There’s a lot of blogs and advice out there to tell you what you should say and do in interviews but what are some things you need to avoid? These 5 things can negatively impact your chances of getting a job so have a read to make sure you don’t make them! Appear uninterested 55% percent of recruiters say this is a big deal-breaker in an interview. Employers want somebody who will bring energy and focus to their team, and will engage with the job. Being disinterested in an interview or failing to show any sort of enthusiasm only tells the employer that you do not have the passion and drive they want an employee to have. Employers will see this as an example of how you would act on the job itself and will know they can easily find someone better. Talk negatively about current or previous employers Even mentioning about previous employers issues from previous employers is a major turn off for 50% of employers. Companies won’t want to employ someone that blames previous employers for mistakes whether they are the fault of the company of not. If they are asking about a previous company you were with then it is best to say that you are leaving due to lack of progression or looking for a change. Dressing inappropriately Before thinking employers are playing the fashion police instead of interviewing you about your skills, remember they are doing this for a reason. Employers will look at little things like wearing clothes that are too tight or too loose, too dressy or too casual, or wearing brands and logos in professional settings is a bad sign. During an interview they are not only looking to see how you will fit into their team but also evaluating how you would appear to their customers and future clients. Not having researched the company If you don’t appear to know anything about the role or company then it shows a lack of interest in the job and can instantly put them off you. It makes you look like you do not seriously want to the position. Make sure you research as much as possible before the interview. Ask generic questions Lack of knowledge about the organisation or role you applied will lead to you not being able to able applicable questions and prove that you know what you are talking about. This would lead the interviewer to believe that you would show a similarly limited interest in your role. Are there any other things you think should be avoided in an interview? If you’re wondering how to stay motivated during your job search check this blog out. Or if you have an interview coming up then check out these 5 essential items you need to take to an interview! Looking for work? Register with your local Swanstaff branch here!
This Mental Health Awareness Week we are discussing the importance of taking care of your employee’s emotional wellbeing at work. The environment you work in is perhaps one of the most important things you need to get right to make sure your company is a positive and happy place to be. Director of Support Services, Zoe Murray says: There is great power in creating a positive and welcoming workplace and making it an environment that people want to spend time in. When designing our workspace we spent a lot of time making a functional space that captured the personality of our brand, reinforcing our positive and progressive plans. Our vision, our values, our history and most importantly our future plans are all emblazoned on the walls. It was also incredibly important for us to create areas with a less formal vibe for creative thinking and breakaway areas. We all spend a lot of time at work, no one wants to stare at grey walls – workplaces should be positive. Changes don’t have to be big budget either, we have a memory wall that cost very little for me to put together. So with this in mind, here are 7 ideas that you can use to help make your office a more welcoming environment: Tea, coffee and fresh fruit available to staff As simple and obvious as this may sound, catering to the needs of your staff makes them happier. Being able to take short breaks to make cups of tea may also help them to feel more refreshed and productive when they return to their desks. Plants and flowers These will make any office brighter and can have a positive influence on a person’s mood. Some people do however suffer from allergies so fake plants and flowers can be a great idea! Here at Swanstaff we use Floral Image for our flower arrangements and it’s very difficult to tell that they are fake due to how natural they look. Artwork Whether this is an inspiring quote, a poster on the wall or wall art illustrating core values; colourful artwork can really help to make people more creative and feel happier. At Swanstaff we have an illustrated timeline on our walls which shows where we have come from, how we have grown and has space to add future successes. This is a great motivator to staff especially as they can track the progress of the company since they started and know that they contributed to getting us where we are. Music Music is known for being great for productivity and mood. We always have the radio playing here and it is not only great as a background noise but also for a sing-a-long if a song everyone likes comes on. You haven’t heard anything until you’ve heard our rendition of “Summer of 69!” Cosy and communal areas We have a number of areas in the office which are designed as cosy areas or quiet spaces. The Library features bookshelf print wallpaper, a fireplace and comfy chairs. We also have a Beanbag meeting space in the middle of the office, which as you can imagine is very popular! Communal areas such as “The Swan” staff room, are also good as it offers a great space for interaction and means people can relax and chat on their lunch breaks. Treats Sweets, cakes and drinks on special occasions such as birthdays can be another great mood booster as they often encourage interaction to discuss the event and chatting to work colleagues can make your staff feel more at home. Personal Including personal touches in an office is great for make people feel included and fostering a sense of family. Here at Swanstaff we have a wall of achievements and a board covered in photos from social and charity events. Our staff love being able to spot themselves and share funny stories from the events. Obviously the people you work with play a huge part in your day to day life so making sure you surround yourself with a great team of likeminded people who share the same attitude and values as you is vital! Are there any other things you think are important to make your office a great place to be? Want to work in one of our incredible offices? Give our Talent Team a call on 01322 473 157
