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The Hanson Regan Blog

Who is your favourite Hot Geek in TV and Film?

Who is your favourite Hot Geek in TV and Film?

As it’s almost Valentines Day we thought we would take a light-hearted look at some of the best geeks in TV and film.

As it’s almost Valentines Day we thought we would take a light-hearted look at some of the best geeks in TV and film. Personally we’re backing Emma Stone’s awkwardness in House Bunny – but who is your favourite ‘hot geek’?



Allison Hanigan – Buffy The Vampire Slayer

The peasant skirt wearing wiccan of Sunnydale was the quintessential loveable 90’s geek – who also happened to help save the Sunnydale Hellmouth from monsters. Willow underwent a number of transformations over the shows 6 year period – culminating in her almost destroying the world – but it was always her intelligence and lack of cool that were her most adorable qualities.



Adam Brody – The OC

At the time Seth Cohen’s eclectic indie music love and inability to stop talking was the perfect way to win over hearts everywhere. The Californian was the sunny antidote to Ryan’s incessant brooding and monosyllabic narrative – not only that, but he defied all odds and got Summer to fall for him. Good work.  
 


Emma Stone – House Bunny

The ridiculous House Bunny may be awful filmic tripe – but Emma Stone’s nerdy charm is hilarious. She nails awkwardness and allure without trying – no mean feat. Sadly the film centred around geek girl turns chic for the attention of a guy nowhere nearing her league (yeah the same as She’s All That) was sexist and predictable – but hey, it’s Hollywood.



Jake Gyllenhall – The Day After Tomorrow

Oh Jake Gyllenhall, couldn’t you just drown in those deep blue eyes? Well, in The Day After Tomorrow you almost do. In one instant you’re looking straight at old blue eyes only to snap back to reality and realise that while you've been staring, floods, ice, tornadoes and an action adventure based on physical impossibilities have all taken place. The film itself is constantly confusing, especially as your attention lapses every time Jake enters onscreen and says something nerdy. 



Gillian Anderson – The X-Files

Alongside Smouldering Mulder, Dr. Dana Scully managed to display an extremely contained, acute case of scepticism even when faced with supernatural foes like invisible elephants, Tombs and even alien autopsies. The frisson between herself and Mulder had viewers tuning in religiously, but the will-they-won’t-they charade was always secondary to Scully’s natural chemistry for investigation.


 

Joseph Gordon Levitt – Inception
The once long haired 3rd Rock From The Sun adorably nerdy alien Tommy Soloman grew up! Following a spate of appearances in films like Ten Things I Hate About You where he played the lovable dweeb, he took some time away to work on indie films like Mysterious Skin before marrying his new found edge with natural geekiness. Inception was the film that brought together those two sides to his personality. And the film where we saw him cutting a fine figure in a suit.
 

Scarlet Johanson – Iron Man

Just Google her, you’ll understand.

Johnny Depp – The Ninth Gate

In Roman Polanski’s The Ninth Gate, Johnny Depp unscrupulously under-bids clients for first editions of Don Quixote before somehow becoming embroiled in a demonic devil pact. Before he gave up acting to become a full-time pirate who only featured in Tim Burton films, Johnny Depp was the coolest, most beautiful man on earth for at least a decade. Then he was usurped by trendier, younger people like Ryan Gosling. Sadly Ryan Gosling hasn’t been particularly geeky in any films yet so he hasn’t made the list.


Julia Styles – Ten Things I hate About You

She may have been a bad ass with a penchant for riot grrrl and shrew-like tendencies - but Julia Styles was never seen without a book in her hand. From The Bell Jar and Shakespeare to an Edgar Allan Poe sticker on her school folder – complete with scathing opinions on Hemingway - her literary insight was fiercely attractive. 

Happy Valentines Day...

Hanson Regan calls for support to become the National ‘Public’ Champion for UK in the European Business Awards

Hanson Regan calls for support to become the National ‘Public’ Champion for UK in the European Business Awards

Hanson Regan from the UK will today compete for the title of ‘National Public Champion’ in this year’s European Business Awards, sponsored by RSM, as the public vote opens for the first time.

Hanson Regan from the UK will today compete for the title of ‘National Public Champion’ in this year’s European Business Awards, sponsored by RSM, as the public vote opens for the first time.

The company, already named as one of the National Champions in the independently judged part of the competition, has posted a video of its company online at http://www.businessawardseurope.com/vote/detail-new/united-kingdom/17050 giving a powerful insight into the story of their business and its success.

Competing against all other country National Champions for the public vote, the company with the most votes will be named ‘National Public Champion’ for UK on 7th March 2016. The first phase of the online voting is open from 11 January to 26 February 2016

John Kelly, Director, Hanson Regan says: “With just over seven weeks for people to vote online for their favourite company, we are hoping that the public will watch our video and vote for us. The public vote means a great deal as it is both our existing and potential customers and clients giving their approval to our success.”

The second public vote will see all of the National Public Champions from 32 different countries compete against each other to become the overall European Public Champion. The voting for this takes place between 7th March and 26th April 2016, and the result will be announced at the European Business Awards Gala event in June 2016.

Adrian Tripp, CEO of the European Business Awards said: “Last year the public vote generated over 170,000 votes from across the world.  It is a very important part of the Awards as it gives these entrepreneurial companies another way of showcasing their achievements.”

He continued: “So we ask everyone wanting to support their country or business in general to take some time, watch the videos, and cast their vote.”

Separately, the independent judging panel in the European Business Awards will review and score all the video entries plus written entries and select a final top 110 Ruban d’Honneur recipients who will face the judging panels in the final stage of the competition. The overall winner from each category will then be announced at the same time as the European Public Champion at the Gala Event in June.

The European Business Awards was created to recognise and promote business success and support the development of a stronger business community throughout Europe.  Additional sponsors and partners of the Awards include ELITE, the UKTI and PR Newswire.

