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
HR & Recruitment Advisor
Harris Hill are currently working with a great charity based in London, E2 to help secure a HR & Recruitment Advisor on a permanent basis, paying 40k per annum. The purpose of the role is to provide a professional and effective HR support for managers and staff in a portfolio of countries The key responsibilities of the role include: Manage the recruitment process for all international staff within the country portfolio Provide specific advice and guidance to managers and employees on HR issues including recruitment, ER and L&D Design, develop and implement HR policies and procedures to ensure legal compliance and best practice Lead specific HR projects and initiatives and act as the HR Manager in countries where there is no HR representative Contribute to the development of the organisations Human Resources strategy, annual plan and global policies The key skills and experiences include: Experience of producing organisational policies Ability to work in multi-cultural environments Direct work experience in Africa and/or Asia Excellent interpersonal and consultative skills, including the ability to communicate, present, negotiate and influence a variety of audiences face to face and at a distance International Charity sector experience would be an advantage If this role is of interest to you and you are immediately available please contact me.
£40k per year
Harris Hill are delighted to be working with a fabulous Independent School based in Richmond. If you have experience working within schools or further education, have a great eye for detail with knowledge of recruitment compliance and The Single Central Record (SCR) then this role could be for you. We are looking to fill the role with an interim in the first instance on an FTC until the end of March 2019. Over the time of this contract the role will be reviewed to decide on the best route forward for a long term appointment. The ideal candidate will have: Strong experience with compliance within the recruitment process Be able to maintain the SCR. Some experience of Payroll If you are interested and would like to find out more then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team. The successful post-holder will ideally be available to start around the end of November. 4 days a week will be considered. Please note, due to the high number of applicants, only successful candidates will be contacted.
£30k - 44k per year
Harris Hill are currently working with a great charity based in London, E1 to help secure a permanent HR Manager, paying up to 40,000 per annum. The purpose of the role is to manage employee relation cases and co-ordinate a range of Learning and Development activities. The key responsibilities of the role include: Manage employee relation cases and ensure that they meet best practice and employment legislation To develop and deliver training/coaching in line with the needs of the business To produce learning and development strategies, policies and procedures Manage and co-ordinate HR projects on behalf of the Director of HR The key skills and experiences include: Proven knowledge of employment legislation and its application Proven ability to consult, negotiate and influence Excellent communication skills, both written and spoken Charity sector experience would be an advantage If this role is of interest to you and you are immediately available please contact me.
£38k - 40k per year + benefits
HR Administrator - HR Systems
Harris Hill are currently working with a great charity based in London, E1 to help secure a HR Administrator (data entry) for 6 weeks, paying up to 26,725 per annum. The purpose of the role is to input staff data on their new HRIS. The key responsibilities of the role include: Input staff data on the new HRIS Data cleansing General HR administrative tasks The key skills and experiences include: Able to work on own initiative Good attention to detail Strong Excel skills If this role is of interest to you and you are immediately available please contact me.
£12.99 - 14.68 per hour + benefits
Senior Recruitment Co-ordinator
Harris Hill are currently working with a great charity based in London, N7 to secure a Senior Recruitment Co-ordinator on a 6 month FTC, paying up to 28,248 per annum. The purpose of the role is to provide a comprehensive, cost effective and timely recruitment service to the organisation. The key responsibilities of the role include: Act as the first point of contact for technical queries regarding the Recruitment Management System (RMS) Monitor the effectiveness of recruitment media in order to advise Recruiting Managers of appropriate advertising methods Take the lead with the development of social media recruitment to attract both passive and active job seekers Provide advise and guidance on employment legislation and best practice with regard to recruitment and selection Provide reporting information including recruitment and new starter costs and other reports as and when required The key skills and experiences include: Good verbal and written communication skills Good organisation skills, able to plan manage own workload Excellent data input skills with high level of attention to detail Charity sector experience would be an advantage If this role is of interest to you and you are immediately available please contact me.
