Month: March 2022

Recruitment Trends & Tips for 2022

Recruitment Trends 2022

2022 is the year that many businesses look to make up for lost time and ‘crack on’ with their plans for growth. There are challenges to overcome such as the rising cost of living, attracting the best talent and the hunt for specialist roles. The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers has invited SFR Recruitment Solutions, a specialist recruiter to the sector, to talk about recruitment trends. Matthew Robinson and Jamie Smith, Directors at SFR, give their advice and tips on recruiting successfully for business growth in the current climate.

1)  Rising Cost of Living

A greater awareness of overall inflation and cost of living rise in 2021-2022 will naturally cause employees to question the fairness of their salaries as inflation hits a 30 year high as cost pressures continues.  Uncertainty whether their employers will increase their salaries in-line with inflation will cause unrest especially as some companies have put a hold on inflationary rises in recent years.

It’s better to keep salaries fair and competitive by making increases every year in-line with inflation so that the business isn’t hit with a massive salary increase all at once. Our advice would be to continuously benchmark salaries in your business and industry.

2)  The Rise in Specialist Roles

So far, it’s been a great start to 2022, we’ve seen an increase in specialist roles some of which we haven’t been asked to recruit for previously, with attractive salaries attached to them. What we’re finding at SFR Recruitment Solutions is that large sector players who are looking for an experienced professional are willing to pay more to secure the best talent. It’s important for companies to factor in inflation in salaries annually to stay competitive, otherwise they are at risk of leaking talent.

In 2021, 35% of our placements were Architectural Ironmongery and 36% associated to Access control products. 2021 saw a huge move towards technology with many of our clients embracing new technology in their product offering, offering electromechanical locking solutions, smart home products and on some occasions enterprise access control systems.

We also noticed an increase in Technical Product Manager and Product Category Manager roles, the advantage being in the business gaining invaluable technical product knowledge. In simple terms adding someone with electromechanical experience or electronic security systems background to a team traditionally trained in mechanical door hardware. This person works alongside the team to add technical knowledge and support to the installers, channel partners and suppliers on an advanced level, this in turn adds value to the offering. After all, we know that offering more hands-on-time, training and support can help influence an installer fit your product on that university project.

This person may have a joint responsibility for both commercial and marketing. They can assist with product literature, product launches, trade shows, market research, identification of market gaps, key value chain drivers, trends and customer profit potential.

3)  A focus on Vertical Growth

We’ve seen a shift in our manufacturing clients towards hiring market specific Business Development Managers to take on specific market verticals such as Education, Health Care, Hospitality and Utilities. On some occasions even more specific such as multiple occupancy living and commercial property.

The idea behind this is to gain a new employee who can focus on an area of the market they consider undiscovered, untapped, with the potential to gain market share. Having a sector specialist allows them to gain sector growth quickly or instantaneously.  

4)  The Search for the Best Talent

Unfortunately, available jobseekers are, more often than not, not seen as the best fit as their motivation is to find a new role, sometimes ‘any role’ creating a ‘forcing a square peg in a round hole’ effect. The more desired candidates are the passive candidates who are working in similar roles within the sector, know instinctively, the companies they would like to work for; however, they’re not actively looking – they need to be headhunted. Here are some tips in our blog on finding the best talent.

5)  Keep Calm and Carry On Virtually Recruiting!

Even though the Covid restrictions have been lifted, and most people have either returned to the office or are hybrid working on a permanent basis, it’s apparent that remote recruitment is here to stay. Also hiring managers are casting their nets wider to fill skill shortages and, are therefore, employing remote workers – why limit yourself by geography? Also, they’ve found that virtual interviews and remote recruitment actually saves time and resources, and for candidates too, no more booking a day off from work – video calls have become the norm for first stage interviews.

6)  A Guide To Salary Ranges and Averages

With the rising cost of living is your company prepared to attract and retain the best talent in 2022?

SFR Recruitment Solutions advises on the following salary ranges and average salaries by job title.

This data has been taken from positions with both manufacturers and suppliers/distributors within the Architectural Ironmongery, Door Hardware, Locking Solutions and Access Control products sector, so very specific to our audience. If this salary information can help a business attract talent or, as important, retain industry experience and trained talent from leaving the sector, then it will have done a great job.

