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The 10 best questions to ask at a job interview

There’s a lot of advice online about the best interview questions to ask in a job interview, but you do need to be careful that those questions don’t give the wrong impression to your potential employer. For instance, if your very first question was about salary or holiday entitlement, what do you think that would say about you? Everyone knows that these are important considerations when you’re thinking about committing yourself to a job, but a good interviewer will mention them at some point in the interview, so it’s best to allow it to happen organically.

The best questions won’t only help you find out more about the role, but will also impress your interviewers by your interest in their company.

recruiter

 

When thinking about this role, what would you say is the difference between a good employee and a great one?

Asking this question will show your interviewers that you’re really keen to be successful in the job. The answer will give you a glimpse into what it might be like working at the company, and point in the direction you’d need to go to get ahead.

How does the company encourage team development?

In any job, teamwork is a vital component, and by asking this question you’re showing you’re willing to be a team player. It’s interesting to note that friendships at work aren’t just for the benefit of the employee, but are also hugely beneficial for the company. Gallup have conducted a survey that discovered close friendships at work help to boost employee satisfaction by 50%. People with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to fully engage in their job, are more focused, loyal and passionate. They also take fewer sick days, change jobs less frequently and, vitally, have more satisfied clients.

What new skills can I learn whilst in the job?

This question tells your future employer that you have great potential and are willing to improve your skills and experience, but you’re also humble enough to acknowledge you don’t know everything!

How will this position evolve over the next three years?

This question shows that you’d not only be committed to the job, but it’s also a subtle way of telling them you’re keen to progress the job and therefore the company.

How does this job contribute to the company as a whole?

Asking this question shows you understand how all the different job roles fit together to benefit an organisation overall.

How will you measure my success in this role?

This shows that you’re goal oriented, and aren’t afraid to take responsibility for those goals.

What are some of the challenges of the job?

When you ask this question, you’re showing your potential employers that you not only have realistic expectations (every job has challenges), but you’re willing to deal with any problems face on.

What’s the biggest challenge the team has faced recently?

Again, a realistic expectation that every job will have it’s own problems and challenges. The answer will give you a good idea of how the company tackles them and how, if you get the job, you might be able to help solve them in the future.

What do you like about working for this company?

Asking the interviewer/s about their background in the company shows you’re interested in them as people (and who doesn’t like talking about themselves!) as well as the corporate culture in general. It shows you’re actively thinking about working there.

Do you have any questions about my qualifications?

This is a very brave question to ask, but it’ll demonstrate you’re confident in your skills and abilities. And if they do have concerns, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss how you’ll address them.

If you’d love the chance to put these questions into practice, search our available positions, or call us on 01279 713900

When recruiting for a vacancy, you’re obviously going to want to choose from a selection of the best candidates for the job. As experienced recruitment consultants, we know what’s likely to work best at attracting excellent candidates, giving you a much better chance of employing exactly the right person.

interview

Getting the right candidate

 

Clearly define the job you’re offering

Think carefully when writing the job description. Make it clear and be very focused about what you want from the candidate, but also about what the job will be offering them. What kind of responsibilities will they have? Are there opportunities for training and job progression? If you’re going to employ a great candidate, they need to know if there are opportunities for them to stay with the company.  

Treat the job description and advert in the same way as any of your company’s marketing materials. If it’s lacklustre, inaccurate, or full of mistakes, it’ll put off the best candidates.

Clearly define the candidate you want to attract

What kind of person are you looking for? What skills and experience would you prefer them to have? How do you want them to strengthen the team? Once you have a clear picture of your ideal candidate, you’ll find it easier to target them.

Enhance your brand

A good candidate will do their research before even applying for a job. How well does your company come across to someone who’s looking for a job with you? They’ll be looking at your website and social media outlets to gain an overview not just of what your company does, but also about its corporate culture: how well it looks after its employees; what sort of CSR policy it has etc. Make sure what you tweet/share/blog about is an accurate reflection of the workplace in order to attract the candidates who’ll best fit in.

Interview well

Prepare for the interviews in the same way that you’d expect the candidates to. The interview process isn’t just for the candidates to sell themselves to you – you also need to sell yourselves to them. If they’ve got a bad impression of you, they’re much less likely to accept the job.

