How will the coronavirus affect your job search?

How will the coronavirus affect your job search?

We all know that this is an anxious and unsettling time. The UK is still in the early stages of the coronavirus and there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding its impact on the nation. This includes uncertainty regarding how businesses will operate over the coming months.

Of course, any business disruption may naturally have an impact on recruitment plans – which may also directly affect your job search. So what should you be doing and considering at this time?

First things first…

We hope this would go without saying, yet your health should remain of the utmost priority. As should the health of your wider community!

If you are exhibiting any symptoms of respiratory illness (even if you think it’s just a cold), you should avoid attending in-person meetings and interviews. It’s wise to contact your recruitment consultant (or the employer if you’re not working with a recruitment agency) at the earliest possible time. Even if this is on the day of the scheduled interview!

Please note: you must call 111 if you believe you have any symptoms of coronavirus.

Always politely apologise for the inconvenience caused by your rescheduling and enquire about the possibility of other interview arrangements.

Alternative interview arrangements:

Depending on the employer’s availability and resources, don’t be surprised if you’re offered a telephone or Skype-based interview.

You should treat such interviews just as you would an in-person meeting. In other words, you should be researching and preparing for your interview!

If you’ll be conducting the interview by Skype or another video resource, you still want to dress as if you’re attending an in-person interview. You’ll also want to consider your body language throughout.

When speaking by phone, ensure to make an effort to communicate in a positive tone. Smiling can help to convey a more friendly tone, even though this may feel odd!

When meeting in person…

Be prepared for certain customs to be a little different. For instance, many health experts say handshakes aren’t recommended at this time; however much this goes against our cultural instincts and traditional interview etiquette! A smile with a polite nod and/or wave has become an appropriate alternative.

Many offices will also have hand sanitisers in their reception areas. Politely ask to use these when entering and exiting the building (or use your own) to demonstrate your awareness and initiative at this time.

Respect any efforts your interviewer makes towards social distancing…without trailing miles behind them!

Keep applying:

Please never assume that all new recruitment plans are on hold! Many businesses are operating as normal through these times. Furthermore, some employers will actually have more time to review their recruitment needs as they adopt different working arrangements.

It’s still a great time for you to make job applications, conduct job market research, carry out interview prep, and contact recruitment agencies.

Prepare for the unexpected:

We’ve said it before, job searches can feature a number of setbacks. During such times of change, there’s an increased likelihood of employers altering their recruitment plans at short notice.

This also increases the likelihood of recruitment delays and/or rejections. We recommend taking some time to mentally prepare for such setbacks – discussing any concerns with your recruitment consultant.

And keep in touch!

Don’t forget to keep in touch with your consultant, whether that’s to let them know about your changing plans, advise them of self-isolation, rearrange interviews, or seek some advice about your job search. You can reach your Appoint consultant via 01225 313130.

* Important Reminder * – the government is updating its coronavirus advice on a daily basis. Please stay abreast of the latest recommendations regarding your health and social interactions. 



Is your potential being squandered at work?

Do you believe you’re fulfilling your career potential? What the latest findings say about the nation’s confidence levels…

A recent City & Guilds survey of 5000 working-age people has revealed a number of concerning trends.

  • Firstly, only just over 1 in 3 employees (33%) feel ‘positive about their future career prospects’.
  • 60% say they have skills that are not being used ‘at least half of the time’.
  • Furthermore, only 53% have had any form of training at work within the past three years.
  • 34% of the group has never received any training at all or their last training took place more than five years ago.

Altogether, the findings suggest that large groups of employees are not being given the chance to fulfill their potential at work.

Advice for managers and employers:

These findings are positive for business leaders – providing as they act on the issues raised! You likely already employ individuals who can bring additional value and expertise to your business. They just need to be given the opportunity to do so. Why not ask your team about the skills they think you’re missing out on?

City & Guilds is calling on employers to help address this problem by:

  1. Exploring each job candidate’s ‘underlying skills profiles’ to find new talent for your business. In some cases, prioritising this potential and a solid skills match over sector-specific experience.
  2. Introducing flexible working practices to attract and retain these talented individuals.
  3. Additionally providing training opportunities to employees at ‘all ages and stages of their career’.

Advice for employees and job-seekers:

The survey’s authors also share some useful advice for you:

  1. Where possible, ‘put yourself forward’ for any training opportunities that arise.
  2. Explore out-of-work training to ensure you’re upskilling yourself for your future career prospects.