£26,000 - 28,248 per year + benefits
Harris Hill are currently working with a great charity based in London, N7 to secure a Recruitment Co-ordinator on a 6 month FTC, paying up to 22,978 per annum The purpose of the role is to provide efficient administration in relation to recruitment activity. The key responsibilities of the role include: Liaise with Recruiting Managers for advert approval and post jobs to the recruitment management system Utilise the recruitment database to progress and track candidates across various stages of the recruitment process Prepare offer letters and contracts of employment and assist in the on-boarding process Assist with the implementation of guidance documents for Workday Recruitment The key skills and experiences include: Good verbal and written communication skills Good organisation skills, able to plan manage own workload Excellent data input skills with high level of attention to detail Charity sector experience would be an advantage If this role is of interest to you and you are immediately available please contact me.
£22,456 - 22,978 per year + benefits
Hr Administrator - Recruitment
Harris Hill are currently working with a great charity based in London, E1 to help secure a HR Recruitment Administrator for 6 weeks, paying up to 12.50 per hour. The purpose of the role is to run their whole recruitment cycle. The key responsibilities of the role include: Drafting and placing job adverts Complete pre-employment checks including DBS Produce contracts and arrange inductions The key skills and experiences include: Substantial HR Recruitment experience Able to work on own initiative Good attention to detail Strong Excel skills If this role is of interest to you and you are immediately available please contact me.
£12.00 - 12.50 per hour + benefits
After a busy day at work, do you crave the solitude of your own home? During a creative meeting, do you prefer to listen and reflect rather than engage in lively debate? Is downtime essential after a run of team drinks and networking events? You could be an introvert… and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. For my guest blog this month, I’m exploring why introversion should be celebrated at work, not corrected, and how it can be a powerful trait for accomplishment and contentment. First, the theory… The terms introversion and extroversion were popularised by Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung, one of the first to define these characteristics in a psychological context and suggest that we all fall into one of these two categories. Psychologically speaking, an introvert is someone who is principally concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things. Although not necessarily uncomfortable around other people, they prefer not to be the centre of attention. Conversely, extroverts are concerned primarily with the physical and social environment and find being in the spotlight energising and stimulating; it’s when their best qualities shine through. A quiet extrovert? How would you describe yourself? I’ve always assumed I was an extrovert as I relate to several of the behavioural traits usually associated with extroversion (such as being sociable, outgoing and people-orientated) and I’m not shy or reticent as the dictionary definition of introversion suggests. When I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment at work a few years ago, I wasn’t surprised to see one of my dimensions was ‘E’ for extrovert - I love team working and draw energy from being around others and the external world. So I’ve been surprised recently to find myself retreating a little. Seeking quiet spaces to think, work and concentrate rather than flinging myself willingly into the open plan office or a busy café if I’m freelancing. I really enjoy social gatherings both in and after work, but I’m drained if my calendar is too jam packed. Although not passive in meetings, lately I’ve also appreciated listening and reflecting before making a point. So, does this make me low-energy or lacking in resilience? Will people see me as shy (or worse, rude), and will I be overlooked at work or less successful? Extroverts and introverts in society If you’re a fan of social media or reality TV, you could be forgiven for thinking that society values the outgoing and gregarious above others, both in and out of the workplace. As journalist Freya Parr cites in her article for The Huffington Post, these platforms ‘create a culture in which we assume that extroversion is aspirational, because, put simply, if you have an outgoing disposition and get on with others, you’re more likely to win’. (The Apprentice anyone?). Outside of work, we’re encouraged to amass new friends and followers on our social and professional networks and ‘put ourselves out there’. Yet, 24/7 connectivity or as Viv Groskop says in her article for The Pool, ‘a world of constant connection and chatter and sharing and me me me’ can be kryptonite for introverts. Introversion at work In work, it’s not unusual to see the most dominant and confident speakers presenting at the all-company meeting or assigned to a crucial new business pitch. Shyness, sensitivity and seriousness are often seen as negative, and in a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even embarrassing, to be an introvert at work. According to People Management magazine, many of us are hard-wired to associate leadership with extrovert traits, and report