Category: Blog Post

CV Writing – Template


Address, town, post code

Mobile number • email address

LinkedIn Profile

Personal statement

A conscientious and professional business development manager with extensive experience in the door hardware, ironmongery sector. A highly results orientated and organised individual, whose effectively manages customer relationships and generates leads through proactive prospecting of potential customers. Some of my recent achievements are the development a sales pipeline of X in sector Y.

[Remember to relate to the role you’re applying for]

Key Achievements & Skills

  • [what you have sold, to who, sector/area, how long for?]
  • Guild of Architectural Ironmongers qualifications
  • Look at job specification and match your skills to what they are looking for
  • Proficiency in all areas of Microsoft Office, including Access, Excel, Word and PowerPoint
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal

Employment History

Business Development Manager, Company Name, Location

(April 2011 – Present)

Achievements and responsibilities:

  • X
  • X
  • X
  • X

Sales Manager, Company Name, Location

(June 2010 – April 2011)

Achievements and responsibilities:

  • X
  • X
  • X
  • X



(September 2006 – June 2008)

BA (Hons) Business Studies

College/School Name

(September 2004 – June 2006)


  • General Studies – B
  • English – C
  • Mathematics – C

School Name

(September 1998 – June 2004)

10 GCSEs, grade A-C, including Maths and English

Hobbies & Interests

I enjoy playing golf and squash on a regular basis, and also have taken part in many corporate tournaments and customer events over the years (golf, football, tennis etc).


References are available upon request.

[Two pages maximum]

CV Writing Tips

CV Writing Tips & Template

A great CV is your pathway to landing a job interview! Get it right and you’re on the interview shortlist, get it wrong then your application will likely be overlooked. When applying through a recruitment agency, such as SFR Recruitment Solutions, your credentials and CV will be discussed with the recruiting hiring manager; therefore, it’s important that your CV is up-to-date and presents your skills and experience clearly so it’s easy to read and convey.

Approximately 60% of job applicants through SFR are passive candidates, meaning they are not actively looking for another job until the perfect role is waved under their noses by a recruitment consultant. In this situation, passive candidates CVs mostly always require updating, and sometimes might not even exist if they’ve been in their current jobs a long time. LinkedIn is a good start to keep your job history in one place, however LinkedIn profiles can also be forgotten about while happy and content in a job, it’s only when ‘back in the race’ for a new job that the updating happens.

So, when putting together a CV where do you start? Think of the first half of page one of your CV as your elevator pitch, containing all the most important information as a summary of your experience, skills and credentials for the job. Consider the role you are applying for and shape your CV accordingly.

Personal Statement

Begin with a short personal statement tailored to the role you’re applying for. Just a few sentences or bullet points of information that is extremely focused will do.

In terms of structure, consciously try and answer the following questions:

Who are you? What do you have to offer? What are you aiming for in your career? If you were the recruiting manager, what things would attract you in the personal statement?

It’s also a good idea to avoid clichés, and quantify your attributes with specific examples from previous positions/education. These will add value and also enhance your credibility. ie “An experienced BDM with 15 years’ experience in winning and developing customer accounts in the door fabrication industry”.

Employment History

When it comes to your employment history – write in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent experience at the top.

Then, use your work experience to demonstrate your relevant skills and abilities. But don’t just focus on your daily duties; you should also talk about the accomplishments and achievements you gained from each role.

If you’ve no employment history as yet, it’s fine to leave this section out.

Consider if your lack of experience is holding you back from the job you want and be proactive. If you want to gain experience in the hardware, ironmongery, access control or door hardware sector, consider volunteering yourself for a few weeks work experience. Speak to SFR Recruitment we can help you with contacts, advise you on how to gain experience and also look out for the right role for you.


Include your highest qualification first ie Postgraduate, Degree, Diploma or Gai Qualifications. Your education should be in reverse chronological order with the most recent achievements first, and GCSEs last. State the number of qualifications achieved and the general grades you achieve in relevant subjects such as maths and English. If you’re awaiting results, state your predicted/expected grades where possible or just put ‘results pending’.

Note any particular course modules you’ve undertaken that are relevant to the role. ie access control in public buildings, or an element of Gai qualifications that are relevant to the role, or what you’ve studied that show your wider knowledge of the subject.


This is not an essential part of the CV, but it’s an opportunity to show your personality.

Don’t feel you have to include hobbies if you don’t really have any and avoid cliches like ‘socialising with friends.’

Focus on hobbies that are unique (you may be asked to expand on these during the interview) that are great talking points, prove your skills and back-up your motives for applying for the role. ie competitiveness is a good trait for a sales role, so therefore if you’re into competitive sport it would be good to mention this.

Ask yourself if the hobby will help you get the job? If not, then leave it out.


Unless asked directly in the job posting, stating that references are available on request is fine. Make sure your references are credible and ask permission of them to be noted down as a referee so it’s not a surprise.

