Monday, 29 October 2012

Which Red Letter Day would you choose?

Pinnacle Consulting has teamed up with Red Letter Days to give you the opportunity to experience something different. All you need to do is sign up to our e-letter 'Pin Points' and you will automatically be entered in a draw to win a £250 Red Letter Day Gift Pack. 

Experience the phenomenal acceleration, braking and handling of Maranello's breathtaking beauties. Kick off with a briefing and then the instructor will drive some training laps in a hot hatch to teach the racing lines and see circuit driving techniques in action. What happens next depends on the venue: At Three Sisters Circuit or Rockingham drive six miles in a Ferrari 360, then ten miles in a single-seater racing car (23 miles in total). At Croft drive three laps in a Porsche Cayman, four laps in a Ferrari 355 plus five laps in a single-seater (25 miles in total) and finish with a high-speed passenger ride.

Take a look at some of the other amazing experiences on offer here.

'Pin Points' brings the latest building industry news, trends and recruitment advice, for both candidates and employers, direct to your inbox. All you have to do is sign up to 'Pin Points' here, and start dreaming about the new experience you might have!

Please also have a look at our latest building products sales jobs on our website.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Construction industry training

Are you new to the building and construction industry? Are you thinking of looking for Job in the building and construction industry? Do you want to get a better understanding of how the industry operates?

Pin Board like to share useful opportunities to improve your knowledge and your ability to progress your career, and this on-line course from Competitive Advantage Consultancy is ideal, especially if you are in a marketing or building products sales job.

The first on-line module is free too! Find out more: Construction Industry Training

And if you are considering a move and would like to take a closer look at the next stage of your career, our PinBuild Clinics are free and cover the whole of the UK. Construction Sales and Marketing Career Development Clinics

Architect/Engineer image courtesy of Ambro /

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Specification sales in the construction industry

We hope that you have enjoyed our series on specification sales and trust that it has given you an enhanced understanding of what is involved in the role and if it is right for you.

Specification selling allows you to directly influence the product selection for a project and puts the control in your hands rather than that of another party.

Specification Sales Job is an exciting and rewarding position that should be considered by anyone looking to develop a sales career in the building products industry. If you would like to discuss a career in specification sales, you may wish to attend one of our PinBuild Career Development Clinics.

Specification selling is now more important than ever for a manufacturer of building products and will only become more important. Take another look at our series by following the links below:

Part One: What is specification selling?

Keep checking in on the Pin Board blog for future features based on the experiences of people from within the building and construction industry.

Pinnacle Consulting is a specialist recruitment consultancy for the building products sector. Call our expert building industry recruitment consultants for a discussion on your career on 01480 405225.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

CPA predict growth but not until 2014

Last week the Construction Products Association released their latest construction industry forecasts and predicted that the construction industry overall will return to growth in 2014 after falling 6.3% in 2012 and a further 1.4% in 2013.

Total private sector construction work will fall 4% in 2012 but rise by 15% between 2012 and 2016. By 2016, private housing starts could total 136,400.

Sadly they also predict that total housing starts in Great Britain will reach only 118,000 this year. This is less than in 2011 when the figure was 129,370.
The CPA stated that until growth is seen in the whole sector, construction activity will decline by almost £8.5 billion.

Commenting on these forecasts, Noble Francis, Economics Director at the Construction Products Association, said: ‘Construction is currently experiencing sharp falls, both for orders and output as a result of severe cuts in the government’s capital spending, coupled with a very subdued private sector recovery.  Construction has already lost £4.5 billion of work this year as the industry returned to recession for the third time in five years.  Prospects for the industry going forward are bleak.

‘Although growth is expected in 2014, the next 12-18 months are likely to cause considerable pain to an industry that is already reeling from a prolonged decline.  Considering how important construction is to the economy as a whole, and how many times government has stated that construction is essential for recovery, these latest forecasts will do nothing to improve confidence in the UK economy.

‘With the Autumn Statement less than two months away, it is imperative that government prioritises its spending by switching from current spending to capital investment for essential housing and infrastructure, as well as sorting out the long overdue model for drawing in private investment into construction. Otherwise, rather than driving economic growth in the near term, construction will keep the UK economy flat-lining as it has been for the past two years.’

Monday, 22 October 2012

Is a simpler 'Code for Sustainable Homes' on its way?

A Housing Standards Review group has been set-up with the aim of looking into existing building standards to produce a simpler and condensed version of current rules. This would include the Code for Sustainable Homes.

