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Are you unsure about your current role? Do you feel as though there's something missing or it's time to move on? Register with Cherry Professional today to make sure your next move is the right one!
What are the benefits of registering with Cherry Professional? You get instant access to our latest jobs, you can register for job alerts specific to you and get some great advice on all aspects of the recruitment process. 

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Here you will find help sheets, useful tips and hints, white papers and more so you can be kept up to date with the labour market and all things recruitment. If you have any suggestions of things which you may find useful in your job search, please let us know.

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Our Latest Blogs

 

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Why Relationships Matter

John Donne said it best, “no man is an island”. Just as no business can succeed without a sea of healthy relationships. Big budgets, the latest high-tech systems and competitive pricing are all fine but, the real secret to being in that 30% of new businesses that survive past 10 years is people – your employees, contacts and most importantly your customers. If you want to become more than “just another business” and transform into a brand that your clientele knows and trusts, you first have to develop a strong, lasting relationship with them. It costs around 5x more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. So, when it comes to making a purchase (in the case of recruitment a hire) customers / clients can be weary of a company they aren’t familiar with and do not trust. A close working relationship is crucial to earning customer/client trust, they will subsequently become more forgiving for minor faux pars and look past issues more easily – they know that you will address their concerns and resolve them to the best of your ability. A customer who is very satisfied with your service is almost 6x more likely to stay with you than one who its only just satisfied. It’s important to always adapt and identify what can be done to ensure Equally, it is important for your organisation to lose the faceless cold corporate persona and adopt a human face, one that customers can relate to and even come to love. You need customers to have an adoration for the people who represent your company, they will then automatically transfer that same adoration to the company. Having customer/client relationships that are a shared responsibility for your entire organisation will divide the task and multiply the success. 80% of companies believe that they provide superior customer service, however only 8% of the customers agreed. You want to strive for excellence but if your customer/clients don’t agree it’s a wasted effort. People are quick to express when they’re unhappy with a service, but they are also eager to refer friends and family members to a business they have trust and believe in. “Any friend of yours is a friend of mine” approach can help to create strategic partnerships and alliances can lead to both parties receiving valuable referrals. While it is inevitably important to foster positive relationships outside of the business, but it is also vital to mirror these relationships internally. Creating a company culture conducive to developing a strong sense of teamwork will increase moral, productivity and job satisfaction. It will enable you to attract and retain top talent that is currently so hard to come by. Your business is only as strong as its people and the relationships that support it. It’s important that core messages of your business are championed internally and externally to help create that human face which can be relatable. Relationship Led Recruitment is our mission here at Cherry Professional, we want to help candidates with their career not just jobs. We want to help clients find candidates whose skills and personality fit the company culture. And we want to empower everyone we work with to be successful and happy, which is why building lasting relationships are so important to us and why they should be for you too. As a company founded on building relationships, we asked our Managing Director, Danielle Asano what relationships in business meant to her. “As human beings the quality of our life is based on the quality of our relationships – both business and personal. We are happiest when we feel valued, appreciated and connected to people. Good working relationships equals a much happier life. Having said that they don’t just happen overnight, we have to continuously work at them, building and reaffirming trust, and making an effort to understand each other though the ups and downs of business and life. Let’s face it nobody is perfect, and we will all eventually make a mistake or slip up at some point. In these situations, it is the strength of relationships that determines the outcome and how we move forward in a positive way”.

Libby McCaughey

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Can you read this without distraction?