CV Format

Here is an example CV template for you to download. Remember it’s not a ready-made CV and you will need to put in the hard work. Before you get started take some time to research the company and the role, think about how your skills and experience relate, and what makes you a good fit.

Every time you apply for a job make small changes to your CV that tailor it to the job – this is essential and it will get easier.

Whatever your situation, whether you’ve recently graduated, or you’re coming back from a career break, or have been settled in a job for quite some time, or made redundant, your CV will reflect this – always be honest and positive.

Got an interview?

See our Top 10 Tips for Job Interview Success 

Need more CV advice?

Remember, it takes an employer just seven seconds to shortlist or reject a job applicant’s CV. This means creating a concise CV is absolutely vital if you want to land that all-important interview.

SFR Recruitment is a dedicated recruiter and specialist operating in the ironmongery, door hardware and access control sectors. If you need advice on updating your CV, support with your job hunt or just a chat about your career aspirations, get in-touch with us at SFR Recruitment Solutions we would be happy to help you.

Download CV Template here

Top 10 Tips for Interview Success

It goes without saying that the interview process is one of the most important steps in getting a job.

The interview process can feel a little nerve-wrecking, but the key to success is in the 3ps preparation, professionalism and personality! If you applied directly you may have already begun researching the company in order to write a mind-blowing personal statement or carefully matching your experience with the job description in order to get your application noticed.

If you’re using a recruitment agency, the application process is a lot more straight-forward, for example the company/candidate introduction is made by the agency and not by the applicant through an application process and quite often, all you need to do, is update your CV. The agency route feels different as the in-depth research really begins before the interview and you may have less time to prepare as the recruitment process tends to move faster.

Check-out our earlier blog on the 3ps

Here’s some tips for the interview process itself:

1. Be Prepared

Before the interview you will need to prepare to show you’re generally interested in the company and role. It will help you come across as more professional, knowledgeable, and that you understand the job role, and what skills and experience you can bring to it.

2. Dress Professionally

When attending an interview in person or online it goes without saying that you must look the part! Stick to a professional dress code, which means wearing clothes that look smart and make you look your best. A suit is always best, but if you go without a suit jacket ensure your clothes fit well and that you look smart.

3. Be Punctual

It’s so important to be on time for your interview, it’s better to arrive early than be rushing around and adding stress. If you’re late it gives the impression that you’re not interested or not capable of doing the job, that you’re careless and may be late on the job too letting customers down and being late for meetings. Better to show punctuality and show up 10-15 minutes ahead of schedule interview time. Even if online don’t leave it until the interview time, give yourself extra time for connection issues.

4. Always bring a copy of your CV

The interview is sure to have a copy of your CV, but always make sure you bring a copy with you. This applies for both in-person and online interviews. Having your CV in-front of you will show you’re prepared and it gives you something to refer to in case you get tongue-tied and jogs your memory of the key things to mention.

5. Turn Off Your Phone

Always turn off your phone before the interview starts! You don’t want the embarrassment of it going off during your interview, even on vibrate it can still be noisy, and how many times do you think your phone is on silent when it’s not? Always check beforehand, turning it off is best!

6. Be Confident

One of the most important things you can do in an interview is display confidence, and this doesn’t meant being cocky or arrogant. Try to feel comfortable in your own skin and focus on conveying that you’re the best person for the job. Always make eye contact, sit-up straight in a good posture, and speak clearly and coherently.

7. Listen Carefully

In an interview there will be a set amount of questions that you’ll need to answer. Make sure you listen carefully to the questions and that you answer them carefully. Good listening shows that you’re paying attention and picking up on things they say will help to build rapport with the interviewer, and feel more relaxed.

8. Be Genuine

Always remember to be genuine! Being honest and showing your true character if always best as, at the end of the day, it’s what makes you unique and memorable. If you’re unsure about something always ask the interviewer, never presume, they will appreciate your honesty.

9. Ask Questions

Interviews are a two-way process, so you’ll usually be given the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview. This is your time to interview them and learn more about the position and company. Also it’s time you can use to your advantage to show you’re truly interested in the role. Always have your questions prepared ahead of the interview and write them down to avoid any mind-blanks, always have extra questions in case some of them have already been answered during the course of the interview.

10. Follow Up

After the interview, send a thank you note to the interviewer and express your continued interest in the role and why you’re an excellent fit. A simple email or handwritten note will sufficient. If using a recruitment agency always provide feedback after the interview promptly so they can get back to the client.


We hope these 10 tips help you be successful at your next job interview. Just remember to be professional, confident, listen carefully and follow-up – you’ll soon be landing your job of your dreams.

We wish you every success with your next job interview – go smash it! SFR Recruitment is a dedicated recruiter and specialist operating in the ironmongery, door hardware and access control sectors. If you need support with finding your next job role, or with help with interviews, get in-touch with us at SFR Recruitment Solutions we would be happy to help you.

