The TUC calls for heatwave action!

The TUC has now urged all UK employers to take heatwave action. Here’s what they’ve been suggesting, along with some handy links…

Heatwave action for all employers!

  • Temporarily reviewing dress codes, meaning fewer jackets/sleeves and more lightweight casual options.
  • Additionally, outdoor workers may be enabled to work earlier and/or later in the day – avoiding the midday heat.
  • Inviting indoor workers to adopt similarly flexible hours; avoiding the stifling rush hour commute.
  • Providing fans or portable air conditioning units to all offices.
  • And increasing the frequency of breaks, while ensuring cool drinks are readily available.
  • Within this advice, the TUC is further urging for a new legal maximum working temperature. At present, the Health and Safety Executive suggests an ‘acceptable zone’ of 13 to 30°C, dependent on the working role.
  • Public Health England has also spoken on this topic, advising businesses to watch out for signs of heat exhaustion/heatstroke, dehydration and overheating.

Who is the TUC? The TUC stands for Trades Union Congress, which represents the majority of trade unions in England and Wales. It was first founded in Manchester in 1868.

We have also covered heatwave concerns in the current HR News, exploring the most common Summer issues. Drop us an email to receive your copy.

You may also appreciate our keep-cool discoveries, as shared in the latest Business Brunch!

[Sources: HR Grapevine and HR News]



Interview FAQ: Tell me About Yourself!

How to answer the oft-dreaded ‘tell me about yourself’ interview question…

You’ve arrived at your interview, you’re already feeling the heat, and then it comes – ‘tell me about yourself…’ You wouldn’t be the first to draw a blank at this point. What do they want to know? Is there anything to say?!

Well, fear not for there is a simple formula on hand…

This formula comes from Lily Zhang (Career Development Specialist at MIT), and we first heard it via themuse.com.

Quite simply, this is the ‘present, past, future’ principle:

  1. The present: a quick overview of what you’re doing right now (or most recently, if you’ve just left a role).
  2. The past: a brief snapshot summary of the career and skills that have brought you to this point.
  3. The future: expressing your enthusiasm for the job opening you’re interviewing for. What most excites you about this? And, in a sentence, what makes you a great fit for the role?

Try not to get too bogged down in details at this stage. Remember, you have the rest of the interview to reiterate your suitability, and share additional stories and examples.

We encourage you to practise this with your friends and/or family. Ideally, ask them to ‘surprise’ you with this question at some point in the near future. So, although you’ll know it’s coming, it will offer a more realistic picture of how you may perform at interview.

And now for more interview tips…

Best of luck with your interview! You can find additional tips on our downloadable Interview Advice PDF.  



How to Stay Cool at Work this Summer

Essential finds to stay cool at work all Summer long…

We all know how hard it can be to keep your focus on sweltering summer days. Particularly if your office is still more Georgian Bath than it is mod-conned-air-conned haven!

This is why the latest Business Brunch is dedicated to creating your own…

Stay Cool at Work kit!

The latest edition covers everything from instant cooling mists to refreshing snacks and the breathing technique you really have to try (though the latter is to be saved for quiet rooms and understanding colleagues!).

New to the Business Brunch?

This is our fortnightly business advice round-up, with each issue featuring an array of topical insights and expert suggestions. Each can be read in the time it takes to enjoy your morning coffee. Sign up here to receive future copies by email.

On the subject of Summer…

  • The current HR News covers many more seasonal concerns especially targeted to HR professionals, managers and directors.
  • Everyone’s hay fever woes are additionally tackled in this post. So, now you can stay cool and hay fever-free at work!


The CV skills that may lose you money!

Sharing the 25 CV skills that may lose you money, according to Stylist magazine…

Stylist has a great habit of unearthing some real gems on the topic of careers (remember how they first spotlighted the entreprenurial Siobhan Holmes of The Vino Van?).

