperson  Mansfield, NottinghamshireUp to 35k doeKirkland Associates are seeking a Draughtsperson to join our clients team who are experts in the manufacture of bespoke products in the Engineering and building industryDraughtsperson - The

Our client, based close to Melton Mowbray, is looking for an Assistant Quantity Surveyor to join their expanding team. Our client is happy to consider graduates with a relevant degree for this role or alternatively someone with experience in a simila

Customer Service Advisor

£25,000 - £25,000

We are looking for Customer Service Advisor Advisors to join our clients brand new contact centre based in Alfreton. This is a fantastic opportunity to join a company who are going through an exciting period of growth and can over long term training

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WT

7 Workplace Trends to Watch in 2024

  • February 29, 2024

The way we work continues to evolve and every year, new trends emerge that force us to shift how we think about our workplace and our colleagues around us. The past few years have seen the level of change accelerate, and there’s no signs of things slowing down in 2024. From generative AI and belonging to more people seeking purpose-led roles and a changing of the guard, we’ve done some digging and have highlighted 7 major trends that will be key 2024 and how they will impact the workplace in the months to come. 1. Increase in AI adoption As companies turn to AI to support them across their business and boost their productivity, this has resulted in a mixed reaction, with some excited about the opportunities it presents and some more fearful. These fears about AI are driven not only by the threat of losing one’s job, but also the uncertainty of whether they will have the skills they need to succeed in the AI era. Employers will need to be aware of the AI tools available and the direction the technology is going to allay these fears and ensure their teams have the necessary skills in place to be able to use them effectively in the future. 2. Employees seeking purpose-led roles Pay is far from people’s only motivator. Employees in 2024 are looking to gain more value from their jobs, find deeper connections with a company’s purpose and feel supported and empowered… and it’s important for employers to respond. The more employers don’t listen to their staff and limit the things that create a sense of purpose within the workplace, the more likely their employees are to seek a move away to a business that meets their needs. 3. Skills based hiring – competence over credentials Skills-based hiring has taken off, with many employers considering skills more effective when evaluating candidates than the credentials and experience on their CVs. As the competition for talent hots up and pressures mount on hiring manager, businesses are starting to rethink their approach and are widening their recruitment lens to capture the diverse skills and experiences of a changing workforce. Through changing to a skills-based approach, businesses can engage candidates from different backgrounds and experiences, which in turn leads to a more rounded and diverse workforce. 4. Plugging skills gaps with upskilling and development opportunities With many business leaders indicating there’s a growing skills gap across their teams, it’s never been more important to double down on providing staff with upskilling and development opportunities. It’s what employees are looking for too. They want personalised training that’s tailored to their individual needs and that has a direct link to their future career aspirations. Those that place learning and development at the heart of their proposition will see increased employee engagement, better retention levels, and more opportunities to hire great talent. 5. Creating belonging will be a key culture priority Alongside diversity equity and inclusion policies, there’s a greater emphasis being placed on people’s sense of belonging. Creating an environment that encourages people to thrive, fulfil their potential, and belong by being their true selves is essential when it comes to building a company that people want to work for. And companies are doing this effectively by embedding their commitments into their business and highlighting them across multiple touchpoints and throughout the employee lifecycle and the recruitment process. 6. The continuing return-to-office debate The calls for a return to the office have been getting louder in some sectors, and several big names have issued mandates putting a stop to their teams working remotely full-time. Yet there is no one-size-fits all solution and every business is different. With this topic high up on company’s agendas in 2024, the debate will rage on as they try to figure out the best approach in terms of productivity and employee engagement. It’s important they take a step back, engage with staff and look at the data to determine the correct course of action to take on this hot topic. 7. More GenZers than Baby Boomers in the workplace It’s been reported that GenZ employees are expected to overtake the number of Baby Boomers in the workplace this year. While Boomers value things such as job security from their employer, and Gen X workers want work-life balance and career progression, for GenZ employees, company ethics, DEI and having their voices heard are among their priorities. This represents a pivotal moment of culture change, and employers will need to seriously consider and make changes to their work environments, benefits, culture and more to attract and retain this new generation of talent. Final thoughts It’s true that change is the only constant, and 2024 looks set to be a year full of change for businesses and their teams. It’s therefore important to be aware of these trends and work to understand how they relate to your own working environment so you can be better equipped to navigate any changes as they come.

