There is a negative stigma around work experience that needs to be broken, and that’s what this blog is here to do. Let’s be honest, when we finish secondary education most of us just don’t know what we want to spend the rest of our working lives doing, do we? Not being completely sure on what you want to do as a career is one of the top reasons why work experience is so important and beneficial. Trying out different industries and job roles without going through the dreaded interview/hiring process sounds like a dream, right? Right! Doing work experience also helps you understand the expectations of an employer and how you conduct yourself in the workplace. If you do know what you want to do as a career (or are pretty sure you do) then work experience is a great way to really get a feel for the industry and the specific role before you completely jump into the world of work! Completing voluntary work experience will also show employers that you are actually interested and passionate about the chosen industry/role. This can boost your confidence and put you at the front of their minds when they are hiring, or they may even take you on! Work experience is everything it says on the tin – it gives you experience in the working world. Which is believed to be what most employers favour over grades. Charles Kilfoy, EdD and Vice President of Learner Success at North-eastern Universtity said: “Employers today expect recent college graduates to demonstrate the equivalent of two years’ worth of work experience in their domain before they’ll consider hiring them,” he reveals. “That’s why it’s important to build experiential opportunity right into our academic programs, so learners apply classroom skills to solve real-world problems for real workplace sponsors.” There can be 100+ candidates all going for the same job, but already having experience in the role (or just the working world in general) can set you aside from the competition. Resulting in you being more successful in finding your perfect job! Networking is also a huge part of why work experience is beneficial. Meeting and speaking with new people from all different industries can broaden your job prospects and open your mind to new job roles (and skills of your own) that you may not have known existed. My name is Ellie, and before I started as a Marketing Apprentice at Swanstaff Recruitment, I knew nothing about Marketing - but I did know that it was something that may suit my personality and meet my interests. So I completed voluntary work experience with the company. I enjoyed my time so much and it resulted with me being offered an interview for a full time role that also offered me the opportunity to gain a further qualification, so in my experience my work placement has been a catalyst for my career.
Well, the festive period is well and truly over for another year. This can only mean that it is time to kick start 2020 with some new goals and aspirations, right? So what better chance to brush up on your recruiting skills and start recruiting for your dream team! Check out the reasons why you need to be recruiting in January… New Year’s resolutions Lots of people will be making a New Year’s resolution to enter 2020 with. It is thought that over 30% of UK workers consider a career change as the New Year Gets underway as they re-evaluate their lives, finances and aspirations. Data shows that January see’s a huge surge (33%) in Job searches on the top job boards compared to December, therefore there will be an influx of potential candidates to choose from, who are just waiting for your call – don’t miss out! More optimism Each year, January 1st is known to bring a wave of optimism over people. This can be in their personal or professional lives. A person who feels optimistic will go after what they want – so here’s your chance to show them that working for you and your company is the right move. Hopefully your colleagues and employees will be full of positivity and optimism too – a great time to be introducing new team members and ensuring there is a great company culture to make them stay! New Year, new business goals It’s not only job seekers who take time to reflect as the New Year begins, business leaders and Senior team members also take time out to set their professional and business goals and they draw up the strategy, resources and budgets that they need to achieve these. Chances are that if you are looking to grow your business (and you should be!) that you’ll be looking for talented people to help you achieve this. This is your chance to really capture your idea of who you want to employ and take the time to scout them out! Fresh mind Having the Christmas/New Year period off to chill out and recharge – you will be going back to work with a clear mind and can really focus on your recruitment plan and getting it done, instead of being distracted by other things. If you’re taking our advice and want to start recruiting now – why not click here to check out our services for both Permanent and Temporary Recruiting in the UK.
