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Want to work in the charity sector?

28 July 2017

Are you a champion of causes and want a career that gives as good as it gets?If you’re the person getting behind the latest cause, have a way with words and the ability never to take no for an answer then working for a charity could be the perfect career for you. Paid charity work can cover nearly every career option from marketing and public relations to policy and hr, and comes with a healthy dose of job satisfaction. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.

Fundraising

What they do
Feverishly generate cash to ensure the smooth operation of the charity’s work. A hands on role where you can be expected to recruit individuals, groups and organisations to the cause through planned sales activities.

What you need
Excellent communication and social skills are an absolute essential. If going out and meeting new people is not your thing then this might not be the job for you. Being able to talk to anyone from celebrities at a party to the head of a company is crucial to success, not to mention being a team player. Unbridled creativity and tenacity are all factors of a successful fundraiser.

Earning potential
Initial salary may start at around £20,000 or so for fundraisers just starting out, rising to well over £30,000 for management positions.  

Perfect for
People who want to forge a career in the charity sector.


PR/marketing

What they do
Support the charity in improving visibility of the cause & brand building, usually includes public relations, copywriting, event organisation, campaign management and a range of other tasks.

What you need
As with most marketing roles, creativity is key. Drive, ingenuity and the ability to work well under pressure are all definite strengths when looking to work in marketing.

Earning potential
Depending on experience you can usually look to earn between £20 -£25,000 and upwards.

Perfect for
People who appreciate good advertising campaigns.
 

Events

What they do
Plan organise and promote a range of events, from bake sales through to fashion shows and more. If you’re the life and soul of the party then working in events is the job for you.

What you need
You’ll be representing and reflecting your charity at all times, so the ability to maintain effective relationships with donors as well as excellent planning & organisational skills are absolutely essential. There are no specific qualifications needed to become an Event Manager but experience throwing parties helps.

Earning potential
Starting salary can be around £18,000 rising to above £20,000 with additional experience.

Perfect for
People who love putting on a show.
 

Top tips

Visualise the job you want 
The first step is the hardest step. Set your goals. If the end goal is a stretch too far at this point, break it down into realistic and achievable steps.

Know your abilities 
Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, brutally honest, know where you are in relation to your goal, but don’t let this put you off. You’re on a journey and that journey may take you onto some ‘B’ roads before you hit the highway.

Get hands on 
Experience can be vital to break into the charity sector. If you’re just starting out, work experience and internships are both great ways to begin your journey. Entry level positions are also achievable with some transposable skills.

Talk to someone who is where you want to be 
Find someone doing what you want to do. Now that you have a role model ask yourself what is it about them that has made them successful. Maybe sit and have a coffee with them and talk about their career journey. Find out their secrets-of-success. You will find that people are often more than happy to talk about themselves and offer this key information quite freely.

Connect with others
Build connections with people who can help you. Join communities and professional networks – these may be specific functional groups or skill specific associations. Build a LinkedIn profile. Be relevant to their conversations and be prepared to hold your own opinions. It’s important to share your passion but stay on piste and develop an antenna to tamper down when necessary.

Brush-up on your knowledge 
Keep abreast of your profession, read sector related magazines and journals attend events and talk to people in commerce to get a fresh and up-to-date perspective.

Finally...
Passion and ambition is infectious. Your drive and energy will elevate you to stand out in the crowd. Be generous with your ideas and treat others how you wish to be treated yourself.

 

The Morgan Hunt  fundraising team has extensive experience in connecting great candidates with exciting vacancies for charities, not-for-profit, education and arts and heritage organisations. Contact us by calling the team on 0207 419 8900 to find out more.

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Want a career in finance? Here's how to get started

02 April 2017

Are you the ultimate number cruncher -the king of the spreadsheet? Want a career where money isn’t just the reward but the focus?

If you’re often the one left deconstructing the bill after dinner, have a sharp eye for detail and a mathematical mind then working in finance could be the perfect career for you. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.

Here are some careers to consider in the finance industry and some of our top tips to help you get ahead:
 

Finance assistant

What they do
Support the finance team by taking responsibility for numerous administrative duties. This includes managing purchase ledgers, keeping an eye on financial policies, setting up direct debits and standing orders to make sure the department runs smoothly.

What you need 
An organised and methodical approach to your work is essential, as is a strong aptitude for numbers. You won’t need previous experience for many entry-level roles, but being able to use excel would be preferential.

Earning potential
Starting salary will be around the £16,000 mark, rising to around £20,000 and above with additional experience. 

Perfect for
People who like to keep everything organised.


