Is there a best time to apply for a job?

Research claims to have found the best time to apply for your next job role. So when is this, and how does it fit with our own findings?

Job Today conducted the research in question. It has already received plenty of media attention and first drew our eye in Stylist Magazine.

They found:

  • 17% of companies list new vacancies on Wednesdays.
  • 47% of candidates receive an interview invite within 24-hours of a Wednesday-listed vacancy.
  • …SO, 9-am on Wednesday is said to be the ‘luckiest’ time in the week in which to submit a job application.

And as for the best time to apply for a job according to Appoint?

Well, let’s start by looking at when most openings are posted on our jobs page (and we were fascinated to see this ourselves!). Taking the last 60 job posts as our review sample we found:

  • Mondays: account for 12% of new vacancy listings.
  • Tuesdays: 30% of the total (our busiest time of the week for the sample period).
  • Wednesdays: another 12% day.
  • Thursdays: 28%: falling into close second place.
  • Fridays: account for 18% of the listings.

So, what does this tell us? Firstly, stats will vary! If we looked at the last 20 postings alone, you would think our clients never called or emailed in a new vacancy on a Friday. However, review the full sample of 60 and Fridays become our 3rd busiest day! Who knows how much the stats would change if we reviewed another 60 postings or more?

When it comes to such averages, these will likely also vary substantially by jobs board or recruitment agency website, season, industry, and a whole host of other factors.

We have yet to statistically explore whether the day a CV lands in our inbox influences the turnaround time for a client interview. However, years of experience would imply that this will also vary greatly.

Is there a best time to apply for a job or not?!

It’s time to talk skill over luck. As much as we would love to tell you a magic moment to hit ‘send,’ the best time to apply can surely only be the very moment your CV is at the ready for submission!

This can either be for consideration as a ‘general applicant’. In which case your CV should be drafted with the types of vacancies you’re looking for in mind (and it’s worth giving an overview of what these might be in your cover email). Or, this will be when your CV has been updated specifically for a particular vacancy/number of vacancies.

Either way, you’ll find some key advice under Day 6 of these job hunting tips. Let’s face it, the sooner your CV lands in our inbox the sooner you can be considered for our client vacancies!

We look forward to hearing from you. You can reach us by email or simply register your CV online.



UK salary news roundup

Sharing three of the latest salary news items from around the web. These pieces cover the national payrise forecast, the well-paid jobs that don’t require a degree, and the possible job-switch effect…

Salary news #1: a national pay rise

Source: HR News

Half of all employers surveyed intend to offer their team a pay rise of more than 2% within the next twelve months. It’s promising to read that these findings span businesses of multiple sizes and industries.

  • What’s more, the majority of the companies offering a pay rise will do so at 5% or more (32% of businesses).
  • 12% of companies plan to increase their salary levels by 2-5%.
  • While 18% will implement a 1-2% pay rise.
  • Sadly, 2% of businesses will be forced to decrease salaries due to their ‘increasing upfront business costs’.

The article references the skills shortage as an influence. This is also discussed in The September ‘Report on Jobs’.

Salary news #2: switching jobs may lead to a higher salary

Source: Recruiting Times

A new think tank study suggests that changing jobs can enhance your salary level. This article explores short-term pay rates and suggests that, within the next few months, salaries will rise at around 2.7% growth. Here it’s stated that the pre-financial crash average was in fact 4.5%.

Conversely, those that change jobs are currently more likely to experience an 11% salary increase, which is higher than any average observed within the past seven years.

Again, this brings to mind the above-linked Report on Jobs and ongoing skills shortage. Additionally, and as the piece cites, fewer people are presently switching jobs than they were prior to the financial crisis (therefore enabling such salary advantages).

It seems prudent to remind that we’d never recommend switching jobs until you have a secure offer in place. See Day 1 of our 7 Days of Job Hunting Tips for more on this topic.