In the 2014/15 competition, all EU member markets were represented plus Turkey, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Their combined revenue exceeded €1.5 trillion, and together they generated profits of over 60 billion Euros.

Uh-oh the Xmas ‘wind-down’ is here…

Uh-oh the Xmas ‘wind-down’ is here…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; the John Lewis and Sainsbury’s Christmas adverts have resulted in people bursting into tears at Mog the Cat and speculating over why an old man has been banished to the moon...

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; the John Lewis and Sainsbury’s Christmas adverts have resulted in people bursting into tears at Mog the Cat and speculating over why an old man has been banished to the moon – while sound tracked to Aurora Aksnes’ ‘quirky’ cover of Oasis’ ‘Half the World Away’.

The cheese boards and Bucks Fizz have been filling the shelves since October and Santa’s grottos are popping up in shopping centres across the country at an alarming rate. It’s pretty easy to see why work productivity slumps to an all-time low during the festive season.

The problem is, if you’re working, this ‘down time’ is a myth. Chances are you’ve slowed down but there are things to be done which will create stress before and after the Christmas period if not complete.

To reduce the pre and post-Christmas stress – and effectively avoid ruining Christmas – here are five ways to be productive over the Christmas period.



1) Don’t burn the candle at both ends


It’s the end of the year, there are work Christmas parties, catching up with friends before they leave to visit family, cheap cava and those who have been misers all year who develop a classic case of Ghost-of-Christmas-Yet-to-Come and suddenly want to buy rounds at the pub. Nice.

With all of these temptations, it’s easy to find yourself out and about more than usual and your health and purse / wallet take as much of a beating as your liver. But don’t forget, going into work hungover and tired is ten times worse during the ‘festive’ period when everyone is happy. You don’t want to be the ashen faced scrooge in the corner filling out timesheets and smelling of stale booze. Instead, use the quiet time to get yourself organised – finish off any outstanding projects and start the New Year with nothing hanging over your head.

2) Minimise looking at email

It’s tempting to open every e-card or ‘last chance 50% off Yankee candle’ email that arrives in your inbox, but before you know it, the morning will have passed and you’ll be left wondering why you spent your last £20 on whisky stones.

Try allotting ten minutes every two to three hours to opening and checking emails. (Let’s face it, if it’s something flagged urgent they’ll give you a call and follow up anyway). At least this way you’ll get to be productive without even more interruptions.

3)  Create a top-level ‘must get done’ list

If you have lots of actions that seem unachievable – and are not helped by Cliff Richard constantly ringing in your ears - write down the most important tasks. That way, when you come back after the New Year at least some of the big projects you wanted to deliver will be done.

It also means when everyone else is playing a game of furious catch-up in January that you’ll be the one that appears organised, calm and in control. Double bonus.
 

4) Keep up with what’s happening in your industry

Of course Christmas is the perfect opportunity to unwind, but don’t forget to stay on top of what’s happening in the news – even if it’s just browsing sites the evening before you return to work. After all when you’re an ocean of serenity and everyone is freaking out, you can purposefully ask: “I take it you saw the latest development in [insert niche industry development here]?” feigning mild surprise when your question is met with hate filled looks.

5) Clean up

There’s always that one person in the office that raises an eyebrow when they pass a desk with a half empty mug of coffee on it, or heaven forbid – a pen not in its allocated pen pot. While you might have perfected the ‘selected deaf’ act to cope with them throughout the year, December is a great time to exorcise those clutter demons. Plus there’s something cathartic about shredding those pages of notes taken in meetings!

If you are hiring SAP talent – you shouldn’t be looking at CVs

If you are hiring SAP talent – you shouldn’t be looking at CVs

Director John Kelly discusses the Hanson Regan matrix. A system which gives us total certainty around what the client needs...

A controversial statement perhaps but a true one none the less. I may run a recruitment firm but as I also have an extensive background in systems implementation and quality assurance, I like to think that I’m speaking the same language as our clients!

For me, the recruitment has to start with the project – not the person spec.  What are the business objectives? What are the key deliverables? What daily tasks need to be undertaken to achieve the deliverables. What are the top three skills needed? These are all questions asked by us which helps us develop the Hanson Regan matrix.  A system which gives us total certainty around what the client needs – and allows us to identify exactly the right person.  We then reference that candidate against all the deliverables, experience and skills needed.

Not a CV in sight!

Of course, this means a sea change in attitudes.  So often we are given a traditional job spec which has none of the key information needed for us to make an informed decision on the right person. We need to use the same smart agile principles to resource a project as we do to deliver it. To me that’s just common sense. Isn’t it?

But the key to all this access to the line manager – and so often we have to fight to get that access but when we do, organisations see their time to hire reduce exponentially. And that has to add value to the bottom line. In short we are a project enabler!

The traditional IT contract recruitment process is totally flawed – we have developed Precise SAP recruitment - and it works. Precious time saved – our clients’ bonuses protected – what’s not to like?

Five Apps that can help with your health

Five Apps that can help with your health

Smartphones have come a long way, and the App market has quickly become an innovator for some really clever functionality.


 

Smartphones have come a long way, and the App market has quickly become an innovator for some really clever functionality.

We take a look at five of the best apps that claim to help with your health.

ADHD Tracker

ADHD Tracker is a clever little device that uses the Vanderbilt Scales published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It’s an app that allows parents and teachers to submit a behavioural assessment for children aged 4-18 who have been treated for ADHD.

Sleep As Android

Originally intended to wake up sleepers gently at the best possible time of the morning when your sleep cycle was at the best time to get up, the app’s evolutionary process has come a long way. The app will alert you if you’re running on sleep deficit and even monitors you sleep talking and snoring. It even tacks illnesses like sleep apnea. The one downside is it’s only for android users – although the iPhone has its own version.

