Relationship Led

Add the number position and name of the section

Our Specialist Divisions

We're not everything to everyone

With over 190 years of recruitment experience within the team, we are confident in our knowledge, skills and expertise. We are a specialist agency which means whilst we would love to be able to do everything for everyone, we can't. We have four defined divisions to ensure the service you receive is focused, dedicated and tailored to your needs. 

Make Cherry Professional the first call if you're contemplating your career/hiring into your team. 

Add the number position and name of the section

How can we help?



If you’re looking for a new finance or office role in the East Midlands, we provide introductions to leading employers and all the support you need to make the most of the available opportunities. As the region’s leading finance and office recruitment agency, we’ll use our expertise, knowledge and networks to help you secure the right role in the right company, enabling you to achieve your aspirations and ambitions.


We’ll find the best candidates for your roles and enable you to recruit the right people for your business. We get results through relationships, working closely with you to build a deep understanding of your requirements, preferences and priorities. We can then make sure that you get the most from our expertise, knowledge and networks so we can move quickly to secure the skills and talent you need.

Add the number position and name of the section

Cherry Professional

a bit about us

About us

​We strive to be the most trusted finance and office recruitment partner in the East Midlands; the first call if you are contemplating your career or hiring into your team. We know that people make business happen and in recruitment that couldn’t be more true. Our entire business is built on long termtrusting relationships with candidates and clients alike. We truly value how important your ambitions are and that is why we work tirelessly to understand your needs.

celebrate, drinks, food

Our Latest Jobs


Take a look at our Latest Jobs

No jobs message

Cherry Testimonials 

Don't just take our word for it

We take pride in everything we do and feedback from our clients and candidates means so much to us.

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience with Cherry Professional.

Latest Blogs



Elon Musks revolutionary Management Principles

Let’s be honest, we’ve all bought a book on management styles, googled the 7 top tips of an effective Manager or looked to TED Talks for an insight on how to be a better leader because Management is extremely difficult. It seems management theories haven’t changed for the last 50 years even though the working world continues to evolve every day. So, what actually makes an effective Manager? Do we micro-manage or give employees freedom? Do we offer salary incentives or perks and benefits to retain employees? Should we be their friend or rule with an iron fist? Now ask yourself honestly, what kind of a Manager are you? Micro-manager? Hands off? Do you run frequent meetings or 1:1s? Or do you wait for employee to come to you? Now what kind of Manager do you want to be? Do you want to see results, have a team all working towards the same goal and maximise productivity? Well, acclaimed entrepreneur Elon Musk has yet again answered all our prayers with an email that defines the rules of management and corporate culture. His 11 techniques to improve productivity perfectly outline a unique perspective on what it takes to be an effective Manager, no frills, no glitter, just straight to the point. Before we uncover the holy grail of management techniques, what is it about Elon Musk that makes him one of the greatest visionaries of our time? He has founded or been heavily involved in some of the most innovative companies like Tesla, SpaceX, PayPal, SolarCity and Neuralink. Many who have worked close to Musk say he’s kept a hand in the day-to-day operations of every company he leads. Musk has crafted a persona that positions him to be both intimidatingly aspirational and personally accountable. He is a unique case of an entrepreneur who both internally and externally champions his brand. So, here are the 11 bullet points outlined in the email that I know you’re all eagerly waiting for: - Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get of all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case keep them very short. - Also get rid of frequent meetings, unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter. Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved. - Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave; it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time. - Don’t use acronyms or nonsense words for objects, software or processes at Tesla. In general, anything that requires an explanation inhibits communication. We don’t want people to have to memorize a glossary just to function at Tesla. - Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the “chain of command”. Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere. - A major source of issues is poor communication between depts. The way to solve this is allow free flow of information between all levels. If, in order to get something done between depts, an individual contributor has to talk to their manager, who talks to a director, who talks to a VP, who talks to another VP, who talks to a director, who talks to a manager, who talks to someone doing the actual work, then super dumb things will happen. It must be ok for people to talk directly and just make the right thing happen. - In general, always pick common sense as your guide. If following a “company rule” is obviously ridiculous in a particular situation, such that it would make for a great Dilbert cartoon, then the rule should change. (VIEW FULL EMAIL HERE) It's clear that Musk is not a fan of meetings, hierarchy, bureaucracy or any system that impedes immediate communication. He prefers people apply common sense to the task at hand, and if employees don't meet his expectations, he can be ruthless. Ultimately, the main theme of Musks’ email is productivity and efficiency. He has no tolerance for laziness and excuses. His management style challenges convention and older ways of getting things done. Many would agree that frequent distractions are the biggest productivity killer. Studies have found that it takes around 25 minutes to fully return to the original task after an interruption. Meetings sperate your employees from their duties entirely, and if meetings are a frequent norm to your business you are potentially wasting hours of productivity. Musk also touches on the importance of communication, suggesting that it can make or break a company. Productivity thrives on good back-and-forth, so if there is a question that needs answering or a problem that needs resolving then you should be able to approach heads of departments or even CEO’s. This email is jam-packed with lessons and takeaways you can apply to your own practices, in some form or another. Musk brings some real wisdom to the way you should perceive management and what it means to be an effective leader and while there is a lot to learn from Musk it is important to bring your own personality and flare to your management style.

Libby McCaughey


Elon Musk (Full Email)

" Progress First, congratulations are in order! We have now completed our third full week of producing over 2000 Model 3 vehicles. The first week was 2020, the second was 2070 and we just completed 2250 last week, along with 2000 Model S/X vehicles. This is more than double Tesla’s weekly production rate last year and an amazing feat in the face of many challenges! It is extremely rare for an automotive company to grow the production rate by over 100% from one year to the next. Moreover, there has simultaneously been a significant improvement in quality and build accuracy, which is reflected in positive owner feedback. Starting today at Giga and tomorrow at Fremont, we will be stopping for three to five days to do a comprehensive set of upgrades. This should set us up for Model 3 production of 3000 to 4000 per week next month. Another set of upgrades starting in late May should be enough to unlock production capacity of 6000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of June. Please note that all areas of Tesla and our suppliers will be required to demonstrate a Model 3 capacity of ~6000/week by building 850 sets of car parts in 24 hours no later than June 30th. Any Tesla department or supplier that is unable to do this will need to have a very good explanation why not, along with a plan for fixing the problem and present that to me directly. If anyone needs help achieving this, please let me know as soon as possible. We are going to find a way or make a way to get there. The reason that the burst-build target rate is 6000 and not 5000 per week in June is that we cannot have a number with no margin for error across thousands of internally and externally produced parts and processes, amplified by a complex global logistics chain. Actual production will move as fast as the least lucky and least well-executed part of the entire Tesla production/supply chain system. By having a Model 3 subsystem burst-build requirement of 6k by the end of June, we will lay the groundwork for achieving a steady 6k/week across the whole Model 3 system a few months later. As part of the drive towards 6k, all Model 3 production at Fremont will move to 24/7operations. This means that we will be adding another shift to general assembly, body and paint. Please refer anyone you know who you think meets the Tesla bar for talent, drive and trust. Between Fremont and Giga, Tesla will be adding about 400 people per week for several weeks. Precision Most of the design tolerances of the Model 3 are already better than any other car in the world. Soon, they will all be better. This is not enough. We will keep going until the Model 3 build precision is a factor of ten better than any other car in the world. I am not kidding. Our car needs to be designed and built with such accuracy and precision that, if an owner measures dimensions, panel gaps and flushness, and their measurements don’t match the Model 3 specs, it just means that their measuring tape is wrong. Some parts suppliers will be unwilling or unable to achieve this level of precision. I understand that this will be considered an unreasonable request by some. That’s ok, there are lots of other car companies with much lower standards. They just can’t work with Tesla. Profit A fair criticism leveled at Tesla by outside critics is that you’re not a real company unless you generate a profit, meaning simply that revenue exceeds costs. It didn’t make sense to do that until reaching economies of scale, but now we are there. Going forward, we will be far more rigorous about expenditures. I have asked the Tesla finance team to comb through every expense worldwide, no matter how small, and cut everything that doesn’t have a strong value justification. All capital or other expenditures above a million dollars, or where a set of related expenses may accumulate to a million dollars over the next 12 months, should be considered on hold until explicitly approved by me. If you are the manager responsible, please make sure you have a detailed, first principles understanding of the supplier quote, including every line item of parts & labor, before we meet. I have been disappointed to discover how many contractor companies are interwoven throughout Tesla. Often, it is like a Russian nesting doll of contractor, subcontractor, sub-subcontractor, etc. before you finally find someone doing actual work. This means a lot of middle-managers adding cost but not doing anything obviously useful. Also, many contracts are essentially open time & materials, not fixed price and duration, which creates an incentive to turn molehills into mountains, as they never want to end the money train. There is a very wide range of contractor performance, from excellent to worse than a drunken sloth. All contracting companies should consider the coming week to be a final opportunity to demonstrate excellence. Any that fail to meet the Tesla standard of excellence will have their contracts ended on Monday. Btw, here are a few productivity recommendations: - Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get of all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case keep them very short. - Also get rid of frequent meetings, unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter. Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved. - Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time. - Don’t use acronyms or nonsense words for objects, software or processes at Tesla. In general, anything that requires an explanation inhibits communication. We don’t want people to have to memorize a glossary just to function at Tesla. - Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the “chain of command”. Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere. - A major source of issues is poor communication between depts. The way to solve this is allow free flow of information between all levels. If, in order to get something done between depts, an individual contributor has to talk to their manager, who talks to a director, who talks to a VP, who talks to another VP, who talks to a director, who talks to a manager, who talks to someone doing the actual work, then super dumb things will happen. It must be ok for people to talk directly and just make the right thing happen. - In general, always pick common sense as your guide. If following a “company rule” is obviously ridiculous in a particular situation, such that it would make for a great Dilbert cartoon, then the rule should change. If there is something you think should be done to make Tesla execute better or allow you to look forward to coming to work more (same thing in the long term), please send a note to [redacted] Thanks for being such a kickass team and accomplishing miracles every day. It matters. We are burning the midnight oil to burn the midnight oil. Elon " SOURCE:

