Accounts Administrator – 3-6 month FTC

We are looking for an Accounts Administrator to assist on a 6 month temporary contract in central Bath.

The successful candidates would ensure the smooth running of this project providing financial, administrative and logistical support for the team.

Main Duties include:

  • Day to day data inputting transactions on accounts package.
  • Filing all financial documentation.
  • Processing all contractor’s expenses claims, which includes cash, mileage and credit card expenses.
  • Following up with contractor on any late submissions of expenses.
  • Uploading the credit card journal.
  • Reconciling the credit card nominal at month end.
  • Inputting of all supplier invoices on TAS once approved.
  • Assisting with month end invoicing.

Additional skills:

  • Filing
  • Supporting team when required with month end tasks for e.g. journals
  • Assisting with transition to new finance system.

This role would be ideal for someone who is currently studying or completed their AAT seeking to gain more experience.

This is a great company with super values and principles at all times.

Competitive salary.



Employees in the news!

One for all the employers (and curious employees!)…

Our latest Business Brunch, ‘Employees in the news‘, highlights some of the most interesting recruitment and HR stories on the web right now.

The six stories make for an intriguing mix!

  • What makes an employee exceptional?
  • Whether it’s legal to microchip your staff…and this may sound rather familiar to anyone who’s watched The Circle on Netflix!
  • How high employee demand is affecting pay in the UK.
  • Why social snooping may soon be illegal for employers.
  • How office layouts affect productivity.
  • And the legalities behind advertising for attractive staff!

You can read Employees in the News in full here.

What is the Business Brunch?

This is our fortnightly email briefing containing everything from office shopping roundups to leading business insights, reading lists, Q&As, and similar. What’s more, it’s snappy enough to read with a Friday coffee.

All new readers welcome!

Elsewhere…

We’ve spotted more news stories regarding the number of employers using temps. This is just one of the recent features spotlighting the ways in which the national Skills Shortage is affecting recruitment decisions.

For more recruitment advice, please call the office on 01225 313130.



Social ‘snooping’ may become illegal for employers!

Is social snooping set to become a thing of the past for employers? Exploring how GDPR will affect recruitment practices…

Last week we discussed your ‘social media CV’ and how this affects recruitment decisions. Currently, 60% of employers use social media to research potential candidates.

However, these employers may soon be committing an offence!

Ed Stacey (head of employment at PwC Legal) refers to new EU guidelines in his discussion with Personnel Today. Within these new guidelines, it is suggested that employers must have legal grounds for any social media research. And this suggestion applies to employees and candidates alike.

What could possibly apply as legal grounds? Quite simply, it appears that any checks must be of specific relevance to the employee’s job performance.

How and when could this law come into action?

According to the article, this may apply as soon as May 2018 under the ‘interpretation of GDPR.’

GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation – and is the new legislation regarding the use of personal data throughout the EU.

But what about Brexit?

The Government has already confirmed that GDPR will apply here in the UK, as we will be a member state at the time of implementation. And, as Xpert HR mentions, financial sanctions relating to GDPR will also be more severe than those of the Data Protection Act 1998.

What happens once the UK officially leaves the EU? Essentially, it will be up to the government to decide whether or not to retain GDPR or any of its parts. And, at present, it appears that retention is most likely.

What does this mean for you?

  1. As an employee or job-seeker: it may be wise to continue to follow the advice shared in ‘Reviewing your social media CV‘; at least for the time being.
  2. As an employer or manager: you may wish to start reviewing your recruitment practices. While the laws are not yet in place, ‘social snooping’ may prove unethical and carry other legal risks. As per Personnel Today’s feature, the potential for candidate discrimination is of primary concern. ACAS provides helpful details on this, alongside the use of social media in performance management.

For further recruitment support, please call the office on 01225 313130. 



The Summer Slowdown?

Are you feeling the summer slowdown? How this phenomenon is affecting employers and employees this year…

This post is inspired by two of the latest articles from onrec.com. The first introduced the concept of the summer slowdown. For many, this is the time when staff and client holidays transform the office into a more relaxed setting.

Such a setting brings additional thinking time..!

The article, written just four days ago, warns employers that an increase in thinking time can lead staff to question their job satisfaction.

It consequently encourages business owners to prevent employee restlessness through staff development and engagement strategies.

But does 2017 tell a different story?

