Finding HR professionals with the blend of experience you need can often be a challenge, but as charity sector specialists it’s something we can really help you with.
We have an excellent record of recruiting into HR positions for charities, based on years of experience working with charity and not for profit HR teams right across the sector. We're in daily contact with outstanding permanent, temporary and interim HR candidates throughout the charity sector and beyond, and we're constantly sourcing new talent, helping us to cover even the trickiest of roles.
If you're considering a move, we can also help you find the very best HR opportunities available, be it permanent, temporary or interim, from junior assistants to senior director level and everything in between.
- Permanent and fixed term contracts
- Temporary and interim management
- CIPD qualified and studying/non-qualified positions
- Generalist and specialist HR roles, full or part time
- All levels from assistants and officers to senior management/directors
- Third sector organisations of all types and sizes
Here are just a few of the positions we regularly work on and have successfully filled over the past year:
- Employee Relations Specialist
- Head of HR
- Head of People and Performance
- HR & Recruitment Coordinator
- HR Administrator
- HR Assistant
- HR Business Partner
- HR Data Reporting Specialist
- HR Director
- HR Generalist
- HR Manager
- HR Resourcer
- Interim HR Consultant
- Learning & Development Manager
- Part Time HR Advisor
- Recruitment Officer
- Temporary HR Assistant
Senior OD Advisor (12 months)
My charity client based in South West London with good transports links is currently seeking a Senior OD Advisor to join their award winning charity. The role is initially being offered on a 12 month FTC basis. The role has been newly created to meet the needs of the charity, primarily working with managers and supervisors to drive new performance management initiatives that have been derived from the new organisational strategy. These performance management initiatives are being embraced by the whole organisation which has led them to having a lovely family feel culture within the organisation. Based in impressive buildings this organisation do so much for their employees, benefits such as subsidised lunches, free on-site gym and free car parking. The role itself is varied and will suit someone with the following skillset: - a strong understand and desire to implement OD initiatives - e-learning - excellent relationship building skills - demonstrable change management and employee relations experience - worked in a regulated environment such as CQC or Ofsted This organisation are really keen to bring someone in who has a hands on approach and is prepared to work with the managers to drive performance and enhanced learning within the charity.
£38k per year + good soft benefits
A fantastic opportunity has arisen to join a small and friendly HR team in a prestigious Independent School in West London. The Independent Day School are looking for an HR Manager with advisory-level generalist HR and recruitment experience, evidence of continuous professional development in HR, and a strong knowledge of current employment legislation. Experience of working in a school, with an awareness of school compliance and safeguarding regulations, would be advantageous but not essential. If you would like to receive further information for this role, with full details of how to apply, please send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Faye Marshall at Harris Hill on 0207 820 7303. Closing date for applications: Midday on Friday 1st November 2019. Interviews will be held week commencing 4th November 2019.
£40k - 45k per year
Head of HR
My client is a national front line services charity operating a number of services across the UK. Based here in London they are seeking an inspiring HR professional with a generalist skill-set to lead the HR function by example. With mixed responsibilities spanning across both strategic and operational HR, this role is truly exciting and pivotal to the organisation in building and retaining relationships across the charity and across senior managers. As Head of HR your main responsibilities - Cover the fulll spectrum of employee relations - Line Manage HR ops teams - Build relationships with senior managers nationally - Ad-hoc lead/support on projects around pay & reward and others Cultural fit is really important for this organisation, they have some bits they do really well and some that need improving, this is where this position can add significant value to the delivery of a top class HR function. The role reports into the HR Director.
£53k - 58k per year
Harris Hill are proud to be working alongside an amazing College in aim to recruit their next Registrar. The successful candidate will have charity or non-profit experience and available to start immediately. Role: Registrar Location: London Salary: £16.48 Duration: 3 months Hours: Full time Responsibilities include: To administer, record, programme and organise a seamless admissions process in a proactive and effective manner, from first enquiry to joining. To respond to and follow up on all enquiries about places in the College in a timely, efficient and personalised manner. To maintain pupil records (Schoolbase, electronic and paper as relevant) relating to prospective and new pupils to ensure data completeness, accuracy and integrity. To liaise with previous schools and referees as necessary, including requesting transfer of CP information. Over time, to take an increasing role in the admissions process for College Preparatory School To produce starters and leavers lists, pupil number lists etc as required. To oversee the compilation of the Admissions register, ISC Annual Census Reports and the de-registration process of pupils leaving the College. To organise prospective parent and pupil visits including undertaking private tours of the College and participating in all induction events. To arrange entrance and scholarship exam days and other ad hoc entrance exam needs. To assist in the co-ordination and processing of scholarships and financial awards in liaison with the Principal and Bursar. To ensure the receipt of all necessary paperwork prior to pupils joining the College, and the preparation of offers and acceptance paperwork. To assist the Principal and Senior Tutor with the planning and implementation of the open events for prospective parents and pupils. To assist other members of the non-teaching staff including the front office with general enquiries and cover. Essential criteria: Admissions experience in an independent sector Personable; Warm, polite and highly professional Exceptionally competent levels of computer literacy and administrative efficiency If you feel that you have the above experience, please respond with your updated CV or call Please note that due to high levels of applications, only successful candidates will be contacted.
£16.48 - 16.48 per hour
HR Manager (6 months)
My client is an exciting not for profit brand within the wider public sector remit based in Central London. The client is seeking an HR Manager to join them for a period of 6 months with the potential to extend further down the line. As the organisation are currently going through a period of change, which includes rolling out new initiatives across the organisation, they are seeking an HR Manager to help smoothly roll these out where needed and keep an eye on business as usual workloads as well Reporting into a Senior HR Manager you will be tasked with a generalist and project focused remit whilst managing one advisor. You main focal areas will be: - change management - organisational development - complex ER - line management Of course with every HR role it goes without saying that you will be involved in the day to day side of HR as well. This role is for an immediate start and the client is interviewing as and when they review suitable candidates. You must be immediately available or available at very short notice to be considered.
£40k per year
Harris Hill are delighted to be recruiting for a Interim HR Assistant to support a health charity in the tidying up and maintenance of the HRIS. Ideally start ASAP (Monday 14 October at latest) for approximately one month Job Title: Safeguarding Officer Salary: £14.88PH Hours: Full time Location: London Duration: 6 months Start: ASAP Key responsibilities: Support the charity in the tidying up and maintenance of the HRIS. HR assistance Person Specification Essential: You must be experienced in using Cascade HR Have excellent attention to detail Be used to data inputting vast amounts of data Be self-sufficient (although the team will of course be happy to help with any queries etc that may arise). If you feel that you have the above experience, please respond with your updated CV ASAP. Please note that due to high levels of applications, only successful candidates will be contacted.
