Thursday, 13 September 2018

We have moved. Are you ready for a move too!?

We are nearing the end of our first week in our plush new offices - just down the road from our old ones.

We all had fun moving in and the team spirit was a delight with all our staff and directors working together. 

It has enthused everyone as often a change of environment does. Are you ready to make a move too?

If you are, we'd be delighted to hear from you. Please call us on 01480 405225 or email us at Before you call, you might want to take a look at our latest vacancies here.

In the meantime, here is our new address. Phone and email remain unchanged.

Pinnacle Consulting UK Ltd 
1 Xenus House
Sandpiper Court
Eaton Socon
PE19 8EP
Tel: 01480 405225

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Job in Focus for September - Product Development Manager for Kitchen Products - £60k

Our Job in Focus for September is for a Product Development Manager for Kitchen products based in Nottingham responsible for managing product development, research, technical specifications and working with Sales & Operations to manage product lifecycle. The package is worth up to £60k.

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. 


Product Development manager leading a team for a leading Kitchen Product Manufacturer. 

Package: £50,000 - £60,000 plus bonus, healthcare, pension, company car and 23 days holiday plus bank holidays. 

Role: Product Development Manager - This role will see you take responsibility for driving profitable growth via range development and enhancement. This high-profile role will take the lead in managing product research requirements, product / technical specifications, identifying, developing and launching new products and collaborating with the sales, operations and marketing teams to deliver category development and increased market share. This will be managing a team of 6 whilst also managing the full cycle from strategic planning to product launch. 

AREA: Office based with candidates ideally living in Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Mansfield or surrounding areas. 

PERSON: To be considered for this role you will need to have experience as a product development manager and be experienced in managing a team as well as your own workload. Product experience in the Kitchen, Bathroom or furniture markets is desirable. 

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

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Construction sector lead times are worst for 3 years due to rising demand and stock/labour issues

Construction sector vendor lead times lengthened in August to the greatest degree in more than three years, according to the latest PMI.

Rising demand, low stock and labour shortages among suppliers impacted delivery times, meaning vendor performance deteriorated to its worst level since March 2015.

The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index slipped to 52.9 in August, down on 55.8 in July and against the no-change reading of 50.

Commercial building was the best performing sub sector, followed closely by residential work, while work on civil engineering projects decreased for the first time in five months.

Purchasing activity increased for the 11th consecutive month in August, though the latest upturn was the weakest since March. Despite stretched supply chains and rising energy-related costs, data indicated input price inflation edged down to its lowest since July 2016.

Duncan Brock, group director at CIPS, said: “If there is anything positive to note from this month, it would be that the rate of hiring remained strong. However, persistent pressures from skills shortages and slow rates of new orders will continue to hit business optimism still trailing below the survey’s average.

“The sector is hovering too close for comfort to the no change mark which makes it a contender for more disappointment next month. Though the path to Brexit is paved with good intentions, without significant progress the sector will soon be building castles in the air rather than on solid ground.”

Tim Moore, associate director at IHS Markit, said: “The degree of optimism reported in August remained constrained by external factors, including domestic political uncertainty, stretched supply chains and shortages of suitably skilled labour.”

Monday, 3 September 2018

Builders’ merchant role models inspire the next generation

Three representatives from the builders’ merchant sector will be sharing their career journeys with young people over the next few weeks. The merchant sector is one of the most popular and vibrant sectors of the building products industry, and one where we place an increasing number of Candidates. The Role Model campaign as part of UK Construction Week is a really good initiative and one we really endorse at Pinnacle Consulting.

They have been shortlisted as part of the Role Models campaign, which aims to inspire young people and show them the range of jobs available in the industry.

A shortlist of 36 people in construction has been announced, with Lauren Haines, Director at Elliott Brothers, Roger Tarry, merchant at Elliott Brothers (pictured) and Magda Dexter, Customer Experience and Internal Communication Director at Jewson, representing the builders’ merchant sector.

Haines said: "I was surprised to be nominated as a Role Model as I have taken it as part of my job to help others develop their roles within the business.