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 

Ditching the diesel: Navigating the realms of company car & allowance policies in 2022

Candidates applying for external sales roles are often faced with the challenge of negotiating suitable company car and car allowance packages, as well as the prospect of adjusting to different policies at a new employer.

This challenge is now exasperated by the automotive sector going through rapid change – transitioning itself in order to achieve the Government’s target of zero emissions by 2030 for all new cars and vans sales – resulting in the petrol and diesel cars being phased out.

As hybrids and electric cars are now thrown into the mix, this is creating confusion for both candidates and employers trying to navigate the changes and alter their car policies to remain competitive in the job market, while candidates need to negotiate carefully and consider any car investments and commitments they make very wisely.

SFR Recruitment, as a niche recruiter with a core focus on external sales, key account management, marketing and business development roles, has researched this important topic that, more often than not, can impact on whether a job is ultimately accepted or declined.

Independent Research

Our independent research discovered the following interesting facts and has proved that cars are a very emotive subject. We can see that car allowance is preferred over company car but only slightly. When offered a company car the preference is hybrid or electric, representing 3/4 of the survey responses, showing a huge shift towards a ‘greener’ vehicle choice.

  • 34% of candidates prefer a company car
  • 41% of candidates prefer car allowance
  • 41% of candidates prefer a hybrid car
  • 31% of candidates prefer an electric car
  • 27% of candidates prefer a diesel/petrol car

Car Choice Considerations

Whatcar.com states that fully electric and hybrids are fast taking over as the smart choices for company car drivers. They predict that over the next few years that shift looks set to accelerate, as benefit-in-kind tax bandings make hybrids (especially plug-in hybrids) very tax efficient.  https://www.whatcar.com/news/hybrid-car-company-car-tax/n2261

The main concern being with car choice is ensuring the vehicle is “fit for purpose” – the daily mileage should be within the range of the EV to ensure only an occasional need to charge during the day.

Is it Time to Choose Pure EV or PHEV?

 Looking at the research we believe the answer is “yes if you can”.

  • EVs have the most attractive BiK rates, however PHEX also attract less tax. A typical PHEV for example can do around 25 miles on battery power alone and will have 49g/km CO2 emissions; such a car would attract a BiK rate of 13% in FY 2021/22. 
  • A typical petrol car, registered after 6 April 2020 and subject to WLTP tests might emit 132g/km of CO2, attracting a BiK rating of 30%, while a typical RDE2-compliant diesel might emit 120g/km, making its owner liable for a 28% BiK rate.

The tax in kind you will pay on a company car is high especially on diesel vehicles. 

Should I take a company car or car allowance?

Most companies tend to offer the one or the other. If you have the choice of either company car or a car allowance at your new job, it often comes down to personal preference. Both options have their pros and cons, and it’s another thing to weigh-up in your job move. Car allowance gives you more freedom in choosing a car, but also comes with more financial responsibilities for maintenance and tax payments over your increased income.

Here’s a useful resource: Company car tax guide 2021/22: everything you need to know.

The Benefits of Going Electric

Courtesy of OSV and HWCA these are the hardcore advantages to going electric:

Environmental option – choosing an EV is also a more environmentally conscious option, making your car usage more sustainable and helping the UK to meet its 2030 target of moving all personal vehicles over to electric.

Home-charging grant – the Government also offers the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. This scheme provides a 75% contribution to the cost of one chargepoint and its installation, capped at £350 (inclusive of VAT). This helps towards the cost of installing a charging point for your EV at home, allowing you to keep the vehicle charged overnight at cheaper electricity rates.

Low running costs – Once you’ve got your electric vehicle you will quickly see the difference in running costs. If you drive in the city you won’t have to pay congestion charges or Ultra Low Emission Zone charges and you’ve also got much lower running costs.

Lower maintenance costs – Thanks to the fact that electric vehicles have far fewer moving parts than a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle, you will find that when the time comes to get it repaired, your maintenance costs will be much lower.

Plug-in grant for qualifying vehicles – the Government is also currently offering a ‘plug-in grant’ for qualifying EVs that meet the relevant eligibility criteria.

Tax benefits – If you’re driving an EV then you will benefit from lower tax costs, not only are you eligible for £0 Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax) but if the car is for the business, then Company Car Tax is just 1% in 2021. This means company car drivers who choose an EV will save thousands compared with the driver of a comparable diesel.

You can still claim your business mileage – even though you’re not using petrol, you can still claim the government-approved mileage allowance for an EV. The rate per mile will vary where the car is owned by the company or by an employee. The rates can be found here.

