Did you know that we offer cash bonuses if you refer your friends? You can earn up to £200 per referral – it’s as easy as A, B, C!
There is no limit to the number of referrals you can make – if you think you could refer regularly you may also want to look at our Ambassadors programme which has even more perks!
Top Tip! You may have friends that you could refer that don't live near your local branch - you can still refer them to our national recruiting team or one of our other branches and if they register with us you can still claim a bonus.
As a Swanstaff Ambassador, you always go the extra mile to ensure you are reliable, work to the highest standards and always with a smile! You will be proactive in promoting Swanstaff to other potential workers and make regular referrals.
The benefits of being a Swanstaff Ambassador
Think you have what it takes? Contact your local branch to discuss becoming an Ambassador.
First impressions are not only vital, but are nearly impossible to change. Did you know on average it takes just seven seconds for someone to create their first impression of you? In an interview, you are judged from the very minute you walk into the building, so greet everyone you come into contact with, with a smile and speak clearly… you never know who’s opinion could be the make or break of your job offer. We have put together some body language dos and don’ts for when you attend an interview. Check them out… DO’S Walk in confidently Don’t portray yourself as being scared of the interviewer or nervous around them. Walk in with confidence and give them a firm handshake, although don’t be too over confident that you come off as if you think you’re too good for the role. Sit right back in the chair and sit up straight, do not slouch – it can make the interviewer think you are not taking it seriously. Keep eye contact Keeping eye contact with your interviewer is the best way to show you’re actually paying attention and engaging with the situation. Of course this doesn’t mean stare blankly at them, but strive to hold eye contact for a few seconds at a time. If you’re meeting with more than one interviewer, be sure to make eye contact with all of them. Address the person who asked the question, then hold eye contact with the other interviewer for a few seconds, before returning your attention to the first interviewer. Smile Smile and nod where appropriate, and laugh when the interviewer does. You want to show you have a personality and you’re paying attention to what’s being said. It goes without saying that you should listen to the interviewer and try not to interrupt. Focus on keeping your tone of voice relaxed and polite. Too soft and you’ll seem timid, too loud and you’ll seem overbearing. DON’TS Slouch Sitting hunched forward, or lounging with arms and legs everywhere has the effect of looking a little too relaxed. You don’t want to sit there tightly clutching your fists in your lap, but you also don’t want to portray a casual, not bothered attitude. From the moment you arrive in the reception area, you need to keep your posture perfect. Always be aware of your body position. Sit up straight and lean forwards a little when you’re asked question, it gives a sense of curiosity and engagement. Zone out This is a big no-no! This could possibly be one of the worst things you could do in an interview as it says to the interviewer that you couldn’t be less interested in the opportunity possibly being given to you. It is likely that if you do zone out, the interviewer will just terminate the interview and ask you to leave! Fidget This includes tapping your fingertips in the arm rest or jiggling your leg up or down. It’s a sign of boredom and impatience. Keep both feet planted firmly on the floor to avoid the temptation. It’ll help to keep your posture straight and focussed on your interviewer, which in turn will make you seem more focused. Chew gum Do not chew gum in the interview room. This is really unprofessional and it can make the interviewer think you’re not interested in what they think of you. It also makes you look like you’re too comfortable meeting them, you should be a little bit nervous as this could be your new career! Do you have an interview coming up and are not sure what to where to look professional? Click here to follow our top tips. Can you think of any other Dos and Don’ts for interview body language? Drop them in the comments below!