Libby McCaughey


Trio of hires are cherry on the cake for growing recruitment consultancy

Specialist recruitment consultancy Cherry Professional has announced a trio of new hires and has signalled its intention to create five more jobs across its Nottingham, Derby and Leicester offices. Having received support from the D2N2 Growth Hub UpScaler Project, the company increased its turnover by 44% from £3.3 million to £4.8 million during the last financial year and is now looking to bolster its finance, administration and business professional divisions even further. Linda Allaway has joined the 30-strong firm to manage the administration and business professional division, bringing 20 years of experience to the role, while Libby McCaughey joins as graduate marketing assistant and Rory Mattinson comes on-board as a graduate recruiter. Managing director Danielle Asano told that the company is now looking to double its turnover and employ five more staff. She said: “From the moment we started upscaling we always wanted to grow the business and take our finance, admin and business professional divisions to the next level. “We have invested heavily in all areas of the business and that’s why we’ve grown so successfully. We are still looking for more recruitment consultants and intend to create five more positions across our East Midlands offices. This is a really exciting time for us.” The company, established by directors Danielle Asano and Martin Burnett in 2009, began trading at Beeston Business Centre before it made the move to Nottingham city centre and subsequently established three more offices across the region in Derby, Leicester and Lincoln. Work for Us: Source:

The Business Desk


'Moments that Matter': Burton Brewing company with industry-leading approach to work life balance

Candidate supply has continued to fall at the quickest rate in 20 months, with Brexit on the horizon talented candidates are reluctant to move. So, what can you do to attract the most sought-after skills and talent? Research shows around 80% of workers would stay in a job with better benefits, rather than one that offered more pay with less or no benefits! This has led to companies becoming more creative with the benefits packages that they offer employees. Several large companies across the UK have already made drastic changes to their benefits policies. One of the largest global brewing companies, Molson Coors launched a new employee initiative, which offers staff up to two weeks extra paid leave annually. The ‘Life Leave’ policy was released back in July as part of the brewer’s new ‘Moments that Matter’ program, which was created to offer employees an industry-leading approach to work life balance. Molson Coors have recognised the growing demand for flexible working policies. Their employees will be able to use the ‘Life Leave’ policy on top of existing holiday entitlement and other leave policies, including sickness and compassionate absence. ‘Life Leave’ can be used for significant moments in life, such as wedding preparation, moving house and even taking time to help a new puppy settle in at home. Adam Firby, HR Director for UK & Ireland at Molson Coors said, “One of our driving principles is to empower our people to come to work as themselves… This mindset puts us in a really good place to embed this scheme and with our ‘Moments that Matter’ programme we hope we can continue to nurture and attract the best talent in the industry.” Like many employers, to Molson Coors employee attrition is key. 57% of UK workers have changed jobs in search of greater job satisfaction. Therefore, if your company, like Molson Coors, embodies your core ethos and offers competitive employee benefits they can’t find anywhere else it is unlikely they will turn their back on your company. Adam goes on to say, “the way we all work has changed. For our people to perform at their best, we recognise they need an employer that provides flexibility and understands their personal priorities.” It is important for your business to devlope with the changing world and understand what your target audience expects from employers. Understandably small businesses may find that benefits and perks are too expensive. They may not be able to offer private medical and dental care however here are some low-cost alternatives: Free office snacks Team Lunches Commuter Benefits Gym Memberships Unlimited Holiday Days If you're interested in knowing more about employee benfits or if you would like a bespoke evaluation on Cherry Professional's benefits, salaries and retention please fill in the form below. (Information gathered from Molson Coors) Form ID:4863

Libby McCaughey


How the 2019 Ashes can teach you to be a more effective Manager...

Are you an adaptive leader? If you want to excel as a Manager to help your organisation thrive in a changing world, to strengthen your practice of leadership and help others strengthen their capacity for change then you will have to embody an adaptive leadership style. But what makes an adaptive leader? An adaptive leader needs to drive their team to focus on business goals and keep them motivated by drawing on positives. Adaptive leaders aren’t micromanagers – they focus on the what and the why! They need to be both a coach and a career counselor. By making a priority of the employees’ career aspirations’ and developmental needs, adaptive leaders will get the best out of their employees as the employee’s goals will align with those of the organisation. A notable example of an adaptive leader would be this year’s England Ashes captain, Joe Root. Root faced challenges from day 1 as England found themselves behind in a home series against Australia for the first time in 14 years after Australia won the first Test Match by 251 runs. He has learned to identify and capitalise on smart risks and avoid wasteful distractions, leading to the success of a draw during the Second Test, when it looked like England were heading for a second defeat. Root was able to keep his team motivated, drawing on confidence from the fact that they have not lost consecutive Tests against anyone for over 11 years, despite having lost 6 of the previous 7 Test Matches to Australia. Adaptive leaders understand that situations constantly evolve and require both flexibility and innovation. In the instance of when employees call in sick, hand in their notice or if external factors such as the weather effects the working of the business. An adaptive leader would, act with a level head, be open to experimentation and risktaking and embraces diversity of views, taking advantage collective knowledge to benefit the organisation. Many researchers show that adaptive leaders also have strong emotional intelligence, they don’t shy away from the truth which makes those who deliver the message feel respected and valued. Adaptive leadership can provide Chief Executives and others in influential positions the opportunity to maximize the skills of employees, as well as attain goals. Adaptive leaders have intangible qualities, unique combinations of skills, perspectives and unwavering effort that enables true excellence. So, what can you do to adopt an adaptive leadership style? Expect the unexpected: Adaptive leaders are well-prepared and expect their plans to change, as did Root with the uncertainty of the British weather anticipating batting orders may change. Channel fear into positivity: Just like Root did, even though England had lost 6 out of 7 previous matches he kept moral up by drawing on a positive. Be open to learn and change: Leaders that think they have nothing left to learn nor do they feel like they have an obligation to teach those they lead ensure they will never meet their true potential. Don’t shy away from the truth: Learn how to unite what your team think, what they want to hear, and how they want to hear it. Understanding and valuing your team opinions will earn their respect.

Libby McCaughey


The Benefits of Temporary Workers

Have you got plans to hire a temp? For maternity cover, sickness cover, project work, or just to help out over a busy period. We provide temporary staff at all levels from self-employed people with their own limited companies through to day-rate interims or hourly rate PAYE temps. But what are the benefits of taking on temporary resource? In business we know that time is critical and that’s one of the benefits when hiring a temporary candidate as temps and interim professionals are traditionally quick hires, who can have an immediate impact on your business. When working with Cherry Professional we offer you the opportunity to conduct working interviews to ensure that the candidate is a cultural fit and has the experience that you need. Temporary workers with specific skill sets, for example, specific system and process skills, can have a positive effect on your business, they can come in and deliver a project efficiently and then move on. Niche interim professionals with a unique skill set can offer a speedy and cost effective solution to any problem in your business from change management to system implementation. The average time to fill a permanent vacancy is seven weeks, so what if you need someone now? A temporary worker can start immediately leaving you with piece of mind and time to find, interview and hire a permanent employee for the role. If a gap in your team is unforeseen you may well need a temp to ensure its ‘business as usual’ and there is no loss of productivity. Hiring a temp is a great way to ‘try before you buy’. So if you feel the temp in your business could be a permanent member of staff, you already know they can do the job, fit in with the team and deliver results. Remember though, some people choose to be temps for a reason (such as flexibility) and they may turn your offer down. Please contact us if you need any advice about temporary resource or if you have any recruitment issues you would like us to solve.