Job title.                                                                   Range              Average   

Product Manager£35k – £45k£40,000
Business Development Manager£26k – £48k£36,000
Business Development Coordinator£20k – £30k£24,000
Business Development Director£55k – £70k£65,000
Key Account Manager£45k- £60k£52,000
Senior Business Development Manager£40k – £55k£48,000
Marketing Executive £19k – £32k£27,000
Marketing Manager£29k – £42k£35,000
Digital Marketing Manager£25k – £38k£33,000
Senior Marketing Manager£30k – £46k£40,000
Area Sales Manager£25k – £42k£35,000
Sales Director£55 – £75k£60,000
Sales Estimator£19k – £32k£25,000
Regional Sales Manager£35k – £48k£41,000
Sales Administrator£18k – £21k£19,500
Internal Sales£21k – £29k£25,000
Director of Sales and Marketing£60k – £75k£67,000
Estimator£21k – £32k£26,000
National Sales Manager (Manager)£45k – £60k£55,000
Purchasing Manager£27 – £35k£30,000
Purchasing Assistant£18,000*
Purchasing Director£60,000*
Customer Service Advisor £17k – £23k21,000

*data externally found

7)  Increasing Salaries and Enhanced Benefits

The Guardian says that the hunt for talent also extends further down the pay scales as companies budget for an increase in their wage bill of between 10% and 15% – the largest increase seen since 2008 and almost three times the inflation rate. The recruiter Reed said in its 2022 UK Salary Guide that “Looking at the year ahead we will see more companies raise the pay of their existing employees to sit in line with new starter salaries. Over a third of businesses (39%) said they were increasing pay to keep up with rising inflation.”


In terms of benefits in the ironmongery sector, 75% of our vacancies offer annual leave 25 days plus bank holidays, 15% 22 days, 10% 20 days. Pension schemes 100% of our clients offer company contribution pension of between 5% to 8%. Reed say that while salaries draw the headlines, it’s often the benefits that companies offer that tip the balance when a candidate is considering multiple offers. It’s important for companies to listen to what their employees want.

Most important benefits received identified as:

  • 82% say annual leave and paid time off
  • 53% option for hybrid working, 45% access to remote working
  • 51% health insurance, 42% life insurance
  • 47% annual bonus, 46% higher than statutory pension (this is 3%)

8) SFR Recruitment Solutions’ More Advice

With recruitment it’s often a catch-22, clients want the best talent for the lowest salary, this situation is untenable in today’s market.

Consider the cost-of-living increases and your brand – if you are a big player in the industry, you’re able to offer competitive salaries to attract the best and ‘specific’ talent and candidates will naturally want to join you anyway. If you’re a smaller company and less recognised brand wanting to attract talent you will need to offer competitive salaries or accept more junior-level candidates. Think about what’s important to people in salary packages – holidays, flexible working, bonus and healthcare.

Always take into account how much time you have to train the new recruit and reflect this in your budget. Does your company have a competitive bonus structure, benefits and company car policy?  Attitudes towards cars are changing see how blog “Ditching the diesel”. It’s more important than ever to work closely with your recruitment partner.

Does your company have an induction process for new recruits? Does it offer an education programme such as Gai education and qualifications. These things can also help to attract and retain talent, and also to keep employees’ skills up-to-date. The biggest reason for leaving is lack of career development and the second is work-life-balance. The pandemic has given employers new attitudes to home working but this isn’t enough to retain talent long-term, employees want competitive salaries, benefits, opportunities to develop, train and achieve progression. Factors such as management behaviour and organisational culture are also important for talent retention, and instilling confidence in employees, by demonstrating great leadership and communicating strong vision and strategy.

Here at SFR Recruitment Solutions, we’re employment specialists for the Architectural Ironmongery, Doors, Access Control and Window & Door Hardware industries and also sponsors of the Gai job shop. If you would like recruitment advice why not reach out to us? Similarly, if you are looking for your next opportunity register with us so we can be on the lookout for you.  matthew@sfrrecruitment.co.uk  mobile 07512 602431  www.sfrrecruitment.co.uk 

Head of Sales (National) – MR271

Our client is looking to recruit a dynamic, strategic thinking individual who will lead the Head of Sales for the Trade Channel.

The primary objective,

Set strategy, team management and execute total sales through Trade channel with P&L responsibility.