Do you often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? Like your to-do list is growing faster than you’re able to handle. Do you find yourself focusing on low-priority tasks and are simply procrastinating? If you do, you’re not alone, 50% of employees find it difficult to be productive, but don’t fret because you can regain control of your work. Firstly, it’s important to remember that everyone works differently and that ‘one-size-fits-all’ lists on how to be more productive won’t always be beneficial! Here are our top techniques that can be adapted to your personality and work style. Small changes over time: It is said that it takes 15 days to make and break habits so, you cannot expect to change years of habits overnight. Start small, try one tip at a time and as you find strategies that work best for you begin to add more! Be accountable: Whether you’re just having weekly check-in’s with co-workers or setting your own goals and deadlines, having someone else to answer to can help motivate you to get the job done. Forgive yourself: You’re only human and sometimes you’re going to slip up and have a bad day where you get distracted and don’t get as much done. It’s important to move on and not dwell on your mistakes, because everyone makes them, forgive yourself, brush yourself off and move forward. Monotasking: Think you can get more done by juggling multiple tasks at the same time? Well unfortunately it’s biologically impossible, according to neuroscience professor Earl K. Miller. Miller says, “people are much more efficient when they monotask” and when you do multitask you actually make more mistakes! As you go back and forth between tasks, the neural networks of your brain have to back track and work out where they had left off. This extra activity causes you to slow down and errors become more frequent. The brain is like a muscle: It becomes stronger with use, Miller said. Just like physical exercise, the more we strengthen our mental connections by having complete focus on one task the better our productivity will become! How to Monotask: Create a work environment that encourages focus and performing one task at a time. It isn’t realistic to think we are able to block hours off at a time to complete a task, but here are some small changes you can make: Remove temptation: Resist the urge to check unrelated social media and websites while you’re trying to focus on a task. If you need a helping hand, consider installing anti-distraction software to block access to sites for a specified period of time. (SelfControl,and Freedom) Work on 1 screen: Put your phone in your draw and turn off your second monitor! Move: If you find your focus drifting and you’re reading the same sentence over and over, try getting up and having a brief walk. Dr. Miller said, “a brief walk around the office can lift your mood, reduce hunger and help you refocus.” Work in intervals: Set a timer and give yourself 10 minutes to complete focused work and then allow yourself a few minutes to be distracted as long as you continue 10 minutes more of focused work. If distraction does take over, don’t punish yourself too much, remember it gets the best of us! Miller says, ‘the more we work on focusing on one task at a time and ignoring distractions, the more we exercise the prefrontal cortex – the more evolved part of our brains. Then it becomes easier to focus.” We live in a world where distractions are everwhere, smartphones, tablets, laptops and the internet. You'll need to make a deliberate and commited effort to stay on task and we hope these tips help guide you.

Libby McCaughey

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Interview Preparation, Top Tips & Questions You Can Expect

So, you’ve secured yourself an interview and you want to set yourself apart from the other Accountants, Auditors or Finance specialists. It goes without saying that you want to be sure you’re well-prepared and ready to tackle whatever questions a potential employer may throw at you. Here are a few questions you can expect to in interviews for accountancy and finance positions. Preparation goes a long way. Doing thorough research on the organisation you’re interviewing for gives you the best opportunity to catch a curve ball that may come your way. Remember the interview is the perfect opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the specific role and company. For accountancy and finance roles, talk about how elements of your course or previous experience is relevant to the job. For example, highlight papers you’ve completed on management accountancy, and relate how this information helped develop your skill set and knowledge that makes you feel that this specific role is right for you. More generally, make sure you know your CV like the back of your hand. Study the job description – you want to be prepared to answer questions based on the competencies outlined. The better your prepared for potential questions, the better you will be able to speak about your experiences and express yourself more confidently and with authority when giving your answers. Finally, come with a few relevant and insightful questions to ask the interviewer about the role and the organisation. Whether your interviewing in person, over the phone or via a video call you need to prepare and execute al interviews with the same professionalism. You’ve probably been told how important a first impression is, but how much does it really matter? Within the first seven seconds of meeting, people have a solid impression of who you are. Some research even goes as far to suggest that it takes a tenth of a second to determine traits like trustworthiness. So, with that in mind when having an interview in person, ensure you’re well presented, it’s better to be over dressed than under-dressed. For example, a study showed that those who wear a watch to an interview from a variety of backgrounds elicit significantly higher levels of conscientiousness and they also arrive earlier for appointments. Currently the job market is highly competitive, especially in the world of accounting and finance. Employers need to identify the most suitable candidates who skills and personality align with the companies. Difficult questions in an interview like “what’s your greatest weakness” won’t have a right or a wrong answer but are designed to examine how you respond when you’re put on the spot. Your answer should demonstrate your critical thinking and how you make decisions in a short space of time, giving an insight on the way you collect data to make the best possible decision. A question that has come up frequently in recent years, “how many golf balls are there in France?”. While this question may seem irrelevant and out of context it isn’t asked to test your mathematical skills but to show how logical you are and how you approach unexpected problems – it’s important to keep your cool and not be fazed. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? This is where your knowledge of the organisation you will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role and your ability to contribute fresh ideas. It’s important to prepare answer that will reflect the essence of the business and your own expertise and experience. If you’re an experienced candidate you’re likely to have heard these questions before, however if this is one of your first interviews post qualification remember that you’ve done the necessary learning to answer technical questions but mirror this confidence when preparing your answers for the more ambiguous questions. This is not a ‘one-size’ fits all guide to mastering any and every interview question but guidelines to provoke you to think about more than answering interview questions with basic surface answers. Yes, you want to showcase your skills and what knowledge but also show who you are, why you would be a good fit for the company and culture and what you can bring to the role that others may not.