The group is due to meet at the end of October and will include housebuilding professionals including the HBF.

Speaking at the HBF Technical Conference, Anthony Burd of DCLG said the group's work will be accompanied by a wider review of the whole issue of building regulations leading to "significant rationalisation of the whole of regulations. "

It is hoped that the group's review will go to consultation early next year and should be published during Spring 2013.

Is this a good move that will make understanding the myriad of regulations and standards clearer and more concise for all in the industry? Do you find it easy to crack the code?

Sales and marketing recruitment for the increasingly sustainability focused building products sector

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Three great industry events at one venue!

When exhibitions are good they are worth attending but when they focus on aspects of the industry that are important and can affect your business and future strategy, then they become a must. 

At the end of this month there are three events at the same time at the same venue and all are essential to include in your diary. 

When: October 30th - November 1st Where: Birmingham, NEC

Installer Live
InstallerLive showcase products, services and training from the heating, plumbing and renewables sectors.

Retro Expo
Retro Expo is a new exhibition and conference dedicated to the low carbon refurbishment of existing buildings in the domestic, commercial and public sector markets. It will bring together thousands of professionals from across the supply chain, from Green Deal Providers, RSLs, local authorities, housing associations and blue chip occupiers and landlords to specifiers, assessors and installers. Retro Expo provides high quality educational and networking opportunities, and showcases innovative technical solutions that will make possible the retrofit of 26 million homes and 1.8 million commercial properties by 2050. The event is supported by a range of key industry bodies, is an Official Event of The Green Deal and is delivered in partnership with the Department for Energy and Climate Change and the BRE.

Green Deal Summit
Whatever your organisation does, The Green Deal can and will have an impact. It presents opportunities to rapidly grow the retrofit market, and accelerate progress towards the Carbon Reduction Commitment. It should improve people’s lives, providing warmer homes and more comfortable working environments, whilst generating significant business opportunities across the supply chain.

However, The Green Deal also faces challenges in terms of finance, generating demand, industrialising and making affordable solutions, tackling properties that are hard to treat, and ensuring that high standards of workmanship are maintained by skilled installers. The Summit addresses all these key issues, and aims to leave a practical legacy of problem solving and business relationships that will help to drive the retrofit market forward.

Bringing together leaders from across the value chain, from clients to installers, The Green Deal Summit is the only conference you need to attend to get clarity on and insight in to this flagship policy and the lowdown on those who are leading the retrofit revolution. The Summit is divided in to seven modules, which can be purchased by delegates individually, and in any combination up to and including a full conference pass.

Pinnacle Consulting specialise in external and internal sales positions, marketing and management roles and director and board appointments with manufacturers, merchants or distributors across the whole building, construction and interiors product spectrum.

Building products sales jobs
Building products marketing jobs
Building products management jobs

Picture from Image ID: 10055125 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Building a career in specification sales - Part 5 'Why specification selling is so personally rewarding'

In the final part of our interview with Shaun Davies, Technical Consultant at Rockwool UK, we find out why specification sales is so rewarding to him and how he has ended up as a Specification Consultant in the building product industry.

Pin Board: "What do you love about specification selling?"

Shaun: "I love my job for many reasons and I look forward to each day as it offers complete variety and keeps you interested and your brain switched on.

"It gives you control as, more than any other type of sales; you have a greater ability to influence the decision for your product to be used. It also allows you to feel as though you are making a difference to people and the environment, as the products that I recommend improve the standard of living, reduce energy bills and help to create a greener world. That might sound corny, but it does make you feel that you are contributing.

"Specification selling is a safer and more reliable environment than standard sales, as you are measured on other factors rather than just orders and with not being so reliant on commission, due to a higher basic wage, this allows you to take a long-term approach to the role and develop the job and yourself."

Pin Board: "What career development opportunities are there?"

Shaun: "I have been lucky to progress my career over the years to be in a position where I am at a world-leading company that offers superb training and development opportunities. Of course, moving to companies with larger product ranges and greater opportunities on a worldwide basis is open to everyone. However, I would say that loyalty and stability in a specification role is viewed with much more respect than it is in a regular field sales job.

"There are many opportunities to manage specification teams on a regional, national or worldwide basis or to specialise in a particular sector. Many also develop a career in product development or as a Technical Manager/Director or even end up sitting on trade bodies and advising on regulations within the industry.

"You can make the role your own and should always be learning and acquiring new knowledge, which is key to the role and through owning this knowledge your value in the industry grows."