Well, their recent research piece is yet another that catches the eye, claiming that…

These 25 CV skills may lose you money!

  1. Filing
  2. Property management
  3. Data entry
  4. Bookkeeping
  5. AS/400
  6. Call centre
  7. Help desk/help support
  8. Collections
  9. Intuit QuickBooks
  10. Delphi
  11. Packaging
  12. Computer hardware technician
  13. Plumbing
  14. Administration
  15. Pricing
  16. System repair
  17. Shipping
  18. Document preparation
  19. Customer service
  20. Dreamweaver
  21. Online research
  22. Paying invoices
  23. Phone support
  24. WordPress
  25. Typing

How?

This list comes from data generated by payscale.com. Workers identified skills that were deemed “most critical to their jobs”, with the information then cross-checked against salary levels.

Of course, the results you see tally up to those skills with the most negative financial relationship. Furthermore, filing was found to be the weakest/poorest paying of all!

But why?

With the suggestion that you may wish to delete all such skills from your CV, we have to wonder why they supposedly matter so much in the first place?

We cannot see any immediate cause for harm. However, we understand the article’s reasoning. It is suggested that most of these skills tie in with those an employer would ‘assume of you’. Really, are there many office roles that won’t require a spot of typing these days?

Many of the more specific skills could also fall under the assumed needs of your previous job roles. Customer service as a skill held by a Customer service representative being a case in point..!

So would we hit delete?

Perhaps these skills may not be of utmost priority for your ‘Key skills’ list. However, they may still have a suitable home. For example, if you’re an Accounts Assistant, it would be useful to hear that you have prior experience of invoicing. This could be outlined as part of a wider paragraph on your daily duties or (in the case of dramatically speeding up processes, introducing bold new systems, or similar!), this may even form part of your workplace achievements.

In a nutshell, the articles offers an interesting read. Yet we’d advise you to take such research data with a generous pinch of salt. Naturally, your CV should always be the best match for your skills and achievements; visit our Downloads page for more CV writing tips.

[Source: Stylist Magazine]



Summer HR News

The Summer HR News is whizzing its way to you all. Make sure you receive your copy…

Calling all managers, directors and HR professionals, it is time for the latest edition of our quarterly HR Newsletter…

The Summer HR News is all about getting set for the season, while confidently tackling some of its most common issues.

Top summer concerns include:

  • Handling the office heat, and what the law have to say on this.
  • Team dress code considerations.
  • Managing holiday requests – including those that clash!
  • How to respond if an employee takes leave without permission.
  • Being proactive when it comes to seasonal ailments.
  • Where to go for advice on managing work experience people (plus volunteers and interns).
  • Responding to the annual surge in team outings and events.
  • And how to overcome dwindling focus on balmier days!

Naturally, the Summer HR News contains answers to all of the above. Alongside this, you’ll find five of the latest HR news headlines summarised in brief.

In fact, everything is covered in just two pages – perfect for a quick coffee and a read!

Email us now to receive yours. Speaking of summer concerns, you (and your team!) may find relief in our recent post on managing hay fever at work. 



Culture matters to marketers + latest jobs news

Why culture matters to marketers, jobs are ‘going unfilled’, and EU workers are looking elsewhere. Discussing the latest recruitment news from around the UK…

Story 1:Culture, not pay, motivates marketers to move jobs.”

Source: Marketing Week

UK marketing professionals prioritise workplace culture, training opportunities and a healthy work-life balance above salary levels. These findings are connected to high levels of ambition – a characteristic currently shared by 87% of marketers. 

71% will accept a pay cut in order to enjoy their workplace culture. However, the stats do suggest that pay rates become more important when seeking longer-term roles.

Bath businesses can use these findings to communicate recruitment benefits. Employers can also review their offerings to ensure a competitive package.

Story 2: “UK jobs go unfilled as skills shortage bites, study warns.”