£14.88 - 14.88 per hour
Harris Hill are delighted to be recruiting a Safeguarding Advisor for a fantastic Christian Non-profit. To be considered for this opportunity it is essential that you have a Professional qualification in a relevant discipline (as below). The successful candidate will be in sympathy with, and in their work support, the Christian aims and mission of the organisation and will have charity or non-profit experience. Job Title: Safeguarding Advisor Salary: £43440 pa Hours: Full time Location: London Duration: 6 months Start: ASAP Key responsibilities: Provide specialist professional advice and guidance to the Chapter on all matters relating to Safeguarding; To provide professional safeguarding guidance and direction to colleagues where there are safeguarding concerns about children or vulnerable adults; To contribute to and participate in the work of the Cathedral's safeguarding governance through representation at relevant internal and enteral meetings; To ensure the compliance with legislation and good practice, and challenge areas of non-compliance Working closely with the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor in carrying out clergy and non-clergy risk assessments; Ensuring policy is up-to-date and reflects best practice, liaising with colleagues and external partners, clarifying detail, accurately reflecting in policy drafts, maintaining version control; Managing cases of blemished disclosures with professional safeguarding expertise from the Diocese of London, carrying out DBS risk assessments and supporting managers in monitoring risk assessment actions; Supporting safeguarding training where required and with training, delivering safeguarding training to staff; Arranging or carrying out self-audits and act as the point of contact for audits, information requests and actions; Maintaining all relevant safeguarding databases, files, records and KPIs in accordance with legislation and best practice; Carrying out relevant safeguarding and administrative actions from the Safeguarding Advisory Group, maintaining the Safeguarding Risk Register and action logs, supporting others to complete actions and chasing/resolving when necessary; Providing back-up support to HR on recruitment procedures including DBS checks when requested; and Any other appropriate duties that the line manager, senior management or Chapter may request from time-to-time. Person Specification Essential: Professional qualification in a relevant discipline, e.g. health care, social work, probation service At least 5 years' experience of working within a safeguarding role and managing cases Experience of developing and providing high quality safeguarding training Experience of working with statutory agencies Experience of initiating and implementing safeguarding policies Excellent current understanding of current safeguarding legislation Excellent communication skills Ability to maintain high level of confidentiality in all situations, particularly those within the sphere of safeguarding Ability and confidence to make decisions and provide reconditions in relation to safeguarding Ability to influence at a senior level If you feel that you have the above experience, please respond with your updated CV. Please note that due to high levels of applications, only successful candidates will be contacted.
£43,440 per year
HR Manager (6months)
My client is seeking an HR & Recruitment Manager to join them on a 6 month FTC due to growth within the charity and a need to really iron out some recruitment and attraction practices. This role will be suited to someone who has some really creative ideas around how to recruit some niche roles which will include some care and support based roles for victims of domestic violence. Primary duties will be: - pro-actively sourcing candidates for vacancies - working with hiring managers to advise them on how to attract the best people - develop recruitment processes - develop talent pools - develop an on-boarding process - work with agencies and build processes for temporary staff - review HR data and systems, propose and implement improvements - review leavers and exit interview process - support HR operations as and when needed. This role is being offered to candidates on a 6 month contract basis. Apply now as candidates will be screened and interviewed on an ongoing basis
£36k - 38k per year
I am currently looking for a Reward Manager for an amazing children's charity. In this exciting role you will see yourself design, develop, implement, manage and communicate the compensation and benefits package for the charity both local and international. The key focus of the role is on the strategic and analytical elements of reward management. Key accountabilities: To oversee salary survey benchmarking, annual salary review process and salary modelling, working closely with the HR systems team to ensure data is accurately loaded with key deadlines. Project manage the organisation's employee benefits schemes Manage the annual salary review process Lead on reward projects including total reward, job levelling, salary structure review, annual salary review, and reward campaigns Coach the HR Advisors and Business Partners to ensure they are aware of new policies and trends Overall responsibility for ensuring that reward and recognition policies and practices meet the needs of the business Act as the owner of the pay policy and manage the bonus schemes Ensure an up to date and accurate knowledge of the current salary market data to be able to provide this info to the business Devise and co-ordinate the Reward & Benefits strategy Input into the overall budget for reward and benefits Lead on relevant market survey submissions on behalf of the organisation and conduct analysis of market data for budget recommendations. Provide advice and recommendation on individual salaries to ensure that consistency and equity is managed appropriately to bands, levels etc. across the organisation. Manage the job evaluation process within service level agreement timescales, undertaking the evaluation of roles and providing advice on the grading of positions and starting salaries. Build and maintain a database of role evaluation and salary benchmarking outcomes. To carry out the responsibilities of the role in a way which reflects commitment to safeguarding children in accordance with the Child Safeguarding Policy. If you have the above skills and experience and are immediately available, please apply online or contact Sekai today for the full job description!
£300 per day
Director of Finance & Operations
Harris Hill are excited to be working with a Scottish arts and education charity to identify they're next Director of Finance & Operations. This role is a hugely important role for the organisation as the position is a member of the senior management team and has overall responsibility for finance, operations and day to day operations. Based in Edinburgh this organisation promote literacy through reading and writing programmes throughout Scotland. The role has reports into the CEO and has supervisory responsibility for 6 staff members, Key responsibilities - Contributes to the development and delivery of the strategic business plan - Leads on the development the financial strategy, policy, systems and controls - Leads on financial planning, budgeting, analysis and reporting to SMT and the Board - Lead on the charity's people strategy, taking responsibility for all HR related policies and practices, including performance management and staff development - Lead the delivery of day to day HR services to managers and directors across the organisation through the line management and support of the HR Advisor - Monitors and delivers compliance with relevant statutory, regulatory, accounting and legal requirements - Acts as an ambassador, promoting the organisations work and reputation Experience & skills - CCAB qualified accountant or equivalent business and financial management experience (e.g. MBA) - At least 5 years' experience at senior management level in a complex organisation including evidence of creating and delivering organisational strategy and policy - Experience of leading in specialist professional areas with a proven ability to inspire confidence at all levels of the organisation - At least 5 years working experience preparing and reporting on statutory and management accounts to Board Level - Significant experience of taking responsibility a range of corporate services, such as office facilities, IT, HR and property - Strong relationship building skills with the ability to build and develop relationships with colleagues and stakeholders - Excellent verbal and written communication skills with the ability to effectively present at board level - Considerable team leadership, line management and people development experience
