HR Manager Voted One of the Best Jobs in the UK – Are You Feeling The Rewards?

1 (1)
Glassdoor recently ranked ‘HR Manager’ forth in a list of the
UK’s 25 best jobs. Based on the number of job openings, career opportunities and earning potential, HR Manager may not seem the glamorous or high-flying role you’d expect to see near the top of this list but there’s more to working in human resources than is often given credit for. Generally a stable profession with an average base salary of £50,000 for HR Managers the human resources department is often overlooked by other members of the workforce. A CIPD survey reported that a quarter of employees ‘don’t know’ what the department really does – a surprising figure considering the function is so central to so many business decisions. However, it’s time HR stands firmly in the limelight – it’s not only an essential piece of the organisational jigsaw, but some would argue it’s the most rewarding.

Creating Positivity and Changing Lives
A large part of your role as HR manager is to improve employee welfare, whether that’s sensitively managing a workplace dispute or ensuring everyone has the most appropriate equipment to do their job safely and comfortably. Constantly striving for a better, more positive environment for the organisation as a whole will help employees to enjoy their time at work as much as possible. HR teams may also be required to assist with more personal issues where the right help and advice could really play a part in changings someone’s life.

Long-term Opportunity 

As well as an above average salary, a career in HR will usually be a stable one that will see you through to retirement. There are many avenues to explore in the field of HR such as payroll, employee training and development, workforce planning or employee relations and there’s often the option to switch industries fairly easily too. Similarly, if you did ever fancy a change of career you’ll have built up many transferable skills that may allow for a step sideways. Companies will always need an HR department, and although there are continual technological advances in software and HR management tools this people-focussed role is by no means at risk of being taken over by the machines any time soon!

Being Involved

Although in some cases unfortunately HR is still hiding its light under a bushel, or more accurately sitting quietly in the corner of the office, if the function is running successfully you should be a truly integrated member of the whole team, at the heart of the employee hub. You’re involved in hiring and have an influence on who joins the organisation, as well as helping these new team members integrate and develop. You’re in a position of trust to many and will have the opportunity to speak to and work with employees from across the whole organisation. You may also be involved in the organisation of social activities and team building.

Of course, there’s the tough side to working in HR too, making decisions about redundancies and cutbacks will never be easy, and the profession can come under fire when it’s often the one handing out the bad news. However as a field, HR is constantly evolving not only technologically, but legally, economically and in terms of diversity and cultural awareness. This means you’ll handle issues, meet people and deal with situations you may never have expected, always learning and growing with the role and its responsibilities.

If you’re an HR manager and you’re looking to grow your HR team, we can help. We’re in contact with many HR professionals across the UK looking for new roles.


CRM Investment: This is the year of sales enablement

CRM systems have been around, in one form or another, since business began. In the pre-computerised world there were record cards and good old fashioned one-to-one interactions where personal relationships where built. However in the global operating world things are a whole lot more complex. The management of what may be millions of customers and prospects is tasked with the challenge of making marketing and trade personal, and as an answer to this has been an uprising of literally thousands of CRM options, each with something different to offer the company with a sales team that must perform in order to drive growth.

Recent research into this area found that a staggering 25.5% of companies have implemented a sales enablement department, with a further 6.7% planning to do so in 2016 (CSO Insights 2015). These figures give more than enough reason for businesses to take a look at just what sales enablement is and how it may be valuable to them in this, the year of CRM investment.

Defining sales enablement

Let’s begin by first defining what sales enablement is; first, it isn’t sales operations, and it may best be summarised by Tamara Schenk, of CSO Insights:

“Sales Force Enablement: A strategic, cross-functional discipline designed to increase sales results and productivity by providing integrated content, training, and coaching services for salespeople and front-line sales managers along the entire customer journey, powered by technology”.

This definition highlights just how tall a task sales enablement is, and as Jim Dickie reports on Destination CRM, companies almost universally recognise the need for technology in order to achieve sales enablement. Dickie then goes further to highlight the five core areas that will sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to the choice of CRM and how effective they are within the modern world:

– Collaboration: This will demand the streamlining of sales enablement cross department, from sales operations onto training and product management and everything in between.

– Tech-enabled training: Training across the board, from those on the front sales line to those within social media marketing, should be delivered through e-learning solutions.

– Content management: Content management spans every form of internal sales tool, from account plans through to selling scripts, as well as the tools that are customer facing, such as proposals – all managed within a single CRM.

– Virtual coaching: For the large corporation virtual coaching is the cost effective solution to the one-to-one coaching that sales teams need.

– Analytics: The CRM of 2016 should provide for robust analytics that is produced from a variety of systems, from ERP, customer support and onto external sources, this will guide business plans and secure the growth of tomorrow.

All in all these five investment areas each serve as significant costs to a business, even when taken on singularly. However the ROI from such an investment is simply staggering, as the SPO study found that such companies that had already forged ahead with these plans had achieved revenue performance attainment rates of 10.2% higher than those who hadn’t.

Langley James is the answer to sourcing the right people to harness the most innovative of technology; from creating the right digital content and training for the business challenges of today, to harnessing all that CRM analytics can deliver – we have the right people for the most demanding of positions.