that 96 per cent of business leaders identify as extroverts. Arguably, the world’s most important workplaces or institutions are designed or set up with extroverts - and their need for stimulation - in mind with open plan design, group participation and team development days often on the agenda. Yet, what if you prefer listening to talking, and more intimate discussion to group settings? What if the idea of an open-plan setting fills you with horror, and you find yourself sloping off to a quiet meeting room for peace and concentration? Making a case for the quietly contemplative You’re not alone. It’s thought at least a third to half of people are introverts, including some of the world's most talented. Without them we wouldn't have the Apple computer, the theory of relativity and Van Gogh's sunflowers. One of the most popular TED talks of all-time focuses on the power of introverts. Attorney-turned-author Susan Cain passionately argues that introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world but have often been misunderstood as shy or, damagingly, inept. According to Susan, introverts prefer listening to talking and think before they speak.. She believes that although collaboration and interaction are great for exchanging ideas, introverts are most alive and capable in low-key environments and solitude is crucial for unleashing their creativity. Individual introverts view themselves as focused, capable and able to work without distraction. Executive Leadership Coach Leo Aspden expands on this further in his article for Training Zone, arguing that introverts make great leaders, just as good as their more visible extroverted colleagues. The quietly contemplative possess several leadership qualities such as (a) great listening skills, (b) the ability to make calculated decisions (c) the capability to balance extroverts (d) the ability to work independently in solitude and (e) the tendency to allow colleagues the space and freedom to share ideas. He believes that in order to get the best out of introvert leaders ‘it’s important to embrace their unique brand of charisma and their strengths as listeners and strategic thinkers’. Finally, Susan suggests that we all fall somewhere in the middle of introversion-extroversion, rather than being neatly one or the other. The American social scientist Kimball Young even created a word for this in 1927; ambivert - ‘a person exhibiting features of an extrovert and an introvert’. So, perhaps it’s time we reconsider the introvert-extrovert dichotomy… The power of the introvert So how can you channel introversion (or ambiversion) into success at work and take full advantage of your strengths? Here are some tips on how to put yourself out there, quietly but powerfully: ► It’s likely you’ve fully prepared before a meeting but if you’re thrown off guard by a question you’re not equipped to answer, don’t panic. Make a note and confidently explain that you’ll follow up after the meeting rather than be pressured into a hasty response. This enables you to think things through in your own time. ► If you work in a bustling open plan office, don’t feel afraid to leave the pack and head for a designated quiet area (or any nook you can find) to give you the thinking space required to work at your best. You’re likely to get more done as a result, and smash the deadline/nail the presentation/concoct the idea. ► At work, even away from the comfort of your own social circle, believe in what you say. Speaking less frequently but with conviction can be hugely powerful. The most engaging person in the room, or the office, isn’t always the loudest. ► If you’ve committed to a networking event, make a plan in advance to ease your nerves. Vikas Shah, CEO and Managing Director of Swiscot Group shares a good strategy; he mingles a bit at the start of the event, stays on for the important talk and then excuses himself. “You don’t have to be the last person standing” he says. “Allowing that flexibility makes a big difference to how you cope.” The introverts are coming… It could be the time to join the Quiet Revolution and rethink the idea that it’s a drawback to be an introvert. In fact, it could be good for you, and for business. Giving yourself time alone to work, think and recharge could increase creativity, make you worker harder and reap tangible results at work. In the very wise words of (shy introvert) Mahatma Gandhi, “in a gentle way, you can shake the world.” -------------- Nicola Greenbrook - HR Specialist & Freelance Writer Contact Nicola More from Nicola Greenbrook • How to be productive at work • How to start a new job...and survive • Would HR in the charity sector work for you? Here's the inside view