Salary news #3: the best-paying degree-free jobs

Source: HR News

Fear that not having a degree could stunt your salary prospects? Indeed has shared a round-up of jobs that don’t require a degree to earn more than the national salary average.

Note: the UK salary average is now £27,600 per annum.

Topping the list (and almost doubling the average salary) is the role of the Ethical Hacker. However, some more familiar commercial office openings also make the list, including the Executive Assistant, Sales Manager and Software Engineer.

We hope that this list will inspire you to feel more positive about your job search and future career prospects. Don’t forget to use this advice post to take your hunt to an expert level. You can also find out more about local salary levels by keeping a close eye on our jobs page.

For managers and business owners, you may be interested to read more about the influence that pay-rates currently have on our UK work culture…and how this could affect your search for your next employee!



Skills of the future: do you have them?

Do you have the career skills of the future? For that matter, do you have the skills you need right now?

70% of employees lack both, according to research by Gartner.

In a report published by Personnel Today, concerns primarily centre around an inability to keep up with the pace of digital development. Development considered essential for continued business progression.

The article does not explore specific skills (we discuss these below!). Yet businesses are more generally advised to ‘determine the skills their market and clients are calling for’ before finding ways to meet these.

They also break the process down into three core stages.

Skills of the future: what job-seekers should look to develop

Prefer to dig into some specifics?

  • These are the 9 most important career skills of the future, according to the World Economic Forum. This link is also an essential read for anyone considering how to better promote their existing skills.
  • Empathy has separately been singled out as a valuable asset. In fact, we’re apparently already living through the ‘Empathy Economy’, a business era characterised by the strength of this uniquely human trait.
  • You may recall that the ability to continually ‘reskill’ could also take you from 3 possible career paths to your choice of 48.

Companies are already paying more to source skilled employees

We recently shared a brief mention of this feature when discussing the REC’s September jobs report. However, it feels fitting to raise this point again.

With unemployment levels notably low, businesses are struggling to find the right candidates to fill their vacancies. This is pushing companies to increase their starting salaries to attract candidates with the appropriate skill-set.

If you’re a job-seeker struggling to find work, are you doing enough to highlight the skills that you have? Are you even applying to the right people in the first place? You may benefit from a more focused strategy.

Businesses have so many opportunities to create an appealing staff attraction approach. For some expert employee attraction and recruitment support, please call the office on 01225 313130.



September Report on Jobs: recruitment latest

The September Report on Jobs is now available, thanks to the REC and IHS Markit…

Each month IHS Markit and the REC team up to provide us all with the latest recruitment and employment insights. These stats are then widely reported upon throughout the national media.

The September Report on Jobs reveals…

  • Permanent employee placement numbers have seen a rapid increase. In fact, as of August, they rose at their swiftest rate in five months.
  • Temporary employee placements have also experienced a continued increase in demand. However, they’ve done so at their ‘softest’ rate since October 2016.
  • New employee pay rates across both permanent and temporary bookings have additionally increased throughout this period.

What is driving these increased pay rates?

As the September Report on Jobs notes, starting pay rates have risen at a time when inflation has actually softened. It’s the lack of ready candidate supply that appears to underpin this change.

Essentially, businesses are still struggling to source permanent and temporary employees at a time of low unemployment. Permanent staff availability has plummeted more rapidly than that of temporary workers.

How do these findings affect you?

It remains a promising time for job-searching candidates. With high employer demand and low national unemployment, you’re more likely to experience reduced competition for each advertised role.

This isn’t to say this is always the case. After all, certain vacancies naturally draw more applicants regardless of the national statistics.

Keep a close eye on the latest jobs listings to see what is happening in your current or prospective industry.

Businesses will want to consider all aspects of their staff attraction offering. HR Magazine discusses the need for companies to “develop a compelling proposition,” using flexible working, career development opportunities, and creative settings to appeal to more job-seekers.