To add to this, you could also discuss your current unused skills with your management team. Offer practical examples of how your abilities could benefit your department/company and ask to take on new tasks and challenges.

Of course, there may also be other job opportunities that better employ your full skill-set. 



Understanding & overcoming imposter syndrome

Do you suffer from imposter syndrome, plus which industries are most affected?

Imposter syndrome is defined as “the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.”

It’s such a common phenomenon that almost 40% of UK employees may be affected. What’s more, a small number (2%) constantly experience such doubts.

Employees generally say they’re unsure they’re able to ‘fulfill all of the requirements of their current jobs.’

Certain professions experience this more often. For instance:

  1. Creatives, including artists and designers (52%)
  2. Finance professionals (47%)
  3. PR, Media, and Marketing employees (46%)
  4. Doctors, Nurses, and Dentists (44%)
  5. And IT professionals (43%)

Conversely, the professions exhibiting the greatest confidence levels include:

  • Sales professionals (78%)
  • Plumbers, electricians, and builders (72%)
  • And retail employees (68%)

In addition to these professional divides, men are more confident in their abilities than women (67% of men say they’re 100% confident in their abilities, versus only 58% of women). Older employees also express the greatest confidence levels (88% for over 65s versus 57% for 18 to 24-year-olds).

Job security fears are additionally causing some concern:

  • Only 54% of employees feel fully secure in their work.
  • 24% cite recent industry job losses as the reason for this, alongside:
  • A ‘competitive job market’ (17%)
  • And the effects of Brexit (14%)

How to overcome your imposter syndrome…

Considering its prevalence, it’s no wonder that this is such a popular topic. Thankfully, this also means there’s a lot of advice out there regarding how to overcome this affliction. Some of our favourite articles include:

  • Scott H. Young’s post on Medium. It’s a 7-minute read described as ‘a guide to living with the fear of not being good enough’. It explores some of the causes of the syndrome alongside some steps you can take to beat it.
  • Forbes’ 15 ways to overcome the syndrome. As the name suggests, this is a highly practical and tip-filled feature.
  • Mindful’s article, which includes a brief TedEd video alongside three simple steps.

Don’t be afraid to discuss your imposter syndrome with your friends and family. It really will help you to see how common this issue is.

Finally, keep an eye on our News page to ensure you stay up to date with all the latest career tips and news.



The worst management traits

Do you or your business leaders possess any of these worst management traits?

Many managers never really set out to become managers at all. As no doubt you’ve witnessed in your own career, it’s common to simply climb the ranks as new opportunities arise. It’s also common to enter team leadership roles without any formal management training.

Yet, at the same time, we know how valuable effective teams are to successful businesses. Which means it’s also vital to regularly assess our management skills – whether they’re our own or those of our employees.

HRnews has published a post detailing some of the poor management traits to watch out for.

The worst management traits include:

1. Micromanagement

Or becoming overly ‘involved’ in tasks that have been delegated to others. This has negative consequences for all – from wasting the manager’s time to undermining the trust of your employees and/or failing to give them the chance to build skills and confidence.

2. Taking the credit

This is when someone merrily accepts praise for what others have done. There can also be overlaps with not accepting blame for personal mistakes or offering up ‘scapegoats’ to save themselves! This can result in the team failing to present their ideas and/or taking a ‘cover your back’ approach to their work.

3. Hypocrisy

In this case, ‘enforcing rules that the manager fails to follow themselves’. The article offers an example of expecting high timekeeping standards when the manager is routinely late. Of course, this could apply to a whole host of business situations and the results remain the same – it reduces management ‘credibility’.

4. Poor listening skills

It’s not just about listening to employees, yet also the ability to process and respond to their feedback and ideas. The best managers also actively encourage such input. When this is absent, the team may start to doubt their manager’s efficacy.

5. Losing your temper

A short fuse places everyone on edge and can make a team feel wholly uncomfortable. This can lead to a walking-on-eggshells response and generally stunt everyone’s personal development. It can also lead to a culture of fear.