Bringing remarkable people to you: introducing our specialists in Scotland and the South West! At Harris Hill we've been bringing remarkable people together with some equally remarkable charities for somewhere north of two decades: yet typically south of the Watford Gap. Given the preponderance of charity and not-for-profit headquarters in London and the South East, and the roles we recruit, it's perhaps no surprise that so many of our vacancies derive from the lower right-hand corner of the UK map. Nonetheless we've got a long history of working with great organisations all over the country too, from Exeter to Edinburgh, Dover to Dundee, and hopefully Brighton to Belfast for alliterative purposes although we might have to look that one up. Until now though, it's all been done from our London base: Vauxhall's very own Charity Towers, where the Thames views are stunning and the 1970s never really went away. So we're enormously pleased to let you know that we've branched out both north and west, with two of our highly experienced charity recruitment specialists now based in Central Scotland and the centre of Bath, home to our first ever regional office! ► Scotland Jason Jederon is our man in the North: a Harris Hill veteran and long suffering standing member of our fundraising team. He's an expert in trusts, statutory and legacy fundraising but with far broader experience too, covering a wide range of charity and not-for-profit roles at all levels. He's also recruited extensively for commercial sectors including printing & graphics, banking and international finance (but try not to hold that against him, etc). Based right in the heart of Scotland's central belt, Jason's ideally placed to work with organisations in Glasgow, Edinburgh and throughout the region, and can bring the full support of our resources, specialist teams, established brand and extensive database to tackling your recruitment challenges. If you're based in Scotland and have a recruitment requirement or enquiry you'd like to discuss, please don't hesitate to contact Jason on 07388 949510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org ► The South West Ben Pountney is a relatively recent addition to the Harris Hill Executive Search team, but with more than enough expertise to lead our board-level recruitment in the South West, South Wales and beyond, having helped to establish the executive search brand for another leading recruiter, and with ten years' experience of personally delivering executive search campaigns for charities, membership bodies and not for profit organisations across the UK. Harris Hill Executive Search recruit for CEOs, chairs, trustees and senior directors, with an exceptional success rate of 100% for the past five years and counting. So if you're seeking to appoint at this level within the region, it's sure to be worth contacting Ben on 07444 475489, via email to email@example.com or very soon indeed, at our new Bath office address! Ben's already working from another location in Bath while the office is being prepared, but we'll share the new office details on the website as soon as possible. ► Harris Hill Executive Search ► New website, new locations - part 1: introducing the new Harris Hill website
Finding your ideal charity job hopefully just got a little easier, as we’re delighted to bring you the brand new, totally rebuilt Harris Hill website with a host of new features to help with your job search. And we're equally excited to let you know we're expanding beyond our London office for the first time, to deliver more nationwide, regional and executive recruitment services from new locations in Scotland and the South West! More on those in the second part of this blog; meanwhile read on to find out what's changed on the website to improve your experience, with some great new functions and features.. Welcome to the new Harris Hill website 'Something's different but...wait, don't tell me...' people have almost certainly been calling to say this week. '...have you done something with your hair?' Well, thank you for asking but no - not all of us anyway - but we have had something of a digital makeover to bring you a brand new version of the site, with some major improvements for your job search. Short version if you’re in a hurry ► Whether you're a regular visitor or first-timer, we hope you'll find it easy to use straight away, as it's more of an evolution than a radical departure - on the surface at least. The big changes are beneath the bonnet, where the site's been rebuilt from scratch on a brand new platform to help you register, search and apply for charity sector jobs as quickly and easily as possible. The longer version if you’re not in a hurry, keen to know more, or perhaps just pretending to be super-busy 'doing some research': here are more details of what's changed and why. Making your job search easier Since our last major update in early 2016 – back when the world still made sense and wasn’t quite so often on fire – we’ve made various improvements and added a stack of useful or interesting (sometimes both!) original content that's generated some great feedback. But we also know that aside from great jobs, sometimes all you really want from a recruitment site is to search and apply with the minimum of fuss. Which we're acutely aware hasn’t always been the strongest point of our site; something we’ve long been determined to resolve. So we’re properly thrilled to bring you a brand new site that’s been fully rebuilt with that sole purpose in mind: to make finding and applying for your ideal charity job as simple and effortless as possible. Upgrades include: • A super-streamlined registration page of just six questions (half of which concern your name and email) so you can sign up in seconds – or with a single click via your LinkedIn profile • Your candidate dashboard where you can view, upload and update your CV and details whenever you like, track jobs you’ve applied for and see suggestions, manage your job alerts and much more • Fast and accurate job search functions by job type, location, salary, length of contract, even the kind of fully functioning keyword search you'd expect in 2018: amazing. • A couldn’t-be-simpler application