Thursday, 29 October 2015

Job in Focus: Specification Sales role in London area for luxury Bathroom products - commercial and residential

Our latest Job in Focus is a fantastic Specification Sales role covering London for Bathroom Products. You would be mainly developing sales for commercial, hospitality, leisure and high-end residential projects.

Each month 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: Specification Manager
Job Ref: J6523
Product: Bathroom Products
Location: London & South East
Salary: £50k
Sector: Field Sales

EMPLOYER: Our client are a well established and respected manufacturer of high quality luxury bathroom products, they offer a superb portfolio of modern and contemporary products aimed at the mid-upper end marketplace suitable for both Residential and Commercial applications. 

JOB DESCRIPTION: London Specification Manager - You will be tasked with generating specification and tracking projects through to completion dealing with the key London A&D Community as well as high end developers and contractors involved within the Commercial, Hospitality, Leisure and high end residential marketplace. 

LOCATION: Based in London, our client will consider candidates living within reasonable commuting distance including Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex, Berkshire, Surrey, Kent, Sussex and Essex 

CANDIDATE: We are looking for extremely high calibre candidates with a proven track record in the achievement of specification on prestigious projects. You will have experience dealing with the key Architects and Designers in the London community as well as exposure to full sales cycle and project management. In terms of background our client will consider anyone with experience selling an interiors or building services related product, such as Flooring, Ceilings, Bathrooms, Washrooms, Wetrooms, Commercial Interiors, Fit Out, Carpets, Wallcoverings or any related products. 

PACKAGE: On offer is a basic salary of approximately £40-50k + Excellent bonus scheme and secondary benefits. 

To Apply, please call Steve Brennan on 01480 405 225 or apply online.

Search for more building products sales jobs >>>

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Should employees come to work when they're sick?

The annual Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development / Simplyhealth Absence Management Survey has revealed that nearly a third of employers have reported an increase in people coming to work while they are ill. 

However, is this a good thing? Although it is important that skiving needs to be rooted out and stopped, is it in the interests of the employee and ultimately the employer that stress and pressure related issues are forcing people to come to work, when they should be recovering and allowed to return and be more of an asset to the company? It is a tough balance to achieve; we want dedicated hard working employees, but we have a responsibility for their wellbeing too.

The survey of nearly 600 employers finds that 31% have seen an increase in so-called 'presenteeism' in the last 12 months. It also shows that presenteeism is more likely to have increased where there is a culture in which working long hours is seen to be the norm, and where operational demands take precedence over employee wellbeing.

Employers that have noticed an increase in presenteeism, are nearly twice as likely as those that haven't, to report an increase in stress-related absence, and more than twice as likely to report an increase in mental health problems amongst its staff. However, despite this, nearly three-fifths (56%) of organisations that have reported an increase in presenteeism haven't taken any steps in order to discourage it.

It found that the problem of absence and presenteeism is particularly acute in the public sector, where pressure is mounting on employees to deliver services in the face of austerity cuts. The research also reveals that while there is little change in overall levels of absence (up from 6.6 days per employee per year in 2014 to 6.9 days in the 2015 survey), the public sector has seen a bigger increase, from 7.9 days to 8.7 days. However, this level of public sector absence is still noticeably lower than the figures the CIPD recorded before the recession.

"This is the fifth year in a row in which 30% or more of employers have reported an increase in employees coming into work when they are ill," reports Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, the professional body for human resources and people development. "It's a real concern that the problem of presenteeism is persisting, as we might have expected it to drop during the economic recovery as people tend to feel more secure in their jobs.

"The problem may well be a hangover from the recession but we need to address the issue of presenteeism head-on. The message to businesses is clear: if you want your workforce to work well, you have to take steps to keep them well and this means putting employee health above operational demands."

The CIPD believes that more organisations should be developing employee wellbeing strategies in order to promote good health and combat presenteeism in the workplace. There should be a clear focus on values and organisational culture, quality of leadership and management, as well as early access to good quality occupational health and rehabilitation support.

A key emphasis should be on training line managers to equip them with the skills they need to manage people in a way that gets the best out of them, whilst supporting their wellbeing.

Corinne Williams, head of HR at Simplyhealth, comments: "It's interesting to see how much of a problem presenteeism still is, but also how little is being done about it. It's key that organisations look at their culture, the behaviours it may create and the impact this may have on stress levels, as well as overall employee health.

"Organisations should actively discourage presenteeism as part of a wider and carefully-considered wellbeing strategy, as well as exploring the root causes of this trend. It's important for employers to have wellbeing benefits and services in place that both encourage employees to look after their health and provide support when they need it."

