We are delighted to announce the formation of the Majar Group, a strategic merger with Major Players, the UK’s leading digital, creative, and marketing talent agency.

The creation of this group is a formalisation of successful collaborations between these two founding brands over the years, and together, provides the creative and technology industries with the opportunity to leverage a legacy that spans over 50 years.  

The group will offer agile talent solutions that shape progressive workplaces to enable rapid, international growth. By combining capabilities and offering complimentary services with Major Players, Arrows Group will now be able to deliver greater talent, digital transformation and growth strategies for its clients, benefitting from greater buying power and economies of scale.

The group scale enables Arrows Group the opportunity to expand its services and geographical footprint, with ambitions to launch in the US markets in 2023. The move will also strengthen their employer brands and will create greater career opportunities and development of staff.

All the businesses within the group will continue to trade independently under their own brands. In addition to the founding brands (Arrows Group & Major Players), the group will also be home to BOOSTA, an embedded tech talent consultancy, and Caissa Recruitment, a Berlin based tech recruitment agency.

Charlie Sell, Managing Director of Arrows Group, said “Formally announcing the creation of Majar Group is a result of the past two years collaboration and cultural alignment. Both businesses share the same values, ambition, and belief we will offer a world class service. On behalf of all at Arrows Group, we are excited and inspired about the collaboration and future of the group”.

“Creating the Majar Group enables us to capitalise on the convergence we see between the technology and creative services across our combined customer bases. We are investing in the solutions we can deliver to these high demand sectors and looking to compliment these with specific acquisitions to support our global strategy. We are really excited about bringing these exceptional businesses together under the Majar Group and collaborating closely across the brands”, said James Parsons, Group CEO.

For further information, visit:

New Year, new you!

New Year, new haircut! (we’re looking at you, Boris)

New Year, new resolutions!

Yes, some of us might come swinging into the New Year, ready to tackle the world and our epic goals.

But some of us come crawling reluctantly from under the duvet to the home office, with a severe case of the back-to-work blues.

Recognising the January Slump

People have very different feelings following the Christmas break. As a business and as individuals, it’s important we acknowledge and appreciate that.

I’m sure we are all hoping for great things in 2022, but it comes off the back of another tough year. This Christmas break has been longer than usual, due to the timing of Bank Holidays. Additionally, offices changed to home working the week before Christmas. As a result, a lot of people have been at home for several weeks now.

Some people love this and will be raring to go, delighted to still be working from home. Others are fatigued by it. Opening a laptop at the kitchen table feels like more of the same.

I have been working with our senior leadership on ideas to help overcome this amplified January slump. These are some of our suggestions for a positive and sensitive start to the year. If you have any more ideas, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

1. Embrace Informal Conversations

New Year

I don’t think you can over-communicate at times like this. This isn’t about micro-management, it’s simply about checking in with people and encouraging them to engage.

Catch-ups don’t have to be for work reasons, social discussions are just as important. We have a Slack channel, for example, dedicated to ‘Thought of the Day.’ It’s not compulsory to join in, but lots of people do. We have discussions from ‘are people bemused by what Boris Johnson is saying’ to affirmative quotes. It’s an open channel.

2. Get Away from the Desk with Walking Meetings

Because there aren’t colleagues to get up and speak to at home, it’s easy to end up sitting in the same spot for long hours. This isn’t great for physical or mental health.

January Blues

We have set a goal of one walking meeting a day. Instead of a video call, the meeting is via phone with EarPods in and both people walk while talking. It’s a great way to get the blood flowing and get you unstuck from your chair.

3. Discover What’s Changed

I like to speak with as many people in the company as possible to kick-off the New Year, including those I don’t regularly get to talk to. It’s a chance to say, ‘welcome back.’

This is a good opportunity to give a very informal business update. I remind people about the company purpose and what we want to achieve this year. It’s also an opportunity to recognise and remind people of their individual achievements in the last year.