The Urgency and Importance of New Technologies in the Workplace

Over 80% of IT professionals place high importance on companies investing in the latest releases of technologies. With the current jobs market far more stable than previous years, UK workers ultimately have a far greater choice over where they work, who they work for; and have a greater level of trust in their future in employment. Employer branding is a phenomenon becoming ever more prevalent as the job market continues to grow. When we talk about retention strategies, we usually place a high emphasis on the main components that contribute to retention such as reward, L&D, engagement and satisfaction. But we often fail to recognise the relevance of technology in relation to employee retention.

Having seen a significant rise in the number of IT professionals looking to move on from their current role, it became clear that the reasoning for this was more than just the annual January trend. It is no secret that out of date technology impacts heavily on workflow, productivity and results, but it seems that these issues are beginning to take its toll on workers, and they have had enough. It has become evident that a significantly large number of workers in the IT sector want to leave their current position because they are using old technology at their place of work. This may appear extreme, but with technology playing such an integral part in modern society, people are consequently relying more on efficient technologies demand the most effective processes, and this is swiftly beginning to filter into the workplace.

With technology growing and evolving at such a phenomenal rate, it is unsurprising that technology is now establishing its role in contributing to both retention and employer branding. Investing in the most current technologies will certainly give you a competitive edge, and will undoubtedly enhance your employer branding. A large majority of IT professionals have stated that they will “lose their value in the marketplace if they don’t keep up to date with the latest releases”. The benefits in utilising the latest technologies are endless, and if you fail to move with the times, you will fail revolutionise.

Do you agree that technology now has a far greater input into retention levels?

Do you value companies more if they invest in the latest technologies?

Let us know your thoughts on this issue.

Nurturing your businesses starts with developing the health of your organisation. Through solid processes and up-to-date technology, you can create an efficient and well-constructed working environment. If you need to recruit a BI expert to help in BI solutions, contact Mark or Dave at or; or call us on 0207 788 6600.

Amazon and Uber – Market Disruptors Through Customer Focused Digital Strategies

Uber: It is the digital taxi platform that has sparked London cabbie revolts and calls upon the Government to crack down on a business that has disrupted the market so much that their hundred-year-old industry is under threat.

Amazon: This is a company that has been built up from a humble online book store and is now a global company; today turning over almost $89 billion [Business Wire 2014]), having acquired a staggering array of businesses and investments and, as of 2015, became the US’s most valuable retailer (New York Times 2015).

These two global giants have well and truly shaken up a digital revolutionising within their markets. So it seems more than pertinent question to ask: just how did these two once fledgling start-ups do it?

Amazon and Uber: Two completely different powerhouses – one solid strategical approach

The staggering successes of Amazon and Uber have actually been built upon one pretty simple strategical notion – having a solid understanding of their customer, and harnessing the right digital tools for a truly customised experience. Sounds simple, right? Well perhaps not so much, as this process requires a solid CRM to feedback all-important customer information for the eventual optimisation of sales, marketing and service processes. What’s more even a comprehensive grasp upon this isn’t enough, and as Amazon an Uber so adeptly demonstrate, there must be customer experience management (CXM) that goes far beyond any CRM exercise.

CXM – The key to digital strategies such as Amazon’s and Uber’s

CXM must factor into any businesses digital strategy when it comes to replicating the Amazon/Uber model. It is the experience beyond, or before, consumers use your services – where they journey through the sales funnel, where they interact with your social media and wherever they externally come across your brand. The key to success here is being able to seamlessly integrate this in a way that provides for a coherent plan.

Goldenberg from Destination CRM puts forward a strong case for employing the hub and spoke model here in order to achieve this. He argues that the hub should be the customer profile, which feeds back relevant information in, ideally, real time. The CXM then serves as the spokes, which include social media, next-best offer deals, customer journey and mobile apps. Each of these spokes is fed with data from the CRM in order to enhance, streamline and ultimately make for the most effective customer engagement rates. The system is then completed with the spokes acting as data senders themselves, where information can be learned upon social media and fed back to the CRM’s consumer profile. This holistic approach is defined by its duel information sharing, and it is very much what Amazon and Uber have been empowered by.


At Langley James we have an unshakable grasp upon how businesses can be empowered with the right IT staff, in the right positions. We know of the solid business growth that can be achieved through innovative digital tools and technology. And we’re the right partner for those who, like Amazon and Uber, seek to harness the world of IT to supercharge their business growth.

Are Your Employees Up To Date With Emergency and Bad Weather Policies?


The recent floods that devastated much of the UK just after Christmas turned lives and businesses upside down, and goes to show that this kind of extreme weather can strike at any time. In order to try and prevent and minimise damage, having policies and procedures in place and ensuring all your employees are aware of them could make the world of difference when faced with emergencies like the weather-induced chaos of storm Desmond, Eva and Frank.

Bad Weather Policies

Having an official bad weather policy in place ensures everyone knows where they stand. It may seem like you’re stating the obvious by telling staff what they need to do if the weather takes a turn for the worst, but unusual circumstances may leave employees not knowing what to do for the best.

Your employee’s safety is your number one priority. If the weather means it’s too dangerous for them to travel to work they need to know who they need to contact and by what time. Travel disruptions might also cause employees to be late or stranded elsewhere. There is no obligation for an employer to pay an employee who does not turn in, so consider how you want to handle this.

One option in situations like this is to allow your staff to work from home where possible. Of course in industries like distribution and manufacturing this won’t work, but for IT and other office based professions cloud-based software makes it possible.

