A workplace paradigm shift?

Many companies are now planning to bring staff back off furlough (at its peak there were 9.3 million people furloughed) and start to open up their offices, albeit with a reduced capacity. The question still remains about where staff will be expected to conduct their work. This blog outlines some of the observations I’ve had over the last few months and speculates as to how this virus will enable a significant shift in where we work and our work commute patterns.

I do think it is unlikely that there will be a return to the commuting patterns pre-covid. This has numerous implications for businesses that accommodate staff in offices, businesses that are located to service historic worker populations, support the journey to and from work, and also how we utilise our home space.

Our 2020 Location Planning and Customer Insight Practitioners’ Salary Survey (collected pre-covid in January 2020) indicated that flexible working is on the increase, from 68% in 2018 to 71% in 2020. Working from home has significantly increased, from 58% in 2018 to 69% of respondents in 2020. It is very likely that these percentages, in our focus industry of Insight and Analytics, will increase when we carry out the survey again in 2022.

The commuter commotion 

I have done this myself and know of hundreds of people who have followed a similar path. As people move through their life-stages there is often a desire to move from renting to getting on the housing ladder and purchasing a property. There tends to be an affordability gap between homes in close proximity to peoples’ work (which are typically city based) forcing first time buyers to look further afield, which results in a longer, more expensive, commute.

Before coronavirus, my Facebook timeline was occasionally littered with complaints from friends’ commuting experiences. They followed a common thread; their commute was a necessary chore, fraught with overcrowded, inconsiderate (and sometimes smelly) people the ‘pleasure’ of which often comes at no small price (which only increases every January!). I read in the Sunday papers the other week that our trains are currently operating with better punctuality than German trains, granted services have been severely curtailed and are operating at less than 50% of capacity, but is it economically viable? This pandemic will change commuter patterns long term and it has the attention of Whitehall officials both from a financial support perspective, where billions are being spent to ensure the transport system remains in operation, to pressure on the transport providers to find new ways of incentivising ‘regular’ passengers.

Pre-lockdown behaviour for those who typically did a 4 or 5 day commute was influenced by company culture and expectation but it was also influenced by the use of rail or tube season tickets. In terms of culture one person I spoke to described it as being made to feel guilty for working from home – this was obviously pre-Covid and I would imagine that this guilt may dissipate to a certain degree post-Covid. On the commute there is normally a cut off (usually between 3-4 commutes a week) that means it’s economically beneficial to switch from individual day passes to weekly, monthly or yearly season tickets. Once you have bought that longer-term ticket you are likely to feel even more compelled to make sure you are using it above the magic number of trips. No one likes to pay for trips that they don’t use.

The train operators will have to (and some have already) introduce more flexible options, such as 3 or 4 day season tickets, and the option for ‘carnet’ style tickets which allow you to bulk buy a set number of journeys per month, quarter or year. Like with many businesses this pandemic may significantly change the business model of the transport providers – which currently ‘penalises’ peak time commuters with high ticket prices for a (largely) poor experience to subsidise the provision of services at off peak times. Regular commuters may be concerned about the price increases that are likely to be implemented in January 2021 given the volumes of passengers will unlikely return to previous numbers.

Redress the balance for working mums 

It has been a well-documented frustration of mine that our industry has not been very good at retaining working mums. Some mothers find it hard to justify continuing in their employment if they are expected to do a full commute, particularly if that commute is lengthy as they have moved to a place in the suburbs that is more affordable and offers better schooling options. I know it is getting easier in terms of parents sharing the parental burden and the traditional role of the male as the ‘main breadwinner’ is thankfully changing. Businesses can also help by being more flexible in their expectations and to show willing and more understanding of the impact a commute has on young mothers who have to often juggle two full time roles.

The Head/Support office

This pandemic has certainly challenged thinking about the future role of offices as a place to work.

Offices should be a place to promote corporate values, provide a meeting place for clients and suppliers and somewhere to foster collaboration between colleagues.

Covid-compliance for offices contains some fairly stringent guidance which will certainly impact offices in terms of occupancy, cleaning and layout.