Use a specialist recruitment agency

Recruitment is a time consuming process. If you do it all in-house you won’t only be wasting time sifting through dozens, sometimes even hundreds of applications from unsuitable applicants, you may also be missing out on good candidates who simply don’t find out about the vacancy. Agencies will do all the hard work looking through CVs, presenting you with just a short-list of the most suitable job seekers. They’ll also have good candidates on their books they can contact direct, not only speeding up the process but also ensuring the best quality. It’s a very good idea to approach a recruitment agency that specialises in your area as they will already have attracted a pool of candidates in the right line of work.

Please contact THC Recruitment if you’re searching for an experienced candidate, or are looking for a new job in our key industries.

There has been a lot of news coverage about the possibility of Britain leaving the EU. It’s a hugely complex subject which has certainly brought out a lot of passion on both sides, but which has caused frustration and confusion for anyone looking for certainties and facts. We’ve put together a summary of how the possibility of a Brexit is affecting the financial markets.

Brexit

The asset finance publication Leasing Life is reporting pretty much a 50/50 split in the question of staying or leaving amongst UK brokers in the bridging, development finance, asset finance and mortgage markets. 21% believe that leaving the EU will have a positive effect on business, and 31% think it will have a negative effect. The rest think that it doesn’t matter which way the vote goes, there’ll be no effect at all.

The Financial Times reported that retail trading platforms are asking for higher cash balances for transacting in Sterling and UK shares in an effort to protect themselves and their customers from potential market shifts ahead of the EU referendum.

Investors are also divided on the subject. The Investors Chronicle asked some of the UK’s top 100 managers for their views and got an interesting range of replies. Many agreed that a Brexit would weaken Sterling with a subsequent increase in mergers and acquisitions, a fall in share prices, slower growth, less investment, a possible recession. Thinking about a remain vote, many are predicting a short-term spike in Sterling followed by a drop caused by less confidence in the government, a bounce in shares, a rise in inflation, and certain sectors such as UK financials could outperform. Everyone, however, agreed that the referendum has caused a lot of uncertainty and confusion.

Such is the uncertainty about the vote, a number of the global banks will have their traders working overnight on 23 June to be able to monitor the markets and handle client trades.

All we can do now is hope that 24 June brings with it certainty and positivity. Meanwhile if you are thinking of a change closer to home (we mean a career change) call us on 01279 713900 or visit our website for more information and advice.

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In an ideal world, your customers would be in a position to purchase without cost or budget barriers, creating a smooth and consistent sales cycle.

Researching options for finance as part of the purchasing process has become the ‘new normal’ for consumers. The stats below show that more and more customers are reaching a buying decision before they even make contact with a vendor.

This makes the inclusion of a finance offering much more than a nice to have for equipment suppliers. It is an essential value add, especially if your competitors are already offering a solution. Without it, you could be losing leads that you didn’t know about, as your potential customers require finance to facilitate a purchase.

Equipment or Vendor Finance is an excellent enabler for suppliers. It has been shown to increase average transaction values, as customers are much more likely to increase the level of investment when there is an option to spread the cost.

 

Key Stats:

57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even calls equipment suppliers.

Over two thirds of buyers wait longer to initiate contact with vendors than they did  two years ago because they are doing more  research themselves.

More than 50% of buyers consult third- party sources before consulting a company’s sales force.

Research shows that customers choosing to purchase with finance will often spend up to three times the amount of those not purchasing using finance.

 

When used tactically, finance can provide an excellent selling tool. This allows the creation of high margin ‘bundle’ deals that offer warranty and added services for a fixed monthly fee, demonstrating benefits to both you and your customers and creating an overall more attractive package.

Article was written by Rob Hulse LDF Finance May2016

As recruitment experts in Asset Finance, Leasing and Motor Finance, it’s important our recruitment consultants at THC Recruitment are knowledgeable and up to date with activities within these industries. This is not just for the benefit of identifying recruitment opportunities but also to ensure our candidates are up to speed with the latest movements, news and trends.

recruitment news

Asset Finance Market

The British Business Bank, which is owned by the government but works independently of it, has delivered an upbeat assessment of increasing lending to companies, and is hopeful that it is sustainable. Its COO, Patrick Magee said: “The bank market is beginning to recover and the credit appetite is coming back. The asset finance market has been doing really well. It was just under £13billion in 2012 and was more than £16billion in 2015.” £342.5million of financing was originated in March which represents a 12% rise on February.