In a separate article published today onrec suggests that four in five businesses may not actually experience the summer slowdown this year. This is according to the latest statistics from the ONS. So, no additional thinking time, after all?

Perhaps not. However, these stats are solely based on predictions from business managers, rather than current outcomes.

There’s also a regional divide…

Local South West companies are among the most optimistic, with Welsh businesses also reporting high hopes.

Conversely, Northern Managers and those in the Midlands are less optimistic. What’s more, businesses of more than 500 staff predict a greater decline in employee productivity.

The article recommends that businesses take a proactive approach to minimising disruptions. Within this suggesting that ‘skilled temporary staff’ may help ‘maintain productivity.’

Rewards for employee engagement are also encouraged. In this instance, the piece relates ‘happy and productive employees’ to financial gains.

How are you feeling?

Do you sense the Summer Slowdown in your workplace? As an employer, would you like to receive temporary staffing support? Or, as an employee, are you ready for change? We’re interested to hear your thoughts. Please call the office on 01225 313130 for recruitment advice.

Summer Slowdown extras…



FAQ: will this course help me find a job?

Answering ‘will a certain qualification or course help me find a job?’ And the answer is not always quite so clear cut!

We have already touched on this topic in our earlier FAQ on career change advice. After all, personal study is one option to be considered when paving the way towards a new role or industry.

Qualifications can help demonstrate:

  • Your proficiency in a specific subject/focus area
  • Your willing and/or ability to learn
  • Industry interest
  • Dedication, etc.

Yet, a qualification can only demonstrate these elements to a degree (no pun intended!), and your CV may already be filled with winning examples. One question you may wish to ask yourself is…

Does this job require specific qualifications?      

Let’s take AAT as an example. This is an accounting and finance qualification that you may have seen on our job descriptions.

You’ll see that the requirements vary by client needs; while AAT is presently a ‘must have’ for some it remains a ‘very nice to have’ for others.

From this example, we will likely conclude that AAT is advantageous. It is certainly an industry-recognised qualification that many clients value. However, AAT alone is not a guarantee of a new job.

We also need to consider:

  • Our practical work experience.
  • Other required skills (referring to job specs and other information gleaned).
  • Potential team fit.
  • Interview performance.
  • Our competitors (in terms of the current candidate pool), etc.

And what about other industries?

Many job descriptions won’t mention any form of qualification whatsoever. For example, those jobs in administration and many technical roles. Within these job specs, you’ll often see mention of ‘working knowledge’ and ‘experience with.’

Yet this isn’t to say that there won’t be qualifications that help support your working knowledge or experience! You see, it really isn’t so clear cut, is it?!

In these instances, you might need to spend more time reviewing which courses and providers are most appropriate. Your Recruitment Consultant may be able to offer further advice.

Don’t forget your personal circumstances…

We can see that there are multiple variables that affect our job search chances. We also know that our personal circumstances can vary greatly. Those working several jobs and supporting families may be less able to commit to studies. You should always consider your available time and finances when making such decisions.

If it’s too risky for you to undertake paid studies, review other ways in which you may be able to make progress in your career. Your Recruitment Consultant is well placed to make recommendations. Meanwhile, our Career Change advice should offer food for thought.

Have we answered the question – will this course help me find a job, or not?!

To sum things up in just a sentence: the right course may help, yet there are no guarantees!

Remember, your qualifications are only part of the job-seeking story. For further advice on specific industry qualifications, please contact your Recruitment Consultant.

Please note: Appoint primarily recruits for the commercial office industry throughout Bath, Wiltshire and near surrounding. To see the types of positions you may be considered for, please view our latest Jobs. We look forward to hearing from you!



Reviewing your ‘social media CV’

When did you last review your ‘social media CV?’ Understanding how to make a positive first impression online…

What is a social media CV?

This is the term used by HRnews on discussing research from Envirofone. The stats say it all…

  • 60% of employers research candidates via the web prior to making recruitment decisions
  • 58% would not recruit an individual who has a selfie as their LinkedIn profile image
  • 88% of people agree that selfies appear ‘unprofessional’

Suggestion: when professional headshots are not feasible, ask a friend or family member to take a clear photo. Be sure you’re smartly dressed and that the background is neutral (and non-distracting!).

Choose your words wisely…

Remember just how public social media is, and how hard it is to truly erase digital posts! With this in mind, your words are highly likely to be viewed by your future boss.