Source: Sky News

The Skills Shortage is back in the headlines! Here, Sky News reports on last month’s findings from the REC.

National candidate figures have ‘plummeted’, according to the research discussed. Yet a multitude of sectors require additional staff to facilitate growth and service provisions.

Cybersecurity skills shortages are now of primary concern, following the recent ransomware attacks.

TIP: Local employers should read our Skills Shortage guide: aimed at achieving continued growth.

Story 3: “EU workers look elsewhere for jobs as UK loses appeal.”

Source: The Telegraph

Finally, there’s a marked reduction in UK job searches from EU countries. The figures have declined by 37.2% since last year. That said, the UK remains the job-searching hotspot for European workers.

These results are attributed to Brexit and reflect a ‘sharper and longer decline’ then the drops observed soon after the referendum.

Eager to learn more about items affecting local employers and managers? Register for the quarterly HR Newsletter. The next edition explores common seasonal issues.



Workplace wellness: hay fever remedies!

How not to let seasonal allergies halt your productivity at work. AKA, here’s to sharing our favourite Hay fever remedies with you all…

The cost of hay fever!

Anyone wondering how seasonal allergies are connected to recruitment and business news need only turn to last season’s stats:

  • 41% of UK adults are affected by hay fever
  • This costs 11 working days per person each year…
  • …which tots up to a national 29 million working days 

Luckily, there is plenty that can be done to ease your workday suffering – and stop you sneezing your way through career-changing meetings!

Before you hit the office:

  • Check the pollen forecast and hide inside on as many high pollen days as you can! If you have to head into an office, make sure you have your lunch with you, along with something to keep you entertained. After all, we also know that a proper lunch break is just the ticket for workplace productivity!
  • Too many items on your daily to-do list? Before 10am and after 3pm are your best time-slots for any urgent errand running.
  • Don a pair of wraparound sunglasses to prevent pollen entering your eyes and nostrils during your morning commute, and don’t forget to keep car windows closed as you drive through the leafier parts of the city.

At your desk…

  • Turn on a desk air purifier. These help to minimise pollen levels, along with those of other common allergens such as dust mites and mould spores.
  • Dust and clean your workspace. It’s important to take a damp cloth to your desk on a regular basis – the Met Office recommends twice weekly.
  • Snack on kiwi and pineapple, stir turmeric into your lunch, add red onion to your salads and sandwiches (though be sure to pack some mints!), and eat plenty of orange and green fruits and vegetables.
  • While you’re at it, sip on nettle or liquorice teas and/or hot water and ginger.
  • Keep a natural hay fever remedy, such as Weleda’s Oral Spray in your desk drawer.

Once home…

  • Hop in the shower, wash your hair and pop on some fresh clothes.
  • Reserve outdoor laundry drying sessions for low pollen count days.
  • Apply a cool flannel to itchy eyes, and  –whatever you do– resist the urge to scratch or else your eyes will soon be all the itchier!

Got a hay fever tip to share with us? Drop us a tweet. You can also find us sharing our top career and business finds on LinkedIn – we’d love to see you there! 

[Today’s advice has been compiled from the following sources: Telegraph; Allergy UK; Met Office; Wolters Kluwer; Body and Soul.]



Beat the Boredom!

How to beat the boredom at work (& why it’s not always such a bad thing)!

Almost 1/2 of UK workers feel bored at work, with 54% of people having job-searched as a result. This is according to the latest research shared by HRnews.

The findings also show…

  • 26.6% of people say they do ‘the same thing every day’
  • In addition, 21.8% dislike their job
  • 16.6% describe daily tasks as ‘tedious’
  • 14.3% say there’s ‘little for them to do’
  • And 8.3% work alone

The article suggests employers must do more to identify disengaged workers and ‘reinject purpose and interest into their job role.’ Of course, there may be instances in which the managers and employers are also experiencing an element of boredom!