 Working Safely during COVID-19 in offices and contact centres

Download Working Safely during COVID-19 in offices and contact centres

Companies have always had an obligation to provide a safe work environment for their employees.  The above guidance states that “no-one is obliged to work in an unsafe work environment” particularly in relation to a potentially fatal virus.  This will mean that there will be a shift in emphasis to an individual assessment of whether working in an office poses an acceptable level of risk, coupled with the individual’s role/function and their ability to perform to the expected level in either an office or home environment.  Other changes are at force which are driven by technology.  The main driver is the increase in broadband speeds to residential areas (granted there is still great variability depending on how near you are to a switch or exchange) meaning that the office is no longer the only place to find fast connectivity speeds.  Most households that have teenage children (including mine) will see an immediate increase in their bandwidth when schools are able to open at capacity.  Mobile computing means that most office tasks can be carried out securely and efficiently from home. Connectivity software such as Zoom, Skype, and Teams etc. means that we can connect with distributed colleagues in a variety of manners. 

For those of us used to working in collaborative office environments the lockdown has certainly been a challenge and most people miss (and crave) that face-to-face engagement with colleagues.  Humans are naturally social animals and despite the fantastic features with these connectivity tools, it’s never quite the same as being in the same room as someone. As confidence improves and measures are eased it is all about finding a balance that works for both the company and the individual. 

Businesses with central offices, reliant in the main on public transport for staff to get in, will need to be more flexible about office staffing levels and acceptable hours of work.  This will allow staff to decide on the most appropriate times to commute in order to avoid peak congestion times.  This will help alleviate some of the peak pressure that has been faced by the transport companies and help spread demand to times where there is more capacity. As well as reducing the risk of virus exposure there will also be the benefits of a nicer commute.  It could also result in offices, which will have to operate at reduced capacity, being utilised for more hours of a day.  I could envisage there being two office shifts – one for those who come in early and leave early and one for those who travel later and leave later. Alternatively, people may wish to extend their office hours for the limited days they are in i.e. come in early and leave late. 

Some business are moving completely to remote – given that the second biggest cost after staff costs is usually office rent, I can see why some businesses are doing this.  A close friend of mine who works for a tech business in central London was in the process of moving to a new office as the virus impact took hold.  They have now decided to go completely remote as this significant cost saving could help turn the business around as revenues have been hit by the pandemic.  They will be looking at flexible, cost effective ways to get everyone together at periodic times through the year once it is safe to do so.  One potential challenge with a move to more flexible working is that of clarity in an employment contract and definition of their usual place of work. 

The new town centre use

This section was inspired by an excellent panel discussion a few months ago hosted by Said Business School.  The discussion centred on some of the issues highlighted above in terms of changing commuting patterns, the future role of the office and the opportunity that presents itself as a result for our town centres. The panel talked of a ‘third’ workplace (first being the office, second being home) which is likely to be within a short distance of home, based in some of our smaller towns and cities.  This third space is likely to be flexible, affordable co-working space.  A place where people have a safe and secure working environment with good wi-fi connectivity, private rooms and good drink making facilities! A good example of such facility would be Perch in Bicester (https://www.perchcoworking.co.uk/pioneer-square/).  The major cities often have a range of co-working facilities and there are a number of national providers in this space.  My sense of smaller locations is that these are often local run initiatives.  Perhaps there is a franchise opportunity for a chain of co-working spaces in smaller locations that could leverage the abundance of (retail) space that a lot of our town centres can offer? 

These spaces provide an opportunity to have a break from the home office environment or an alternative to going into the central office for those people that are unable to work from home.  It’s not the same as working with colleagues in an office, unless by chance there is a local cluster of colleagues living near each other, but there are still opportunities for networking and collaboration.  The other benefit would be that it would give a vital footfall boost to some of the smaller towns and cities which could be important to help national and independent retail, service and F&B chains survive this crisis caused by the pandemic.  

There is little doubt that this pandemic will change the way we (workers and companies) evaluate our commuting choices and our workplace locations in the light of pandemic risk.   

I do think there has been a significant psychological impact of the pandemic and a lot of people, myself included, are now caught in two minds.  We crave for some of the freedoms to return but we are also fearful of potential exposure to the virus (regardless of the extremely low probabilities) from doing certain ‘unnecessary’ activities.  This fear will dissipate as we slowly take back some of those lost liberties and gain confidence in our diminishing chances of catching the disease. For me, I’d rather not share a cramped enclosed space with a host of strangers on a tube (regardless of whether they have got masks or not) but still crave going to support my favourite football team in the stadium or going to watch an indoor gig.  