Further highlights of the survey include:

  • Stress-related absence: Two-fifths (41%) of all organisations reported that stress-related absence has increased, rising to half (51%) of organisations in the public sector. Workload remains the most common cause of stress, followed by non-work relationships / family, management style and relationships at work. Just under three-fifths of organisations (56%) are taking steps to identify and reduce stress in the workplace.
  • Illegitimate absence: The report found an increase in the number of organisations reporting illegitimate absence as one of the most common causes of long-term absence. It was the most common cause of long-term absence for 6% of non-manual workers in 2015 (2014: 0%), and among the top 5 causes for 14% of non-manual workers (2014: 3%).
  • Causes of absence: Minor illness remains the most common cause of short-term absence, followed by musculoskeletal injuries, back pain and stress. The most common causes of long-term absence are acute medical conditions, stress, musculoskeletal injuries, mental ill health and back pain.

This report is the CIPD's 16th national survey of absence management trends, policy and practice. The analysis is based on replies from 578 organisations across the UK in reference to 1.5 million employees and was conducted in June and July 2015. 

You can download the full report here>>

Monday, 19 October 2015

Why 'Come Dine With Me' is a key driver for the future of the KBB Industry

According to a brand new survey by Beko, one in 10 Brits would give up having a holiday so that they could afford a new kitchen instead. And, in a typical case of 'keeping up with the Joneses' 40% worry that their kitchen is “not as impressive as their friends”. It seems that people are giving up the summer heat away and staying in the kitchen! But what is the reason behind this trend?

Beko's survey – which was conducted after speaking with 2,000 UK home owners – highlighted the growing issue of “kitchen envy” especially among younger home owners, with one in five of 26-30 year olds stating that they are envious of their friends' kitchens and appliances.

Additionally, one in ten males admitted that they would seek the “best” kitchen gadgets and appliances to compete with friends - "men and their toys!".  

According to Beko, the phenomenon of “kitchen envy” has grown as the UK has adopted a more “Come Dine With Me” culture, with more people holding dinner parties and entertaining at home.

“It’s interesting that today, for both men and women, one of the most visible forms of competition between peers is seen in the home and perhaps most of all in the kitchen, which is the heart of the home for most people,” said Harley Street psychologist Dr Becky Spellman.

Who would've thought that "Come Dine With Me" would be responsible for the future of the KBB sector! 

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Chris Haywood of NMBS elected President of EURO-MAT

Chris Hayward, Managing Director of NMBS, has been elected President of EURO-MAT, the leading European cooperation of independent builders' merchants.

Founded in 1989, the cooperation is based in Luxemburg and today has today a presence in 21 European countries, with a portfolio of 19 shareholders, more than 7,300 outlets and a combined turnover of 32bn Euros.

EURO-MAT acts on behalf of its members and generates exclusive European-wide partnership agreements between suppliers and builders' merchant members.

Mr Hayward said: "It was a great honour to be asked on behalf of NMBS to accept the presidency of Euro-Mat, and I will be 100% committed to supporting their key philosophy of 'Together we make things better'."

Guided by that philosophy, EURO-MAT can be considered as the counterbalance to multinational groups and offers suppliers a modern partnership by new market entries, best synergies and exchange of market relevant information.

The National Merchant Buying Society Ltd (NMBS) is a centralised buying society for Independent Builders, Timber, Hardware, Plumbing and Heating Merchants. It has over 1000 members with over 3000 branches with over £1.2 billion buying power.

If you are interested in working in the builders' merchant sector, you can find out more here.>>

Monday, 12 October 2015

Lighthouse Club - A Shining Beacon of Light to all involved in the Construction Industry

The building and construction industry is a large family, and every organisation and individual within it is vital to its success. 

Whether you are an architect, consultant, developer, contractor, manufacturer, member of the trade press, stockist or merchant, recruitment agency, builder or construction worker, it is important that everyone's role is recognised, because without each other, we wouldn't have an industry. 

The Lighthouse Club - the Construction Industry Charity, shines brightly on behalf of the construction workers that we couldn't do without.

As a leading sales and marketing recruitment agency to the building products sector - with many manufacturers and merchants or suppliers of building and construction products or  equipment on our books - we know just how important the construction workers who install, build and construct with the products, materials or equipment which our clients make or sell are.  The risks they take are the most dangerous any of us in the industry take.

Steve Rogan, our Managing Director, simply explains: “It is important that the whole industry uses its position to support those less fortunate than ourselves who suffer as a result of injury or death on a construction site. The work that Lighthouse Club does to help those affected (and their families) should be close to our clients’ hearts. All at Pinnacle are delighted to help to promote the work they do. Please download their latest newsletter and find out more on their latest news and events.”