Key responsibilities and duties,

  • Provide a strong and positive contribution to the strategy and policies for the company.
  • Promote sales and market share growth through all targeted Trade, distribution, Ironmongery and Locksmith customers.
  • Manage a national and regional sales force team.
  • Drive and inspire the introduction of new products to the market
  • Instil a high performance culture within the organisation
  • Consistently protect and promote the brand.
  • Identify, develop and direct the implementation of the sales strategy for the business Trade Channel in line with the organisational strategy.
  • Identify key commercial activities and ensure successful implementation throughout the business.
  • Plan and direct the marketing and sales activities to achieve agreed financial targets and standards for the business.
  • Develop clear, creative and positive responses to competitive pressures and implement them through a national and regional sales force.
  • Work closely with product leads to determine product ranges and pricing models in response to market demands.
  • Setting targets that ensure the right actions are taken by the sales teams across all channels.
  • Measuring performance against targets and communicating the results in a way that leads to superior performance.
  • Lead in the creation of a best practice culture throughout the sales teams.
  • Develop an active role in developing appropriate sales techniques and material to support the sales team and ensure that all marketing and PR are aligned to support the sales team.
  • Recruit, Select, Develop and retain a successful sales team to ensure a high performing sales function.
  • Delivery of sales budget -top & bottom line.
  • Ensure the sales team are highly motivated.
  • Ensure sales efforts are properly balanced across all product groups.
  • Successful introduction of new products introduced into the market.

The ideal candidate,

  • Clear demonstration of strong sales team management including a track record of meeting and exceeding sales targets and budgets.
  • Previous experience of working in Trade Channel environment.
  • The ability to positively to influence others.
  • Working in a co-operative way.
  • Previous Brand management experience.
  • Experience in a complex multichannel sales environment.
  • Excellent negotiation skills.
  • Strong communication skills.

If you are interested in this position, please contact SFR Recruitment Solutions.

Technical Service Manager – MR270

Our client is a leading supplier of high security mechanical and electro-mechanical hardware and locking systems covering the institutional, industrial, commercial and residential sectors of the market.

To effectively manage the day to day running of the Customer service technical section ensuring all daily activities and reports are handled, avoiding any delays in Technical Queries within businesses.

Main Responsibilities and Challenges

  • Provide hands-on technical leadership, technical knowledge, and subject matter expertise to customers and in the department.
  • To manage, monitor and regularly report technical telephony KPI’s
  • Regularly update the Customer Services Manager regarding the day-to-day running of the section and to escalate any issues as required
  • Review and approve team holiday requests; ensuring that there is enough resource within the team on a daily basis.
  • From time to time to attend customer site visits where technical support is required
  • Provide escalation support to the team for any difficult customer issues; taking these through to resolution or escalating to the Customer Services Manager when appropriate.
  • To work in conjunction with the Customer Service Team Leader to drive departmental efficiency and success
  • Hold annual-review PDR meetings with direct reports; setting objectives as agreed with the Customer Services Manager.
  • Conduct Return to Work interviews with employees following any periods of absence.
  • To recognise any immediate training and education requirements within the team and work to proactively to resolve these.
  • Work closely with the Customer Services Manager to develop long term training and development plans for the team; working towards improving the technical abilities within the team and the ease of use of the service.
  • Work with the Customer Services Manager to build and improve relationships with external stake holders.
  • Run daily, weekly and monthly reports on Technical Queries and to review data regularly with the Customer Services Manager.
  • Willing to work towards G.A.I Qualifications, funded by the business
  • Ability to interpret data and to report on root cause analysis and to identify trends relating to technical issues

Leadership Duties

  • Understand, proactively embrace and positively act in accordance with our core values and beliefs; empowerment, innovation and integrity and consistently demonstrate the associated behaviours.  Also ensure adherence within team.
  • Understand, proactively embrace and positively act in accordance with our code of conduct and ensure so within team.
  • Ensure completion of all relevant compliance training and procedures for self and team members.
  • Assist the Manager with recruitment and selection of new team members and take responsibility for local inductions with new staff.
  • Act as a first point of escalation to handle difficult customer concerns.
  • Proactively assist in providing solutions to changes required within the team, with regards to business process and technology.
  • Lead in specific projects and improvement activities as required and directed by Management.
  • Take pro-active responsibility for the improvement of KPI’s by providing data to Management and actions plans for improvement.
  • To be responsible for the health, safety and welfare for all relevant employees and stakeholders. To continuously drive improvements in all aspects of health, safety and the environment.

