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Balance Recruitment hosts 'financial controller to financial director' discussion

The event was hosted by Tony Vickers, Co-founder and Director of Balance and Andrew Stoves, Head of their technology division, with delegates currently representing a broad spectrum of blue-chip businesses and SME’s.

Participants discussed the importance of maximizing your current position and exploring opportunities internally by being honest and transparent about your career aspirations.

Stoves commented, “It is advisable to be clear about your next forward move. Most finance leaders will be only too pleased to offer advice on internal career enhancing opportunities or offer the chance to shadow them in order to make the step outside. This not only creates an open and honest relationship between you and your company but also allows your boss to effectively succession plan either for themselves or for when the time is right for you to move on”. 

The discussion moved on to address the challenges faced when selecting and engaging a recruiter to aid a search.  Vickers steered this part of the conversation offering up his opinion on how to assess the credibility and success of a recruiter as well as offering a refreshingly open view on how Balance would operate, sharing an in depth insight into the workings of a boutique firm such as Balance.

“Let’s make no bones about it, there are an awful lot of recruiters out there, it’s a minefield, but with a little research and planning, you will be able to save yourself a lot of time whist ensuring you don’t miss out on good opportunities. We won’t take offence if you call us and ask questions relating to our history, recent placements at your level and general approach. Our questioning and expectations will be equally high so remember to present yourself in the best light, be well prepared for such calls and remember it is all about building strong relationships” says Vickers.

Vickers continued to talk about how to present a CV and highlighted some techniques to support an application.  It was discussed that a full, detailed, CV is not always required and a strong and concise one page synopsis is often the best way of presenting your profile initially. “Be aware that a large part of a recruiters day is spent building and nurturing relationships with employers to whom we are a trusted partner to.  This allows us to influence interview decisions and to make pre-qualified introductions to businesses based on our interpretation and recommendation of your skills”

The debate steered towards the evolution of social media within the recruitment process and decreased reliance on job boards. There were some doubts raised by delegates over the reliability of applying for vacancies via job boards, with feedback being rare and many adverts lacking enough information. 

General agreement was reached that having an up to date LinkedIn profile should be a priority for those actively pursuing a career move. It was noted that recruiters, both agency and in-house, use LinkedIn as a valuable tool in sourcing professional candidates. Stoves commented: “It is essential that, when seeking an external move, you review your online presence starting with LinkedIn. This is by far the most commonly used social media network for recruiters and you should seek to maximize your visibility on it by adding experience, joining specific groups and becoming a little more active in building an online network”.

In summarising, Vickers discussed the importance of jobseekers being proactive in their search, devoting time to polishing their online presence and investing time in building a long term trusted relationship with a professional recruiter who can act as an advisor over the long term. Making the move from Financial Controller to Finance Director is a difficult step to make via an external move, and having a respected recruiter champion your suitability over your peers can make all the difference.


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