SRS Sponsors Supplier Account Manager of the Year award category at the Builders Merchants Awards for Excellence 2018

“We all know that relationships make the merchanting world go round, and the Supplier Account Manager of the Year Award – a new addition to this year’s Builders’ Merchants Awards for Excellence – is a perfect opportunity to recognise someone who has built great relationships with the companies that supply your builders’ merchant”
Do you know someone who goes above and beyond to establish a high level of trust with suppliers, knows what products your business needs to stay competitive and gets them on time and at a fair price, and is able to deal with problems before they get out of hand?
Then why not nominate them for “Supplier Account Manager of the Year” at the Builders Merchants Awards for Excellence 2018.
SRS is proud to sponsor the new Award “Supplier Account Manager of the Year” aimed at giving well deserved recognition to those whose hard work and first-class relationship building skills create a positive impact on the relationship between their business and its suppliers.   
Celebrating the excellence by merchants and their people, the Builders Merchants Awards is a one-of-a-kind event bringing the dynamic merchant sector together and recognising the best people within it who go above and beyond for their customers.


This year, the awards will cover 21 categories and entries must be submitted by 31st August 2018.
To submit your entry for the Supplier Account Manager of the Year Award, go to:
The ceremony will be taking place at The London Hilton Park Hotel, Park Lane on Friday 23rd November 2018.



You can find information on ALL of the categories and their sponsors along with details of the ceremony in the Builders’ Merchants News official launch brochure (which can also be viewed online at:
Or via the Awards website


We wish all nominees the very best of luck!
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What Impact Will Brexit Have On Construction Industry Jobs?

Unless there are drastic changes, the UK is going to leave the European Union in 2019. So with a little over a year left until Brexit begins in earnest, how are jobs in the construction industry likely to be hit?


EU Worker Exodus

Of the overseas workers involved in construction in the South East of the UK, half are from EU countries, according to the Telegraph. And unless their rights are guaranteed by the government in the Brexit deal, they could all pack up and head home.

With so many major projects on the horizon, this will create a vacuum in the jobs market. Coupled with the current skills shortage, there may be an opportunity for British workers with an eagerness to develop a career in manufacturing and distribution to make progress.

The other side to this coin is that construction businesses will be weakened by the EU worker exodus. Figures suggest that up to a quarter of the workforce could be lost in the next decade.

Experts believe this will actually make manufacturing a more important asset, both to the country’s economy as a whole and to the construction industry in particular.

 The pre-fabrication of homes at factories in the UK could allow the government to meet its goal of building 300,000 new properties each year. Whether house values will plunge and sales collapse after Brexit is another question entirely.


Current Challenges

In a Bank of England report published last year, distribution was cited as one of the industries with a skills shortage. And as EU workers have begun jumping ship ahead of Brexit, this is unlikely to change.

Over the next decade, roughly £50 billion of investment in the UK will be stripped away if British politicians fail to strike a deal with the EU. This finding in a report from Cambridge Econometrics paints a bleak picture of a worst case scenario for the negotiations process.

Of course the inconvenient truth of the matter is that at the moment, no one actually knows how Brexit will impact the construction industry in the UK. The value of the pound is still volatile, the economy is likely to be weaker no matter what deal is struck, and even those in charge of the process of leaving the EU are in the dark about the long term implications. The only certainty is that serious change is coming and construction industry jobs will be impacted.


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Changing Careers From Distribution To Manufacturing- The First Five Things You Should Do

Changing Careers From Distribution To Manufacturing – The First Five Things You Should Do


If you work in distribution and want to make a career change without leaving the construction industry, there are a number of steps you can take. Here is some advice on how to get the ball rolling and make it easier to navigate the recruitment process.


Do Your Research

If you have the opportunity to change jobs, you should only take the plunge if you are moving to a role that you will enjoy. Even if your main motivation is career progression, you should still start by looking into what working in manufacturing involves, how it differs from distribution and what your salary expectations should be based on your skills and experience.