I do think that individuals will want to have greater flexibility in their commuting patterns and caring, trusting organisations will support that to the benefit of all in the move to recovery. 

What are your thoughts? Are you planning and hoping to return to your normal commute and working environment? Think you’ll end up with a blended working structure or would you actually prefer to work from home? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Photo by Visual Tag Mx from Pexels

Cash is King

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like we’re in limbo at the moment? We are slowly adjusting to a post (high levels of..) COVID world where the shackles of lockdown are gradually being released (unless you live in Leicestershire).

It’s an ever changing situation; only yesterday I completed a consumer survey where I stated that I didn’t intend to go comparison goods shopping anytime soon. Then today I am planning on taking my kids up to Cheshire Oaks for the afternoon. It was originally going to be a trip to Chester city centre but a few shops that my kids wish to go to are temporarily closed. The same shop is open out of town, presumably an indication that some brands are staggering their opening strategy depending on in town/out of town stores. It could be a space determinant or it could be to see how traditional city centres, with a greater reliance on public transport as a means for people to get in and out play out in terms of (footfall) recovery.

Depeche Mode Enjoy
Depeche Mode Enjoy

The chart below is a recent snapshot from Red Tiger Talent’s accounting system. It makes for stark viewing and is likely to be reflective of other consumer led and consulting businesses. The blue bars are cash in, and the grey bars are cash out. January 2020 showed a spike in our costs where the business paid out Dividends to the directors, a move typical of smaller limited companies where monthly, quarterly or six monthly payments are seen as a more flexible and tax efficient means with which to reward business profitability. Late February was looking pretty good: we had cash coming in from placements made over the previous 3 months and we were actively working on a healthy number of recruitment roles. Events in early March reminded me of the voting in Paddy McGuiness’s dating show Take Me Out – we had a number of lights on (assignments) and in the space of a few days all of our lights had gone out with recruitment being put on hold – the only thing missing was the comedy noise of all our lights being switched off at once!

On the cost side, we at Red Tiger run a very tight ship, with fairly minimal overheads and no extra costs associated with expensive city centre offices or headcount. In fact, COVID-19 forced us to temporarily pause our search for an Apprentice (more on that later).

Our second biggest business expense is usually travel and entertainment which dropped right down since mid-March as we, like a lot of people, have been fulfilling all of our business obligations from home. There must be so many larger businesses with significant office and headcount costs which could not be immediately switched off when lockdown happened. These businesses have been carrying these costs and eating into their cash reserves while income is still waiting to recover. In all my businesses we have worked on the basis of a ‘going bust’ date that is subject to various scenarios on income and costs. This was one of the first exercises we did post COVID-19 and it was useful as it gave us comfort that as a direct result of retaining some of our profits within the business we would have enough (if we controlled our costs) to see us through to beyond a pessimistic economic recovery in early 2021.

The peak of cash in May 2020 was not some unexpected recruitment income, but a cash injection courtesy of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). We decided to get this loan just in case and will start to pay back in 12 months’ time with the hope that we will never need to use it. That said, it has given us the confidence to once again push ahead with finding an apprentice, the thinking being that we should have a good pick of quality candidates (with less competition from other hirers) and if the successful candidate joins in September we expect them to hit the ground running in the new year. I would just urge as many businesses as possible to follow our lead and try to be bullish in switching on your recruitment – you could steal a march on your competitors and there are going to be plenty of quality candidates available. It is certainly turning from a sellers’ market (candidate) to a buyer’s market (company) in recruitment.

July 2020 is looking a little better for Red Tiger Talent, and whilst it certainly isn’t back to former glories, we are due some extra income from successful placements in lockdown, as well as payment of outstanding invoices on COVID-19 extended credit terms. We will not be getting overly excited though as we are used to the recruitment lag. A lot of the work is done in the run up to placement, then a delay of 1-3 months when notice periods are typically served,. We then receive our fees 30 days (if we are lucky) after the successful candidate starts, which means we have a good view on (lack of) recruitment income 2-3 months out. Where we stand today we know that we are not currently in line to bill any clients for placements in July or August.

