The Definitive Guide to Job Hunting

Advice, tips and tricks on how to engage with the UK jobs market in the 21st Century

Archive for January 2011

Technical Sales Manager (Garage Equipment) Midlands C.£35k

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Our client is a very well known branded manufacturer of diagnostic and garage equipment for the automotive industry. Their business sis growing rapidly and they new seek an additional Sales / Business Development professional to join their team.

Covering the central belt of the UK, you will operate from a home based location developing the distributor market. The role requires a high degree of technical competency in order to train client sales staff, and to do product presentations so the ideal candidate will come from the automotive aftermarket with a mechanic / vehicle technician / auto electrician background. You will also have a strong track record in sales.

In return, the company offers a stable working environment, a well-respected brand and the opportunity to be independent in growing your customer base.

For more information, please send your CV to or call 0845 269 9085 for more information

New role: Purchasing / Planning Manager (Aftermarket)

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We are delighted to be working with  a very well known global brand in the automotive aftermarket parts distribution supply chain. Due to ongoing development and strategic plans for growth in 2011, they now require a procurement and planning professional to join their management team.

You will be responsible for the effective planning of the product portfolio, managing the small planning team and ensuring maximum product availability whilst minimising inventory. This will include liaison with sales and marketing to maximise accuracy of demand forecasts for suppliers. There will also be direct and key interfaces with suppliers to ensure contractual delivery of pricing and delivery metrics. You will also manage supplier freight contracts and importation procedures to achieve maximum cost efficiency.

The ideal candidate will have extensive experience in logistics and supply chain planning as well as purchasing / procurement, within a SAP driven environment. Good knowledge of SAP is highly desirable. You will have experience of managing a small team, and ideally within a distribution business with a large number of parts references.

For more information, please send your CV to, or call 0845 269 9085 for more information.

Written by Cathrine Richardson

January 14, 2011 at 9:58 am

Posted in Recruitment

Challenging the status quo in 2011!

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As 2011 starts, so do I have plans to make changes that will have a real impact on CR Associates and how we support our national client base.

For years now, I have questioned the real value of bricks and mortar recruitment agencies and how the overheads impact on the fees ultimately charged to their clients. For me, the fee should reflect the value of the service rendered and not the overheads of the recruiter.

Recruitment is first and foremost about people. People are about communication. And any consultancy business is dependent on the quality of its communication strategy, especially in recruitment where soft skills are sometimes more important than anything else.

The Internet offers an excellent and low-cost avenue to communicate globally, and it makes sense for a UK-based recruiter to integrate this with the traditional verbal and face to face communication mechanisms. It allows around the clock contact, when clients and candidates are free to communicate from wherever they are. It makes sense for the recruiter to be able to do the same.

So in 2011, CR Associates will be going virtual and viral. In the first quarter, there will be exciting launches on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. There will be a new and improved set of blogs aimed at diversified audiences to share information, job search advice and vacancies. We will be launching a quarterly newsletter and monthly Good People Mailers to keep our clients and candidates informed of changes in the market. This will sit alongside our current strategy of networking and vacancy advertising that gives us presence on all the largest jobs boards in the UK. Of course, the core of this all links back to our website>

The main aim of this will be to give an open communications platform that will improve our accessibility for candidates and clients. But as always, there will be an experienced and common sense person to talk to and meet CR Associates will always be about personalised service first!

Watch this space for more news to come!

Guide to Job Hunting – The power of “No”

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I find it interesting how difficult it is for some people to say No.

Sometimes, saying No seems to equate with not being nice or courteous, it seems improper to just say “No thank you”. So people sometimes say yes when they shouldn’t because they try to be nice.

Not saying “No” can lead to problems and raise false expectations where honesty might have been the best policy. Being true to oneself, and standing by the decisions you make, is a skill and ability that is invaluable in business. Being decisive and firm about what you do or do not want will establish an impression of being trustworthy and consistent. This is absolutely imperative when you are looking for you next career move.  

Example: I have a candidate’s CV on my database. My immediate assumption is that he is looking for another job – Otherwise how would his details get on my database? I am very selective with whose details I keep and I qualify candidates fully every time. After all, circumstances change all the time.

When I call to discuss the job with him, he expresses interest and I submit his details. I make it clear that this must be a two process: I do this with all my candidates. They don’t have to accept every role I offer them, and I certainly don’t coerce them into anything just for the sake of it. Experience has taught me that this style of recruitment is a recipe for disaster.

An interview is offered – He accepts but on the day of the interview asks to reschedule. That is no problem, my client is amenable so the date changes. He goes to the interview and does a really good job, so the client wants to see him again. The feedback is very positive and he appears thrilled.

On the day of the second interview, I get an email to say that he can’t get the time off work so he wants to withdraw so that he doesn’t cause any inconvenience. I hear alarm bells and call him talk through the situation. He says he will be happy to reschedule so my client, again, offers a new date in between Christmas and New Year, as the candidate will be on holiday. Again, I make sure that he is really up for this and give him a chance to say no. He doesn’t.

Guess what? On the day of the rearranged, second interview, I get another email to say he has been called away to India for 3 weeks so he isn’t going to the interview. My client is terribly disappointed, they wanted to offer him the job at the interview. The candidate does not answer his phone or return calls or emails. However his LinkedIn profile is active as he is shown to link up with other recruitment agents.

My final assumption is that he was just fishing, and was never serious about finding a new role.

So we are back to square 1 – Thats fine because the new year will bring new candidates. But this is what I don’t understand: If he said no, and he had opportunities at every stage of the process to do so, it would have saved my client a lot of money and time. It would have saved me time and aggravation. It would have saved his own reputation. 

This is not a whinge: I hope job seekers can see the moral of this story.

Obviously I will never consider working with this candidate again. Not having the courage to say no, or to decline an opportunity, is constructive in more ways than one. It helps build relationships based on honesty, respect and openness. Anything less is unprofessional.


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