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

[Source: REC Sep 2018]



Generation Z makes the recruitment news…

Generation Z has made it into the recruitment and HR news no less than 3 times within a week. And these are only the articles that we’ve spotted. So why are they hitting the headlines right now?

Who is Generation Z?

Millennials, Baby Boomers, and now Generation Z. It can all get somewhat confusing! While specific birth date ranges can vary by source, ‘Generation Z’ (also known as ‘Gen Z’ or ‘post-millennials’) refers to those born somewhere between the mid-90s and early-2000s.

Now let’s look at the news stories in question…

1. The workplace benefits Gen Z is hoping for!

Source: HR News

This first post discusses research conducted by Perkbox, which finds some significant group differences…

  • Over 1/3 of Generation Z consider staff benefits to be ‘one of the most important deciding factors’ when it comes to their career decisions. Possibly making all the difference in whether or not to accept a job offer.
  • They are the most likely to prefer small, frequent, year-round perks in lieu of one large annual offering. Again, this accounts for more than 1/3 of those surveyed.

Simple employee benefits prove most desirable, including: 

  • 86%: enjoying birthdays as annual leave
  • 85%: a ready supply of free hot drinks
  • 83%: flexible working hours (do you remember, this was also the top-rated benefit for Millennials?)

2. How SMEs can attract Generation Z talent

Source: HR Review

Employers are encouraged to use this time to attract the best post-millennial talent or ‘risk missing out’. After all, over 1/3 of this generation intends to commence a new job role or career path within the year.

Additionally, it’s this very month that is singled out as the time that many of the latest graduates will use to start their search.

There are 3 core categories discussed as attraction and retention tools:

  1. Money saving tips: this isn’t something we’ve seen discussed anywhere else in recruitment and HR news, so we read it with interest. The feature explores how Gen Z has been faced with a unique set of financial circumstances, which have created an increasingly budget-conscious generation. To this end, SMEs are encouraged to find ways to promote money-saving offerings such as employee discounts or schemes. They additionally explore the idea of helping new and existing colleagues stay financially aware through reminders, such as using the benefits on offer, as they get closer to Christmas.
  2. Tapping into tech: this generation is incredibly tech-savvy and will connect well with ‘clear and punchy online portals’ as well as mobile-optimised platforms. The idea of motivational staff contests around active wearables (possibly even combined with a rewards scheme) is also discussed.
  3. Health-aware. Gen Z is considered a health-conscious group, with a deeper interest in the foods they consume than ever before. SMEs are encouraged to appeal to these interests by arranging expert speakers on nutrition and wellness, creating company sports days, and even offering workplace health checks. Mental health offerings should also be considered.

3. Generation Z may be missing out…

Source: HR News

In our third and final Gen Z piece, we return to HR News. This article also refers to Millennials, with new data suggesting…

  • 1/3 of these groups wish to work for an SME.
  • Only 18% hope to join a micro-business.
  • Currently, over 1/2 of these groups plan to join a large business or the public sector, with just under 1/2 hoping to work for a ‘global multinational’.

This contradicts previous research on Millennials, raising the question: is Generation Z accounting for a large proportion of these findings, or have perceptions shifted among Millennials?

Why are younger people wanting to work for big businesses?

  • 56% believe SMEs offer reduced job security.
  • 46% perceive they will receive a lower salary level from a smaller business.
  • 33% expect fewer career progression opportunities within SMEs.

And how might Generation Z and the Millennials actually miss out?

As the article states, the greatest majority of UK businesses are in fact SMEs. This is also reflected by the strength of our local business community. What’s more, 70% of UK SMEs are actively searching for new employees to fill ‘entry-level roles’.

All in all, these news items make for thought-provoking reading. We’d be fascinated to hear the insights of Generation Z employees and job-seekers themselves. Do you feel this data applies to you? Let us know via TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn!



Only for the money?

