The hiring process has changed.

As finance teams transition to remote working practices, clients are increasingly remote working ready and require candidates who have the right working skills who will benefit from the new normal, but some adaptation and changes are required:

  • Remote work benefits candidates by offering the option to pursue the job or career they really want, and clients gain a well motivated contributor to the organisation.
  • The hiring process has changed, interviewing and assessing candidates is performed online. If not set up well may well lead to lengthy, expensive hiring and onboarding times.

Choralis has adapted well to the new hiring processes that clients use and ensure candidates are well prepared for the remote interviewing process. Whilst the key modes for remote interviewing still remain phone and video channels, it’s a good idea for clients and candidates to be prepared to use assessment tools and aid making objective hiring decisions, even if both parties don’t meet in-person.

Potential assessments can include:

  • Simulation tests (e.g. case studies, giving presentations).
  • Work assignments (e.g. analysing financial information).
  • Skills assessments (e.g. MS Excel tests).
  • Cognitive ability tests (e.g. General Aptitude Test).
  • Personality and integrity tests.

Candidates working remotely also require a new set of soft skills, in addition to communication, resilience and social energy are looked upon as key remote working skills with particular focus on social energy; whether a candidate gains a “freedom” in setting their own hours and removing all the distractions typical of an office environment, as opposed to losing the social aspect of office life (i.e. a lunch with colleagues).

Resiliency in the normal office environment was always a requirement, but in the remote working environment this becomes something different, it is critical to be able to adapt and pivot quickly in a less structured work environment, where there are very few opportunities to walk to a colleague and discuss matters in person.

Choralis can assist you in your job search and ensure you are remote interview ready for your next opportunity!

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Why use a recruitment agency to fill your vacancies?

Recruitment agencyAlmost every employer has tried their hand at recruiting their own staff at some point and it’s easy to see why. Online job boards and social networking sites make it easier than ever for companies to reach out to job seekers they would never normally have access to.

While it may seem logical and more cost-effective to cut out the middle-man, why do the majority of organisations end up going back to their old faithful recruitment agency? Unfortunately, finding candidates with the right skills and qualifications who will also be the right cultural fit and want to stay with the company for many years, is incredibly difficult to do.

The job of a recruitment agency is far more complex than people realise and here are just a few of the benefits of using one.

Instant access to candidates

Recruitment agencies have a huge database full of candidates. This means that rather than waiting for people to apply to your position, chances are they know of suitable candidates without even needing to advertise the role. This speeds up the recruitment process dramatically and you can also feel confident that they will only put forward candidates they know and trust.

Saves you time

Unless you get very lucky, the recruitment process is often long and time-consuming. From writing out job specifications and sifting through hundreds of applicants to interviewing and sending out contracts, it can take weeks and sometimes even months.

When you’re trying to keep on top of your normal workload, things can get on top of you very quickly and you may end up hiring the wrong person just for the sake of getting the whole thing over with.

A recruitment agency can take care of all of this for you and they’re always happy to meet candidates before sending them in for an interview so you know you’re only getting the best quality coming through. Even once you have made a decision, the agency will look after everything from getting contracts signed to negotiating pay and terms and conditions.

Can save money

Some companies don’t like to use agencies because of course, there is a cost involved with doing so. Even though you might want to cut costs wherever possible, it’s well worth remembering that the cost of a bad hire is far more significant than just using an agency in the first place.

If you do it yourself and it goes wrong, you need to re-advertise, interview all over again, you’ve lost the salary you were paying your failed recruit, you may be a team member down for some time and then of course there’s the cost of lost morale that a bad hire can cause.

Extended reach

Unfortunately, the best candidates aren’t easy to find because nine times out of 10 they’re not actively looking and they can also choose to be as selective as they like. Even if a candidate isn’t currently active in their job search, there’s a strong possibility that a good recruiter who know who they are and how to reach them.

If you would like Choralis Consulting to help you find high quality candidates to fill your vacancies, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be more than happy to help.

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Employers reveal their top workplace concerns

Workplace concernsThe annual European Employer Survey Report which was completed by nearly 600 in-house HR professionals has revealed what’s concerning employers most about today’s workplace.

With many countries facing an ageing workforce, rapidly evolving technology and market pressures which are forcing employees to do more work with less resources, a huge number of organisations are taking the necessary steps to support the mental health of their staff.

With this topic hitting the headlines for much of 2019, workplace equality is also top of the list for many European employers. Perhaps the biggest surprise to emerge from the report however is that despite the never-ending uncertainty surrounding Brexit, a surprising number of companies feel prepared for its employment-related impacts.