Melissa Kilday


Understanding, Attracting and Retaining a Millennial Workforce.

As uncertainty grows due to Brexit, companies are having to adapt and become even more competitive when it comes to attracting and retaining new talent. No longer do we work in a labour market where money is the key motivator. People look for better work benefits and overall work culture when considering their next role. So, what can your business do to entice the most sought-after skills and talent? Did you know it’s the first time in history where we’re seeing 5 different generations in the workplace? But companies are using the same blanket techniques to attract, engage and retain them all. It is crucial to understand that one size doesn’t fit all and now is the time to act. Companies need to better adjust their strategies for specific cohorts, and millennials may be the best place to start. By 2030, millennials will make up 75% of the UK workforce, bringing wants and needs unlike any generation before them. Companies need to be aware of what selling points will allure them and what perks will get them to stay once they’re through the door. Firstly, it’s important to understand the traits of a millennial. They’re curious and need to know why they’re doing a task, it’s value and how it’ll affect the big picture. Millennials usually stay in any given role for a maximum of three years, before they quickly become hungry for their next role. Frequently considered to be ‘digital natives’, they’re tech-savvy and are the first generation to be truly connected globally. To millennials a work-life balance is highly important and as the most confident generation when it comes to challenging “the system”, they will demand it! With the rise of globalization, millennials have become the most tolerant of diversity and are more likely to seek it, especially in the workplace. Now you know what millennials tend to be like as people, what are they looking for when it comes to a career? Culture is key when millennials are scanning the marketplace. How an organisation portrays the overall experience of working for them will be a key factor in their decision. Companies need to focus on cultivating working conditions that will encourage creativity and morale. Quick wins like early finishes on a Friday could do the trick! The use of social media can help promote company culture externally, praising internal promotions and celebrating small successes as well as the bigger ones! Google and Glassdoor reviews are easy ways for potential hires to see what other people think, pushing reviews and feedback helps consolidate your company culture. Millennials actively look to enjoy their work experience and are the first generation to describe their dream job as being ‘fun’. They prioritise enjoyment. Employers need to ensure from the moment they begin their day to the minute they finish they enjoy every second of it! Millennials are the first generation to demand a better work life balance, whereas previous generations could only hope for it. In fact, it is so important that work-life balance was the top-rated factor when looking for a new role. Cloud-based systems now give employees the ability to work from home, so introducing a flexible working policy can benefit you as your employees feel trusted, which in turn makes them want to do even more for their employer. Win-win! Making these small changes, being adaptable and flexible when it comes to your employees needs will help give you a competitive edge. Helping to create an engaged and diverse work force. Afterall, a happier workforce means a more productive workforce and a more productive workforce means more revenue and more revenue means more rewards for your employees.

Libby McCaughey


Toxic work cultures are forcing High-Performers to “QUIT

Continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit has increased difficulty in attracting and retaining highly skilled staff. The UK Prime-Mister Elections have only just concluded, and the UK jobs market has begun to seize up, with both employers and candidates waiting to see which direction Brexit talks will take. With that said, you’d have thought retention rates would be fairly high as candidates seem to be reluctant to move and employers want to keep talent that is becoming scarce. However, this is not the case, around 79% of those employees who have recently quit, said it was due to a ‘lack of appreciation’ and hostile work environments! Afterall people don’t leave companies, they leave bosses. Arguably the most high-profile boss/leader in the world, who has a somewhat aggressive leadership style is Donald Trump. Trump has been known to publicly question and humiliate his subordinates and announce drastic changes without informing his department heads. This has led 34 members of his senior staff to either resign, be forced out or fired. One even publicly described him as an ‘egocentric maniac’. There has been a slight movement toward kinder, more empathetic leaders, yet many fear that the President’s high profile may make it seem OK or better to be a bad boss. But why is it so detrimental to a workforce to be a ruled by an iron fist? Well, more than half of workers questioned in a recent survey conducted by an ivy league University said their superiors were toxic, prone to explosive outburst and criticising employees or even taking credit for others ideas. Part of this problem lies with those who rise to the top, they tend to be good performers but not necessarily good leaders. They are generally confident, competitive and neglect to praise or accommodate employees. They’re so focused on success and hitting targets, that employee wellbeing is not a priority. Don’t be too disheartened if you’ve not succeeded in finding the perfect leader for your team as it’s proven to be a difficult task. In Gallup research, it found that very few people are natural-born leaders: saying that only 1 in 10 has what it takes to be a great Manager and 82% of the time companies fail to hire candidates with the right skills and talent. As a result its causing half of a company’s work force to quit. Intolerance for bad bosses is increasing, especially in work places dominated by millennials, who are more likely to view authority figures as equals. With a rich pool of job openings and companies desperate to retain talented workers, Supervisors are aware they can no longer get away with what they once might’ve. Now with platforms like Glassdoor it’s really easy for a toxic work culture to spill over, employees are able to anonymously and publicly criticise their bosses, giving them the power to detrimentally affect the companies brand and image. So, what can you do to prevent a bad hire? Well, unlike most countries, German firms give their employees the power to elect representatives to serve on the Board of Directors. Perhaps try asking your staffs opinion before promoting or hiring a new leader. Bob Bechek of Brian and Co was named Glassdoors top-rated boss and he said that he considers empathy key to long-term success. With new jobs perks such as flexi-working growing in popularity, it’s an easy and effective way to demonstrate that you, as an employer care about your team. Sometime not everything goes to plan. Parents may have childcare fall through or perhaps an employee has an injury who is unable to get into the office, with cloud-based systems they are able to work from home and still be valuable. At Cherry Professional we put people at the heart of everything we do, believing in respect, tolerance and honesty. If you’re unsure on how you can rectify damage caused by a toxic boss we can provide free advice and support when hiring the next candidate who is a great fit culturally as well having the right skills. Form ID:4716

Libby McCaughey


Should men be allowed to wear shorts in the Office?

Today has been the hottest day on record this year in the UK! We have heard and read some pretty gruesome stories about people working outside, in retail and even in offices where you’d think you’re safe from difficult working conditions… Maybe not? Almost 45% of offices don’t have air conditioning to help their employees cope with the overwhelming heat that us Brits simply aren’t used to! In efforts to keep us cool, the Cherry team are chowing down on ice-lollies even a cooled office, and we’ve been thinking why is it still considered unprofessional for men to wear shorts to work, and what else you could be doing to help your employees keep cool? Back in 2017 a group of school boys successful protested their academy’s anti-short policy by wearing skirts to class during a heatwave. Several similar protested have been made over the years, all focusing on comfort and fairness. As temperatures soar to 37 degrees, it is proving challenging to find a professional outfit which will keep me cool and comfortable, and as a woman a smart dress or skirt is the perfect option. However, the men who came to work in trousers this morning are now finishing the day in shorts, something we are grateful for in a flexible and casual office. But others aren’t as lucky, with many companies across the UK sharing an anti-shorts dress code. In a nutshell, an outdated and archaic perception of men wearing shorts in a formal seating as it makes them look unprofessional and some even say it makes them look like children. This is leading them to say that they’re ‘drenched in sweat’ before they even reaching the office! In a world where equality is being sought after, why is there such an in-balance when it comes to summer work-place dress-codes? While we all understand that short-shorts or even beach shorts are not the way to go, but if they were suitable and professional looking why wouldn’t it be okay for men to wear shorts to work? We want to know what you think, so please get in touch with your thoughts and opinions!

