If you haul internationally, the odds are that you have been all around the world (or at least Europe), seeing breath taking sites that you have no choice but to just pass by and go about your normal working day. However lovely these sites are to see, some are highly dangerous. We have put together the top six most dangerous areas for Drivers and their Heavy Goods Vehicles, take a look… Mountains Some of the most amazing views are seen at the top of these heights, although you wouldn’t want to get stuck in a HGV on one, trust me. Could you imagine yourself driving up the thinning roads and getting stuck like the truck at the end of The Italian Job? Scary! Icy Landscapes HGV Drivers should know better than anyone that ice can be terribly dangerous. Some even refuse to transport goods across potentially thin ice. Even for a normal car, it can be hazardous. Black ice is also really dangerous as it’s normally never seen and therefore causes accidents that cannot be avoided! Deserts Unless you have a life time’s supply of water in your HGV, many drivers avoid driving in and along the Desert environment. Temperatures can soar and with no other vehicles around for miles, it can be so dangerous. Especially for an older HGV which could be liable to break down. Small Towns So it might sound like we’re going from one extreme to the other regarding size of areas but hear us out! With obstacles such as tight turns, tiny and narrow high streets and low bridges with no option but to proceed through, it can be very difficult and hard to drive through this type of area. Also there are normally vulnerable road users in these areas so if you have to ever find yourself driving through these areas... check your blind spots! Bridges Bridges to HGV Drivers are like The Joker to Batman – mortal enemies. Although hopefully you saw a sign that stated the height restriction and either carried on confidently or turned around and planned another route. Last thing you want is to get stuck and end up dragging down parts of the bridge. Similarly, driving over a bridge – you will need to know the weight limit just in case the bridge is old and liable to fall – your HGV could end up falling through it! So remember HGV safety. Cliffs With bits of the cliff coming lose and falling off and splashing into the water creating a slippery surface on the roads it can be very hazardous! Also with the winding roads – the tires could slip and also it can be hard to dodge the falling rocks in a huge HGV. These areas have caused many accidents where HGVs were involved. So be vigilant and careful about where you're driving and what routes you are planning! Always remember road safety and safety standards ! If you're looking for HGV roles then please click here to see what opportunities we could offer you!
The time has finally come, we have waited 596 days, a Summer and 2 Winters, but it has finally arrived… Game of Thrones, the eighth and final season! Unfortunately all good things (or in this case wonderful, exceptional, amazing, tremendous things) must come to an end, after all “The things we love destroy us every time, lad”. So in light of this remarkable day – we have put together a Game of Thrones style blog for all you fan girls and boys who are also looking for a new career. So sit back, relax and let us talk you through it! Networking is essential Just like Petyr Baelish, you should use your network and connections to help you get what you want. Baelish used his connections to get to the Vale. It was his ability to help and assist people that gained him these connections who in turn, owed him favours. Moral of the story, always lend a helping hand, as you never know when you may need something from someone. Learn to prioritise Although it is honourable to hold onto your dream job role and focus all your time on it, you should think about whether it is achievable or whether you should prioritise a more realistic job opportunity. Just like Ser Jorah Mormont, he had his heart set on getting back in the good books of the woman he loves when he obviously should have prioritised finding the cure for Greyscale and staying alive! Always be ready to sell yourself You never know when you’re going to get the opportunity of a life time. So always be prepared to sell yourself and always be prepared with an ‘elevator pitch’. Tyrion has proved to us that talking someone into believing you are worth keeping alive (or hiring you for that matter) could be life changing! Try to memorise a standard pitch in case you run into anyone. Don’t push away the people who are trying to help We would recommend choosing a support team who you trust. Do not, I repeat, do not take a leaf out of Cersei’s book and start cutting off the people who could potentially be valuable allies just because you have reached the top, you may need them sooner than you think. Seek out mentors Even though Daenerys is confident, head strong and independent, she also knows to surround herself with people who can give her good advice and guidance. Don’t be afraid or scared to ask for help and support from other people, you never know who the people you know could be connected to. Are you looking for a new role? Take a look at our vacancy page here! Stay tuned for our series of G.O.T blogs!