What exactly are employers doing to address their top concerns however?

The report found that European employers are taking action to improve fair pay, prevent harassment, support employee mental health and prepare for any employment-related impact that Brexit might have.

33% of employers say that they provided female, ethnic minority, LGBTQ and disabled employees with more training and opportunities for advancement in 2019. This is an increase from 21% in 2018.

Following closely behind, 30% of respondents say that they’ve improved transparency about wages and pay policies and 32% said they’re modifying compensation policies.

The research also shows that employers are more committed to tackling workplace sexual harassment. 32% say they’ve updated their HR policies in 2019, 31% are addressing complaints and misconduct more proactively and 30% are strengthening their investigative procedures.  An impressive 42% of those surveyed also said that they support the idea of designating a point of contact for workers to bring allegations and 35% support mandatory reporting on the state of gender equality.

With the number of people suffering from mental health issues continuing to rise, it’s not surprising that employers are taking this matter very seriously. 87% of employers said that their organisation is taking steps to address employee mental health with 41% providing adequate time off and sick leave.

38% also said they limit work hours and 35% encourage a culture of open communication between employees and management. Promisingly, 28% said that their organisation has successfully reintegrated employees who have returned from taking time off work due to mental health issues.

With Brexit being the main topic of conversation every time you read a newspaper or turn on the television, again, it comes as no surprise to learn that Brexit has become a key focus for employers as well. In Europe, 48% of companies said that they’re somewhat or very prepared for any potential employment-related impacts of our departure from the EU while among UK respondents, this figure rose to 67%.

What have been your top workplace concerns in 2019 and what do you hope next year has in store for your business? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

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Can re-hiring former employees be a good thing?

employee productivityThe UK has been facing a skills shortage for some time now and unfortunately, this is an issue that doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon.

If you’re sick of leaving job postings empty or making the wrong hires in a desperate attempt to fill a role, re-hiring former employees could be a perfectly logical solution. Can there really be any benefit to taking someone back who chose to leave your organisation however?

They know the business

One of the biggest benefits of re-hiring employees is that they already know the business. This means you know they’ll fit in with the culture, they’re already trained on systems and procedures and they’ll be able to hit the ground running much quicker than someone who is completely new to the organisation.

Improved loyalty

If someone has left once before, your biggest concern is likely to be that they’ll move on again. If the employee in question quit after just a few months, then these feelings are probably justified. If someone was with you for a long time however, it’s perfectly justifiable for them to accept a new challenge so you shouldn’t hold this against them.

Re-hires do in fact tend to become more loyal and dedicated to an organisation because they’re grateful for the second chance and to be part of the culture once again. You’re also safe in the knowledge that your old employer obviously feels like your company is a better fit for them than any other.

Improved performance

Good employees typically move on because they want to get better at their job through a promotion or better training opportunities. In the time they’ve been away, they will have gained even more experience, improved their skills and worked with lots of new people which will all help to make them even better at their job.

Boosts morale

When you give a past employee a second chance, other employees will realise they’re working for a company that’s willing to reconsider re-hiring without harbouring any resentful feelings.

While you obviously don’t want to promote a culture of encouraging people to leave and then come back if they don’t like their new job, the odd re-hire reminds current employees what a great employer you are if people are willing to come back. This can improve morale in the workplace which will also increase productivity as a result.

If you are considering bringing someone back on board, here are some great tips for hiring returners which should ensure a seamless transition.

If you need help attracting great talent to your organisation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Choralis Consulting and we’ll be more than happy to help.

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What’s really influencing your employee engagement?

employee engagementEmployee engagement is a complex matter. After all, what drives one person might not necessarily be of interest to another. Although it’s likely to take time, mastering employee engagement is an important part of running a business because naturally, you want your staff to be happy, motivated and loyal.

Below are some of the most common factors which influence employee engagement and why they’re so important.


When we work with the same people day in and day out, it’s important that we get on with them. A huge factor that influences engagement rates is the quality of the relationships that staff have with colleagues, their line manager, the organisation as a whole and even people working outside the company such as suppliers.

Research also indicates that the single most important factor to drive employee engagement and retention is the relationship they have with their immediate manager. Bad management is also often cited as one of the main reasons why people leave their job.

If you’re a manager, questions you should be asking yourself include:

  • Do you trust your employees? If your staff feel you don’t, it’s likely to sour your relationship
  • Do you micromanage your employees? Again, this can make them feel like you don’t think they’re capable of doing their job
  • Are you aware about whether or not your staff are coping with their workload?
  • Are you providing opportunities for learning and development?
  • Do you provide your team with regular feedback and give praise when it’s deserved?