"I have gained experience from role models during my 45-year career at Elliotts and I’m pleased be in a similar position now to help others.

“I think that it’s extremely important to encourage others to build a career within the builders’ merchants industry as it is very diverse with loads of opportunities – helping customers build is very rewarding. It has been a fairly tough industry in the past for women as it has been dominated by men. However, this has changed over the years and I feel that by pushing myself forward it has helped women to secure more senior positions within the building industry.”

They will take part in an outreach programme to help build connections with local schools and colleges, and share their thoughts on key industry issues as guest bloggers for the Construction Matters Blog.

Nathan Garnett, UKCW Event Director, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for people to be celebrated in an industry that often gets negative press.

“It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the work the role models are doing, not just on a day-to-day basis, but the work they’ve personally taken on to make this industry better.

“It’s about sharing their construction career journeys and inspiring the next generation by dispelling the myths surrounding the construction industry.”

The winner will be announced on 10 October at the UKCW Stage at the NEC, Birmingham, followed by a champagne reception and a meet and greet with keynote speaker Barbara Res, who oversaw the construction of Trump Tower.

New to UKCW this year is the first Builders Merchants Federation’s Young Merchants’ Conference. A range of guest speakers will attend, including two-time Olympic silver medallist Steve Backley OBE and TV presenter and architect George Clarke.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Construction slows but civils surge

Civils are a bright spot on an otherwise dull horizon for construction, according to a recent report.

The latest figures from Glenigan, which provides data on the UK construction market, show a drop in both project starts and in value of the work started in the last year. But civil engineering saw a 35% increase on 2017 due to strengthening in both infrastructure and utilities projects.

According to the report:

  • Starts in the three months preceding July were 15% down on last year
  • Residential starts were 20% lower than a year ago, with a weakening in both private and social housing projects
  • Non-residential project starts were 18% lower than last year
  • Civil engineering was 35% higher than last year due to a 12% increase in infrastructure starts and an 80% increase in utilities work
  • The value of work starting on-site in the three months preceding July was 15% lower than last year
  • London saw the sharpest decline in starts, at 45% down on last year
  • The South East, East of England, Yorkshire & the Humber, Northern Ireland and Scotland also saw double-digit falls of 16%, 18%, 30%, 37% and 11% respectively
  • The value of project starts in the East Midlands was 41% up on last year and was 14% higher in both the West Midlands and North East.

John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation, said: “The private new homes sector has been extremely robust in recent years, so it is somewhat surprising to see residential starts fall back at this stage.

“It may be a hangover from the poor weather at the start of the year.

“However, repair, maintenance and improvement work continues to grow, with the Office of National Statistics reporting 0.9% growth in overall construction output.

“The BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index reported 7.2% growth in sales value over Q2 2018, and we remain confident of continued growth throughout the rest of the year.”

Steve Turner, Director of Communications at the Home Builders’ Federation, added: “We have seen a massive 74% increase in the number of new homes built over the last four years, and all indicators suggest output will continue to grow. Demand for new homes remains extremely strong.

“Starts on new sites in the early part of the year were affected by the adverse weather that also hindered output on existing sites. We anticipate any falls will be reversed in the latter part of the year as builders continue to strive to build more, desperately needed homes.”

Allan Durning, Managing Director of the H&B Buying Group, said:

“Builders’ merchants have seen many cycles over the previous decades, and we manage through them.

“What’s interesting with the timing of this announcement is the current round of shortages of key primary building materials such as bricks, and Class B engineering bricks in particular. Plasterboard, and insulation amongst others.

The housing space remains buoyant as we know, fuelled by taxpayer’s subsidiaries, and RMI is holding up given the desire to ‘improve and not move’ at local levels.

“But we have to be conscious that capital projects, with the Brexit implications, is going to impact on investor confidence. Major organisations such as Barclay are currently commenting on their concerns about demand going forward.”