As promised, this blog will be digging deep into the ins and outs of a Multi Drop Driving career! If you read our last blog ‘The role of a HGV Driver’ and you’re still unsure as to what career you want to take in the Driving industry, then maybe this blog will help you… As the term ‘multi’ suggests, a Multi Drop Van Driver delivers to more than one place per day. The driver can complete up to and around 30 drops per day! The responsibilities of a Multi Drop Driver Be aware of and plan in advance all routes To check loading items before setting off To carry out daily maintenance checks to avoid any delays on the routes Load and unload goods safely Ensure the vehicle is returned in good condition To adhere to all Driving and Logistics legislation Dealing with customers Ensure all customers receive their deliveries The requirements of a Multi Drop Driver Similar to a HGV driver, there is not many requirements needed to become a Multi Drop Driver, however there are a couple, so take a look… Full UK driving licence Physically fit to be able to lift the goods you are transporting on and off the vehicle Good geographical knowledge Skills needed to be a Multi Drop Driver You’ll need an array of skills to become a marvellous Multi Drop Driver, and here they are: Good customer service skills Ability to work on your own and as part of a team Keen eye for detail Good spoken and written English Good interpersonal skills Ability to be flexible with working hours Typical interview questions If you’re reading this and thinking “yes, this sounds like a career I would enjoy” and you are wanting to schedule an interview as soon as possible, please read the typical interview questions we have put together that could come up: How do you define great customer service? Do you have a clean driving record? Have you been in a car accident? How comfortable are you driving within a … radius of this area? What would you do if you got lost whilst driving for us? How would you stay focused whilst driving for long periods of time? How comfortable are you driving in unfamiliar areas? How would you describe your sense of direction? Why are you interested in this position? Why do you want to be a Multi Drop Driver? How do you manage your time at work? How flexible is your schedule? Multi Drop Driver interview tips Have a copy of your CV with you so you can refer back to your skills and experiences Research the company you are interviewing for – this will show you care about the company as a whole and not just their jobs Ensure you greet everyone with a smile and a firm handshake Dress in smart/casual attire. Even though you are not expected to wear a suit on the job, making an effort for the first time you meet them will be appreciated. Right, if you’ve now made up your mind about what path to take in the Driving industry, click here to see what job vacancies we have available for you!
Are you looking to change your career but not sure what to go into? Or maybe you’re looking to further your career by changing it up a bit. Whatever your situation, we’re here to help you through it. So sit back, relax and let us explain your options to you! Let’s start with HGV driving… In a nutshell, a HGV Driver’s responsibility is to transport goods between the suppliers and the customers. The average HGV Driver salary is around £31,787 per annum. The daily duties of a HGV Driver: Ensuring goods are safely secured. Keeping your vehicle in good condition. This includes daily safety driver checks. Loading and unloading the vehicle safely. Planning and taking the most effective routes to your destination. Requirements of a HGV Driver: Even though you don’t need a degree to become a HGV Driver, there are two essential requirements… You are over 18 years of age. You have a valid UK driving and HGV licence. Most companies ask for previous experience. Most companies ask for Driver CPC. The skills needed to become a HGV Driver: There are a few skills you will need to possess in order to be a HGV Driver… A sense of responsibility Alertness An ability to work independently Impeccable driving record Customer service skills Knowledge of truck mechanics Maintenance skills Physical stamina Ability to meet deadlines Reliability Organisational skills Excellent driving skills Interpersonal skills Concentration skills Attention to detail Typical HGV Driver interview questions: So you’re up to this point and now you must be thinking “I wonder what a HGV interview would be like?” Let me give you an insight to the kind of questions you could be asked… How comfortable are you driving in unfamiliar areas? What would you do if you got lost whilst driving for us? How would you stay focused whilst driving for long hours? Imagine you are in an accident that isn’t your fault, what would you do? If a client was not satisfied because you arrived late with their delivery – how would you handle it? Imagine you are running late for a delivery because you encountered problems on route. What could you do to preserve customer service quality without compromising safety? If I asked you to do basic maintenance to a truck, what steps would you follow? HGV Driver interview tips: So you read some of the possible questions that could come up and now you’re sure you want to become a HGV driver, but you are still yet to go through the interview process. Here are some tips you should take on board for your interview… Learn about the company you are interviewing at – look at their website and take some notes on what they have achieved and where they are looking to take their business. Dress smartly for the interview – appearances can count for a lot and although you won’t be required to wear a suit when on the job, making an effort will show you are serious. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the interview – this can account for any traffic or delays you may run into. When you speak to people, make sure you make eye contact and greet them with a firm handshake. Listen to questions carefully and ensure you stay on topic! Now we have laid out the role of a HGV Driver for you, you’re ready to start looking for your new role! Check out our vacancy page here for more information on what roles we have available for you! If you’re still unsure on where you want to be with your Driving career, stay tuned for our next blog The Role of a Multi Drop Driver.