Common Sense Prevails

Sensible HR advice and a flexible approach will usually help you through difficult times. If it’s going to take an employee hours to get into work and they’ll have to leave early to travel home again, this is wasted time with the chance of them becoming stranded somewhere, so working from home seems sensible. If you’re allowing home working you’ll need to be clear about the practicalities. The likes of Dropbox and Google Drive make things considerably easier, but there is also equipment to think about. Do employees have work laptops or will they need to use their own? You just need to make sure all systems and equipment have the right security requirements for your business.

Being Prepared

Some severe weather events can be forecast hours before they arrive, allowing time to prepare and advise, but sometimes there is no warning. In either case being prepared, even if the worst happens, will help to keep everyone safe and hopefully minimise damage. Conduct a risk assessment, educate employees and update plans and procedures based on the lessons you’ve learned previously.  Circulate the policies when you update them or perhaps at the start of winter if it looks like snow is on the way, ask for feedback and keep your employees involved.


An Update On SME Cyber Security


It’s no doubt that awareness of cyber security is increasing. More people now know more about the risks, or at least the basic steps they need to take to cover themselves and their organisations. However, as the world becomes more connected than ever, hackers are becoming more inventive and more sophisticated in their attacks. It’s important that companies can move with these developments and changes to create a culture that adopts an up to date, risk-based, multi-layer defence framework.

Attacks on the Sonys and Experians of the world may seem far away from small start-up firms or even more established SMEs, but the potential for a disastrous attack or breach of security is only clicks away. Over 30,000 websites are being compromised by hackers every day according to figures from Sophos and can cost smaller firms a considerable amount of money, not to mention stress.

Support is Out There

Following our article last year SMEs Urged to Take Cyber Attacks Seriously’ where we looked into the Government’s plea for SMEs to train, educate, review and prevent risks, it seems many organisations are stepping up to the challenge. With the help of the Government and their 10 steps programme that emphasises basic good practice, as well as many experts raising awareness of threats, those in the know are keeping ahead of the game.

However, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales recently warned Sky News that cyber security is ‘incredibly important’ and explained that governments sometimes don’t understand IT enough to fully interpret the risks. He explained that governments need to strike a balance when considering their desire to monitor information.

Predictions for 2016

Cyber security predictions for this year include attacks through aps. Aps can access your emails, contacts and more, so attackers are exploiting this as best they can. Also, as the internet of things continues to grow, so do the amount and type of threats to our mobile devices. Some also predict phishing attacks will worsen and get more personal.  In the majority of cases the goal of the cyber hacker is to steal or exploit sensitive data such as personal information or credit card details, yet this year experts predict more destructive, cyber-terrorism type attacks, aiming mainly to threaten.

A Continued Threat

Although many firms are taking positive steps to secure themselves, the fact is smaller firms have less to spend on security, they’re also busy with the day to day of keeping customers happy and dealing with admin.  The most recent government figures suggest SMEs with over 100 employees spend around £10,000 per year on IT security and that the smallest firms, with less than 20 employees, spend around £200.

The installation and regular upkeep of anti-virus software, firewalls, spam filters and keeping devices up to date should defeat the majority of the low level threats. It’s also important for organisations to have a good knowledge of where their data is going and who uses it – this can significantly help to limit any damage. Following the Government’s guidelines and keeping up to date about new threats and challenges will continue to keep you ahead of the game.

Attention To Detail- Why It Pays To Pay Attention were recently left red-faced when an embarrassing spelling blunder- tweeted out to over 1 million followers- highlighted to everyone not only the importance of attention to detail, but that unfortunately this can happen to the largest of organisations. This got us talking about how attention to detail can create great success, or prompt dangerous pitfalls that will cause your business to suffer.

Attention to detail is a prime characteristic of high-performing organisations. Careful management in detail is sure to improve accuracy in performance, and will contribute to overall efficiency and success. Creating positive impressions and proving your corporate competence is key.

It doesn’t stop at spelling and grammar. Historically, the most successful people have an extraordinary ability to notice the most minute of details. Apple is the perfect example of how a fierce attention to detail can bring the greatest amount of success. They will spend days discussing pixel position- details that other companies may overlook as unimportant. They have a desire to create computers that look beautiful on the inside- even though they don’t get seen. This just shows that paying attention pays!

According to Michael Levine- author and media expert, ignoring the smallest of details causes the biggest problems in business. certainly are not the first company to have been subject to an embarrassing, or indeed detrimental blunder that could have been avoided. In 1999 a simple school-level math error caused a Mars orbiter, designed by Lockheed Martin for NASA, to be lost in space when Engineers at Lockheed used English measurements while the NASA team used metric ones. This costed NASA $125million. This could have been easily avoided and it was reported that there were numerous opportunities for this error to be caught before it was too late. Don’t let simple attention to detail cause you the most destructive results.

We can help you recruit someone- bringing a fresh pair of eyes to the business. If you are struggling with staff who lack an attention to detail, we will help you hire a IT or HR specialist, sure to maintain a high level of professionalism and diligence. Call us on 0207 788 6600 to speak with one of our expert consultants today.