The Christmas break can be a time of reflection and change. Some people may have new resolutions and goals that can be informally discussed. There may also have been some life changes. The New Year is an ideal time to find out what’s new and how people are feeling.

4. Give Time for New Balance

We may want to hit the ground running in January, especially in sales. But a lot of people need to ease back in and businesses should give them time. It’s about finding a new balance again.

For anyone who is feeling a bit blue, it’s important to recognise whether it is about work, family, or other. These are all equal in seriousness and one impacts another. Businesses must recognise that everyone has a life outside of work!

Equally, some people will be feeling great. You don’t want to make people think they SHOULD have the blues! If you’ve started the year in high spirits, try and spread that positive energy on. When you do, appreciate others may need a little more time to get their mojo back.

How do you like to kick off the new working year? What helps you start in the best frame of mind? 

Charlie Sell
Charlie Sell – Group MD Arrows Group

It’s the time of year when we start sending each other festive well-wishes.

I love the social aspect of the season. When Covid allows, it’s great to have the excuse to catch up with close contacts. This year, though, the biggest response has been to a much less Christmas-y message of mine.

Move aside ‘Seasons Greetings’ and make way for the gift of bespoke data analysis.

Beyond the Salary Survey

Every year, Arrows Group publishes and sends out a Salary Survey. This is a useful piece of market information offered by recruitment businesses. The survey contains insights well beyond financials, despite the name. Our 2021 survey includes considerable information on the effects of the pandemic.

salary surveyThe Salary Survey results are necessarily high level – you can’t flood people with data they don’t want. But, given we have a robust database of c. 500,000 GDPR-cleared individuals, could we offer more?

We posed that question when we sent the Salary Survey out, inviting anyone wanting more detailed information to get in touch. I have been pleasantly surprised by how many requests have come back. Could we go in-depth on specific skill stacks and geographies? Can we give deep breakdowns of salary movements in certain sectors? Could we provide detailed information on the impact of IR35?

The answer is, categorically yes.

Data for Meaningful Conversations

Good quality data drives meaningful discussions and decisions. There’s no doubt about that.

A recent Quality Conversations Survey by Tableau Research and YouGov asked almost 2,000 executives about organizational data (yes – data about data!). In the UK, 92% felt it was very to moderately important that all departments should be able to access data to aid decision-making. Some 75% agreed quality data helps make more accurate decisions. And 75% agreed data helps with being taken seriously.

DataAt Arrows Group, we have a wealth of extremely useful data at our fingertips. We can mine it quickly via our business intelligence team at no extra cost. We also work closely with a small pool of data science graduates via the platform unibeez. This is a good reciprocal arrangement. They can work as and when available, securing valuable experience, and we can support future stars of the field.

Offering access to quality, robust data means we can support our clients’ business decisions. We can provide information to support a feasibility study on a new tech centre or guide new ways of working. We can help support decisions on salaries and benefits and much more.

This has made for more engaging conversations, going beyond traditional recruitment services.

A Tech Led Recruitment Business

Working more consultatively through data is no accident. Many years ago, we decided to make Arrows Group a technology-led recruitment business. Hiring hundreds of recruitment consultants to do the same job is archaic. Platforms like LinkedIn have already changed the game.

As a tech-led business, we have invested in the right technology, including AI and data. Through tech enablement, our people have the best tools for the job. In turn, we can use these tools to share in-depth market knowledge and guide valuable conversations with our clients.

This is our year-round gift. Merry Christmas!

Would you like to know more about our recent Salary Survey? Or are you interested in talking about how we can use data to support your business? Get in touch.

Charlie Sell
Charlie Sell – Group MD Arrows Group


You Need to Offer More than Flexible Working to Stop the Great Resignation

We’ve all been there in the last year or so. You’ve completed the long ‘commute’ from your kitchen to your home office. Quite frankly, office is a grand term for the small room you’ve taken over with a makeshift desk, laptop and monitor.

Your day is spent speaking to teams virtually, some of who you’ve hardly met in real life.

It’s not perfect, but you’ve come to enjoy some of the perks of working at home – actually seeing your family and friends during the week is a plus.