Company Car Policies

How to Design an Electric Vehicle Company Car Policy

For a company to stay competitive in terms of the benefits it offers in relation to company cars, they should consider reviewing and updating their policies and, perhaps, consider developing an EV company car policy. Here’s some best practice advice and tips on doing exactly that from The Association of Fleet Professional’s EV, Alternative Fuels and Low Carbon Committee:


Understanding the Tax Advantages of Electric Vehicles

The realms of tax benefits in relation to company cars is an absolute minefield, feast your financial director’s eyes on these resources, consult your accountant, or employ an expert who can design a policy that best suits your employees and bottom-line.



The benefit in kind (BiK) is a percentage of the list price of the car when it was new, and the percentage applied increases in line with the CO2 emissions of the car. This is why many company car drivers are now looking at electric vehicles – either plug-ins or self-charging hybrids – as a tax efficient alternative.


There are many good reasons to ‘ditch the diesel’ and reconsider our motor vehicle choices in general. When considering EVs and PHEVs, ensuring the car is ‘fit for purpose’ is key; choose wisely ensuring the daily mileage is within the range of the EV. When considering PHEVs be prepared for additional maintenance costs and management time.  If implemented correctly the introduction of PHEVs should benefit both the employee and employer with significant tax savings, improved environmental and fuel savings, as well as reduce charges in emission-based charging zones.

For rock-bottom benefit-in-kind tax bills, you can’t beat a pure-electric car. But a hybrid is very much the next best thing, especially a plug-in hybrid with a healthy battery-powered range. And switching from a petrol or diesel to a hybrid takes less getting used to than changing to a fully electric car.

PHEVs are more expensive and will attract higher rental rates, however factoring in NI, fuel costs, SMR over life-time of the vehicle they can be significantly cheaper than the traditional ICE. Ensure you check out the whole life cost (WLC) calculations, which are explained on most car manufacturers’ websites such as Volkswagen. https://www.volkswagen.co.uk/en/finance-offers-and-fleet/fleet/whole-life-costs.html

Electric vehicles are very expensive and employers should consider that they will be above most employee’s pay grades. Consider allowing employees to trade-up based on WLC by making a private contribution, thus reducing BiK tax and salary sacrifice schemes for pure EVs only.

Other considerations such as:

  • Considerations of salary sacrifice lease plans:
  • Charging points in the home – who will pay? Company or employee?
  • Claiming tax relief for using privately owned EVs – See Understanding the Tax Advantages
  • Employees living in rental accommodation, or no driveway – how will they charge their EV or PHEV
  • Declaration from employee to sign to take responsibility for charging effectively at their cost
  • Fuel policies can be complex and advice from an accountancy expert should be sought
  • Government grants for plug-ins, tax relief for electric and VAT rules for EVs

Indeed, the realms of company car benefits and tax are growing in complexity! Before accepting a role, candidates should consider fully the company car policy or car allowance on offer to them, and when choosing car allowance weigh-up whether car ownership or lease plan would work better for them. SFR Recruitment Solutions supports all of its candidates in securing new roles within the hardware, ironmongery and access control sectors, whilst finding companies all the talent they need to grow their businesses. If you need help securing talent or finding your next role, including car benefits or not, why not reach out to us.

Jargon Buster! Car Terminology that will Blow Your Mind

You may or may not be familiar with these acronyms and terms – there is no escape! ?

BiK – Benefit in Kind is any non-cash benefit of monetary value that you provide for your employee. These benefits can also be referred to as notional pay, fringe benefits or perks.

E-REV – Extended-Range Electric vehicle. Car uses an electric motor, but is also able to use an internal combustion engine to generate power, keeping a minimum level of charge in the battery whenever it gets low. These vehicles help alleviate drivers’ worries about running out of power in electric car.  

EV – An electric vehicle. A car that’s largely powered by an electric motor. This can cover everything from E-REVs to Hybrids.

Hybrid – Any vehicle which is powered by both a fuel engine and an electric motor. Many hybrids will jump between the two ‘modes’ when driving conditions are best suited to that particular form of power.

ICE – Internal Combustion Engine

PHEV – Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. This refers to a type of car with a particularly good range of electric power, owing to a large propulsion battery

Range – The distance any given electric vehicle can travel, from full charge, before it would run out and require charging again.

RDE2 – (formerly RDE) stands for Real Driving Emissions step 2. It’s the new real-world testing procedure that all newly launched cars must meet. 

SMR – service, maintenance and repair

WLC – Whole Life Cost

WLTP – Worldwide harmonized Light-duty vehicles Test Procedure

Business Development Manager (National) – MR251

Our client is a globally recognised and successful company with the architectural hardware and access solutions market. Due to continued growth and new product innovation they wish to recruit a Business Development Manager to cover the UK. This person with be tasked with promoting a range of access control solutions to Installer and distribution partners. Assuring best for purpose products and solutions in the end user environment.