Libby McCaughey


Stranger Things is Back! What can you Learn from the new season

Stranger Things is back, and we cannot contain our excitement. The much anticipated third season of the hit Netflix sci-fi horror is everything you’d hope it to be and more! Some of the team will definitely be binge watching the entire season this weekend! But why are we writing a blog about it? There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the 80s nostalgia show. We want to talk about team work is one of the main themes, and here is how Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Will and Eleven demonstrate that they are the perfect team; They communicate, focus on their goals, have equal contribution, support each other, they’re organised and most importantly they have fun. These 6 qualities help make up such a successful team and the fab 5 demonstrate them throughout all 3 seasons. Communication Communication is essential within your team to increase work efficiency. Sharing thoughts, opinions and ideas will enable you to keep track of progress. Poor communication can lead to conflict, deterring from the end goal, potentially leaving work incomplete or incorrect! Goals and Results The fab 5 set team goals based on outcomes and results. It’s important to main focus on goals and results, it provides direction and an indication of performance levels! Equal Contribution When all members of a team contribute equally and understand their responsibilities projects will run smoother and improve employee wellbeing. Employees will feel a sense of belonging within the team, become more committed to their work and really care about the success of the company. Support Team members should always be happy to assist others when they are struggling with work! Employee wellbeing will increase when team members offer support to one another, it also helps to improve productivity and success of the business. So, always ensure that your team has a supportive culture. Organisation Organisation is crucial in order for the day to day running of your business to be smooth. Without it the workplace can become chaotic and it is unlikely that set goals will be achieved! While each individual should be responsible for their own workload. Managers should always be aware of any problems and check everything is going to plan. Regular meetings can allow you to make sure that people are on track and that deadlines are being met. Have Fun! When the Fab 5 aren’t being chased by crazed scientists or dog-like-aliens, Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Will and Eleven they enjoy themselves and have fun! The office shouldn’t be all work and no play, as that can lead to employees burning out and a decrease in productivity. Teams who work well together often socialise outside of the office. Building positive relationships between your colleagues can make the office a much more relaxed environment. If a team can get these 6 factors right, success and reward will follow. It is not always the tasks that provided the challenges, it can sometimes be the teams relationships. If team members are able to work well together and be efficient, greatness can be achieved.

Libby McCaughey


Why stand out like Alex at Glastonbury?

Making yourself stand out can be hard especially if you don’t have years of experience, unique knowledge or the desired skills yet. But have you heard about Alex? Well, Alex is a 15-year-old rap enthusiast who attended last week’s Glastonbury Festival and when rapper Dave called “who is sober enough to sing these lyrics with me?” Alex saw his chance. The teen rattled through every single word of the complex, quickfire tune Thiago Silva without hesitation and to be honest he slightly upstaged Dave. We thought this was an amazing example of how passion and personality can help you stand out from the crowd when applying for a role. So, what can Alex teach us? Be Prepared. As an avid Dave fan, Alex knew that it wasn’t uncommon for Dave to call a fan up to the stage to rap the AJ Tracy lyrics in Thiago Silva. We aren’t saying Alex woke up that morning prepared to be picked, but as a fan he knew the lyrics to the entire song like the back of his hand. He put on his TS shirt and pushed his way to the front in the hope of being close to the action… but little did he know, he became the action. On the shoulders of his friend physically standing out from the crowd! Whether you know there is a promotion up for grabs in your office, or you’ve just seen an advertisement for your dream job, proper preparation could give you that competitive edge. What are the company’s values? How can you imbed them into your interview or CV? It is the details that count, and they won’t go unnoticed! Dress for the Job you want. That is one of the most cliché things to say but in Alex’s case it could not have been more accurate. I’m not saying Alex woke on Sunday thinking “I’m going to get on stage, absolutely smash it and go viral”, but he dressed and carried himself to be noticed. The same goes for you. Make sure you look the part, and if you are well prepared, you’ll know what that is. Whether it’s formal suit and tie, smart casual or even fancy dress you’ll be ready! Confidence is Key. Most of us won’t be able to imagine just how nervous Alex was. Standing there, on a stage in front of THOUSANDS of people, at the BIGGEST field Festival in the world, rapping such a fast paced and complex song. But most impressively his confidence shone through. He acted and looked like he’d been preforming for years. Engaging with the audience, showing his passion and never stumbled over one word – a true professional. Low self-esteem can be self-destructive but being confident and self-assured is key in setting yourself above the rest. It shows your belief in yourself and your talent. Confidence should shine both inside and out. Start with your posture, keep your shoulders back and your chest high, a slouchy demeanor could read as insecure. Body language, eye contact, handshake to your smile, are all things that help to portray your inner confidence. Passion is hard to ignore! Focus on the Now. Alex “just focused on getting the performance right”, he never considered trying to turn his performance skills into a career. Although it is important to set achievable goals and look towards the future, you’re not there yet. Similarly, focusing on where you are now and not where you have been is a lesson you can apply to your job hunt or progressing in your career. Too often we let our shot falls or rejections weigh us down. Don’t let yesterday’s problem hold you back! So remember the 4 P’s to success, prepare, professional, passion and presentism.

Libby McCaughey


Could working a 4-day week make you a better employee?

42.3 hours per week, that’s what the average Brit works. Meaning we have a longer working week than anyone else in the European Union! Our extended hours and work addictions are leaving us less time to exercise, spend quality time with our families or even to cook a meal. So, is the 9-to-5 approach still ideal for workers? Working long hours is bad for our health. Period. A recent study has shown that putting in overtime increased rates of illness, injury stress and even death, not to mention weight gain and increased alcohol use and smoking. A finance firm in New Zealand (Perpetual Guardian) made headlines last year as they experimented letting their employees work a four-day week instead of the traditional five-day week. Perpetual Guardian found the change actually boosted productivity among its 240 employees by 20%, and it was such a success that they made the shorter week a permanent option! Not only did it increase the productivity of workers it also made them feel happier, seeing a 7% decrease in their stress levels! Employees also, showed a 24% improvement in their work-life balance. Company founder, Andrew Barnes said, “the right attitude is a requirement to make it work – everyone has to be committed and take it seriously for us to create a viable long-term model for our business.” Researchers also said a shorter workweek helped to motivate employees to find ways of increasing their productivity while in the office; for example, cutting meetings down to 30 minutes from 2 hours and telling employees when they are being a distraction. For more tips please visit – crazy busy. Overall, employees collectively agreed that working less actually produces more. With around three in four (78%) full-time workers saying they’d be able to complete their work in under seven-hours if uninterrupted, while almost half (45%) think they could wrap things up in just five hours or less (according to a global survey). According to the same survey the top five “time-suckers” were; tasks unrelated to their core job (86%), fixing a problem not caused by them (22%), general admin work (17%), meetings (12%), emails (11%) and customer issues (11%). Would you agree? If you were able to work free of these distractions would you personally benefit from working a four-day week? This concept of a reduced working week is by no means a new concept. The Swedish government has previously trialed a mandated four-day week in Gothenburg, with officials finding that employees completed the same amount of work or even more. So, if there is much evidence to support the positive effects of reduced working hours why isn’t there more companies participating? Would you support your business or the business you work for if they decided to trial a four-day week? I think the concept is something that in theory and in practice seems to work well but in our culture of always being on or connected would this encourage people to work even more hours, even with the extra day off.

Libby McCaughey


Do Dads Find Parental Leave Easier to Get Than to Take?

The importance of supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace continues to be a priority for organisations globally. Taking a fresh prospective on equal paid parental leave benefits for both men and women seemed fitting, post Father’s Day. Around 40% of parental leave taken is by men, however many still describe men taking paternity leave as the “kiss of death”. In major Wall Street investment banking firms’, bankers say corporate culture undermines generous policies. Currently men who work in the biggest US bank can take up to 16 weeks of parental leave. However, many agree that they feel it is easier for companies to tweak policies than it is to actual change company culture which shapes the way people think and act. But why is there such a stigma when it comes to childcare, even though more men are eager to share it. These traditional gender roles are outdated and quite frankly unhelpful, so what is already being done to improve the situation and what are companies’ future plans? According to UK laws, “an employee can take 1 to 2 weeks of paternity leave from the day the child is born till 56 days” while mothers are entitled to take up to 52 weeks of statutory maternity leave.With the statutory pay amount up to £145.18 on 90% of average weekly earnings, whichever is lowest. Perhaps men are reluctant to take leave due to reduced pay, after all money can cause a lot of stress in life. Insurance and savings business Aviva addressed this concern back in 2017 when they reconstructed their paternity leave policy. All parents are now eligible for the same amount of paid and unpaid time off, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender or how they became a parent. They offer 12 months paternal leave, including six months at full pay, with parents able to take this at any time within the first year. “We just thought that dads would want to spend time with their children from the first day, just as mums do” Aviva saw an immediate embracing of their new policy, with around 500 parents take time off, with almost half being male. They anticipated that men might be reluctant to take up their new offer due to peer pressure, wary of how it might affect their career. Within the world of finance and insurance, it’s no surprise that some would say men who ask to take the parental leave their companies offer are practically asking to get fired. However, Aviva found that on average dads took 21 weeks to spend time with their children. Many dads have said it has helped them to understand what women have experienced for generations; worries about perceived commitment to work, balancing family and career, and anxieties about returning. They have become more sensitive to others’ situations, so this fresh perspective is invaluable. It is clearly imperative to train managers and leaders about company policies however, the change needs to be deeper! Revamping outdated company cultures, to ensure that men don’t feel ashamed to take time paternal leave. An employee at IBM said “people believe they’re more important than they are struggle to disconnect. It’s one thing to have the policy to take the leave. It’s another thing to take it.” Understandably, equal parental leave is not going to bring about workplace equality overnight, but it is a step in the right direction, breaking down gender stereotype barriers.