But now, the call has come to return to the office at least some of the time. Simultaneously, you keep getting the tempting ping of messages via LinkedIn. There are a lot of opportunities out there right now in your field and flexible working means the radius of possibility is much wider than ever before.

It’s been an endurance challenge, working through the pandemic. Now the job sector is booming, is there anything actually keeping you loyal to your current company?

The Age of The Great Resignation

salary survey

I am hearing a version of this story again and again, only from the top down as senior leaders ask why so many employees are leaving and how to halt the skyrocketing attrition rate.

The stats are not encouraging. Our Arrows tech job salary survey 2021, which was sent to our network of thousands of technologists, suggests around 47% plan to change job within the next year.

The huge growth in job vacancies will be fuelling this figure. According to the latest ONS data, the number of job vacancies in the UK between July to September 2021 was a record high of 1,102,000.

I wrote in a recent article about how companies can improve their interview process to secure new talent. But, on the other side of the coin, businesses need to focus on the existing workforce and their happiness and loyalty. Otherwise, it could quickly become a situation of “one in, one out.” 

“Businesses must focus on the existing workforce … or it could quickly become a situation of “one in, one out.”

The Critical Importance of Culture

I believe to keep a workforce engaged; company culture is the most important thing any business can focus on.

With flexible and hybrid working the norm, gone are the days when working in the flashiest location or being taken out for lunches are motivating. The companies that will win are the ones who have a culture that employees are proud of, that champions things that are important to them and makes them loyal enough to stay in the face of tempting opportunities.

Some of the most important aspects of this I hear about, from research among both Arrows employees and our candidate network, are:

  1. Flexible Working is an Expected Benefit

Flexible working has become a benefit in the same way holiday days and the pension scheme are. If you offer no flexible working at all, people are likely to leave (and won’t want to join). I caveat that some jobs – like teaching – obviously can’t offer working at home options! Other than that, whether you offer two or three days a week in the office will only create a mild preference.

If you think you’ve solved the retention challenge just by offering flexible working, you’re mistaken. 

“If you think you’ve solved the retention challenge just by offering flexible working, you’re mistaken.”

  1. Career Development is Still Key

There’s no doubt, lack of career development is one of the biggest reasons why people leave companies. Some 85% of respondents to our Arrows tech job salary survey 2021 stated career progression is important or very important to them.

ResignationIn the sales world, people used to stay because they were learning from their inspirational peers. How to maintain this when you’re not in the office together five days a week?

At Arrows Group, we’ve acknowledged that now we can’t always do in-person training. The inclusion of more video-based learning has allowed us to create training plans where delegates at the same level from our international offices can come together. This shared experience helps different teams feel more connected to each other, as well as supporting development.

Peer learning remains critical for graduates and junior team members. Our junior staff members are in the office four days a week, instead of two or three. Senior staff rotate extra days in the office to support them on a voluntary basis. We are still working on the perfect combination and I’m not sure we’ve fully cracked it yet.

We do ‘lunch and learns’ every second week, paying for lunch on the condition that people eat with teams other than their own.

  1. Embed Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Aside from personal development, people care about what sort of company they work for, that it’s progressive and equitable. Policies and approach around DE&I are absolutely, critically important.

Diversity and InclusionAs a company, as well as it being one of our key pillars, the biggest thing we are doing is supporting listening and learning opportunities for all. We have held training sessions hosted by Johanne Penney, CEO/Founder of ‘Amp Up Your Voice’, who helps get DE&I on the agendas of corporate businesses. Her progressive approach helps facilitate a culture where we can all talk openly about racial equality, empowering confidence to make changes where needed..

People also want companies to follow through with their actions. This can start from the moment you interview – if you claim to embrace diversity, this should be represented by the interview panel. And one part of valuing equity means recognising what support people from different backgrounds may need to get them to a level playing field with their peers.

DE&I needs to be publicly embraced and not solely an HR initiative.