The good news…

  • Even if you identify with some or all of these management traits, you can further develop your skills. Many of the solutions are pleasingly simple, as detailed in the HR News post.
  • What’s more, as you develop your management abilities, you’re likely to generate greater success for your business.
  • Reminder: you don’t automatically have to become a people manager to progress in your career! Sometimes people simply need permission to explore other options.
  • There are plenty of natural team leaders out there and you can prioritise those with proven management experience when recruiting. You can also train your new managers to ensure that they’re continually developing their abilities.
  • If the above describes your manager, and they’re making no efforts to change, what’s to stop you working for a new management team?! Explore the latest local openings today.


New job considerations

What tops your list of new job considerations? Here’s what the rest of the UK is saying…

Today marks the start of National Careers Week. In honour of the occasion, a new survey has explored the most important elements people consider when making a job change.

The top new job considerations are said to include…

  1. Salary level (64%)
  2. Working hours (55%)
  3. Location (50%), tied with personal interest or enjoyment (also 50%)
  4. Job security (40%)
  5. The working environment (37%)
  6. Progression opportunities (26%)
  7. Training/skills development opportunities (23%)
  8. The opinions of your family or partner (12%)
  9. Status (9%)

What makes this survey stand out?

Firstly, it’s interesting to see some research that explores the holistic nature of work. At first glance, you may think this is simply a list of work perks. However, the study also encompasses some of the more psychological and interpersonal elements, such as the opinions of others and our perceived status.

This is refreshingly honest, although it’s also great to see that some of the more individual elements such as job enjoyment come much higher.

It also supports other recent recruitment news findings. Examples include…

How is this data relevant to you?

  • As a job-seeker: it’s another example of the questions you can ask yourself ahead of your job search. Understanding your own priorities can really help you decide where to focus your attention – and, of course, which jobs to apply for. For instance, if you know personal enjoyment sits far higher than salary for you, then there’s little point in applying for a role that doesn’t spark some interest. Or if your work is all about paying the bills, you’ll want to stay loyal to your initial salary range.
  • As an employer: it’s always helpful to remember what candidates are looking for. Each candidate will have their own order of priorities and these can change throughout their careers. While you may not be able to lead the way on every front, see which of these aspects you can highlight throughout your recruitment activity and, for that matter, which aspects you could introduce or build on in the future.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on our News page for regular recruitment news and advice features. You can also connect with us over on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and/or register your CV for local opportunities



Supporting your team’s emotional wellbeing

Do you feel committed to supporting your employees’ emotional wellbeing and, if so, how are you going about this?

Research has found that most employers (88%) believe they have a ‘duty of care’ to their employees’ mental wellness. The survey of HR leaders has also uncovered a number of popular ways in which employers can provide emotional support.

These include:

  • Flexible working opportunities (43%)
  • Supporting work-life balance (33%)
  • Allowing employees time off for their mental health (31%)
  • Creating more social events (31%)
  • Offering access to counsellors and other health professionals (27%)
  • Supporting a stress management focus (19%)
  • Mental health programmes (18%)
  • The support of ‘specialist providers’ (18%)
  • And offering mental health first aid training (15%)

HRreview also highlights the results of their own poll, which suggests flexible working is the most attractive of all employee benefits (71%).

For those companies who don’t prioritise emotional wellbeing…

Katherine Moxham, a spokesperson for GrID who commissioned this research, says there can be consequences to ignoring a team’s emotional wellbeing.

These consequences may include:

  • High absence rates
  • Reduced productivity
  • Alognside lower employee retention rates

Moxham, furthermore, states that: “no forward-thinking organisation can afford to ignore the emotional wellbeing of its most valued asset.”

To conclude, some of the nation’s most valuable companies attribute their success to their staff over anything else! Therefore, the failure to address this issue could prove costly.

Ready to build the best team for your business? Call Appoint on 01225 313130 to discuss your recruitment needs or email a consultant today



Inappropriate salary discussions

Are you having inappropriate salary discussions with recruiters and employers? Or rather, are recruiters and employers having inappropriate salary conversations with you?

One salary-related tweet has generated a big reaction. Someone attempted to headhunt a tech professional for a role with a salary that’s £25,000 below her current rate. The reason? Apparently the company could train her and her new reduced salary would be ‘more aligned with her age!’

Thankfully, she was savvy enough to decline the offer. However, as a result of the conversation, she reports finding herself ‘second-guessing her abilities’.

Stylist Magazine has shared this tweet along with some of the issues raised by other commentators. We’ll discuss some of these issues today…

Being contacted for roles that are beneath your salary level…

Be wary of anyone suggesting that you’re not worth your current rate for any reason. There may naturally be times an employer can’t match your current rate. This is a completely separate issue and the conversation should come from that angle and in no way try to belittle you or your achievements.