Libby McCaughey


The Importance of a Cultural Fit

So, you have just found the perfect candidate. They’re smart, qualified, have a fantastic CV and are eager to start. Imagine they’ve been in the job two months and you start to notice that your fresh new superstar starts trudging instead of walking. Their performance starts to take a dive… They’re coming in late and leaving early. You have a chat and find out they love their job, compensation is more than fair, but they say that something just doesn’t feel right. You’ve got yourself a cultural misfit. Okay, a ‘cultural misfit’ doesn’t sound great but there is no need to start pointing fingers because it can be difficult to find someone that ticks both the skill set and cultural fit boxes. A cultural fit is when a prospective employee’s behaviours and beliefs align with the core values of a company. It works both ways. Chances are candidates are researching for a cultural fit too. But why is a cultural fit so important? An overwhelming majority of HR leaders and hiring mangers agree that hiring a cultural fit is crucial. It is estimated that we spend over a third of our lifetime in the workplace, so it’s important that you and your employees feel happy and connected to the business. If they don’t it could present a problem for staff retention. On average in the UK staff turnover costs a business £11,000 per person… a cultural fit is important to retain staff and prevent staff turnover, which could save your company thousands each year! A cultural fit would also have a positive impact on employee engagement. When their beliefs are in tune with the core values of the business, they are more committed to work hard. Those who are in jobs which match their personality are more confident and competent, leading to the improvement of business success. Just like it is important for an employee to be a good cultural fit, it is also crucial for companies to have a strong culture. Poor culture is a productivity drain and could end up costing the business. Organisations with a strong culture are generally more collaborative and have better communication. Communication will come naturally to those employees that do fit culturally. Better communication also leads to improved team work. The more employees that are a cultural fit, the more the company’s values are engrained in them, keeping goals and end targets clear. Teams will work better together, with personal and professional differences being much easier to resolve. A company’s culture steers them towards business success and is key for employee engagement and productivity. Employees who identify closely with a company’s culture are happier and experience greater job satisfaction, become more committed and ultimately perform better and stay with the business long term. This is why a cultural fit is so important. You’re not alone if you are struggling to find candidates that fit culturally in your business. It can be difficult and time consuming. Here at Cherry Professional we build a deep understanding of your requirements, preferences and priorities to ensure that candidates are a great fit culturally as well as having the right skill set! If you would like more advice on how to hire for a culture fit, please get in touch.

Libby McCaughey


Why diversity matters!

More and more research now reinforces the link between diversity and increase in company financial performance, but organisations are still fairly uncertain how they can utilise diversity and inclusion in the most effective way to support their growth and value-creation. Yes, that’s correct. Having a more diverse workforce could increase your profitability! But, what can your company do to craft better inclusion strategies for a competitive edge? Diversity in the workplace is a crucial attribute to any business and it comes in different forms. At its core, diversity is about embracing people of different races, genders and sexual orientations. Yet progress on diversification initiatives has been slow. It is firstly important to understand why diversity matters in the workplace. You should consider a broader understanding of diversity, going beyond gender and ethnicity. June marks the celebration of Pride across the globe, commemorating the Stonewall riots, embracing all sexual orientations and is a form of diversity that needs to be better represented in the workplace. With around 4 out of 10 LGBTQ workers report they felt bullied at work, a statistic which is 11% higher than the national average! Even more shockinglyaround 41% have reported leaving a job as a result of feeling bullied! Market reports have consistently shown that there is a decline in candidate availability as many are reluctant to move due to the uncertainty of Brexit. If this is the case retaining any and all staff is of the up most importance. Securing the most talented professionals will require employees to take on a new, innovative approach to access more diverse talent pools. Organisations that embrace diversity in the workplace are not only more productive they are also more creative and possess competitive advantages and have a longer-term value creation (or economic profit). While 85% of employers are saying that increasing diversity in their workplace is a priority, almost half (46%) don’t have strategies in place to attract diverse candidates. So, what tools and new technologies can you use to help your business reach new sources of talent, explore strategies to develop a company culture that embraces diversity and addresses the hurdles faced when creating a collaborative and diverse workforce? Employers should consider the use of words in job adverts. Studies have identified that some words or phrases can subconsciously put off professionals from certain backgrounds. Also, incentives for existing staff to refer new candidates to the business could be an effective tool. This stems back to ensuing that you have a sound internal diversity and inclusion strategy, if your employee’s truly believe in it they will be able to constantly and consistently get this across externally. Recruitment consultancies can be highly effective at helping employers connect with a more diverse range of candidates, more than half of businesses do not currently ask recruiters to provide diverse shortlists, potentially missing out on the opportunity they offer to access more diverse networks. Around 45% of employers believe that their current recruitment tools are ineffective at helping diverse candidates find their company. Diversity is deeply imbedded in our culture at Cherry Professional. As your recruitment partner we will work with you to develop understanding of your business and what is important to you. With 61% of employers agreeing that partnering with a diversity organisation can help them reach broader talent pools, will you join them? Finally, make a lasting impact when recruiting and ensure the message is shared throughout your company – embrace diversity not because it could improve your bottom line results, not just because it is ethically correct but because it is the right thing to do, in a world where you can be anything chose to be kind! If you would like to see a copy of our Diversity and Inclusion statement, please get in touch!

Libby McCaughey


Is there a future for AI in Recruitment?

Many HR Managers said they had plans to invest in AI tools within the next five years after a recent survey conducted by Swedish technologists. Do you? No? Well, maybe that’s a good thing! Artificial Intelligence is quickly becoming a popular tool for human capital tasks, like hiring and promoting employees. Although it has been years in the making - with original ideas and plans first developed back in 1955 by Newal and Simon – today we are seeing rapid changes in AI technology, and developments in robotics. A prototype of a robot that can conduct interviews is the recent result of over 60 years of research. Tengai’s (yes, she has a name) main objective is to offer candidates with job interviews that are completely free from unconscious biases - which recruiters and managers commonly bring to the hiring process - while still ensuring the experience “seems human”. How can a robot seem human? Would a glowing yellow face, backed by a machine, seem human? At 41cm tall she sits at eye level with the candidate and even has the ability to blink, smile lightly and tilt her head. She can mimic the way you speak and even your facial expressions. More, creepy than human don’t you think? Perhaps it’s something that you’d get used to over time. Maybe it’s just a bullet we have to bite if AI and robotics really does eliminate unconscious bias. If we are currently in a skill short market any tool that can improve the hiring process should be something we invest in, right? Well, maybe not… Race, appearance, age, gender, wealth and more are deeply embedded subconscious attitudes we unknowingly make judgments on. In fact, they are so embedded that pattern matching and prioritising familiar traits (popular AI techniques) can STILL result in institutional bias! How can a robot, with no emotions, feelings, or mind, harbor unconscious biases? AI tools rely on heaps of historical data like, employee evaluations and promotions in order to recognise patterns and make assessments. Something called natural language processing is used in order to program AI human capital tools. This means bias is injected into the analysis by favoring data that contains ‘masculine’ words. As one of the largest global firms Amazon is a great example. When they began to introduce AI into their hiring process, their computers were programmed to identify patterns in and previously submitted CVs to understand what metrics lead to a hire, compare new CVs against the indicators of previous successful ones and provided a result. Simple enough. Not really… In this example the majority of the CVs submitted were from male applicants, the program then began to link words such as ‘executed’ and ‘captured’ with successful candidates. However, as it linked those words to male candidates it’d cut women out of the process! This result may not come as a surprise in the tech industry, which has long been monopolised by men. But any industry can be susceptible to this kind of disparity! Elon Musk said, “AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilisation”. The tech mogul argues AI could become and existential threat and regulations must be put in place NOW, not after! Are human jobs really at risk? Will tech replace us? Musk argues that AI does threaten jobs, and we should be concerned. Musk isn’t alone with his concerns about AI. Swedish psychologist, Dr Malin Lindelöw, who specialises in recruitment, says: “Recruiting is very much a leap of faith. It’s a huge investment. It’s a huge commitment. And you need to believe in the decision you make… I find it very difficult to believe that recruiting managers will rely on a robot.” We are currently in a skills short market, especially in highly competitive industries such as finance. So, when it comes to the hiring process and interviews, it’s as much the choice of the candidate whether or not they want to work for the company. Not only do AI programs fail to eliminate unconscious biases out of the hiring process, robots are unable to sense and value a candidate’s personality. Skill set is factual and could look identical on two CVs, but the robot would neglect to acknowledge what candidate would also be the best cultural fit for a business. Unlike a robot, internal and external recruiters and hiring managers use years of experience to build a deep understanding of your requirements, preferences and priorities to ensure that candidates are a great fit culturally as well as having the right skill set. Robots may be the future but is it the best future for recruitment? What do you think? Let us know, we are intrigued to find out.