Today’s Socially Supercharged E-Commerce

Portrait Of A Businessman Using Digital Tablet

Traditionally the art of trading online successfully very much rested upon the placement of talented developers, designers and online marketing specialists; however, with the explosion that has been seen within the world of social media, the ways in which consumers shop, review products and even interact with the companies they purchase from, has been irrevocably transformed. Here we take a look at just what this means for the modern business that seeks to secure a future of boosted e-commerce trade, empowered by social media.

The power of peer to peer advocacy

Word of mouth has arguably always been the most powerful form of marketing there is, and with the unstoppable growth of social media this medium has been digitally supercharged. In fact, so powerful is it that consumer-to-consumer word of mouth has been found to generate twice as much business as compared to paid advertising (BRANDERATI 2013); its little wonder then, that this social media age has often even referred to as the Age of Advocacy and Influence.

E-Commerce becomes one with social media

As of August 2015 announced the ability for their users to embed a Buy Now button within their social media communities; this, coupled with SAP’s October expansion into e-commerce alongside Jam Communities for SAP hybrids Commerce, has truly realised the ability of sophisticated embedding of e-commerce capabilities upon social media platforms.

As with many things within the social media realm, it seems to be the blue-chip giant of Facebook that is leading the way. For years Facebook has featured the business page ‘Shop Tab’ ability through the good old fashioned, yet pretty mobile unfriendly iframe. Today however, as with all things that this social media giant does, things are altogether rather different, as well as a whole lot more advanced, allowing for the actual upload of products directly onto the platform, and the integrating of payment systems to seamlessly manage the entire process.

Content, community building and solid sales funnels

Adding value to your offering, and to your target market, has always lay at the core of content marketing. Online social communicates can drive business growth, acting as an essential tool for the robust management of your sales funnel. However, whilst many advocates of merging e-commerce and social media have heralded the moves towards a singular online social/shopping destination, others disagree. These particular industry experts argue that such a move is clouding the essential information gathering that is so vital within a community (and where an image of relative impartiality is beneficial).

Beyond social eCommerce onto social customer service

As social media has become increasingly ingrained within the everyday lives of the consumer many have come to expect customer services to be naturally forthcoming upon the platforms they use day in, day out. And where complaints, and perhaps more importantly – the way such complaints are handled – can be placed upon the world’s stage the issue of solid social customer service becomes ever more important. When harnessed in the right way it can lead to companies that are considered to have outstanding service levels, as well as delivering vital savings upon traditional support mediums.

However, it seems that few are embracing social media in this way, with recent research showing that less than 30% of companies on Twitter responded to questions (Social Bakers 2015).


Social media is not only transforming the expertise required within the modern business’s IT departments, but is extending to effect customer services as well as marketing. For the company truly seeking a holistic approach to e-commerce it seems that these three once separate realms within the average business are looking set only to have more and more in common.

The IT Skills Gap: How the UK is being left behind


The IT industry is furiously fast paced – accounting for an ever more significant driving force behind many a business’s bottom line. For those companies that harness the right technology and employ the most talented of IT workers there exists a bright future propelled through innovation. Yet it seems that the UK is seriously suffering from the side effects of being dangerously understaffed when it comes to the IT industry. So here we take a look at just what this means for the jobs market for forward thinking businesses, as well as for the wider UK economy as a whole.

The all-together rather gloomy UK graduate jobs market

For graduates it seems that there is barely a day that goes by that doesn’t report ever more depressing figures. From the fact that more than 50% of graduates are working within non-graduate jobs (CIPD 2015) through to the fact that every graduate position has, on average, 39 applicants (High Fliers 2014).

Add to this the typical student debt bill, which has sky rocketed to £44,000 (The Independent 2014) and you’d be forgiven for thinking that UK Graduates have never had it so bad.

The IT Graduate: Seriously hot property for the trading landscape of tomorrow

For the IT graduate the outlook is positively glorious, and is far from reflective of the seriously saturated market that many other industries are suffering from.

Rather than there being 39 applicants for each IT position, there is instead 39% of UK companies struggling to fulfil their IT needs (BCS 2013) and with the current needs of UK businesses, as reported by E-Skills, requiring around 140,000 IT professionals each year, the current rate of 16,440 students enrolling upon computer science courses is woefully inadequate.

Of course this all contrasts against a backdrop of an ever more digitalised UK world, within which the IT industry is forecasted to expand five times over within the next ten years (CIO 2015). Companies today are then truly built upon solid social media strategies, ever evolving business apps and software that makes for the basis upon which businesses operate, market themselves and grow.

The outlook for the average UK business

As employers struggle to secure domestic IT workers, particularly within the software development realm, such businesses are turning to offshore positions within developing economies. Yet these companies are finding such an approach to be a seriously false economy where language, cultural and educational differences prove many a time to be insurmountable barriers.

A forecast for the UK economy

A little shining light for the UK IT jobs market comes in the form of recently announced plans by the Government to introduce core computing skills, such as coding, from Primary school age. However, for the time being, or rather the decade or so until these tiny, well trained coding digits enter the jobs market, it seems that UK employers may need to look to overseas graduates to fulfil their essential IT needs.


Langley James appreciate the challenges of today’s businesses in their quest to fulfil tomorrow’s IT positions today, going beyond the status quo to deliver superstar candidates for even the most demanding of IT job roles.