£45k - 55k per year
However fulfilling our work, there may be times when it starts to feel a little stale. Even the most sprightly can struggle to stay invigorated with an overflowing inbox, the usual monthly report and another lengthy project meeting to attend. For this month’s guest article, freelance writer and HR specialist Nicola Greenbrook explores why the job we love can sometimes hit a rocky patch and offers some valuable antidotes. A new job is a bit like starting a new relationship. There’s the attraction phase (job hunting and networking), the dating stage (the exciting first few weeks and induction) and then the disappointment stage (the ‘what have I done, I want to go back to my ex-job!’ panic when you’re confirmed in post). Thankfully, the stability stage follows (at last, knowing everyone’s name and what your job actually entails) before the commitment stage (in for the long haul, chasing progression). But, what if it feels like you’re permanently stuck in the disappointment stage? What do you do if the stability stage isn’t quite as comforting as you'd like it to be, and the commitment stage is a bit musty and in need of a freshen up? According to a Personal Group survey reported in The Week, just 41% of of Brits are happy most of the time at work, a decrease from 51% in 2017. It makes for gloomy reading, but 26% report that they are almost never happy in the workplace at all. So, what can we do to go from disgruntled to delighted? Stop, reflect and diagnose the issue If you’re feeling dissatisfied but can’t quite put your finger on exactly why, now might be a good idea to take stock. • Ask yourself some direct questions and answer yourself honestly. How long have you felt like this? Was there a trigger point you can recall? Is there a root cause or several factors making you feel demotivated? Is it just work, or are there bigger life issues at the heart of it? • Get to know yourself from the inside out and consider your core values, key work motivators (i.e. reward, recognition, teamwork, culture) and the things you’re truly passionate about. Then, see where your current role falls short of meeting your requirements and assess what you can do to fill the gaps. • Book in time with your HR or Learning and Development team, and consider taking a personality test to analyse what it shows about the kind of work you truly enjoy doing (and what you’re doing now). Seek guidance from a mentor or a life coach if you feel a more detailed exploration is necessary. _______________________ Speak up If the job you once loved dearly has lost its spark, don’t suffer in silence or let your disgruntlement intensify. Schedule in an informal meeting with your manager outside of the formal review process, and ensure you prepare to avoid a moan-fest. Clearly outline the issues with a positive mindset and be willing to present and discuss solutions. Ask for their perspective on how they think things are going - it may help to remind you what your individual work (however brain-numbing it may be) contributes to the bigger picture and the charity’s overall goals. This meeting is different from negotiating a pay rise. It focuses on solutions to rejuvenate and refresh your approach to your work and maximise your performance and overall contribution, with their support and backing. It could help you stay - and prevent them losing you. _______________________ Look inward Working in charity and not-for-profit requires a clear external focus on the needs of your service users, but have you taken a moment recently to consider how the work you do impacts your colleagues, internally? According to Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy, authors of ‘No Hard Feelings', focusing on work relationships rather than the actual work you do can provide a useful reminder of your day-to-day impact. If you're in need of a boost, think about how your own personal efforts have impacted or helped internal projects; Liz suggests writing down three ways your work has helped your colleagues, to get you in the right mindset. Make the effort to foster strong relationships at work; arranging lunch and the odd coffee or even simply stopping for a non-work chat every now and then could help you feel happier. A 2018 Gallup poll found that 'when employees possess a deep sense of affiliation with their team members, they are driven to take positive actions that benefit the business'. Finding a ‘work goalkeeper’, someone to keep you accountable for your work goals and general progress, could also help keep things pristine. Marshall Bright and Anna Davies, writing for Refinery29, suggest finding ‘someone who's just as psyched for you to achieve goals as you are’ can be a good way to crank up your workplace motivation. Spice up your work There’s no better way to freshen things up at work than to launch yourself into a new project or initiative, one that runs alongside the day-to-day. • Talk to your manager and suggest projects you can be involved in (or lead on, if progression is a motivator) that could make a difference internally and to your own motivation. Ask to shadow your manager/director at a client meeting or volunteer to join a committee. • Rather than simply attending, set yourself a purpose and a target; offer to take the minutes to brush up your skills and show off your writing ability. Ask a question or join in the debate. Agree to take away an action point and deliver on time to the best of your ability. Show 'em what you're made of. • Have you considered going to a work networking event on your own? It’s great to have a colleague to lean on and natter with, but going solo could improve your focus, help you find a topic you’re really interested in and seriously boost your confidence (and your networks). • Finally, explore any opportunities for secondments in another department or ways to collaborate with another charity to deliver on a project or contract. Absence can make the heart grow fonder after all. _______________________ Step away from it all... When everything gets far too much, sometimes the best thing to do (temporarily) is step away. Tim Herrera, writing for The New York Times, advises that ‘when all else fails and you just can’t find that spark of inspiration, fall back on a tried-and-true strategy: Take a little time away from your job’. Why not book in some annual leave or enquire about your organisation's sabbatical policy? _______________________ And finally… Here are some more quick-fire tips that could help put a spring in your step. • Give your desk a spruce up. A good scrub, a plant and a photo in a lovely frame can help create an extension of your personality and an encouraging space. • Listen to a podcast en route/at lunch. It could get you in the zone and excited again about your specialism/expertise and what used to make you tick. • Set up a lunch club. Whether it's a book club, Netflix dissection group or foodie crew, having something inspiring to look forward to can provide a much needed boost. • Inject your wardrobe with newness. Dress to impress… yourself. If you look disheveled and out of sorts, you’ll feel it. If budget is limited, get your old boots fixed and polished, invest in some accessories to jazz up a plain top and visit your favourite charity shop. • Reward your team. Give out weekly/monthly prizes (funniest joke, best socks etc) and consider the other 75 ways to fall in love again with your job (by Kevin Daum for Inc.). Adopting these strategies could help you and your job stay together, happily coupled, and destined for a brighter future. It could be time to go on a date again - with your job. Nicola Greenbrook - HR Specialist & Freelance Writer Contact Nicola, check out her brand new website, or follow her on Twitter. More from Nicola Greenbrook: ► How to handle the holiday handover ► How to manage stress at work ► How to negotiate a pay rise in the charity sector ________ ► More from the Harris Hill blog