• Within the role the Salesperson will lead this business initiative and be responsible for proposing, coordinating, and delivering the business strategy to ensure profitable growth for the product range within the distribution and installer channels.

• This role requires the Salesperson to take full responsibility of the sales process with tasks such as: • Building and supporting our customer relationships, offering excellent service to support continual growth and increased sales.

• Educating our channel partners, training them on our products and solutions and keeping them updated with any new features.

• Support channel partner on pre-sales activities and in project execution.

• Gathering market research from channel partners to liaise with Product Management to influence and develop the product roadmap.


• We are looking for a Salesperson with previous experience completing access control projects, offering support to customers pre-sales right though to project completion. You will have a sales background in in systems and software and have sold technical products.

• You will be a confident communicator, passionate, good with time management and have a strong sales ability to provide our channel partners with the best solutions and product offering.

• For the role, the right Salesperson will be innovative, enthusiastic, and able to achieve and exceed financial targets personally while also working collaboratively with a team.

We can offer, a family business culture, employing more than 15,000 employees worldwide. In the UK, they offer many development and training opportunities, supporting over 550 employees in the field.

Benefits We care for our employees and so as well as an attractive salary offering, company car and bonus scheme, we also provide the following benefits

• 25 Days Annual Leave + Bank Holidays

• SMART Pension Scheme (Enhanced Company Contributions)

• Life Insurance

• Healthcare Support, including an Employee Support and Assistance Programme

• Employee Discount Platform

• Internal Recognition & Reward Schemes

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


07512 602431


Job Opportunities are Soaring – How Do Companies Find the Best Talent?

Recruitment is officially back to pre-covid levels, which is great news! There’s plenty of roles to fill and great opportunities for job movers, except there is one big problem: there’s a massive shortage of candidates. SFR Recruitment Solutions operates in a niche market talent sourcing purely for the ironmongery, door hardware and access control sectors, which means the pool of available candidates is next to none-existent. In today’s market headhunting is a necessity and is becoming more of a challenge because less people are open to moving right now due to many reasons. Read our blog: Vacancies record high, candidates record low – where are all the candidates?

Employment is Soaring

The Metro says that the number of people in employment soared by 207,000 to a record 29.2 million between August and September. This being 120,000 above levels seen in the UK before the Covid pandemic hit in early 2020. Vacancies reached a new one-month record in September at nearly 1.2 million, suggesting all industries have at least as many jobs as before the onset of Covid-19. However, there is a reluctance in the labour market on the supply side to come back to work fully or move jobs.

Talent sourcing within a Niche Market

Operating in a niche sector such as hardware sourcing for sales and marketing professionals predominantly, where clients often have precise job and person specifications in mind. Finding candidates is very challenging for recruiting managers who often end up turning to us for help. The available jobseekers are, more often than not, not a great fit unfortunately as their motivation is to find a new role, sometimes ‘any role’ creating a ‘forcing a square peg in a round hole’ effect. The best candidates are the passive candidates who are working in similar roles within the sector who are not actively looking. 

Attracting Passive Talent

Passive candidates are like elusive prospects; they are in work, they’re comfortable hitting their bonuses and targets, doing really well in the role, feel respected and appreciated by their employers, or in some instances are too busy and content to even consider looking for another role. Tech Target defines the market as 70% passive versus 30% active job seekers. It takes an exceptional opportunity that needs to be waved in front of their nose to ‘awaken’ them and ‘allure’ them into the prospect of entering the recruitment process. This predicament puts recruiting managers in a difficult position as having the time to research and find suitable candidates is very time-consuming and approaching them directly is awkward and not something that is done.

Tips on Finding the Best Talent

Passive candidates often know, instinctively, the companies they would like to work for; however, they are not actively looking – they therefore need to be headhunted. Here are some tips on headhunting the best talent:

  • Create an attractive opportunity – ensure the role is interesting and the package reflects the responsibility and use a broad salary range to attract good-better-best candidates. For example: £30-£40K dependent upon experience;
  • Send recruiting emails to passive candidates on your database and follow up. Don’t have a database? Perhaps it’s time you should create one? Use LinkedIn to identify possible passive candidates;
  • Browse CV databases and portfolio sites – such as Indeed and CV Library. Note: these contacts may or may not be actively looking, look for indicators when their CV was last updated and how current it is. Passives will have let their CV go out-of-date, those currently looking should be bang up-to-date;
  • Join social media groups and professional networks and interact with potential candidates;
  • Advertise open positions to external networks such as LinkedIn and recruitment platforms;
  • Ask for referrals from current employees, acquaintances and industry professionals;
  • Attend job fairs and organise career events;
  • Keep in touch with past applicants – they may be suitable for future roles;
  • Conduct benchmark research on salaries and benefits for various position levels – you won’t attract the best candidates without offering above market rate;
  • Entrust a specialist recruiter such as SFR Recruitment Solutions to do the headhunting on your behalf.