Whilst the IMF is warning of a possible financial crisis, BBB is more upbeat. “We’re not back to the heights or lows of 2007-8, but we’re returning to what we hope might be a new normal. I don’t have significant concerns that this isn’t sustainable.”

In its Credit Conditions Survey for the first quarter of 2016, the Bank of England revealed the proportion of small business loan applications approved increased for the fourth consecutive quarter, and demand from SMEs is expected to rise this quarter.

Jo Harris, managing director for business banking at Lloyds Banking Group, said: ‘Default rates on lending have fallen, reflecting an improvement in credit quality, and Bank of England statistics show there was an annual net increase of 1.6 per cent in loans and overdraft balances of SMEs in the year to the end of February.

‘However, in the first quarter of 2016 there was a slight fall in demand from small firms, perhaps as a result of uncertainty in many markets.’ Lloyds increased its lending by 5 per cent in the last year.

Motor Finance

 

  • Celebrating new car sales

 

Car sales are up which has to be good news for the motor finance industry. As a whole, the UK car market had a record first quarter with more than 770,000 new cars registered. In fact, March had the best recorded figures since the switch to the twice-yearly plate change in 1999, with 518,707 new cars registered – only the third time the market has surpassed half a million vehicles in a single month.

Jaguar Land Rover had a record first quarter with a jump of 23% year on year. This month’s launch of the new F-Pace sports utility vehicle – which has earned its nickname of  the ‘She-Type’ Jag thanks to the amount of attention from women customers – will push the figures even higher – with advance orders of 25,000, it’s already the fastest selling Jaguar ever.

Lookers, which has more than 150 outlets in the UK and Ireland, saw pre-tax profits rise by 6% in 2015 and are predicting new car sales will increase by 5% this year.

As David Cameron made an official visit to the Vauxhall factory at Ellesmere Port to put forward his case for staying in Europe, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealed that more than three in four companies in the UK motor industry thought that remaining in Europe would be best for business. Two thirds of members said they believed access to EU automotive markets has had a positive impact on their firm.

 

  • Fears for borrowing

 

The Finance & Leasing Association say the number of new cars bought with financing at dealerships was above a million in the past year. In February 2016, 51,207 cars were bought in February on finance deals agreed during the sale – 22% rise year on year.

Financing agreements now account for 81.9% of the private new car market.

These figures have fuelled fears that consumers are taking on too much debt with a danger they’ll be living beyond their means. According to Bank of England figures, credit card borrowing rose 9.3% in the year to February – the highest since 2005, fuelling fears that we are heading for a dangerous credit binge.

 

  • Vulnerable consumers

 

The Lending Standards Board has highlighted consumer vulnerability which should be one of the key areas of focus for providers of consumer credit. Its research found that most firms are in the early stages of dealing with vulnerability, but say it should be “at the forefront of everyone’s minds” throughout the customer journey, and not just confined to debt collection.

Says Julie, MD of THC Recruitment “The Motor Finance industry is thriving and we are delighted to work with award-winning clients such as MotoNovo Finance who were chosen as one of the top 6 Sunday Times best companies this year.”

Leasing industry

Non-bank lending is on the rise. According to the Finance & Leasing Association, the use of leases by UK business rose 12% in 2015 – its highest level in seven years. Companies secured £29.1billion of leases for assets such as new vehicle fleets, IT systems and office equipment – up from £26billion the previous year. Despite the strong growth in non-bank lending, a recent report from Judge Business School’s Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, “Pushing Boundaries”, suggested that alternative finance is slowing. Whilst the figure grew by 161% in 2014 from 2013, growth was only 84% in 2015. Accountants PwC expects growth in the sector to continue, but predicts the number of funding platforms will fall as it sees the current number of around 100 as unsustainable.

Please contact  THC Recruitment if you’re searching for an experienced candidate, or are looking for a new job in our key industries.

In 2015, members of the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) provided £110 billion of new finance to UK businesses and households, £37 billion of which helped consumers and businesses buy new and used cars, including over 80% of private new car registrations.