Fitstar Personal Trainer

This app offers users fitness videos alongside the number of calories its users burn during a workout. The information is then passed on to Apple’s Health app via Healthkit.

iHeadache

If you suffer from a migrane this could be the app for you. Users are able to ‘start a headache’ by inputting things like symptoms, duration and severity, impact on daily life, medication used and triggers. The comprehensive list means that once you’ve recorded the details you can generate reports that classify them by types. Very handy.

DreamLab

A new app developed by Vodafone Australia and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research is hoping to cure Alzheimer’s and cancer. When a smartphone is charging, the app automatically downloads genetic sequencing profiles. This is then processed using the phones CPU and sent back to the institute to be used in cancer research.

 

The mobile sharing economy is here...

The mobile sharing economy is here...

Mobile phones sit at the heart of the uber-connected, digital ecosystem...

I was collating the monthly marketing report when I clocked an interesting stat: access to our site via mobile was up 40% vs last month. 

It’s hardly surprising. Yes it's a jump, but MoM there's a steady increase in people accessing our site via mobile. We also know that mobile phones sit at the heart of the uber-connected, digital ecosystem and our continued love affair with our mobiles have disintermediated old ways of connecting. 

Does this make us attention deficit digital narcissists? Probably. Literature has been produced in its droves about the rise of traditional jobs having to restructure or cease, simply because they‘re too slow to adapt to the changing landscape.

From raw mail deliveries losing out to ‘out of hours’ trackable parcel deliveries thanks to ebay and Amazon Prime – to traditional black cabs getting side-lined by cheaper services like Uber and its fast API use - there is very much an attitude of ‘adapt or get left behind.’

But mobile technologies are not the cultural inertia that some companies would have us believe. They are now being seen as agile marketplaces which enable us to use available technologies all from one small, rectangular-shaped source. Mobile phones have granted access to open marketplaces where you can bid for website designers, or encourage a community to crowdfund your project or album via a platform like Bandcamp. These ‘Megatrends’ are rewriting the traditional business paradigm and the ways in which collaborative consumption is being promoted as the new, efficient means of what was ‘ownership’. 

The rise in digital has made it easier than ever for people to quickly find experts to share their skill sets. Connecting with people full stop has never been simpler. What consumer’s value now is community-based innovation which has seen the growth in ‘soft assets.’ Take for example peer-to-peer innovations like Tinder, or less nefarious - depending on your experience - business models like AirBnB which is based on an online rating system.

Back in 2013 the collaborative economy was being cited as the third major development in the digital economy. It was heavily linked with social media as an ecommerce feedback platform, perfect for discussing brands in an open arena. In only two years it seems we are making huge gains in this area. 

Long-term, companies will look to join the connected, collaborative economy. With smartphones overtaking sales of PCs in the last five years, and with mobility being a clear gateway to the web, integration and collaboration with a single swipe or press of a smartphone is the future. 

If you haven't already - it's time to jump on the smartphone bandwaggon and start thinking about how it can innovate your business. 

Old Skool Recruitment v New Skool

Old Skool Recruitment v New Skool

It’s hard to imagine a time before email, smartphones and Google. But there was a time that recruitment existed without these modern aids - that time was the 90s...

It’s hard to imagine a time before email, smartphones and Google. While the internet can be blamed for plenty of things – Candy Crush, anyone? the role of a recruiter - in theory - should be made simpler with the much-vaunted democratisation of information at the press of a button. 


But is it really? Let’s take a look back at the job role of a recruiter, before the internet… let’s go waaay back, all the way to the 90s. 

Old Skool Telephones


It might seem strange to consider recruiters doing their job without the aid of a mobile phone. After all, it is expected that by 2017 75% of mobile phones will be smart phones and catching candidates via text, email and calls is an integral part of the job.  

But this wasn’t always the way. Back in the 80s and 90s recruiters spent the days glued to their desks chatting down a phone which had a cord attached to it. Rather than Google searches, clients were located with the use of a phone book, their desk was most likely filled by long lists of applicants to call too. 

In order to speak to candidates and clients, recruiters had to call them at their homes after work hours. Often they would only be able to speak to one in ten people. 

Old Skool Advertising

Internal recruitment was a long-winded process before websites and LinkedIn existed. One of the most effective means of advertising was taking out physical ads in papers as a means of attracting talent. While you could hit every household in reach of a local paper there wasn’t anything like Google Analytics available to chart how effective this was. Sometimes the newspaper would go straight into the household bin. Classic post and pray. 

Still, newspaper campaigns were tailored to any budget and were relatively inexpensive as oppose to adverts on numerous online job boards. 

 

Contracts

Instead of email, contracts would be faxed over and there would be a mad rush to retrieve them from the company fax machine. There was no Google trends or gamification either so this would often be a waiting game for the prehistoric recruiter. 
While this may sound antiquated, before fax machines – contracts would actually be sent via post. This would take a minimum of a day, something unheard of in today’s world of instant gratification. 

Interviews

Before the ease of Skype where ‘face to face’ interviews can be conducted from the comfort of your own home, recruiters would be expected to get up early to meet candidates before and after working hours in addition to weekends. 

While this still happens, there is at least the option of conducting interviews from the comfort of your sofa. 

It’s fair to say that the growth and proliferation of technology has changed the way traditional recruitment has been done, but many of the elements remain the same. It should be noted that around 10% of hires still come from traditional channels, which is three times more popular than social media. While efforts are being made to attract talent from online sources, traditional recruitment methods still require attention and recognition as a potential source of hire.

Happy Halloween: The Technological Fear Myth

Happy Halloween: The Technological Fear Myth

In the lead-up to Halloween, we take a look back at five of the most notable, technological events – many in recent years - that gave us cause for concern.

Prior to his death in 399 BC Socrates famously warned against writing because it would "create forgetfulness in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories." This Socratic warning has been bemoaned by people since, with increasing concern that the introduction of new technology is something to be suspicious of.