When it comes to your job search, having previous experience to shout about on your CV and cover letter can help you stand out from other candidates. Not to mention that taking on work experience gives you an insight into the industry, enabling you to begin strengthening your skills. If you’re just starting out your career in the healthcare sector, work experience can be invaluable. Here are our top tips on finding and securing yourself the role that could kick-start your career. Put together a starting CV Putting together a CV is an important first step. This doesn’t have to be in depth, especially if you don’t have any relevant experience. Instead, talk about your education and hobbies and how these will be beneficial to your career in healthcare. You should also make a list of the types of experience you’re looking for and what you hope to gain from it. This will help you if you have to fill out an application, or can be used as a great tool when speaking to employers about the opportunities you’re after. Do your research A quick online search will reveal local businesses that offer work placements and even present you with a range of careers sites to explore. Alternatively, you could use networking sites like LinkedIn to search for opportunities or connect with other healthcare professionals who may be able to help you out. There are also a number of sites out there dedicated to finding and preparing candidates for work experience. For healthcare experience, Prospects and Health Careers are both useful sites. And don’t forget to check the NHS website as well. Start reaching out Once you have a good idea of the type of work experience you’re after, you can begin reaching out to local organisations. Before you begin contacting GPs directly, look at their careers pages and websites. They might have a dedicated page that can tell you everything you need to know about any work experience schemes they run and even let you apply for the role. Alternatively, if you can’t find what you need online, it’s time to pick up the phone or visit them in person. This will not only show that you’re keen, but allow you can have a proper conversation about the opportunities available to you. If you’re still in education, you might also have a dedicated career advisor that can help you by offering contacts, or pointing you in the right direction. If you have access to such a person, they can be a great resource for finding a work placement. Volunteering You should also consider volunteering, even if this is in a different area of healthcare to the one you want to work in. You could volunteer in the social care sector, or perhaps work with mental health charities to support those in need. All of these opportunities look great on your CV and can be a good way to gain relevant industry experience. And there are plenty of healthcare organisations out there looking for extra support! In summary Finding valuable work experience in the healthcare sector is about researching what opportunities are available to you and not being afraid to reach out! Right now the sector is suffering from staff shortages, making organisations all the more grateful for those looking to volunteer or take on work experience. CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent job board. For more expert advice on careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice and Recruitment Insight pages.
Monday is the least favourite day of the week for many people. It's the first day back at work after a weekend of relaxing and it can often seem harder to motivate yourself to get started. January 21st otherwise known as Blue Monday… well, it's not only considered the worst Monday in January it’s actually considered the worst day of the year. The party season is over, we're already failing our new year resolutions and the grey days and potential of snow don’t make things easier! Luckily for you, we have put together some top tips on how to beat this depressing day and stay positive with your job search! Step one – Morning exercise Exercise has been proven to enhance your mood and to fill you with motivation. It is best to do this at the beginning of your day so you are motivated for the rest of the day and ready to be productive in your job search! Step two – Smile Smiling releases endorphins which are responsible for making us feel happy and they help to lower stress levels. With this in mind, try smiling whilst sat at your screen job searching – also listening to your favourite song can help to put a smile on your face and make you genuinely happy. It has also been said that listening to music can help you focus during tasks – so remember to have a listen whilst you job search! Step three – Avoid any last minute stress If you know that you have a lot to do on application day, then try to prepare yourself for it over the weekend. If something can be done in advance, such as CV preparation or completing a cover letter ready to be sent off, then find time during the weekend to do this. Doing so will mean that you have less to do on the day applications open and you will be less stressed at the thought of applying. Step four – Sleep well The amount of sleep you get is important to how you wake up feeling the next morning, as well as the quality of sleep you get. If you don’t sleep well or don’t get enough sleep then you are likely to wake up feeling irritable and unproductive! The best way to avoid this is to cut off all distractions for at least an hour before you fall asleep, this way you have more of a chance of waking up feeling refreshed and ready to start your productive day. Trust us, if you just pick even one of these ways to beat Blue Monday you will feel much happier! Can you think of any other top tips to get over Blue Monday? Let us know in the comments below.
