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Will four become five?

There’s been speculation recently that ex-Chief Executive of Deloitte UK John Connolly is working with private equity firm HgCapital on establishing a rival to disrupt the Big Four accountancy firms. This can come as only good news to people that have been crying out for more competition in a market that has been dominated by the usual suspects for some time now. Follow the link below for more details.



Can you recruit better than Mourinho, Guardiola, Klopp….or BLT?

With reality comes fantasy. And when reality currently means unpredictability and caution – why not allow yourself to indulge in some fantasy where money is of no object and those pesky ‘real world’ issues don’t apply? BLT can offer that escape; Fantasy Football League time is upon us again….

Brexit definitely hasn’t had a chilling effect on the top premiership clubs; with the new football season imminent there is some serious recruiting going on!

In the management consulting world things are mostly positive but there is definitely more than a note of caution regarding investments and the hiring of foreign nationals who may or may not need special visas down the line.

It seems these are laughable notions in the football world.

Whether it’s West Ham making wholesale changes by bringing in 9 new recruits of 9 different nationalities (and letting go of 12), or Manchester United paying a world record fee for Frenchman Paul Pogba, ‘caution’ is not exactly part of the vocabulary.

In the Premiership, ‘caution’ is a word more likely to be proceeded by ‘police’ when the latest Bentley or Aston Martin is crashed after one too many glasses of Cristal.

Anyway, it all makes for an exciting looking premiership season ahead.

With that in mind, BLT would like to invite all readers to join the BLT Fantasy Football League. It’s free to join, easy to set up a team and there will be a prize for the winner. But hurry – the season starts on Saturday 13th August!!

The link is here: and once you’ve set up a team just use the pin 812804-224541 to join our league. Easy peasy!

We will be publishing the latest league tables throughout the season in our BLT Monthly Snapshot and BLT Quarterly publications. If you don’t already receive them then drop us an email at with the subject header ‘Fantasy Football’and we’ll add you to the mailing list.

We look forward to you joining up.

Happy recruiting!

Fantasy Football

Does the advertising guru from Saatchi and Saatchi have a point in the gender debate ?

Much has been written in the last few days about the comments by Kevin Roberts the Chairman of Saatchi and Saatchi around the gender diversity (or lack of it) within the advertising industry.   The parent company Publicis were quick to banish him to a period of leave of absence after he dismissed the gender bias debate in his industry with his comments that it’s “over”.  He faced further condemnation for his view that women are content with a “circle of happiness” and don’t aspire to the top jobs!

Now, I don’t know much about the advertising sector, but I do know about life in the management consultancy sector and can only assume that historically they have faced similar scenarios….white men in senior positions.  However, from what I can see in management consultancy,  the firms are making genuine efforts to not only attract but also retain their female consultants, through generous maternity benefits, career breaks, openings for returners , and possibly some flexibility on hours, although this is undoubtedly easier to negotiate with a current employer than a new one.

So far so good…..however, the harsh reality is that in order to reach the top you’ll have to make work your number one priority, to work five very full days, and often  some weekend time too, to give up your own time in the evening for work events, to change your plans at no notice to fit in with client deadlines.  While his comments may have been ill judged from a man in such a senior position, I can’t help but think there is some truth to the advertising man’s idea of a “circle of happiness”…for men as well as women!  Surely it is more attractive to have a rich and varied circle of life which yes will include a challenging career …yet can also include children and wider family,  friends, leisure time, holidays (which you find time to take and actually enjoy!) …and even some time to do nothing at all! The opportunities for progression are there for women in corporate life, in a way that they didn’t exist even when I first joined the workplace …..but sometimes the sacrifices mean it’s a path many women (and men) choose not to pursue.




The Honesty Policy

“What do you consider to be your greatest weakness?”

It’s got to be the question candidates fear most come interview time. Immediately your brain is in overdrive, reaching for any number of reasons that you are the perfect candidate. In fact, you’ve never displayed any weakness, even that time the big kids stole your lunch money. That was just a ‘learning opportunity’…

But actually, everyone has weaknesses. And being able to talk about them honestly is one of the most valuable traits that a candidate can possess. There’s even data to back this up. A study in the Academy of Management Journal showed that interviewers gave the highest ratings to business school applicants who were more concerned with being seen accurately than positively.

Another study (from Harvard Business School) asked undergraduate candidates to answer a question about their weaknesses. Only 23% gave what you might consider an ‘honest’ answer: I am sometimes late, I procrastinate, I never make tea… The other 77% of candidates tried to hide their weaknesses inside some shameless self-promotion: I try too hard, I care too much, I’m never not making tea… When the answers were reviewed, prospective employers were 30% more interested in hiring the candidates who admitted to a genuine weakness.

So next time you’re sitting in an interview (which I’m sure will be going spectacularly well) and that dreaded question comes up, take a moment to think, is honesty the best policy?



Cambridge Judge Business School

BLT will kick off the 2016-17 Cambridge MBA Careers Programme with  an “Introduction to the Consulting Industry”. Cantabrians seeking more advice should contact Sarah Arbel.

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