From the French statesman Malesherbes railing against the printed page socially isolating readers to Nicholas Carr’s much cited article Is Google Making Us Stupid? there have been countless iterations of how technology is affecting the mind and brain – most of which is nonsense.

But we’re human and we love a good worst-case scenario story, so, in the lead-up to Halloween, we take a look back at five of the most notable events – many in recent years - that gave us cause for concern.

Hopefully being more informed will help us to avoid the inevitable robot revolution or technological apocalypse.

L’Arrivee d’un train en gare de La Ciotat

Despite only being 50 seconds in length, Louis Lumière's Arrival of the Train which gave birth to the documentary film back in 1895 caused panic and terror when it was first seen by an audience.

The train appeared to hurtle towards the audience and they feared it could fly off the screen and crash into them. Something similar could be said of Hideo Nakata's 1998 film The Ring when Sadako Yamamura crawls out of the television set meshing tradition with modernity in a chilling way. 

The War of the Worlds – Radio Broadcast

Perhaps the most notorious event in American broadcasting history, Orson WellesWar of the Worlds broadcast in 1938 where the Mercury Theatre on the Air enacted a Martian invasion of Earth, convincing more than a million American’s in the process that the Earth was indeed under attack.

Following a damaged newspaper industry after the depression and the rise of radio, newspapers sought to discredit radio as a means of communication. On Sunday evening, October 3, at 8. PM, the announcement was made: “The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the air in ‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells.”

Millions of American’s tuned in on time and were made aware of the story, but for those who tuned in ten minutes late, the Martian invasion was well underway.  

Around a million listeners believed this to be a true invasion and panic broke out across the country and people took to the streets. News soon reached the CBS studio and Welles had to remind the public on air that it was fictitious. While no laws were broken networks were more cautious from that day.  

The Y2K Millennium Bug Scare

The fear of computer malfunctions were government backed when in 1999 British newspapers warned what to do about fax machines, VCR’s and answering machines hurtling towards a Y2K disaster. The Millennium bug was all to do with the limitations of clocks inside computers seeing 00 and understanding that to mean 1900 as oppose to 2000.

While this meant bodies like Action 2000 were set up to make sure machines were ‘year 2000 compliant’, literature produced at the time still had to comfort the public that their lawn mowers, hedge trimmers and bbq’s would not suddenly become sentient and attack. The guide stated that "the very worst that can happen is that some [computers] may get confused over the date". This attempt to dispel myths was for the most part listened to, although it faced hyperbole from the press and government officials like Margaret Beckett - then the minister in charge of millennium preparations - who said the bug had the capacity to "wreak havoc".

In one instance a woman moved her family to a remote house in Scotland to live off water from a well convinced it was the end of the world. It wasn’t.

Google became Skynet

Back in 2014 Google acquired DeepMind for around $500 million, the British Artificial Intelligence company specialising in machine learning, advanced algorithms and systems neuroscience.

Part of the acquisition deal saw Google establish an artificial intelligence ethics board to ensure the technology wasn’t abused. Combine this with the series of robotics firms purchased in 2013 – including Boston Robotics - and speculation was rife that Google had become monolith Skynet from the Terminator films.


The Mayan Calendar

Back in 2012, the conclusion of the 5,125-year ‘Long Count’ Mayan calendar saw panic purchases of candles and other survival essentials. This was in anticipation of an Armageddon supposedly brought about by the mythical planet Nibiru (or planet X), a comet crashing into earth or a giant solar storm annihilating the planet.

While believers worldwide ran to buy supplies the world didn’t end despite reports of the ancient Mayan prophecy. Given the planet has existed just fine for 4 billion years the majority of people overlooked the predicted doomsday, still that didn’t stop the minority few and the media of reporting the internet hoax of planet X.

Five Skills IT Contractors Need

Five Skills IT Contractors Need

Contractors are required to meet the need of growing digital demand. We’ve highlighted just some of the core skills that IT contractors should add to their arsenal to stand out against the competition.

No matter which sector you operate in technology is becoming increasingly important. To keep-up-to-date, contractors are required to meet the need of growing digital demand. We’ve highlighted just some of the core skills that IT contractors should add to their arsenal to stand out against the competition. 

Master Multiple Mobile Platforms 

Mobile has positioned itself as one of the most desirable skills to have for contractors in the IT market. The time for struggling with application development has passed, as the mobile device market continues its steady ascent. Mobile now leads the way in how we do business, consume and live our lives. To move up the ranks learn Apple’s programming language Swift in addition to staples like Java, C++, C, Objective-C. 

Free Skills Upgrade

While plenty of roll-outs in the next few years will require the most up-to-date skills, there are still a number of installations using earlier versions of SQL, Exchange and Oracle - amongst many others. Plan your work accordingly, don’t be out-of-pocket for the sake of a roll-out which has been put on hold. Make sure to add value to commodity skills which can be done for free. If you’re a .net language developer, teach yourself LINQ, Microsoft’s own resources. Similarly, Java experts can learn Struts or Hibernate online for free.  

Security is Big Business

There is a significant increase in the number of cyber security contracts becoming commonplace, making Security a high commodity in the IT skillset. As well as one of the fastest growing and highest paid areas in IT the demand is only going to increase as time goes on.  While hacking and cyber-attacks continue to dominate the news, the need for Security at an international top level will become more important to ward off threats.  


.Net is still Microsoft heavy

Designed with a Microsoft framework in mind the .Net software framework is as crucial as ever. With 80%+ of the market share Microsoft are still leading the way over Apple’s Mac OS X operating system. That’s why writing code for machines running Windows is still pivotal for contractors.  

ERP – SAP
SAP roles are in increasing demand, with the introduction of HANA and more projects being rolled out, project skills, development and testers are critical. As major companies invest in ERP there are numerous contract and permanent roles globally. 
 