Finding candidates right now is not impossible, it just takes a lot longer and companies need to be proactive in attracting and finding the best talent.

Convincing a Passive Candidate to Join Your Company

Our experience of recruiting in this sector tells us that before Covid-19 we were easily putting forward 5 candidates for roles, 4 were getting to interview stage and 2 to second interview stage. Now, we are lucky to find 2 qualities candidates and the pressure is equally on for employers to impress the candidate, as well as the candidate impress them – it’s a candidates’ market! Here are some tips:

  • Make sure that you give the candidate a positive impression of the company over and above what they will have researched on your website. Make them feel welcome, give them insight into any growth plans and strategies. Show your company as progressive and attractive;
  • Consider opportunities for career progression in the role, give examples of other employees who have climbed the ranks, show that opportunity exists beyond the role itself;
  • Ensure that you communicate all the benefits of working for your company. Annual pay reviews, bonuses, pension, training, study sponsorship, performance bonuses, holiday entitlement, team building days, ride to work schemes, Christmas parties, canteen and emotional welfare support. These things are often found out at offer stage along with contract of employment, but knowing these things earlier on can instil confidence in making the move to your company;
  • Factory tours or ‘meet the team’ are other ways of impressing candidates. A member of the team could be part of the interview process;
  • Try not to be overly picky in finding the most perfect candidate otherwise you may be waiting a long time to fill your role. Use the 80-20 rule – if a candidate has 80% of your requirements and is a good personality fit for your team, try to wavier the 20%. Interviews are intense situations and it’s difficult for candidates to press all the right buttons. Cut candidates some slack and go with your gut instincts – positive attitude, a good personality fit and the right career record to date are the important things.

Need More Help?

Here at SFR Recruitment Solutions, we’re employment specialists for the Architectural Ironmongery, Doors, Access Control and Window & Door Hardware industries. If you are struggling to find candidates right now, why not reach out to us for advice? Similarly, if you are looking for your next career move why not register with us so we can be on the lookout for you.

matthew@sfrrecruitment.co.uk  mobile 07512 602431  www.sfrrecruitment.co.uk 

Vacancies record high, candidates record low

A buoyant UK job market creates a record number of vacancies – it’s in the news everywhere! But where are all the candidates? We hear from our clients and, also companies with their own recruitment teams who normally source direct, that they are really struggling to find quality candidates. They say “We’ve posted the role on Indeed and CV Library, we use to receive 20 plus applications before, and we’ve received only 5 – what is going on? Can you help us please find some quality candidates?”

At SFR Recruitment Solutions we’re hearing this a lot and, you know what, we’re experiencing this too. Candidates seem to be hiding in the sand and, for some reason, not as many people are actively seeking new roles, and are seemingly apathetic towards job change right now.  So, why are available candidates in such low supply at the moment? While the job market is overflowing with opportunity?

What is causing the hiatus in candidates’ job searches?

According to WaveTrackR, it has recorded a downward trajectory in applications in nearly every industry over the past couple of months and the average number of applications per job has been decreasing for 5 consecutive months. 

WaveTrackR explains that jobs are 235% above the 2020 monthly average and leading economists have revised their forecasts now predicting that the UK economy will recover by the end of 2021 – a full year earlier than originally anticipated. The market has picked up across most industries and business confidence is soaring but candidate confidence is not.

Many are hesitant to make a change job whilst there remains uncertainty in the market. There are a lot of ‘what ifs’ still, which is discouraging passive job seekers from considering a move to a new role. This really hits the nail on the head when it comes to explaining the general lull in available candidates – people are just not looking!

Factors driving job move uncertainty right now

There’s still market uncertainty due to covid – infection rates in the UK are soaring again which is a worry for most people as life returns to normal there is an undercurrent of uncertainty. Why throw the stress and uncertainty of a new job into the mix? There’s less need to earn more money – less desire to go on holiday abroad, to buy a new car etc.

More demands on parents at home – pressures of intermittent home-schooling due to periods of isolation associated with school bubbles, parents feel that they cannot rely on school for childcare and are still juggling work and childcare.  

Contentedness – the pandemic has encouraged employers to embrace homeworking; employees have proven their effectiveness at working remotely and most are happy for this to continue. Employees are enjoying a more relaxed and balanced work/home life. It’s a concern that a new job might not allow homeworking.

Loyalty – people feel more loyal towards their employers who supported them during the pandemic, allowed them to work from home and cope with the upheavals of covid life. How do they know a new employer would do the same?

Trapped by furlough – a selection of people is on furlough and are therefore unavailable.

Lack of overseas workers – 1.3 million overseas workers are estimated to have left the UK since the end of 2019

Early retirement – lots of people have chosen to take early retirement and have left the job market.

