5 Reasons To Make Friends With Our Clients

With the boundaries of work and personal life increasingly blurring, it is understandable that you are on friendly terms with (most of) the people in your office. However, apart from chats over lunchtime and sitting in various meetings, it will not always be the case that you will spend your working days communicating with them.

With so many people working in the service industries (78% of the UK economy), communication with “external” people is far more frequent

Why therefore can’t we make friends with our clients as well?

On first consideration, the word “professional” comes to mind. There should be certain boundaries in communications, and professionalism is often equated with keeping a certain emotional distance, but it is my experience that as people get to know each other better, these boundaries are being broken down.

I do believe that, with time, we can be friends with our clients, and here are five reasons why it is worth getting to know each other a little better:

You’re in it together. A problem shared is definitely a problem halved, and when you take on anything as “brothers in arms” (or sisters), it will be all the easier to overcome the difficulties. When you have a problem, you will be able to talk about what worries you, knowing that you will get a genuinely concerned and considered reaction from the other person. You have their back and they have yours – you will face up to issues together.
You’ll keep each other honest. Transparency is crucial in any business relationship, and if you are not afraid to show each other your hands, knowing exactly where you both stand will allow you to reach the optimal agreement for both parties. A policy of honesty makes doing business straightforward – if something doesn’t work, that’s the way it is, you simply have to explain why.
They will be your advocate. Everyone needs new business sometimes, and who better than a current client to be your cheerleader? Friends are more than happy to help each other out, and in a world increasingly driven by social media, the currency of goodwill that you cultivate with your clients will drive your personal and company brand to new levels. Helping each other has never been so easy.
Friendship outlasts business. Not every business deal with last forever. The cyclical nature of the economy might dictate that certain projects are curtailed, or the person may move on to a new employer. In any circumstances, there is a decent probability that your paths will cross in the future, and in any case, it is no bad thing to have an extra friend in the world.
Work becomes more meaningful. Having an extra reason to get up in the morning is never a bad thing. You want to do well for your family and your colleagues, but genuinely wanting to make a difference to your client (because you like them) gives you that little push to go the extra mile.

Certainly for me, many clients have become close friends. Over the years I have experienced stag dos (where we were also joined by Robert Downy Jnr for a short time), parties and even cycling holidays with them – and all of these friendships were borne out of an initial professional relationship.

Do you have close relationships with some of your clients or customers? Does it matter? Do you think that it will matter more in the future?

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I Can And I Will

We are awarded the long-anticipated promotion, and we subconsciously relax for a couple of years – no one moves up again so soon, so why bother trying?

The first-time entrepreneur stays as a one-man-band because they don’t believe that others will share their vision or will work as hard as they do. A mum-to-be underestimates her worth to the company and quits instead of working out a suitable plan for returning to work after a while.

Doors close in their minds where they have no right to be closing. If you work hard enough, you can be promoted within another six months, why not? Of course you can get people behind your fantastic idea – you only have to tell your story. And as for new mums being truly welcome and integrated back at work, well, this is one of the biggest losses for our society over the past few decades.

These people can do all these things, but for whatever reason they choose not to.

There are however a few unique individuals out there, who are told that they “can’t” do something, but they choose to do it anyway. They can and they will. No matter what.

I am lucky enough to call one such person my friend. This friend is charity ambassador, athlete & adventurer, Gavin Sandford.

Gavin Sandford, for charity, has just completed one of the most gruelling endurance races known to man, the Marathon Des Sables across the Sahara Desert back-to-back! This Challenge saw him running over 300 miles in 45°c heat carrying all that he needed to survive on him. He got an award from the founder of the MDS we he also auctioned off to support the charity “Wounded soldiers and Children with Cancer.”

No one had ever done this before, so in the spirit of his charity “I Can And I Will”, he set out to achieve the hitherto unachievable. To make this feat even more astounding, two days before the first leg of the race, he slipped and injured his ankle. The doctor’s advice was seven days total rest, but two days later he was pumped up on painkillers, pounding the sands of the Sahara. To say that he was close to death on a couple of occasions would not be an exaggeration – the BBC even covered his extraordinary journey.

I have the pleasure of competing with (against) him on some elite obstacle course races, and the guy is a machine. His body isn’t so different from my body, but what truly gives him the edge is his utter determination to move the bar of what is possible.

I Can And I Will. He lives these words, and the blog of his two races is well worth reading for anyone who is standing in front of an obstacle in their lives at the moment. Until you have tried it and it has worked out for you, it will remain a far-off fairy tale, but if you adopt the motto and make it your own, you never know what you might achieve. When you look back yourself, you at least have a chance to achieve the unexpected. When you shrink from a challenge, you can only imagine that you would have failed.

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Don’t Relax Until You’ve Crossed the Line

When you start a race, it is useful to visualise the path ahead, but this is never a perfect science. There is always an element of unpredictability, and you have to live on your wits until the very last stride.