Mind the Skills Gap

Mind the Skills Gap

The growth in asset finance of new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) of 12% in 2015 was the market’s second consecutive year of double-digit growth. Figures also show a 22% growth in point-of-sale consumer new car finance volumes in December, and 10% growth in 2015 as a whole. The percentage of private new car sales financed by FLA members through dealerships reached 81.4% in 2015, up from 75.9% in 2014.

Geraldine Kilkelly, Head of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said: “2015 was another strong year for the asset finance industry, with new business reaching its highest level since the onset of the financial crisis. Our latest industry confidence survey suggests growth in new business of up to 10% in 2016. The asset finance industry funded almost 32% of UK investment in machinery, equipment and purchased software in 2015, and the FLA’s latest retail motor finance confidence survey suggests that we will see new business growth in 2016 of up to 10%.”

However, all this good news does have a downside, with a huge shortfall of employee candidates. Julie Ramsay, MD of THC Recruitment said: “In the recession, a lot of people left the  industry through redundancy, and there followed five static years where there was no recruitment and no training. Now the economy has recovered, we’ve got more vacancies on our books than we’ve had in six years without enough candidates to fill them.

“In fact, the market has changed massively over the past five or six years. Brokers are very strong and there are lots of  completely new opportunities thanks to the rise of the challenger banks, so good candidates are very much in demand. In a candidate-driven market, companies are having to act quickly to offer them a job, otherwise they’re gone!”

Candidates: If you’re looking for your next job in motor finance or asset finance we have lots of employers who are offering very attractive packages. So if you’re looking for a new career move, get in touch now to register your interest.

Employers: We are continually adding new candidates on our database so if you have vacancies, contact us to let us know what you need.

Yes, it’s true, recruiters and employers, both current and potential are looking at you online. Your profiles and your online presence can be make or break in terms of you getting that ultimate pay rise, promotion or career break. So, how can you ensure that who you are online will boost your career prospects and not harm them?

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 Here is our ultimate guide to cleaning up and optimising your online profiles to acquire that promotion or new job:

The Clean up

  1. We should start with profile photos as these are the first port of call when searching a candidate or employee online. Make sure you use appropriate images for the platforms you are using. Facebook and Twitter allow you a slightly more relaxed approach, whereas LinkedIn should always be professional. Dress for the job you want and not the job you have, has never been truer!
  2. Profile biographies not only give people an insight into who you are but they are also searchable terms. Your job title, company you work for and skillset should be clear. Your hobbies and interests should be concise and relevant.
  3. Google yourself to see what is visible about you online. Photos that you have uploaded, updates that you thought were private may be public. This gives you the chance to clean up your social media and any personal blogs that you may have forgotten about!
  4. Lock down your Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/Twitter profiles so that only friends get to share in your life outside of office hours. Check regularly that your settings are private.

 

Optimisation

  1. List your qualifications and be honest. Lying about qualifications is one of the top reasons for rejecting a candidate for a job role or promotion
  2. Include a detailed work history, with clear job titles and well-written job descriptions that describe both your responsibilities and your key accomplishments. Most people stop at dates and job titles, wasting this opportunity to promote their experience and to add important keywords to their Profiles.
  3. Within your Profile biography, include the keywords that tie to your desired industry and profession. These keywords could be inserted in different areas within your Profile such as your job descriptions, Profile summary, headline and even your website descriptions. One of the best methods to find these keywords is to review recent job descriptions for the roles you are targeting and see what keywords are repeated over and over again.
  4. Make certain to network and get connections in your target companies. That way, you will show up as a connection for LinkedIn’s recruiter’s referral search. And if you have an interesting profile, someone from that company is likely to reach out to you.

For more information or advice on changing career or recruiting new talent please get in touch with us at THC Recruitment or call 01279 713900.

Being in an uncertain economic market, job risk is always high on the agenda and job risk within the motor finance industries is no different. However stability within the job market will always fluctuate and, depending on political, market and consumer needs at any given time, will always affect the supply and demand of recruitment vacancies. So what are the job trends we are witnessing in the Motor Finance Industry?

  • Self-service Motor Finance

Dealer online technology specialist iVendi says new technology to allow customers to work through their own finance product choice, quotation and application is now available and a growing number of dealers are looking to use it both in their showrooms and online to serve a growing need for customer empowerment when it comes to choosing motor finance products and services.