While you could set up separate accounts, or set current accounts to ‘Private’, you’d be wisest to learn to think before you post.

Inflammatory statements to be aware of include:

  • Items regarding drug & excessive alcohol use
  • Any form of discrimination
  • And negative comments regarding current or former employees and colleagues

It’s still worth creating a social media CV!

Don’t let the research scare you away from social media altogether. Findings also suggest that employers value candidates with up-to-date digital profiles. This helps clarify background information while demonstrating communication skills and expressing a variety of interests.

LinkedIn and Twitter are both named as primary sites for job-seekers to appear on.

And don’t forget your social media CV once you’ve found work!

As the article implies, it can be easy to rest on your laurels (and indulge in free speech!) once you’re in the safety of a new job. Yet please bear in mind that your managers and employers may be watching what you say. Anything that negatively affects the company may be cause for discussion and –in the worst instances– grounds for dismissal.

All in all, taking a little time to consider your digital presence goes a long way to making great first and lasting impressions.

Struggling to stay motivated through your Summer job search? Follow our simple seasonal guide



How to reduce stress at work

We all know that work can be stressful. Yet it is possible to stop this stress from eating into other aspects of our lives; namely our social and relaxation time – and health! So, what can we do to reduce stress at work?

1. Spotting the signs…

It’s helpful to tune into our individual stress response and, in time, learn to ‘spot the signs’ as soon as they arise. And these signs truly are individual – although there may be many crossovers such as a dry mouth, racing heart (and mind!), and tension headaches. The list goes on.

Once we’re aware of how stress affects us, we can start to regain control and put an action plan in place.

Please note: if you’re finding that such symptoms arise on a regular basis, are making you feel unwell, or are crossing over to your non-work life, it’s important to seek further advice and support. The NHS and Mind offer fantastic guidance and resources.

2. Noting your stressors:

This may be easier for some than others. For instance, a fast-paced role and strict deadlines clearly present an added pressure. However, triggers may also be more subtle. Perhaps certain smaller tasks or workplace interactions repeatedly cause you concern.

3. Planning for stressful times…

We can’t always avoid our stressors, yet we can learn to proactively manage our responses. Ideas to experiment with include…

  • ‘Planning’ our actions: creating simple future actions that we can easily implement; even in the case of a surprise trigger. As we say, these can be very simple. For instance, giving yourself some time to make a list, scheduling mini breaks, undertaking a breathing exercise and/or feeling enabled to ask questions before commencing a task. Consider your identified triggers and symptoms to gauge what may be most effective for you.
  • Speaking to someone. If possible, find a trusted person to share your concerns with. This could be someone in HR, a line manager, or a mentor. If appropriate, you could find a ‘stress buddy’ to team up with. In this case, you’d ideally be looking for someone you could trade support with – helping each other plan your action points, or just agreeing to encourage and advise when times get tough. If you do not feel comfortable speaking to anyone in your workplace, it would be wise to find a friend, family member, GP or other professional to confide in.

Did you know? Your employer has a legal duty to undertake risk assessments in the case of work-related stress (as per the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974). For free and impartial advice on this matter, you may wish to contact ACAS.

  • Prioritising your health. It’s obvious to say, yet not so often implemented…aiming to eat a balanced diet, consuming enough water, and gaining regular exercise are all vital for our stress response. Such factors also help to encourage healthy sleep, which can be harder to come by in challenging times. That said, wherever possible, also try to establish a daily sleep routine. We also need to avoid or at least reduce our stimulants, including the likes of caffeine and alcohol.
  • Allowing distractions. Allow yourself to indulge in relaxing work-free hobbies. Walking, reading, cycling. Whatever this may be for you. You may find that radio shows, music and/or podcasts allow your brain to drift into non-work thoughts for a time. If safe and feasible to do so, try to experiment on your daily commute. Today’s Business Brunch contains 10 podcasts that may distract and entertain.
  • Manage interruptions. Forbes describes three choices here: accept the interruption, cut if off or diagnose its importance and make a plan. Each time we plan we’re allowing ourselves to see the wider possibilities and how stress doesn’t have to take over our working lives.

In summary, we are able to…

  1. Learn to spot the signs of stress
  2. Recognise our individual stressors
  3. Proactively plan our stress response

And remember to always seek further support where needed.