Our favourite festive period may be over for another year but we want to reflect on what made Christmas great at Swanstaff in 2019! We have shared our 12 different ways we celebrated this year and inspiration for you and your team to “step into Christmas” in 2020. Take a look… STEP 1 Put up the office Christmas tree! Finding a spot in the office that’s best to showcase your amazing tree can be the most difficult part of this activity – the rest is just you and your team bonding and having fun! STEP 2 Nothing gets us in the Christmas spirit more than decorating our desks with Christmas lights and Christmassy decorations! STEP 3 Not only can playing music througout the workplace boost morale, playing Christmas music can be a way of getting your employees engaged and in the Christmas mood! You’re missing out if you haven’t heard Swanstaff’s rendition of “All I want for Christmas is you”! STEP 4 Introducing Christmas Jumper Fridays throughout December can be a great way to get your team engaging with work and also with eachother. Showing off funny Christmas jumpers can be a good bonding excerise. Check out our teams Christmas jumper pictures… STEP 5 Buying your team their own advent calanders doesn’t have to break the bank and it can be a great way to show your appreciation to them for their hard work and dedication to the company. STEP 6 Dressing up for National Elf Day is such a fun day that everyone can participate in. It is also a good way to do your bit for charity by raising money for Alzhiemers on the 6th December each year. STEP 7 Holding a Christmas Hat Day is another day that everyone can participate in – however ensure that they are appropriate! STEP 8 I think this one is everyone’s favourite – hold a company Christmas party! This is a bigger way to show how appreciative you are of your staff and a chance to let their hair down! STEP 9 Collecting Christmas charity donations can be a great team building excerise. This year Swanstaff’s internal teams have chosen different charities to send a crate of goodies too. Each team buy, decorate and deliver the goods to the charities in Christmas crates around the Christmas period. STEP 10 The same as decorating your desks – you and your team could decorate the kitchen area together! STEP 11 Back in October for our Wellbeing Week – Swanstaff hosted a Potluck Picnic and it was voted a favourite by our staff – so we have decided to host a Potluck Christmas Lunch for the teams! STEP 12 We took part in secret santa and found that it was a great way to boost engagement and morale within the teams! We also had a surprise visit from Santa himself! Saying goodbye to the festive season has been hard but 2020 is a year to look forward to and achieve great things! If you're looking to base your new years resolutions on your job search, click here!
Your daily commute does not have to be the most boring part of your day. With a bit of strategic planning you can use your commuting time to recharge and boost productivity. Here are some good examples of how you could spend your commuting time to ensure a more productive day. #1 – Pump up and wind down The morning commute is the perfect opportunity to get into a good mood and energised for the day ahead to make sure you start the day with the right attitude. This can be done by listening to upbeat music through headphones or any music that sends your mood rocketing. You can also do this by light exercising – I.E. cycle or walk to work – exercise releases endorphins that trigger positive feelings in the body and is great for maintaining good Mental Health. Winding down on your commute home is also essential. This is especially true if you have had a long and stressful day. Winding down can be done by listening to calming music, downloading calm and wellbeing apps, reading a book or listening to an audio book, playing a game on your phone or simply having a conversation with someone. #2 – Check voice mails and get ahead of emails If you’re not driving or in control of a vehicle – it can be productive to get ahead and check any emails that may have come through after you left work the previous evening. Also, make sure you check any voice mails from phone calls you may have missed. Getting ahead of these can ensure you are fully focused on your work today. #3 – Create a to-do list By using your commuting time to create a to-do list, you are creating more time to actually complete the tasks once you arrive at work (because you don’t have to waste 10-15 minutes writing down what you need to do). On your commute, you can sit and think about what there is to do today and what should be prioritised. This sets you up for an organised and productive day. Writing a to do list is also a great way to manage stress as you’ll feel more prepared and in control of your working day. #4 – Actually switch off Using your commuting time to actually switch off can be very beneficial. Your commute doesn’t have to be full of brain teasers and work emails. Sometimes, in order to recharge you just need to rest and do nothing. Not only will doing this make you more relaxed and calm – it will also mean you will go into work with enough energy to start the day. You may choose to practise mindfulness techniques to make the most of your downtime. Are you tired of completing the same commute day in day out? Take a look at our job page here to see how we could help with that!