Implementing Career Development Programs

stretta di mano uomo in ufficio per colloquio di lavoro

If you are not placing any importance on implementing career development programs in 2016, you are likely to regret it. According to research conducted by SHRM, career advancement opportunities are placed as high importance by employees, and by not investing as much into employee development as competitors are, you are at risk of losing your best talent.

Career Development Methods

There are various methods that you can utilise in order to implement employee development plans. Some companies choose to create mobility programs within the organisation, such as internal hiring, mentoring or leadership programs. Others choose to focus on professional development- providing the funding for employees to work towards certifications and degrees. Some more popular methods include company paid general training and tuition; and nurturing talents, skills and abilities in order to encourage employees to excel in tasks that they enjoy.


The Benefit to You

When creating a career development strategy, consider the benefit to both the employee, and the business. Implementing career development plans can be a great benefit to your company. In enhancing the knowledge and experience of staff, you can fill internal skill gaps, and in some cases, role gaps. An increase in knowledge about the job in hand will also highly increase engagement and productivity, and tasks will ultimately be completed to a higher standard. This contributes to instilling confidence in your employees, which in turn increases retention levels. The benefits are endless, implementing such a strategy is an investment to a business as opposed to a cost.


We are seeing a massive surge in people seeking new opportunities and moving on from their existing job role. With the current job market on the up, retention strategies are more invaluable to a business than ever. It may come as no surprise that a lack of career prospect will play a significant part in an employee wanting to move on to better things. Putting procedures, such as career development programs, in place to ensure higher levels employee satisfaction, will ultimately increase retention. Of course, it would be a task to attempt to cater to everyone’s needs and expectations, particularly when people have such different ideas about their career goals and ambitions. But discussing with your staff where they want to be and how they want to get there, gives you the opportunity to aid them in achieving their career development targets. Read more on employee retention.

Employer Branding

Developmental programs which enhance employee’s prospects, is a great way to promote your business and to show how great you are as a company. Implementing a career development program is something you should use to enhance your employer branding. The job market is becoming ever more stable, and people have far more faith in the current climate. There is a greater choice available to people now, and retention is a big issue that employers are currently facing. Clearly defined career paths will help you attract new hires. They will make you appear attractive to prospective employees, and will set you apart from competitors- so shout about it. Read more on employer branding.

When Implementing The Plan

Manage Expectations

The first thing to ensure when you begin to implement career development plans, is that all expectations meet the reality of the plan. Tackle any uncertainties the employee may have. You may find that some view these developmental plans as an added workload and a stress. Manage your employee’s expectations by maintaining that these types of programs are available to those who are willing to engage and that no pressure will be added to those who do not want to participate. Taking a gentle approach and highlighting how such a plan will be a benefit to them; and outlining exactly how the program will be undertaken will help in managing the employee’s expectations. 

Create a Clear Message

Avoid ambiguity and set a clear, concise message from the outset by defining what the plan will include and how you can help your staff get to where they want to be. Be sure to affirm that what you can provide to them rests heavily on company growth, company priorities, economic circumstances and the career goals of the individual. You may also avoid getting into hot water by defining whether this program will provide internal job opportunities or career opportunities- there is quite a difference between the two.

Don’t Over Commit

When you begin to implement your career development procedure, you must ensure that you do not over commit your time or resources if you cannot follow through with your promises. Avoid uncertainty and specify exactly how you can help the employee with career development and the channels by which will help them achieve their goals. It may be that you will provide funding for a member of staff to complete a college course or degree, in which case it would be advisable to set in place any rules or regulations in regards to where and when the employee can complete their work. For example, all work must be undertaken out of working hours, or limited to 2-3 hours a week. Ensure that the boundaries are set and that the employee understands that you can steer them in the right direction and help them to explore their options, but you are not there to do the work for them.

If you are looking for someone to join your team who can help you implement career development opportunities, then call us today on 0207 788 6600 and our specialist consultants can help you find the perfect HR professional for the role.

2015 Roundup


We are kicking the year off to a great start following a tremendous 2015 full of new exciting projects, milestones, and many highs at Langley James. Here are just a few of the milestones and achievements we are most proud of:

Your satisfaction

2015 was a great year at Langley James for building and maintaining relationships with all of our clients and candidates. We placed many great candidates into roles with over 200 different companies repeatedly in the space of 12 months. We are proud to say that the majority of the clients that we recruited for, have become regular contacts, and have put their trust in our consultants to find them great candidates again and again. We are also pleased that a growing number of the people that we have placed into job roles, have kept in touch to give us updates on how they are getting on in their new role. We feel privileged that so many of you have built up such a great amount of trust in our consultants and continually show your support and confidence in our services.

Our services to you

In 2015, our efforts in quality client and candidate focus, management and continual improvement were highlighted when we began working towards our ISO accreditation under the British Assessment Bureau. This accreditation means that our process and approach to the way Langley James is managed adheres to the desired management, customer focus and quality processes; and demonstrates the quality in our services to you.

2015 was one of the biggest years for Langley James as we hit a record number of almost 5000 successful placements, with our team of consultants stronger than ever- most with over 15 years’ experience in recruitment. Our live internal database size also hit a record number this year, and we were thrilled to be able to help an unprecedented number of great candidates find the job they were looking for. The number and scale of great people who approached us to help them find the right role meant that we were able to give clients a great choice of people to interview. It also meant that clients could be very specific about any definitive attributes they were looking for in a potential employee and we could always find candidates who could fulfil these requirements.

