Are you currently working with an agency and wondering if you’re on the right path? There are several reasons people choose to start agency work. Many people begin their careers working as a temp within an agency. There are many benefits to agency working which some people overlook, if you’re wondering whether this is for you then we are sure that once you’ve read the below you’ll be certain you’ve made the right choice! Better earning potential Agency work allows you to work as much as you like (within reason of course), allowing you to work less hours often for better pay! Flexibility By working with an agency you have the chance to be in control of your life. It may be that you already have other commitments outside of work so being able to work flexibly and choose hours that fit your lifestyle will enable you to build a career that suits you. Improve your skills Agency work allows you to work within different environments potentially for numerous companies which will help you build upon your skillset and make you more employable. You may even discover that you like working in a particular type of setting more than others and would like to further your career within it in the future. Weekly pay Working with an agency like Swanstaff will offer you the benefit of weekly pay. A payday every week, what could be better?! Opportunity If what you are really looking for is a permanent role then don’t rule out temping! Temping gives you that foot in the door into many respected businesses and if a permanent role is what you are aiming for then an agency will be able to help you find your perfect role while you temp. Now you know some of the main benefits of agency working you’re probably wondering if you’ve chosen the right agency for you. Swanstaff as an agency does more than just fill jobs; we go the extra mile for all of our candidates. We aim to exceed your expectations and wow you. If you are on the lookout for work then why not check out our vacancies page to see if we’ve got the perfect job for you!
It takes a strong and passionate person to work within the Healthcare sector and I think it’s fair to say that even those who love their role know that you have the good and the bad. From getting a thank you from a patient or their family, to those long shifts that feel like they'll never end. Being a Healthcare professional comes with its ups and downs, there’s no doubting that. Sometimes you might find yourself trying to explain these things to a friend who doesn’t work in Healthcare and they just don't understand. There are things that sometimes you can only “get” if you work in the industry. Forgetting to take shoe covers off after your shift Do you ever wonder if your job is taking over your life? When you finish your shift just take a look down and if you’re still strutting around in your shoe covers like a Victoria Secret model, the answer is yes. Ever gone out for dinner with your partner after a shift and wondered why everyone is starting at your feet... Completing 14+ hour shifts on under 5 hours sleep Working in Healthcare means long shifts. Having a strong coping system and mentality is essential, BUT you get to look after some pretty amazing people who have some pretty amazing stories to tell. The burst of excitement you get when you see the patient that keeps you sane Although some people may not admit it, everyone has their favourite patient, whether it’s because they have hilarious stories to tell every day or because they are the least irritating. Regardless, nothing can beat the burst of happiness and excitement of when you get to see them! Sometimes, seeing them can be the make or break of your entire shift! When one of your family members gets sick and the smug feeling you get when you can tell people how to look after them #thatsmyinnernurse That huge sense of “move out the way guys, this is my department” when a family member is sick and technically you are the only person with the knowledge of the correct way to treat them. Waiting for the pharmacy to send over meds like … Realising you have only peed once in your busy 16 hour shift Sometimes it can be so busy; you can be run off your feet…and forget to use the bathroom! Having to rush documenting to be in time for the shift change. Healthcare professionals know better than anyone the idea of rushing, especially when it comes to the documentation of how the day went with their patients. If you’d like to work for Swanstaff then you can see all our local branches here.
For carers and nurses who work within agencies the importance of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check being carried over using the update service cannot be overstated. Why is it so important? DBS backlogs are now a nationwide issue with some now reaching a delay of 130 days. This can cause you to miss out on a job opportunity and therefore cost you money. So what can you do about it? Although the average DBS check is not automatically transferrable the DBS update service allows you to keep your certificate(s) up-to-date online and allows new agencies or employers to quickly and easily carry out a status check. This means you will not need to apply for multiple certificates when you move from one job to another in the same workforce or when a recheck is required. How much does this cost? The service costs £13 for an annual registration fee but will ultimately save you time and money in the long run and give you more flexibility in the roles you are offered and can accept. However you need to be aware that you only have 19 days after the date your DBS certificate is issued to register it online for the update service so you need to be quick! So what are the benefits? When you break it down the benefits of the DBS update service are: Offers flexibility - No need to reapply every time you transfer within the same workforce or when moving to a different place of work. Instead you can demonstrate that your record is clean on an ongoing basis. This allows you more flexibility in the roles you can take – especially one’s that need someone to start quickly. Saves money – No need to pay for multiple certificates when working with different people. Saves time - You may never need to fill in a DBS check form again! We recommend that all staff who work with us sign up for the DBS update service as we know how beneficial it can be. If you’d like to work for Swanstaff then you can see all our local branches here.