Being present on LinkedIn is essential when job hunting. What is equally important is how you present yourself. Your LinkedIn profile picture is one of the first things peers and potential employers will look at when viewing your profile, this is your first chance to impress. There are many ways you could go wrong so follow our top tips below for some assistance in choosing the best LinkedIn photo. Take a clear head shot The image of yourself should have a clear, non-distracting background. Your face should take up a good part of the frame and not include other people. It is important for your potential employer to be able to see your image clearly in high quality. Pick the right outfit It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for an entry level or senior position in a large corporation – you should take your LinkedIn profile picture wearing the clothes you would usually wear to work or to an interview. Keep the colour of your outfit solid or neutral. Floral, patterned and bright colours are not always deemed professional. Although at the same time, dependent on the industry you work in you should take into account that using this as an opportunity to show off your personality could also work in your favour. Avoid selfies Selfies are only really acceptable on Facebook and Instagram – not a professional platform like LinkedIn. Ask another person to take this picture for you and do not (under any circumstances) use filters! A black and white filter is acceptable, however it is good for your potential employers to see you in natural light – so only use this if you think it helps to improve the image. Maybe ask for a second opinion on this if you decide to use black and white, just to be sure. Take the picture in natural light In the world of photography – lighting is everything. Harsh lighting can tint your pictures and create unwanted shadows on your face. Using flash can be a bad idea too as this can cause your face to look shiny. Hopefully you have taken these points into account when choosing your LinkedIn profile photo and showcasing your personal brand, however this is just the start in your LinkedIn journey. Why not take a look at our blog “How to find a job on LinkedIn” for some extra support or alternatively check out our job page for all our latest jobs.
The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and Safety Permits for HGVs have been in place since October 2019 and were put in place to improve the safety of all road users (including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists) in the Greater London areas. So, what does this mean? It is part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London’s Transport Network by 2041. From 26th October 2020 – all HGVs more than 12T (GVM) that enter or operate in the Greater London areas will be required to hold a valid HGV Safety Permit. The permit will be in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 356 days a year. What if I don’t have one? As of 26 October 2020, if you drive a HGV within the Greater London areas without a valid permit, you may receive a penalty charge notice (PCN) of up to £550 – which will be reduced to £275 if paid within 2 weeks (14 days of issue). Vehicles from outside the UK HGVs over 12 tonnes, that are registered from outside of the United Kingdom that enter and operate in London will also be required to hold a valid Safety Permit. This is available to apply for in the same way as UK registered vehicles. Foreign documents will be accepted when registration documents such as a V5C log book is asked for. For more information on the HGV Safety Permit, click here. If you’re looking for a new Driving role, click here to see how we can help you.
Not every company is perfect. But it can constantly evolve and pave its way towards perfection. One way to achieve this is by fostering positive company culture. By focusing on changing company culture and constantly improving it will create a happier, more engaged and stronger workforce. 3 Benefits of Fostering Great Company Culture Better Recruitment Strong company culture is one of the best reasons to attract new talent. Implementing effective recruitment strategies along with positive company culture will give you a competitive edge. Everybody wants to work for a company with a good reputation, and building a great work culture makes hiring that much easier. Higher Job Satisfaction Any company that boasts of positive company culture will have high job satisfaction amongst its employees. You can be assured of having happier and productive employees if you provide them with a positive workspace. Better Performance If you invest in the well-being of your employees, you will see a boost in their productivity. Strong and positive work culture will enable the employees to be motivated and enthusiastic about their work. 6 Tips to Foster Positive Company Culture Define Clear Core Values What are your company’s core values? Having a clear answer to this question will help you shape the company culture. The core values give the employees a clear direction and something to refer to when things get tough. Define values that work uniquely for your company and be authentic about it. Open and Efficient Communication There is nothing more important than having clear communication channels to promote a great company culture. Open the communication lines - right from the senior management to all those facing customers. Have a suggestion box, take surveys or just encourage everyone to communicate if they have any queries, ideas or suggestions. Foster Inclusion An ideal company culture is the one that promotes inclusion. Include every single employee in the company’s journey and listen to what each one has to say about improving the work culture. An inclusive workspace says that you value each employee and their ideas. When people feel like they are being heard, they will be more dedicated to their work. Cultivating inclusion doesn’t just make the employees happy but it would be great for your company as well. Implement Positive Distractions Employees love positive distractions. It is one of those awesome company culture ideas that makes everyone happy. And when employees are happy, the company benefits. Some excellent positive distractions include: Team volunteer days Company trips Hosting holiday lunches Potluck parties Bringing in inspiring speakers These help in building a collective team and allow the employees to strengthen their relationship with each other. Positive distractions nurture trust between departments. Lastly, the employees will feel appreciated and valued. Generate Healthy Competition Nobody really accepts this but everyone loves some healthy competition. Generate healthy competition between different departments or within the same department. Make clear rules regarding the competition. Mention the rewards when one surpasses the goal. You can either reward team members within one department or an entire department when they hit their goals. Offer Recognition Ditch the recognition awards that the company hands out annually. There are many more ways to acknowledge the achievements of your employees regularly, not just annually. Some examples of limitless recognition include: Publicising success through the company newsletter Peer-to-peer recognition Giving gift coupons Handwritten thank you notes Designated parking spots Building company culture enables the business to grow and expand. Remember - when you take care of your employees, your employees will take care of the company. Author Bio: Kelly Barcelos is a progressive digital marketing manager for Jobsoid - Applicant Tracking System. She is responsible for leading the content and social media teams at work. Her expertise and experience in the field of HR enables her to create value-driven content for her readers - both on Jobsoid's blog and other guest blogs where she publishes content regularly.