Download newsletter here >>

Lighthouse Club the construction industry charity

Established in 1956, Lighthouse Club, the construction industry charity, gives financial help to construction workers’ families, plunged into financial crisis when they lose their breadwinner’s income through illness, injury or death. 

For more information on Lighthouse Club please visit

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Construction output growth accelerates to a seven-month high in September

Output in the construction has reached a seven-month high accordingly the latest data released in the new Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) 

At 59.9 in September, up from 57.3 in August, the headline seasonally adjusted figure signalled a sharp and accelerated expansion of overall business activity and the reading was well above the long-run survey average (54.7) being the fastest increase in output levels since February. September data pointed to output growth across the all three of the sectors of the UK construction sector, monitored by the survey. 

Greater workloads and positive sentiment regarding the business outlook contributed to a sharp increase in staffing levels. However, new business growth continued to ease from June’s recent peak, with the latest upturn in new work the weakest for five months. 

Supply chain pressures easing
Meanwhile, construction companies indicated the least marked lengthening of suppliers’ delivery times since November 2010, which provided further evidence that supply chain pressures have subsided in recent months.

Meanwhile, the latest survey highlighted the least marked deterioration in supplier performance for almost five years, which some firms linked to greater stocks at vendors. September data also pointed to softer cost pressures, with the rate of input price inflation easing to a five-month low.

View the latest construction sales jobs>>

Fastest rise in residential building for 12 months
House building remained the best performing broad category of construction activity in September. The latest expansion of residential building was the strongest for 12 months, which some survey respondents attributed to the launch of development projects that had been delayed earlier in 2015. Commercial construction activity also rose sharply in September, with the pace of growth accelerating to a seven-month high. Meanwhile, civil engineering activity increased for the fifth consecutive month and the rate of expansion picked up to its fastest since February.

Volumes of new work rose at a robust pace in September. However, the latest increase was the slowest for five months and much weaker than the post-crisis peaks recorded in 2013 and 2014. Construction companies nonetheless remain highly upbeat about their prospects for output growth over the next 12 months. Reflecting this, more than half of the survey panel (52%) forecast an upturn in business activity, while only 6% anticipate a reduction.

Job creation picks up to a three-month high
Employment growth was sustained across the construction sector for the twenty-eighth month running in September. Moreover, the pace of staff hiring remained strong, and accelerated to its fastest since June. At the same time, construction firms signalled another increase in sub-contractor usage during September. Sub-contractor charges continued to rise sharply, although the rate of inflation has eased slightly from the survey-record highs recorded earlier in 2015.

Tim Moore, Senior Economist at Markit and author of the Markit/CIPS Construction PMI®, said: “Construction firms enjoyed a strong finish to the third quarter of 2015, as a sustained rebound in new development projects continued to have an impact on the ground. Moreover, September data suggests that the UK construction sector is still experiencing its most intense cycle of job hiring for at least 15 years, and consequently skill shortages remain a dominant concern across the industry.

“Residential building saw the most decisive momentum shift in September, hitting a one-year high in the process, while commercial development also picked up speed as rising business investment and improving UK economic conditions acted to bolster demand. A growth spurt for civil engineering activity completed the hat-trick of positive news for the main construction sub-sectors in September, helped by robust pipelines of infrastructure work.

“While the latest survey provides positive news on construction output, jobs and supply-chains, there was a warning light flashing in terms of total new orders. Construction companies have recorded a steady slowdown in new business growth from June’s post-election peak and the latest upturn was the second-slowest since mid-2013.”

Commenting on the report, David Noble, Group Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said:

“The building blocks were firmly in place this month as the sector reported more work, rising staff levels, and strong optimism for the future.

“Though the overall growth rate of new business was showing signs of slowing down, all three sectors offered positive news with residential housing the strongest performer.

“Issues around skills shortages continued to be a drag on the sector with the resultant demand for higher salaries from the smaller pool of skilled staff. Companies reported higher staffing levels but it was a continuing challenge to find specialist skills as they struggled to rely less on sub-contractors to fill the gaps.

“Lower fuel and raw material costs helped margins even in a landscape of strong competition. Levels of output were robust and increased at the fastest pace for over six months.”

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Construction products manufacturers' sales have increased for tenth quarter running

The Construction Product Association’s State of Trade Survey for the third quarter of 2015 indicates construction product manufacturers’ sales increased for a tenth consecutive quarter.