Libby McCaughey


Paid less because you're female.

#BetterForBalance, this year’s International Women’s day theme. Although international Women’s day was back in March, the battle of equality is one we continue to fight! Over the last several decades women have worked tirelessly to break stereotypes, glass ceilings and constraints, yet gender inequality is still prevalent. When this year’s gender pay gap report was published, it found that hundreds of ‘big firms’ saw an increase in their gender pay gaps(gasps), that’s around 2 in 5 companies. I was surprised at this, especially considering there has been numerous campaigns and social events to minimize it. But, why has there been an increase? Dharshini David, BBC’s economics correspondent suggests that as a result of an influx of female hires in junior positions the gap has widened and progressing them through the ranks could take years. I understand that this could be a contributing factor, but I am skeptical to it being the sole cause, aren’t you? Yes, there has been a 121% increase in women within accounting and finance roles which is fantastic, but for every 10 men in senior roles there is only 1 woman!! Even more significant there is an average 21.5% gender pay gap. So, what the 121% increase really means is that MORE women are getting paid less than their male counter-part to do the same job. Along with construction, finance as a sector has the largest gender pay gap. Does it come as much of a shock? No? We didn’t think so either. It’s no secret that finance has long been an industry monopolized by men, nonetheless it does not justify the vastness of the gap. So, what does the 21.5% gender pay difference mean? In theory women work for FREE 1hour and 40 minuets each day. That totals to 57 days a year. Shocked? Even more jaw dropping a senior CFO role where the average salary in the UK is £106,980, a woman could be getting paid a staggering £23,000.70 less than her male counter-part. Think of what you could do with that amount of money. Luckily, it’s not too late to rectify it. In fact, real women are taking real action to make themselves heard! Recently we saw Carrie Gracie resign from her position as China Editor at the BBC over equal pay, after the GPA report was released. For a company that claims to be ‘golden standard’ you would have expected it to be the last place to see the gender pay gap have such a large effect! The BBC has since said that it has now made “significant reforms”. If you don’t know the gender pay gap in your business be keen to find out. Although you’re not legal obliged to report into .GOV if your company has 250 employees or less, it is something you should know and be aware of. Research supports the claim that diversity is not only economically beneficial but essential for the wellbeing of your staff. Companies who invest in diversity and inclusion have a 57% better team collaboration and increase their staff retention by 19%, saving them around £11,000 a year. In this current skill short market finding new talent to replace staff is becoming increasingly difficult, so any way to retain staff need must be acted on! Want to know if your salary is competitive or are you interested what you could be paid depending on your career? Or if you’re an employer wanting to know how you could be competitively playing your staff take a moment to fill in our Salary Survey!

Libby McCaughey


Why you need to think about your staff's well-being!

Renowned corporate wellbeing expert Dr Cary Cooper found that, new research from Close Brothers reveals employers are underestimating the impact, of poor employee financial wellbeing in the workplace. 88% of employers think that their employees worry about money but only a third (30%) think that money worries impact their staff while at work. Sadly, the reality is quite different as 73% of employees said that money worries do impact them at work. “Employers don’t just underestimate how many employees are affected by poor financial wellbeing in the workplace, they also underestimate the scale of the problem. In Close Brothers’ newly developed Financial Wellbeing Index, employees score their wellbeing in seven areas of financial health; employees across the UK scored themselves an average of just 53.6 out of 100. Whereas, employers given the same test, estimated their employees’ financial wellbeing at 70.5 – nearly a third higher than the reality.” This reality gap isn’t helpful for employee understanding and engagement, but it’s also restricting maximising their people strategies and impacting business performance. 22% of employers confirmed that poor financial wellbeing has led to reduced productivity, 19% recorded higher absences whilst another 22% said it caused them to lose talent all together. The current skill short employment market makes retention and attraction a top priority for businesses across the UK. One of the ways to improve retention is to implement a comprehensive Financial Wellbeing Strategy for employees. 27% of organisations surveyed said they plan to implement one. Why? Implementing a framework like this could help employees feel more stable and supported at work, it could offer solutions to financial worries that employers haven’t thought of, whilst they have been occupied feeling the stress and pressure of it. Take a look at Simplyhealth’s wellbeing strategies they suggest you should be implementing in the work place to help you to gain an idea of what will work best for you! It is vital that you are paying your staff what they deserve. The more they feel valued in your company the more they will feel motivated to perform! If you are unsure or feel you may be undervaluing your staff take a look ar our salary survey. It is designed for candidates to compare their salaries for roles and experience, it will enable you to gather a better understanding of what is best for you to be doing for your employees. “Conversely, the benefits of improving employee financial wellbeing are clear. Of those organisations that are already tackling the issue, nearly a third (30%) say that it helps improve employee productivity, a quarter (24%) say it assists in talent acquisition and retention, and 22% say that it helps to fulfil their strategic business objectives.” In today’s world it’s critical to try and retain current talent as well as, working on attracting new skilled candidates into the work place. It isn’t just higher salaries and maximised benefits that can make employees feel valued and supported. Implementing initiatives to support a person’s wellbeing weather that’s financially, mentally or physically will set you apart as an employer. It will inevitably improve productivity, retention and over all business aims.

Melissa Kilday


6 Things you didn’t know about how to manage stress.

Studies have found that stress can be beneficial…HOW? Stress can actually improve memory and focus. But, like anything, if you have too much of it, then the effects can be detrimental to not only your mental but also your physical health. Let’s face it, stress is an unfortunate side effect to human life and whichever way we turn there is something that can potentially cause you stress. So what are the main causes of stress? In a recent study by Mind, it stated that 1 in 3 people said that their work life is quite or very stressful. Why does work cause people to feel more stressed than debt or financial problems? Well, having an overwhelming workload, tight/unrealistic deadlines and a lack of support from management or other colleagues are just some of the main triggers of stress. Do they sound familiar to you? Don’t fret we have some tips to help you recognise and manage your stress levels. Triggers! Take note of what situations cause you stress, write it in a journal or anywhere were you can reflect on those situations that bought on your stress and how you reacted to and managed the pressure. Keeping a physical note of this can give you the chance to reflect and you can put strategies in place to tackle your triggers. Balance! Around 80% of people check their phone and emails when they wake up before doing anything else. We advise you to always set work-life boundaries to make sure you aren’t stressing over emails at the dinner table or being woken up early by work calls. Start by making a small change like putting on call forwarding at home and on the weekend and make adjustments from there. Communication! You shouldn’t suffer in silence. If you feel as though you are drowning underneath a massive workload, communication with your manager is vital. Remember, stress IS NOT a sign of weakness. Make a note of all the things that are causing you stress, try coming up with a solutiontion to manage your work load. Make suggestions to eliminate distractions or even hiring a temp to help support the business if necessary. Relax! Did you know that in the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe? That means we spend less time doing the things that we really enjoy, the things that make us happy and reduce stress. Make a conscious effort to leave the office at on time to do something you enjoy doing. Take a break at work. Try a mindfulness or meditation app, breathing exersices or simply just going for a walk to get away from a screen for a while. What is best for you? That is sometimes the hardest thing for most of us. It requires time and criticism of yourself and your current work place. It can make you feel stressed and anxious or you may decide that where you are currently working isn’t the right place for you anymore and we know that search for a new role can add to the stress. That’s why we would always recommend talking to a confidential and unbiased source to advise on what your options are. Empower!! Create a strong support structure. Having a network of people who listen to eachother, knowing you’re not alone in your feelings and it allows you to see situations from other perspectives. You’ll be able to share and receive advice, empowering others and in turn, being empowered! The next time you have an unmanagble stressful day, look to these tools to help bring you back to a better headspace; remember to, “check on your strong collegues, your quiet collegues, your ‘happy’ collegues, your creative collegues, check on eachother” and help where you can. When the people around you feel overwhelmed by stress, be supportive and they will do the same for you! Share these tips with your team to let them know you’re here for them. We need eachother!