I am sure that this is a similar situation to a lot of other businesses. My call to action is for everyone to get out and spend. Spend like there is another lockdown imminent around the corner. Support all local businesses because we won’t appreciate them when they are gone! I feel we all have a collective responsibility to get the economy moving again, and I appreciate that the natural inclination where there is an extended period of uncertainty, redundancy and global recession on the horizon is to reign in our spending behaviour.

The quicker the recovery, the quicker we can get back to the ‘new normal’.

Seize the moment and savour our ‘freedom’ for as long as it lasts. But please remember to obey the 2 metre 1 metre rule and stay alert.

Photo by Anna Dziubinska on Unsplash

It’s time to excel (at Excel)

I am delighted to announce that I have now got over a quarter of a century’s experience in the use of Excel. It is the first analytical package I used during my university studies and I have used it ever since.   I had a brief flirtation with Lotus 1-2-3 back in the mid 1990s (remember that one?) and have more recently dabbled with Apple’s Numbers but my loyalty to MS Excel is unwavering. 

It permeates my work life on a near daily basis and has even found room for use in my home life. My wife refers to me as ‘the spreadsheet geek’, amongst other things, and the tool is used at home for everything, from monitoring how my football predictions are going (conclusion, not very well), budget planning for our wedding or holidays, to Xmas card lists.  Yes I am proud to admit, I am a spreadsheet geek. 

It seems that I am not alone – Forrester research has found that 81% of businesses use Excel. Data Science purists will tend to look down their noses at Excel and want to demonstrate how you can do a lot more with Python or R, but these are not really tools for the masses. There are a number of excellent Business Intelligence (BI) tools, such as Tableau and Power BI, to help with distribution of fancy dashboards across the whole organisation, but Excel will always be a staple tool for data collection, aggregation, visualisation and analysis.

A good analyst will have a toolkit of software applications at their disposal and their choice will depend on the amount of data analysed, the time needed to get results, and the intended output/audience for the analysis.  There will always be a need for Excel. 

Choose the right training for you 

A year ago, we started planning our first formal training course in Excel.  Excel does not tend to be taught at University, or even at School or College, and so most people gain their Excel skills from learning ‘on the job’.   We had feedback from a number of our recruitment clients that Excel knowledge is rather lacking amongst graduates and saw the need to create some content for students. 

It is fair to say that there are plenty of online resources (free and paid for) that provide training in Excel, which serve a purpose for some.  A lot of these courses tend to focus on the volume of their content, covering a wide range of features across many hours of learning.  I personally struggle to stay focused on my favourite Netflix series, never mind watching someone speak on a pre-recorded video about a range of features and functions that I will never use outside of the training class. 

With most people being time poor we have decided to create a course that offers participants minimal investment of their time and maximum output for their learning.  In planning the course we took a representative sample of client businesses and contacted analytically focused individuals at those companies to better understand the most commonly used Excel features and functions. This is what we cover in the course. 

The Theory and the Practical 

We have taken on board our learnings from other training courses and have adapted our content accordingly.  Each participant on our Excel course will benefit from the following: 

  • 5 x 1 hour workshop sessions (via Zoom) where we run through all the required features and functions (with plenty of breaks in between). 
  • A deliberately restricted number of delegates to ensure that learning is optimised.
  • A set of clear and concise slides that outline the capability and syntax of each feature and function. 
  • An opportunity in the session for participants to try out each function using some training data. 
  • Further live demonstrations from the tutors on how to implement each function if required to re-inforce understanding. 
  • A detailed session into Excel best practice and hints and tips to make your workflows more efficient. 
  • A formal document (Spreadsheet) that covers each function and also provides examples of the uses/outputs. 
  • A self-study ‘real world’ exercise (typically taking between 2-4 hours) which tests each participants’ understanding of the workshop learnings and applies them to a test that closely mimics the type of request that an analyst may get in the workplace. 
  • For this exercise the tutors are available for support (via email, phone or Zoom) and, following submission of the answers, will provide each participant with a grade (pass or distinction) and constructive feedback. 

