Working in the Logistics and Transport sector is not an easy job to do by any means. HGV Drivers deal with problems that other careers may not come across. This is fatigue to difficult manoeuvers and more. These issues can lead to serious health problems, both physically and mentally – and keeping on top of them can be hard work. Fatigue Have you ever completed a journey across a country (or maybe two)? All you can do is drive – and whilst this is a great way to see the wonders of the world, it can be very tiring (and quickly become boring) to listen to the same songs on the radio and to be sat in the same position for hours on end. An unhealthy lifestyle A life on the road can be a very unhealthy lifestyle in a number of ways. Sitting in a lorry for the majority of the day can be detrimental to the driver’s health and can also cause neck and spine issues. The meal options on the road are not always the best or healthiest either, so often HGV Drivers diets are not the healthiest. Short haul drivers can sometimes take their own food in and make time for exercise in the evenings – but for long haul drivers who sleep in their trucks, this is near on impossible. Mental health can also be affected due to being isolated and away from homes and loved ones for long periods of time. Being on time whilst staying safe Even though there are legislations and regulations in place to dictate how long a HGV Driver can actually spend driving – this can make it difficult to stick to tight deadlines. However, you must always remain safe for yourself and other road users. Here are some ways to say safe on the roads: Get enough sleep Stay alert at all times Keep checking your mirrors (but be careful this doesn’t distract your concentration on what’s happening in front of you) Be spatially aware Stay focused Do not lane hog – this can cause other drivers to speed up and over take which could be hazardous if they drive too fast. Difficulty manoeuvring So, manoeuvers don’t sound that bad to car/small van drivers, but when you drive a HGV that can be as big as 7.5 Tonnes, even having to navigate the HGV through busy traffic, narrow streets and through towns and cities without causing chaos can be difficult. It can be an exhausting task that can lead to high stress and anxiety, especially when you know you have to go through it all again tomorrow. A HGV Drivers job is very demanding and it definitely not for everyone. It takes a certain kind of person to become a HGV Driver, but if you think you are up for the job, click here to see how we can help you.
So, you have perfected the job advert, you’ve sent it out and now you have stacks of applications to go through since the closing date has been and gone. The next step is to shortlist those applications so that you have a strong group of candidates to choose from. In order to shortlist your stack of applications efficiently – there are a number of things you should take into account… (Click here to view full size image) These steps will help you to get closer to finding your best matched candidate and speed up the hiring process. They will give you greater confidence in your hiring decision too. So to recap… Decide how many candidates you want to Interview Identify the essential and desirable skills, candidates should match all of the essential skills and as many desirable skills as possible. Consider further screening tests to see if candidates meet your requirements When it comes to weeding out the BEST candidates you need to scrutinise applications and look for attention to detail, how well have candidates understood the requirements of the role and how much effort have they put into their application? Don’t forget to follow up with the applicants that have unfortunately been unsuccessful. Even if it’s just a quick email, with a short reason why they haven’t been successful. This can be vital in securing their trust and engagement for future roles, for those that were close to the mark but not quite right for this specific role it is worth building a talent pool – don’t forget to ask the candidate if it is ok to hold onto their details for future opportunities. For top tips on how to give valuable feedback, click here!