Consider Your Abilities

Working out where your strengths lie will let you pick the right job in manufacturing. But it is just as important to think about your weaknesses. This will not only help you avoid roles that will be a bad fit for you, but also let you steer clear of positions that will leave you feeling unfulfilled.


Talk To People

Often the best way to find out about a job is to have a conversation with someone who is already doing it. And whether you are looking for a management role or a manual job in manufacturing, there will be people to ask about their responsibilities and life at work.


Get Involved

Take the opportunity to test drive a manufacturing job before you commit to it full time. You could visit businesses and shadow people who already work there. You could also take training courses to improve your skills and learn more about the practical side of manufacturing jobs. The choice is yours.


Prepare Properly

If by this stage you are still keen to switch jobs and work in manufacturing, you will need to start applying for positions and going to interviews. This can be daunting, but you will be a better sales person for your own skills and abilities if you are well prepared.

Do not get complacent about applications and interviews. Get in touch with a recruitment company that can give you the right help and find the jobs that fit your needs. Finally, read up on the industry and stay on top of trends to prove to employers that you are making a sensible change. You will be glad that you put in the effort when you get your dream job.


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Interview Turn- Off’s

Failing to smile at interview has been ranked THIRD in the UK employers’ top 10 turn-offs when hiring. According to research from, when asked to choose the biggest body language turn-offs in job interviews, employers went for:


Failure to make eye contact


-Non verbal communication is just as important as verbal communication in interviews. Keeping steady eye contact will show your interviewer that you are confident and focused.


Weak handshake


-First impressions are important. Shaking your interviewers had is usually one of the first things that happen when you walk into the interview room and a weak handshake could shape the interviewers opinion of you before the meeting even starts.


A firm (but not too firm) grip, eye contact and a smile is all you need.


Failure to smile


-Speaking of smiling, it’s very easy to forget to smile when you are nervous but it is also one of the easiest ways to break the ice and set the mood at the beginning of your interview.


In addition, a genuine smile shows people a lot about your personality so make sure you use it to your advantage.


Crossing your arms over your chest


-Pay attention to your body language in an interview. One common pitfall in interviews is the interviewer or interviewee crossing their arms as it is universally interpreted as negative and you could be seen as defensive, stressed or insecure.



Fidgeting (Playing with something on the table, playing with your hair or touching your face, fidgeting in your seat)


This one goes without saying but fidgeting will either show your nerves or convince the interviewer that you are bored and would rather be somewhere else.


Try to keep still and relaxed. Focus on the conversation so you are not tempted to fidget and distract the interviewer.


Bad posture


Your posture can say a lot about your personality, and bad posture can give the interviewer the wrong impression. For instance If you slouch, you may be perceived as lazy and uninterested. 


Try to sit up straight, keeping your hands in your lap with open palms and continue to hold this posture throughout the meeting. 


Handshake that is too strong


Shaking someone’s hand like you are trying to pump water from a well is not going to impress the interviewer at all. In fact, it may give the interviewer a bad first impression of you so keep your handshake firm but, whatever you do, don’t leave them in pain. 


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A-Z of The Best Words and Phrases to Use in Your CV

One of the hardest things when writing a CV is avoiding repetition of words.

Please find a list of words and phrases that you may find useful in compiling your CV.

Remember though – whichever you decide to use, you will need to be able to explain them at interview!

Keep your bullet points brief, but vary them in length to make it easier on the eye.

Most important of all –  this is your brochure and NOT your autobiography.

Good luck and have fun with this!