Many amateur athletes have a tendency to relax when the finish line comes into sight, but this is the moment when you should be pushing yourself the hardest. One of your competitors may have been conserving their energy for a sprint finish – the moment you relax is the moment that they breeze past you.

In life and business, you can observe similar “self-defeating” tendencies when you feel that the race is over.

Individuals strive for years to put themselves in the frame for a promotion, but in the weeks before it is made official, they do something stupid and waste all those years of hard work.

Entrepreneurs spend their lives chasing huge amounts of investment, many getting carried away with their own hype and forgetting that they have a business to run. Money in the bank, let’s kick back and relax. Nope, that isn’t the “line” – the finishing line for any entrepreneur is a profitable business!

Companies monopolise markets for years, only to grow fat and inefficient, to be disrupted by hungry start-ups whose founders are fresh out of University. In this case, admittedly, there is no “finishing line”, the race just keeps going, but easing up when you feel that you have “made it” is the beginning of the end.

Don’t look back, and don’t look around. Concentrate on what you have to do to get to where you need to be, and don’t relax for a minute. Plan future goals and as you achieve them, plan more. This repetitive goal-setting cycle will keep you motivated and hungry to continually achieve and exceed.

I came across a video a year ago on YouTube. Faten El-Helw, an Egyptian lion-tamer came into the cage with two of her lions. She walked to the front of the cage, smiling and waving to the clapping crowd, her back to the two lions. Then she started dancing. The inevitable happened and one of the lions smashed her to the ground. For English rugby fans, this would be the equivalent of Maro Itoje taking out a seven-year-old kid. The hit was fast and brutal. The girl got up, but you can’t but help thinking that if she was just a little bit more aware of the lion’s mood that she wouldn’t have been so relaxed. She had the somewhat arrogant attitude of someone, who had already crossed the line, but she paid the price. The same was also true in the 2005 film, Grizzly Man which chronicled the life (and death) of bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell. Complacency when you think you have something mastered can be catastrophic.

Every time that I feel that things are going well for me, I remember that video with the lion or that documentary with Timothy. Have I really crossed a particular line? Is the job truly done and dusted? Could something unexpected happen to scupper my best-laid plans?

Whatever you are doing today, keep doing it until it is totally finished to the best of your ability. If you slack off during the last part of the job, maybe it isn’t going to be as good as it could be. There is sometimes a fine line between mediocrity and excellence.

Those last few metres before the finishing line could make all the difference.


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2017: Will Talent Acquisition be recognised at Board level?

The last two decades have seen a world of changes in the workplace; particularly in the talent acquisition field. Both have evolved drastically over the course of the past five years, and it will be interesting to see how these landscapes continue to change again in the future.

Will 2017 be the year Talent Acquisition is recognised at Board Level?
To compete for the best talent, recruiters and recruiting agencies need to keep up with the latest in HR trends as well as the different and diverse ways that candidates are seeking new jobs.

2017 holds some real game changers according to HR experts, not least of which is the changing landscape of recruiting given the new technological advances and the IoT (the Internet of Things), another game changer in recruitment. Another known factor is the fact that the marketplace is globalising at levels never before seen and it’s changing everything.

Also, recent economic upheavals saw many workers displaced and many jobs made redundant. Today, more than half of those positions are back on the vacancy pages of clients who have successfully traded through the recession. The problem is, subsequently talent acquisition professionals are now experiencing issues related to talent candidate shortages and are struggling to fill many internal requisitions.
The workforce marketplace and landscape are changing dramatically, and we need to change with it. Recruiting and retaining excellent talent remains critical for clients who seek to improve productivity and growth.

Smart business leaders know that talent acquisition is a necessary aspect of every business. They are finding new and innovative ways to fill in the talent gap holes left by the baby boom generation who are retiring. Talent and Recruitment professionals are looking for ways to utilise smarter technologies to attract more top, often passive, talent. New methods include creating virtual work environments, offering agile and flexible working conditions, and opening up the application process to candidates from around the globe who are either willing to relocate or who can fulfil the requirements of a role remotely.

According to the experts, “Talent acquisition is as much about retaining talent as it is about attracting it.” Recruiting great talent is worth its weight in gold to businesses but recruiting poor quality or incorrectly skilled talent can be equally costly. It is this distinction that is making Talent professionals more prominent and valuable in the professional workplace. Businesses who do not invest in talent attraction and retention risk hiring poorly trained or inappropriately skilled candidates who can ultimately cost a business vast amounts of time and money.

For this reason, the talent professional is now moving to the forefront regarding importance in companies that range from small to large. The talent acquisition specialist is now one of the most valuable assets to the professional workplace and offers as much to the employment landscape as other skilled professionals typically hired to provide strategic vision and advice to corporate boardrooms.

Talent acquisition professionals interact with other recruitment professionals and with internal hiring managers and directors. They are the liaison between the company and recruitment agencies, finding those which are most skilled in recruiting and working with them, negotiating fees to improve bottom line profits.