From Face to Face to Remote Training 

Our technical training courses have traditionally been delivered face-to-face in a training suite or lab.  We have re-purposed this course to be able to deliver it via live video conferencing (Zoom) and in doing so have been able to offer additional benefits to participants: 

  • Value for money – additional overheads, such as travel, room hire, lunch and refreshments are eliminated allowing us to offer the course at a very competitive price. 
  • Available to all – face-to-face courses will always restrict access for some due to travel practicalities.  In today’s ‘new age’, where travel will likely need extra justification (particularly on public transport), this means that participants are able to do the course in the comfort of their preferred location (be it home, office or co-working space). 
  • Scale of tutors – We tend to operate with 2 tutors per session.  One will be delivering the training whilst the other will be responsible for workshop management tasks: admitting participants, helping with any technical issues and monitoring the chat.   Whilst we do deliberately restrict the number of participants, it also means that we could get extra help on board to teach if required. 
  • Recording of sessions – All the workshops are recorded and shared with participants immediately after the session.  This means that those participants who are unable to attend a session (it sometimes happens) will be able to catch up, and those who are wanting to go over learnings again in their own time and at their own pace are able to do so.  It also negates the need for much in the way of participant note taking which means more time to dedication to understanding and application. 
  • Flexibility of courses dates and times – We are able to offer courses to suit participants’ availability, be it a full daytime course or over a series of evenings. 

Different Base, Different Pace 

The pre-requisites for the Excel course (aside from a Mac/PC running a recent version of Excel, plus the ability to use Zoom) focus on a basic to intermediate knowledge of Excel.  In any course it is rare for all participants to have exactly the same knowledge from the outset and we also recognise that pace of learning does differ from person to person.  We structure the course so that the very basic Excel training is done in the very first session and this isn’t compulsory for those who are at an intermediate level.  The course deliberately builds in complexity through the 5 workshops at which point all participants will have a renewed confidence in their own Excel skills.  

Whilst it would be unfair to adjust the pace of the content to the quickest or the slowest participant we deliberately plan the content to allow for extra time for further explanation and questions – so the sessions don’t tend to be rushed or overburdened with learnings.    

Those who are naturally slower, I would argue, prefer the online course as it is easier to discreetly take it at your own pace.  Face-to-face courses make that much harder.   They have the fallback of the recording and slides and we are also available for one-to-one support on the very rare occasions when specific concepts don’t really seem to be sticking. 

Learn and Adapt 

Each course is delivered live, with no pre-recordings, meaning that we can take comments and learnings from participants and implement changes for next time.   For example, the ‘real world’ exercise is supported with a set of instructions that start off very structured and gradually become less structured as the participant progresses through the answers.  We have now created a specific set of instructions for those intermediate participants, or those who would like to test their knowledge with a slightly harder task.  These instructions are consistently less structured, but participants can be safe in the knowledge that they can refer to the easier instructions if required. 

Excel for the Masses 

It is our view that most people deserve to have a reasonable level of understanding in Excel. Our course focuses on the key features and functions that are most useful for analysis. It arms participants with a range of support materials which will be useful for refresher training as well as ongoing application in their work, home or studies.

It is our mission to deliver the content of this course to a variety of participants, regardless of location, age, academic status and stage of their career.  With over 100 participants successfully completing this course to date we are confident that all will increase their confidence in Excel. 

For more information please click on the links below: 

  1. Course brochure (including details of the content)
  2. Course Dates and Fees

Or contact steve@redtigerconsulting.co.uk (07979 756257). 

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
Photos by Lukas from Pexels

Post Lockdown – What are our predictions for the future?