Employee engagement surveys continue to reveal that staff would rather be presented with the option to grow and develop their skills than receive a big pay cheque. If you want to keep your team motivated and engaged, ask yourself if you’re providing opportunities for promotion, advancement and learning opportunities.

The company

If your staff believe in your company and what it stands for, they will not only be more engaged but they are likely to remain loyal for far longer as well. As an employer, ask yourself:

  • How do your staff perceive the products/services that you produce?
  • Do your employees understand that vision of your organisation?
  • How does your company vision translate to what your employees do?
  • Do your employees believe that their individual contribution makes a difference to the business?
  • How is the company adapting to societal changes?
  • Are senior leaders trusted by other employees?
  • Are employees kept in the loop about changes that will affect the running of the company?


If you suffer from high staff turnover or low levels of employee engagement, think back to your recruitment process and what candidates are being told about the job and the company. If the job sold at interviews does not match reality, employees are highly likely to be left feeling very dissatisfied. If the company culture is incompatible with the individual’s beliefs or needs, this is also likely to have a big impact on their happiness in the job.


People are becoming increasingly conscious about their wellbeing and a good work-life balance is often a top requirement amongst candidates. Ensure that you’re supporting your staff and their personal needs. For example, if somebody is struggling with childcare, allow them to work flexible hours or remotely when they can.

Regularly ask for feedback to ensure that staff are coping with their workload and ensure that nobody is suffering from stress or anxiety because this can have a dramatic impact on their wellbeing.

If you need help with any of your hiring needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Choralis Consulting and we’ll be more than happy to help.

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Top answers to some of the most common interview questions

job interviewNo matter how many job interviews you’ve had, they can still be a nerve-wracking experience.

One of the best ways to overcome interview nerves is to prepare beforehand. Below we have listed some of the most commonly asked questions at job interviews and how to answer them confidently and professionally.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

We all find it difficult to talk about ourselves and it’s even harder when you’re trying to achieve the right balance of being confident without coming across as arrogant. Try to keep your answer to this question between one and three minutes. Start with a bit about where you grew up, then go on to your education and then finally, any work experience you have that’s relevant to the job you’ve applied for.

What makes you qualified for this job?

This is quite a direct question and if you’re already nervous, it can shake your confidence. Focus on specific skills you have and any accomplishments that make you stand out from the competition. Remember to only mention skills, qualifications and achievements that are relevant to the position you’ve applied for.

How would you describe yourself?

This is another difficult question to answer but interviewers like to ask it so they can get an idea of what you would be like to work with. Think about three of your best attributes and expand on them with examples. Keep it professional however, a potential employer doesn’t want to know that you’re a really good friend or make amazing cakes.

Good examples include being organised, having good attention to detail, enjoying working with other people, caring about others and having good leadership skills.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Despite the fact that this is an old favourite amongst interviewers, it’s still one of the top questions we dread to hear.

When it comes to your weaknesses, avoid clichés such as ‘I work too hard.’ It’s obvious, predictable and you can guarantee everyone else has said the same thing. One of the best things you can do is be honest about your weaknesses and say how you have worked to overcome them. Say for example you’re not a very good public speaker. You can say you have attended public speaking classes or forced yourself to volunteer for speaking roles so you become more comfortable with it.

When it comes to your strengths, as always, make it relevant to the job. If it’s a managerial role for example, mention your strong leadership skills and provide an example of a time you lead your team to success.

Why are you looking for a new job?

No matter what the circumstances are, never speak negatively about a previous employer. It looks worse on you than anyone else and it could cost you the job.

The best way to answer this question is to emphasise the fact that you’re looking to grow and develop professionally. Perhaps your previous employer was a small company that couldn’t provide opportunities for promotion or maybe you’ve always had an interest in the company you’re interviewing at so when you saw the vacancy come up, you jumped at the opportunity to get in front of them.

Do you have any questions?

We often go into interviews with a list of questions but find that by the end, they’ve all been answered. If you can, you really should try to avoid asking nothing as it may come across that you’re not that interested.

Some great questions to ask include:

  • What are the company’s plans for the next five years?
  • Are you looking to introduce any new products/services in the coming years?
  • Will there be opportunities for training and development?
  • What are your expectations of me?
  • Will I be able to take on a leadership role in the future if I’m hired?

If you would like help finding your next finance role, please feel free to contact Choralis Consulting and we will be more than happy to help.

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The top reasons people leave their jobs

quit job

Staff turnover is unfortunately part of running any business. Although employees moving on to pastures new is to be expected from time-to-time, if people are handing in their notice on a regular basis, chances are there’s something wrong.