Accountant

What they do
Manage organisations’ accounts, ensuring their financial position is constantly updated and reported on. Oversee all incoming & outgoing costs of the company ensuring these are in line with the company budget as well as providing reports on improvement.

What you need
Numerical ability is a must, not to mention a passion for arithmetic and rigorous attention to detail. Qualifications are preferred but not always essential although a familiarity with financial accounting customs is favoured for most entry level positions.

Earning potential 
Entry-level salaries start at around £22,000 rising to £30,000+ with the right level of experience and qualifications.  

Perfect for
People who like deconstructing analysis.

 

Auditor

What they do
Support the finance department by reviewing risk, identifying opportunities and keeping up to date with any legislative changes ensuring the organisation is fully compliant with industry best practice.

What you need 
Excellent industry awareness and a duty of care to provide the business with the best possible advice.

Earning potential 
Initial salary may start at around the £22,000 mark, but successful auditors can be paid up to £40,000+

Perfect for
People who are great with advice.  

 

Finance manager

What they do 
Leading the finance department in the direction of the business objectives, ensuring team duties are delegated efficiently, working with the team to provide a strategic vision for the future. Control over analysis, reviews and forecasts of the business strategy.

What you need 
Excellent analytical skills, confidence and the ability to make decisions under pressure. Leadership will also be of paramount importance to your team. A degree is preferred, but experience in a similar financial capacity could work in some cases.

Earning potential 
Anything between £40 – £50,000 is typical for a finance manager depending on the size of the company.
 

Top tips

  1. Set your Goals
    The first step is the hardest step. Visualise the job you want. If the end goal is a stretch too far at this point, break it down into realistic and achievable steps.
     
  2. Know your abilities
    It’s time to look in the mirror and get to grips with your own strengths and weaknesses. Be brutally honest, know where you are in relation to your goal, but don’t let this put you off. You’re on a journey and that journey may take you onto some ‘B’ roads before you hit the motorway.
     
  3. Get a Personal Development Plan
    Craft a Personal Development Plan and decide what actions you need to take to reach your goals. Be specific, make your actions measurable and write a date in which you are going to hit the mile-stones and stick to them!
     
  4. Take advantage of the many opportunities 
    Maximise the in-house training that working in the finance sector offers. Talk to your line-manager about doing external courses or gain additional experience by shadowing others. If you’re working with suppliers they often offer free events to join that will add to your knowledge base. Take advantage of any free learning that is going on offer.
     
  5. Talk to someone who is where you want to be
    Find someone doing what you want to do. Now that you have a role model ask yourself what is it about them that has made them successful. Maybe sit and have a coffee with them and talk about their career journey. Find out their secrets-of-success. You will find that people are often more than happy to talk about themselves and offer this key information quite freely.
     
  6. Connect with others
    Build connections with people who can help you. Join communities and professional networks – these may be specific functional groups or skill specific associations. Build a LinkedIn profile. Be relevant to their conversations and be prepared to hold your own opinions. It’s important to share your passion but stay on piste and develop an antenna to tamper down when necessary.
     
  7. Be prepared for change
    Change is constant – get on board or get left behind. Keep your eyes-open to new deployments in your sector and do not be afraid to offer your services and get stuck in to any new project.
     
  8. Brush-up on your knowledge
    Keep abreast of your profession, read sector related magazines and journals attend events and talk to people in commerce to get a fresh and up-to-date perspective.
     
  9. Adopt a commercial mind-set
    Providing value-for-money in the finance is not good enough. The whole sector wants to see a measurable cost benefit and accountability for service delivery. Demonstrate that you can not only achieve targets but know how you can make these relevant to your audience.
     
  10. Finally...
    Passion and ambition is infectious. Your drive and energy will elevate you to stand out in the crowd. Be generous with your ideas and treat others how you wish to be treated yourself.

 
Morgan Hunt is a leading finance recruiter with a wealth of finance & accounting recruitment experience. We appreciate the essential function of finance and the importance of finding the right finance & accounting professionals – not only in terms of skills and experience, but also in terms of cultural fit and long-term development. 

Contact us or call the team on 0207 419 8900 to find out more.

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Using football to embed Maths and English

06 February 2017

More than just a fun way to get fit

Whether you love it or hate it, football at school is a great way to get kids outside and doing some exercise yet football can offer wider benefits.

We are all familiar with the traditional skills that are promoted in football such as team building, resilience, determination and respect. However, there is now a growing realisation that football can also be used to develop maths and English skills and even open up other career paths.