As it’s Mental Health Awareness Week we thought we would share some of the things that we do here at Swanstaff to support our staff’s wellbeing and mental health. Hopefully some of these ideas can inspire you. An open and fun company culture Whilst it’s great to be productive, it’s also good to break things up by doing something fun or silly in the office. This can be anything from chair races (making sure to double check with whoever looks after your health and safety!) to building a human pyramid or having a hula hooping competition! It doesn’t have to take up a lot of time but getting people laughing is great for morale and a positive mental attitude. Open door policy with management Our brilliant management team have an open door policy, meaning you can go to any of them for advice with your issues or concerns. Our brilliant HR team are also there to answer any problems or questions you might have. They are always there to support, only a phone call or email away. We really encourage staff to open up and let someone know if they’re struggling or need additional support. Wellbeing week We hold regular “WOW” events – the Week Of Wellness are full of wellbeing activities for all staff. To find out more about what these involve, click HERE. Great office space Our offices are amazing (if we do say so ourselves!). They incorporate large open plan areas where the majority of staff work, alongside glass offices for managers to emphasise the openness of the culture. We also have a number of quiet areas such as the bean bags meeting area, separate meeting rooms and a snug little room known as the library. We also have the more communal “Swan” which is our staff room. It includes a TV, fully fitted kitchen and bar. This is great to encourage our staff to really relax away from their desk on their breaks to make sure they come back from breaks feeling rested! Regular meetings 1 on 1 with manager An opportunity to highlight issues you may be having that you haven’t felt confident bringing up at other times, also an opportunity to discuss progress and development you might be interested in within your role. Buddy scheme Here at Swanstaff we run a buddy scheme for new starters which pairs them up with someone else doing the same role but at another branch within the company. This gives them the support of being able to speak to someone they don’t see every day to discuss anything that might be worrying them about their job role or to simply brainstorm ideas that can help them in their role. Perk Box Our Perk Box system gives all our employees access to hundreds of fantastic codes and vouchers to get them money off a variety of things such as meals out, gym, wellness classes and family activities. This really helps to support their emotional wellbeing outside of work. Be positive If an employee has to take time off due to ill health or stress then our HR team have open communication with them to ensure we are doing all we can to support them. This can include a phased return to work, with reduced hours or duties to ease them in. For us it is important to focus on what employees can do, rather than what they struggle with to build their confidence and get them back into their original role at a pace that is set by the individual. Social events We have a number of social events, including Christmas and summer parties which everyone is invited to. We also go to awards evenings and everyone is given the opportunity to go to these. This is done by putting the names of everyone who wants to go in a hat to give them all a fair chance at getting one of the tickets. Charity As a company we organise and take part in events to support a variety of charities and causes. This is great for giving everyone a real sense of achievement and making them feel good which aids positive mental health. Tracey Isom, HR Advisor at Swanstaff said: "Mental Health is a taboo subject despite it affecting 1 in 7 people in the workplace. Taking care of mental health is so important, not only for employees own wellbeing but to enable them to be productive and efficient at work. At Swanstaff we take mental health seriously and strive to ensure our employees happiness and wellbeing comes from within!" What are your company doing to aid a positive environment for good mental health? Let us know in the comments below If all of this sounds like the type of company you would like to work for then please get in touch with our Talent Team on 01322 473 157.
Although everyone can find satisfaction from doing their job in role they enjoy, it is easy to see why Health Care Assistants gain a huge amount of job satisfaction from providing support and care to a variety of different people in need. So considering how fulfilling a role it can be, why should you consider working for an agency? Flexibility The role suits a number of different lifestyles and personal situations. For example many student nurses work for Swanstaff as HCA’s whilst completing their training as the shifts can fit around University and other commitments. It also provides them with experience of working the healthcare sector for a number of different care providers. Variety Swanstaff work with a variety of different care providers and establishments, both NHS and Private. This gives you the opportunity to gain experience in various locations. One day you could be doing work in a residential care home and another day be on a ward of your local hospital. This can either help you to become more accomplished and able to thrive in any location you choose to work in or can help you decide on a specific area you would like to specialise in. Rewards Here at Swanstaff we love to reward hard work where possible in a number of ways. If you are chosen to be an Ambassador for us you will gain access to cash bonuses and our Perk Box system which can get you money off dining out, holidays, shopping and leisure activities. We also run a temp of the month scheme which allows our branches to choose a temp they work with that has done particularly well that month and reward them with a certificate and prize. Weekly Pay Swanstaff pay all of our temporary staff on a weekly basis which removes the worry of waiting to pay bills at the end of the month or getting your paycheck to stretch. If you need more one week you can take extra shifts or alternatively refer people to work for Swanstaff and gain a bonus for it in the future if that person signs up and works a certain number of hours for Swanstaff. Training We are passionate about helping our staff continue their professional development where possible. We provide a number of different training courses which you can find more our about here. If any of these points sound of interest to you then get in touch with Swanstaff today! Find your local branch and give them a call here alternatively submit your CV online here.