HGR

How to hit the ground running in a new job

  • December 15, 2022

New job? Here’s how to hit the ground running and succeed! The application, the interviews, waiting to receive and offer… there’s a lot that goes into finding yourself a new job. Whether you’ve just landed your first role or you’re taking the next step in your career, amongst all the excitement, there’s sure to be some nerves as you enter a new environment with new people, systems, culture and new responsibilities. There’s a lot to consider and breaking the first few months down into a series of milestones is a great way to make the right impression and set yourself up for success. Likewise, you’ll be able to keep track of your progress and have points to refer back to as you become more embedded in your role. So, when it comes to navigating your first week, month and 90 days, here’s our guide to how you can hit the ground running.  How to succeed in your first week: Your first week is all about getting the balance right between making a great first impression and not putting too much pressure on yourself to get everything right immediately. Allow yourself a settling in period to learn about the business, your team and how things are done. Make those early introductions In your first few days, make getting know people a priority and enlist the help of others to make this happen. No doubt this will form part of your onboarding experience but commit to meeting as many people as you possibly can early on. Learning everyone’s names, roles and responsibilities is never easy so don’t be afraid to ask for a reminder or a breakdown of who’s who in each team. Ask questions and be a sponge Research shows the more questions new employees ask, the better they perform, so use this first week to understand how your team works best and how they communicate. Think about what’s most important to know and ask your manager and your team for it to get you up to speed as quickly as possible. Identify where you can add value early on While much of your first week will be focused on learning and getting to grips with how things are done, adding value to your team early goes a long way to succeeding in your new role. Offer a solution or fresh perspective to any issues the team may be having is always beneficial and a great way to add value to those around you. How to succeed in your first month: Now you’re getting settled in you can really start to demonstrate where your skills can be applied and what you can bring to the business. Equally, you’ll have a better connection with people and will be more aware of the culture and dynamic that exists both within your immediate team and the wider business. Establish and set good habits How does your team like to work? How do they manage their team and their tasks to make sure they stay on track? A new job is a chance to unlearn habits from previous roles, develop new skills or practices and work in a way that’s more in tune with your team. Determine what success looks like for you and your manager The first month is the perfect time to set mutual expectations with your manager regarding what they can expect from you and what you can expect from them. Use this time to define what tools and resources you need and how your performance will be assessed. Working with them early on to put performance metric in place, you’re set up to effectively review and measure your performance. How to succeed in your first 90 days: Use the first 90 days to take ownership of your role and demonstrate how you’ll add real value as an integral part of the team and the business. Identify the challenges and set your goals Consider the challenges you’ve already faced in your first three months and come up with a plan to overcome them alongside your manager and team. Having clarity on what you want to achieve and what goals you and your manager need to set to help you get there will make you more focused and valuable to your team. Applying yourself and being responsible for then hitting them will be significant in terms of your own professional and personal growth. Organise a review This may already be covered as part of your onboarding process or probation, but if not, it’s a good idea to book some time in with your manager to evaluate how things are going. Use this opportunity find out whether you’re meeting expectations and how you’re progressing. It’s also useful to set out new targets for the months ahead to keep you focused and motivated to succeed. Final thoughts Being proactive in your new role and taking the responsibility for your own learnings, development and milestones within the first three months of your role are an essential way to set yourself up for success. It’s important to be measured in your approach and to get the balance right by not trying to do too much too soon.

Positive experience

How to create a positive interview experience for candidates

  • November 16, 2022

Irrespective of company size or industry sector, attracting and recruiting the best candidates in the market has long been one of the key challenges for businesses. In a candidate-driven market, the best talent is in such high demand that many have multiple options to choose from and the bargaining power lies in their hands. The response from many businesses has been to increase the salaries they offer or boost their benefits packages as they endeavour to remain an attractive proposition to candidates. Yet, with increased financial pressures caused by rising inflation rates, it’s becoming far harder for businesses to justify upping salaries in a bid to secure top talent. While candidates will always place remuneration high up on their list of requirements, the experience they have whilst interviewing for a new role is now more of a consideration than ever before. Why is candidate experience important? The way candidates engage with potential employers, and what they look for from them, has changed significantly in recent times. Feeling they’re valued, trusted and supported by employers is more important than ever before, due in part to the impact of the pandemic and resulting disruptions to many people’s careers and working practices. Through their hiring process, businesses can demonstrate the value they place in their people and effort they’ll go to ensure they’re engaged. From the initial application right through to the job offer, every interaction can positively or negatively impact a candidate’s decision-making process. Providing candidates with a positive experience has significant bearing on whether a candidate chooses to join or not. Therefore, to attract the best people, every stage of the recruitment process needs to be well thought out, with providing a positive candidate experience at the heart of it. So, how can you create a positive candidate experience? Develop a simple, streamlined recruitment process Have you considered whether your process is too drawn out, with too many stages? Do you require multiple team members to meet with candidates before making a decision? It’s important to be mindful of your candidate’s time and the journey they take throughout your recruitment process. If it feels too long or a decision is hard to come by, you might find the candidates you wanted are getting snapped up by companies that move quickly. Likewise, if your process involves unnecessary, multiple stages where candidates are asked similar questions, you run the risk of appearing disorganised and indecisive as a business. Review your job adverts Today’s candidates want to see more from a job advert than simply a list of ‘must-haves’ or generic information about the business. Ask yourself the question, “why would I want to work here?” To engage and attract the best people and create excitement about the prospect of joining your business, use your job ads as an opportunity to showcase exactly who you are as a business, what makes you unique, your core values and what the future has in store for them. In addition, give them clarity on what the role entails, what they can expect to achieve and what support they’ll be given in order to do so. Having this clarity early on will mean candidates will be more bought in to the opportunity and will enter the process with a better understanding of the role they’ll play and the impact they’ll have. Communicate regularly Candidates long to be kept in the loop and to know where they stand at every stage of the recruitment process. It’s important to set expectations from the beginning on when they should expect to hear from you and even more important to deliver on these expectations. By communicating regularly and sticking to timeframes, you’ll demonstrate that you and your company are reliable. Over-communicating will be far more appreciated than radio silence. Continuously review and adapt where needed Reviewing what you’re doing and taking stock regularly is a great way to ensure you’re delivering the best experience for your candidates that you can and that it’s in line with what they want. What’s important to candidates and the expectations they have of their employers is changing all the time, so being open to change and adaptable means your ability to recruit top talent won’t be compromised. Listening to your candidates and acting on their feedback is important as it allows you to continuously develop your recruitment process, ensure you’re delivering a positive candidate experience and stand out from your competition. Final thoughts The changes you make don’t have to be too great, but at a time where the best candidates in the market have more opportunities than ever before, placing their experience at the heart of hiring strategies could help towards overcoming some of the current recruitment challenges.