So, it’s that time of year again! Have you placed your bets yet? As I’m frantically waiting for the races to start, I couldn’t help but think how Recruitment is like the Grand National. So it back, relax and let me walk you through it… Hurdles Recruitment would be nothing without a little hurdle to overcome every now and again. This can be anything from your candidate being booked into an interview and at last minute accepting another job offer! But the thing to remember is to always get back up, dust yourself off and keep going. Quitters don’t win and winners don’t quit! Always betting on your favourite In recruitment, it can be easy to establish your favourite candidate, the one who shows up to all interviews, always answers your calls/emails and attends all training needed without any fuss, sound familiar? It can be even easier to want to put them forward for every single role you think they are qualified for, but remember, there are other great candidates to place your bets on! The underdog can still come out on top! Remember the story of the rabbit and the tortoise? There is always a chance that the unexperienced candidate’s personality and skills could shine through and they could bag themselves the job! Riskier odds can lead to better wins As a candidate, you can always feel like you are not right for a certain job or a job is out of your league, but you can only try. If you never do it, the answer will always be a no, whereas if you actually go to that interview or apply for that job, there is always a chance you could get it. Are you looking to place your bets on a new role? Check out our job searching page here and see what we have available for you!
Under employment is common amongst adults who have been diagnosed with Autism. According to the Forbes website, only 15% of adults living with autism in the United Kingdom are in employment. Here at Swanstaff Recruitment, one of our main core values is to provide equal opportunities for all. Therefore, we have put together some top tips on how to support your employees with Autism, check it out… Determine the most effective method of communication A common way of receiving communication is in writing. This gives people with Autism longer to process the information, and it can be referred back to and easily confirmed when needed. Whatever your employee’s preferred method of communication, your communication will be better understood when it is clear, obvious and direct – using non-emotive language and bullet points, tables, or lists, to separate information and so it makes easier to read. Use visual materials to organise days Many people with Autism are visual thinkers and find it difficult to naturally plan and organise. Using visual materials, both hard copy and electronic, can be really useful in helping your employee to remain on track and meet deadlines whilst at work. Whiteboards, checklists, calendars, timetabling, using planners, diaries and project management tools can really make a difference. Don’t take for granted that your companies unwritten rules are understood From knowing what to wear to knowing that it is expected that we contribute to collections for birthday gifts and special occasions – the unwritten rules of the workplace are not always easily understood, or sometimes even known to exist, by people with Autism. The unwritten rules can be just as important as the written policies and procedures that we agree to when we start work for an employer, and are vital in helping to build good working relationships with our colleagues. Try writing down your workplace’s unwritten rules for your employee and pin them to their desk– this will provide guidance and avoid potential misunderstandings. Consider the environment you are providing and your companies culture Many workplaces are sources of sensory contributions that people without Autism may not notice on a day to day basis, such as harsh lighting and glare from the windscreens of passing traffic, the noise of air conditioning machines, phones or printers, smells from people’s lunches or deodorants or changes in air temperature. People with Autism may struggle with any or all of these and can be much more aware of even fairly low levels of inputs. By changing the location of your employee’s work space or providing noise-cancelling headphones or even by considering some home working time, the sensory overload and anxiety can be minimised and productivity can be increased. Find out what resources are available to help you support your employee Organisations, such as the National Autistic Society, have many free resources available to help employers to support employees who have Autism. Also, the governments Access to Work scheme has been set up to consider funding applications for many different types of reasonable adjustments in the workplace including assistive resources, Support Workers, training and workplace assessments. Can you think of any other ways to support employees with Autism that we may have missed? Let us know by getting in contact with us on our socials!
In light of International Happiness Day (and the fact my previous blog was about Blue Monday), I thought we could all do with some positivity today. If you’re looking for ways to celebrate and recognise happiness at your work then you’ve come to the right place. Check it out… Great co-workers with a smile and a cheery “hello” Doing this can make all the difference to someone’s day. Go beyond your normal circle, and offer a wholesome “good morning” to extend the feel good factor across the organisation. One thing can set the mood for the entire day – so why not make it a good day? Praise efforts from colleagues Taking a few minutes to offer positive feedback doesn’t just boost happiness, it can also have an impact on productivity. Chances are a simple “thank you for doing a great job” could go a long way to inspiring happiness and wellbeing, accomplishment and enthusiasm for your fellow employees. Surprise with kindness This doesn’t have to be a huge gesture or an expensive gift. It can quite literally be a single sweet on everyone’s desk in the morning, or buy some cheap donuts for everyone; it can make all the difference to employee’s work ethic if they feel appreciated. Host a “Happiness Hour” Some ideas for a Happiness Hour are: · Morning tea and coffee · Breakfast · Laughter hour – sit and watch funny videos · Cake and cookie hour Together, we can take action for happiness! Think we missed anything? If you can think of any other way to celebrate this International Day please let us know! Happy Day of Happiness Day everyone!
