Monday, 13 August 2018

Job in Focus: Internal Business Development Job in London for Fit-Out Products - £75k OTE

Our second Job in Focus for August is an exciting internally based job for Office Fit Out products. You would be selling award-winning products to corporate end-users. You would be responsible for an outbound calling team of 20 to make appointments for the field sales team. This is a highly target driven role.

Our Construction & Building Industry Job in Focus feature takes a detailed look at some of the fantastic sales & marketing construction and building materials job vacancies currently on our books. 

Job in Focus is also promoted on our website. 


Job Title: Business Development Manager
Job Ref: J10812
Product: Fit Out
Location: London & South East
Salary: £75k


PACKAGE: On offer is a basic salary of up to £75,000 plus pension, 20 days holiday increasing per year of service up to 25 days and other excellent company benefits.

COMPANY: A leading brand in the office fit out market boasting an impressive client list.

ROLE: Business Development Manager - office based - This is an excellent opportunity to join an established team of 20 working in South East London. You will be responsible for outbound calling an account base including warm and cold calls selling office relocation and fit-out service and booking appointments for the field based sales team to attend. This is a highly sales targeted environment where you will be expected to achieve a minimum number of calls and appointments booked. The office hours are 7.30am to 5.30pm.

 Office based in South East London area close to Dulwich, South Norwood, Thamesmead, Lambeth. Candidates must live within one hour of the offices.

To be considered for this role you need to have experience working in a target driven sales environment ideally in a high volume telephone calling new business role. Product experience or customer base knowledge is not important but anyone from the office fit out / interiors market or who has sold into corporate end users would be an advantage. 

For further information or to discuss your career options contact Natalie Matthews on 01480 405225 or apply online.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Job in Focus for August: Key Account Manager for Timber Engineering Solutions in North - £50k OTE

Our new Job in Focus for August is a Key Account Manager's job selling high-quality innovative products providing timber engineering solutions to fabricators. Responsible for accountant management & new business generation. You would be responsible for the Midlands and the North - £50k OTE.

Our Construction & Building Industry Job in Focus feature takes a detailed look at some of the fantastic sales & marketing construction and building materials job vacancies currently on our books. 

Job in Focus is also promoted on our website. 


Job Title: Key Account Manager
Job Ref: J10801
Product: Fixings
Location: West Midlands
Salary: £45k


PACKAGE: On offer is a basic salary of up to £45K plus up to £5K bonus. As well as company car, mobile phone, laptop, pension, 25 days holiday plus bank holidays. 

EMPLOYER: Our client is a global leading company offering a range of fixings, fastenings and drilling systems for the construction market with a superb reputation for brand quality and innovation. 

JOB DESCRIPTION: Key Account Manager - You will be tasked with selling our clients full range of timber engineering solutions to fabricators. These products will include connectors used for engineered wood products, timber frame and truss to wall plates. The area already has a number of existing key accounts and plenty of new business to go after, meaning this role will be a good mix of account management and new business. 

AREA: Covering the North (not including Scotland) - Candidates will ideally be located between Peterborough and Sheffield. 

PERSON: To be considered for this position you need to have field sales experience within the construction market, although candidates with knowledge of the roof, floor and timber frame industry will be of particular interest. You will be lively, dynamic and an excellent account manager. 

For further information or to discuss your career options contact Kerry Grimes on 01480 405225

Monday, 6 August 2018

Latest survey states that the Construction sector buyers are 'busier than ever'

The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed to 55.8 in July, up on 53.1 in June and against the no-change reading of 50.

Growth was underpinned by the fastest increase in residential work in more than two-and-a-half years, with commercial work picking up and civil engineering increasing only moderately. Respondents commented on improving demand conditions and higher volumes of new project starts.

Despite an upturn in tender opportunities, construction companies are cautious about the business outlook over the next 12 months with the degree of positive sentiment unchanged since June and weaker than the long-term average.

Input cost inflation eased to a three-month low in July but remained strong in comparison to the post-downturn trend. Respondents reported rising fuel bills and higher prices for steel-related inputs.

Duncan Brock, group director at CIPS, said: “Purchasing managers were busier than ever this month with a welcome surge in new orders and the fastest rise in construction work since May 2017.

“The fly in the ointment was longer lead times across the construction supply chain. Rising demand meant that supply chains creaked under the strain and delivery times lengthened to the greatest extent seen in 12 months.