page that helps you apply for jobs in moments - whether you’re on a desktop, on a tablet, on your phone, still on your phone but on a packed bus that’s alarmingly enthusiastic about corners - almost quite literally anywhere* *with a 4G signal obviously; we're not wizards. What else is new? • In ‘What We Cover’ you can now find new pages for our specialist teams and check out individual profiles and photos for each of our consultants (opinion here remains sharply divided as to whether this is a feature or bug) • Tailored content and job recommendations; whether you’re in fundraising, finance or any other field you’ll see more of the most relevant jobs and blog content that might be of interest to you There’s also direct access from the homepage to our softball league and Harris Hill Charity Series content, latest blogs, annual salary survey and more. A few last words... • To bring you the job search upgrades as quickly as possible, this is very much version 1.0 of the site: there are plenty more developments and improvements to come, along with more of our archive content. • We’re making regular check-ups for teething troubles like broken links and formatting issues, but it's always possible we could miss something, so please feel free to let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org if something’s not working for you. • Finally if you landed here first and now want to check out the homepage, just click here or our logo (top left) from any page on the site. • • • • • • • • • • Whatever your situation we hope you'll find the new website genuinely helpful and informative, and be it now or in the future, a valuable tool to seek and secure your next dream job in the charity sector. Don't hesitate to get in touch if we can help! Team Harris Hill Meanwhile there's more good news we're excited to deliver, with expansion to two new locations and our first ever regional office... ► Bringing remarkable people to you: introducing our specialists in Scotland and the South West!
We've all had those days. It's hectic, you're working hard, but it's even harder to see what you're actually getting done. Luckily, for this month's guest post, Nicola Greenbrook is exploring some useful hacks to ward off procrastination and help us be more productive at work. Just as soon as you've finished reading this, of course... 'I've done nothing today' 'Where has the time gone?!' 'There's never enough hours!' How to be productive at work According to HR software provider CIPHR, more than half of workers cite distractions such as smartphones, the internet, chatty co-workers and email overload as factors that prevent them from working properly and reaching their full potential. As well as external influences, our own personal approach to work can impact on productivity; as the American writer Mark Twain once said: 'Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow just as well'. Most of us defer until the last minute every now and then at work, but if you're a serial procrastinator it's likely you'll chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately seek out distractions. On the bright side, it's a habit that can be overcome. Here are some tips on how to boost your productivity at work. Don't do, without a to-do When you're busy, the temptation is to tackle work head-on and treat planning as a waste of precious 'doing' time. In fact, lack of preparation can contribute to reduced productivity. Some of the most effective workers set their key priorities before anything else; either at the end of the working day to eliminate decision-making tasks in the morning, or at the start when their mind is fresh. Writer, brand consultant and Women Who founder Otegha Uwagba, offers some great tips on maximising productivity in her modern career guide Little Black Book. She recommends not checking emails or social media first thing in the morning to avoid tumbling down an 'internet rabbit hole'. Instead, Otegha suggests reframing the first and most precious hour of the working day as 'Power Hour'; setting out the day's priorities and planning workflow upfront. Try categorising your to-do list into three parts: 1. the dreaded, least favourite tasks 2. stuff you're motivated and excited to complete, and 3. personal admin and the 'nice to do'. It's easy to launch straight into (2) and (3), but tackling (1) first could provide headspace and some well-earned smugness. Starting important tasks early avoids cramming two hours of work into one, sloppy work and frustration. Put pen to paper Modern technology offers some innovative tools to work efficaciously. My current favourite is virtual to-do list Wunderlist which helps you note, diarise and tick off your personal and professional to dos. It's a great app to 'mind dump', project manage and ease a brain that's crammed to bursting. You can also share lists with others (my husband really appreciates getting notifications at work that say 'Nicola has completed 'Buy Toilet Rolls') and it's great for planning. Yet, sometimes there's nothing better than the humble written list and, to quote Otegha, often it 'helps to go analogue'. I'm a part-time HR Specialist at an intellectual property law firm, which I hugely enjoy as well as freelance writing and parenting. It's essential I maximise office time and compartmentalise my varying responsibilities. Keeping a notebook on my desk keeps my sometimes-wandering brain in check; when 'buy nappies!' or a new article