Life Story work is used to gather and record information about a child or young person’s family, community and personal life journey. It helps them develop a sense of their own identity. It can also be used as a great source of information about childhood experiences and achievements. At Swan Family Centres, we have implemented Life Story Work by creating a journal for all children that visit our centres. We have specifically trained staff in Life Story Work too which makes it easier to assist the children in doing this activity. Life story work is an important way of helping a child to integrate their past into the present, in order to help them to move into the future and therefore those that live with them, have the opportunity to know about their past. Our contact centres refer to them as the children’s contact books. They are completed by our contact workers after the sessions. It is a form of continuing care that once the children no longer has contact sessions at the centre, the books are passed onto the social worker and other necessary parties who will keep them with their life story folder that follows them. Our contact workers will write observations of events and memories that took place during the child’s visits for example, an important birthday, first steps, first meeting with family members, Christmas, a certain activity that the family does together etc. They will write a brief observation of what happened and where possible add a photograph of the activity! Lucy Glass, Director of Contact Centres said: “The biggest thing we have learnt as a team is that some children spend so much time at the contact centre and it’s really important for their memories to be captured and shared. Social workers have also complimented staff on the way these have been completed too.”
Never underestimate the power of a cover letter. It’s definitely worth investing some time into creating a good cover letter. Employers are more likely to employ someone who has spent some time proving themselves and researching. Think of a cover letter as an insight into you and something that will help you stand out compared to other applicants. You don’t want it to be so short it that it doesn’t grab their interest or so long that it loses their interest. Sometimes less is more! So get your pen and paper at the ready… Tip 1: Do your research and show-off. Tailor your cover letter to the job you’re going for. Use the job description as a guideline and tie in the requirements to examples of how you meet them. It’s your opportunity to boast about what you can do so don’t feel bad about bragging! Tip 2: Quality not quantity. Make sure the information you’ve included is necessary. Get all your best attributes down and give your cover letter a little of your personality. Short, professional and fun cover letters take less time to read and can improve your chances, it will make them want to know more about you. Employers decide within a matter of seconds if they think you’re a worthy applicant. So make sure you are the one that sticks in their minds! Tip 3: Don’t be a copycat. You can’t really expect to be considered if your cover letter looks like every other persons cover letter. Different is good so don’t use cliché and dull words such as ‘hardworking’ or ‘fast learner’. These words don’t make you look creative, different or like someone who can offer something exhilarating to their company. Something many employers want in a successful employee. Tip 4: Check it through. An immediate no no is a cover letter full of grammatical errors. They will say a lot about you and your attention to detail. Employers will look at them as careless and unprofessional. Even though cover letters don’t normally have a set structure, it is important to make sure it flows. It should include why you’re getting in touch and why you think you’re the best person for the job. Tip 5: The end… Always end your cover letter positively. It’s the little details that count. For instance finishing your letter with something that says thank you for their consideration and that you are looking forward to finding out more about the role will show you are professional and interested. That will leave a lasting impression and could be the difference between being successful or unsuccessful. So there you go…these are some killer tips to ensure you get the role or are at least help you to get shortlisted. Now knock em dead! If you're looking for work, check out our current roles here. Or find your local branch and speak to one of our specialist recruiters.
With the release of Season 7 of Game of Thrones this weekend we've decided to think about the career lessons you can take from it. So maybe climbing the career ladder isn’t exactly like being Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms/King of the Andals and the First Men/Protector of the Realm. BUT getting your foot in the door of your dream company and getting into the job you really want could involve a few battles and facing some dragons of your own! So here are a few lessons we can all take from the most and least successful social climbers in Westeros and beyond! (Please be aware there are some spoilers if you aren't up to date) Networking is key Now I’m the first to say I don’t think much of Littlefinger, but he is pretty clever at using his network to help him climb. After all, his connections got him sent to the Vale and a title or two. It was his ability to help people that made him these friends, some of which owed him favours for that help. Maybe you know someone who knows someone? The lesson to be learnt here is, help your connections. They may not have something you need now, but they could in the future so help where you can! Learn to prioritise As much as it is admirable to hold onto a company, project or person you care about, if it isn’t working knowing when to stop is almost as important as fighting onwards. This doesn’t have to mean the end of your pet project; it may just mean coming back to it at a later date. It’s like the struggle of Ser Jorah Mormont. Though I feel for him and respect his determination to get back into the good books of the woman he obviously loves, it is quite clear he should be channelling his efforts into others things (like finding the cure for greyscale and not dying!). I’m not saying abandon every difficult project, but definitely learn to prioritise. When leading make sure to assemble a good team (that’s not out to kill you) The most important thing to remember is trust matters. Trust is not a common commodity in the Seven Kingdoms but it could make all the difference for some of the most beloved characters. Take Daenarys and her team of advisers for example. Daario is all about the ego, Jorah was too in love with her to make a rational decision especially if it came down to her safety or the safety of her people, and though Barristan seems loyal, who can she really trust? If you are constantly questioning if someone is using you to climb, or suggesting things for their own gain, then maybe it’s time to find a different team. Don’t annoy/cut off your network Although I recommended assembling a team that you can trust in the previous point, make sure you don’t do a Cersei. When she ends up running the country, she soon becomes paranoid and cuts off people that could be valuable allies, even if they have not given her a reason not to be trusted. This does nothing for her and she’s soon out of favour and into a cell! Instead of constantly questioning motives without cause, make sure to cultivate your network and provide value to your connections. This could be in the form of industry news, introducing connections to one another or writing articles about topics that could be of interest. Always have an “elevator pitch” ready You never know when you could run into someone who could give you an opportunity or offer you the chance you have been waiting for. As Tyrion (who I’m pretty sure has had more close encounters with death than any other character on the show) has proved, talking someone into believing you’re worth keeping alive (or hiring!) can really be life changing. Always try to have a pitch prepared to talk your way into that dream job and don’t forget it’s ok to sing your own praises once in a while. Can you think of any lessons you could take from Game of Thrones that might relate to your career? If you're looking for a career you won't end up losing your head over, get in touch with our recruiters at your local branch here or check out all our jobs here.