Ability Accelerated  Accurate Achieved Acquired Adapt Administered Advised Ambition Analysed
Appraise Appropriate Approve Arrange Aspired Assess Assisted Auditing Averting Avoiding Awareness


Budgeted Building Built


Capable  Centralising  Challenging  Clarified  Clients  Coaching  Communicating  Completed  Conceived  Confidence Consolidating  Constructive  Convincing  Co-operated  Co-ordinate  Cost saving  Created  Customers


Decided  Delegated  Delivering  Demonstrated  Designed  Determined  Developed  Devised  Diagnosing  Directed


Effective Efficient Eliminating Enabling Enforcing Engineered Enhanced Ensuring Enthusiasm Established Evaluated Exceeded Exceptional Executed Expanded Experience


Financed  Flexibility  Forecasting  Forming  Formulated  Founded


Gaining  Generated  Goals  Governed  Graduated  Guiding


Headed  Helpful  Honest Humour


Initiative Innovative Innovate Interpersonal Integrity Impressive Inclusive Implement Involve Indicate Iconic Idea Ideal Independent Illuminate Illustrative Illustrious Image Immense Incentive Immerse Impact Impeccable Intuitive Inception Industrious Influence Information Ingenuity Invent Invest Investment




Launched  Led  Liaised  Located  Loyal


Managed  Maintained  Marketed  Mediated  Monitored  Monitoring Motivated


Negotiated  Nominated  Notable


Objectives  Obtained  Operated  Opportunity  Organised  Oriented  Originated  Overcome


Perceived  Perfected  Performed  Permanent  Persuading  Piloted  Pioneered  Placed  Planned  Practical  Prestige  Preventing
Professional  Produced  Proficient  Progress  Profit  Promoted  Proposed  Proved  Provided  Providing  Publishing  Punctual


Qualified  Quantified


Raising  Reasonable  Recognised  Recommend  Recruiting  Reduced  Regulated  Reliable  Reorganised  Reported  Represented Researched  Resolving  Responsible  Results  Reviewing


Simplified  Sincerity  Solved  Standardising  Stimulated  Strategic  Streamlined  Structured  Substantial  Succeeded  Supervised  Supported  Satisfied  Saving  Scheduled  Securing  Selected  Selling  Significant


Team building  Testing  Thorough  Thoughtful  Tolerant  Trained  Transferred  Transformed  Trebled


Understanding  Upgrading  Useful  Utilised


Versatile  Validating  Vital  Verified  Vivid


Wonderful, Working, Window, Wider


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10 Important Things You Should Include In Your CV

Here is a list of the top 10 things you should include in your CV;  


  • You only need to include the last 10 years of your work history except under the following circumstances:
  1. a) You have had a long career break for most of the 10 year period – in which case ensure you show at least 5 – 8 years of career history prior to/after the career break.
    b) You are applying for roles that require a greater level of experience – be sure to check this is the case before you attach your CV.
  • Ensure you always have your name, address, daytime telephone number and email address clearly visible on the first page of your CV.


  • You should not include details of your personal references on your CV, these should only be provided if you are successful at interview.


  • You must tailor your CV for specific roles, career paths, industries or business sectors. E.g. you may have one CV that is tailored for marketing roles in Financial Services and another that is tailored for office management in a Customer Service sector.  You will have the skills and experience in both job types, but by drawing out the relevant information on a tailored CV you will make it stand out more amongst the crowd.


  • When tailoring your CV to meet the needs of specific role/company be sure to look at the language used in any job description, marketing materials, website of the company and mirror where possible this language in your CV.


  • Keep your CV to a maximum of two pages and makes good use of signage and white space.
    Use short, sharp bullets and ensure that when tailoring CVs for specific roles you put the most relevant bullets at the top of each of the sections.


  • If you are running out of space cut down the number of bullets on your older roles and if necessary remove your “Additional Information, Hobbies & Interests” section.  If you are tailoring a CV, you can save space by removing any bullet points, training undertaken and qualifications achieved that are not relevant for the role you are tailoring the CV for.


  • Get someone who knows you well to review your CV before you send it out.  They will be able to help ensure that you haven’t left off any important info about your skills and experience.


  • Once you’ve completed your CV, leave it for a day or two and then come back and proof read it. If possible get someone with good attention to detail/spelling & grammar skills to proof read it for you before you publish it on any recruitment websites or send the CV to recruiters/employers.