“Material shortages, limited inventories and capacity pressures bore down, as constructors caught up on previous weather delays and stocked up for new orders.”

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Construction Output set to fall for first time in 6 years but growth predicted for 2019 and 2020

The UK’s construction industry is expected to experience a moderate fall in 2018, following five years of consecutive growth. The Construction Products Association’s Summer Forecasts anticipate growth for the whole of 2018 to fall 0.6%, before accelerating to 2.3% in 2019 and 1.9% in 2020, with house builders the primary drivers of growth for the whole industry.

In private housing, first-time buyer demand, enabled by the government’s Help to Buy scheme, continues to boost sentiment and encourage an increase in housebuilding activity outside London. The sector’s output is forecast to rise 5% in 2018 and 2% in 2019. The infrastructure sector also remains a primary driver of growth for the whole construction industry, with output forecast to hit a historic high of £23.6 billion by 2020, driven by large projects such as HS2 and Hinkley Point C. However, the sector will be hoping government will push to ensure delivery on the ground with work on both projects already significantly delayed. Without the forecast growth in infrastructure and private housing activity, total construction output would fall by 3% in 2018 and remain flat in 2019.

The demise of Carillion resulted in a poor performance for the industry at the start of the year, which combined with the bad weather, lost UK construction £1 billion of work. It is estimated 60% of this work may be recovered, but Carillion’s collapse will cause further delays at two major hospitals as work on the £335 million Royal Liverpool University and Birmingham’s £350 million Midland Metropolitan hospitals is on hold until at least 2019.

Brexit uncertainty continues to drive the sharpest decline for construction in the commercial sector, particularly felt in the offices sub-sector which is expected to fall 20% in 2018 and a further 10% in 2019. Meanwhile, the shift to online shopping is causing woes for the high street, with new retail construction expected to fall by 10% this year.

Noble Francis, Economics Director at the Construction Products Association said: "Clearly the first quarter of the year was difficult for the industry due to the demise of Carillion and the bad weather. Things improved markedly in the second quarter due to a catch-up in work as we would have expected but, overall, it’s mixed fortunes for contractors at the moment. On the positive side, house builders are keen on accelerating building rates outside of London and that is expected to be enough to offset sharp falls in house building in the capital.

"Firms working on major infrastructure projects also have a lot of work in the pipeline. Infrastructure output is forecast to rise by 3% in 2018 and 13% in 2019. This growth is highly dependent on large projects such as HS2 and Hinkley Point C, the first of the new nuclear power stations but, as ever, there remain concerns about government’s ability to deliver infrastructure projects without the cost overruns and delays that we have seen on Crossrail and HS2 recently.

"On the negative side, the elephant in the room is clearly Brexit uncertainty, which has had a big effect on international investment, especially where it is high up-front investment for a long-term rate of return, which is now highly uncertain. It badly affects demand in sectors such as prime residential in London, commercial offices towers and industrial factories, which is dependent on manufacturing.

"Overall in construction, there is forecast to be a slight fall in activity, of -0.6%, in 2018 after five consecutive years. However, in 2019, we are anticipating of growth of 2.3% due to house building and infrastructure."

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Hot Summer starts to make up for cold Winter for Construction

The Construction Products Association’s State of Trade Survey for 2018 Q2 shows that the £56 billion UK construction products manufacturing industry began its catch-up of activity lost to adverse weather conditions during the first three months of the year.

Construction product sales act as an early indicator of wider activity in the supply chain and these results signpost to a rise in total construction output levels over the next 12 months.

Heavyside manufacturers reported an increase in activity, with sales in Q2 rising for 40% of firms, following two previous quarters of falling sales. For light side manufacturers,  29% of firms on balance reported a decrease, which was the weakest performance since 2012 Q3. This reflects the lagged impact of the industry’s decline in Q1, as light side products such as insulation, boilers, glass and lighting tend to be used at the end of the building process. 

Manufacturers anticipate a return to growth in the coming quarters, with 43% of heavy side firms and 27% of those on the light side expecting an increase in sales over the next 12 months. Input cost inflation continues to persist, however, particularly for the energy-intensive heavy side, which is experiencing the pass-through of rising global commodity prices on fuel and energy costs.