Five Ways We Help Our Recruiters Recruit

Five Ways We Help Our Recruiters Recruit

Talent Manager Katie Matthews discusses five ways we help our recruiters recruit...

We know that recruiting is tough sometimes, that's why at Hanson Regan we fully support you every step of the way. Here are just five ways we help our recruiters recruit...


Hanson Regan included in the Top 500

Hanson Regan included in the Top 500

Listing the details of the UK's largest 500 recruitment companies, The Top 500 is a unique and invaluable insight into the major companies in the UK recruitment industry...

Listing the details of the UK's largest 500 recruitment companies, The Top 500 is a unique and invaluable insight into the major companies in the UK recruitment industry.

The RI Top 500 Report is recognised as being the 'bible' for our industry, focusing on the overall UK recruitment industry as well as a snapshot on the global position for recruiters.

Hanson Regan are delighted to have placed at number 325 and this is the second year in a row we have been included in the awards. 

 

Hanson Regan Named National Champion in the European Business Awards 2015/16

Hanson Regan Named National Champion in the European Business Awards 2015/16

We've been named as a National Champion for the UK in The European Business Awards sponsored by RSM; a prestigious competition supported by businesses leaders, academics, media and political representatives from across Europe.

The European Business Awards now in its 9th year engaged with over 32,000 business from 33 European countries this year and 678 companies from across Europe have been named today as National Champions; going through to the second phase of the competition.

Hanson Regan are recruitment experts in cloud ERP, SAP IT and associated technologies. SAP is at the centre of today’s technological revolution and we improve businesses by placing SAP experts globally.

John Kelly, Director, said: “We’re very proud to be selected to represent the UK as a National Champion. The European Business Awards is widely recognised as the showcase for Europe’s most dynamic companies and we are now looking forward to the next round of the judging process where we can explain in more depth how we are achieving business success.”

Adrian Tripp, CEO of the European Business Awards said: “Congratulations to Hanson Regan and all the companies that have been selected to represent their country as National Champions, they play an important part in creating a stronger business community.”

The next round requires the National Champions to make a presentation video, telling their unique story and explaining their business success. The judges will view all of the National Champions’ videos, and award the best of this group the coveted ‘Ruban d’Honneur’ status.  Ruban d’Honneur recipients will then go on to be part of the grand final in 2016.

Separately, the National Champion videos will be made public on the European Business Awards website www.businessawardseurope.com as part of a two stage public vote, which will decide the ‘National Public Champions’ for each country.  Last year over 170,000 votes were cast as companies from across Europe were publicly supported by their clients, staff and peers, as well as the general public.

Supported since their inception by lead sponsor and promoter RSM, the seventh largest audit, tax and advisory network worldwide with a major presence across Europe, the European Business Awards was up to support the development of a stronger and more successful business community throughout Europe.

In the 2014/15 competition, all EU member markets were represented plus Turkey, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Their combined revenue exceeded €1.5 trillion, and together they generated profits of over 60 billion Euros and employ over 2.5 million people.

For further information about the winners, the European Business Awards and RSM please go to www.businessawardseurope.com or www.rsmi.com

For further press information, please contact:

Faye Lewis, Marketing Manager at Hanson Regan on +44 0208 490 4656

EBA: The Newsroom at the European Business Awards on +44 (0) 796 6666 657

Or email vanessa.wood@businessawardseurope.com

SAP Events

SAP Events

Hanson Regan curate the best SAP events until the end of the year. Which ones will you be attending? 

We know the SAP event calendar is busy year round and that is why this Slidedeck is a must see for SAP experts. 

While this is by no means a comprehensive list of all the events, conferences, webinars and awards ceremonies we've handpicked a few of our favourites. 

We're also silver sponsors of the UKISUG15 conference taking place at the ICC in Birmingham, 22-24 November

Come and say hello!

The 007 approach to recruitment

The 007 approach to recruitment

The hiring of spies requires the same core elements at the cornerstone of any professional recruitment agency.

On the surface, the term ‘recruitment’ may not leap out of the pages of an Ian Fleming novel. Recruiters are (thankfully) not granted a license to kill and agents are unlikely to risk death at the hands of an enemy as the result of a legal system.

But on closer inspection, the hiring of spies requires the same core elements at the cornerstone of any professional recruitment agency. Good information and successful and careful planning.

An OSS guide to recruiting secret service officers considers the different types of spies needed – whether insiders, specialists, couriers, potential agents – it concentrates on numerous skill sets. Putting quality first is paramount – understanding a budding agent before approaching them is important – getting a sense of their interests, character, weaknesses, politics and what they’re about is key to ensuring a candidate is the right fit for the role you are trying to fill.

James Bond for example, has over the course of his time, slept with an estimated 55 women, killed 370 people and drinks on average 92 units of booze a week (four times the recommended weekly allowance) – this would set off alarm bells for most recruiters and hardly makes him the ideal candidate for working in most jobs.

In fiction, having a booze hound with a penchant for the female sex is fine, but in reality, Bond would probably jeopardise the reputation of any organisation he was representing.  

Out of the realms of fiction, many secret service officers would probably admit to joining with the intention of recruiting spies to gain access to secrets and conduct covert action. It’s a job description that has remained largely unchanged since the 40’s – in today’s world however, recruiters in all fields are acting as spies to some degree, and they need to take a meticulous approach to sourcing people into job roles. 

When it comes to advertising client roles online in the public sphere, clandestine precautions need to be taken by recruitment agencies. Often, covering your tracks so as not to ‘warm up the talent pool’ when your sales team is unable to cope with the influx of leads is a necessity.

Similarly, withholding salary information or specific locations that would enable competitors to work out who your client is are crucial to retaining autonomous contracts. While some people may say this was a paranoid approach, it could be the difference between making a placement and losing a candidate.  