  • Always name and Date your CV, we would suggest the following naming convention for a general CV <Your Full Name><MMM YYYY> and for tailored CVs <Your Full Name><MMM YYYY><Tailoring Specifics – e.g. name of role, or industry/sector type>.  This will help you to manage your CVs and ensure you don’t get caught short and not know what CV you sent where!


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How to Survive Redundancy

Redundancy is one of the most difficult events we face. Similar to a separation or divorce, redundancy plunges the person and his/her family into crisis. It puts the family in a state of uncertainty, insecurity and stress. Redundancy can induce feelings of loneliness, low self-esteem and anxiety.


The natural reaction to redundancy is lack of acceptance of the new situation; a strong urge to try and turn back the wheel. Many are willing to bear and put up with a lot to get their old job back. Similarly, in a relationship, a person that has been walked out on will initially try to do anything in their power to make their partner return. Separation sheds new light on the relationship; all of a sudden the relationship seems more meaningful and precious. It takes a while to comprehend the fact that the relationship is over. At work too, one initially tries to undo what has already been done or perhaps find a new and exciting replacement quickly.


Unfortunately, this is not always the case and some may need to face a longer term of unemployment. The tough challenge in this case is coping with the new reality – without having a job to go to and managing all the spare time and the emptiness you may feel. Acclimatising to the new daily life is challenging and takes a while until you learn to enjoy the imposed freedom.


Being let go; suffering redundancy; experiencing downsizing are all very different ways of saying the same thing. Your employer doesn’t want you anymore. Suddenly, that place seems so much more attractive than it did yesterday – and you are going to fight tooth and nail to hang in there. But wait, maybe there’s something in you that relishes the chance to move on and do something different. For all those years when you didn’t quite fit. Where the role you had caused you some unease, there is something to learn. Is it not possible that you were something of a square peg, who over the years had done your best to fit into the round hole of your career?


So, think about the things you truly love, the types of way you want to spend your time and take the opportunity to move on as a sign. Time to look for an alternative future that better suits the person you really are. This can be a challenging time, yet if you see the possibilities and seize the moment, it can be one of the most thrilling phases of your life.

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A Guide to Competency Interviews

Increasingly, interviews are based on competencies. These are particular skills and qualities interviewers are looking for in a candidate. Some examples of competencies are:

  • Leadership
  • Team working
  • Communication skills
  • Conflict management
  • Delegation
  • Influencing
  • Risk taking
  • Integrity

Check on the competencies required in the job description or the application form, then think about examples from your work when you have demonstrated them. It is important when talking about competencies to always give examples. Usually they will ask for this: “Tell me about a time when you had to use your communication skills to influence someone.”

Make notes in bullet form so that you can review them before the interview. If possible have two examples of each one because sometimes they ask you for another example.

Don’t worry about stating the obvious. What may seem obvious to you, still needs mentioning. For example you may believe that you are acting with integrity all the time but you still need to come up with a specific example. If you don’t say it, then they can’t give you credit for it. You could say something like: “My aim is to act with integrity at all times but I suppose a particular example where that became important was…”


When answering this type of competency question try using the following ‘STAR’ structure to give coherence to your answers.

S for Situation: What was the situation you found yourself in? Set the scene with a couple of sentences. Don’t go into too much detail at this point – save that for later.

T for Task: What was it you had to do? What was the project?

A for Action:  This part is crucial. What did you do? How did you influence the outcome? What effective behaviours did you display?

R for Result: People often forget this part. So make sure you end by clearly stating what happened as a result of your actions.

Using this structure will give your answers clarity and direction and will help you to speak to the point and to know that you’ve given the right amount of information.



Practice using the STAR technique, but don’t learn answers off by heart as this can sound over-prepared and inauthentic. Instead become familiar with discussing the examples so that when it is required you are able to speak fluently and precisely


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Recruitment Agencies- The Truth Behind The Myth!

The role of a recruitment consultant and recruitment agency is often one that is misrepresented in society. Good recruitment consultants change lives, add value to organisations and, just as important, build lasting relationships with candidates and clients alike.