Today the smart money is offering talent acquisition a seat at the boardroom table. The smart business knows the importance of attracting and retaining real talent and leadership. Businesses cannot grow; they cannot expand—they cannot survive without the right talent to help them along the way.

Economic restrictions may have affected how businesses wish to invest, but it should not underestimate the importance of ensuring robust talent acquisition strategies remain in place if they want to rely on talent as its foundation for future growth. The problems facing talent professionals will, therefore, centre on productivity and ability to attract top talent. It is not a surprise that, according to the Recruiter Magazine, “83% of talent leaders say talent is the number one priority in their organisation” and that “Talent leaders identify employer branding as the number one area where they wish they could invest more”.

Simply investing in a Talent Leader is not enough. Businesses need to support this investment with a comprehensive talent strategy that incorporates investment in employer branding, specialist employment agency expenditure, recruitment tools and excellent remuneration retention packages if they want to attract the best talent in the marketplace.

So, will 2017 be the year Talent Acquisition is recognised at Board Level? We hope so. Top talent is hard to come by and getting them on board is the best way to ensure a future for every company. After all, it’s a highly competitive world out there…

1. What are your thoughts on this article?
2. Do you believe Talent Acquisition as a profession is undervalued?

Please like, share and comment!


This article was written by Steve Yardley, Associate Director at JGA Recruitment – the leading Payroll, HR & Reward Recruitment Specialists.

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please reach out for a 15 minute ignition call and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.
Steve Yardley
Associate Director
James Gray Associates Ltd
Payroll, HR & Reward Specialist Recruiters
Tel: 01727 800 377
W: JGA Website
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Payroll Blog

Will You Ride the Recruitment Waves of Change?

I have worked in recruitment for over 14 years now, and it has been an exciting ride watching technologies advance, methods change, expectations progress and businesses evolve as everyone tries to stay one wave ahead of the competition.

What has been more interesting is the way businesses, like fashion, tend to follow a cyclical pattern with it comes to recruiting top talent.

It is a fact of life and business that change is a constant, but this doesn’t mean that our future cannot repeat our past. Life tends to flow in cycles – sometimes you will be swimming with the flow and sometimes you will be struggling against the current.

To give a simple example from recruitment – as the industry develops there have been shifts from an external agency to an in-house model, but as social media starts to have ever more influence, the increased reach of the employment agency is now loading the dice in their favour. That is, at least, until employee branding and advocacy becomes a little more established. Getting 1000 employees to tweet and share a job description is not an easy ask these days, but in the future, the benefits may be so overwhelmingly obvious that it might be an expected part of their job. We’ll see.

Over the years, I have witnessed businesses outsource recruitment, only to bring it back in-house later. I have seen new efficient CRM’s and candidate tracking tools implemented and then disregarded later due to their “inefficiency”. I have seen internal recruitment teams double in size in an attempt to reduce external agency expenditure and then reduce again when cost-analysis, attraction and retention rates are analysed later. The current trend seems to be in optimising “free” social channels for new blood but once this source is saturated, like everything, it else will become less efficient as a talent pool and another new trendy initiative will take its place.

None of the above serves to be a critique; more an observation as I believe companies which undertook any of the above initiatives will likely revisit them again when current methods become less productive. It’s the cyclical nature of business, and it is human nature to want to change, improve and evolve.

So, getting back to the cyclical nature of things. For me, that is what makes life as a business owner so thought-provoking.

If history and society took linear routes to a relatively certain future, competitors would quickly align in the best interests of their respective markets. There would be little differential between businesses, and there would be a “risk off” attitude for fear of losing ground.

In the unpredictable world that we work in, where the future is far from clear, and change is the only constant, you can be sure that every business will be making their own bets on where the “cycle” will be taking them next. Some recruiters are building apps. Some are investing heavily in social. Some are moving towards the job sectors of the future. Yet others (in Britain) are deciding that a more global approach will bear fruit along the line.

A business cycle pushes people to evolve – if they stay still then, they will almost certainly be caught unawares by the next set of changes. When our competitors develop, we learn from them, and we improve our businesses in ways that we couldn’t possibly have foreseen.

When change comes along, swiftly in its wake comes opportunity (and, yes, a fair amount of threat as well). You can either ride the wave or be swallowed up by it. If you want to ride the wave you have to learn how to surf, and for me, that is one of the hallmarks of the best business leaders. They have the experience of surfing the cyclical waves of change, and when they see one appearing on the horizon, they get their boards out and start waxing. They make sure that they and their people are in the right spot when the wave breaks and they speed down its face leaving their unprepared competitors flailing in the crashing water.

There is a period of immense change on the way for Britain, Europe and the world over the next decade. Some of it is technological, some of it is political – much of it will have an effect on the cycles of business.

I’m interested and excited in how we can best ride that wave – bring it on!

Please like, share and comment!

This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director of JGA Recruitment – the leading Payroll, HR & Reward Recruitment Specialists.