If the rates in our 2019 Salary Report leave you feeling a little short-changed, what next? Requesting a raise in the charity sector can be uniquely awkward: feeling undervalued helps no-one, but does more for you mean less for those in need? Guest writer and freelance HR specialist Nicola Greenbrook has a wealth of charity HR experience and is here to tackle this tricky dilemma. How to negotiate a pay rise in the charity sector Why is it so difficult to talk about money at work? We share our career experience and notable skills to strangers at interview, we present brilliant ideas in all-department meetings and reveal our goals and ambitions in our performance review. Yet, when it comes to ensuring that we’re fairly compensated, it’s tricky to engage. Asking for a salary increase can often be shrouded in utter awkwardness or sheer terror. This apprehension can be exacerbated for those working in the non-for-profit sector, who have chosen to work there specifically for the cause and its mission. Some charities simply can’t afford to pay more than others, and in smaller organisations when funds are precious, asking for an increase can leave people feeling guilty and uncomfortable. However, as a recent article by CharityJob explains, not asking for what you deserve and have worked hard for may cause bitterness and frustration to bubble over and ultimately impact on your work and performance. Ensuring you’re sufficiently paid a salary commensurate with your talent, contribution and market worth is not only crucial for your own money management, but ensures you’re motivated to deliver on your best work for the charity. Here are some strategies to help you successfully negotiate a salary increase, guilt-free. Firstly, why is it so hard to talk about money? According to Dr Rebecca Newton, psychologist and author of Authentic Gravitas: Who Stands Out and Why, women tend to be less likely to shout about their accomplishments which can lead to their work, at times, being overlooked. Yet, it’s a topic that causes discomfort for most of us. It’s easy to talk yourself out of asking for more money and allow that pesky inner critic to persuade you that ‘it’s not the right time’ or ‘they’ll think you’re being greedy’ and so you put it off for another month. Perhaps you’re afraid of how to handle it if the increase is rejected or maybe the actual meeting itself causes you great anxiety? For those who are naturally unassertive, discussing the M-word is off bounds. You may be familiar with Noah Kagan, CEO of AppSumo, and his ‘coffee challenge’, where he encourages people to walk into a coffee shop and ask for 10% off their purchase. Daunting as it sounds to ask a complete stranger for a discount (not to mention the queue of grumpy, caffeine-deprived people behind you), it forces you out of your comfort zone. You may not really be fussed about a few pence off your morning coffee, but it could help you tackle a difficult conversation if you generally squirm at the idea of asking for money off. Why not give it a go tomorrow? Starting small could help talking finances a little more easy to handle. _______________________ Do your homework If you’re ready to take the plunge, don’t even think about diving in without getting your data in order. Do your due diligence; the more intelligence you gather, the stronger your case for an increase will be. Determine your market value by considering the following options: • Use guides like the Harris Hill and Charity Job 2019 Salary Report to benchmark where you currently sit, and where you should. This definitive guide to UK charity salaries draws from over 45,000 genuine UK charity and not-for-profit vacancies from the previous financial year and you’ll find current market rates for hundreds of different roles, so yours is very likely to be covered. • Know your numbers; get savvy about the charity’s financial performance and demonstrate how your individual contribution has impacted on the company’s bottom line (effectively, the line at the bottom of of a financial report that shows the company’s net profit or loss). • Ask your HR team about any rewards strategies or policies already in place or when any salary reviews take place so you can choose your timings wisely. • Dip into your trusted professional network; sector or industry professionals, mentors and recruiters and those who may be willing to disclose a genuine salary comparison, to get a broad perspective. Consider ways of posing the question rather than asking outright what their salary is. Avoid asking friends or co-workers. • Consider testimonials from trusted sector contacts, clients and suppliers. This could demonstrate you’re not the only one who thinks you’re smashing it and could further enhance your value. I hereby state my case In Otegha Uwagba’s Little Black Book - A Toolkit for Working Women, she presents invaluable advice on negotiating a pay rise. To ensure your salary negotiations have gravitas, the words you use will need to carry weight. She suggests outlining ‘what you’ve contributed to the organisation, presenting tangible achievements and quantifiable wins’. Be very clear on how your individual contribution to the charity justifies the need for you to earn more than you currently are. Place the focus firmly on your value by converting your successes into tangible achievements - your second to none campaigning techniques which resulted in a high profile campaign, your unrivalled ability to build long-term relationships which brought in a major donor - rather than simply discussing how busy you’ve been. Career expert Jill Jacinto, writing for Refinery29, makes the point that when asking for an increase, don't make it personal. Although it's likely your request for an increase is for valid financial reasons (a hike in cost of living, your desire to get on the property ladder, going to your tenth wedding this year), this shouldn’t be raised when seeking a raise. As Jill points out, if every manager awarded an increase on the basis of personal needs then businesses, especially charities, would cease to survive. Here are some final tips for making the request meeting, gulp, a smooth one. • Practice your talking points on a partner/flatmate/friend etc - Seek their honest feedback on your delivery. Are you umming too much? Are you speaking with conviction? Is your request clear and your reasoning sound? Perfecting the dress rehearsal could make the main performance a show stopper. If no-one’s around, video it. It might feel completely daft watching yourself talk, but you might even start to believe in yourself. Be authentic on the day though, and be prepared to go 'off script’. • Set the scene. Arrange a proper meeting with your manager, booked in with their PA if they have one, and ideally outside of a structured one-to-one where the matter could get lost amongst operational stuff. Frame it as a business discussion, although going too ‘hardball’ may not fit with your charity’s culture, so always be yourself. • Don't say sorry - Be assertive (not aggressive) and unapologetic. Be firm with your expectations and once you've stated the figure you are seeking, wait for a response rather than filling the silence. It’s now over to your manager… • Open negotiations - If you’re offered an increase, either during or after the meeting, that's lower than your expectations get ready to negotiate. Consider what’s best for the charity as well as for you - this is how the best deals are secured. If it’s an outright no, for valid reasons, be prepared to query what you need to do to get a 'yes' next time. Set a goal and a deadline to revisit, so you come away with something concrete to work on. Money talks are terrifying, no doubt. But by avoiding the topic and saving yourself the discomfort, you could be holding back your career progression and full earning potential long-term. Asking for a raise is not a confrontational discussion, it’s an honest, professional request to be paid what you deserve. As Aliya Vigor-Roberston states in People Management Magazine, open and honest discussions about money can benefit both individuals and businesses. So, there you go. No more excuses… Nicola Greenbrook - HR Specialist & Freelance Writer Contact Nicola More from Nicola Greenbrook: ► How to handle the holiday handover ► How to manage stress at work ► Charity Careers 4: meet James Harris of Rethink Mental Illness ► Back to the Harris Hill Salary Centre ► Back to the Harris Hill blog