Understanding the angle of the corner kick

There are many opportunities to promote maths actively during matches, this can be as simple as working out how much time is left of the game or as complex as working out angles of corner kicks and pitch marking distances. Outside of the match environment the opportunities to embed maths become even more numerous if you excuse the pun. Take for instance player and club stats; by getting pupils to study player stats they can calculate a huge number of interesting facts such as the most consistent goal scorer in a league or number of saves made by a specific goal keeper. This kind of maths is much more fun than when most of us were taught at school.
 

Football commentators and writers

Initially it appears harder to promote English skills in to schools’ football, however this is only true if you simply view football as a physical activity. Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker, Clarence Seedorf all need a good command of English to write and comment on football matches.

When looking to embed English it is important to consider the entire sport and the opportunities that this presents. For instance, getting pupils to watch a game and then write a match report is an easy and enjoyable way to get pupils engaged with English outside of the traditional classroom environment.

What is football

Is it a game or an entire industry? Is it a sport or a career, a TV show or a university degree course, a way of keeping fit or a way to relax in an armchair? Football is all these things and more. In the wider context it can be used to engage pupils with maths, English and other key curriculum areas, in history, geography, business studies even technology.

Students learn better when they are engaged in a subject and apply thinking and enquiry. Lessons are more interesting and learning more effective. The student can experience greater achievement and be spurred on to further improvement. So football can be more than just a fun way to get outside, with a little intervention and creativity it can have a big impact on functional skills with possibly even having a greater impact than the traditional maths and English course delivery models.
 

Career Opportunities

So we have looked at football as a way of embedding maths and English but what about potential career opportunities? Ask many school aged pupils what careers football opens up and the majority will undoubtedly talk to you about becoming a professional footballer. However, there are many other career paths open to pupils interested in football, not just those on the pitch.
 

More than the sum of the parts

A football coach/teacher can make a significant contribution to their overall grades, even lead the way towards a high performing school. Exceptional schools are characterised with having cross school strategies linked to student achievement with a strong motivation to learning. The football coach or teacher is ideally placed to nurture these attitudes and behaviours in their pupils but it takes great commitment and creativity to put together lessons that will inspire. And a strong obligation to their pupils, that they deserve a whole learning environment when it comes to football, not just the head and footwork drills.
 

Play your part!

The English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) is the National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England and now runs over 40 National Schools’ and Colleges’ Cup competitions for both boys and girls. With such a wide reach, the ESFA realises the importance of supporting its members in the improvement of wider skills and actively encourages schools to make a football match a school-wide event.

For more information about the ESFA please got to: http://www.esfa.co.uk/
 

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So you think it's ok to use LinkedIn like Facebook or Instagram?

24 August 2016

Think again..

LinkedIn is not only a useful tool for job seekers in recruitment terms, but it has also become a necessity for business and professional users, yet as a social media channel it’s easy to fall into some bad habits.

LinkedIn is a professional forum for the working world and some content that you might post on your Facebook page is not appropriate. You can be conversational, but keep the conversation focused on the professional.

LinkedIn is often the first port of call for anyone thinking of hiring you. Your profile needs to make a good impression and it should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, there are many pitfalls that you can succumb to when putting a profile together or posting content and a small thing can make a lot of difference – here are some tips on what not to do.

Remember that it’s not a dating site
Profile pictures are important and you should pick one which makes you look professional and well-presented. However, posting pictures of yourself in swimwear, with a bunch of friends on a night out or on your skiing holiday is not appropriate for LinkedIn. Your picture is the first thing anyone looking at your profile sees and, if yours looks unprofessional, prospective employers will immediately switch off and click away.

This is not to say you can’t show a bit of personality in your profile picture, and you should by all means use one which shows you in your best light, but it must demonstrate that you are a competent, confident professional, rather than someone with a great tan who likes to drink blue lagoons.

Know your audience
Technically, LinkedIn is a social media site, but please note the use of the word technically. The platform is unique in that it uses the format, functionality and structure of a social media portal but targets a very different audience.

When people spend time on Facebook or Pinterest, they are looking to be entertained, amused or inspired. When people spend time on LinkedIn, they are in a completely different mode and are more often than not looking for something that can help them enhance their own career or achieve a specific goal.

This means that unusual content or anything that is not strictly to the point and providing necessary information is a useless (and annoying) distraction. What you may think are inspiring quotes or amusing asides on your profile page are very likely to turn off anyone who has taken the time to check you out, so you should make sure that everything you post is relevant and provides useful and insightful information about you and your expertise.

Keep it neutral
The above can make you look unprofessional, but if you really want to risk alienating prospective employers, the best way to do this is to clearly demonstrate your political or religious opinions. LinkedIn, as an extension of the work environment, is no place for politics or religion, and although discrimination on either ground is not allowed officially, if someone doesn’t agree with beliefs that you hold strongly they are that much less likely to hire you.