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please reach out for a 15-minute ignition call, and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.
Nick Day
Managing Director
James Gray Associates Ltd
Payroll, HR & Reward Specialist Recruiters
Tel: 01727 800 37701727 800 377
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3 Ways to Guarantee a Successful Payroll & HR Implementation

Payroll and HR implementation system projects can be incredibly stressful, and it can also be very costly. In fact, if the implementation project is mismanaged, the result could be a complete failure.

In this short article, we will be looking at what we think are the three most important aspects a business should be looking at when a payroll implementation project is being considered.

Being a company that specialises in recruiting payroll & HR implementation professionals, we find ourselves discussing this subject with a wide variety of clients on a regular basis. We recruit a huge number of specialist consultants to manage payroll and HR implementation projects throughout the UK, and their work involves a huge variety of different systems. With this in mind, the following three steps should help keep your implementation project running smoothly; put you in a position to control all related costs effectively; and help you to meet all of your project milestones.

1. Choose the most suitable Payroll or HR software and ensure it fits within your budget.

Many businesses end up in a position where they rely too heavily on customization. What you need to remember is the fact that customization can be extremely costly. Heavily customised systems are typically difficult to manage, and you will almost certainly experience some difficulties when your system goes live. Plus customisation costs can spiral very quickly with software providers charging for configuration and consultancy work by the hour.
Ideally, you should always opt for a practical and straightforward system that has been designed to work with industry standards. People who sell payroll, HR software can be very convincing when they are trying to tell you what you need. It is, therefore, important you base your decisions entirely on the sort of functionality which your business requires. Set yourself up with a plan that dictates the essential requirements your system will need to deliver for it to be effective. Does this new system perform these or will it require significant customisation? Maybe it offers everything as well as some features which you do not need – do you want to pay for functionality that will not be utilised?

With a payroll and HR implementation project, you cannot rule out the need for some degree of customization, so this is something which you should discuss right from the outset (and budget for). As a business, you need all related costs to be controlled, and a reputable payroll & HR software vendor should not only be able to guide you through the process, but they should also be able to deliver a system that meets your needs and remain within your budget.

Understanding the costs involved is essential. There will be other expenses that perhaps you haven’t considered too such as for training one or more of your employees on how to use the system; temporary staffing costs while your existing team assist with the implementation (parallel running, user acceptance testing, etc.). There will likely also be both maintenance costs and future system upgrade costs to consider too.

Here are some questions to consider asking when it comes to your payroll and HR implementation:

  • Are the vendor and the platform perceived in a positive way in this market?
  • How long has the vendor been servicing clients and how long has the platform been on the market for?
  • Is the platform known to be a very stable one?
  • Are both the vendor and the platform HMRC approved?
  • Who is going to the do the implementation? The Software Company, in-house IT, Payroll/HR Manager, external consultant?
  • Does the system have the capability to cope with future growth / acquisition plans / changes in legislation?
  • Will the system “speak” to other systems already in place?

2. Plan, Plan, Plan for Total Success

Business directors often make the mistake of viewing payroll and HR software systems in the same way they view any IT system. Based on our expertise and our extensive experience in this field, we can assure you that a payroll and HR system is not just another IT system. Instead, it is an integral and vital part of your business.

Poor implementation can have an extremely negative impact on the overall success of your business. With this in mind, implementing the right software should be seen as being a business critical project concerning improved efficiency, reliability and compliance.

The overall payroll and HR implementation project should be broken down into different stages and targets. In other words, the plan should define set goals which will require the input of all members of the implementation team. If any attempt is made to try and implement too much of a particular system too soon, it is likely to cause large amounts of stress amongst implementation team members, and when this happens, can result in project failure or delays to the process.

If a payroll and HR implementation project does not fall into your field of expertise, you shouldn’t be afraid to seek professional assistance. A professional payroll & HR software consultant can help you to gain a thorough understanding of a variety of systems; they can quickly identify potential pitfalls; they can spot opportunities which you may otherwise have overlooked, and in the end, they can leave you with an excellent and robust system. If you believe you could do with some professional assistance, you can contact us here at JGA Recruitment, and we will do everything in our power to help.

Going LIVE is the final goal, and one which you will no doubt be looking forward to, but you need to be realistic about this. Before you set a specific go-live date, you need to consider the resources you have available, bearing in mind that some of your team members may also have other duties which are not part of the implementation. Likewise, some of your personnel may also have to receive training before the system is fired up.

3. Embrace and Manage Change Correctly

The implementation process should actively involve all personnel who are going to be working with the system once it becomes operational. Those in key positions must be prepared and ready to take ownership of the processes when the go-live date arrives. In short, the entire implementation process should be a hands-on experience.

It is also important to remember that change does not only involve personnel. Change needs to be managed in other areas as well, and this can be achieved by having a thorough understanding of your business processes, and by identifying changes which may be required in order to be compatible with the new system.