If you like the sound of an inspiring and supportive environment, where your work helps charities of all kinds to do more, we might have just the job. Five of them in fact, with a unique and forward-thinking organisation. Read on or head straight to our dedicated CFG recruitment site for the details... A great place to work Good news may have seemed rather scarce in recent years, but for staff in the charity sector there's been at least one welcome development: employers' growing understanding of the connection between the workplace (both its culture and the physical environment) and what they can achieve. More and more organisations now recognise that investing in their people, not least by creating somewhere they actually want to work, isn’t just a ‘nice-to-have’ in the unlikely event of spare budget, but something that delivers real bottom-line benefits, keeping valuable skills and expertise on board, attracting new talent, and making them better equipped to pursue their mission. But while it's easy enough to make the right noises, making it happen can be rather more challenging, so it’s always refreshing to find an organisation like the Charity Finance Group (CFG) who’ve ‘totally nailed it’, as we’d say if this were a talent show and they’d just murdered a Nina Simone classic at us. Aims and opportunities A charity in their own right, CFG champion best practice in the sector's financial management, nurturing leadership and influencing policy makers, with a mission to put finance at the heart of social organisations. They're passionate about helping charities make their money work harder, to deliver maximum possible benefit for their beneficiaries. It's a clear mission that's easy to get on board with, so we're delighted to bring you five outstanding opportunities to do exactly that. They include a Conference Events Producer, Events Manager, Events Assistant and EA to the CEO (all permanent positions) as well as an Interim Financial Controller for a six-month contract, all working from their Islington office just moments from the Northern Line at Angel. The unique CFG culture Full disclosure: as specialists in charity finance recruitment (find the latest finance jobs here) naturally we work with CFG on a regular basis, exhibiting at their hugely-popular annual conference, regularly advertising and occasionally contributing to the group's monthly Finance Focus magazine. So while we can't claim complete impartiality, we can offer years of experience working directly with the team in various capacities, all of which confirms the impression we came away with from our latest visit: this is somewhere people genuinely enjoy working, with a friendly team who like and support each other, and who feel valued and supported by the leadership too. Pleasingly, that's because they are, as CEO Caron Bradshaw explains: ‘We spend so much time at work it should be as fulfilling and enriching as possible - and I just don’t think that is possible if individuals are not encouraged to be themselves and play to their strengths.’ We’re ticking 'strongly agree’ for that one, and from experience we know these aren’t just warm words and intentions, but how the organisation really works. Meanwhile forget any preconceptions you might have about a charity finance outfit being stuffy or austere: CFG is anything but, with a vibrant and enthusiastic team, strongly committed to their vision of helping charities achieve more, and strongly committed to their people, as Caron continues: ‘It’s about valuing your colleagues and bringing the best out of them. It’s about helping them unlock something inside them that maybe they didn’t know was there. It’s about passion, love, purpose and vision but also humility, humour and fun.’ Join the family If that sounds like the kind of ethos you'd love to find in your workplace, we thoroughly recommend learning more about these roles and the organisation - which you can do by visiting our dedicated CFG site with many more details of the positions, benefits, values, aims and organisational culture. Just click below to read on, find out more, and be inspired to apply! More from the Harris Hill blog ► How to handle the holiday handover: guest writer Nicola Greenbrook on how to ensure a drama-free departure ► London Charity Softball League 2019: meet the finalists! ► Charity Careers 4: meet James Harris of Rethink Mental Illness Don't miss the Harris Hill & CharityJob 2019 Salary Report... ...the essential new guide to UK charity salaries. With market insights from our sector specialists and the expert team at CharityJob, you'll find more than 350 current rates for roles in 26 job functions, based on over 45,000 recent charity vacancies. ► What should you be earning in the charity sector? Find out here...
Be it a glamorous getaway or simple staycation, holidays are a chance to relax and recharge. Which you'll probably need after the frantic fortnight of frenzied preparation that all too often comes first. So how do you take a stress-free break without simply cramming it all in beforehand? And what if you're left holding things together on the home front? In this month’s guest article, freelance writer and HR specialist Nicola Greenbrook has advice on pre-holiday planning to help you head away with everything in hand, keep calm with your carry-on, and be raring to go on your return. Holiday season is well and truly upon us. Oh, the anticipation of what’s to come! An opportunity to get stuck into the book gathering dust on the bedside table or to broaden your horizons at a bucket list-worthy destination. A chance to recharge and refuel. According to Dr Christian Jarrett, holidays can make us happier, healthier and even prolong our lives. Sometimes though, the pace and pressure in the weeks leading up to the holiday almost negate the benefits of the break itself. Here are some tips to help you deliver a successful handover - keeping your credibility, peace of mind and work relationships intact. Before you go... (Excited! Full of anticipation! But a bit stressed!) American polymath Benjamin Franklin quite wisely said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. He was spot on. Nailing a holiday handover is all in the preparation; giving yourself sufficient time to organise everything weeks in advance. Forewarn your absence Make sure your holiday dates are in your team and key stakeholders’ diaries as soon as your leave has been authorised; even if you sort the finer, exciting details later. If you’re client or supporter-facing or manage multiple projects, consider adding an extra line to your email signature a few weeks in advance that clearly outlines the period of your absence. Rather than appearing smug (‘I'M GOING ON HOLIDAY FOR TWO WEEKS AND YOU'RE NOT’) it instead ensures your contacts are notified well in advance and can plan accordingly at their end. It also prevents any nasty surprises on your last day. The art of the handover note It’s always a good idea to start your Holiday Handover Notes (HHN) a good few weeks before, even if you jot down headers or topics in the first instance, rather than frantically wracking your tired brain the night before you fly. Consider always having the document open in the week before you go, for ease of brain-dump, rather than scribbling a note on a Post-it that gets lost in a yellow sea of more Post-its or overloading your already full head. CJ Sinclair, founder of Go Travel and Talk, a network that provides detailed travel guides to worldwide destinations with solo travellers in mind, is always on the move; and therefore well-practised in the art of the perfect handover. She breaks her HHN down into critical priorities, current and upcoming projects and ‘things to watch’ and ‘worry or pain points’. CJ also cleverly adds screen shots and media, to break up the words and highlights important text for an easy at-a-glance view. Aim to strike the balance with a comprehensive but concise approach to your