Rebecca Larkin, CPA Senior Economist said: “These results fit the profile of construction catch-up from a weather-affected Q1. As we’ve moved from a freezing Spring to a hot Summer, groundworks and work on external structures has been able to resume, and this has been reflected in increased sales for heavy side manufacturers. The disruption in Q1 is likely to have delayed interiors and finishing works starting on site which is evident in the decline in light side sales during Q2.

“Manufacturers’ product sales, capacity utilisation and new hiring are all still expected to increase over the next year, but price pressure is coming from all directions across fuel, energy, raw materials and labour, which is likely to be felt throughout the construction supply chain.”

Key survey findings include:

  • A balance of 40% of heavy side firms reported that construction product sales rose in the second quarter of 2018 compared with the first quarter. 29% of light side firms, on balance, reported a fall in sales in Q2.
  • On an annual basis, sales increased for 20% of heavy side firms and 12% of firms on the light side, on balance
  • On balance, 43% of heavy side manufacturers anticipated a rise in sales in the next year, increasing from a balance of 37% in the previous quarter
  • On the light side, 27% of firms expected an increase in product sales in the next year, compared to a balance of 16% in 2018 Q1
  • 27% of heavy side firms increased headcount in the past year, the lowest balance in nearly five years
  • Annual cost increases were reported by 73% of manufacturers on the heavy side and 50% on the light side
  • Raw materials costs rose according to 87% of heavy side manufacturers and 88% of those on the light side.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Finding the support you need to change Career: Healthcare to KBB Sales

Change can be forced upon us, or it can be something that we crave. Either way, making it happen can be a daunting prospect, especially when it involves our career.

Whether through circumstance or choice, our professional lives often need a complete change of direction. However, moving from one career to a different profession can often make us feel lost, unsupported and unsure of what the right choice is, let alone how we are going to get there.

In the latest of our series of interviews with Sales professionals from the building and interiors products sector, we focus on people who have not only come from a different sector but from a totally different profession and the challenges they faced.

The key message to recruiters is to have an open mind when appointing Salespeople and to not just look at alleged ‘relevant’ experience. This will open up a whole new Candidate pool to select from and can bring great rewards for all concerned.

From a Care job in the healthcare industry to KBB Sales

Miquela McDonald worked for Mencap in the healthcare sector for five years as a Senior Support Worker. Although she enjoyed her job, she needed something more challenging and with significant career development opportunities.

She decided that she wanted to get into Sales. This desire was based on her instinct that as she enjoyed communicating with people, a career in Sales would be a good natural fit. The process of making this transition was not simple, however.

Nobody is interested in me!

To start the process, Miquela sensibly revised her CV to focus on those skills she felt were transferrable into Sales. She then sent her CV to a number of recruitment agencies, registered on some of the leading job boards, and started to target companies and vacancies which interested her. However, she found it hard even to get a response, let alone an interview with anyone.

This was a frustrating experience, as she knew she had the right credentials to succeed in Sales as she explains:

“I quickly realised that despite having transferrable skills such as, leading a team, problem-solving, being able to make quick decisions, and dealing and communicating effectively with a wide range of people, potential employers just saw ‘Healthcare Senior Support Worker’ and dismissed me as a viable option.”

It is worth remembering, the old adage, ‘people buy from people’, and if you can build trust through clear communication and understand a customer’s problem and how you can solve it, then you can succeed in building long-term relationships in Sales and produce profitable outcomes. Product knowledge and contacts can be acquired.

The person’s qualities and matching them to a company’s culture are key areas to focus on, and often with a fresher, more dynamic and objective approach, the results can take a company’s Sales strategy into new territory.

Everybody loses

Miquela’s job-seeking experience demonstrates that we are all very busy in our working lives, so when it comes to tasks such as recruitment, we want the quick fix. We don’t think we have the time to really invest in someone or open our eyes to the bigger potentially more rewarding picture. This applies to all sides of the process, including recruitment agencies.

With this ‘too busy’ mindset, everyone can suffer. The fact is, there is a shortage of excellent Candidates in many sectors, and as recruiters, we need to be more creative in finding them - thinking differently than others is what keeps people ahead of the game.

For the Candidate, they need someone willing to really invest in helping them to be considered for a role, and a potential Employer should be open to taking a different approach regarding Candidate selection.