The easiest way to ensure a smooth transition is by making sure that employees have received adequate training, and by promoting change in a positive way. Change is often difficult because it forces people out of their comfort zone, but if promoted in a positive way, and if your team members are prepared for the changes that are going to affect their routines, user acceptance shouldn’t be a big issue when the go-live date arrives.

You should also be actively engaged in the process, and so should other employees who are in upper management positions. If this happens, it tends to have a knock-on effect, and it encourages the project team to engage even more.

Everything you have read in this article is a reflection of my thoughts and opinions, but this is based heavily on the sort of feedback we get from our clients almost daily.

If you are planning on undertaking a new implementation project and believe you may need specialist consultants to help on a contract basis, then please get in touch ( / 01727 800 377) as whatever solution you decide upon, we will have candidates with relevant experience available to help ensure your project starts and ends in the right way.

Do you have any implementation advice, horror stories or recommendations?
Please like, share and comment and let the world know about them!


This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director of JGA Recruitment – the leading Payroll, HR & Reward Recruitment Specialists.

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please reach out for a 15 minute ignition call and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.
Nick Day
Managing Director
James Gray Associates Ltd
Payroll, HR & Reward Specialist Recruiters
Tel: 01727 800 37701727

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7 Tech Trends in HR and Payroll that are set to continue…

New technologies continue to enrich the ease of providing HR and Payroll services to employees, and we predict the following trends will carry on in the months and years ahead.

1. Cloud-Based Payroll & Payroll Services
The Cloud is becoming increasingly integral to almost everyone in everyday life, and this is the same within the workplace. Businesses have become increasingly dependent on big data storage that remains accessible on the move. We have witnessed the cloud revolutionise the way information is stored and accessed within the workplace. Cloud-based apps are providing cost-efficient, real-time flexibility and convenience and with data analytics becoming an ever more important aspect of the modern payroll and HR professional, we can only see Cloud usage increasing. Data tracking analytics from tracking employee hours, managing payroll, monitoring absence, benchmarking data or even making amendments – whatever the requirement, cloud data can be accessed in real time anywhere and at any time. Cloud services provide ultimate convenience and efficiency savings for payroll and HR departments alike, and as such we anticipate this trend will continue as upgrades continue to make it even more efficient.

2. A Growing Focus on Data Security
As businesses usage of cloud-based payroll & HR services increases, one primary concern that often accompanies its usage is security. Confidential employee data information must be protected, and this has led the way for third-party service providers to offer new security systems which are being taken up by HR and payroll departments to ensure they are adequately protected. Fraud, identity theft and corporate hacking is on the increase so protecting employee HR and payroll data has never been more important. Added security provides more assurance that personal employee information stays protected. This investment in HR & Payroll data security is a trend that will continue as hackers become more sophisticated with the way they access and utilise stolen data.

3. Customisation of Payroll & HR Software and Partnering with Multiple Vendors.
Most companies employ a wide-range of employees, from part-time hourly, salaried, and freelance to expats, inpats and globally based staff. More and more businesses are now recruiting an increasingly global workforce. These differences all require a custom approach to ensure that systems can output accurate employee data and payment calculations. The payroll & HR legislation is often complex across different global locations, and no solution can cover all parameters and possibilities across all countries. Subsequently, we are seeing more and more Payroll & HR Systems being customised to cope with unique company employee requirements. More and more businesses are now partnering with multiple vendors in order to ensure that they can accurately deliver sophisticated services to these diverse workforces. The one-system-fits-all approach is outdated. Suppliers are responding by specialising in niches where they can guarantee excellent levels of service and businesses are responding by being more demanding of current providers. Partnering with multiple service providers and customising internal systems is a trend we believe will continue. Employee retention metrics have been linked heavily with a business’s ability to offer accurate, accessible and efficient HR and Payroll services to its employees. Unique, bespoke and customised systems and engaging with multiple partners makes this possible.

4. Focusing on the Team, Not the Individual.
HR departments are focusing more on collaboration and integration now than ever before. Employees are assessed, and recruitment decisions are made based on cultural and behavioural profiling as opposed to just skills based assessments. This is a trend we have seen increase because employers are competing to be the brand of choice in their specialist markets to attract and retain staff. Businesses are subsequently recruiting talent based on team fit and by assessing how an individual may impact on overall team performance rather than just on individual performance alone. Skills based assessments are on the decline, but behavioural assessments are on the rise. With company growth and profits intrinsically linked to team performance, we see this trend continuing.

5. Embracing Data-driven Decisions
Data-driven decision making is a strategic practice within organisations reaching new levels of analysis and deployment. By utilising data, employers can make employment decisions regarding where and how existing employees should be managed and assigned. Based on the interests, personalities and skills of the employee, data-driven decisions can be made on a massive scale that has been proven to improve employee productivity and retention levels. By assigning roles to employees based on interests and personality profiling allows businesses to utilise its workforce more efficiently.

