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  • Publish Date: Posted over 2 years ago

A desire to work with people led William Pleasance to enter the barbering industry but with a flair for sales and a commercially focused mindset, he has swapped clippers for CVs and is now forging ahead with career in a recruitment. We caught up with William – a consultant in our Leeds office – to find out more.

Tell us why you wanted to work in recruitment.

After leaving full-time education, I wasn’t fixed on a particular career path; I knew I wanted to work directly with people and after moving from barbering to business to business sales I was keen that my next move would allow me to partner both my commercial and people skill sets – recruitment was the natural choice.

Do you specialise in a particular area of recruitment?

Each consultant at Sharp has a particular area of expertise which allows us to fully immerse ourselves in the market and understand the key factors affecting recruitment at each level and across different geographic locations. I specialise in the permanent placement of part qualified to newly qualified finance professionals across the North and West Yorkshire working predominately with a client base of private businesses in all industries, excluding practice.

How is the current marketplace and what are your expectations for how the next 6-12 months will look?

The current market going into 2022 is very busy following a strange couple of years. We have seen a huge increase in demand from businesses for the part qualified and newly qualified professionals and, as we are yet to fully see a spike in active candidates following the Christmas break, this demand currently outstrips supply.

What are the main recruitment challenges being faced in this area?

The main challenges we face are due to a shortage in candidates. The reasons for people seeking a move now are very different to what they were pre-Covid. Work life balance is a huge factor for people. Whilst we are seeing high candidate demand and low supply, salaries and packages will naturally increase as businesses compete to attract new talent and retain existing members of staff. Not only that, active candidates may find they have multiple opportunities to choose from which means companies must first attract them into applying for a role and then potentially re-attract them during the latter stages of the recruitment process.

What should employers be doing to overcome these challenges?

Employers need to fully understand the challenges of the current marketplace and look at where there can be flexibility in the recruitment process and their requirements for the role.

Salary is – and will remain – a crucial factor, however, employers should consider all options and not jump in at a higher salary level. There may be opportunities to look at bringing in a candidate at a lower salary point and level of experience and investing in their future.

The option of flexible working is becoming much more of an expectation amongst candidates, whether this is hybrid working or working hours on a flexi timetable. Those employers that can blend the needs of employees who want office-based time alongside those for whom an element of home working is a priority will find they are in a stronger position to cherry-pick the best candidates.

In times of candidate shortage, speed is very much of the essence and any delays – even by so little as a day – can see good candidates either snapped up or attracted by additional opportunities making it even more competitive to secure your first choice.

What particular skills are currently in demand? What should candidates be doing to take advantage of this opportunity?

Commercially focused and analytical skills are in high demand as businesses look for their teams to identify both risks and opportunities which can be capitalised upon to generate value. Candidates should be aiming to broaden their technical ability which will see them add another dimension to what they can offer and pay dividends in the future.

What should candidates be looking for when considering a new role opportunity?

Try to not only identify what you want as an immediate return from your next move, but also consider what you want and where you want to be in say five years’ time. For example, salary may be the driving force right now, but once you have secured an increase what else does that opportunity offer you by way of career progression and supporting your overall goals and ambitions? Candidates should look for a supportive business, supportive direct manager and a role that gives as much exposure to the full finance function which is essential in order to accelerate your career in the right direction.

What advice would you give to a client about recruiting?

Employers should look at what they can offer candidates external to monetary benefits. Whilst money is important, the top part-qualified/newly qualified candidates will be keenly looking at the exposure the role gives them and the study package and support from both the business and direct manager.

Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment of temporary, interim and permanent finance and accountancy professionals. With offices in Leeds and Sheffield our highly experienced team of consultants recruit for positions throughout Yorkshire and beyond. CONTACT US today to find out more.