As well as bringing something fresh to the Sales approach, it increases the chances of bringing someone to the business who is more interested in career-development at the same employer, building long-term relationships with customers, less likely to move every couple of years, and will ultimately reduce recruitment costs and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

We all understand the benefits of employing someone with solid Sales and relevant industry experience, and this should never be ignored and is likely to still be the dominant criteria, but we need to be open-minded that there are other potentially exciting options.

Investing in people and looking beyond the CV is key

At Pinnacle Consulting, we agreed, after a recommendation, that we would meet with Miquela. It reminded us that we must see the person behind the CV and understand their story, experience, personality and transferrable skills. This will ensure we have a wide-ranging pool of quality Candidates to match with Employers’ requirements - both in cultural fit and the skills needed for the job.

After understanding what she had to offer, we identified a company and a role where we thought Miquela would be a perfect fit, and persuaded the company - CDA Appliances (in the KBB sector) - to invite Miquela to interview as a ‘wild-card’ option.

Miquela impressed, and after a second interview in which she had to prepare and give a presentation, she was offered the job!

The proof of the pudding is in the eating though. Miquela commented:

“During the first month or so, the only aspects of the job which were a little unfamiliar to me were the amount of driving, having to learn about the products quickly, reporting, and getting used to their CRM database system.

"Other than that, and with the support of my colleagues, my confidence quickly grew. I made sure if I needed help, I asked for it, this is vital in any job, as otherwise it is assumed you know. Asking questions is usually very positive in Sales as it increases understanding.”

It was reassuring to hear that her colleagues were supportive and didn’t react negatively to an ‘outsider’ coming into the business. This proves that the cultural-fit decision was correct.

“I am enjoying my role, which includes training, managing business relationships with merchants and retailers, introducing new product ranges and promotions, merchandising, and dealing with day-to-day queries and issues. The role requires a high level of self-motivation and a need always to be friendly, helpful and available to chat or meet with my customers. But this wasn’t new to me, as I needed to be like this at Mencap too. In fact, looking at it now, with the benefit of hindsight, there are many parallels between the two experiences.

“My computer skills have developed to be more Sales relevant, and I feel confident and comfortable in my role and excited about the challenges ahead of me.”

Will companies start to adopt a more flexible recruitment policy?

A year or so into the role, she is excelling in the job, and CDA is delighted with her progress. We asked Miquela if she thought her appointment had changed CDA’s approach to recruitment.

“CDA was open-minded enough in the first place to see me, and then take a chance, so clearly they had a very positive approach to finding the right person for the job. However, I think my appointment has certainly made them more willing to look beyond the standard Candidates when recruiting, and this has been proven by that fact they have appointed two more people from different sectors and job roles, including another one from the healthcare industry!’

However, she also identified if it hadn’t have been for the assistance, support and investment given by Pinnacle Consulting, then she might never have got the chance to start her Sales career.

“I am grateful for all the help James and the team gave me at Pinnacle. Their belief in supporting my cause shows the importance of getting to know someone and not having pre-determined opinions. The same applies to my employer at CDA. I wish more companies were willing to help, train, and show investment in people looking to change careers and not have prejudiced views.”

Keep an open mind to recruitment

The lesson we can learn is that to make a change, you need belief, support, and the willingness to open your mind to avenues previously blocked.

So if you are looking to recruit, why not see a wildcard as well. You have nothing to lose, and the person from a different job function could add real value to your business, regardless if they are from the same industry sector or not.

If you’d like to discuss your recruitment requirements or are looking for a career change, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01480 405225 or at

Thank you to Miquela McDonald for agreeing to chat with us about her experiences.

Thank you also to CDA Appliances for their willingness to have an open mind to their recruitment. For more on CDA, please take a look at their website.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Inclusive KBB Market grows by 4%

The inclusive KBB market grew by 4% in 2017 compared with the previous year, according to AMA Research. Showering facilities, which includes easy-access enclosures and wet rooms, are the largest in this sector.

Multi-generational households have increased by 42% over the past decade, as affordable housing for the elderly has declined, meaning houses suitable for 4G living have become a large market for retailers and manufacturers.

AMA Research has attributed a ‘significant proportion’ of the inclusive KBB market to direct sales from specialist manufacturers to end-users.

After the decline of the construction industry in 2012, the inclusive KBB market has started to recover and has seen accelerated sales in 2014-2015 and continued its growth in 2016.