Monday, 20 August 2018

8% value growth in the UK bathroom and kitchen PODs sector

The UK market for bathroom and kitchen PODs market was estimated to have grown by 4% in 2017, in terms of the volume of POD installations. The market also saw an 8% increase in value, which can partly be attributed to higher prices for steel and GRP resin being passed on. There has also been some growth in demand for higher specification PODs in the luxury apartment and upmarket hotel sectors, which has contributed towards value growth.

Overall demand for PODs has been driven by a combination of factors; including demand for design standardisation and fast-track construction; ongoing key skills shortages; growth in the number of sites where there is restricted space; and increasing demand in the main end-user markets. The key sectors where PODs are used are; purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), hotels and apartment blocks. Between them, these three sectors account for over 80% of installations, while the remainder of the market is split between hospitals, care homes, MoD accommodation and custodial buildings.

The largest area of demand for bathroom and kitchen PODs is in purpose-built student accommodation in medium-high rise steel and concrete mainframe buildings. In the hotel industry, clients will often specify offsite building methods to achieve fast turnarounds to enable occupation as quickly as possible, and for many of the major hotel brands, a need for high levels of standardisation in design is also important. In the apartments sector, there has been extensive use of bathroom and kitchen PODs on both social housing and luxury, high-rise developments.

By value, PODs manufactured from either glass reinforced plastic or composite (GRP) account for the largest share of the market, closely followed by steel frame, while concrete and other materials, such as timber, account for lower shares. GRP PODs are mostly used in PBSA and budget hotel rooms, while in higher specification developments concrete or steel PODs are typically preferred.

Kitchen PODs account for less than 10% of the market, the core application being multioccupancy residences such as purpose-built student accommodation, holiday resorts, military barracks and apartment blocks. Other areas of application include permanent and temporary use at hospital sites and as temporary stand-alone modules for large-scale events.

Over the next five years, it is anticipated demand for PODs could grow steadily at a rate of 4- 5% per year, there being reasonably strong construction pipelines in key end-use sectors, although the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations may have some negative impact on demand. On the other hand, associated skills shortages may also lead to an increase in demand for offsite solutions and contribute towards growth in the PODs sector.

The urgent need for more affordable and rented housing in London and other major urban areas is expected to continue to drive demand for fast-build apartment blocks, while the hotel sector in London and other major cities should continue to provide impetus for growth in demand for bathroom PODs in the medium term, although a substantial proportion of schemes will be conversions.

Despite a high level of PBSA development in some cities, such as Leeds and Manchester, a relatively large proportion of student halls built in the 1960s/1970s are now reaching their end of life and in need of redevelopment. There also remains an ongoing shortage of high-quality accommodation in many cities, suggesting there is still an urgent need for PBSA, and predicted strong future build levels in this sector should continue to drive demand for PODs.

The ‘Bathroom and Kitchen PODs Market Report – UK 2018-2022’ report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

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.”  

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Construction Products Association Responds to Construction Sector Deal

The department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy announced today a new joint government-industry Sector Deal worth £420 million to transform construction through innovative technologies to increase productivity and build new homes quicker with less disruption.

The government is bringing together the construction, manufacturing, energy and digital sectors to deliver innovative approaches that improve productivity in construction and accelerate a shift to building safer, healthier and more affordable places to live and learn that use less energy.

Included within the announcement was a reference to the Construction Products Association’s work that will allow accurate, repeatable, machine-readable product information to be used across the sector. These include work around digital object identifiers and LEXiCON.

View the Construction Sector Deal here.

Responding to the announcement Peter Caplehorn, Construction Products Association Deputy Chief Executive and Policy Director, said: “These are ambitious plans that will improve and modernise the construction sector, whilst providing much-needed reassurance to the supply chain as Brexit-related uncertainty continues to weigh on activity. We welcome government’s recognition of construction as one of the UK’s most important sectors, and construction product manufacturers are at the very heart of its success - with 80% of all products used in the UK being made in the UK, we support nearly every construction project.

“Our sector has already demonstrated where we can spark the ‘bytes and mortar revolution’ through off-site manufacturing and advanced manufacturing technologies that deliver high-quality buildings more quickly and efficiently, boost productivity and make a more interesting offer to our workforce.