Recruiters today are expected to fulfil a number of responsibilities and at the heart of it, is understanding human motivations for influencing people. This means quickly and accurately knowing a candidates motivation for change (money, career progression etc), why they want to find or leave a job, a realistic time frame in which to be placed and their preferred working location – and any number of other factors. 

In addition, the recruitment world is all immersive, working as an agent requires plunging headlong into attracting top talent, enthralled in head-to-head competition with competitors all trying to source that elusive ‘perfect’ candidate before you. Some people thrive off this environment and are neither shaken nor stirred if they lose a placement. Others drop off and change careers finding the all or nothing approach too much to contend with long term.

While both industries cite money as a primary motivator for a reason to go into the industry, the ups and downs of recruitment does require an unbreakable spirit at times – however, as with Bond, an agent with a commitment to achieving a goal is a powerful weapon.

Thinking of becoming a SAP contractor?

Thinking of becoming a SAP contractor?

For a lot of people, the term 'contract employment' can be tantamount to a mini panic attack.

For a lot of people, the term 'contract employment' can be tantamount to a mini panic attack. Traditionally, contract work was perceived as being forced into redundancy - or at the very least it created uncertainty over long-term employment.

However, as working focus shifts and people strive to achieve personal objectives alongside feeling successful in their jobs - two key factors to both business and individual success - contract work is now becoming the preferred working style for many. It's also an option that can be visited no matter what stage of your career you are at.    

The question: “Do I work as a contractor or in permanent employment?” is always valid and there are numerous pros and cons for entering into the world of contract employment. Frequently the question can form the basis of a tax strategy, or it could be autonomy – do you really want to work for someone else?

In IT, contract employment is rife – not just due to the nature of the work but also the amount of money which can be made from rejecting the permanent employee model. And SAP is an area in which contractors can thrive. 

The overriding factor to remain permanent is the issue of job and income security – but in the world of SAP there is growing potential for contracts to become long-term. This is especially true on large scale implementation projects where your contract lasts for a number of years. SAP particularly is an industry in which contract extensions are common place. 

One of the major draws of contract work is that traditionally IT contractors are paid much more than permanent employees. This is partly due to compensation for the uncertainty of being independent and not receiving holiday or sick pay. However it can also offer a flexibility that isn’t prevalent with permanent employment.

SAP is ideal for contractors – due to the nature of work in which an entire system needs to be implemented. Throughout this time there is an all-hands-on-deck approach until the assignment is complete. Once this happens however, the SAP professional headcount drops off as their skills and expertise have been utilised. This is why contract work is so appealing for businesses who opt for contractors who are reticent to spend money hiring and investing in permanent staff – only for them to leave once a project is complete. 

For those who don’t like company hierarchy – contract work affords financial rewards based on technical skill alone, eliminating the need to spend years in a company ascending the management food chain to earn more money and advance career prospects.  

Other benefits include the opportunity to travel – this is common across SAP and IT, but also other fields such as Logistics or Purchasing and Procurement, where contract work can take you as far (or as close to home) as you wish. Large management consultancies are based all over the world with people operating across Asia, Europe, America and Africa. 

Retaining the autonomy of acting as your own boss as an independent contractor means you have the flexibility of managing your time – within reason – and so can take time off or go on holidays. Many contractors who have holiday plans can also opt for shorter-term assignments as a ‘fill in’ for a shorter duration. 

If you’re looking to advance your career, or take it in a different direction with a great potential to earn, asking that all important question “do I work as a contractor or in permanent employment?” should always be at the front of your mind.  

Top films for tech geeks

Top films for tech geeks

Hanson Regan curate the best films for tech geeks. 

Hanson Regan has polled our collective results and the loser is... Star Wars, convincingly ousted by Metropolis, The Matrix, Star Trek and even The Social Network. Ouch.

Click HERE to see who else made the cut. 

Keep calm and carry on: how to handle a project that de-rails

Keep calm and carry on: how to handle a project that de-rails

How to deal with short-term crises, calmly.

At Hanson Regan, building relationships and alliances with partners and suppliers is at the heart of what we do. 

We know that clients and candidates expect high-level, consistent service and this is something we strive to offer all of the time. However, we understand that projects occasionally de-rail and there are sometimes complications which take place – while this is, thankfully, a rare occurrence, it is something that comes with the job and knowing how to handle small crises' is critical. What matters is how as a business, you react.  

As Global SAP specialists, our candidates engage with us in two ways. The first, is when they’re reaching the end of a fixed-term contract and are looking for their next opportunity. The second is when they are in a situation which requires our immediate attention and help. 

Many SAP IT companies are not on hand to deal with this second scenario, but all that matters in this instance is support. We know that when we reach out in crisis situations, our relationships, collaborations and trust strengthen as a result. 

To do this, we need to know as much about the company as possible. Prior to any contractor starting, we always ensure we know what the wider business objectives are and the context in which our candidate will be operating. We also need to understand the company difficulties and challenges, what pressures are impacting the business and how will the market evolve? 

Having this knowledge from the very start builds confidence with senior decision makers who in turn, trust that we understand the industry and the challenges they face. In SAP, emphasis is on SAP solutions and modules as well as an in-depth understanding of vertical markets. 

Here are just some of the ways we develop these business relationships: 

The key start to a projects lifespan is to get up and running as quickly and effortlessly as possible. It is crucial in these first few weeks to get the project running to deliver the ROI – and, if a situation arises that will prevent this from happening, there is an even greater demand for quick resolution. 
Knowing the customer and market inside out and having a consultative, integrated approach to building the relationship with the client helps both long-term growth necessary to strategic change and also short term crises that can arise.

IT strategy is often at the hands of monetary constraints and this means that strategy towards partners and suppliers can vary. One thing that will remain the same is that IT decision makers will always opt for suppliers who provide a transparent and efficient service. This is especially true with crisis resolution – time held up in procurement is wasted and expensive. 