HGV Driving is physically and mentally demanding and can be very intense. Being a HGV Driver is a lot more than just driving a truck – it’s also about how mentally alert, healthy and happy you are. These are the elements that keep you and others safe whilst you are on the road. Eating healthy on the go This can be difficult if you’re not an organised person, but that’s all it is – organisation. The day/night before your shift you can prepare a healthy meal such as a chicken salad. If you don’t have time to meal prep, then most popular super markets have HGV friendly car parks so you can quickly park up and run in to buy a healthy meal. HGV Driving is a sedentary job so it is important to have a healthy food intake. Fast food can seem like the quick and easy option, especially when you are working long hours, but it can just leave you feeling lethargic and can lead to a number of overall health problems. Good snacks to eat on the go are: Pre washed & cut vegetables Pre washed fruit Dried fruit Hummus and vegetables (i.e. carrots and cucumber) Mixed nuts Fat free yogurt Staying hydrated Water should be your best friend. Dehydration can be a main factor of loss of alertness and tiredness. So for a HGV Driver – staying hydrated is essential. HGV Drivers should consume around two litres of water each day in order to stay hydrated. Instead of buying multiple expensive plastic bottles, buy one large (gallon/2L) water bottle and sip on it throughout the day. We also suggest staying clear of fizzy drinks – they dehydrate you quickly and therefore the result is tiredness and lack of being alert. Get plenty of sleep If you're driving for a long period of time, it is vital that you make the most of your rest periods and break times. Brake UK says that 1 in 6 deaths or serious injuries on major roads are fatigue related. A major cause of fatigue is tiredness and drowsiness. For the safety of yourself and other road users, you have to get enough sleep. Stay active In addition to the occasional stretch of your legs at rest point, another one of our top tips is to stay active and incorporate exercise into your days/nights. This can easily be done by walking for 15/20 minutes when you reach your rest stops. Another good way to incorporate exercise is to store a fold up push bike in the HGV and go for a cycle at your rest points. Some rest points may even have a track for you to follow. Mental health Even though physical health is essential, keeping your mind healthy is equally as important. Driving all day/night can be very tedious (especially when there is traffic), so it is essential to keep your mind stimulated during your driving hours. There are multiple ways this can be done, for example: Listen to the radio – radio presenters converse with each other so it can feel like you are in the conversation with them. You can take part in quizzes and competitions too. Have an AUX cord/Bluetooth to listen to a playlist (click here to check out the soundtrack we have put together for HGV Drivers). Have an audio book play whilst you are driving. Remember that it is illegal to use a hand-held device whilst you are driving so ensure you have sorted this out before you set off on your journey. Keeping your body and mind healthy whilst on the road is vital. These health tips for HGV drivers are a great way to stay on top of your physical and mental health whilst you are travelling away from home. Driving can be a long, solitary and challenging job, but there are always ways to stay on top of your fitness and wellbeing.
Here at Swanstaff Recruitment, we held our 4th annual Wellbeing Week (or WOW Week as we like to call it). As always it was a week that was jam packed with laughter, fitness, relaxation, mental health awareness and healthy eating! It couldn’t have gone better, take a look for yourself… Day one We kick started the week with our infamous laughter day. What better way to start off Monday than with a pun competition centred around fruit! This was carried out over email so that the whole company could get involved. The winner received 2 free comedy tickets – after all, laughter is the best medicine. This day was aimed to fill Head Office and the branches with nothing but laughter! We also asked all team members to nominate who they think is the funniest person in Head Office and the branches. This was a great way for people to feel appreciated in Head Office and the branches. Day two Day two was fitness day. We challenged our Swans to see how long they could wall sit for (the winning time was 2 minutes 47 seconds) and we challenged our consultants to see how long they could squat for whilst holding a sales call. Throughout the day we sent out the top fitness apps, free online workouts and wellness classes. This encouraged our Swans to be more active, and it was also good team building as teams were cheering each other on during the challenges. Day three Relaxation day. This was arguably one of our favourite days throughout the company. We challenged our Swans to complete some mindful activities such as mindful breathing, listening, appreciation and moving. We also sent out mindful and relaxation apps that our teams could make use of. At Head Office, we kitted out our library room with calming music, put the fire on and laid out bean bags so that our Swans could relax on their breaks. Day four The fourth day of Wellbeing Week was focused around Mental Health. We used the day to reflect on our stress levels and what causes our stress levels to rise. We sent out a weekly wellbeing check-up guide for our Swans to use – it includes coping strategies and ways to drain their stress away! Day five On the last day of Wellbeing Week – we hosted a pot luck picnic. We asked every member of staff to bring in an item of picnic food. We had so much nice food and our Swans said how nice it was to all eat lunch together and do something different! We also sent out our top tips for healthy eating! Well, that’s a wrap for this year. Until 2020, Wellbeing Week. We can’t wait to see what we plan for next year!