“We were also pleased to see the Construction Products Association’s work around LEXiCON and product data referenced in the Sector Deal, as we believe this will be key to ensuring that homes and buildings perform as intended and are safe for those who use them.

“It is promising to see government commit to a long-term vision. Now government and industry must work together to deliver real results on the ground.”

Photo from Shutterstock

Sunday, 8 July 2018

UK construction output growth reaches seven-month high in June

June data revealed a solid expansion of overall construction activity, underpinned by greater residential work and a faster upturn in commercial building. There were also positive signs regarding the near-term outlook for growth, as signalled by the strongest rise in new orders since May 2017 and the largest upturn in input buying for two-and-a-half years. Improved demand for construction materials resulted in longer lead times from suppliers and the most marked increase in input prices since September 2017.

  • House building remains best performing area of activity
  • New orders rise at fastest pace since May 2017
  • Input cost inflation accelerates in June

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) posted 53.1 in June, up from 52.5 in May and above the 50.0 no-change value for the third month running. The latest reading pointed to the sharpest overall rise in construction output since November 2017.

Residential work remained the best performing area of activity. Commercial building also contributed to the stronger overall rise in construction output, with this category of work expanding at the fastest pace since February. At the other end of the scale, civil engineering activity rose only slightly in June, with the rate of growth easing to a three-month low.

Survey respondents noted that a general improvement in client demand had helped to boost construction workloads in June. Reflecting this, latest data indicated a solid rebound in new order volumes following the decline seen during the previous month. The rate of new business growth was the strongest for just over one year in June.

Higher levels of new work contributed to faster increases in employment numbers and purchasing activity during June. The pace of job creation accelerated to its strongest for one year, while the latest rise in input buying was the steepest since December 2015. Construction companies noted that greater purchasing activity reflected new projects starts and, in some cases, forward purchasing of inputs to mitigate forthcoming price rises from suppliers.

Average cost burdens increased at a sharp and accelerated pace in June. The latest increase in input prices was the steepest for nine months, which construction companies attributed to greater transportation costs and higher prices for metals (especially steel). Meanwhile, vendor lead times lengthened again in June, driven by low stocks and capacity constraints among suppliers.

UK construction companies indicated a rebound in business optimism from May’s seven-month low, although the degree of positive sentiment remained much weaker than the long-run survey average. Survey respondents cited infrastructure work as a key source of growth in the coming 12 months.

Tim Moore, Associate Director at IHS Markit and author of the IHS Markit/CIPS Construction PMI® : “The latest increase in UK construction output marks three months of sustained recovery from the snow-related disruption seen back in March. A solid contribution from house building helped to drive up overall construction activity in June, while a lack of new work to replace completed civil engineering projects continued to hold back growth.

“Of the three main categories of construction work, commercial building was sandwiched in the middle of the performance table during June. Survey respondents suggested that improved opportunities for industrial and distribution work were the main bright spots, which helped to offset some of the slowdown in retail and office development.

“Stretched supply chains and stronger input buying resulted in longer delivery times for construction materials during June. At the same time, higher transportation costs and rising prices for steel-related inputs led to the fastest increase in cost burdens across the construction sector since September 2017.”

Duncan Brock, Group Director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said: “With the fastest rise in new orders since May 2017, it appears the brakes are off for the construction sector. Despite being hampered by economic uncertainty, firms reported an improved pipeline of work as clients committed to projects and hesitancy was swept away.

“Input prices were a challenge with the biggest inflationary rise since September 2017, so the pressure was on to build up stocks of materials rising in price and becoming more scarce. This resulted in a heavy impact on suppliers unable to keep pace as deliveries became laboured and purchasing managers were at their busiest for two and a half years.

“Housing continued on its positive trajectory for the fifth month and commercial activity also improved after a weak start to the second quarter. However, before we bring out the bunting, the sector is not out of the woods yet and there needs to be further sustainable activity to be convincing. A cloud of uncertainty remains, given the sector’s hit and miss performance so far this year and lower than average business confidence in June.”