It’s the end of the (old) world as we know it (and I feel fine) 

Now I have finished with my review of how businesses and individuals have been coping, (Click to read Part One and Part Two of the New Normal) I thought I would conclude the final part with some predictions:

  • Too many people, too few jobs – I do believe that we will start to see an increase in the announcement of redundancies as the Government looks to end the Job Retention Scheme.  Once businesses start to incur the significant costs of staff and premises it really does depend on how their revenues recover post lockdown as to whether they can maintain their pre-covid employment levels.  We are already seeing some businesses (including those owned by Gordon Ramsay) using the Job Retention Scheme funding to pay people through their redundancy notice. 
  • Head Office/Home Office balance – This isolation has proved that a lot of people can successfully work from home and businesses are still able to function.  Offices will need to be repurposed in order to cater for reduced employment densities (most offices are now aiming to operate at 20-25% capacity immediately after lockdown easing) and the way we interact with them will change.  Some businesses have already made the decision to not open their offices until 2021.  Most of us will still desire that face-to-face interaction and collaboration with our colleagues, albeit, on a less frequent basis. 
  • Hours to suit – Flexi-time will see a resurgence. Most businesses will need to show willing to enable their staff to commute with minimal exposure at peak times on public transport. The authorities and environmentalists would like to see everyone walk/cycle to work (participation will inevitably be higher during the nice weather) but where public transport is the only practical mode it will mean flexible start and finish times to minimise peak travel. 
  • Digital dominance – We will all emerge from lockdown with new abilities for the digital age – particularly around remote working and video communication.  I feel that this will help diminish the need for some physical face-to-face contact in order to get business done.  It will mean greater scrutiny and justification of travel, particularly with use of public transport.  There will also be an emergence of new rising stars within businesses who have a natural flair for engaging in the digital world – some skills may translate from the physical world, other competencies will be discovered or developed. 
  • Home delivery and online will rise sharper than recent historic growth levels – The grocery sector has seen phenomenal growth in demand for online services in the last few months, to the extent that they have been unable to fulfil all the potential. I believe this will continue as more capacity is added and the crisis proves to be the trigger that forces a step-change in people’s behaviour, with more preferring to have their regular groceries delivered, to the detriment of the environmental considerations. 
  • People will shop local and support their independents – The successful independents have been very good at adapting their offer in the crisis and really engaging in support of their local customers.  I believe there will be a lot more emphasis that people put on supporting these independent businesses and shopping local. 
  • Retail Phoenix from the flames – There will always be a physical retail/leisure/F&B sector in the UK but there will be some clear winners and losers that emerge.  Some businesses will be rendered flightless (excuse the analogy) and be left to wither in the embers, struggling with business models that are unsustainable moving forward. Other businesses will adapt and survive.  
  • The death of retail browsing? The old ‘retail therapy’ rule book will need to be ripped up. Conversion rates should increase as people make visits with a clear purpose, and average basket sizes will increase as shopper frequency will be down and customers will be unable to try before they buy (due to the changing rooms being unavailable). This will result in an increase in returns and in the challenge retailers face on getting this returned stock sold.  
  • Retail Property is broken, and it needs Landlords and tenants to fix it – Both parties need to share the pain out of the current crisis. There has to be a recognition that Landlords still have bills to pay and so withholding rent for an extended period of time may not be acceptable.  This crisis will drive a fundamental re-correction in retail rents in order to take account of the new function of retail and ongoing rental sustainability.  There also needs to be a drive for more flexible leases where both parties share in the upside but share the pain of depressed performance.
  • Staycation havoc – With businesses encouraging staff to take holiday, people wanting a change of scenery from their home, and continued uncertainty on the opening up of international borders (and who will be around to take us to foreign climes) this can only mean that everyone will be holidaying in this country in 2020.  My advice, particularly if you have children, is to get your October half term and Xmas trips booked as soon as possible as prices are likely to go through the roof. 
Have you planned your staycation?
  • We will be better prepared for next time – This may be a once in a lifetime event (or longer) but be sure that UK plc will need to become a little more self-sufficient in certain areas – particularly with regards necessary medical supplies.  Who is to say that some forms of manufacturing won’t come back to our shores?
  • It will be an employers’ market – to a certain degree.  With too many candidates chasing too few roles the big challenge will be efficiently filtering applications.  This is where, as a recruiter, we can do our big value add to hiring managers and HR teams.   This will also mean that candidates will have to be more on point throughout the process than they have ever been, from their CV and covering letter, to interview skills – again, something we are well placed to support.  

Give us a call on +44(0)7918 653 877 / +44(0)7979 756 257 or email info@redtigerconsulting.co.uk if you would like to talk about finding talented individuals wishing to consider a fresh challenge to join your team.