  • A boom in motor finance

The UK automotive industry is currently in a period of boom and as a result so too is the motor finance industry. Figures released by the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) in June 2015 show a 13% year-on-year rise in the accumulative value of new cars bought on finance through dealership – equating to almost £15 billion.  It’s not just new cars that have experienced a boom either, figures have shown that the number of used vehicles bought on point-of-sale finance is up by 10% to just over a million. In addition there’s a growing trend for new recruitment opportunities within motor groups themselves as they too look to diversify into motor finance lending.

What’s fuelling the boom?

It’s a boom that can be directly attributed to increased sales of new vehicles, but also a sharp rise in point-of-sale penetration rates, which have been driven up to a record high of 77.6% for new vehicles and some dealers are achieving similar success with used vehicles.

shutterstock_244371808-260x173@2x1There is wide availability of affordable finance offers, some of which boast rates of 0% and have the ability to capture consumers who might have opted to pay in cash. Manufacturers such as Vauxhall, Toyota and Seat have all introduced such rates, albeit on a limited selection of vehicles.

Also, the number of used vehicles bought on point-of-sale finance by consumers is up by 10% to just over a million. Meanwhile the combined value is up 15% to just over £11 billion.

Without a doubt one of the biggest areas of growth in used vehicle finance is the segment of the market known as sub prime. This has given rise to countless online brokers, specialist lenders and even dealers trying capitalising on the vast and lucrative opportunity that sub prime represents.

Says Julie, MD of THC Recruitment, “The motor finance sector is very buoyant with openings nationwide both in Account Management and Risk and also in growth specialist roles such as Stock Finance.” She adds “the market is very fast moving and very much candidate-driven and we are perfectly placed to help with the recruitment of great candidates.”

Interested in working in the motor finance industry or are you looking for experienced candidates? Give the THC Recruitment team a call on 01279 713900 or complete our contact form and a member of the team will get back to you.

There’s been some noise about the 6 second hug at meetings replacing that stiff handshake (as a simple human touch can have a massive impact on the way we value and view others and therefore it’s better for business) but we would say some of the workplace trends that have come into focus in 2016 have all already existed. What would you add to the list?

Technology-driven space & design

In recent years, many companies have become “remote friendly,” but in 2016, that paradigm will continue to shift towards companies that are built to be mobile from inception. Many businesses now solely operate “in the cloud” and an increase in this will see many industries and companies becoming paperless.

thcoffice1

In terms of office design, a number of trends are emerging as employers look to cut costs and increase collaboration. Employees will increasingly work in open-plan spaces without assigned offices or cubicles which has a number of benefits such as reducing the number of desks and floor space needed, ultimately lowering the organisation’s costs. Some offices are also introducing wellness areas to allow staff to take time out in technology-free spaces.

Design has always been important in consumer products because it entices people to buy things but at work we will increasingly demand and receive more well-designed tools, systems and apps so that everything inside the company is easy to use and this will be not just in the Marketing department!

New Leadership Expectations

Leaders have traditionally been selected based on experience and company loyalty, but those leading today’s biggest organizations are not necessarily those who have spent the most time climbing the corporate ladder. That’s because the very nature of management has drastically changed in recent years, resulting in a new set of expectations for those at the top. Soft skills as well as technical know-how are deemed equally important.

Flexibility

Flexible working remains the focus for many businesses, driven by employees  seeking greater work/life balance. This is especially the case for those with young families, as well as for older workers looking to remain active in the workforce, but who no longer wish to work nine-to-five. Gen Y and the Millennials also expect increasing flexibility and autonomy. This will be a workplace dynamic managers will have to negotiate this year and beyond.

Digital Savvy

“Presenter”, which was renamed by Powerpoint by Microsoft in 1990, has remained the standard presentation tool ever since. But in 2015, demand for PowerPoint skills was down 5%, while projects on dynamic presentation platforms like  Keynote grew by 18%, respectively.  Static presentations are quickly being replaced by motion graphics, while video is becoming a preferred presentation medium over images. Do not be left behind in the digital wave.

If you need any advice or need more information call us on 01279 713900 or visit www.thcrecruitment.co.uk.

 

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