Do you only go to work for the money? UK workers are more motivated by pay rates than any other European country surveyed. What does this tell us about our culture of work; how could this affect your search for the perfect job or employee?

For the money: the research reveals…

  • For 62% of UK employees, pay is the primary driver to work.
  • This is the highest rate in Europe, where the average is just 49%.
  • UK workers are also the least likely to say they work because ‘they love what they do.’ (Accounting for 13%. This is half the number of respondents that proclaimed this in the Netherlands).
  • Additionally, UK employees remain the most likely to ‘feel like quitting’ their job, with almost 10% of those surveyed considering this ‘most days!’

What does this tell us about the UK work culture?

According to today’s source, HR Magazine, these stats reflect a low level of national employee engagement. Those most motivated by non-financial rewards consistently revealed greater ongoing engagement and job satisfaction.

Conversely, those driven to work for the ability to cover the costs of those things they want/need are actually likelier to experience frustration or disappointment on receipt of their pay.

There are some really interesting comments in the HR Magazine piece. It certainly provides food for thought, whether you’re a job-seeker or employer…

1) How this might affect your job search

If you truly want to find job satisfaction, it might be time to think beyond the money mindset. This is by no means to suggest you work for less than you deserve. Rather, you can really consider the ‘full package’ of a role.

What would it take for you to wake up and actually look forward to a Monday? What would inspire you to say ‘I love what I do’ and to get through a working week without considering moving on?!

This is such an individual consideration. It might include…

  • Entering a certain industry
  • Progressing to or taking on a particular role
  • Achieving your ideal work-life balance
  • Working with like-minded people
  • Being a part of a particular work culture/environment
  • Contributing to a greater purpose or joining a company with a shared ethos
  • Even just joining a business of a particular size or working closer to home

Naturally, these are just thinking points. You need to work out what really matters to you. Consider these factors as you peruse the latest vacancies and chat with your recruitment consultant.

To begin your job search, check out our current jobs listings and/or register your CV. We also have some excellent job hunting tips here.

2) How this might affect your search for a new employee

The savviest businesses can benefit from these insights. Firstly, understanding how many UK employees work for the money alone is an excellent driver to ensure you have a competitive salary offering. Perhaps you may also consider other financial incentives such as reward/bonus schemes.

However, you also want to be thinking beyond the money mindset! How can you communicate the additional benefits of working for your business?

Is there additional groundwork to do to ensure your team is actually on-board with a shared mission, that you have an enjoyable working environment, and that you demonstrate how much you value your staff?

Do you ask your team for (anonymous!) feedback on why they choose to work, what their experience of your company is, and what else would improve their workplace engagement, job satisfaction and similar?

Further reading:

For expert advice on attracting and recruiting the right team members for your needs, please call the office on 01225 313130.



What does that mean? CV advice!

What does that mean? Why this is the question you should be asking yourself when writing your CV…

We were interested to read the advice of Amazon’s head recruiter, Celeste Joy Diaz, as published by Recruiting Times. Her takeaway message is one that chimes so well with our own recommendations. Yes, this piece of advice is dotted throughout many of our news posts to date!

Your CV shouldn’t simply reel off a list of tasks that you’ve ticked off in previous jobs, it should be selling your proudest achievements. It should additionally showcase the relevance of all the skills and experiences that you’ve gathered so far.

Well, what does that mean exactly?!

Say you’ve been part of a busy project. You’ve played an important part in this – perhaps at an assistant level, or perhaps leading the team. Don’t just mention the project, yet detail your results. What did you help to accomplish?

Offer stats, describe the changes that occurred as a result and always be sure to link this back to your project role. Diaz says, “The best (CV) is when it’s grounded in data.”

This is just an example, of course. It doesn’t have to be a project, it could be something you’ve achieved across the longer term. How one of your ideas created change, how you helped bring on new business, how you paved the path for an internal promotion.