You can fall foul of this most easily in the ‘causes you care about’ and ‘organisations you support’ sections. Marking yourself down as a member of the Suffolk Society for Bird Conservation is probably fine, but anything relating to the Brighton & Hove Trotskyist Collective, Young Donald Trump Supporters of Reading or anything to do with God is not recommended.

For any more tips on how to make the best of your LinkedIn profile, contact Morgan Hunt’s recruitment specialists.

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Recruiting outside the social housing sector can bring in more talent

28 June 2016

And keep the wage bill down

Executive pay has come under criticism in social housing. In the largest 100 housing associations, pay in the top job has risen by 5.5 percent. It stands out because this is not matched in the lesser ranks and also because Government legislation is sucking out the surplus for many.

The ‘pro’ view for increasingly higher pay has been around the lack of skills and expertise within the sector; that salaries are benchmarked, that this is the going rate, and that ‘their’ particular organisation has twice the housing stock and consequently demands a premium rate - the latter metric having a curious and anomalistic alignment with worth.

The senior appointments team at Morgan Hunt has been placing top execs in the public and not for profit sectors for the past decade and there is some growing concern around the concept of ‘closed shop’ creeping under the boundaries of housing top level jobs; that a precondition of employment for the Chief Executive role is experience within the sector.

“It’s true, that the learning curve at the start of a job might be steeper if the person who is hired is not sector experienced, but there is no evidence to suggest that someone from outside the sector cannot do the job as effectively” says Frazer Thouard, Director, Senior Appointments Division, Morgan Hunt.

Economists always view long run investment curves with a dip to start with and then with increasing returns later on. An example of outside sector recruitment is Carolyn McCall, appointed Chief Executive of Easy Jet in 2010 after 25 years in the newspaper business. Aviation, media? Not a lot in common apart from both being high fixed cost businesses, but it has not mattered judging from her performance.

Are boards too close; do they lack objectivity when it comes to making decisions on pay and candidate selection, should there be more independence, more vision, a wider scope?

Both recruitment and Ftse 100 companies have been lambasted for being too narrow in their search and selection of candidates, including the appointment of non-executive directors.

We should not condone top pay for top skills. Skills of this kind often command three times higher in commerce and industry. Also there is an increasingly larger enterprise remit entering into social housing; and, given their social purpose, the shifting balance will be a higher and more challenging wire to walk for any CEO.

Yet talent in social housing does not solely exist within a homogenous housing group and the laws of economics will drive up price where supply is restricted. “Looking beyond the immediate social housing community can bring in much needed new talent and innovative thinking.” says Thouard. “If social housing is to evolve, it should look outside for fresh ideas. If the sector is doing all right then it’s ok to recruit from within, but it isn’t, and swapping around directors is not the best solution. This would be a mind-set change for the industry”.

This viewpoint is clearly not held by all. And there are issues in attracting good quality candidates from outside the sector due to its image, yet there is still enough within the remuneration package for recruiters to market with confidence.

For example the vast majority of Chief Executives (80%) are on defined contribution pension schemes; this is rare in commerce and industry. With employer contributions of up to 30 percent, recruiters need to wise up on the lure of these increasingly scarce additions.

For more information on Morgan Hunt Senior Appointments email us.

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7 rules of governance

26 May 2016

7 'common sense' rules of governance from Morgan Hunt’s round table discussion
 

Morgan Hunt played host to charity CEO’s to discuss how charity boards can become a more effective and informed Trustee body.

Lead speaker Suzanne McCarthy outlined her 7 ‘common sense’ rules and led discussions on what is about to change that will affect how charities operate for good.

 

Change is in the air. A new code from the Independent Fundraiser Regulator will be published in July. And that’s not all. Down the line new legislation in data privacy will change the dynamics of fundraisers’ relationships with donors.   

In Morgan Hunt’s breakfast roundtable we heard that the donor’s voice got lost under the strong fortissimo of fundraisers’ orchestral needs but how that must change with consent up front.

Suzanne McCarthy, Chair of Depaul UK led an inclusive discussion with our charity CEO’s; we listened to her down to earth advice on the importance of priorities and Trustees responsibilities; why relationships matter, how boards need to ensure that they work as an effective and informed body, where charity boards need skills to function properly, and why empathy alone is sometimes not enough.

The seven rules of governance will become even more important as charities get set to overhaul their operations in line with the new code of practice and new regulation to follow:

 

Governance fit for purpose

The first of the seven rules is grounded in a common problem that all charities face, working with volunteer Trustees.