Maintaining open and transparent relationships are key for the duration of a contract. To do this, having a clear and concise contract that outlines deliverables, a dedicated accounts team who pay on time and a support network that embraces technology is key in offering smooth operations.

Both vendors and candidates will prefer a model based around transparency and openness and even the most complicated of issues require this approach. In the long-term this will cement working relationships.

We have found that taking a customer-centric approach that means suppliers can deliver focused, transparent solutions while vendors are fully equipped to react to short-term crises. This has the benefit over delivering a sustained, successful, long-term deployment.

Five Technological Flops

Five Technological Flops

Innovation grows out of experimentation. But there are only so many times you can reinvent the wheel before things go very­ wrong...

We all know the saying that innovation grows out of experimentation. But there are only so many times you can reinvent the wheel before things go very wrong.
In a constantly evolving world - where tech reigns supreme - new designs, features and innovative ideas created to hook potential customers has seen rise to some excellent technology. It has also seen the painful demise of some truly terrible technology.

Here are five technological flops over the last few years.

Kyocera’s Echo

Generally considered ‘the worst smartphone ever’ Kyocera’s Echo – originally described as both ‘magical’ and ‘exciting’ – as if it was marketed by the team behind the Harry Potter franchise arrived and was utterly underwhelming. The concept was good – a dual-screen in theory was an ingenious way to switch between tasks. But unfortunately a terrible battery life, phone freezes and a liturgy of problems for users meant that this phone died a death. If that wasn’t bad enough, nobody mourned its demise. Ouch.

iTOi iPad Periscope

Unless you’re on a submarine you don’t have any use for a periscope. Which is why iTOi iPad’s Periscope was a confusing concept – who actually wants to be further away from a camera when engaged in a webinar or skype chat? For a mere $150 you can suffer the indignity of having a huge periscope planted on your desk next to your ‘in and out’ tray leading your colleagues to believe you have some sort of U-571 fetish. Worse still, the monstrosity offers up nothing more than making the front-facing camera on your iPad more flattering… ­

Google Glass

Google Glass will have its champions and we acknowledge that there are real benefits to the glasses. For example, in the medical industries, ambulance drivers are privy to set locations, nearby colleagues and reduced reaction times to accidents and emergencies. Clearly a good thing. But that’s not why we hate Google Glass. We hate it because in a Metaverse, dystopian Neal Stephenson sort-of-way, Google Glass is creepy. You can take photos of people, access personal information and you look like an idiot wearing them. Get a real life.

ZD Electric Car

There are arguments for electric cars and we're all for green power, but some of these models are truly dreadful. Cue ZD: The smart car came and was a good starting point for further developments – except a lot of what has followed has actually been er… worse. Failing to fire on any cylinder, the ZD is one of the more substandard variants of the electric car model.

R-Zone

Back in 1995 waaaaay before Google Glass, R-Zone attempted to give the virtual reality illusion. Sadly, its cutting-edge functionality went as far as shining a light through a transparent LCD cartridge and then projecting the action in eye on a ‘screen’. This was a terrible, terrible hand-held and a knock-off of Virtual Boy. All it achieved, was making 90’s kids feel miserable and more desperate to get a Gameboy.

Small Businesses and HR

Small Businesses and HR

The core principle of the concept of human capital management is that your employees are assets to the business, an entity whose value can be measured in a tangible way…

HR: The Things Start-up Founders Need to Know

The core principle of the concept of human capital management is that your employees are assets to the business, an entity whose value can be measured in a tangible way. Crucially, the future value of your employees to the business can be enhanced through the growth, investment in and nurturing of them. People are undoubtedly your greatest asset and any organisation, small or large, that supports this core approach to human capital management will by proxy provide employees with clearly defined and communicated performance expectations, something that is aided by investing in a sound piece of HR software to ease the pressure of managing your staff.

Ask any start-up founder, or any business leader for that matter, what represents their greatest corporate challenge and it’s highly likely that managing human resources comes pretty high up on the list. For new ventures in particular, where leaders are unlikely to have any real experience of issues relating to HR, a little bit of preparation can be the difference between creating a culture of real success, or getting bogged down with problems related to your people when small mistakes could have a disastrous effect on your overall business plan.

Simply recognising HR challenges when they arise isn't good enough; it's important to understand the issues at hand and prioritise them: there are just too many to tackle alone. Time is your second greatest asset in the business and it's crucial that you value it that way and know how to spend it, so finding a way to effectively time manage your staff is important.­Remember that before you've even hired anyone you need to work out how to raise the capital to employ people in the first place, so that's one obstacle to get over before you've even begun.

There are several strategic HR issues that you should put at the very core of your start-up's strategy.

Creating the right cultural fit

To build a truly successful business, you need to understand the needs, interests and most importantly personas of your customers. Key sections of your client-facing staff such as marketing, customer support, sales and account management professionals should be recruited to align as perfectly as possible with your customer base. It's important therefore to hire from a rich and diverse background of workers, so that the multi-faceted nature of client management and communication can be covered effectively. A good corporate culture should value debate, differing voices and perspectives. Most importantly, ensure that you're getting everyone round the table and talking consistently, to iron out any creases and ensure that you can all reach a successful compromise over complex issues.

Transparency

As a business owner you want to keep your staff informed about the direction in which things are heading, allow members of staff to gain access to training materials as and when they require and also to access the information that will help them to work effectively. This is where HR software comes into play. Many HR system providers offer simple cloud platforms that all staff can have access to for the above criteria; the key is being able to combine the centralising of information, organisation of key documents and above all improve performance.

The timing of when you share certain pieces of information with staff is also important, as by sharing it too early or too late you can undermine confidence, breed over-expectation or even convey information that isn't entirely accurate. Employees want clarity from their leaders, so don't share simply for the sake of sharing. In order to properly leverage transparency from an HR perspective you need to ensure that employees have the right amount of the right information at the right time, so that they may use it to improve both themselves and your organisation. Instil a culture that asks questions When employees have the skills, knowledge and training required to make decisions on their own, it removes a great deal of burden from the input you needed from you into HR management.