Pin Board: "How did you end up in specification sales?"

Shaun: "I actually started my working life in retail, when I co-owned a sports shop. In hindsight this gave me the basic skills needed to succeed in specification sales, as I had to find a solution for people’s very different requirements with an appropriate product – although I can’t say I miss people’s smelly feet when advising on trainers to meet their fitness or running needs!

"After selling the sports shop, I started my career in the building and construction industry, working in fire protection for Astroflame. I started in internal sales and customer service, which meant that I dealt with the whole spectrum of people involved in the selection and sale of their products. By working for a small close-knit company it gave me an excellent foundation to understand the bigger picture.

"After a number of years I left Astroflame as Sales Manager and joined PFC Corofil, the leading UK company that actually first developed passive fire protection products, as their Business Development Manager. At PFC I answered technical calls from the office and also on-site, this helped me to develop their product range and support services to meet the changing needs of the market. I would actively seek out new projects and spend my time advising on regulations and how to meet them.

"During my time at PFC I learnt how not to miss an opportunity to sell their whole range by always asking the question “What are you doing with/for that, etc, etc.” I also dealt with distribution on a national basis including speaking direct to their customers as well as putting business their way.

"I then developed my career by becoming a Firestop Specialist at the world-leading construction company, Hilti, providing site support services. This gave me valuable enhanced understanding of the requirements of the whole specification chain, not just firestopping. This provided the missing knowledge and experience to allow me join Rockwool in the role I have always been looking for.

"Good luck in your career!"

Pinnacle Consulting is a specialist recruitment consultancy for the building products sector, if you are interested in developing a career in Specification Sales in the building materials' industry then please contact us to discuss the Specification Sales Job right for you. Call our expert building industry recruitment consultants for a discussion on your career on 01480 405225.

Pin Board will continue to assist job seekers and recruiters in the building product industry with further interviews with professionals from the sector. Keep checking in on the Pin Board blog or make sure that you are alerted to their publication by signing up to our social media sites.

With many thanks to Shaun and to Rockwool, a leading supplier of stone wool insulation materials for thermal, fire and acoustic protection. For more information on Rockwool

Monday, 8 October 2012

Featured Building Industry Sales Jobs for October 2012

October 2012 - This month we have some really interesting building industry sales jobs in lighting, decorative products, interiors, doors, plumbing and bathroom products. Take a look to see if any meet your career development plans.

See below for full details of our featured jobs (click 'Read more').

Keep informed of ALL our latest jobs when they become available on our Facebook page. Remember to click LIKE! to ensure you receive all the benefits.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Building a career in specification sales - Part 4 'What is different about specification selling?'

In part four Shaun Davies, Technical Consultant at Rockwool UK discusses some of the key differences between regular account sales and specification sales in the building product sector. 

Pin Board: "What are the main differences between specification selling and account sales?"

Shaun: "A specification sales position is quite different to a traditional sales job in the building industry, although many make a successful transition between the two. The key differences that you can expect to find are:

  • You are very much seen as a trusted person: In my opinion you are not a salesperson but a consultant and a consultant is not viewed in quite the same way as a salesperson. What you say is taken on trust and your reputation relies on it. Keep the trust and you will keep your contacts and reap the reward. Your company will benefit from increased brand loyalty and gain competitive advantage that will lead to repeat orders and enhanced business relationships.
  • You are working on multiple projects at the same time: This can get very confusing and excellent time management skills are needed as well as careful preparation for each call. It is not something that you can do ‘off the cuff’ as can be the case in account sales.
  • You are selling on value, benefits, regulations and standards: This is different than dealing with buyers, pricing, codes, stock, merchandising, promotions, lead-times, missed delivery problems and having a more basic product knowledge. In specification selling you will need to have an excellent technical understanding of your products and the standards and regulations that apply.
  • You are dealing with many people across multiple job functions: This means that your ability to be flexible is paramount. You will not get an instant high and boost from an order on a daily basis, but you will see a much longer-term benefit, which is much more rewarding. The order that you are responsible for getting will usually be very large.
  • Your efforts feed account sales: Specification sales should build a close relationship with accounts sales as you will be responsible for giving a particular merchant the opportunity to provide the stock for the project that you have secured the specification on. The relationship between the contractor, salesperson and the merchant is an important part of the whole process.
  • You need to prove everything you say and have the evidence to support it: It is vital that your company provides you with the resources to do this. When something is ‘specified’ it adds a lot of value and with this comes responsibility.