6. Employees Evaluations to Optimise Productivity
Employee evaluations are moving away from score-based systems towards various feedback routes from multiple sources. These are designed to focus more on continual performance, providing employees with specific feedback to help facilitate improvement. Offering frequent feedback fosters an environment which has been proven to increase employee productivity. Higher productivity results in increased profits for businesses so this is one optimisation process we see continuing as competing companies strive to be the brand of choice in their chosen markets.

7. Payroll & HR Robotic Process Automation and Predictive Analytics
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is being utilised by businesses in increasingly smarter ways thanks to the cost savings automating processes can deliver. Many payroll processes can now be automated and virtual assistants and artificial intelligence is being applied to numerous payroll processes. Software is also being developed in a constant stream by developers to help HR & Payroll professionals analyse data in cleverer ways. Businesses are still discovering how best to use these RPA and analytics tools now at their disposal, and this has resulted in a new breed of payroll and HR professional emerging whose sole purpose is to effectively extrapolate, analyse and recommend (based on results) changes that can impact the bottom line.

Predictive analytics, in particular, are being incorporated to examine new and creative trends to help maximise profits. Information gained during payroll analysis can spot things such a fraud, overtime, sick days, and trends in the hours worked. When utilised effectively, the results can allow for HR and Payroll managers to implement significant cost-saving initiatives or spot costly fraudulent activities. The possibilities for how predictive analytics can benefit companies are endless so we see this trending for some time as HR and Payroll departments become smarter with how they can be incorporated and developed to improve efficiency. An increase in the need to hire skilled HR or Payroll Analytic Specialists is likely to follow.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. The HR & Payroll tech landscape changes extremely quickly and it is clear that if these trends are set to stay then payroll & HR professionals need to prepare for a more accessible, cloud-based, robotic and data driven future

I would welcome your views on how you see the market, what you see changing and which trends you think are here to stay (for now)…

Thanks for reading.

Please share and comment – I will try to interact with as many as possible!
This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director at JGA Recruitment – the leading Global Payroll and HR Recruitment Specialist Employment Agency.

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please reach out for a 15 minute ignition call and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.
Nick Day
Managing Director

JGA Payroll & HR Recruitment
Tel: 01727 800 377
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Generation Z in The Workplace

The term Generation Z, or Gen-Z, is one of many that is used to refer to people born from about 1995 onwards. The children of both Baby Boomers and Millennials; they are beginning to make their workforce presence felt in the workplace.

Like all generational cohorts, there are characteristics that distinguish Gen-Z’s from other generations. Incidents like the London bombing attacks and the global recession have served to shape their characters in many ways. Having seen the economic turmoil through which their parents or older siblings lived, many Generation Z’s aspire to be independent with many Generation Z’s expecting to be self-employed at some stage. Already we are seeing this impacting the UK workforce considerably. Since the economic crash in 2008, according to the National Office for Statistics, self-employment has grown from 12% in 2008 to over 16% in 2016.

This entrepreneurial spirit is embedded in Gen-Z’s. They are familiar with utilising online tutorials and lessons to develop skills and are using auction sites and online markets to sell goods, products and services directly.

Employers and HR recruiters need to learn about the goals and aspirations of Gen-Z’s, as well as what makes them tick. For example, they rate financial rewards as more important than their counterpart Millennials do. They are also the first generation to have lived exclusively in a globalised world. Most them have never known the world without the Internet.

Subsequently, the majority spend at least one hour per day online, while more than half spending at least ten hours online each day. The Internet and technological advancements in the way we gather and digest information has clearly influenced the way Gen-Z employees collect data. Social media is of vital importance to them, both as research tools and ways to express or market themselves.

Their ability to attract followers on social media networks should be of interest to employers, as this can give business a huge marketing advantage. However, companies also need to shift their thinking about what makes an ideal candidate. The Gen-Z workforce is a powerful, media social-savvy generation who will impact and shape the political and economic future of the UK. Employers need to embrace this and offer a workplace that challenges, inspires and motivates a Gen-Z workforce if they want to get the best out of them.

With instant information at their fingertips, Gen-Z employees are less likely to store facts and figures in their memory. To the more experienced recruiter or hiring manager, this can come across as disinterest or laziness. Thinking this way is a mistake. As technology continues to develop it plays important roles in all aspects of modern living and the way employers run their businesses. Gen-Z employees disseminate information differently to their Millennial counterparts. Employers and HR recruiters need to be willing to embrace this change in ways of thinking so they can both attract and then get the best from tech-savvy Gen Z’s.


1. What changes have you seen in the workplace since 2008?
2. Has your business reacted to the Gen-Z generation?


This article was written by Steve Yardley, Associate Director at JGA Recruitment – the leading Payroll, HR & Reward Recruitment Specialists.

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please reach out for a 15 minute ignition call and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.
Steve Yardley
Associate Director
James Gray Associates Ltd
Payroll, HR & Reward Specialist Recruiters
Tel: 01727 800 377
Payroll Video: Youtube Link
HR Video: Youtube Link 
About Us Video: Youtube Link


Credits & Sources:
1. Office for National Statistics:
2. Image:


Hidden ROI

Hidden ROI: Hiring the right talent results in better retention

Return on investment is no always one-off concrete figure.