“Did it go well?” This is the question we all ask ourselves over and over again once the interview has finished. Interviews can be a daunting experience from start to finish, so it is only normal that we question ourselves until we hear back from the Hiring Manager. Luckily, there are a few things you can look out for that can tell you if the interview has gone well. Take a look here… #1 – They tried to sell the job to you If the interviewer is sharing detailed information about the job role with you such as current projects and how you would fit into them, perks and benefits of working for the company and day to day tasks – they are trying to sell the role and the company to you, which is great as this means they see you fitting in with the rest of the team. #2 – You were introduced to the wider team Meeting the rest of the team is a big and bold step. Usually the Hiring Manager will only do this if they are really interested in you and either they want a second opinion from the team or they want to see how you will fit in with the culture of the company. Ensure you make a good impression, speak clearly and hold your head high! #3 – The conversation was flowing Have you ever been to an interview that felt more like an interrogation? This can be an indication that things aren’t going as well as they could be. However, if you’re having an actual conversation with the interviewer that strays away from the usual interview chat – you can almost guarantee things are going well. #4 – The interview over ran The next sign to look out for is how long the interview lasted. The Hiring Manager will usually have multiple candidates to see, so it the interview runs over the predicted time scale – you can bet it has gone well. #5 – They said goodbye in a certain way The final hint to look out for is the way the Hiring Manager says goodbye. I.e. “see you soon” or “I’ll be in touch within …” is usually a good sign that you’ll be hearing from them in the near future. “Thanks for coming” or “I’ll be contacting the successful candidates soon” aren’t always the best to hear when leaving the interview. Although, don’t get too hung up on the goodbyes as language can be perceived differently. The main thing is to remember to stay positive – only time will tell whether you have made a lasting/good impression. Although if you recognise these positive signs, there’s a very good chance that you’ll get the job, land a second interview or at least hear back from them with some positive feedback. If you're looking for a new role for Christmas - click here.
Motivating and inspiring your team are two important leadership skills that cannot afford to go unnoticed and not get the attention they deserve. So, if you’re struggling with ways to motivate your team – follow our top tips below… #1 – Keep on top of your one to ones. Having regular one to one meetings with your team is really important. This is where you can discuss each individual team member’s goals within the business and put together tailored plans to reach them. This will let your team know you care about them and their progression and success within the company. This can also give your team members the chance to give out their suggestions, ideas, problems and issues. #2 – Find out what interests them. To find out the things that motivate, interest and encourages your team members, you could simply ask them. Getting to know your team doesn’t have to be done in secret. You could send out a survey asking what they’re interested in, if they won a prize what would their ideal prize be, etc. The most popular answers may be: Money Days out / nights out Team/individual activities #3 – Give them what they need In order to do a job well – your team may need extra resources. Take it upon yourself to ask “is there anything else you think you could benefit from to help you?” If the answer is yes, then adapt your budget to accommodate their needs. It will make them more appreciated and therefore more motivated to perform well. #4 – Motivational messages Writing your team members individual, tailored messages can make each of your team feel much appreciated, inspired and motivated. This doesn’t have to be a long message; just a sentence on post it notes can go a long way! Some examples of motivational messages are: Great things never come from comfort zones Success doesn’t find you – you have to go out and get it It’s going to be hard, but hard doesn’t mean impossible The key to success is to focus on goals – not obstacles Success only comes to those to dare to attempt Don’t count the days, make the days count There are no shortcuts to anywhere that is worth going Motivation is an essential part of any workplace and you should be constantly striving to make your employees feel motivated and inspired. If you do this, you’re sure to achieve the results that you need. If you’re looking for easy staff rewards – click here to check out our blog 8 easy staff rewards anyone can do.