If the opportunity offers something more attractive than salary alone, it’s then your choice as to whether this is a good option for you.

Most trusted recruitment agencies will establish your salary intentions early on in your career discussions and ensure to contact you about suitable roles. If you’re regularly contacted about positions that in no way meet any of the requirements you’ve discussed, you may want to seek out some alternative support. The REC directory is a great help here.

Your age is cropping up in your salary discussions…

While employers are entitled to confirm you’re over 18 for certain roles, such as for the sale of alcohol, your age shouldn’t feature in your recruitment discussions. This is in order to avoid age discrimination in the workplace.

Your age certainly has no bearing on your salary (outside of the context of making sure you’re earning at least the minimum wage). Therefore, there’s no need to put your age or date of birth on your CV…or your public social media feeds!

Never feel obliged to respond to these conversations – there will be better opportunities and far more ethical employers out there for you.

Your partner is brought into the mix…

One tweeter was told that due to her prettiness she must have a boyfriend ‘who treats her to nice things.’ In other words, why does she need a high salary when she’s so attractive? This conversation is problematic on multiple counts.

The first, flirtatious comments on physical beauty can fall under the bracket of sexual harassment in the workplace.

What’s more, interviewers shouldn’t delve into your relationship status in case it biases their decision-making process. Choosing not to hire you based on your sexuality is another form of discrimination.

Finally, there’s the general unprofessionalism that comes with such a statement. Why should your relationship status influence your salary in any way?

Why employers don’t always detail salaries on their job advertisements…

This is an interesting topic. One commentator asked, ‘how do I know if I’m interested in the job if I don’t know that I can afford to pay my bills if I take it?’ It’s clearly a valid question! However, there’s usually a good reason an employer hasn’t detailed a salary level in their initial job advertisement.

In many cases, the salary range has yet to be finalised or is so broad that it will truly depend on the work experience and expectations of the applicants. Meaning they may be open to people from lower or higher salaries and will shape the final role accordingly. Contrary to popular belief, it’s rarely the case that an employer is specifically looking for the cheapest option.

Spotted such a job on a recruitment agency website? You should always feel able to call and gauge the situation before making any applications.

You can also find clues within job advertisements: take a look at the job description and individual requirements. Does it sound like you’ll be dropping many of your responsibilities or taking a huge leap up the ladder? Your industry experience will probably tell you a thing or two about the going rates in your field.

The more often you read local job specs, the better you’ll be able to predict salary offerings! Finally, don’t forget to speak with your Recruitment Consultant regarding any related concerns. 



Coping with job search setbacks

What to do when you encounter job search setbacks…

While it would be wonderful if everyone had a smooth job search experience, some disappointments are likely. It could be anything from finding out that a position has already closed to not being selected for an interview.

However, if you’re mentally prepared for such happenings, it’s easier to stay on track and maintain some motivation. If this talk of mental prep sounds familiar, it’s something we discussed in this feature on the four job search phases last month. The four phases were identified by Kourtney Whitehead, whose advice we’ll be discussing again today – this time regarding the three ‘unavoidable job search setbacks’.

The three job search setbacks include:

1. Being rejected for a ‘position you’re clearly qualified for’ 

There are some great insights here, including three core messages that particularly ring true:

  1. Many applicants encounter this
  2. It doesn’t reflect your individual ‘market value’
  3. You won’t necessarily “experience predictable outcomes throughout your search”

Interviews can be like exams; sometimes the ones you think you’ve failed are actually the ones you’ve passed with flying colours! Of course, this can apply in reverse and sometimes it’s the jobs you think that you’re a shoo-in for that you don’t get.

This is a topic we’ve covered in more depth on our post about handling interview rejection; even if it happens multiple times.

2. Finding a great opening that doesn’t meet your salary expectations

Whitehead’s advice stands out here because it’s so realistic to everyday job market happenings. Whereas many articles will tell you to ask for more than an advertised salary, Whitehead points out that if you’re not willing to work for the advertised salary range you should be upfront from the start.

She’s not saying that companies won’t ever pay more for the right person. However, some budgets are fixed for a reason and you don’t want to waste anyone’s time, including your own.