  1. Company Purpose Matters

We increasingly hear – particularly from graduates – that what a business stands for makes all the difference, including its approach to people and the planet. In our Arrows tech job salary survey 2021, 65% of respondents said they find it important or very important that a company has a positive purpose in the world.

“What a business stands for makes all the difference.”

Supporting charities is great, but it can be a bit surface level. People are moving away from CSR to entrenched sustainability and actions to support climate change have rocketed up the list of importance.

It’s very clear that we all need to do our bit, whether that’s as individuals or as a business. If employees find their company lacks ambition and a clear plan, they may well vote with their feet and leave.

  1. Listen to Feedback

What is normal in the world of work is still evolving faster than any time I remember in my career.

We try to make sure Arrows employees have plenty of opportunity to have their say – they’re the ones who’ll let us know if we’re getting something wrong! We do monthly surveys, but also make sure there’s that crucial facetime when in office, even if that’s an informal 15-minute coffee chat catch-up.

We recently discovered, for example, that our monthly Friday lunch incentives had lost their shine as a perk, given that most people work at home on a Friday. So, we’ve switched to quarterly overnight ‘staycation’ incentives, with activities like yoga, or a cooking course. This is much better suited to what people want and is proving very engaging.

The reality is, you’re not going to be able to stop everyone leaving. But, if you want employees to feel company loyalty, they need to see that the things they care about really are embedded from the top down.

Are you experiencing a rising attrition rate? How are you trying to promote company loyalty? I’d love to hear if any of these ring true for you.

Caissa Recruitment joins Arrows Group to expand technology leadership and executive recruitment services

Arrows Group acquires Berlin-based Caissa Recruitment to provide startups and scaleups enhanced technology leadership and executive recruitment capabilities throughout the EU.

BERLIN – October 13, 2021 – Caissa Recruitment (Caissa Ltd.), a talent acquisition, staffing and executive search organisation with a focus on the technology and digital economy, today announced it has joined Arrows Group, a global technology talent solutions company helping some of the world’s most exciting brands to grow and innovate.

Since 2009, Caissa has matched leading-edge tech companies with best-in-class CTOs, VPs of Product, and Principal Engineers throughout Germany from their offices in London and Berlin. As part of the wider group, Caissa will continue to trade under their own brand as they expand their product and technology focused executive and leadership search capabilities to a wider international market.

Arrows Group’s acquisition of Caissa Recruitment is a formalization of past successful recruitment collaborations. Together, each organization will be able to provide the leading technology companies more specialised search capabilities with a larger geographical reach.

“By joining forces with Arrows Group, we can offer our clients a greatly expanded network of candidates and services while building on our specialist search capabilities focused on technical and product leadership. We are excited to continue to drive positive change in the talent acquisition industry and through this partnership continue to benefit both our candidates and our clients,” said Konstanty Sliwowski, founder and CEO of Caissa Recruitment.

“We are really pleased to be welcoming Caissa to the group and believe that their niche search capabilities within the Berlin technology market fits well with our existing European operations and opens up more opportunities to service our international customer base. At a time when technology talent is in such high demand, we are excited to be broadening our service capabilities and look forward to our continued collaboration with the Caissa team,” said Charlie Sell, Group Managing Director, Arrows Group.

About Caissa Recruitment

Caissa is a talent acquisition, staffing and executive search organisation with a focus on technology and digital economy.  Since 2009, Caissa Recruitment’s award-winning blend of technical expertise and brand-driven recruitment approach has provided executive and leadership search services to some of the top startups and scaleups in Berlin and beyond. For more information about Caissa Recruitment, please click here.

About Arrows Group

Established in 2003, Arrows Group delivers global technology talent solutions and works with some of the best known brands around the world to help solve their technology skills challenges. To learn more please click here.

Media contacts:

Recruitment Charlie Sell – Group MD, Arrows Group

Recruitment Konstanty Sliwowski – Founder and CEO, Caissa Recruitment

We’re in a purple patch of opportunity for candidates right now – especially in the tech sector.