What is Workforce Planning? Workforce planning is a plan used to identify and analyse the needs of a business in terms of staff to achieve its goals. Typically this covers a 3-5 year period and is used to identify skills gaps, turnover rates, recruitment needs and salary projections to better understand the expected cost of staffing on the business. So how can a recruitment agency make your workforce planning easier? One Contact Rather than dealing with various different agencies, you can use a single contact for all your staffing needs. Not only does this simplify your processes but it also means one invoice and one person who will fully understand the needs of your business and can deliver to meet these. Here at Swanstaff we make sure we provide a 24 hour service so we can help fill even those last minute shifts. Simplified As mentioned before, the process is much simpler if you only have one person you call when you need staff. It also means that you have less to worry about as often all the checks to do with qualifications and previous work references are done by recruiters and/or a dedicated compliance team to make sure you only receive the highest quality staff. Seasonal You may only need large amounts of additional staff at certain times of year, such as the Christmas period. A recruitment agency can put a plan in place in advance with your company to support large volumes of recruitment when you need it. Standard Rates Rather than having multiple agencies on different rates, working with one recruitment agency will allow you to have a standard rate. This will allow for predictable financial forecasting and planning for your business. If any of these sound like things your business could benefit from then please get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch today to find out more about the numerous benefits of working with us as a specific agency!
No matter what your age or experience is, a phone interview can be a daunting task. It can be a real challenge to read the other person and react to them based solely on their voice. It’s easy to let nerves get the better of you when you desperately want to make a good impression. So how can you make sure you have the best phone interview you can? Cut out all distractions and focus If you are distracted then you might have a delayed response to questions. You may also not hear the whole question which could end up looking as though you are not interested in the role you are interviewing for. If this does happen then speak calmly and politely asking them to repeat the question as you didn’t quite hear it. Remember to smile Believe it or not, people can hear whether or not you’re smiling in your voice. If you are trying to sound positive and animated, then remember to smile. If you’re speaking about something serious then adjust your expression accordingly. You wouldn’t believe the difference it can make! Research about the organisation or job Make sure to fully research the role and company you are interviewing for to be sure you can answer any questions they ask. Being able to relate your answers to the company you are interviewing with shows that you care and are showing interest in your role. Talk slowly When people are worried or nervous they tend to speak faster and are harder to understand. It is important to think quickly but speak slowly when responding to questions. Thank you email Don’t forget to email the employer you interviewed with, thanking them for their time and consideration. This should be done the day of the interview and addressed to anyone who was involved in or on the call. Are there any other tips you can think of that would help someone doing a phone interview? If you’re looking for work then get in touch with your local branch today!
Whether you’re a Nurse, HCA, GP, Support Worker or any other Healthcare industry worker it is important to make sure you look employable online. Gone are the days when you post out a load of CV’s and hope to hear back from someone. Now you can look for a job in your pyjamas (although not when it’s gets to interview stage, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves!) You need to remember that potential employers and recruiters will look you up online before hiring or sometimes even inviting you to interview. So here are a few top tips to make your profiles employer friendly! Profile Picture No matter which social network you sign up to, you are asked to upload a profile picture of yourself. This is the beginning of your personal brand so make sure it is suitable. If it’s not a picture you’d like your boss to see then it’s probably not the best one to use! Facebook is typically a more personal network so photos with friends are fine there, however when using LinkedIn, try to stick to a professional head shot, similar to one you would have on a staff badge at work. Privacy Settings We all have things we would rather keep private, make sure your profile is protected by utilising the privacy settings social networks offer. On Facebook you can even categorise people and choose the audience your post reaches so you can stop colleagues from seeing embarrassing photos. Share Relevant Content On LinkedIn make sure to follow pages such as Swanstaff that share relevant news about your industry. This could be anything from changes in legislation to things other care homes or hospitals are doing that you can try in your own workplace. This shows you are interested in staying up to date with all current news and developments. Target the Right Social Network LinkedIn is a great place to connect with Recruiters and see when they post new roles that might be of interest to you. It is known as the professional network so is great if you are looking for work. Alternatively you can search recruitment companies or potential employers on Twitter and Facebook using the search functions there. You can message the company and ask for the best person to speak to regarding the role you are looking for. Can you think of any other tips you would give to healthcare professionals who are looking for work? If you are looking for a great new role then check out all our current vacancies here.