In order to support workers of all levels, we took to the web to research the solutions. As per today’s Business Brunch

We discovered that:

  • Boredom is not always such a bad thing. In fact, it’s a natural, healthy response to some degree – it can offer space in which to increase your creativity and facilitate effective learning.
  • That said, it can also be a sign that you’re really struggling to concentrate.
  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, our smartphone and tablet habits may be making us feel worse.
  • Yet there are are a multitude of ways to turn our negative feelings into positive actions.

You’ll find many such methods in the latest Business Brunch, also including something for anyone who never has time to feel bored!

We hope you’ll enjoy the edition. Join us here to receive future copies by email. Those who’ve reached peak boredom are advised to visit our latest jobs listings. 



Confidence at Work

Simple ways to increase your confidence at work – and all while reaching your goals!

1) Meet your Goals

Research shows goals act as ‘mental cues’, increasing our attention, motivation and commitment. Additionally, the act of working towards goals actually boosts our belief in our abilities to achieve them.

In other words, effective goal-setting is one highly productive step towards increasing your confidence at work (while getting more done in the process)!

Those intrigued to learn more are encouraged to re-read our ‘Spring into Success’ HR News special, including:

  • 7 Goal-getting greats: how to set goals like the experts
  • Get your team on board: 9 steps to boost team involvement, and the…
  • Spring into Success Plan: a bonus planning page to get you started!

Simply drop us an email to receive your copy. The HR News is a free quarterly resource tailored to business owners, managers and HR professionals throughout the region – plus the Summer edition is coming very soon!

2) Hone your Presence

Presence, AKA ‘Executive Presence’, has the power to make your interview or presentation infinitely more memorable.

We can all name someone that appears to naturally possess this skill. However, there’s nothing to stop any of us from joining the list!

In fact, though researching this topic, we’ve rounded up the 9 most noteworthy tips from business experts around the world. This features five instant boosts, the seven traits shared by professionals with presence, and a free online training course via LEVO. All the best advice is found in this Business Brunch.

You’re invited: join the Business Brunch list to receive future editions straight to your inbox. Each (fortnightly) issue reveals insights, links and findings on a specific business or personal development focus. What’s more, it’s brief enough to enjoy with a Friday brunch-time coffee and/or brownie!

3) Appear Confident

Still struggling to lift your confidence at work? It may be time to fake it until you truly feel it!

Harvard Business Review has a fantastic visual guide on this subject, which clearly demonstrates ‘effective, persuasive body language’.

This post may have been created for presentations, yet it easily applies to all business communications. Vitally including your next round of interviews and meetings!

We would be delighted to help you feel more confident in your career and recruitment plans. To speak with a Consultant, please call 01225 313130.



Turning to temps: why more employers may be following suit…

Explaining why increasing numbers of employers may be turning to temps, according to the latest REC JobsOutlook…

89% of employers intend to increase or maintain their temporary staffing within the next three months. This figure represents a 9% increase since March. Clearly, a notable shift within such a short period.

So, why are we experiencing this change?

These findings are attributed to the continued pressures posed by the national Skills Shortage. Essentially, there are too few suitable job-seekers to fill the number of vacancies. Turning to the stats again, we see:

  • 1 in 3 businesses lacks ‘spare workforce capacity’.
  • Almost half of employers predict a shortage of candidates to fill job openings within the coming 12 months.

Furthermore, of those businesses already using temps…

  • 65% are working to manage peaks in demand.
  • 57% are responding to business growth needs.
  • 48% are using temps to access specific strategic skills.

Combining both sets of stats, it’s clear to see why increasing numbers of businesses are reportedly following suit.

If you’re concerned about the potential impact of the Skills Shortage, we encourage you to read our Special Guide. This contains expert insights for job-seekers and employers alike.

Wondering whether a temporary worker may be the best option for your business? We’d be pleased to discuss the benefits and possibilities. Call today: 01225 313130.

[Stats: REC 24 May 2017]