Much of the benefits can come over a longer period of time, the better the investment, the longer the compounding of the return will continue. When we are considering the recruitment of an individual into a business, this is certainly the case.

The impact that the right person can make is hard to measure, but you can be sure that the ripples will spread far beyond their immediate circle. They might leave after three years, but their decisions will live to take the company to the next level. Even so, it is true to say that it is best that fantastic performers stay for as long as possible.
There is an interesting conundrum here.

Not all fantastic performers are guaranteed to stay in a job for any decent length of time. Why? Because the job has to be an excellent fit for them. Otherwise, they will leave pretty swiftly for something more compelling. The key, therefore, is not blindly recruiting the best people in the market but ensuring that the best talent is matched up with the most suitable roles. It may be the case that the stand-out performer is not the stand-out candidate – if they are not happy with the challenge, they will not stick around long. If the second placed person is super keen for the role, they would probably be the better hire in the long run.


Eleven David Beckham’s in a football team would not win the Premier League.

Great teams are not collections of gold medal winners. They are a mix of gold, silver and bronze winners, but with one commonality. Eleven David Beckham’s in a football team would not win the Premier League. Instead, a successful team should include a mixture of skills and attributes that when brought and harnessed together, brings group success. A robust and prosperous workforce is one where everyone is willing to work their socks off to help their company be the best. An excellent example of this was evident last year when Leicester, against all the odds, won the Premier League. A team of few known stars before the season began, but a team where every single player worked tirelessly for each other to achieve a united goal and attain ultimate success. Talent without drive will walk out of the door.

The key for the most successful recruiters is therefore to understand the secret sauce of the hiring company. Why do their people love working there? What sort of individuals do well there? What kind of challenges will the role present (or not, as may be the case)? Only when a recruiter knows this, can they understand the type of person that they need.

Are we negotiating the wrong metrics?

Most recruitment processes measure ROI based on the costs associated with attracting and then offering an applicant a job. Businesses work hard to negotiate fees, and recruiters work hard to maintain fee levels. To me, this the wrong way to look at it. Retention should measure real ROI. It is no good hiring a superstar candidate cheaply if they leave six months later and you have to start the recruitment process again from square one. In this scenario, you pay two sets of fees, and it is likely you will be in the same place again six months down the line. By measuring retention, you can also measure value added by an employee over a length of time. This metric is significant because, in my opinion, businesses would be better off negotiating rebate periods or offering exclusivity instead. Employers rarely benefit from an excellent recruitment process when they offer a vacancy to multiple agents at low fees. The net return is likely to be lots of recruiters racing against each other to fill a position in a contest that rewards speed over quality and subsequently, poor quality hiring decisions to occur. Hidden ROI instead is found in the levels of retention, development and promotion of a successful hire where value is measured over a sustained period.

On a simpler note, think about this. If a job isn’t expected to require a significant amount of creativity over the next two years, why would you recruit a super-strategic innovator? I know that this sounds like a stupid question, but you would be surprised by the number of superstars hired to do a role that could be performed perfectly well by their side-kicks.

As we approach full employment in the UK (whatever that means with the rise of the gig economy), it is worth remembering that in an increasingly candidate-led market, people will leave sooner rather than later if they don’t feel that a role is challenging them. You then have to start the recruitment process all over again and you will probably more often than not fall into the same traps over and over. It is a demotivating cycle of attrition.
• So, how do you measure Recruitment ROI?

The bottom line?

Happy, United and challenged talent = stable workforce and lots of hidden, long-term ROI

Please like, share and comment and I will do my best to respond!


This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director of JGA Recruitment – the leading Payroll, HR & Reward Recruitment Specialists.

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please reach out for a 15 client engagement ignition call and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.
Nick Day
Managing Director
James Gray Associates Ltd
Payroll, HR & Reward Specialist Recruiters
Tel: 01727 800 377
Payroll Video:
HR Video:
About Us Video:
Image Sources:
Beckham Image:


How does a business measure recruitment success?

‘4 Recruitment Rights to Avoid a Left’ Strategy to achieving effective recruitment analytics.

Those not directly involved in the world of recruitment and talent acquisition will often view it as a being a bit like a giant supermarket of people and jobs. Go to the right department and grab the job, match it with a person from another aisle. The reality is quite different, and I would prefer to compare it to stockbroking. It is wildly diverse and quite often moves at the speed of light. Success or failure can take place in the blink of an eye.

So, given that fact, how do businesses or recruiters quantify their success? There are multiple metrics used to measure the success of a given recruitment process. However, only very rarely in the volatile and diverse environment of recruitment does a single metric tell the complete story.

Successful talent acquisition requires an analysis of a combination of parameters to ascertain if a hiring process was or is a success. Significantly, we need to agree that stating that a process was a success or a failure is simply too generic. Instead, we need to assess and measure its success actively.