Hayley Thornley, market research manager at AMA Research said: “With an increasing number of elderly and disabled people in the UK, and the continued trend towards multigenerational households, the growing demand for inclusive bathroom and kitchen products looks set to continue. By 2022, the market value is forecast to have increased by 16% compared with the market size in 2017.”

The market for people with disabilities has increased as well. Inclusive kitchens that have been developed for wheelchair access tend to be custom-built solutions to specific requirements, which can include specialist products, such as rise-and-fall units, lever-operated or remote sensor taps to shallow depth sinks.

Samantha Ashwood, senior product group manager at Häfele, said: “The report substantiates our own experience in the inclusivity market where we have seen almost 32% year-on-year growth. The point about inclusive solutions becoming more aesthetically pleasing is certainly worth highlighting. Designers are rising to the challenge of coupling beautiful looks and finishes with robust, everyday practicality.

“We have some major customers taking our Ropox range of height-adjustable wall cupboards and worktop systems and there is a real focus on making spaces adaptable and usable for all.”

AMA Research shows that there is a growing demand for consumers to future-proof their houses as a way to add value to a property.

Ash Chilver, sales director at HiB, said: “The average bathroom has a long life cycle, so when homeowners invest in their space, they often look for options that will create a timeless elegance that won’t become dated after a couple of years. This has resulted in a growing trend for traditionally designed products with a contemporary flair.

“British homes are also getting smaller. The onus is therefore on homeowners to be smarter about their bathroom design. In view of this, products which can enhance the style of the bathroom whilst also providing a space-saving solution have become must-haves, making all the difference for homeowners.”

Image from Shutterstock

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Job in Focus July 2018: National Sales Manager for Heavyside Building Products - £65k OTE

Our latest Job in Focus for July is managing a team of 10 (internal/external sales) to develop sales strategy for ambitious growth selling heavyside building products. You would be targeting merchants and contractors. OTE is £65k.

Our Construction & Building Industry Job in Focus feature takes a detailed look at some of the fantastic sales & marketing construction and building materials job vacancies currently on our books. 

Job in Focus is also promoted on our website. 


Job Title: National Sales Manager
Job Ref: J10697
Product: Heavyside
Location: National
Salary: £50k

Distributor of heavyside building products. National Sales Manager role with a team of 5. 

Package: Up to £50K with realistic £15k bonus. Company Car, Fuel card, Mobile, Laptop and Pension. 

Employer: Ambitious and rapidly growing distributor within the sector. Fantastic business with a vibrant and innovative culture. 

Job Description: Fantastic opportunity created through the continued success of the business. Managing the internal and external sales force implementing and developing a sales strategy to match the ambitious growth opportunities of the business. You will have direct responsibility for the 5 area sales managers as well as 5 further in the sales office targeting merchants and contractors across the UK. 

Area: National role and will require national travel. The ideal candidate will be based in the North West but this is not essential. 

Person: We are seeking proven field sales managers with experience of running a decent sized team within the heavyside market. Looking for candidates who have experience running teams selling to merchants or contractors. 

For further information or to discuss your career options contact Luke Rootham on 01480 405225 or apply online.

Monday, 16 July 2018

ONS figures show that Construction growth is at its fastest monthly rate for 2 years

More good news for the UK's Construction sector as ONS figures published last week show that construction output increased 2.9% month-on-month in May.

This was the fastest monthly growth rate in two years, reflecting an uptake in activity following adverse weather conditions during the first quarter. Compared to a year earlier, output rose 1.6% but contracted by 1.7% on a rolling three-month basis. This fall captures the £247 million drop in construction work in March during the Beast from the East, however.

Rebecca Larkin, Senior Economist at the Construction Products Association, commented: “The construction industry appears to have caught up with some of the work lost in February and March due to the freezing ground conditions and snow disruption. Month-on-month gains were evident across all sectors but were strongest in private housing repairs, maintenance and improvement (RM&I), the third largest construction sector, due to warmer weather and longer days.    

Take a look at the latest Construction Sales Jobs

“Private housing new build was 8.4% higher than a year earlier, which points to strength in activity beyond basic catch-up as the industry enters the busier Spring and Summer selling season. However, for the year to date, overall construction output remains 0.3% lower than a year earlier, with particular weakness in public non-housing (mainly education and health) and commercial, where a significant fall in new orders signals smaller pipelines of work.”