This issue can be easier to raise when working via a Recruitment Consultant – allowing you to have a frank conversation outside of the pressures of an interview setting. Your Consultant can help manage your expectations and let you know whether there’s the possibility of flexibility or not.

3. Not getting a job you feel ’emotionally attached’ to

Not many people discuss this common issue. Perhaps before you’ve so much as attended an interview (or even submitted a CV!) you’re envisaging life in your new role…and you really like your visions of the future.

But then you get the rejection and it’s far worse than usual because you feel as if something has actually been taken away from you.

In this case, Whitehead recommends making some rejection plans. She suggests speaking to your closest friends and family and letting them know what you need from them during these trickier times – whether that’s time alone or some extra company and conversation.

Even if you don’t feel you have a support network around you, you can plan some activities to help pick yourself up in the case of bad news. Again, you should hopefully feel able to confide in your Recruitment Consultant during these times!

You can read the rest of Kourtney Whitehead’s advice via Forbes.

Get your local job search started via our jobs page and/or submit your CV via the website.



Staff over tech for high growth companies

It’s all a question of staff over tech, according to high growth small businesses in the UK…

Before we get into the stats, it’s important to understand the value of high growth small businesses. These are the companies that:

  • Account for only 2.9% of UK businesses, yet contribute to 84% of ‘net employment growth’ (employing a total of 1.9 million+ workers).
  • Alongside this, they’re 24% more productive than lower growth small companies – producing an additional ‘3 months of economic output’ for the nation each year.

Clearly, these are incredibly valuable companies that we can all learn from.

It’s about staff over tech for business success:

When Octopus Group asked high growth small businesses what most contributes to their success, they said…

  1. Great staff (60%)
  2. A great idea or product (53%)
  3. Tech helped make the product development cheaper/easier (29%)
  4. The web helped them to market the business more easily (29%)
  5. An ability to secure funding at the right time (24%)

Even the business’s idea or product, considered fundamental to more than half of the companies, isn’t deemed as critical as its employees.

It’s always rewarding to see firms recognise the value of their teams in this way. We’ve long witnessed the difference that a truly effective team makes to a business.

Are you an employer struggling to recruit?

You’re far from alone! 1/4 of UK employers are currently struggling to recruit the talent they need.

Recruitment should never be about simply filling seats by job title and/or years of experience alone. It’s about finding people with the right personality, mindset and skillset to complement the rest of your team and business goals.

Sometimes it’s also about being able to see what others haven’t. Spotting that person who doesn’t come from the same career path or industry yet who has all of the skills and attitude you’re looking for and is ready to learn the rest.

Why not find a recruitment partner who will work closely to understand your business and team goals? You can call Appoint on 01225 313130 to discuss your local recruitment needs today.

Are you a candidate who’s struggling to enter a new career?

This is the post for you.

Remember to keep an eye our News page for further career news and advice updates. You can also connect with us via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and/or register your CV for local opportunities



The most motivated age

When do employees reach their most motivated age? And what’s wrong with these sorts of findings?

The Independent’s latest careers news headline caught our eye. It states that ‘people are most driven aged 33.’ The article, based on research by Bupa Health Clinics, suggests that this is the age when people are likely to be more motivated, confident, energetic and positive.

This apparently applies to all of our goals from career intentions to healthy lifestyle plans. While the article and research are clearly well-intentioned, it’s important to note that these findings are also highly generalised and don’t reflect other research data.

Earlier studies have found that it’s the over-55s employee who is the most motivated. Plus it’s likely that we’ll soon hear Gen Z is leading the way on this front!

In reality…

There are extremely motivated individuals of every working age. Working closely with candidates across all career stages has shown us this time and time again.

Fear not if you’re only just embarking on your career and want to prove your motivation – or if 33 is a long distant memory – your individual drive can peak at any time. What’s more, there’s nothing to say you’ll only have one peak in your career.

What motivates you?

More detailed studies have suggested that the drivers that motivate employees may change throughout the career cycle.

For instance, older workers may be more inspired by roles that feature ‘autonomy and personal principles’ whereas younger employees may desire greater ‘competition and career progression.’

Even these drivers will naturally vary individually. With all this in mind, there are a few important questions to consider…

  • How motivated do you feel right now?
  • What actually motivates you?
  • And is there anything you need to change to increase your motivation at this career stage?

One example change is finding others to support you – something said to help 70% of respondents in the first survey piece.

A new opportunity may also prove to be an important driver for you.