Libby McCaughey

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Championing Mental Wellbeing at Work

I’m sure that most of you have seen the statistic, 1 in 4 of us will fight a mental health problem this year, but recent research suggests this statistic will increase to 1 in 2 in the near future. But why does good mental health matter in the workplace? Around 91 million working days are lost each year due to poor mental, costing the UK economy £94 billion. Most importantly do you know the cost of ignoring mental health for your business. What would you say if I told you that you can increase productivity in your business by as much as 12% if you invested in an effective wellbeing strategy? That for every £1 you spent on improving employee wellbeing you would see between a £1.5 to £9 return. Good mental health should be a priority for your business and implementing it needs to involve more than just the HR department. It’s vital to get buy-in from senior leadership and make sure conversations about mental health and wellbeing happen at board level. When staff feel happy and well cared for, they are more engaged, motivated and loyal. Currently 67% of employees feel scared, embarrassed or unable to talk about mental health concerns with their employer - it is important that as an employer you are creating an open and caring culture. So how can you put mental health on the agenda and break the taboo? Understandably senior leaders are under pressure to cut costs and optimise ROI and perhaps do not immediately understand the business impact of poor mental health. Be prepared to make the business case and have figures to back up your proposal, such as, relevant figures on staff turnover, moral and feedback from exit interviews. When would be the most beneficial time to start the conversation to get buy-in? Using important dates to help start the conversation, for example World Mental Health Day in October or Mental Health week. However, don’t feel you have to wait for these dates, board / management meetings, staff surveys and staff absence report, although they can provide the right opportunity to broach the topic. Did you know that those with goals are 10x more likely to succeed? Try identifying key drivers for mental health and the key indicators; define how you can measure them and what level the company should achieve. Setting these performance targets will be an integral part of achieving an effect wellbeing strategy. Having a well-defined mental wellbeing strategy is imperative to future proofing your business. It is important to take action on mental health NOW, as it is predicted by 2030 that depression will be the most common illness and the global burden of this condition will be greater than illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Employers need to take action to prevent (safeguarding the mental health of your workforce), intervein (stepping in before problems become more serious) and protect (supporting staff if they need time off, or need help retuning to the workplace) their workforce. Brands like the Royal Mail and Deloitte have already partnered with organisations to develop training and create peer-to-peer support networks for their staff in a bid to improve and support the mental wellbeing of their work force. Efforts to improve mental health span further than the business world, I hope this will motivate you to take action because we can no longer simply ignore the fact that unreported, unmanaged stress increases the prevalence of mental health issues in the UK. In October during mental health awarness week we heald one of our most successful events along slide Clive Day (Employment Lawyer), Team Mental Health and Sanctum Healthcare. The event focused on employee mental wellbeing and employers legal oblications when it comes to supporting employee mental health. 100% of attendees siad they let the event with actions they want to implement at work and 100% have agreed the event gave them further understanding into Mental Wellness in the workplace We have plans to re-run this event in the near future. Please register your interest below. Form ID:4777