Determining success can be achieved by using and analysing multiple talent acquisition metrics. There are five key metrics to consider which I call “4 Recruitment Rights to avoid a Left”:

• Right Person?
• Right Role?
• Right Time?
• Right Price?
• Left Tenure?

We very often focus our attention on what CAN be measured and fail to see that not everything SHOULD be measured. Additionally, we don’t always appreciate that the way we quantify or analyse those measurements can change, just as every aspect of recruitment is subject to rapid-fire changes.

Recruitment is a fluid and fast process and subsequently subject to changing very quickly. Multiple parameters should be reviewed, and ideally, if all metrics are working in harmony, they can tell us if we have done our job well. The six parameters I would recommend utilising to give you the most robust information (when viewed as a group) for you to assess whether your hiring processes are efficient and fruitful are these:

1. Retention Rates (how long the new hire stays with the company):
The retention metric analyses how many resignations and involuntary turnovers a business has had. How many people stayed with the company for less than three months? If you’re hiring people who leave the company within the first 90 days, it’s most likely that the company has not experienced a real return on investment (ROI). It is costly to recruit, engage, on-board and train new starters to do the job for which they were hired. Whether they resigned or involuntarily dismissed, the reality is that it was the wrong person for the job or you as the recruiter miss-sold the opportunity. The number of times this happens will dictate whether you are hiring the right people or not. They may also highlight potential areas for improvement within your recruitment process.

2. The overall time it takes to hire:
While this is a metric that is sometimes overused or used incorrectly, it is one that should be measured. A quick hire isn’t always the best hire, but conversely, the longer that you wait to on-board a candidate, the costlier the hire will be. If a candidate waits for a considerable time for an offer to come, quite often they will remove themselves from the running or be recruited by other companies, and you’ll be left with the least viable candidates. This can be costly in many ways since the most desirable candidates may be out of the running; it could cause you to lower your recruitment standards and hire someone less suitable and more than likely it will take your business longer to recruit – all of which are issues that will cost your company time and money.

3. The cost of hiring:
The actual cost of hiring has been traditionally quite difficult to pinpoint. Are you analysing costs regarding financials or time (or both)? Has the applicant added value to the business? The cost of hiring is, therefore, a metric that is only helpful or applicable when considered alongside other metrics such as retention rates and value and is not easy to determine when assessed singularly.

4. Hiring Manager Satisfaction:
Most hiring managers say that internal recruiters have a low to moderate understanding of the jobs for which they recruit. This is fair enough as typically they will be required to recruit for many different roles across multiple specialist areas and it is impossible to be an expert in every industry. Therefore, internal recruiters will often engage with specialist agencies such as ourselves (JGA Recruitment). If they don’t then hiring managers may report not always being happy with the calibre of candidates sent. Sending out surveys to the hiring managers and asking for their input on the job that you do is a great way to track how successful your candidates were. With new technologies, available that allow hiring managers to answer surveys quickly and easily electronically, they are now more likely to respond and give you the information that you need to learn from each hire.

5. Value the hire adds to the business (post-placement):
How well does the employee fit in and what value have they added to the company since joining? The hiring manager can tell you the answer to that and will do in your surveys. If the hire has added enormous value, saved time or costs, improved efficiency, or enhanced customer service then these are tangible and measurable benefits realised by the company and will help validate the hire for you and your client.

6. Increasing market share or reducing the strength of a competitor (by hiring their talent):
Did you hire away talent or a good employee from one of your competitors? If so this can dramatically increase the value of your company and your market share while lowering the strength and the value of the other. This is an excellent metric to use when determining if your hire was successful and added good value to the company or not.

There are many other metrics used to determine the value and the quality of a hire as well as those listed above. There is not, contrary to belief, one metric that will provide you with an ultimate overview of the value of a recruit. If there is one that speaks more loudly than the others, it is quite likely to be the longevity retention rate metric, which not only defines how satisfied the employee is but also how happy the hiring manager and other staff are with the recruit. That said, with so much changing so quickly in the employment scene, it truly takes multiple types of data and careful analysis to determine whether or not your hire is “valuable” and therefore “successful”. Use every metric you can find that is relevant to your particular hire to evaluate how well you’ve done your job and continue learning and growing to keep building on your methods.

If you have a niche payroll, HR, Reward or Marketing vacancy that requires assistance, why not consider engaging JGA Recruitment to help with your recruitment process. Contact us at or call 01727 800 377 and speak to a specialist today.

• How have you historically measured recruitment success?
• Have you learned anything from this article – please share?
• Which matric do you think is most important when measuring recruitment success?

Please share and comment – I will try to interact with as many as possible!

This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director at JGA Recruitment – the leading Payroll, HR & Reward Recruitment Specialists.

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please reach out for a 15 minute ignition call and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.
Nick Day
Managing Director
James Gray Associates Ltd
Payroll, HR & Reward Specialist Recruiters
Tel: 01727 800 377
Payroll Video: Watch
HR Video: Watch
About Us Video: Watch