Social networking sites in 2017 are a part of our everyday lives; they help us connect with people from all over the world in both a personal and professional manner. There’s just no getting away from it! From your laptop your phone and now even on watches, trying to avoid social media in some sense is near enough impossible. 10 years on from the creation of Twitter and 1.65 billion Facebook users later we find ourselves too often posting without considering the content of our posts and what the future ramifications could be from this. Try to remember when using social media that your main objective when job hunting is to promote yourself to potential employers. They want to see that you possess certain qualities that make you an employable candidate. Employers hold all the key information they need to find your online profile easily, some even use external screening companies. I don’t mean to alarm anyone because that’s not what I’m here to do; employers aren’t necessarily looking to find bad information about you by looking at your profile they are simply just using this process as a precaution as to see that by employing you would not draw any bad attention their way in the future. Be smart about what you post! Be more aware and take some consideration into whether your tweet or Instagram picture could be considered inappropriate in some manner. Examples of things employers have said that has turned them off a candidate are as follows: An unprofessional screenname or handle Bad mouthing previous employers/colleagues Evidence of excessive drinking or drug use Provocative photos Narrow-minded/offensive comments in regards to race, religion or gender Evidence of criminal behaviour Statistics found 73% of 18-34 year olds found their last job through social media. With the mases of users that are signed up and logged on to these sites daily you should utilise this tool and promote yourself well. If you want to read more about how we here at Swanstaff think you can use social media to find yourself a job use the link below… http://www.swanstaff.co.uk/swanstaff-blog/how-to-use-social-media-to-find-a-job
There are a lot of false impressions about HGV driver training. So we thought we’d address some of the main myths and finally put them to rest. Take a look at these 4 most popular myths and we will set the story straight for you... Myth #1: It’s difficult to get on a training course You don’t actually need any specific qualifications to train to be a HGV driver other than to be over 18, hold a UK driving licence and be eager to learn from the right trainers. There are many different training providers who will accommodate you; you just need to find the one that’s right for you. Myth #2: The medical test is scary The law states that all HGV drivers are required to be in a suitable state of health in order to control their vehicles on public roads. That is why every new driver must go through a medical exam and has to be re-examined every time their licence needs to be renewed. Honestly though, this is not as daunting as it may sound. There is no training or preparation that needs to take place prior. It is just a simple check-up that will give you and the DVLA the necessary reassurance that you are fit to drive without being a hazard to other road users. Myth #3: It’s a sexist field to be in While female HGV drivers are undeniably the minority in the industry, there are more and more women taking up a career behind the wheel. Of course, the small number of women drivers means that sometimes people find themselves double taking every now and again but, in society in general, people are now far more accepting of women being behind the wheel of a HGV. Myth #4: There are next to no jobs at the end of the training This myth couldn’t be any further from the truth! Haulage companies are bending over backwards and digging deep into their pockets to attract new drivers… As the economy continues to grow, there are more than enough driving jobs to go around and that are available for people working locally and nationally too. Some European nationals who are living and working in the UK are choosing to return to their original country after 2016’s Brexit vote. This means that there are even more vacancies for qualified drivers. Another reason that there are lots of HGV jobs is the rise in online shopping calls for more delivery drivers and their lorries! Are you looking to become a HGV driver but don’t know where to start? Click here to see what roles we can offer you! Have we forgotten anything? If you can think of any more myths that need to be left behind then post it in the comments below…
So Christmas is just around the corner and we are so ready to play Mariah Carey until our ears burst! But there are some things we should discuss before we pack up for the festive season. We thought we would help you out by putting together some top tips on how to turn your Christmas temp job into your full time career! Check it out… Attitude When entering a new role, you always should have a positive attitude and give it your 100% effort even if it’s only a part time role. Having the attitude that “it’s only a temp role” will give you the mind-set that you don’t have to put maximum effort, when in actual fact, you will not have any room to progress and turn the role into a career. Also you need to remember that even if you don’t end up in this role, the employer will still be called as a reference by your next role, so make a lasting impression! Quick one to one meetings By asking your manager for one to one meetings (or even just some small feedback) you are showing that you are bothered about the job. This can also be beneficial to the employer, not just the employee. This is due to the fact that it gives the employer a chance to tell you what you can improve on and what you can do to make the operations of the company run smoother and better. Show initiative Don’t just focus on progressing in your initial role, showcase all of your skills by asking to experience different departments. Also this will show that you are willing to put yourself outside of your comfort zone and help your co-workers in different departments when they need you. Apply for internal positions This is obviously a biggie. Applying for internal positions can show your employer that you want to work for their company and not just that you needed a temp job for Christmas. If there are no vacancies then have a chat with your employer and express your interest in the company and the fact that it is the place you want to work for long term. Socialise Socialising with your co-workers is a massive help when wanting to turn your temp job into a career. This is because you can build up relationships with them and they can put in a good word for you if you tell them you want to work for them full time. You can do this by going to their Christmas party, arranging dinner after work or even just going to sit with your co-worker or a group of them at lunch – join in on their conversations, see if you have anything in common. This can help you to figure out if you want to work there full time! Availability Making yourself available for all shifts that need covering or staying overtime in the office to get all the work completed and not just leaving at your finishing time. This will allow your employer to see you are a reliable worker and this can contribute to being able to progress in the role and take a step closer to turning it into a career. Hopefully these top tips have helped you think about how you can turn your Christmas temp job into a career! Or, are you currently looking for a Christmas temp job? Click here to see what we have to offer you!