Industry side-stepping – a number of workers made redundant from industries, that were particularly hard hit by the pandemic, have found jobs in other industries leaving yawning gaps in the ones they left behind.

Retraining and upskilling – many workers who have re-assessed their lives and careers during the pandemic, have been furloughed or made redundant, or have made the decision to retrain. 

How to help regain candidate confidence

Naturally, the best available candidates who are looking for a new role will be drawn towards the best companies who have great reputations, brand recognition and goodwill.

Employers should work on their own PR in order to be seen as an attractive employer, with above average salaries, that has great promotion prospects, offers stable employment and great benefits, always winning new contracts, a friendly place to work that celebrates employees’ achievements, treats people well and has positive employee reviews. Ask yourself: why should people work for your company? What are the real incentives? There are websites where employees can see employers’ reviews such as Glass Door and magazines who rank companies (top 100) based on their financials.

Candidate confidence will be restored overtime. The advice we would give is to focus on being clear in your job advertisements and people specifications. Be very precise on the role and benefits you are offering, including the flexibility you are prepared to offer and your attitude towards home working which is seen as a big perk right now.  By considering homeworking employers are also able to cast their net a lot wider on a national scale capturing more talent.  Use a sector-based recruitment partner to help you find passive job seekers – more about this below.  At SFR we are trusted advisers that are keen to talk to industry talent about their specific career goals and aspirations, so we can carefully match them to future roles.

Why the best candidates aren’t even looking!

The best candidates are the passive job seekers, whom are not actively looking for a new role; they are waiting for the perfect opportunity, albeit unknowingly! These types work hard, earn their bonus, hit their targets, are doing really well in their role, feel respected and appreciated by their employers. It would take an exceptional opportunity to persuade them to consider a move.   

Because ‘passives’ instinctively know the companies they would like to work for but aren’t actively looking – they therefore need to be headhunted. The perfect opportunity needs to be presented to them, on a silver plate with fairy lights – flaunting an attractive opportunity that they simply can’t ignore! A good recruitment partner will take a comprehensive brief from their client and will use their networking skills to uncover the best talent and find the perfect match. Reputation is also important for recruiters in order to attract the best talent the recruiter needs to be well-respected, engender supportiveness during the process and follow ethical recruitment practices.

Finding candidates right now is not impossible, it just takes a lot longer and companies need to be proactive in attracting and finding the best talent.

How to get the most out of using a recruitment partner

At SFR as well as really knowing our sector, we also work closely with our clients, listening to them and taking down a precise brief. Getting the most out of a recruitment partner is all about 3 things:

Detail – make sure your recruitment partner has all the details of the type of person you are looking to attract, don’t be vague– be the opposite – the more thorough the better! Candidates are generally put off when there is an absence of a job description, but also consider if the job specification is too complicated, full of company jargon and excessive responsibilities that can put people off. Don’t forget to mention the benefits of working for your company!

Trust your recruitment partner – allow them to do their job. By using a recruitment partner, you can reach a pool of, otherwise, inaccessible (passive) talent. A good recruitment partner will know what questions to ask you in order to find perfect candidate(s). 

Period of exclusivity – it’s best to give your recruitment partner a period of time to work exclusively on finding you candidates for your role. Choose a partner who has sector experience, already has contacts and positive testimonials.  Going to more than one agency at a time can demonstrate that you’re not committed to the partnership and dilutes the effort; generally lowering the overall success rate.

Here at SFR Recruitment Solutions, we’re employment specialists for the Architectural Ironmongery, Doors, Access Control and Window & Door Hardware industries. If you are struggling to find candidates right now, why not reach out to us for advice? Similarly, if you are a passive job seeker that is looking for something ‘just right’ it’s worth registering your interest with us so we can be on the lookout for you. 

matthew@sfrrecruitment.co.uk  mobile 07512 602431  www.sfrrecruitment.co.uk 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

This is a tricky interview question to answer!  The reason it feels so difficult is because you do not want to come across to too keen for advancement or not motivated to achieve. In attention to this you don’t have a crystal ball and may, or may not, have considered this depending on your situation and level of ambition.

So, how should you answer?

Our 3 tips to consider when answering this question.

Tip 1

Make sure that you highlight that you strongly believe you will still be with the business in 5 years’ time. Remember that the business must train you up in the role and may have already gone through a lengthy recruitment process. The last thing they want is for someone to leave the business within 12 months of starting.

Tip 2

You could tell them you plan to be fully competent in the role and a highly respected and trusted member of their team.

Tip 3

You could say that in 5 years’ time you hope that you will be able to help train and mentor new starters, as and when they join.  This shows you still plan to be with the company and are willing to share your expertise to help others develop and improve.

Here are our example answers:

In 5 years’ time I plan to be working with you either in the same role or having gained advancement to a higher-level position as a high performing and productive member of the team.

