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We’re so British!

So we’ve been experiencing ‘an Indian Summer’ and we love to talk about it – “can you believe it, it’s nearly October?,” “it hasn’t been this hot in September since 1985,” “best get out the barbeque because we won’t see sun like this again in a while.”

I think it’s gone to people’s heads a little, ourselves here in the BLT office included. Sarah and Kate took a walk to the nearby Lincolns Inn Fields to shoot a couple of videos to make the most of the fabulous weather. Please check them out below to learn more about a couple of our hot jobs.

Consultancy: fee-sharing model

We’re helping The Consultancy Company recruit once more. Following our Spring 2011 campaign for consultants, they are hiring again.

They’ve been around for almost as long as BLT, and have an interesting business model which I haven’t come across before. It’s a fee-sharing one: 70% of fees on average are redistributed to the consultant team.

They attract experienced senior managers/directors looking for a new career direction, and experienced consultants who want a different way of working.

I like their proposition that you can do as little or as much as you want with them – a way of addressing the work/life balance issue which is the consulting industry’s big turn-off for many people.

They are looking at the moment for Supply Chain consultants. If you’d like me to put you in touch with them, email me your cv – TheConsultancyCompany@blt.co.uk Don

Slimming Down!!

McKinsey have just published a paper* which says that big companies which divest, rather than acquire, seem to do better. They analysed a sample of sixty 60 large disposals dating back over twenty years and found that operating margins went up in the five years after the disposal – both for the parent company and the demerged subsidiary.

A business mantra is that ‘businesses can never stand still”. Like sharks, they need to keep moving forward or they die. But is appears that ‘moving forward’ doesn’t necessarily mean just getting bigger.

If working for a top tier strategy consultancy – where advising on mergers and disposals
is just all part of a day’s work – appeals, then contact us here at BLT. We have strong relationships with a number of the top, top tier firms stretching back over twenty years. We’ll be happy to advise whether you can make a career with one of these firms.

Don Leslie dfl@blt.co.uk

*”Finding the Courage to Shrink” by Bill Huyett and Tim Kollett

Are you as big as a celebrity on google?

A very tiny, less than a quarter of a page article got me thinking this morning. No, it wasn’t on the eurozone crisis in the FT; it was in Stylist, the freebee I picked up for the walk into work.

Have you ever tried googling yourself? We may not all be of celebrity status but anyone who uses the internet leaves a digital footprint in some way. On hitting the search button with my name in the white box I wasn’t too surprised to see the outcome. The first two options are links to my facebook page and the second two led me to an unused MySpace page that I must have set up aged 14. After that they all refer to a chap named Charles from Texas.

What about you? The internet is a great way for employers to find out about you. What will they think if on your linked in feeds page it shows you connecting with every type of recruiter within a 20mile radius? Or if your profile photo shows you on a night out finishing off a bottle of wine in a rather short skirt?

I may be stating the obvious here but make sure you are aware of what people see about you on the internet! Change your facebook setting so only you can see photos, wall posts and comments and choose a picture that shows you in your best light. If you are on linkedin, think about making your connections private. And I know twitter is a means for you to express yourself but do think about who will see your tweets before you send them off.

I always google people when I hear a new name so think about the snooping your potential employer will get up to!

What impression do you give when in the hotseat?

After three full weeks at BLT (and a little push from Emma), I’ve decided that it is time to get my first post on the BLT Blog. Looking at some previous posts, Catriona told us about one of her candidate’s slightly unusual experiences on interview.

As someone who only one month ago was running round London from one interview to the next, slightly flustered and overwhelmed, I thought this may be a sensible topic to start with. With so much to think about before, during and after an interview, what are the simple things we can do to make a good impression?

Research from CareerBuilder.co.uk has highlighted the top 10 turn-offs to employers when hiring. So here are some of the things they went for:

1) Failure to make eye contact – an overwhelming 83% put this as their number one turn off. Don’t take this to mean that you have to stare at them as if you were a trained hypnotist trying to get them to act like a chicken, but spending the whole time looking at the floor is a no-no. Eye contact shows you are listening and interested in what they are saying.

2) Failure to smile – Don’t think that you are not allowed to show any emotion in an interview, you have to show the potential employer your personality. 48% of the employers asked chose this option as their biggest turn off, so think of the Cheshire cat’s smile from Alice in Wonderland before you go in.

3) Playing with something on the table – This was chosen by 40% of employers in the survey. Just leave whatever it is alone. Better still leave it on the floor or in your bag, that way you don’t risk flicking a pen at anyone.

4) A weak handshake – In my opinion there is nothing worse, and quite honestly I’m surprised that only 54% put this at number one. You need the employer to be on your side within the first 30 seconds of meeting you. Be assertive and confident with your handshake whilst making eye contact with the interviewer. Bear in mind that it is equally bad if you are too firm and bordering on breaking their hand; as someone nearly did to me just this week.

5) Crossing your arms over your chest – Chosen by 41% and its easy to understand why. Anyone with a slight interest in body language can tell you that sitting with your arms crossed gives a bad impression as you appear closed and disengaged. Try keeping your hands on your lap or on the arms of the chair, this will make it much easier to support your words with gestures.

Aside from the above, other habits voted for included: bad posture, fidgeting too much in your seat and playing with your hair or touching your face.

Interviews are nerve-wracking even without beginning to consider all these points. The best advice I could give to anyone is to be prepared and be aware of what you are saying with your body language. You will always be less worried if you have done your research and feel and look well presented. Remember, an Interview does not mean an interrogation; it is a chance for you to get to know the employer too!

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