HR Division

After 16 years in IT recruitment, it had been continually requested that we move into HR, and it felt fitting as we have been dealing with HR specialists and their recruitment processes. One of our top recruiters, Lucy has had a wealth of experience in management and human resources previous to joining the team 3 years ago. The division officially launched in July, and in the space of 6 months, has rocketed. We have already had the opportunity to work with many incredibly talented HR professionals and this is just the beginning of the division.

Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Specialism

There has been a focus in the market for specialists within Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing and we are catering for the specific need by having Mark Holloway and David Barnes join us. Both seasoned recruiters with over 20 years’ experience, they will be utilising their traditional recruitment skills, including head-hunting to enable us to deliver the best candidates to our clients.

Thank you

We would like to take the opportunity to thank you for coming along on this journey with us, and without your support we couldn’t have experienced the great number of accomplishments that we did in 2015.

Four Workplace Trends For 2016


January is always full of predictions for the year ahead and it’s interesting to look back to see which of last year’s predicted trends really did make an impact. However, as technology continues to develop, candidates seize more control over their career opportunities and the workplace becomes ever more flexible, we thought we’d report on some of the possible workplace trends for 2016.


Boomerang Employees

Feel like you’ve seen that CV before somewhere? Well, this year you may just get a touch of deja vu as we’re expected to see more employees returning to businesses they onced worked for. And, according to Forbes, we’re more welcoming than we once were; 48% of organisations previously had a policy against hiring so called boomerang employees, but 76% now say they are more accepting when it comes to hiring a previous employee again. As technology has given us better access to more talent and switching jobs becomes more common, hiring a previous employee could mean less training and induction time as they’ll already be familiar with processes, systems and the company culture, they’re also likely to arrive back with a fresh, enthusiastic perspective.


Enter Generation Z

For the first time we’re noticeably going to see generation Z, the fresh wave of graduates born between 1994 and 2010, make their mark on the workplace. With the lessons of the previous generation and the recession in their minds, along with the responsibility of heavy student debts generation Z are likely to be savvy workers, seeking mentors to help them reach their goals of becoming managers within only a few years. However, although success is important, so is work-life balance, possibly more so than monetary reward.


Succession Planning High on the Agenda

With the likelihood of a five generation workforce in many organisations and a large amount of baby boomers about to retire, the dynamics in the workplace are likely to change significantly for some in 2016. Millennial workers will move into management and leadership roles but may lack the guidance and knowledge of those preparing to retire, making succession planning more important than ever. See our article on managing retirement here.


Flexibility Become Reality

There’s been so much talk over the last year about flexible working – but apparently 2016 is the year you’ll really be able to see the rise in co-working, flexitime and telecommuting. With younger generations valuing more of a work-life balance and workers feeling burned out as they struggle to keep up with longer working days and the need to be ever-contactable, flexible schedules have been shown to make people happier.

To have a chat with one of our experienced recruitment consultants about the needs for your business in 2016 just get in touch here.

Five Important Changes to Employment Law in 2016


This year brings into play new laws directly affecting HR, and changes to existing employment laws, as the Government update their policies. It’s important that employers, HR teams and all managers are aware of these changes and how they may impact staffing and workplace procedures. Here’s five of the most important changes to familiarise yourself with as we head into 2016.  


The National Living Wage

From April this year employers will be required by law to pay the national living wage of £7.20 an hour to employees over the age of 25 (the current minimum wage is £6.70 an hour for those over 21). The Living Wage Foundation estimate the true living wage to currently be £8.25, however the Government’s decision to introduce this increase is part of their ambition to raise the national minimum wage to £9 an hour by 2020.


Gender Pay Reporting

By March it will be compulsory for organisations with more than 250 employees to report on and publish the difference between the pay of men and women within their organisation – and this includes the difference between bonuses. The average pay gap between men and women is currently just over 19% and companies currently only voluntarily offer over this pay gap data. Campaigners are keen to have this information available to employees and to trade unions, but the details of this legislation are still being finalised, so keep a look out for further updates.


Parental and sick pay frozen

Normally each year will see a rise in the weekly rate of statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay, statutory adoption pay and statutory shared parental pay, however in 2016 a fall in the consumer prices index means there will be no increase and pay rates are frozen from last year. Sick pay will also remain at the same level as 2015.


Trade Union Law Amended

2016 sees amendments to the Trade Union Bill, introducing more strict procedures with the aim of minimising unnecessary threats of industrial action. The measure includes increasing the voting threshold, setting a four-month time limit for industrial action and increasing the amount of notice to be given to an employer of strike action.


Updated Laws for Employing Foreign Workers

With the aim of tackling illegal working, the Immigration Bill has been updated and now makes illegal working an offence. Also any public-facing public-sector workers must speak fluent English and employers employing foreign workers may now be charged an immigration skills fee.

For more indepth details about changes to employment law this year and further ahead visit and keep an eye out for updated news and articles from us here at Langley James.

IT & HR Recruitment Market Review- December 2015

Stressful people waiting for job interview

Key points:

  • Slower rises in both permanent and contract staff appointments
  • Permanent salary growth moderates to 26-month low
  • Candidate availability falls at weaker, but still marked, rate.