Although the news is not all positive as companies reported that growth was held back by weakness in exports, but manufacturers still continue to be optimistic over prospects for the next 12 months.

Key points include: 
  • A balance of 27% of heavyside firms and 67% of lightside firms reported that sales rose during the third quarter of 2015, compared to a year earlier
  • Exports decreased for 18% of heavyside firms and rose for 14% of lightside firms
  • 64% of heavy side product manufacturers and 79% of light side product manufacturers reported that they anticipate a rise in total sales over the coming year
  • 27% of heavy side firms and 36% of lightside firms anticipate a rise in exports over the next year
  • 40% of heavyside firms and 33% of lightside firms reported operating at over 90% capacity over the last 12 months
  • 77% of heavy side firms and 33% of lightside firms increased investment in plant and equipment in Q3
  • 53% of heavyside firms and 33% of lightside firms anticipate increasing employment over the next 12 months
Rebecca Larkin, CPA Economist, said:  “We have now seen ten quarters of sustained growth reported by construction product manufacturers, led by demand from the private housing, industrial and infrastructure sectors.  

“On the downside, compared to a year earlier, 27% of heavyside firms and 67% of lightside firms reported a rise in sales in Q3.  These balances were lower than those reported in Q2 and the lowest for the heavy side firms since 2013 Q2.  This decline largely reflects a decrease in export sales experienced by heavy side manufacturers as Sterling has continued to appreciate against the Euro throughout late 2015; however, the fact that heavy side product sales occur at the beginning of the building process may also foretell a slowdown in domestic construction activity.

“Despite this, product manufacturers retain a positive outlook for the next 12 months.  Most survey respondents – 64% of heavy ide manufacturers and 79% of those on the lightside – anticipate that product sales will increase over the next year, with expectations of renewed growth in international sales combining with rising demand from the domestic market.

“As firms increase production, a growing proportion of manufacturers reported operating at 90% capacity or above in Q3.  In response, manufacturers reported increased investment in plant and equipment, as well as their labour force.  A further increase in investment and hiring intentions for the next 12 months signals widespread confidence over the longer-term outlook.” 

Take a look at the latest construction sales jobs >>

Image via Shutterstock: A roll of insulating glass wool on an attic floor
Image ID: 156254927
Copyright: gcpics

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Job in Focus for October: Managing Director of uPVC Building Products Manufacturer

Our latest Job in Focus is rare and fantastic opportunity to become the Managing Director of an established family owned manufacturer of uPVC Building Products. This role is wide-ranging and the aim is to develop all areas of the company and grow further this already very successful business.

Each month 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: Managing Director
Job Ref: J6317
Product: Plastics
Location: North & North East
Salary: £80k

We are working in partnership with a well established, family owned manufacturing business, supply high quality uPVC and Composite Building products servicing the domestic new build housing market. 

A rare and exciting opportunity has arisen for a proven business leader to play an instrumental role in the further growth and development of this highly successful business. 

Accountable to the Board of Directors, you will be tasked with: 
  • Implementing operational strategies to maximise productivity in line with the company’s strategic Business Plan 
  • Control and manage company performance and finances in accordance with the budget 
  • Ensure maximum engagement of all staff through effective training and leadership to enable accurate execution of their key responsibilities and operational tasks. 
  • Monitor and control the quality management system, ensuring products are manufactured to the highest quality standard. 
  • Overall responsibility for acquisition, maintenance and effective utilisation of company assets. 
  • Monitor the selection, procurement and utilisation of raw materials and consumables 
  • Lead and Develop the sales and marketing function, maximising sales revenue and profitability 
  • Establish pricing and profitability policy 
  • Monitor and Control stock levels and ensure efficiency in logistics 
  • Represent the company with key customers as well as at key industry association meetings and events.
Our client are seeking an experienced business leader with a demonstrable track record in the effective management and development of a manufacturing business. 

Essential Criteria: 
  • Based in suitable location to head office based in East Yorkshire 
  • Exceptional visionary leadership and inspirational motivation skills 
  • Proven experience in a General management or Managing Director function, within a £5-50m business. 
  • Comprehensive understanding of a multi faceted business operation 
  • Strong financial and commercial acumen 
  • Competent in complex problem solving and effective decision making 
  • Experience within the UK Construction/Building Product Industry 
Desired Criteria: 
  • In-depth knowledge of new build housing market 
  • Experience in the uPVC or Composite Building Product Sector 
Basic Salary of Circa £80,000 + Bonus & Excellent Secondary benefits package. 

For more information, please contact Steve Brennan on 01480 405 225 or

Search for more building products sales jobs >>>