HHN. HR News suggests that ‘…there’s no need to cause an unreasonable amount of stress on the employee/s covering you whilst you’re away, so highlighting all the ‘need-to-know’ points will help them keep on top of things’. Order tasks by priority and include key delivery dates or deadlines, with the most recent first. Schedule in a face-to-face meeting with your colleague who’s taking the reins. You can talk through the HHN before you go, so they can ask questions and jot down their own points. Avoid being patronising; your team are knowledgeable enough to know what ‘pass invoice to Finance' means in practice. There's no need to go into intricate detail about the ‘third cupboard on the left with the squeaky drawer’ if everybody knows perfectly well all about the squeaky drawer. Be a clever planner In the weeks before, keep your diary as clear as possible and stay focused. It may feel a wrench missing Steve from Events’ birthday lunch, but avoiding social engagements or non-urgent appointments wins you back a few hours of uninterrupted work time. At 7.00pm on your last day when you’re panicked and finishing with all your holiday toiletries still to buy, you’ll be grateful for that hour. You can catch up with Steve and the gang on your return. If you’re a freelancer or consultant in the not-for-profit sector with no-one to actually hand over to, it's even more crucial to plan ahead. CJ finds that scheduling everything in advance with calendar reminders or apps like Later and Tailwind, can be helpful. Although "it does mean a lot of work beforehand to get it all done”, she also notes “it’s amazing how much technology can help to give you a little respite!” Avoid dumping-disguised-as-a-handover-task Be reasonable and conscientious, and tie up as many loose ends as you possibly can before you go. Don't be tempted to use your absence from the office as an opportunity to slip in a few projects that have been on the back burner, or to dump tricky tasks you’ve been putting off on to an unsuspecting colleague. This may cause resentment in your absence, confusion or delays to a project. Don't use OOO to get a LOL It’s tempting to set a comedy out of office message, but the best advice is to save it for the comedians. As funny as they might be to read, there's a fine line between light-hearted and inappropriate, and it's not necessarily in the same place for everyone. Getting it wrong and causing offence can reflect badly on the charity, its purpose and mission. A simple message that clearly states your return date and who to contact in your absence will do the trick, although it can be a nice touch to highlight a particular campaign your charity is running. Oh, and don’t forget your voicemail too if you receive direct calls. Set boundaries Depending on what works for you, let your direct reports and manager know how and when you can be contactable if a genuine emergency arises while you’re on the beach. Otherwise, you should trust your team and colleagues to adequately manage things in your absence, especially if you’ve put all of the above into place. Prioritise your wellbeing, family and friends during that precious break, and where possible, learn to switch off. If it's your turn to hold the fort... It can be tough being the stand-in. You’re managing your own workload as well as bearing the responsibility of doing a good house-sitting job. Be assertive. Even if your colleague is looking rather up to their eyes in it, ask all the questions you need before they go so you’re well informed and can maintain the proper functioning of tasks in their absence - it’s for both of your benefits. CJ Sinclair especially looks after her colleagues by cc’ing them into emails in the weeks leading up to her holiday and keeping them 100% in the picture. If the work is project-facing, she also arranges calls with clients to introduce them to the person holding the fort - so why not consider asking for the same treatment? Be proactive and schedule a meeting with the hander-over on their penultimate day to avoid a last minute panic on the final one. Politely ask that their handover notes are in good shape so that you can go through the entire document together, check your understanding and fill in any gaps. Then schedule one in the early afternoon of their first day back. Consider using Google Docs so that you can update the document with your own notes as you go along. It will save you time and allow your colleague to read through and extract the key points and actions before their return if they fancy, making their first day back easier (and yours; you’ve now just the one workload to juggle. Hurrah!). It can be hard bearing the weight of managing tasks in someone else’s absence and the risk of being overwhelmed is high. Accept that you can’t do everything and be aware of what you can reasonably do. Focus on the deadlines and priorities, and don’t fret if you didn’t even get a peek at the ‘non-urgent’ section of the HHN. These can be picked up when your colleague returns. If you’re struggling, talk to your manager and shout for help. This Harvard Business Review article has some great tips on what to do when you’re covering for colleagues - and can't keep up. When you get back... (Jet lagged! With post-holiday blues! Slightly full of dread!) It's tough coming back from a holiday. Even worse when you’ve had to come straight from airport to office, you’re desperately missing the pool/beach/mountain/all-inclusive buffet and were not at all prepared for a painful reunion with the tube. Here’s some final tips on how to restore some of that holiday-energy. • Keep your diary as clear as you can. Prioritise the meeting with your colleague who managed your work (who hopefully would have scheduled it for early afternoon) and use the morning to clear/organise your emails and get your task list up to date. The responsibility is back with you, and the chances are your colleague will be relieved to relinquish the extra load. • Be gracious and thankful for the support you received from your colleagues. If time hasn’t allowed them to complete all tasks, keep your cool and try not to be angry or concerned that things haven't been done ‘your way’. • Avoid a post-holiday grumble. You fully deserved your break and it’s always hard to come crashing back to reality when you’ve had the time of your life. However, be mindful that while you’ve been travelling they’ve been sweating it in your absence. Don’t moan about being back or repeatedly say ‘this time last week I was *add fabulous holiday thing*' and sigh, loudly. Be grateful for both a super break and a supportive team of colleagues. • Come bearing gifts. Like a bottle of that funny-coloured liquor from the local supermarket, unpronounceable sweets or some local delicacies. It doesn’t have to be expensive or purchased from somewhere impressive; a box of fudge can go a long way to say thank you. So, there you go. You’ve notified people way in advance that you're jetting off. You’ve planned, scheduled, created perfect handover notes with no nasty surprises, and your team know how to track you down in an emergency (unlikely as they’re so well-informed). Now, swap sandwiches at your desk for something delicious al fresco and lose yourself in a good book rather than a report, safe in the knowledge that everything's in hand. You deserve it. Nicola Greenbrook - HR Specialist & Freelance Writer Contact Nicola More from Nicola Greenbrook: ► How to manage stress at work ► How to switch off ► Charity Careers 4: meet James Harris of Rethink Mental Illness Check out the brand new Salary Centre ...home of the Harris Hill & CharityJob 2019 Salary Report, the essential new guide to UK charity salaries. With market insights from our sector specialists and the expert team at CharityJob, you'll find more than 350 current rates for roles in 26 job functions, based on over 45,000 recent charity vacancies. What should you be earning in the charity sector? Find out here... ► Back to the blog homepage
We've teamed up with one of the biggest names in charity recruitment to bring you our most comprehensive guide yet to charity sector salaries, based on more than 45,000 recent UK vacancies. Find it in the Harris Hill Salary Centre, the brand new home for our growing collection of remuneration-related resources!