Growth of staff appointments eases

Although permanent staff placements continued to rise in December, the rate of growth cooled since Novembers seven-month peak. Contract staff billings also increased at a slower pace, with the latest rise also slower than the previous month.

Stronger rise in demand for staff

Vacancies increased at a sharp and accelerated rate in December. Demand for permanent staff continued to rise at a faster pace than signalled for short-term workers.

Decline in candidate availability eases but still sharp

The availability of staff for both permanent and contract roles fell further in December. Although rates of contraction were slower than in November, they remained marked.

Pay pressures ease

Salaries awarded to staff placed in permanent jobs increased further in December. However, the rate of growth was the slowest in over two years. Contract staff hourly pay rates increased at the weakest pace in 21 months.

Staff Appointments

Growth of permanent placements eases from seven-month high:

The number of people placed in permanent jobs continued to increase in December. After accounting for expected seasonal factors, the index signalled that the rate of expansion remained solid, albeit slower than in November. Panellists commented on rising demand for staff and robust client confidence as factors underpinning the latest increase in permanent volumes. The south posted the fastest growth of permanent staff placements in December, while the slowest rise was seen in London.

Temp billings growth eases slightly:

Agencies’ billings from the employment of contract staff rose further in December. The rate of expansion eased slightly from Novembers five-month high, but remained marked overall. Anecdotal evidence from the survey pane linked higher temp billings to rising activity levels at client companies. Growth of short-term appointments was strongest in the midlands during December, while London-based agencies noted the weakest rise.


Further marked rise in demand for staff:

The report on Jobs Vacancy Index posted 62.2 in December, up from 61.2 in November. The latest reading pointed to a strong and accelerated rate of expansion. Permanent staff continued to record sharper growth of demand than contract workers as has been the case throughout the past ten months.

Public and private sector companies:

Demand for staff remained considerably stronger in the private sector than the public sector during December. The fastest overall increase was signalled for private sector permanent workers. In contrast, demand for public sector permanent staff fell further.

Other vacancy indicators:

Latest official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) signalled that vacancies rose 6.4% on an annual basis in the three months to November. That was up slightly from 6.3% in the three months to October. Meanwhile, internet-based recruitment spending was up 4.6% on a year-on year basis in the second quarter of 2015. This was down from 5.9% in the first quarter.

Staff availability

Availability of permanent staff:

The availability of candidates to fill permanent roles continues to decline in December, although remaining sharp, the rate of deterioration eased since November. Lower permanent staff availability was recorded across each of the four monitored English regions, with the sharpest drop seen in the midlands.

Availability of contract staff:

Contract staff availability fell further at the end of 2015. Although easing from Novembers 18-year record, the rate of deterioration remained considerable. Mirroring the trend for permanent staff availability, the sharpest reduction in short-term candidate supply was reported by agencies in the midlands.


Permanent salaries:

Average starting salaries for candidates placed in permanent roles continued to rise in December. However, the rate of growth eased to a 26-month low. Around 21% of panellists reported higher salaries in the latest survey period, compared with approximately 6% that signalled a fall. Those panellists reporting higher salaries generally cited competition for scarce candidates, all four monitored English regions registered higher salaries, with the South and the Midlands posting the strongest growth.

Contract pay rates:

Hourly rates of pay for contract staff increased further in December. Although easing to a 21-month low, the rate of growth remained slightly sharper than the survey’s long run average. The Midlands led a broad-based rise in contract pay during the latest survey period.

Why Employees Leave and Why They Stay


It comes as no surprise that this is the time year that we see a surge in people deciding that enough is enough, that now is the time for a new start and go on to look for new job opportunities. Here we discuss some of the key factors that you should remain mindful of in order to retain your best employees in 2016.

Growth and progression

It is human nature that we want to better ourselves. The strive for growth is a very natural progression that an employee will go through during the course of their career.  It would be unfair and unrealistic to expect an employee to not toy with the idea of moving on to a better position on the job ladder, whether it be within your company, or elsewhere, no matter how loyal the employee. Internal flexibility is a favourable attribute that if you have the means to implement, is likely to enhance employee retention. This is the idea of being open to moving employees around and letting them find their talents and discover what they are best at. You may find that an employee you originally placed in one role, finds their niche and performs to a higher standard in another role just by giving them some flexibility to try their hand at new projects. Obviously it is not always possible to offer that level of flexibility to employees, depending on the size and scale of the business. In this case, challenge your staff, and provide them with a higher level of responsibility. This will alleviate tedium and create a feeling of purpose and worth. Read more on employee retention here.

Work life balance

Although it may be frowned upon by employers, it should come as no surprise when people say they would prefer to work only standard or flexible hours so that they can spend more time focused on other commitments. It can be easy for employers to overlook the bigger picture, and a lack of work life balance will not only impact on the person in hand, but their spouse, family and many other aspects of their life. According to the Mental Health Foundation, over a quarter of employees in the UK feel depressed due to their work load, and a further 58% feel irritable because they struggle to maintain a healthy work life balance. Work load plays a significant part in employee satisfaction and ultimately can influence an employee’s decision on whether they stay or leave. Projects are often time oriented, do not assume that if an employee continues on with tasks beyond scheduled working hours that it is because they love their job and want to be there, which of course can be the case, but not in all instances. A feeling of pressure will profoundly impact upon an individual and force them into working beyond their contentment. If an employee is showing signs of stress and continually working beyond what is expected of them, then perhaps it is time to discuss with the individual ways to more effectively manage their time. Read our top tips in creating and implement a work life balance here.