As revealed by a leading recruitment specialist, below are the top reasons why workers in the UK are quitting their jobs.

Better opportunities

As people progress in their career, better opportunities will inevitably present themselves. Sometimes it’s simply time to move on but other times, they can be persuaded to stay if you give them good reason.

It’s important to offer employees new opportunities which help to keep them engaged and excited. Rewarding workers for their service (especially if they’re hitting targets and milestones), is also imperative. They could be in the form of a bonus, pay rise or promotion. Allowing people to move up the career ladder means they’re far less likely to start looking elsewhere.


32% of UK workers say they’ve left a job because they didn’t think they were being paid enough.

Lack of recognition

21% of us have handed in our notice because we didn’t feel valued in the workplace. This can lead to a bad working relationship with management which is why nearly 14% of us have left a job. A separate study from CV-Library further highlights this after it was found that 69.3% of us think that our boss plays an important part in how much we like or dislike our job.

Mental health

Mental health is a big issue in the UK at the moment with one in four of us suffering from problems such as depression, anxiety and stress every year. Unsurprisingly, employees are doing everything they can to protect their wellbeing which is why 15% say they’ve quit a job which has negatively impacted their mental health.

Bad cultural fit and lack of inclusion

One in 10 of us has left a role because we felt we didn’t fit in with a company’s values, culture or other employees.

Inclusion policies are something which is becoming increasingly important for businesses of all sizes to have in order to attract and retain top talent. A clear policy helps employees feel included and crucially, it can also help to dispel negative or discriminatory attitudes.

Despite this however, 45% of UK workers say that the company they work for doesn’t have a specific policy on inclusion and a worrying 58% said they don’t think their company prioritises diversity and inclusion.

Global diversity and inclusion expert, Dan Robertson commented:

“While many organisations have focused on the diversity aspect of diversity and inclusion, too many are still burying their heads in the sand when it comes to inclusion. This is not beneficial to businesses or their employees. What’s clear is that negative cultures are having a significant impact on companies around the UK, and workers are leaving as a result.”

If you need help attracting top employees into your organisation, please don’t hesitate to contact Choralis Consulting and we’ll be more than happy to help.

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The hiring statistics that could change the way you approach recruitment

recruitmentAttracting good employees is hard work and as a result, recruitment is often an expensive and time-consuming task.

Understanding how candidates think and what they want is one of the most effective ways of making a successful hire so below are some interesting statistics which uncover exactly this.

Candidates are 2x more likely to respond to your emails if they’ve already interacted with your brand

If you email candidates who have never heard of you before, there’s a strong possibility that they won’t reply. Because it’s not always possible to speak to everybody you want to contact on an individual basis however, social media is a great way to promote your brand and enable candidates to get to know you. This means that when it comes round to emailing them, they will feel like they already know and trust you.

On average, it takes 27 working days to make a new hire

One of the reasons why it’s so hard to find top talent is because they don’t stay on the market for very long. The best candidates are in fact typically snapped up after just 10 days.

If you find that by the time you approach someone they’ve already found a new role, it may be time to update your recruitment processes. You should be constantly looking for new ways to optimise your hiring process and think about how you can shorten it and also use technology to help you.

64% of applicants will share negative application experiences

Regardless of whether or not candidates are successful with their application, you should always aim to contact them to let them know. This is crucial if you want to create a good impression of your company – especially now that so many people can spread the word via social media. Nearly two-thirds of candidates will report a negative experience to friends and family and 27% say that they would even actively discourage someone from applying for a job at a company they had a negative experience with.

60% of candidates won’t apply for a job is the process is too long

It’s understandable that you want to know as much about a potential employee as you can but ensure that the application process isn’t too long because a massive 60% of people are put off by this.

A candidate’s CV should be able to tell you everything you need to know about them and any additional information can be requested at the interview.

15% of candidates who have a positive hiring experience will put more effort into a job

Every part of your recruitment process should be well thought-out and executed with care. If you make your candidates feel good from the moment you contact them, they will instantly start caring for your company and will go that extra mile to ensure they do the best job they possibly can.

More than 75% of professionals are passive candidates

 Don’t be afraid to contact people who aren’t actively looking for a new role because you could be losing out on a huge amount of talent. The vast majority of people are passive candidates and often all it takes it just a little push to persuade them to move to a new company.

If you would like help with any of your recruitment needs, please feel free to contact Choralis Consulting and we will be more than happy to assist.

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Five great ways to sell yourself at a job interview

job interviewFew of us are experts when it comes to boasting about our skills and achievements which is why job interviews so often feel like an incredibly stressful and daunting experience.