Difficulties arise from working with a board consisting of volunteer Trustees which is much harder than working with boards made up of paid employees. Charity boards may only meet up to 6 times a year for a few hours at a time, with Trustees removed from the day to day operations of the organisation.

Beneficiary Trustees may have great passion for the cause, but might not possess the functional skills and experience for the task. Yet a charity board must ensure that adequate governance is in place and that their Trustees are fully conversant with their wider responsibilities.

Furthermore Trustees need to realise that everything done in fundraising is now done in their name and that good practise in Governance also demands constant review.
 

The function of the Chair

The Chair’s main function is to set the Board’s tone and direction to ensure Trustees clearly understand their function. The success or failure of a Trustee can depend on this.

A key point made was everything that a charity organisation does must be tied to value. It’s not about the money but about value, and Trustees must have a feeling and a kinship for those values.

This is not the mission statement but about what a charitable organisation is there for. We heard that if this cannot be articulated clearly then the charity will have difficulties with Trustees focusing on what they are supposed to do.

Value driven Trustees are supposed to act in the interest of the charity and their beneficiaries; to protect and safeguard the charity’s assets, and act with reasonable care and skill. They need to understand what the charity is there to do; the charity’s purpose, what the charity does and what it wants to achieve.

 

Trustees – not just for Christmas

It was made clear that being a charity board Trustee is not a half-hearted occupation. We heard that it’s not something that you can pick up and leave, like a puppy. It’s not just for Christmas, but a very serious responsibility that requires long term commitment.

The appropriate mix of expertise to have on board depends on the skills required to function and does not need to be a client beneficiary, unless it is written into the constitution, but you do need their voice.

“We want Trustee boards to genuinely understand the challenges that beneficiaries face. But we also need to move to more professional boards - the two things have to go hand in hand” said McCarthy.

Participating charities discussed ways in which to get understanding. We heard that sending Trustees out in the field or on a beneficiary project so they could understand the values and see what it is they are delivering was a great way in which to build this understanding. Trustees can get the chance to bond together and meet with staff. So it’s possible to get professional boards closer and engaged with beneficiaries.

Common to a lot of charities is the difficulty in recruiting Trustees and often the reason why charities only have beneficiaries on boards of whom may not have the necessary skills required. We heard ideas of non-remunerating ways of engaging people and keeping in touch, indeed with younger members, a chance to acquire skills and experience that they could take with them to new employers.

 

Size matters

Charity boards of the right size matter, particularly when boards have a number of different committees. Trustees must appreciate the requirements of confidentiality, collective responsibility and behavioural standards even outside of meetings.

But it was emphasised that if it is a committee that is covering the issue the Trustee cannot think ‘oh that’s already done’, committees do not let Trustees off the hook.  They still have responsibility for what is going on.

 

Trustee appraisals

Described by one delegate as a weak link many Trustees are still not appraised. We heard about the benefits that an appraisal system has in directing and in relationship building.

Yet a number of our participating charities already had appraisals in place. They were holding reviews and appraising Trustee performance with annual objectives for each member of the board, reviewed at the end of each year. Some participants were positive about how it was helping to professionalise chairs and boards. Others talked about the brick wall that they faced in trying to formalise their Trustee arrangements.

Rule number five is that Trustees should be regularly audited and appraised as individuals and as a collective – ideally on an annual basis.

 

It’s all about Priorities

Since Charity boards do not meet that often a meeting agenda needs to be focused on priorities.

The point was made that work is not done in committee meetings but afterwards. Charities were advised to work on getting decisions made at meetings. Important issues should be given sufficient time and space, commensurate with the level of decision taking required. For example large scale investment decisions should not be trumped by low level irritations.

And as not every Trustee will read every word of the agenda paper an Executive Summary has to be good enough to communicate the priorities. And that Executives and team members should be able to present their agenda to the board in a clear and concise manner.

The first hour of a charity board meeting is the most important. Board papers should be written in clear English, be accurate and contain good and timely performance management data. The requirement for the Trustee should be explained clearly from the beginning of the paper.

Finally always appraise meetings. Sit back and ask whether it went well. Question whether you covered everything that you intended to.
 

The partnership - Chair and CEO

The last of the seven rules was about the relationship between the Chair and the CEO. This must be a partnership and it requires trust, respect and openness. Chemistry counts and the relationship is crucial to get right.

The Chair and CEO must have a robust relationship and trust each other; working together towards strategic goals as a collective, effective and informed Trustee body.

For more information email our Senior Appointments team.

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