Swanstaff Recruitment held their official opening ceremony for two of their newest family contact centres in Cardiff on Friday 12th January 2018. Swanstaff, who took over the contract to run the family Contact Services on behalf of Cardiff Council on the 1st May 2016, already run 5 other Swan Family Contact services in Bedford, Lambeth, Houghton Regis, Coventry and Greenwich. The event was attended by social workers and members of the local council including Irfan Alam, Assistant Director of Children’s Services, Councillor Ashley Lister and Councillor Graham Hinchey. Picture Left to Right - Councillor Ashley Lister, Irfan Alam (Assistant Director of Children’s Services), Zoe Murray (Director of Support Services at Swanstaff), Jodie Poll (Contact Centre Co-Ordinator), Sian Ham (Centre Manager), Councillor Graham Hinchey, CEO Stephen Rogers. Councillor Graham Hinchey said, “As the Cabinet Member for Children and Families, it is a privilege for me to be here today and formally open the council’s provision where the children in our care enjoy contact with their birth families. The Council believes that the interests of the majority of our looked after children are best served by sustaining links with birth families including wider family members and connected others. As cabinet member, I remain wholeheartedly committed to ensuring that our looked after children are the council’s top priority and as such a provision such as this should be nothing less than outstanding and I extend a warm welcome to Swanstaff contact centre staff who will be providing an outstanding service to the council’s looked after children.” Lucy Glass, Director of Contact Services said “Swanstaff are delighted to be able to officially launch our two contact centres in Cardiff in partnership with Cardiff Council. Our mission is to ensure that the child is at the heart of all of our supervised contact services. We ensure that our Centres of Excellence are family friendly, incorporating themed rooms and providing a comfortable, relaxed and safe environment. We facilitate around 50 contact sessions a day from the centres and we were delighted with the positive feedback and praise we received from all who attended the opening.” The Swan Family services in Cardiff are available to both local authority and private referrals; services include Supervised and Supported Contact, Asylum Support, Community Contact, Handover and Transport. For more information about Swanstaff and their Swan Family services, or to make a referral please visit www.swanfamily.org.uk
So you’re looking for a new job. You’ve read every article and blog out there on how to maximise your chances at bagging that dream role but you could be missing one key ingredient…a recruiter! Don’t believe me? Here are 4 things a recruiter can offer that you wouldn’t have otherwise! Experience Typically a recruiter will specialise in a particular sector or type of role so their experience in the sector could give you the advantage you need. They will often know a variety of employers and can match you to one that’s perfect for you. CV advice If your CV is lacking or needs more or less detail in sections, they can advise the best way to do this. They see CV’s on a daily basis and can tell you what will help yours to stand out. They can also advise specifics a client might be looking for that you need to make sure to include. More opportunities/roles not yet advertised If you build a good relationship with your recruiter they can keep you in mind when roles come in and call you before they are even advertised. Make sure recruiters you choose to work with know you and your requirements so that you can be sure they only put you forward to roles that would suit you. Interview coaching Their top tips can help you showcase your talents and they can also advise you how to behave with specific interviewers to give the best impression you can! So with all these benefits, why wouldn’t you use the talents of a recruiter to boost your job search? If you’re looking for great recruiters you can trust, get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch today.
