Charlotte Rigby, Manager, Qualified Finance - North
In February 2016, Oliver James Associates launched its Commerce & Industry desk, partnering with clients across various sectors to identify, attract and place outstanding talent from Manager through to Director Level. Our unique consultative service includes contingency, retained and executive search solutions for both permanent and interim positions.
Charlotte Rigby leads the division. With over seven years’ experience, her exceptional knowledge of the sector puts her in a stellar position to advise our partners, and find the best technical and cultural fit for our candidates.
Read our Q&A with Charlotte to find out more about the opportunities and challenges facing senior finance professionals within the Commerce & Industry sectors, as well as the sector-specific insights across the North West…
Charlotte, tell me a little about yourself and your professional background
I joined Oliver James in January 2016 to lead and develop its senior finance division across the North, UK. I decided to join OJ’s leadership team as I was impressed with the superiority of their forward strategy, and the opportunities this will offer for my career. I was also excited to grow and develop a new division in such an entrepreneurial environment, and have so far received unparalleled support from the board and other senior leaders in achieving the vision.
With over seven years’ experience in recruiting qualified finance professionals within Commerce & Industry and Financial Services, I have an extensive personal network of senior finance professionals across the North West. Prior to OJ, I started my recruitment career at a firm specialising in Accountancy and Executive recruitment, before going on to lead the qualified Finance interim division across the North West for a global PLC.
What’s your role at OJ and what do you hope to achieve?
Leading the finance division across the North means I’m responsible for both contract and permanent divisions. Our collective ambition as a team is to develop the Oliver James Associates brand further across the region. We have substantially increased our brand awareness to ensure we’re a recruiter of choice across the North West within the markets in which we operate.
What are the main recruitment challenges facing organisations within the North West?
It’s no surprise that we’re operating in an increasingly competitive market. The result of this is that we’re seeing candidates who have multiple offers on the table, alongside more frequent counter offers. We understand that this can be difficult for our clients from an offer-management perspective, which is why we advise on such areas with a consultative approach. We saw cuts in hiring budgets last year post-Brexit, hence the element of caution with some clients, but generally, we’ve seen a healthy appetite to recruit across the region. It was an extremely busy Q4 for us, and an all-time record quarter for our UK contract business as a whole, which in turn indicates an increase in hiring confidence. So far, this is continuing into Q1 this year, and we’re feeling very positive about what 2017 has in store.
Which sectors are the most buoyant currently, and why?
The great thing about the North West is that it is home to cities like Manchester, which is a hugely successful international business location on track to become a top-20 global city, while still offering superior and cost-effective relocation opportunities. More and more businesses from a variety of sectors are re-locating to the region – ensuring our client base remains diverse in terms of sector.
More specifically, we’re seeing continually increasing business from the Digital / Technology spaces. There is a booming Tech hub in Manchester, which, alongside increase in diverse ‘destructive’ start-ups amongst other things, is putting us firmly on the map for this sector. It is therefore no surprise that Manchester has also made Europe’s top-20 list for digital innovation.
Why should clients partner with OJ to attract and place high-calibre finance talent within C&I?
We have an expert team of consultants with unrivalled experience across the North West and beyond. Our teams don’t just focus on contingency recruitment; having strong networks mean we possess the ability and capacity to provide multiple services to our clients. Further to this, we have a highly effective and unique sourcing model which has given us the competitive advantage of working exclusively with over 40% of our candidate pool, meaning we can deliver talent quicker to our clients.
In addition to this, our teams live and breathe our company values of Partnership. Excellence. Respect. Innovation. Passion. Adaptability. serving as a roadmap for us to deliver excellence to our clients and candidates, every day. We’re all truly passionate about the sectors we serve, so we care about the partners we work with in terms of understanding their career ambitions or hiring needs. We also recruit internally via the Oliver James Associates ‘DNA’ to streamline our internal recruitment processes, strengthen our brand equity and ensure that teams are a great technical and cultural fit.
Why should senior finance professionals look to OJ to help shape their career? What do you do differently?
Our specialist consultants are experienced market experts and extremely technical in their field. Our expansive network allows us to act quickly in providing tailored career advice and opening doors for finance professionals across the region.
For example, if we’re supporting a Financial Controller looking for their next step to FD, or supporting an Interim Manager in sourcing their next contract, we have the network to start these conversations – alongside technical understanding of their skill set, ensuring we provide pertinent and constructive career advice.
If you’re looking to hire qualified finance professionals within your team, or you’re a qualified finance professional looking for that next step, contact Charlotte for an open and honest conversation. Charlotte.Rigby@ojassociates.com, https://uk.linkedin.com/in/charlotterigby 00 44 (0) 7875 387770