Welcome to the 2019 Salary Report, your definitive guide to salaries in the UK charity sector. With huge appreciation for all the enquiries we've already had about this year's release (and genuinely delighted by the demand!) we’re exceptionally pleased to bring you this brand new report. It's the 14th annual salary survey from Harris Hill, based on the thousands of charity vacancies we’ve worked on during the year: but this time that’s only half the story. To reflect the wider sector as accurately as possible we wanted to cover an even broader selection of roles, advertised by charities directly and recruiters like ourselves. So who better to ask than the experts at the UK’s largest specialist job board for not for profit, NGO, social enterprise, CIC and voluntary jobs, home to thousands of charity jobs every year? Happily they agreed, so we've been delighted to collaborate with CharityJob on this year’s report, bringing fresh perspective and insight, and a wealth of information that's helped to build our biggest, most accurate and comprehensive salary guide to date, based on no fewer than 45,000 genuine UK charity and not for profit vacancies from the past financial year. ____________________ What's new? ► In a forthcoming post we'll look at how the new approach has informed the final figures (for those who'd like to know more) and highlight some of the other key new features in this year's report. ► Look out too for the launch of a full digital version over at CharityJob, and here as part of our brand new Harris Hill Salary Centre, under construction as we speak to create a home for all things salary-related, all launching within the next few weeks! Read the new report We didn't want to keep you waiting a moment longer though, so with no further delay - except to sincerely thank the team at CharityJob (in particular content & SEO lead Stephanie Dotto and marketing manager Jade Phillips) for their tremendous help - we're delighted to bring you the full report to view or download in pdf format from the links below. ► In this year's 24-page report, you'll find candidate insights, market developments and recruitment trends, and salaries for charity and not for profit positions at all levels in: Admin & Support Events Policy & Research Advocacy Finance PR Campaigns General Fundraising Projects & Programmes Communications Human Resources Prospect Research Community Fundraising IT Supporter Services Corporate Fundraising Legacies Trust & Statutory Fundraising Data Management Major Donor Fundraising Volunteer Management Digital Marketing ...plus updates from our specialists on current rates for temporary, interim and senior executive roles. Direct Marketing Operations Click below for your preferred file size (screen resolution will suit most uses), or alternatively contact our consultants on 020 7820 7300 if you have any queries on salaries in these areas, who may also be able to send you a print copy of the booklet, subject to availability. We hope you'll find it a valuable and informative resource, and for more information you can also contact CharityJob on 020 8939 8430, our consultants on the number above or send us an email - and look out for the full digital editions coming very soon! ► Back to the Harris Hill blog homepage ► Check out the latest jobs in your field
For this month’s article, Nicola Greenbrook is exploring why it hurts so much to be rejected and suggesting ways to convert this into something transformative. ‘I regret to inform you that on this occasion you have not been successful'. I’ve been both the author and recipient of that terrible sentence on many occasions during my career. Even checking the definition of ‘to reject’ evoked memories of some painful brush-offs of my own. ‘To dismiss as inadequate, unacceptable or faulty’. Ouch! Rejection knows no bounds and spans our professional, social and personal worlds. From missing out on your dream job, losing out to a competitor or being passed up for promotion, it’s a common - but agonising - feature of our working lives. Yet, it might not always be a bad thing… Firstly, why does it hurt so bad? Being rebuffed really does sting. Psychologist Guy Winch notes that rejection can cause pain because our brains are wired to respond in this way. He describes an experiment where scientists asked participants to think of a rejection while they were hooked up to MRI machines. They discovered that when we experience rejection, the same areas of our brain become activated as when we experience physical pain. Essentially, being rejected can ‘elicit literal (albeit, emotional) pain’. “I AM COMPLETELY USELESS” Often it’s our self-esteem that takes the brunt of it when we’re told no. Rebecca Weef-Smith, Editor of Goldie Magazine recalls vividly the low self-worth she felt over ten years ago after consistent knock-backs. She had submitted over 100 job applications and 3 PhD proposals without a single interview to show for it. Despite considerable qualifications, including an MA and MSc, she believed she wasn’t good enough. ‘Yet again I didn't come up to scratch or meet the standards required’ she said. ‘It wasn't a momentary failing at life. I was a permanent failure’. Being rejected can heighten our own personal insecurities, make us doubt our decisions and choices. As Guy Winch says, ‘…just when our self-esteem is hurting most, we go and damage it even further’. Patience you must have… According to science journal Inorganic Chemistry, there are five stages of rejection - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. So how do you pick yourself up again when you’re firmly stuck in the early stages? What if you’ve been unsuccessful for something deep down you know isn’t even right for you? Fiona Cowan, Senior HR Business Partner at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) knows this all too well. For over a year, she balanced the insecurity of a contract role with job hunting. Conservation and animal welfare is hugely important to Fiona but as roles in this area are scarce, she had to widen her search and compromise. ‘It was a difficult year’ she admitted. ‘You put all your effort, passion and time into research and the presentation. There’s the anticipation and then… you get the dreaded rejection. It doesn’t make it easier when you’re told you were a strong candidate and came a very close second.' It’s hard to dust yourself off (and for those stuck in the ‘Anger’ stage, I apologise for writing these words) but hang on in there. Life is full of twists and turns and depending on your perspective, change - or no change - can be a good thing. Not getting something you want is an opportunity for something completely different - the right something - to come your way. ‘I always live by the mantra “everything happens for a reason”, I just didn’t know what the reason was yet.’ Fiona shared. After surviving a year of on-off job hunting with the stamina of a triathlete, the universe put her dream job at ZSL up for grabs. ‘I had an excitement I hadn’t felt for the other roles I’d gone for; I knew this job was for me!’. A winning combination of effort, authentic passion and the right skills, experience and talent landed Fiona the role she'd been waiting for. A masterclass in hard work, determination and believing - no matter how gut-wrenching it can be at the time - that things will eventually work out. When should rejection become reinvention? Eleanor Ross for Refinery 29 makes an interesting case for whether stubborn, blind self-belief can do more damage than good. She considers if there’s a right time to listen to rejection. ‘While pushing and being resilient is important, rejection can also teach us that maybe we’re not suited to doing something after all’ she writes. Rebecca Weef-Smith could have crawled under the duvet and stayed there, but realised the only way forward was to carve out a new role for herself, rather than fit an existing one. She used personal rejection to create the role of Editor of Goldie Magazine, the over-40s magazine with masses of style, fashion and more. It restored her faith in her own abilities, widened her friendship circle and made her ‘determined to support others who need a prompt in picking themselves up and going again’. Turn that rejection upside down Here are some other ways to make rejection a bit more manageable: Reframe it - Annie Ridout, author, freelance journalist and editor of The Early Hour set up a folder in her email account to file away rejections. She’s renamed it ‘got to keep’, because I like the idea that one day I'll look back at all the rejections I've received and be able to laugh about it' she says. In her book The Freelance Mum Annie also talks about a ‘special’ folder she keeps for encouraging, supportive emails. It’s this folder - rather than the other - she spends the most time looking at to give her a boost. Get some feedback - Ask the client/company for some insight on how you can do better next time. You might learn something new about yourself, prove you’re willing to develop and show them how good you are. Talk it through with someone - If you can, speak to friends, family or a mentor at work. Ruth Moragas, Founder of Happy Heads which promotes positive mental health recovery, believes in the power of helping others going through the crushing experience of rejection. ‘Rejection is something we all go through. It may sting but you get over it by including others. So they don’t feel as you did’. Rejection can cause physical pain, damage your self-esteem and take you through a whirlwind of stages before you come out the other side. Yet, it can also provide the chance to try out something new, and could clear the way for the right opportunity. Being snubbed is awful, but it can help you think creatively about your career path and provide the fuel that powers your growth and purpose. Been rejected? Go out there and really show ‘em what you’re made of. Like Annie, you’ll be laughing about it one day as you happily move the email into your ‘got to keep’ folder. Nicola Greenbrook - HR Specialist & Freelance Writer Contact Nicola