I plan to be a well-respected member of the team and someone that is seen as trustworthy, reliable, and capable of doing a great job on time and to a high standard.

I would also be willing to help train up new members of the team when they join by sharing my knowledge, experience and expertise – if you would like me to do so.

We hope that this advice helps you with this tricky interview question! If you need more advice just reach out to us we’re happy to advise you further.

Preparation, Professionalism and Personality – the 3 things to Remember for Interview Success

So, you’ve got an interview lined up – so what now? Interviews are opportunities that offer great rewards if successful (new jobs can even be life changing) and we often only get one chance to impress! So, you owe it to yourself to give it your best shot!

In this blog, we aim to give tips to job seekers and candidates on achieving job interview success by remembering the 3Ps – Preparation, Professionalism and Personality.

Although interviews are only approximately 30-90 minutes of your life, the pre-interview preparation (while it can feel a bit cringe) is what takes the most time and increases your chance of being successful. 


The first P is Preparation for the interview, which might seem a little daunting but it’s something that will stand you in good stead at the interview because it shows that you are generally interested in the company, and will help you come across as more professional, knowledgeable, and that you understand the job role, and what skills and experience you can bring to it. 

Most first interviews (post-covid) are now conducted over the video call so make sure you prepared – here is our blog on top six video interview tips.  

Check out this brilliant 11 item checklist from Indeed.com on how to prepare for a job interview.

When preparing for an interview – where do you start? Here’s a short summary of the key items that should be on your Preparation Checklist:

  1. Ensure you’ve looked over the job description
  2. Consider why you want the job and why you are the best fit
  3. Research the company to give context to your interview questions, research the role – what is involved? (especially if it’s a new role that you haven’t done before), what are the company’s culture and values? Look at reviews
  4. Develop a bit of an elevator pitch that quickly describes who you are, what you do and what you want. Consider answers to common interview questions more help here from Fish4.
  5. Practice your speaking voice and body language – pay special attention to your smile, handshake and stride
  6. Prepare at least 3 thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer
  7. Conduct mock interviews with friends and family as experiencing the interview situation will help you feel less nervous
  8. Print hard copies of your CV in case they are needed, know your work history and prepare explanations of any gaps or oddities.
  9. Prepare travel arrangements – aim to arrive early and allow for traffic, accidents and finding your way
  10. How will you sell yourself? Be aware of your skills, attributes and achievements.
  11. Prepare to follow-up afterwards – thank you, overview of what really interested you about the role/company, in the final paragraph invite them to ask you additional questions and close by saying you’re looking forward to hearing from them. 

Situation – Task – Action – Result  (STAR)

The STAR model is very useful tool and acronym to use to help keep your answers focused especially when explaining scenario-based answers to demonstrate key competences relevant to the role.  Also, it can help stop waffling and structure your answers, helping you to remember the key points such as: the situation, the task, the action you took and the results achieved.

More about the STAR interview response technique here from balancecareers.com.


Our second P is Professionalism – obvious right? No, many people overlook this so it’s best to swat up on interview etiquette.  Here is a great blog from work.chron.com on professionalism in an interview, which we have summarised below:  

  1. First impression – dress professionally, present yourself well, don’t arrive late, cover up tattoos – the interviewer is more likely to see you as competent and capable
  • Convey self-confidence – good posture, greeting people with a friendly smile, saying thank you, remember you have every right to be there and it’s a two-way process (you are also interviewing them), focus on being calm, natural and confident
  • Show respect – act professional from the moment you arrive (even if on video call), dress smart, no chewing gum, consider your backdrop and tidy your surroundings if your interview is over video call. Never ask about salary at your first interview
  • The small things –polished shoes, ironed shirts, and being well-groomed all shows that you would project a professional image to the company’s clients, and it goes a long way
  • The next step – remember that the interviewer is thinking beyond the 30-90 minutes and will be envisaging you in the job – ensure you speak politely, communicate professionally and show gratitude. 


The third P is Personality, which is what make the interview more engaging, allows you to connect with the interviewer and shows them the real you. Your true character, sense of humour and personal attributes are what can really make you stand out. Job interviews are formal situations and you should always be professional, but try not to be boring and remember showing your personality is welcomed.

The main thing is being yourself and coming across authentic and natural, pleasant to work with, and happy to be just you – this shows confidence.  Don’t let the nerves get the better of you or forget to smile; let your personality shine through, it will make you more memorable. 

Here’s some great pointers from megainterview.com on how to show your personality in an interview and more tips on preparation.  

More advice

The main gist of this blog is that preparation, professionalism and personality are key things to remember when tackling job interviews.  Practice makes perfect, and also makes you feel more relaxed, at ease, and confident. 

If you need support with finding your next job role, or with help with interviews, get in-touch with us at SFR Recruitment Solutions we would be happy to help you. We wish you every success with your next job interview – go smash it!

SFR Recruitment Solutions