Recent research suggests tech jobs make up 13% of all UK job vacancies, with the number of advertised roles 42% higher than 2019 levels – i.e. before the disruption of COVID-19. *

This is fantastic news for anyone starting out in or seeking a new role in the sector. For hiring businesses, though, competition for the best candidates is fierce. In my view, companies need to look hard at their interview processes and ask if they are fit for purpose in this market.

Where I See Interview Processes Going Wrong

  1. Excessively Robust

In this market, it’s important to shed the opinion that yours is the only company people want to work for. Never mind the top 10%, the top 40% of candidates have multiple options.

candidate interview process

Getting the best of the best does not mean you need the hardest tests at interview, or the most interview stages. Waiting six months for the ideal candidate is not a realistic choice. Lots of people are affected by a failure to hire. It will pile extra pressure on existing teams, create lost opportunity costs and make it harder to keep up with the competition.

We write progress reports for our clients, showing job rejection trends among other things. The proportion turning down an offer between first and final interview stages has crept up from 20% to more like 60% among companies not embracing a more controlled interview process.

There must be a balance.

For many of our successful placements, we’ve been able to get clients to commit to a two-stage interview process within a two-week period. That means they get the choice of the candidate pool.

For candidates involved in this process, we’ve been able to keep them committed to the process and not accept any other roles.

“Crazy to think we used to have 4 stage interview process, by streamlining to 2 stages and paired programming tech test we have gone from hiring 3 engineers a month to 10” – Delivery Manager – Global Media.

  1. Lacking Creativity

Putting in place a faster interview process should not mean looking for shortcuts. Of course, you can’t just ring someone up and say I’ve found your CV, I want to offer you a job! They’ll say no. People want to feel like they’ve earned their offer and job and it’s been a well thought out process.

But you don’t have to have a four-stage process with a two-hour technical test that runs across weeks. There are creative alternatives that can offer much more interesting insights.

For example, do you want to find out if someone’s technically good and are not sure how to do that without putting them through a 3-hour technical test? Paired programing is a great option, where someone internally in the team sits with the candidate for an hour to talk through some code together. You can get a lot more from that, seeing at the same time how they work together with others.

It’s also not necessary for candidates to meet every stakeholder – be confident in the judgment of the few!

Robust references, taken post offer, are also a huge help. Once that person starts, you’ll know within a few months whether the references and skillset are honest and the drop-out of new hires will be minimal.

  1. Mediocre Candidate Experience

Candidates tend to look at two things when deciding whether to accept a job offer: the ease of interview process and the candidate experience. Salary and package tend to come after these.


The candidate experience must be really engaging, with a committed time frame and feedback loops. If the candidate experience is not great, if they’ve gone through lots of hoops, if it’s not been consistent, if it’s been time consuming, they will make preferences for other companies.

I do see a growing awareness that the interview process can cost good people. I’d say the companies who are winning have really linked this together and said, “we must improve our candidate experience”.

I underpin all of this with the massive difference between an effective process and rushing or dropping quality. It’s detrimental if you’re just trying to pop offers off left, right and centre. But the halfway house is a robust process captured within two stages that is consistent and fluid.

“Having started 10 different interview processes, I had to reduce down to the top 3. The companies offering a robust and defined interview process played a major part in my decision of who to continue with. To my surprise the best interview process was with a global Tech Business, and I start in a month!” – Senior Front-End Engineer.

If you want to talk more, I have plenty of case studies with specifics on how it’s done well in the market and am always happy and open to discuss.

interview process Charlie Sell – Group MD, Arrows Group


If you are a frequent user of LinkedIn, you too will probably have noticed a significant volume of polls in your News Feed in recent months. These could easily be dismissed as irritating, attention-grabbing gimmicks. Having created a few polls myself recently, instead, I have been overwhelmed by the number of views and comments.

I am now re-thinking them as a useful addition to real-time business decision-making, giving extra support to choices around the rapidly changing future world of work.