Employers calling on temps due to Skills Shortage

Why almost 9 in 10 employers will be calling on temps in the next 3 months…

The REC’s July JobsOutlook is at the ready. This one serves as an enlightening reminder of the challenges faced by UK employers.

According to the latest stats:

  • Organisations across all sectors are seeking to recruit permanent staff, and almost a fifth wish to do so within the next three months.
  • Yet 45% of employers predict the Skills Shortage will continue. Meaning, they expect to struggle to fill these permanent vacancies within the next year.
  • At the same time, 34% of businesses are at max capacity and must recruit in order to fulfil additional demands. Without recruiting, these companies are, therefore, unable to pursue further business growth.

And this is where the temps come in…

  • 87% of businesses – that’s almost 9 in 10 – aim to utilise temporary workers within the next three months; either through maintaining or increasing their temporary headcount.
  • This offers fresh opportunity to job-seekers. Especially as nearly a quarter of companies offer temporary workers permanent roles each year.

On delving further into the report we see…

  • Increasing numbers of employers value the expertise and quality offered by a recruitment service.
  • Engineering & Technical services continue to dominate the Skills Shortage. This is closely followed by the Education & Construction sectors.
  • ‘Micro-small businesses’, AKA those with 49 or fewer employees (and by which most Bath and UK employers can be classified), have shown a 2% increase in permanent recruitment plans against the last quarter.
  • The national workforce has increased by 175,000 people since the previous quarter and 324,000 versus last year.

To find out more about the Skills Shortage, and how to overcome the challenges posed as a job-seeker or employer, please see our special report.

For more advice on Temporary staff recruitment, please call the office on 01225 313130.



Why we’re all taking fewer sick days + the difference this makes

We are taking fewer sick days as a nation. In fact, 70% of us now engage in ‘presenteeism’ (working when we don’t need to and/or shouldn’t).  So, why is this happening and what does it mean for the UK workplace?

First, let’s explore the stats:

What underpins presenteeism? Well, two-fifths of workers are said to be placing company performance ahead of personal wellbeing. In addition, 40% of people fear the workload they face when returning from leave.

Elsewhere, it is suggested that presenteeism may be motivated by the ‘fear of a negative impact on job prospects’. Concerns regarding additional pressures placed on colleagues also dominate.

Such findings are furthermore reflected in the fact ‘National Sickie Day’ and ‘Blue Monday’ no longer appear to exist!

This news appears positive for employers…

However, multiple challenges remain:

  • The anxieties underpinning presenteeism.
  • The impact on productivity and morale.
  • Why employees feel ‘a lack of support, care and advice’ in the case of longer-term absence.
  • Whether employers are taking too much of a ‘crack down’ approach to absence. Therefore, also affecting those with legitimate cause.

Presenteeism is even described as “a genuine threat to overall business performance” by the Medical Director at Aviva Health UK.

In other news, the world is commending one CEO for his attitude to absence:

It all started with an employee’s Out of Office. Here, Madalyn Parker explains she is taking two days’ leave to focus on her mental health.

CEO Ben Congleton’s response is now viral. Congleton states that he will use Parker’s notification “as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health,” continuing with how he “can’t believe this is not standard practice at all organisations.”

Furthermore, Congleton calls Parker “an example to us all,” concluding that she will “help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.”

Perhaps the international attention will help better shape attitudes towards sickness absence in future? Any positive action is all the more welcome in the wake of our recent piece on workplace happiness.

[Sources in linked order: Stylist, HR Review, HR News and Telegraph]



Your Summer Reading List 2017

Summer Reading List essentials to motivate and inspire…

Have you noticed how many business and personal development books now line the shelves at airport newsagents? It seems there is an increasing appetite for something beyond the stereotypical beach read.

Definitely a trend that’s worthy of your support when it helps to motivate your career choices and job search. You’ll find more on the latter in our last post.

10 books for you to read this Summer…

Actually, we have 20 books for you to read! As today’s Business Brunch also includes a link to last year’s Summer roundup.

Within our suggestions you can expect to find plenty of conversation starters (something original for your next networking event!) and thought-provokers. We cover everything from business journeys to social psychology, and even a dash of neuroscience.

Don’t be alarmed by the sound of the neuroscience! We promise these are accessible books, perfect for a lunchtime trip to one of Bath’s many parks.

To top it off, there’s even a local author included in this year’s recommendations.

You can read the Business Brunch in full here. Don’t forget to join us for future editions of this popular fortnightly resource.