Libby McCaughey

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England Rugby World Cup: Business Lessons

With the England Rugby team about to face South Africa in the Rugby World Cup Final in less than 24 hours, we found it fitting to make them the centre of this blog. Late last month O2 Business sent former England International player, Ugo Monye, to Japan prior to the first match to find out what England could expect over the coming weeks. Ugo met with Head Coach Eddie Jones to discuss the origins of Samurai code, Bushido, and the relevance of its values in sport today. So, what is Bushido – it literally means ‘the way of the warrior.’ Bushido is the code of honour that Samurai lived and died by. Several of these accident principles are still relevant in sport, in business and in everyday life, five of which most relevant to Rugby. Ugo asked Eddie whether or not these five principles also applied to business. Duty A core value to any team is a sense of duty, players have a duty to look after themselves and their family. Duty as a value is equally relevant in business. Each one of us commits to completing tasks, adhering to deadlines and making promises. We understand why it is also important to attain our duty and what has to be done to manage our obligations to clients, candidates and business relationships. An effective leader will take responsibility for what they do and say. They avoid excuses and don’t shy away from their duty. With regards to Bushido, to do less would be dishonourable and considered a great failure. Duty in the sense of business is a commitment, once you’ve made this commitment you must do what you can to deliver it. Courage Eddie Jones very simply considers Bushido courage to mean the courage to do the right thing. “For a player it means being able to be yourself and play to the game as you think you should play it.” Mirroring this value in the world of business is fundamental. Managing a business or even a team can be tough. It takes courage to make those difficult and often unwelcomed decisions when challenging market conditions or facing aggressive competitive activity. Much like England when facing New Zealand in the semi-final, in the face of aggressive competitive activity (the Haka), the decision to make a ‘V’ formation faced criticism however England succeeded winning 19-7 securing their place in the final. The most effective leaders need to have courage to keep motivated and to motivate their team, through the peaks and short falls. This doesn’t mean to pursue ego-driven goals, but taking the needs of everyone into accounts, and raising yourself above the moral obstacles that you will undoubtably be faced with. Respect Eddie talks about respect in terms of tolerance – recognising difference in other people. In any team (sporting or business) there will be an array of personalities, yet they will all share the same aspirations and goals. They will all have the shared desire to put in their best to achieve the best results. Respect in business has never been more vital. Respect is about being inclusive, respecting diversity, going beyond more than just being polite. One of our core values at Cherry Professional is respect. People are at the heart of everything we do, are committed to equal opportunities and are working hard to ensure our processes are always up to date with legal requirements. Diversity hasn’t only helped make us a more innovative business but enabled us to better understand our clients and candidates to deliver a better and more efficient service. Loyalty In both the sporting and corporate world, staying focused on your vision or goal can be challenging which is why loyalty towards the case is imperative. With England’s rugby team, you would expect complete loyalty between teammates. This magnitude of loyalty will establish strong bonds and relationships between players. In reference to business, loyalty is often regarding to customer brand loyalty however in Bushido loyalty is about people. Having your people be more loyal is an asset to your business, no matter what it takes you team will deliver for you simply because they are emotionally invested in your business. Integrity “Playing rugby with integrity is about knowing what your team is trying to achieve and taking responsibility for understanding your role and doing the right thing” says Eddie Jones. Within the business sense, it is important to recognise that consumers want to buy from a business or potential employees who want to be a part of a business which operates ethically, sustainably and honestly. 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. Whether you are fan of rugby or not I hope you took some value from the lessons that can be learnt from the sport. From managing a small team to running a multinational business there is something for everyone to take from Bushido and England Head Coach Eddie Jones. Watch Ugo and Eddie’s interview Click Here Information sourced from O2 Business: Work Smarter.

Libby McCaughey

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How to help improve your Mental Wellbeing

Mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time. You might not be talking about it because sadly mental health is still a very taboo subject. Many still feel uncomfortable and scared to talk about it let alone confronting the issue in the workplace. There are a number of small simple steps that you can take to help maintain a healthy mental wellbeing at work. Here are five simple ways to wel