The bad news is that if you really do want to come across as the best candidate for the role, talking about yourself in a positive light is something you’re going to have to learn to do. The good news however is that practice makes perfect. Below we’ve listed five great ways you can sell yourself to a potential employer and ace that interview.

Make a good first impression

Whether we realise it or not, we make assumptions about people within seconds of seeing them so it’s crucial to make those first few moments before you’ve even said anything count. Dress to impress, walk confidently, maintain eye contact, present a strong handshake and most importantly, smile.

It may seem like a minor thing but an incredible 50% of employers say that not smiling is a good enough reason not to consider a candidate for the role.

20% of interviewers also say they’ve written off a candidate because they sat with their arms crossed and 65% haven’t given the job to someone who failed to make eye contact.

Prepare a short pitch 

Before a potential employer decides whether or not to hire you, they need to know you’re going to be the right fit for the company both professionally and personally. It’s therefore completely natural that they’re going to want to know as much about you as they can.

You can almost guarantee that you will be asked ‘can you tell me a bit about yourself?’ so make sure you master your answer. Prepare a one-minute pitch that covers any relevant skills you have but also try to get your personality across because this is equally as important.

Avoid negativity

We can’t help but be drawn to positive people so try to avoid negativity at all costs during your job interview. Even if you’re asked a somewhat negative question, such as ‘what are your weaknesses?’, try to portray yourself in a positive light.

Another key thing to remember is never talk negatively about your previous job or boss. This could create the impression that you’re difficult to work with and no employer wants to think that you might criticise them to others.

Show how you can have an impact on the company immediately

A great tip that will set you far apart from other candidates is to demonstrate how you will be able to start making a difference to the company immediately. Not only does this show confidence and that you will be able to hit the ground running, it also tells an employer that you’re not afraid to use your initiative and work hard right from the get-go.

Use the star method 

The best way for an employer to gauge what you would really be like as an employee is to ask behavioural questions. This may include anything from ‘can you give me an example of a time you had to deal with an angry customer?’ to ‘how do you keep yourself motivated when you’re not hitting target?’.

When answering behavioural questions, always try to do so using the STAR method.

Situation – describe the details of the situation you are using for your example

Task – what was the problem and what was your role in the situation?

Action – how did you handle the task or overcome the problem?

Result – what was the result of the situation?

If you would like help finding your next finance or accountancy job, please feel free to contact Choralis Consulting and we will be more than happy to help.

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Flexible working has increased five-fold in the UK

work from homeAn analysis of working trends carried out by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has found that the number of employees working flexible hours has increased five-fold in the last two decades.

Back in 1999, just 9.5% of workers in the UK worked flexible hours. Recent statistics from the CIPD shows that 54% of us now have the option to work outside of traditional nine-to-five office hours.

While flexible working provides obvious benefits such as missing rush-hour traffic, fitting in personal appointments and getting the kids to and from school, chief executive of APSCo, Ann Swain, talks about how it also helps to promote inclusivity.

“Flexible working plays an important role in bringing equality to the workplace. People with disabilities or caring responsibilities, for example, often are unable to commute to the office or work conventional hours, therefore the option to work part-time, compressed hours or remotely is a necessity.”

She continues:

“As more employers begin to see the opportunities associated with flexible working, we can both boost diversity and inclusion and help end the dire skills shortages which are impacting many sectors.”

 Can flexible working help with the UK’s skills shortage crisis?

The UK has been facing a skills shortage crisis for some time now. A report commission by The Open University found that in 2018, a staggering 91% of organisations struggled to find workers with the right skills.

What’s more, three in five senior business leaders (61%) report that the skills shortage has worsened over the last 12 months. As a result, 51% of roles have been abandoned and left vacant.

Coming at a cost of £6.33 billion a year in recruitment fees, inflated salaries, hiring temp staff and training workers hired at a lower level than intended, it’s important that businesses do everything they can to attract the right people.

Speaking about how offering flexible working to employees can really help in this area, CEO of Guidant Global, Simon Blockley commented:

“Through offering the option to work flexibly, businesses can access a wider, deeper and more diverse pool of talent to drive increased innovation, creativity and profitability. Here at Guidant Global, 82% of our entire workforce have flexible working arrangements in place, allowing mums to fulfil their career goals, dads to spend more time with their children, neurodivergent people and people with physical disabilities the options to work in ways better aligned with their individual needs. We are also working with a number of clients to ensure that this approach to flexible working – and the associated benefits – are replicated across the wider business landscape.”

 If you need help hiring great talent into your business, please get in touch with Choralis Consulting for all your finance recruitment needs and we’ll be more than happy to help.

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