Image: Photo by Mark Arron Smith from Pexels

Data Analyst – Real Estate Investor

We don’t normally share job adverts on our website because we don’t need to. We have a great network of candidates and prefer to just pick up the phone and contact the people we think will be a great fit.

However, we thought we’d buck that trend and share this Data Analyst role in London, because we hope this is a good sign of progress and things getting back to normal in the recruitment market.

Job Spec

  • Salary: £35,000 pa
  • Opening date for applications (9am): 3 June 2020
  • Closing date for applications (5pm): 1 July 2020
  • Benefits: workplace pension; minimum employer contribution; 33 days inclusive of UK bank holidays.
  • Location: Working from home during C-19 pandemic. Post crisis, the role will be based in the London office.

Retail places are undergoing profound structural change. Today’s challenges and tomorrows opportunities require inspirational solutions, grounded in data and experience. Our client’s Research and Analytics team produce proprietary research, putting data at the heart of our decision making, allowing us to anticipate market trends and gain a deep understanding of our retailers, shoppers and centres.  

The Team

This is an opportunity to join a technically accomplished team of Analysts in a wide-ranging role combining technical project work, consultancy services and project management. Data science and analysis is a key role within the business that will build upon and continue to elevate a best-in-class Research & Analytics team that differentiates our client and drives a competitive advantage in the marketplace through market expertise, analysis and insight.

The Research & Analytics team work on a wide variety of projects across the retail, leisure, town planning, alternative use, financing, development and public sectors in the UK. Project work includes consultancy, cross team report creation with a range of outputs for a variety of publican and private sector clients, internal strategic initiatives, portfolio analysis, as well as leading on BI initiatives and the creation of data led processes and solutions across all business teams.

The Role

The successful candidate will be someone with experience of building and using statistical models to examine and provide customer understanding within a retail, property, leisure or high street finance environment.

An excellent knowledge of statistical modelling techniques and awareness of issues affecting high street and consumer led businesses.

The role requires good problem-solving skills and the ability to be pragmatic and apply knowledge of retail and geography to ensure recommendations are practical and in-line with client objectives.

A high degree of client contact will be involved from the outset and therefore candidates should have excellent communication skills, both written and oral, and be comfortable with leading on external projects and managing external communication with a range of contacts.

Your role will include:

• Providing recommendations, bespoke analysis and consultancy services to public and private sector
• Building statistical/mathematical models, using predictive/forecasting techniques and performing in-depth data analysis
• Producing data lead insights which inform asset management, investment, development, town planning and financing strategies and recommendations.
• Developing and implementing BI initiatives across all teams in the business
• Working with AI and big data analytics to provide in depth asset and behavioural insights
• Liaising with external data providers to build big data driven solutions for both internal and external use.

Core Skills, Experience, Knowledge Required

• Educated to at least degree level (2:1 or above) in a subject with high numerical content (e.g. mathematics, applied statistics, operational research, economics, engineering, geography)
• Excellent numeracy skills and a strong scientific approach to drawing conclusions from a variety of evidence.
• An aptitude for quantitative techniques, an analytical approach to completing assignments to agreed deadlines and strong attention to detail. If successful in being offered an interview you should be prepared to provide and talk us succinctly through specific examples of prior projects, you have worked on
• Demonstrable ability to draw key themes from data and construct an argument in a logical and accessible way.
• Demonstrable experience of working with BI software and be prepared to provide examples of reports created.
• Knowledge and genuine interest in the UK retail landscape
• Demonstrable experience of working with market, asset, demographic, financial, retail, location and customer data on projects with both private and public clients. You should be prepared to provide examples
• Good working knowledge of SAS, SPSS or similar statistical package, and/or other programming experience (e.g. VBA, SQL).
• Excellent Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint skills (advanced level of Excel skill is required)
• Excellent written and oral communication skills, with the ability to present your findings in a professional, logical and engaging way.
• Excellent written and verbal use of English language
• Excellent time management skills and the ability to prioritise tasks.
• A demonstrable ability to work on a diverse range of ongoing projects.
• Personal skills suited to working within a professional team environment as well as for a range of internal and external clients.

If anyone is interested in this role please contact Steve Halsall at Red Tiger Talent on 07979 756 257 or steve@redtigerconsulting.co.uk.

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