Libby McCaughey


What Game of Thrones can teach you about recruitment

Yes, you read that right, Game of Thrones holds some valuable lessons when it comes to hiring and recruitment! The world eagerly anticipates the Game of Thrones return for its final season on 14th April, the team here at Cherry Professional cannot wait! Most of us are binging on previous seasons just to get us through the next nine days. But what can Game of Thrones teach you when it comes to important business decisions. Well hold onto your dragons! Bias out, Objectivity in. Now, let us begin with a throwback to where it all began in season 1. We all can recall that haunting scene … the beheading of Ned Stark. We watched, jaws open, while Joffrey had the Protector of the Realm executed. Following the death of King Robert Baratheon, Cersei named Joffrey as King and branded Ned a traitor. Joffrey lacked skill and Cersei lacked objectivity, which is a perfect match for complete anarchy, cue the next 7 seasons! If we take a moment to imagine Cersei took time to evaluate her candidates, Ned and Joffrey, free of bias and objectivity, and she chose to name Ned as King. Okay so there probably would have been no season two, and yes, it’s bad for the world of entertainment but what is important for recruiters to take from this is to make objective decisions and remove bias when considering a new hire! Diversity. Moving on swiftly to season two when we watched Theon Greyjoy make his way back to Pyke on horseback, with a young woman he later discovers is his older sister, Yara. Theon pledged alliances to his father, which were quickly rejected! Rubbing salt into the wound his father King Balon, exclaimed he had entrusted Yara with leading his assault. Disgusted with his decision, Theon argues his sister is unfit to rule, primarily as she is a woman. This is a much more obvious lesson. Yara leads her assault successfully despite Theon’s doubts. Similarly, Brienne Tarth proves herself a worthy warrior and is appointed to the Kingsguard, even though she too was an unlikely fit as a female knight. It’s important to consider how diverse your workforce is and actively work to widen it! Preparation This now leads us to ensuring that you are hiring correctly and what measures you can take to do so. Daenerys Targaryen is a perfect example for a correctly hiring employer, or shall we say Protector of the Seven Kingdoms with a clear idea of who she wanted to hire. When appointing her next advisor while she was continuing her quest for the throne, Daenerys needed someone who had knowledge of the geography and politics of Westeros. She needed them to be an intellectual, not loyal to the throne and able to balance her lack of experience of ruling. This is what you call a candidate spec. When Daenerys hired Tyrion Lannister, she kept this candidate persona in mind. Although he is cruel to his enemies, he shows people closest to him great compassion. He is witty, smart and his problem solving skills speak for themselves. It is imperative to make an exhaustive candidate spec when considering your next hire, to ensure you find the perfect fit! Right fit. What do you recall about Podric? That he was seemingly awkward? Or perhaps completely incompetent? Well, Podric was a completely loyal and dedicated squire, he provided a priceless service for both his Masters and surprisingly defends and saves one in battle. What he lacked in experience he made up for with complete dedication to his role. I ask you to now think back to a time when you were sat facing a candidate who was completely perfect on paper, did they tick every box on your list? Did they however lack passion for your organization? You need to seek candidates who are genuinely interested in your organisation; understand where you’re located, your core values, and so on. You want to hire passionate people, hopefully traits that will lead to dedication and loyalty in the future. So there you have it – a crash course in how to turn your favorite show into useful material! While these lessons have come from a somewhat trivial source, they are important none the less. They are imperative when it comes to new hires and they should remain in the back of your mind when doing so.

Libby McCaughey


Mental Health: Tackling workplace stigmas

“Clients do not come first, employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients”. – Richard Branson. Over the last few years mental health has become a widely talked about topic from some very high-profile names, not to mention a number of campaigns to continue to raise awareness and to educated people on mental health. Despite this, there is much to tackle when it comes to mental health in the work place. Why do we find it more comfortable to talk about mental health from an objective point of view? Why do we find it so difficult to open up about our own experiences? Many people still put on a brave face and smile when it comes to their own mental health because they fear letting their emotions show will be seen as a sign of weakness or maybe effect their career prospects and have negative reproductions. We can understand why people are this way, these are not irrational fears, in 2017 a report showed 15% of employees who disclosed a mental health related issue faced a demotion or a dismissal. What are you doing to make your staff feel like it is safe to talk to you? Did you know, 1 in 6 workers are affected by conditions such as anxiety and depression every year? According to Mind 1 in 4 people experience a mental health illness at any given time; so, the chances are, right now, while you’re reading this, someone in your office is suffering in silence. What can you do to shift these attitudes? How can you create safe environments where your staff feel empowered to openly talk about their issues without the fear of judgment or discrimination? Flexibility. 60% of employees have experience mental health issues in the past year due to work. Stress, anxiety and depression can be trigged by many things depending on the individual. While someone may find presentations and meetings stressful others may fear working alone. Being flexible is a necessity, your employees health and wellbeing are paramount and in the long term this approach will only benefit your business. Stress is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK costing on average £1,035 per employee per year. So, making some adjustments right now could help reduce absenteeism in your business. Culture and Leadership. It’s your responsibility to not only promote good mental health but to actively take steps to create an environment where your staff feel safe talking about it. Putting in place a set of rules or policies isn’t enough, a complete culture change needs to take place in order to change the way people perceive and handle mental health. CEO's, business owners and leaders need to speak up about mental health, stopping the taboo and helping make it an issue people are comfortable discussing. Education and awareness. It's mandatory for organisations to train people on new software, policies and procedures, there's little or no training on how to deal with human issues. Guidance is needed for your HR teams and Managers in order for them to appropriately deal with mental health issues. They need to be able to spot signs and symptoms within their teams and feel confident discussing it. Mind and Rethink offer amazing training programmes to help create work places where stigmas and discrimination don’t exist. Communication. Since the middle of the twentieth century companies have conducted annual audits to track employee performance. However today work has become so fast paced, it is less predictable, stable and repetitive. It’s important to make time for more regular meetings one to one with your employees even if its once every other week, just to check where they are, how they’re feeling and what can be done if they are struggling. While workplace stress is a real problem, your approach to it can make a huge difference. By following the strategies outlined above will help identify and reduce stress in the workplace. We hope you continue to learn how to tackle and talk about stress at work and if there are any great tricks you think are helpful that we have missed off, please let us know! Form ID:4306

Libby McCaughey


"The Power of Thinking without Thinking"