Legal blog pic

Recruitment and retention trends – how law firms are winning the battle for talent.

  • June 23, 2022

Across the UK talent market, there’s been no shortage of disruption when it comes to recruitment and employee retention over the past few years. A global pandemic, changes to work environment and working patterns and ‘The Great Resignation’ have all affected the candidate market, and that’s before we understand the full impact that inflation and the rising cost of living will have. These are issues that have affected almost all businesses, irrespective of size or sector. Looking back over the past 6 months within the legal sector, we’ve highlighted some of the trends we’ve been seeing when it comes to recruitment and retention and what law firms are doing in response. The majority of legal firms have come through the difficulties posed by the pandemic over the last two years, with employee growth, or at the bare minimum, employee retention, high up on their agendas. At the start of the year, confidence was high in terms of executing growth plans, with research from MHA citing that 85% of UK law firms planned on adding to their headcount in 2022. Further to the growth plans in terms of the number of staff, a resounding 93% of UK firms stated they had no plans to make any staff reductions at the time the research was gathered. However, as the year’s progressed, the candidate market has become increasingly competitive and the pool of talent has begun to diminish. Whether it’s been a result of employees turning to in-house roles for greater job security, a response to the demand for greater flexibility, or of them stepping away from the sector altogether, UK law firms have a battle on their hands to secure and attract top legal talent. Salaries have also continued their upward trend, and with the recent rise in inflation, there’s a good chance these increases will continue throughout the second half of the year and beyond. It’s not, however, all doom and gloom when it comes to talent attraction and many firms are working hard to overcome the current recruitment challenges. For a number of candidates, the pandemic has altered the relationships they have with their employer, and indeed, any future employers. No longer is one’s job all about the money. Instead, a business’s employee value proposition (EVP) has become more important to candidates who want to work for a business that stands for something worthwhile, that values its people and that focuses on their wellbeing. It’s those firms that are focusing on their EVP and communicating it well to the candidate market that are going a long way in attracting top talent in a competitive market. Likewise, many firms are doubling down on their efforts to create an environment and culture that’s going to appeal to both candidates and help to retain their existing staff. Again, how they communicate this both externally and internally is hugely important if they are to cement their position as an attractive employer and many are doing it effectively. In addition, since coming out of the pandemic, more and more candidates are looking for firms that offer flexibility in their working practices. Naturally, hard work and dedication to the job is a given in the legal sector, however, increasingly candidates are looking for more balance between their work and home lives and are seeking out firms that offer the opportunity to strike this balance. With this, there’s been a real push by firms to accommodate more flexibility in the hours their staff work and offer part-time contracts to employees looking for a more flexible work experience. In essence, many of today’s legal candidates want more from their work than they did previously. When money is no longer the biggest motivating factor, candidates are placing a company and culture that values and includes them and that offers greater flexibility higher up their list of wants and needs than ever before. It’s essential therefore that UK law firms make serious efforts to meet these needs and to stand out in a competitive market and get ahead. Those that do, will no doubt continue to successfully grow and reap the rewards.