Lack of Recognition

Measuring how appreciated an employee feels is one of the most difficult things to gauge, but one of the most important. According to a recruitment survey conducted in 2014, a simple “thank you” to your employees is worth £1,608 a year. Lack of recognition or appreciation can cause an employee to feel undervalued and unsure of how they are performing, which can ultimately lead to anxiety and stress. People perform to a much higher standard when they feel valued and a boost in confidence can have a staggering impact on the standard of work produced by your employees. If you are finding that employees are disengaged, yearly appraisals simply will not suffice. Higher engagement levels will greatly benefit both you and your employees. Making small alterations such as implementing an open door policy, and setting goals and targets for your staff to reach, will get conversation flowing, and feedback and recognition can be easily carried out. Read more on open communication here.  

“The Job wasn’t what I expected”

This is the age old tale of someone who has taken a job role with certain expectations, and has been left feeling disappointed and misled when the role they undertook was not as it was expected to be. As a recruitment agency, when we ask why people are looking to move, a large number respond with “the job didn’t meet my expectations”. Often the problem is that the job description that was presented to the employee doesn’t match the role. Ambiguity of a role prior to an employee starting with your company can be far more critical than you would anticipate. People place a large amount of trust in the employer to provide them with the most accurate depiction of what they will be undertaking as part of their new role. Often it can simply be that the employee has misunderstood the job role, but can sometimes be that the employer has deliberately misled them into a job that was not for them. To prevent your new employee from making a move in the first few months of employment, take measures to ensure that the employee has a clear picture of what is expected of them. A trial day is a great way of demonstrating what the role will entail, and also the type of environment they will be working in. This is often a measure used as part of the interview process and will also give the you the chance to see if the candidate can perform to the standard that you expect of them, and fits in well within the environment.  

Training and Development

If someone is feeling dissatisfied with their ability to complete their duties due to lack of knowledge, satisfaction levels will suffer and you are likely to lose them from your team. Providing training and development at work poses great benefits to both you and the employee. It is crucial in keeping your employees engaged and satisfied in their role. It is also a benefit to you, with duties and tasks being completed to a greater standard. Enhancing knowledge through the appropriate training will increase confidence, and ultimately help you to retain staff. It will give the employee the opportunity to address weaknesses and to improve on those weaknesses before they make the decision to leave on their own accord.

If you are looking for someone to join your team who can help you manage your employee satisfaction and retention, then call us today on 0207 788 6600 and we can help you find the right HR professional for the role.

The Open Communication Concept

Cheerful coworkers in office during company meeting

It’s the beginning of a new year and time for a fresh start! The festive period is officially over and settling back into work after the Christmas break can feel like somewhat of an emotional roller coaster, motivation levels amongst staff can be low and the reality of getting stuck back into office life can feel like a struggle. Now is the time to revitalize the office and give your employees the boost they need. Increase motivation and satisfaction by creating open, two-way conversations and get your employees talking about their targets goals for the year.

Why create open communication?

Human nature motivates us to eliminate the unknown. Working environments have advanced from hierarchy causing a halt in communication between all levels of the ranking. Employees now want to know the processes behind the structure of the organisation and have a greater clarity of the environment they are working in, and who they are working for. The unknown causes uncertainty, impacting on performance levels. Transparency in an organisation will increase performance levels and ultimately improve employee engagement and retention. Read more on employee engagement and retention here. Job security and the ‘job for life’ concept is progressively becoming obsolete. Employees will feel a far greater sense of security and trust in your business if there is an environment of openness. Employees will take comfort when leaders appear ‘more human’.

5 steps to creating open communication

  1. Commitment to communication from all parties is essential. To ensure a smooth communication procedure can be executed, all members of the team must be willing and committed to the cause. This can only be achieved when all parties understand reasoning and share the same vision as one another.
  2. Leadership integrity is fundamental in order to execute such a proposal. A filter approach to communication is a necessary step in ensuring that open communication can start to penetrate through the hierarchy. Employees will lead by example, so begin the process by creating an appropriate procedure.
  3. Procedures and policies will aid in ensuring that your communication plan can be carried out fluidly. Policies such as an ‘open door’ policy, regular performance meetings, and setting key performance indicators for all employee’s will start to form a basis for open communication.
  4. Disperse negativity and break the cycle of hidden opinions. Encourage employees to discuss with managers any concerns and frustrations they may have. Negativity can impact on the energy and atmosphere and can have a detrimental effect on all parties.
  5. Respect open communication at all levels. Do not reproach, no matter how critical. Sometimes conflict is an aid in learning and development and creates motivation for change and for bettering one’s self. Unfortunately, conflict is often inevitable and must be viewed as simply detection and correction of error, and dealt with appropriately. Maintain order and respect amongst all parties by ensuring that difference in opinions or heated discussions get resolved effectively and completely.

Nurturing your business starts with developing the health of your organisation. Through open communication you can create a stable and well-constructed working environment. If you need help in implementing a solid communications plan, then contact us today on 0207 788 6600, and we will find you the perfect HR professional who will fulfil all your needs and requirements, and help you to achieve your HR goals.