We’ve got a trick to help you with this…

You’ll see this results-driven approach is very much spotlighted in our post on what to do before you write your CV.

This feature contains somewhat of a trick that you can–and should!–read at any stage in your job hunting process. In fact, it’s one that you should share with friends and family that aren’t even considering job searching yet.

You may also find the following helpful:



The side hustle is here!

The age of the side hustle is upon us, says the Henley Business School. We share the latest facts, what this means for you, and some of the ongoing discussion around this topic…

What is a side hustle?

Definitions vary but, according to ‘The Side Hustle Economy’ white paper, this counts as any “small business or secondary job that someone has taken in addition their main career.”

The motivations for taking such a path may range from sheer enjoyment or longer-term career ambition to a financial imperative.

How much of an impact are these side jobs having?

  • 25% of UK adults have adopted some form of a second job.
  • Here in the South-West, this figure increases to 27% of adults. The region shares ‘joint 3rd place’ with the East and West Midlands (while the North East is in first place at 30%, followed by Greater London at 29%).
  • The trend is contributing to a total income of £72 billion throughout the UK alone.
  • Of all the age groups studied, it’s people aged 25-34 who are driving most of the movement (37%).
  • The number of side workers may be set to double within the decade.

Businesses are also taking notice:

  • 80% of companies no longer perceive the ‘9-5 job’ as the standard.
  • 63% additionally believe employers will need to adapt to this change to ensure they retain their best team members.
  • That said, only 49% of companies have initiated any form of side-working policy. While even fewer (47%) believe enabling this trend will ‘attract the best talent’.

HR leaders say side hustle policies will become essential…

A number of HR leaders have discussed this topic, encouraging companies to get prepared and implement policies. They warn that a reluctance to do this could actually result in more staff leaving sooner.

It is argued that employees will eventually leave their jobs anyway and that it’s better to have staff that are engaged and happy while at work.

Another article on this subject has already received mixed comments over on HR Magazine. Several commentators attest those employees with a side hustle express a valuable skill set and positive attitude, and have been more focused at work. Others think this trend is nothing more than a survival strategy to make ends meet and that second jobs can lead to exhaustion and mistake-making.

And from the employee perspective?

Again, the response is mixed. While many feel excited and inspired by this movement, others are wary. Writing for Refinery29, Kate Bishop has called for people not to ‘normalise the side hustle’, highlighting the way work challenges may be doing more to drive the trend than the pursuit of the perfect job or lifestyle.

Bishop raises the issues of job dissatisfaction and career change fears. She highlights the number of people struggling to make ends meet versus the few ‘champagne-popping twenty-somethings with their own beauty lines.’

What about you?

If you’re considering setting up a side job, there’s plenty to think about. Your current work contract should be one of the first things to consider, as you don’t want to do anything to jeopardise your relationship with your employer. Crunch has an excellent article on this subject. As does the Money Advice Service.

You may also want to ask yourself what appeals about the second job. If it comes from a feeling of necessity, could there be a better day job for you? Further reading: a post for anyone craving a career change in addition to our essential job search tips.

From the business perspective, it’s worth swotting up on this topic to inform your business decisions. A proactive approach can be a powerful staff attraction and retention tool. Not to mention a major help in staying ahead in such a rapidly changing business and employment era.

We welcome your thoughts on the positives and pitfalls of the side hustle. You’ll find us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn



Overqualified at work? You’re not alone!

Are you overqualified for your current job? A government survey suggests that this statement may now apply to 2.5 million UK employees. That’s 8.7% of the national workforce!

The latest ‘UK Employer Skills Survey’ finds…

Which skills remain most required?

  • ‘Task prioritisation’ and ‘time management’ abilities remain most-in demand, contributing towards 59% of skills gaps, according to People Management.
  • The need for advanced or specialist IT abilities has fallen by 8% points between 2015 and 2017.
  • It’s reported that 76% of skills gap needs are ‘transient’ and will be resolved over longer-term employment and the completion of staff training.
  • That said, poor motivation (32%), lack of performance improvement (31%) and lack of required training (25%) are each contributing factors.