idea pops into my head without warning, I quickly scribble it down and carry on HR-ing. This means the thought or action doesn't disappear and I can jot it down quickly rather than add to Wunderlist on my phone (I hate colleagues to think I'm idly scrolling on my phone when I'm at my desk). It's safely stored, ready to tackle later when the time is right. Step away from Twitter! Ah yes, social media - productivity's nemesis. Most of us can relate to starting the day with good intentions, briefly checking our phones over coffee then looking up twenty minutes later after being lost in a Twitter abyss. Consider going cold turkey and removing apps from your smartphone, or 'rewarding' yourself with blocks of scrolling time at lunch or on the commute. Social media usage-limiting apps like Moment automatically track how much you use your phone, allow you to set restrictions and even force yourself off it (gulp) when you're over the limit. If you've discovered a fascinating article you're desperate to read now but know you shouldn't really at work, Pocket could be the answer. It's an app and web service that helps you manage a reading list of internet articles; when you find something you want to view later, you put it in your Pocket. For retrieving later when you can read about Bodyguard without getting in trouble. Know when you're 'peak you' Sunday Times bestselling author, podcaster and broadcaster Emma Gannon believes the key to productivity is knowing when you're at your best (her most productive time is between 10am and 3pm). She works in ninety-minute bursts and when she needs to 'deep work' and focus, she sets her phone to aeroplane mode or banishes it to another room and sets an out of office on email to ensure no disturbance. Get to know how you personally work best - there's no right or wrong. If you're at your least dynamic in the afternoon or suffer from energy slumps, save your admin and less creative work until then. Consider shaking things up a bit and begin your working day an hour earlier, if your lifestyle permits. This could equal precious time away from distractions, clients or colleagues and getting ahead of the game. Or set a 'do not disturb' and notify your team how long it applies for; this creates a personal responsibility to finish a task and you can't blame others if you faff about instead. Have a break, have a... Some days, the deadlines compete fiercely with each other, your to-do list runs off the page and you absolutely must leave on time. When lunchtime looms, it's easy to ignore the rumbling tummy, a slightly fuzzy head and simply plough through. Yet, skipping breaks can be counterproductive and significantly impact mental performance. Being at your desk doesn't mean you're being productive, and working hours on end without any break can make us slower. Silicon Valley consultant Alex Soojung-Kim Pang argues in his book 'Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less' that dismissing rest stifles our ability to think creatively and truly recharge. After each productive burst take a short break and, importantly, step away from the screen. Consider the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method developed in the late 1980s. Essentially, this means breaking work down into chunks of time, usually 25 minutes, and intersperse these with short breaks. This means you're not working non-stop and expecting your poor brain to be at peak performance for great big stretches of time. Being productive doesn't mean over-doing it. Making some simple adjustments such as establishing your key priorities before tackling the load, limiting social media and taking regular breaks could be the difference to working smarter, not harder. To quote poet and activist Maya Angelou, 'Nothing will work unless you do'. Now step away from the phone... Nicola Greenbrook - HR Specialist & Freelance Writer Contact Nicola
What makes a wonderful charity workplace, and how can you find out if the culture is right for you? For the past year we've been teaming up with Third Sector to find out, highlighting examples of good practice and innovative ideas that have proven successful for a variety of organisations. Earlier this month (recently published by Third Sector) our business services specialist Shweta Prabhakar spoke to Channing Rider, director of finance at The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, about what he thinks makes a wonderful workplace and his top career tips for jobseekers. Tell us about the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust's mission and the work you do? The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust runs the Churchill Fellowships, which are travel grants open to all UK citizens to research a topic of their choice anywhere in the world that can make a practical difference to their profession or community on their return. Applications for fellowships are open until 18 September 2018, and then again in May 2019. We were set up in 1965 as a living memorial for Sir Winston Churchill's leadership, and since then we have funded over 5,500 fellows to learn from the world. I have a very posh title, director of finance and resources. As there is only one person in finance (me), it means that anything connected to financial, admin or governance matters eventually ends up on my desk. What does a wonderful workplace look like in your eyes and what are you doing at the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to