So, you’ve learnt how to ace an interview, the biggest interview mistakes and how to avoid them and how to impress on your first day. Now, it’s about time we taught you how to keep progressing in your job after you’ve been hired… and it’s all about your attitude. #1 – Do your job well So, this one is a bit of a given but if you’re satisfied in your role and enjoy going to work – it does reflect in the work that you produce. A positive attitude is vital! If you do not enjoy your job – your work reflects how you feel towards it. So find the positives in your job role and you will be much happier. If the case is that you don’t enjoy your job, then you need to think about sitting down with your manager and discussing your issues to see if anything can be done to support you – leaving the company should be the last resort. #2 – Form a relationship with your boss Forming a relationship with your boss (and other members of your team) is really important. You spend 5 (sometimes more) days a week with them so it would make your working life more enjoyable if you did have a good relationship with them. Due to this making your working life better – you will enjoy going to work more and then in turn, produce good work. #3 – Become a company person Put in the hours to show that your job is a priority to you. Make it clear that the company’s goals are also your goals. Be prepared to occasionally arrive early, stay late and always work hard during your standard working hours. Show that you are willing to give up some of your personal time to meet the company’s requirements and ensure the company is where it needs to be, this could also include taking time to socialise outside of work with colleagues – a great way to build bonds and strengthen your ties with a company. #4 – Volunteer for new projects Putting yourself forward for new projects or completing tasks usually done by other people will show that you care about the business as a whole and not just your individual role. Even if your work load gets bigger, more intense and more time consuming, it will more than likely secure your place in the company in the long run and being proactive is a great way to boost career prospects, develop new skills and put your stamp on things! #5 – Don’t grab the lime light Whilst it’s important for your boss to recognise that you’re doing great work and doing well – you don’t want to be seen as an attention grabber. It’s okay to celebrate your achievements, but just be sure to do the same when it happens to others. Most people will come across times when they have to maximize their efforts to protect and keep their jobs or to be successful in securing a promotion. By following our advice, you’ll learn how to progress your career and be rewarded.
The time has come again… its wellbeing week 2019! Here at Swanstaff we dedicate each day to a different aspect of wellbeing. As today is National Mental Health Day, we have thought about the top 5 ways to boost your mental health if you ever feel like it is deteriorating. #1 – Maintain healthy relationships Incorporating healthy relationships is crucial to mental health – if you surround yourself with toxic people and relationships (even in the workplace) then it is likely that your mental health can be knocked. So, surround yourself with people who are good for you and who make you happy. #2 – Exercise Now, this is not for everyone, but it is known that completing exercises releases positive endorphins which enhance your mood. We’re not telling you to go and run 10K, but even a 10 minute power walk on your lunch break can be beneficial. #3 – Challenge yourself If you’re feeling stuck in a rut and bored of your everyday routine, this could cause low mental health levels. Set yourself a challenge, having something to aim towards and work towards can give you a sense of purpose – and the feeling of achievement when you’ve reached your goal can be amazing! #4 – List 5 things you are grateful for Gratitude has been linked with improved wellbeing, mental health and general happiness. This is a good method to use as it makes you think about the different things you are appreciative of instead of just listing one obvious thing. You might even start thinking about the things you didn’t even realise you are grateful for! Start today. You have the power and the right to take positive steps right now to improve your mental health. Don’t wait until you're in a crisis to make it a priority. If you’re an employer and want to know how you can support your employees mental health, click here. #5 – Prioritise your sleep If you lead a busy life with work commitments, bringing up children etc. it can be easy to let your sleep schedule take a back seat from everything else going on. However, getting the right amount of sleep (7-9 hours) is essential. If you’re not getting the sufficient amount of sleep it can make you unproductive in other aspects of your life which can then result in not feeling good enough or not worthy (this can take its toll on your mental health). (Click here to view full size image) Start today. You have the power and the right to take positive steps right now to improve your mental health. Don’t wait until you're in a crisis to make it a priority. If you’re an employer and want to know how you can support your employees mental health, click here.