Unconscious bias is a fact of life. Everyone harbours them – and unknowingly takes them into the work place. These deeply embedded subconscious attitudes span, race, appearance, age, gender, wealth and much more. They make mental shortcuts based on social norms and stereotypes, conclusions made so quickly and so quietly it goes quite unnoticed. This hidden drive stymie diversity and retention rate to even how you chose to promote or not promote. Not to mention undermine your recruiting efforts and employee development, and your organisation’s culture. Its not a new idea but has be the centre of Malcom Gladwells Blink - the influence behind this blog. And it is certainly frightening how something so primitive and uncontrollable can be so detrimental to your business. Unconscious biases are prevalent and permeate throughout the workplace from all levels as everyone carries these prejudices but are completely unaware of them, even when they may completely believe that decimation and prejudices are wrong. They cause decisions to be made in favour of one group, decrementing others. For example, Queensland University found that blonde women’s salaries were 7% higher than women with brunette or red hair. So now we can see how something minute as the colour of someone’s hair can lead our mind to jump to conclusions. What you thought of unconscious bias before beginning this read, you now know goes much deeper than just gender and race. Tall men may find the unconscious bias to work in their favour within the corporate world. Around 58% of Fortune 500 CEOs were all just shy of six feet tall. Let me put that into some perspective, 14.5% of men in the overall American population is six foot or taller. Even more striking is that 3.9% of the male American population is six foot two or taller! So over a third of that 14.5% is a CEO at a Fortune 500 company. Just to push on that pain, an inch in height is worth $789 per year in salary. Why do we fall for tall men? MIT and University of Chicago sent 5,000 CVs to 1250 employers. Each employer received 4 CVs, one average candidate and one above average, one with a “typically white” name the other a “typically black” name. “Typically white” names received 50% more call backs than applicants with “typically black names”. More shockingly even though the black candidate was more skilled than the white candidate, the white candidate still received more call backs! We are currently in a skill short market, so to have your unconscious bias eliminating people from the hiring process so quickly will mean you missing out on some real talent. Can you afford that? Google publically admitted that when it came to diversity it could be doing better. Even some of the biggest businesses have recognised they’re guilty, but at least they’re doing something about it. Google blamed the lack of diversity on unconscious bias and went on to announce its “bias-busting” initiative. It included workshops and seminars designed to identify and address unconscious bias within the work place. They also released a tape of one of their seminars that is now available to watch in YouTube. Ultimately the training made employees more comfortable in recognising unconscious bias and in calling out themselves and others for it. Now 20% large American companies provide unconscious bias training to all employees. What are you doing to eliminate it in your office? Here are some suggestions to reduce bias in your recruitment and hiring efforts. Vet your job averts for suggestive language! Using extreme pro-masculine or pro-feminine vocabulary or requirements can deter potential candidates. Words such as “exhaustive”, “enforcement” and “fearless” can prove more enticing for male applicants whereas, “transparent” “catalyst and “in touch with” attracted a more feminine tone. Widen your net! Actively pursue diversifying your team, studies have showed a correlation between a more diverse team and increase in financial takings. Ultimately the more diverse the company the more money it was making. Script your interviews! Setting predetermined interview questions and paying attention to the setting to ensure a level playing field. Most recently a London based recruitment firm is now trailing robots to conducts its interviews. Training! Follow Google and other major companies and take the time to educate your staff and address the problem instead of hiding behind it. Invest in training days. In 2018 Starbucks closed all of its stores for the day to host a mandatory training day for all employees on race awareness. Be aware of the consequences! And this is why you need to be doing something about it. 6,000 black people in the state of Iowa claimed that they were victims, not to overt or deliberate discrimination but that potential employers were subconsciously favouring whites. Yes subconsciously. Well they sued for $67 million less earnings. In an effort to reduce bias and promote inclusivity, we hope that you will take active steps with in yourselves and your business to implement strategies to support it. It would be great to hear of any active initiatives you have to take unconscious bias in the work place.

Libby McCaughey


Employee Attrition vs. Employee Turnover: What you need to know.

1 in 3 workers will leave their job to work somewhere else by 2020. Do you like the sound of that statistic? No? Neither do we. There are a number of metrics that many companies use in order to measure the efficiency of their recruitment. Employee attrition and employee turnover are often used interchangeably, but they do represent two different types of employee “churn”. Employee attrition is referencing to the lifestyle of your employees, and how it affects their work. Some examples include, leaving due to a moved, changes in family circumstances, or even going back to school. It’s not negative, they aren’t leaving because of an issue but rather a life change. When unwanted employee attrition takes place, the company tends to be downsizing, struggling financially or perhaps are going in a new direction. Employee turnover, can come as a result of an unsuccessful recruit, culture clashes and dysfunctional teams, but a massive 80% of employee turnover is a direct result of poor hiring. When employee churn occurs, as a result of turnover, the vacancy needs to be filled quickly. Did you also know that the cost of replacing a high-level employee is anywhere up to 400% of their annual salary! Just to put that in to perspective, if an executive is making £120,000 a year, the true loss of your company would be around 213% of that, totalling a huge £255,600. Would you be willing to pay this just because of a poor hire? The KPMG and REC 2019 Markit report released last month recorded that candidate supply was at an all-time low. Widespread reports concluded steady increase in vacancies but a continuous rapid decline in candidates to fill them. This brings us on to can you spot employee turnover before it happens? There are a number of indicators that help identify those employees whose minds are elsewhere. Key indicators include: - Absenteeism! Are they under work related stress? If you notice staff having extended leave. Are they applying for new jobs and interviewing elsewhere? - Disengagement! On average 73% of unengaged works are looking for work elsewhere. Are your staff “zoning” out? - Productivity! Unhappy staff produce 10% less work! So if your highest performers are under performing ask them why? What is going to help keep their focus and increase productivity? But ultimately it is down to preventing the problem from the get go, and cutting that scary 80% of poor hiring down. Consider using a recruitment partner to save you time finding the right recruit with the correct skill set. Use skill testing programmes to short list the candidates you’re looking for and finally encourage new candidates to meet the team to prevent cultural misfits. Seek assistance for hiring, it will relive the load from your own desk and/or your HR department and in turn prevent hiring people who don’t fit into your organisation. WE take care of everything recruitment related to make your search as smooth as possible. We build a deep understanding of your requirements, preferences and priorities to ensure candidates are a great fit culturally as well as having the right skills. You can either cherry pick what works for you or pick Cherry and we will find the perfect candidates to for you.

Libby McCaughey


16 days till the end of the fiscal year ... How to manage the stress!

Yes, it’s that time of the year again, you’ve spent months in building anticipation for it. No it’s not summer, and unfortunately not your holiday. It’s the end of the financial year. The time financial teams across the nation dread, a sort of time-honoured tradition for accountants as they scramble to meet looming deadlines. Stress levels mount and pressure builds, as they prepare to sign off accounts, complete paperwork and collate reports. We can sympathise. Like any other company we are trudging through the same swamp. We know the pain of the 12 hour days during the bleakest months of the year. We know you’re juggling a million other things, the company doesn’t close its doors so end of year tasks can be completed, there will inevitably be ongoing projects, perhaps payroll to submit and month end reports to complete. You then start unknowing projecting stress into your life outside of work, frustrated to find a cue to get your much needed caffeine fix. For those of you sharing these woes know you’re not alone, here are our tips to help you survive this intensely stressful time. Delegate! You know that your team is your most valuable asset. Your job is to ensure that they maintain focus on the most pressing tasks. It is critical to prioritise tasks and balance the work load efficiently. While you may see delegation as a loss of control, it is a beneficial tool empower your team and keep them focused. It is valuable to explore adding temporary contracted employment to help ease your teams work load. We can help minimise the stress on your team, allowing them to keep focused and consistently meeting deadlines! Review! It’s fairly obvious and I’m sure most of you are already doing it but “if your fail to plan you plan to fail” really is true. While it’s easy to have the aspiration to plan, it can be a tricky task to execute, perhaps try to spend Monday mornings drawing up a rough idea of the week to come, know meetings scheduled, deadlines coming up and listing tasks that have to be completed in order of urgency. At the end of each day take 5 minutes to review, and reshape accordingly in order to make progress. It’s easier to chew small bites than to swallow something whole. You may discover your team are burning out, to improve efficiency you may need to add staff. Mindfulness! Everyone can agree that the end of the financial year feels like it goes on for a lifetime! But it’s important to remember that it doesn’t. And to sprinkle salt on a wound it is winter, its cold, wet and you can rest assured that you won’t be seeing daylight for the next few weeks, as you make it to work before day breaks and you leave long after the sun sets. Alas there is a light shining through the trees, there is a clear goal in sight. Keep focused on the ‘now’, maintain competing short-term deadlines and reshape plans day by day to adapt and overcome obstacles. Don’t be distracted by asking “what if”. Have faith in your work, and tackle the complications when they present themselves. Negative thinking will never help, try to stay positive! Motivation! The last quarter of the year can be the more stressful than other months combined. It marks the clearing of social calendars, missing your loved ones and resorting to microwave meals when you eventually do make it home. It is important to keep yourself and your team motivated throughout this time. Keep moral up by presenting small rewards, occasional team lunches to keep you all feeling connected. During a time of very little joy and a whole load of stress it will remind you and your team that you are not alone, you’re in it together. Adding temporary employees can spread weight of the work and allow your team to make time for the small things, in turn keeping them motivated. If you can see the stress in beginning to produce cracks in your team it may be time for you to review your approach. Yes it will always be a busy time and yes stress is inevitable but it’s about how you can minimise stress, reduce errors and improve the efficiency.

Libby McCaughey


What it takes to become a global success like Owen Farrell...

We’ve all heard it time and time again, “Practice makes perfect.” Does it? In a team of some of the best rugby players across the globe, we have been discussing what truly makes a perfect pro. Back in 2018 England lost to France and Ireland, this year they have come all guns blazing recently beating both teams. So what is different this year? Is it because they’ve learnt from their mistakes or have they practiced harder and put in more hours surel