Skill Shortage

How to Stand Out in a Candidate Driven Market – A Guide for Employers

  • May 18, 2022

With more choice than ever before, today’s candidates are finding themselves in the driving seat when it comes to their job search. The candidate market has changed and it’s no longer simply the salary on offer or a company’s prestige or reputation that are the most important factors to consider. Instead, they want their job to fit around their life and they want to join an organisation that values them, offers them career progression opportunities and that can demonstrate a strong purpose. It’s meant that many companies are struggling to adapt and find new ways to attract and hire talent. They’re needing to review the way they talk about themselves, the way they engage with candidates and the way they recruit them in order to stand out in such a competitive market. If growth is on the agenda right now and you’re looking for ways to stand out in a candidate driven market, then read on… Focus on the candidate experience Everything about your hiring process needs to be designed with the candidate in mind. Slow processes, too many stages, indecision… these can’t exist if you’re to secure the best people for your business as they simply won’t hang around. Be proactive, agile and above all, communicative. Accommodating and reacting to their needs throughout the process is key and you can’t underestimate the power of making great candidates feel wanted and like their time is valued. It’s important to take some time to review your current internal processes and ask yourself where you think you might be going wrong or where you could do better if you keep missing out on landing your number one target. Write job descriptions that engage Don’t simply write a list of day-to-day tasks and requirements. Instead, use the job descriptions (and any adverts you put out) to really sell your business, highlight the impact this person will make and what support, growth opportunities and rewards they’ll receive along the way. Transparency around things like salary and benefits are important here, but it’s also good to be transparent around expectations. In being open about these important factors, people’s perception of your businesses increases. Often, job descriptions can be missed opportunities to really bring your business to life and engage with great candidates early on. It’s important to get this right as there are plenty of businesses who won’t take the time to really consider what’s going to grab people. When creating your job descriptions, ask yourself, “what would make me apply to this opportunity and what information would I want to know beyond the everyday responsibilities?” In addition, If you’re working with a recruitment agency on a role, challenge them to deliver an advert that’s going to make an impact. Demonstrate what makes you you What is it about your business that makes you unique? Why should people join? And what opportunities are there to grow and progress with you? Defining who you are as a business and how you want your candidates to see you early in the hiring process will allow you to communicate this message effectively and consistently across all touchpoints. Look at the language and imagery you’re using to highlight your company and make sure they’re a true reflection of you as a business and the people working within it. Likewise, by showcasing your existing teams and bringing them and their stories to life, you give potential candidates a great insight into who they might be working with in the future, which gets them more bought in to the business. Place more attention on the people within your business The way you speak about your teams, how you look after them, how you champion growth and career progression etc. is a great selling tool when communicating with candidates. If your teams are involved in the hiring process, and as a business you genuinely value their growth and wellbeing, this will no doubt become obvious when talking about the business to prospective candidates or answering their questions around, “what’s it like to work here…?” Advocate for your employees’ mental health After all the challenges and stresses people have faced over the past few years, it’s more important than ever that your employees’ mental health is taken just as seriously as their physical health. Again, this goes back to demonstrating how valued your employees are to your business and the importance of the need to maintain healthy wellbeing and balance. If you can show you’ve put the necessary support structures in place for your teams and how you’ve created a safe space for them to talk openly about their mental wellbeing, you’ll be an attractive proposition to candidates. Review, rework, repeat It isn’t enough to make tweaks to your hiring process or the way you communicate with your candidate network if you’re not open to finding out if it’s actually working. Taking stock of what’s going well, and where changes still need to be made (e.g., every 6 to 12 months) is a great way to ensure you’re still maintaining a competitive advantage. What’s most important to candidates and drives their decision making will be forever changing and being open to change and adaptable won’t compromise your ability to engage and recruit top talent. Asking for feedback from successful candidates, those that didn’t make it through the interviews and indeed, from your teams involved in the hiring phases, can also be an invaluable way to ensure you continue to stand out in a candidate driven market.

Referafriend

Refer A Friend

  • April 28, 2022

Here at Kirkland Associates we are proud to be built on recommendations. We’re always on the lookout for great candidates so we can provide the best talent to our clients. Whether it’s a friend, family member or even a colleague, we would love for you to recommend them to us. That’s why for every candidate you refer and we subsequently place, we will give you a £50 shopping voucher. FAQs: What is the process for referring a friend? Ask your friend to send their CV with the subject 'Refer a Friend” to your consultant here at Kirkland Associates. Make sure they let them know that they have been recommended by yourself. Is there a limit to the number of referrals I can make? No, we are happy for you to recommend as many friends as you can. We are continually looking to expand our network. What happens if someone else refers the same friend? If the same candidate is referred by more than one person, the first ‘referrer’ will qualify for the voucher. When do I receive the voucher? You will receive the voucher once your friend has completed 2 weeks of their new employment. Any other important information? The referral must be a new candidate to our database or have not been contacted by the team at Kirkland Associates in over 12 months.

Meet the team

Howard Kirkland

Director

Millie Ford

Recruitment Associate

Sarah Baillie

Senior Associate