The Strength of Your Network

LinkedIn Polls

This was the poll that kick-started it all. I asked my network how many days people would ideally like to work from home vs in the office. There were more than 3,500 votes from my followers ¬— this blew my mind!

This sort of information snapshot is important. As we navigate the new world of work, attracting and retaining staff is front of mind. With most of my LinkedIn network working in the tech sector, this is as close to polling a relevant population as I can get. It’s much more pertinent than a Google search of the same question.

Shaping Policy

I’m not suggesting LinkedIn polls should drive policy. They can be a helpful, quick dipstick. They can support an approach you’re already planning to take or spur further research. We also conduct anonymous internal staff surveys – polling everything, without causing death by poll.

Taking that first poll again as an example. It suggests the most desirable way of working right now is two to three days a week at home. This aligns with the approach we are looking at for Arrows Group. We’re asking people to come into the office two days a week, along with five flexi days a month. These flexi days are reserved for face-to-face client or team meetings outside of the normal working days.

The trick is not making it a hard rule. You can see from the results, 64% wanted a different working balance, from 1 to 5 days at home. In the comment section, several people said they would have ticked zero days at home if it was an option! We are trying to make it possible for people to choose what’s right for them. It’s not about a micro-management environment and success is not judged on physically being in an office. On the other hand, people need to be more accountable to fixed outputs when working from home, so you can judge results.

LinkedIn Polls

Facilitating new ways of working has also meant some important logistical changes. We are moving offices. We are changing from a location with 200 spaces to one with 100 spaces plus large events area for full-company occasions. We’ve invested in hot-desking, with people booking their space. Everyone’s moved onto laptops, lockers and ‘bring your own device’ with an app, instead of telephone landlines. A lot of this was done within a matter of weeks in March 2020, it’s now just about making it the new norm.

“The trick is not making it a hard rule … We are trying to make it possible for people to choose what’s right for them.”

Continual Listening

Polls, whether external or internal, only indicate what people are thinking right now, and we know this is a time of rapid change. In six months, the results could be different. There are also conflicting results to balance. Another poll I conducted, for example, suggested loneliness was an impact of working from home for a lot of people.

The most important thing we can do as a business is to keep listening, seeing how we can cater to the differing needs of our people and achieve our business goals.

Expect to see a few more polls from me in the future!

Charlie Sell Charlie Sell – Group MD, Arrows Group

The IoT has accelerated at a rapid pace and allows businesses to create real value, however the constant connectivity and sharing of data also creates risks. IoT is seeping into everyone’s lives and affects us as consumers and within business.

The rapid volume of data and information has also risen exponentially and highlighted clear risks for data to be compromised. This webinar content was hosted by Director, Michael Daniell with an expert panel who debated the battle of combatting cyber risk and creating an integrated risk philosophy. The webinar discussion also looked at how to ensure Cyber risk management and innovation are equally considered.

Download our whitepaper now

What do today’s global technology leaders all have in common and what are they predicting for the future in tech? Charlie Sell’s FutureTech Podcast Series One, has some interesting answers.

Charlie Sell, Group MD of Arrows’ Group Global, realised as the first lockdown hit in 2020 that the Arrows’ business model was going to have to pivot pretty quickly. As a specialist tech recruitment agency, the pandemic immediately meant a huge hit on roles as the nation furloughed their workers and abandoned their hiring schemes. As a partner to some of the world’s top tech companies, the key was to call up every partner, find out how they were coping and what support they needed to get back on their feet. What resulted was the birth of a podcast series of Charlie’s conversations with these tech leaders, discovering not only the challenges they faced, but developing into how they came to be in the positions they were in, and what they saw unfolding next for tech.

The podcasts have become hugely popular with STEM graduates (over 3,000 followers and growing), looking for tips on how to make it in tech; and are leading the way for startups and the wider tech community too. Charlie explains, “Three main themes became apparent in Series One. We saw strong similarities in our CTO and CPO journeys to the top, their collective thoughts on emerging technologies and company culture and also the career advice they offered to STEM grads”.

Podcast Series Roundup Download