After considering a career move for some time and exploring new opportunities, at last, you're invited to an interview. You’ve faced your fears and carefully prepared, and after an excruciating wait, discover you’ve nailed your dream job. You feel on top of the world! Temporarily. There’s just one small thing left to tackle… leaving your current one. For this month’s guest post, Nicola is exploring why resigning can feel painful, how to do it gracefully and avoid making a spectacle of yourself at your leaving do. There’s a quote I like by an unnamed author; “You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one” which aligns nicely with this month’s topic. It’s a natural stage in our professional growth to want to move on; to experience a different culture, sector, city (or country) or to build a portfolio career. It’s also not uncommon to feel deep sadness and a fear of the unknown when resigning. Why is it so hard to leave? After conducting a quick straw poll, I discovered that people feel a range of emotions when resigning, regardless of whether they’d been in post for 12 weeks or 12 years. “Absolutely sick to my stomach”, “terrified”, “disloyal” and “guilty” were just some of the responses I had. Many people feel a deep sense of commitment to their job and employer, even if they’re stagnant or deeply unhappy there. If you’ve been personally invested in - via training, a paid qualification, a coach or mentor, supported through a difficult life issue or have formed close relationships with your colleagues, it can be difficult to choose between devotion for your company and the best career move for you. When work-family boundaries become blurred, you can show disproportionate levels of commitment and fidelity - and neglect your own interests. Even the best organisations can’t choose employee loyalty over what’s best for business. As Allison Green, founder of career advice blog Ask a Manager says, “There’s nothing wrong with loving your work, enjoying your company and having good will toward your co-workers… But it’s still O.K., and even good, to put yourself first in the long-run.” Every role has an expiry date and so when it’s time to move on, move on. I’ve made up my mind... where do I start? Always finalise the details with your new employer before taking action with your current one. Get the offer in writing and carefully review the contract, be clear on the package offered and if you want to negotiate terms, do so before accepting. Once that’s clear, it’s time to, gulp, resign. Consider giving your manager a heads up in advance - and prior to your formal resignation. A good manager will know your long term plans and have actively supported them - but it might still come as a shock if you hit them with a letter out of the blue. As Alex Dawson, Director of Technique Training and Development notes, "If you’ve got the kind of line manager who is invested in your career, knows where you want to get to, gives you the support and challenge you need to get there AND makes sure the organisation gets what it needs from you, then leaving feels likes a very natural step". When you’re ready, ask your manager for a private meeting and always ensure they’re the first to know. Hold this face to face if you work in the same location, or consider an initial call / Skype if you don’t. Only send an email if there are unusual or unavoidable circumstances. Keep your resignation letter brief but professional with a warm tone, but don’t over do it. A separate card for your manager is a good way to express your gratitude and appreciation. Inevitably, it’ll be daunting but it’ll be over before you know it. In a previous role, I’d emailed my manager to ask for a catch up (to resign) and we booked it in for later that morning. I’d just printed off the maternity policy for another meeting and as she handed it to me off of the printer, she shot me a expectant look and a grin. It was NOT AWKWARD AT ALL when I had to deliver my actual news. What shouldn't I do? You may be familiar with the scene from 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary when Bridget, utterly fed up with her sleazy boss Daniel Cleaver, leaves on the spot for a job ‘in television’. When he tries to enforce her notice period, she responds in the open plan office, "If staying here means working within ten yards of you, frankly I'd rather have a job wiping Saddam Hussein’s a**e.” before spinning on her heels to the tune of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”. We’ve all dreamt of a similar (and brilliant) departure but in real life, storming out is not recommended. It’s also not the same as resigning, as ACAS notes in their useful article. Instead, put your resignation in writing and always work your full notice unless you mutually agree otherwise or there are extenuating circumstances. It shows commitment, avoids leaving your colleagues in the lurch and allows sufficient time to find a replacement. I’ve resigned... But need to change my mind! Generally, once a resignation has been given it can't be withdrawn; unless the employer gives their express permission or if it was given in the heat of the moment, and then promptly retracted. Although most resignations are straight forward, sometimes… well, life gets in the way. A friend of mine had resigned, then discovered she was pregnant on December 23rd. She needed to ask her employer to take her back; a rather nerve-racking prospect by anyone’s standards. The office was closed until the New Year and so, after agonising over Christmas, at 8.30 am on January 2nd she went immediately to her department director. They had built an excellent relationship based on mutual trust and respect, and she told them honestly the reason for retraction. That they were expecting and that their plans to move cities - the original reason for resignation - had changed. With a deep breath, she asked if she could stay. The director congratulated her, smiled at what my friend describes as her "crazy, messy life", accepted immediately and consulted with HR to get things sorted. A masterclass in managing a potentially tricky situation, brilliantly. I’d like to thank... When your last day finally comes around, don’t let others dictate your ceremony; do it your way. If it’s the done thing in your company and there’s an expectation you’ll say a few words, have a speech prepared with genuine thank yous. When I left Breast Cancer Care the first time in 2007 to work in Australia, I stood in front of my lovely manager, team and colleagues, who I’d worked with for four years and who had given me so much, and sobbed uncontrollably. It was very ‘Gwyneth Oscar Acceptance 1999’, but with not a single word spoken at all. I still regret it to this day. I atoned the second time around by planning my leaving speech properly. Enjoy your leaving do, but go easy, too. You may not be returning to the office on Monday, but your colleagues are potential future contacts. In my early twenties when leaving one of my first jobs in HR, I began my leaving celebrations at 4pm in the local pub and accepted the generosity of my colleagues in buying me drinks. The leaving do ended abruptly with me literally falling out of a nightclub at midnight and incurring a black eye which required treatment by a St John’s Ambulance first aider and my arm in a sling for good measure. When I started my new job on the Monday, I was armed with an elaborate story about a gardening injury. Thankfully, social media did not exist then and fortunately for me, I’ve grown up quite a lot. Departure - Final call Some further suggestions on executing a graceful departure are below: ► Plan your exit story and tell the same narrative to all. Keep it positive so you don’t burn any bridges. ► If an exit interview is not on offer, suggest one - the company will benefit from feedback on your time there. Be constructive and genuine, stick to facts and suggest ideas for improvement based on personal experience if you can. Polite and positive critique keeps everyone’s dignity intact. ► Deliver an excellent handover - verbal and written if you can manage it. Add to it daily, rather than scribbling a panicked, fragmentary list on the last day. Be thorough and review your task lists, diary and projects to avoid any nasty surprises when you’re gone. ► Build your networks in your final month by arranging lunches and attending internal events (balanced with getting your head down and delivering an excellent handover of course!). This creates some lovely memories, but it’s likely your paths will cross again - potential mentor, future hire/hirer or business partner - so make strong connections now. ► Take your personal items home gradually during your notice period, rather than necessitating the hire of a removal van for your shoes, personal memorabilia and plants on your final day or leaving your colleagues to arrange a courier. You’ve approached your manager in the right way with a professional letter, your desk is spotless and you’ve totally aced your handover. You’re leaving with great memories and even better connections, with the backing of your manager and colleagues behind you as you go forth into the unknown. You did it! As Liz Carroll, Chief Executive of The Haemophilia Society wisely says "it's not about how you leave, but how you are throughout your time. Be fair, supportive and honest and it will be positive in leaving". Congratulate yourself on a job well done and take a breather before your exciting new challenge begins. It’s going to be great! Nicola Greenbrook - HR Specialist & Freelance Writer Contact Nicola