Did you know that 37% of staff with low mental health are more likely to get into a conflict with colleagues, 57% find it harder to juggle multiple tasks, 80% find it difficult to concentrate, 62% take longer to do tasks and 50% are potentially less patient with customers/clients? If you notice someone else’s mental health deteriorating in the workplace, then follow these tips… Time and place Ensure they are comfortable talking in the location that you’re in. If they aren’t comfortable then move to another place or schedule another time where you can go and meet them to have a chat. It is important to be in a location where you feel comfortable enough to talk, for a majority of people, the place they feel most comfortable is their own home so try to replicate this by sitting down with them at a table, make them a drink and a snack! When speaking to someone whose mental health is low, if they are speaking about it, it is important not to rush them or to make them feel like they are on a time limit. Active listening Being an active listener means being present in the conversation and being engaged in what the other person is talking about. Always give the person your undivided attention, don’t sit there on your phone barely listening, or looking all around the room. Acknowledge what you’re being told with head nods, gestures and friendly advice. Manage your feelings Ensure that you can handle listening to emotional things. Don’t act surprised or judgemental as this can make the other person feel like they are saying something wrong… but at the same time don’t give no facial expression at all. As I said in the point above, acknowledge them with gestures and head nods. Work as a team! If you can see someone is struggling then work as a team to solve the problem as best as you can, try not to leave that person to deal with a difficult situation by themselves. This can reduce the risk of stress. Be positive – focus on what they can do, rather than what they can’t… If a colleague is struggling with their confidence and is knocking everything they are doing, remind them of what they are good at. Think of tasks that they have completed before that were successful and encourage them to stick at tasks until they are finished. Do you feel like your mental health is deteriorating in the workplace? Click here to find out how you can support yourself! Can you think of any other ways to support mental health in the workplace? Drop them in the comments below!
Valentine’s Day is here, so now’s the perfect time to think about those in your life who aren’t getting the love they deserve. You know the ones I mean, they’re eagerly waiting by the phone for a call, the ones who show up to every single interview you arrange for them. These are the candidates who deserve all the love in the world for making your job that little bit easier. Are you the kind of person who finds expressing their feelings hard? Not to worry as we’ve got 5 ways you can show candidates some love this Valentine’s Day… 1. Don’t set unreal expectations Candidates want to know as much as possible about the jobs and companies they’re applying to, both the good and the bad. Setting a realistic picture of the company is better than trying to over sell and not being able to follow through. Tell your candidates what they can expect to be doing on the job. Also, it avoids wasting yours, the candidates and the interviewers time. Plus if you're selling a dream about a company and they happen to have google it won’t be long before they find a lot of bad reviews, it's going to be a bit embarrassing on your part. 2. First impressions A bad candidate experience often starts at the application stage. If candidates have to spend a great deal of time entering information into long applications, they can become frustrated… Don’t let this happen! Avoid losing out on great job seekers by creating a shorter application process. One way you could do this is by giving them the option of coming into your office or to do an online application – sometimes online makes it easier. 3. Find them the perfect match You should only be pairing your candidates with companies/clients you know they can progress and succeed with! Spending more time helping them with their job search will encourage them to gain more loyalty to you and your company, instead of feeling like you are just placing them anywhere for the sake of it. 4. Prepare candidates for the first (interview) date Your candidates will be feeling enough stress and nervousness going on, they are going to want some support and encouragement from you! Give them a call before they go into the interview to prep them with last minute tips about the company and who will be interviewing with and then you also know they arrived safe and sound. Also give them a message or a call after the interview for feedback and a chat about how they got on. This really goes a long way with the candidate! 5. Let them down gently Instead of giving candidates the classic "it’s not you, it’s me" routine, you can make the rejection process more positive and rewarding by giving constructive feedback on why they weren’t selected and what they can do to improve their interview or skill set. By doing this you can keep strong candidates engaged with the company and create a more positive experience. Now that you have everything you need to know, go and give your candidates some love! Can you think of any other ways to show candidates appreciation? Drop them in the comments below!