shape this? A wonderful organisation has a passion for its mission, combined with a high concern for the team delivering it on every level. I am part of a management team which focuses on the mission and also ensures that everyone is valued and resourced to perform. The old story of the NASA caretaker, who, when asked what he did, always inspires me. He said: "I'm putting a man on the moon." Everyone matters. Employer branding and culture has been a hot topic for some time; when did you start thinking about it and why is it important? Charities provide a vehicle for people from all walks of life to make a difference. It's a sector that needs to be valued, championed and put into the heart of society. If we fail to win public trust, engagement and confidence, then the consequences to some of the most vulnerable people in society are often very harsh; this is why charities must be subject to high levels of governance and scrutiny. People engage with charities in different ways as employees, trustees, donors and supporters, so the culture must be one of scrupulous honesty and openness to win their commitment, and be backed up by inspirational leadership. How do you communicate your charity's working culture to current and future employees? It's useful when people come for an interview to have an informal chat with staff before meeting the formal panel. Yes, it's a little artificial, but it sends a message to staff that their views matter. It also gives future employees the chance to fish around a little and gain a better impression of the working environment, as well as a sense of what type of people work here. What kind of people make a great fit in your charity? People who are a great fit in the charity are customer focused, professional, flexible, friendly and unstuffy. We are a small charity, so apart from our formal roles and functions, we all have to cover for each other and muck in. For example, we all help with meetings during very busy periods, making coffee, clearing up. (Mind you, the communications manager did cut his thumb earlier this year to get out of doing the washing up!). How can third sector candidates identify if a charity's culture will suit them? Organisational culture is so difficult to assess from the outside. I think the chief executive very much sets the tone. Find out what you can about the chief executive and members of the senior management team. Look for non-verbal clues during the interview. Do as much research as you can. Sometimes, though, non-politically correct people can have a heart of gold, and vice versa. Try to square the circle of developing discernment without being judgemental. In the end it's best, in my opinion, to trust your instincts. It's also fine to take a risk. Working on a temp to perm contract is also a useful way of testing the water. How do you develop your staff? The obvious things work best: one-to-ones, regular appraisals, feedback, training courses, in-house briefings, and just taking an interest in people. Where people are in the career life cycle is also useful to be aware of. I'm 57 and have been working in the charity sector since I was 28 but, honestly, the rate of change is so quick I feel as if I am new to the game. Learning from each other is vital. Be generous with what you know and honest about what you don't. I learn so much from digital natives in their twenties, and I like to think they learn some things from me, but perhaps they are just being polite. What would be your advice to someone looking for their first charity job? Charities need experienced, qualified professionals. But even if you've just started as an intern, as long as you have a hunger to learn and work hard, there should be a place for you. Perhaps start with a smaller charity, as that will give you the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of issues and to make an impact. It is easier when starting out to get pigeonholed in a larger charity and feel remote from the mission. Mission Impossible becomes Mission Incomprehensible. What are your top 10 career tips for charity professionals? I only have one tip. A little mental preparation that I do every day before starting work. I hope you find it useful. You may recognise the analogy adapted from St Paul: I imagine a Roman soldier. I think of myself putting on the soldier's armour. First, there is the belt of truth upon which everything hangs. Be honest to yourself and others. Integrity is everything. Lose your credibility and all is lost. Secondly, I put on strong boots or sandals so that I can be flexible, move fast, be in the right place. Thirdly, I have a shield which I can be confident in because of my training and preparedness. Fourthly, I have a helmet which stands for my intellect. You have a good mind. Use it. Think about what you are doing and why. How can the work be done in a better way? Learn constantly. Finally, I put on a breastplate. It is important to put your heart into a role. We all have off-days when it gets very difficult to carry on, but caring about what you are doing makes it easier to deflect the arrows of misfortune when they come your way, as they surely will. Good luck! _________________________________________________ Many thanks to Channing for sharing his insights and some very wise words for both employers and prospective candidates! If you'd like to find out more about his organisation, visit the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.