Background and Personal Qualities

  • Must have energy, enthusiasm and commitment
  • Able to influence others
  • Ambitious with desire to succeed
  • Capable of taking responsibility, showing initiative and leading
  • An excellent team player but able to work successfully as an individual
  • Well-structured and self-disciplined
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills

Core Competencies

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Clearly conveys thoughts and ideas regularly and effectively in a variety of ways to fit the audience and situation (verbal, written, presentation). Involves and keeps others informed in a timely manner. Exercises tact and diplomacy. Seeks and welcomes constructive feedback and uses suggestions to best advantage.  Understands and complies to the business Code of Conduct and uses appropriate language and demonstrates professional behaviour at all times.


Has a good understanding of own abilities, potential, strengths and limitations.  Is fully aware of impact of self on others and takes steps to continuously develop and learn from experiences and feedback.

Problem Solving

Obtains facts and data before making decision.  Rapidly analyzes complex problems, gets to the root causes and makes well-informed and timely decisions. Involves relevant people in decision-making to improve quality and to facilitate implementation.


Works cooperatively, collaboratively and effectively with others.  Seeks ideas from others.  Is open to reaching the same result in different ways.  Builds a cohesive, high-performing team by establishing an open and trusting work environment.  Willingly provides assistance.

Continuous Improvement

Adapts to changes in the work environment and job role.  Initiates improvements for productivity, efficiency and/or cost savings.  Supports kaizen methodologies.  Is comfortable working outside of their comfort zone.

Planning and Organisation

Provides accurate time plans for project planning, sets realistic milestones and reviews appropriately.  Makes effective use of tools, resources and time.

Leadership Competencies

Strategy, Vision and Implementation

Contributes to the strategic management process.  Aligns area of responsibility in support of overall business objectives.  Anticipates future trends and consequences accurately to deliver high quality results. Is action-oriented. Takes accountability for performance and results.

Performance Management

Objectively evaluates subordinates’ performance and completes appraisals on a timely basis.  Establishes appropriate S.M.A.R.T. goals that reflect company goals and objectives.  Constructively confronts and resolves conflict situations.  Provides constructive feedback and recognition regularly.

Talent Management

Identifies and develops competencies necessary to achieve future business goals.  Creates job roles without restricting innovation.  Finds, recruits and retains the right people.  Participates in company efforts to further the goal of diversity.  Facilitates continuous growth and development of people through training and job moves across functions and/or divisions to help employees reach full potential and to meet organizational growth and succession planning goals. Is a coach and mentor.


Strives for world class performance in all aspects of the operation.  Promotes innovation and teamwork.  Establishes challenging goals and motivates employees to meet and/or exceed them.  Provides a clear vision for future direction.  Shows drive and initiative.  Openly acknowledges and rewards the endeavours of the team and the individual effort within the team.  Manages through influencing and participation rather than command and control. Models, encourages and rewards risk-taking.  Leads by example of appropriate actions and behaviours.  Seeks and uses feedback to enhance leadership effectiveness.

If you are interested in this position, please contact SFR Recruitment Solutions.

Area Sales Manager (Midlands) – MR269

Our client is a leading brand of Architectural Hardware products selling to the trade, merchant and distribution channels.

Due to an internal promotion, they are looking to recruit an Area Sales Manager with architectural ironmongery and builders’ merchants sales background to develop our growing business and manage existing customer based in midlands.


  • To manage existing architectural ironmongery and builders merchant accounts
  • Develop new sales business with existing accounts in the territory
  • Actively developing new business accounts

Working hours

Monday to Friday, 8:30 – 17:00

1 hour lunch break

Salary – £30,000.00 – £35,000.00 dependent on experience (negotiable)

Company car and fuel card

Non – contractual bonus based on sales/ non- contractual spot bonuses

Family run business with a low labour turnover

Auto enrolment into the government workplace pension scheme

Expenses paid for.

Please get in touch with Matthew at SFR Recruitment Solutions if you wish to learn more or apply for this position. 

SFR Recruitment Solutions