So a year on from the introduction of the Nurse Revalidation Scheme - what have we learnt? We'll be discussing some of the key myths surrounding the revalidation process and making sure you have the information they need to ensure they comply with the regulations. You can also download our FREE NMC Revalidation Guide Here. ‘I don’t deliver hands-on clinical care so I don’t need to revalidate’ This is incorrect. If you are an NMC registrant, you must revalidate every three years. To do so, you will need to demonstrate 450 practice hours, or 900 if you are revalidating as a nurse and a midwife. ‘I don’t work in a permanent role so I can’t revalidate’ If you work as an agency or bank nurse or midwife you still need to revalidate. 450 hours across three years equates to 150 per year and only 12.5 hours per month. Need more hours? Click here to view Swanstaff vacancies. ‘I’m retiring next year, so I don’t need to revalidate’ If you do not revalidate when requested to do so by the NMC you may find that your registration will lapse. If this happens, you will not be able to practice as a nurse or a midwife for any period of time until you have successfully re-applied. There is a charge and a considerable amount of additional work for re-entry onto the NMC register, so it’s in your best interest to maintain your registration. ‘I will revalidate at the end of the month’ Wrong! You must submit your revalidation by the first day of the month in which your registration expires. For example, if your renewal date is 30 May, your revalidation deadline will be 1 May. Don’t get caught out by this change. ‘I need to save my portfolio electronically’ The NMC strongly recommends that nurses and midwives keep evidence that they have met the revalidation requirements in a portfolio, but this does not need to be electronic. What’s more, they have templates and forms available for download which can be printed and completed by hand too. You can also download our FREE NMC Revalidation Guide Here?. If you're looking for work or additional hours you can click here to see our current vacancies
Job searching is tough, but it’s even tougher to stay motivated whilst job seeking. We all know how powerful a rejected application can be. I’ve been tempted to hide under my duvet for a week from a few! Knowing how rough it is, I have put together a few top tips that helped me to stay motivated whilst looking for a job… Have a plan By this I don’t mean a plan of what you want to do as a job but a physically written plan. Think about how you are going to search for a job, why you want to do the job and how you are going to apply. Create a hotlist Research into 20 to 50 companies that you would LOVE (not wouldn’t mind, love) to work for. Make a note of these companies and write down why you would love to work for them. This will get you thinking about different aspects of why people work other than for the money. Write down some short/long term goals and daily and weekly goals and once achieved, reward yourself. This will allow you to always have something you need to achieve which will keep you motivated as you will constantly have that feeling of “I done it” and the rewards are just the bonus! Get yourself involved in some voluntary work experience Doing this will allow you to cross out the jobs which you think you want to work in but actually you know nothing about and will create more motivation to look into the jobs you do really want to do. It’s important to always gain some sort of experience in a job before you apply for it so that you 100% know if you are going to enjoy it instead of wasting your time and the employers Create a vision board This may sound silly but honestly it works more often than not! I use it even when I am employed. The vision board can have anything on it that will motivate you to succeed in your life e.g. a dream house, car, job or salary. Make sure it is visible every day!!! Have one day a week where you forget about job searching This will help you feel like job searching is not all you do! You may be beginning to feel swamped with all the applications and cover letters you are writing, take a day off. You will feel more stressed if you feel as though job searching is all you are doing and this can cause you to lose motivation. Surround yourself with employed/motivated people Surrounding yourself with people who are self-motivated will naturally make you want to be motivated as well. Also, being around employed people may give you an advantage for upcoming vacancies! DON’T SURROUND YOURSELF WITH ‘GLASS HALF EMPTY’ PEOPLE!!!!!!!!! Read biographies and auto biographies on successful people This really helped me in my long, apathetic job search, a really good one is ‘Steve Jobs’ by Walter Isaacson which is a real inspiration all about how Steve Jobs started off in his parents garage and worked his way up to be one of the most successful men in the mobile industry. Join a job search group Job searching can be one of the loneliest tasks you can complete, especially with no support from others around you. Joining a job search group can help as being around or talking to people who are in the same boat as you can sometimes make you feel competitive which is a motivational feeling to succeed. Create a brag profile on yourself Having no self-confidence was my biggest flaw. I would never have applied for jobs that seemed out of my league but since creating a brag list about myself, being forced to think of good things about myself and thinking “I can do this” instead of “there’s no way I can do this”, I have had a lot more confidence in applying for jobs and going to interviews than I did before. Following these steps can really keep you motivated during your job search. Remember, your value does NOT decrease just because somebody fails to see it. Maybe by now you've been in your job search a while and after reading these top tips you've landed yourself an interview to check out 5 essential things to take with you on your interview click here.
Swanstaff Unleash Their Inner Elf for the Alzheimer’s Society Donning their best jingle bells they took part in Elf Day on the 8th December which invited people across the nation to unleash their inner elf by dressing up to raise money and awareness for dementia. Staff raised £135 to support those affected by dementia including dementia sufferers, their families, friends and carers. The money will be going to the Alzheimer’s Society to help running many services the offer including Dementia Cafés, Singing for the Brain® sessions and Side by Side volunteers. Zoe Murray, Director of Support Services said “At Swanstaff we love getting involved and raising money for worthy causes. When we heard about Elf Day, we knew we had to take part. We combined it with our annual Christmas Jumper Friday and made the Alzheimer’s Society our chosen charity for this. It was fantastic to see so many of our staff donating and dressing up. I am always impressed by their enthusiasm and generosity.”