A note for your CV…

  • Take advantage of these new findings and ensure to demonstrate your prioritisation and time management abilities on your CV. ‘Demonstrate’ is the key word here! Don’t just write these skills down as filler words. Instead, find fitting examples to show how you’ve utilised these abilities within your recent roles. Illustrate this with stats, achievements and/or results wherever possible.

A word for businesses on managing overqualified employees:

  • These research findings call to mind an earlier post on the reasons that so many workers ‘shut off their minds’ in order to survive each working week. Noticed any team members that not being used to their full potential? Watch out for these people – and then find ways to challenge them with new projects and responsibilities.
  • If you’re unsure how their skills could be utilised, why not ask? These employees are such a great asset to your future business growth. Learning to spot talent opportunities within your existing team is also another simple way to enhance your staff retention rates.


Supporting workers in their over-50s

Employees in their over-50s appear in several news items this week. The question is, are they getting enough support?

You may have heard about Gail Smith, the 52-year-old Newcastle-based businesswoman who took voluntary redundancy last year. At the time, she thought it would be simple to handpick her next role. After all, she has decades of experience at a senior management level. However (and as what the Recruiting Times calls her ‘LinkedIn rant’ would attest!), this has been far from the case. One year on and Gail is actively seeking a role.

Are over-50s workers being discriminated against?

Of course, we cannot comment on the specifics of this particular instance. Yet the article describes a time in which Smith is told she was considered ‘too old’ for an interviewing role. If this is the case, it would be more than frowned upon under the rules of the Equality Act 2010.

What about being told ‘you’re overqualified?’

This is another reason Gail Smith has been given for her interview rejections. This is a separate issue in many respects. A younger worker can also be considered ‘overqualified’ if they have work experiences and qualifications greater than those that the role demands.

It is a tricky situation to be in. Let’s also consider the employer’s needs a mo. Businesses are understandably reluctant to hire someone who they think may be utterly bored or using a vacancy as a stopgap for something better. Although this may not be the case from the employee’s perspective. See below!

So, what can workers do to overcome this issue?

It’s important to communicate why you’re looking for vacancies that appear below your skill-set. Your recruitment consultant should be able to assist you with this. Perhaps there’s a good reason you want to take a step back from previous responsibilities. Explain this as clearly as you can.

Employers may also want to take a second look at the CVs in their inboxes. In times of a skills shortage, nobody wants to be overlooking someone great based on assumptions alone. The best recruitment consultants are experts at seeing which people make the best ‘fit’, should you benefit from some support.

Use your CV wisely.

Returning to the risk of age discrimination, we’d recommend that job applicants take a closer look at their CV. Remove your date of birth, education dates and any long-ago CV details that don’t add anything to your search. E.g. that part-time job you had 30 years or so ago. Keep things fresh and relevant. This is something many agencies will automatically do prior to submitting your CV to a client to ensure you’re judged on merit.

Also, make sure you’re up-to-date with the latest CV methods. It shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all for every job application. Rather, you should be tailoring your CV to demonstrate exactly how you suit each job you’re applying for. You’ll find some great advice regarding this here.

We naturally wish Gail, and anyone else in her position, the very best with their job search. Hoping the right opportunity presents itself very soon.

A final note for businesses on the ability to support the over-50s worker…

Personnel Today has reported that over half of this age group feels unsupported at work. Yet they also feel more confident in their abilities and skill-sets than some of their younger colleagues.

May we also remind you that more than 2/5 of workers intend to work beyond 65 for reasons other than financial need.

By learning to better support the over-50s employee, you’re at a competitive advantage. An advantage that is so valuable during this ongoing skills shortage.

Looking for additional recruitment support and advice? Call the office on 01225 313130.