Yes, of course there are those agencies out there that are simply ‘CV Shops’ where little or no consultation with clients and candidates takes place, but in our opinion that is not how this industry should operate. After all, the construction industry is a ‘people’ industry.


Simply forwarding CVs from an inbox to a client will more often than not result in a negative experience for both client and candidate. A lack of thorough needs analysis and consultation results in high staff turnover and prohibits long-term working relationships, particularly in small, close knit communities like The Construction Materials Sector.


Here at SRS we are consultants and by that we mean that we take the time to fully understand the needs and requirements of our clients, including in most cases visits to their offices, detailed questioning regarding the culture of the company, what character traits they look for in their employees, what benefits they offer, what if any career prospects there are within that particular firm and so on. The more we get to know our clients, the better ‘fit’ and ‘match’ our CVs will be to specific vacancies.


Since our inception in 1989 we have built excellent, long-lasting and prosperous relationships with 100s of clients across The Construction Material Sector and we are now at the point with a number of our key clients that, when a job vacancy arises, our consultants know exactly what type of person will thrive and prosper in that particular working environment and shortlists can be sent to clients for review in a matter of hours.


There is without doubt a great deal more to the role of a successful recruiter than meets the eye and it is perhaps those companies who operate in our industry without always having the clients and candidates best intentions at heart that result in some of the negative sentiments towards recruitment agencies.


It is an extremely challenging and often stressful position to do well, but also one that is extremely satisfying and there is nothing quite as rewarding as finding the ideal candidate the perfect position with one of our clients and when that individual goes on to add true value to their organisation!



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Virtual Job Interviews and How to Handle Them

Looking for a job has changed a lot in the past ten years. For one thing, there’s less of a need to actually leave your house for a job interview.

Inexpensive Web cams and videoconferencing tools like Skype mean that, nowadays, your first interview (or first couple of interviews) with a company may take place in front of your home computer — maybe, that is, a “virtual interview.”

But although the technology is ready, are you? Before your virtual interview, make sure you’re prepared.

  1. Get a handle on it.

Whether it’s Skype, an instant-messaging client, or another videoconferencing app, you likely have a user name or “handle” that you sign in with. Make sure it’s not something like beerlover2011 or casanova4u. As with your email account, choose something professional — if you can’t use just your name because it’s already taken, try your name combined with your industry (jsmith_Construction, for instance).

  1. Dress for it.

Even for a phone interview, getting dressed as you would for a face-to-face interview can make you feel more confident and professional (and that feeling will affect your performance). Don’t be casual just because the medium seems more casual. And don’t go with the business-on-top, bunny-pajamas-on-the-bottom look. You just might have to stand up for some reason, so get dressed all the way down to the shoes.

  1. Straighten it up.

Consider your background, and make sure it’s professional. You don’t want to start the chat on your Web cam and then notice that your unmade bed is in the corner of the shot. Position your camera so that an interviewer might think you’re in an office (sit in front of a bookshelf, for instance), find a neutral-color background, or find some other background that represents you as a professional in your industry. And make sure you have a copy of your CV and your portfolio (and so on) at hand.

  1. Keep the cat out of it.

I participate in video chats all the time, and I often work from a home office — where my cat has elected herself as my assistant (she likes to help me type). If she shows up in the frame when I’m chatting with a colleague, it’s not a big deal. But when I do more professional meetings, I close the door to Kitty. Whether you’re on the phone or on a Web cam, move pets and kids out of the area, and make sure the environment is quiet (no TV blaring in the next room).

  1. Get an angle on it.

If you’re using a laptop at a traditional desk, your built-in camera may be positioned below your face. As any movie star will tell you, this can be an unflattering angle. A face-on view is better; setting your laptop on a couple of books might help. And pay attention to lighting: if you sit with your back to a very bright window, your face will appear as a dark blob; a light to the side can give you an overly dramatic, shadowy look. Muted sun through a window positioned in front of your desk (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) or a uniform lighting source will help you shine in the interview. (Test your setup with a friend before the big day.)


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