"Hopefully you are still interested in specification selling and feel that the key differences appeal to you and don't forget you will spend much of your time on-site!"

In the final part of the series Shaun will be letting us know why he loves specification selling, how he ended up in specification sales and the career development options available.

Pinnacle Consulting is a specialist recruitment consultancy for the building products sector, if you are interested in developing a career in Specification Sales in the building industry then please contact us to discuss the Specification Sales Job right for you. Call our expert building industry recruitment consultants for a discussion on your career on 01480 405225.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The biggest change in work place pensions for over 100 years

The biggest change in pensions since the last full Liberal Government over 100 years ago took effect this week with the introduction of the new workplace pension scheme. The workplace pension is designed to supplement the current state pension to try and give millions of low and middle-income earning employees the chance of a better retirement.

These changes will have a great impact on employers and employees over the next few years.

It has been introduced due to the decline in workers’ pension provision as a growing number of employers are not providing or offering anything to their employees and also to recognise that fact that the meager state pension is not enough on its own.

Official figures show that the number of private sector workers paying into a pension is at its lowest since records began in 1953 – in 2011 only 2.9 million private sector workers put money into schemes.

The new workplace pension is being viewed as a step forward to ensure that workers at least have a chance of a stable retirement, although some critics have warned that the new scheme has not gone far enough.

It will affect millions of UK employees. The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), said its research shows that only a quarter (24%) of workers earning £14,000 or less save into a workplace pension. The new reform will reach those who have no pension: the young, the low-paid and those working for small businesses.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "With this Government and the last helping ensure a wide consensus around the reform package, we have some certainty that we are now at the beginning of a pensions new deal. Of course it can and should be made better, but we now have what should be a stable framework."

A simple guide to the new system
The system is expected to work due to its simplicity. The company that you work for chooses a simple pension and they put money in and you put money in – although you do have the option to opt out.

The process started with the biggest employers on 1 October 2012 and will then be staggered over the next few years until 2018. The smallest employers begin auto-enrolment for their staff in January 2015. To see the full auto-enrolment timetable please click here.

Workers will either join their existing employer's scheme, or one of the new group schemes that employers can use e.g. National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).

  • Must be aged 22 to the state pension age
  • Workers not already in a company pension scheme will be enrolled
  • Workers must be earning at least £8,105 a year
  • The contribution they, and their employers, make will be based on their wage - the first £5,564 a year they earn will not be taken into account. Any earnings above £42,475 will also be ignored. Therefore, anything between £5,564 and £42,475 is known as their pensionable pay
  • Staff can opt out

Contributions gradually rise over time - this is to assist both workers and employees in the initial stages of the scheme. The starting figure for staff is a minimum of only 0.8% of their pensionable earnings and on top of that employers will have to pay in 1% of their employees' pensionable earnings, with tax relief contributing another 0.2%.

The levels will eventually rise to 4% from the employee, 3% from their employer and 1% in tax relief, giving a total of 8%.

The contributions will be invested and then when the employee retires, the earliest currently being 55. They will have to buy an annual pension, or annuity, with their accumulated pot.

Full details can be found here

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Pinnacle Launch FREE Building Industry Recruitment Clinics

We are delighted to announce that we now offer sales and marketing professionals in the building product sector and related trades, superior career support services with the launch of our regular regional career development clinics specifically aimed at the building industry. PinBuild Clinics’ cover the whole of the UK.

We already provide extensive specialist career advice to those looking to develop their career within the building product sector. However, we have identified that many only start this process when they see a position that interests them. PinBuild Clinics have been established to meet industry professionals who are at the start of the process of the next stage of their career.

PinBuild Clinics will evaluate the job seeker’s career to date and identify the best opportunities available. The clinics provide professionals with expert advice on how to progress their career by discussing the industry sectors that have potential for growth, the skills and focus needed to ensure that they develop with the changing nature of the market and how to ensure that their career continues to progress rather than stagnating.

The clinics will also assist those that attend to map out a realistic and achievable career path, including any potential training requirements. Assistance will also be given to evaluate their CV and also their interview technique and where they should focus to ensure they realise their true potential in the building and construction industry.

We specialise in external and internal sales positions, marketing and management roles and director and board appointments with manufacturers, merchants or distributors across the whole building, construction and interiors product spectrum.

PinBuild Clinics will take place across the UK each month. For further information or to book an appointment at one of the clinics, please have a look when we are next in your area here or contact us for a confidential discussion on 01480 405225.