You need to instil a culture whereby employees question why they are doing what they are doing; why they need this particular piece of training, why the company is headed where it is, why they are employed there, what it is they bring to the organisation and how they are contributing towards its growth. If you can build a business that can explain itself and the future that it wants to create, with in depth analysis of plans and the roadmaps of the individuals within it, then it can truly take on the substance for success.

Generation Y are coming – are you ready?

Generation Y are coming – are you ready?

The workplace as we know it is in flux. The Millenial generation – those born after 1980 – are slowly infiltrating the world of work and they exhibit a different set of professional values than those of their generation X successors…

The workplace as we know it is in flux. The Millenial generation – those born after 1980 – are slowly infiltrating the world of work and they exhibit a different set of professional values than those of their generation X successors. While the last decade has seen the millenials trickle into the workforce as first jobbers or graduates and work up to executive level, it is only now that they are assuming managerial levels of work.

By 2020 it’s estimated that 40% of the total working population will be millennials. This means that understanding what drives them and what they want is key for retention and employee satisfaction. There are a number of myths surrounding generation Y and what they expect from their careers. Firstly, the myth that they reject the corporate world – this simply isn’t true. Young people will weigh up their options, take an active interest in launching a start-up - or their own company - if there isn’t viable employment opportunity elsewhere. That’s because millenials want a job that will accommodate their values. While they are confident and strive for success, they are much more likely to express themselves and be happy in an environment which allows them to feel comfortable rather than where they ascribe to protocol.

The defining factor here is that millenials are a relationship-orientated generation that need mutual respect, if this is given they will remain loyal to the company. The opposite applies if they do not feel valued, growing up during a number of economic crisis’ means they have had the chance to think about what matters. Staying in a job which they are unhappy in – denoted here as not feeling fulfilled or unable to reach their potential - means they will leave.

Another key factor is a huge need for a work-life integration with the majority of young people wanting flexible working hours to be able to fit in their outside work duties. Whether that is fitting in their children or personal pursuits. The most overriding characteristic is that generation Y want to do something which has meaning, where they feel they are making a difference. Understanding and accommodating these requirements are crucial for any business moving forwards. If companies want loyalty they need to allow for leadership and growth opportunities within their company allowing personal values.

Stop Feeling Overworked!

Stop Feeling Overworked!

When it comes to feeling stressed, humans are funny old things. We have accepted that since clocks were introduced to monitor labour in the 18th century that time equals money. Of course this is perception…

When it comes to feeling stressed, humans are funny old things. We have accepted that since clocks were introduced to monitor labour in the 18th century that time equals money. Of course this is perception – and what is more baffling is that we know this leads to an unhealthy, dogged reaction of feeling the need to be perceived as busy all of the time.

This fear of time wasting and the creation of human urgency does little to actually encourage productive working. We also know that this attitude shapes feelings of stress, unhappiness, tiredness and an assault on the mindset of free will.

Quite the paradox isn’t it?

Three centuries down the line and apparently some things never change. Thanks to the creation of the internet we’re available – around the clock – all of the time. Contactable by email, mobile, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, Snapchat (and a plethora of other means).

Of course this isn’t a natural state and it certainly isn’t necessary – in fact, when you live in this constant state of panic, the harder it is to achieve even the simplest of tasks. The solution lies in preserving your right to ‘down time’ and working in a way that suits you.

If you work in an office where you’re scared of what people will think if you leave on time - yours is an office where very little is actually done. Sadly this environment breeds stress and unhappiness – so, how do you combat this?

Get organised – Each day make a list of five achievable tasks you want to complete. Rank them in order of priority focusing on business critical tasks first and then non-essential items last. This helps you to determine what is most important. Know your work cycle – People have different levels of productivity throughout the day. If you are someone who can work throughout the morning but get tired by three, prioritise tasks to get the most important thing done first. Similarly, if your energy levels drop; get up, take a walk eat some fruit, drink water and raise your blood sugar levels.

Not everything is important – Learn to say no to people – if you’re in a working environment where everything is all-go all the time, the output will be poor and this attitude to work isn't sustainable long-term. Break things down into manageable and achievable amounts and don’t worry about not completing them straight away.

Don’t over-think – So much time is wasted worrying about tasks in hand. Sit down and just concentrate on doing one task for an hour at a time. Once you forget about the other things and focus for an extended period of time you will feel more productive and will start to see how much you have achieved.

Stop getting distracted - It’s easy to be distracted in an office, try not to chat about the weekend in your peak productive hours. Break the morning in half with a five minute rest and spend a few minutes talking to colleagues. Repeat this again in the afternoon. It’s essential that you take time out throughout the day, but try not to take breaks when you're in full flow and at your most productive.

Drink lots of water – One of the most important means of remaining alert is to stay hydrated. Not only is dehydration bad for your health it can affect your mood - and irritability in the office is not great. Cut out the energy and fizzy drinks – sugar is not only linked to obesity and diabetes but it can also cause adrenalin surges that can’t be sustained throughout the day.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help – There is no shame in asking for things to be clarified or explained to you. Worse is to embark on a task only to have to do it again. If you’re overworked, delegate – share the load and make life simpler for yourself.

To err is human – People make mistakes, don’t beat yourself up about it. What matters is how you react – apologise, hold your hands up and most importantly, don’t let it happen again.

Embrace your strengths and weaknesses – Understanding areas where you struggle means you can plan accordingly around this. Similarly, play to your strengths and shout about success. If you've done something of value share it with the wider business.

Eat well and get lots of sleep – If you’re stressed a lot of people feel the need to skip meals – this is the worst possible thing you can do. Get a healthy balanced diet, do some exercise and sleep. You’ll be surprised at how much better you will feel in the long-term.

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