It’s almost that time of year again where we get to spend 3 glorious weeks watching a group of celebrities band together eating, drinking, swimming and laying in absolutely anything to try and attempt to win delicious treats for themselves and their campmates. Have you ever thought about how the Dingo Dollar challenges can prepare you for your life at your new job? We have – check it out… Team work makes the dream work! Team work is one of the main aspects of Dingo Dollar challenges. It is also essential for any job role. Showing that you are willing to help out your co-workers when they need you can make you stand out to an employer as a team player! Which is an employable skill that is essential… plus we all need help from time to time. Communication is key Ensuring that you communicate with your co-workers is essential. Without communication there is the potential for mistakes to be made. These mistakes could cost the business time and money. If your employer sees that mistakes are being made due to lack of communication then they won’t think you’re the right fit to stay with the company. Interpersonal skills We have learnt from previous seasons of I’m a Celebrity that some people just don’t click together. However, at work (and in Dingo Dollar challenges) you have to try and get along with all your co-workers to get the job done. Being able to get along with everyone you work with can make everybody’s experience in the workplace as easy going as possible. Remember to have fun Regardless of what task the camp is given, they always have fun whilst doing it or manage to see the funny side. If you don’t enjoy doing a job then it’s more than likely that you won’t put all of your effort into it, which really is wasting everybody’s time. Having fun whilst doing a job can show your employer that you genuinely want to work for them instead of just being motivated by money which will make you stand out during your probation period (if you are on one). Share your success with the rest of the group When the campmates win the Dingo Dollar challenges, they take back the treats to share with the rest of the camp. When all the hard work is over, don’t forget to share your success with the rest of the team. Don’t keep all the delicious treats to yourself, share them out with your co-workers! Can you think of any other way that Dingo Dollar challenges can prepare you for your new job? Drop them in the comments below!
With a small amount of training and practice, the majority of people can drive a car; however, it takes a special kind of person to be able to drive a HGV. These people are more than just point A-B drivers. Think you’ve got what it takes to make it as a HGV driver? Check out these top tips on how you can be the best HGV driver… Self-sufficient and the ability to work independently Having personal freedom is part of the attraction to HGV driving, especially long-distance driving. The chance to be alone for the majority of your day, being in complete control over your own driving and your vehicle is something some other workers envy. If you’re the type of person that needs flowing conversation and a busy workplace in order to get through the day, you may struggle with this kind of career. HGV drivers often spend long stretches of time driving alone and therefore must be able to handle being by themselves and having complete responsibility for the truck and the goods it transports. Spatially aware If you are naturally in tune with the world around you, manoeuvring a HGV in tight spaces will be no problem for you. Whether it be finding your way along narrow streets or anticipating hazards such as street furniture or pedestrians, it helps to be spatially aware. Most drivers soon get the hang of knowing what’s going on around their vehicle. Technically literate You don’t need to be a mechanic, but when the unexpected happens, it helps to have a reasonable understanding of your vehicle. Even more importantly, these skills can help you recognise problems before they occur, so you can take tactical action and save the time of a lengthy delay while repairs take place. Cool-headed If your blood pressure shoots to the sky every time another driver does something daft, a career on the road probably isn’t the best move for you. As well as not being good for your health. A HGV driver needs to be able to manage their anger. Expecting poor driving from others and giving them plenty of time and space, (especially learner, new and elderly drivers) has to be second nature. Sense of responsibility A HGV driver should have a good sense of responsibility. If goods were to be damaged due to the way the driver was driving and that was clear to anyone then you should take responsibility as this would look better than blatantly lying to someone’s face (especially an employer). Alertness A HGV driver must be alert at all times and able to be quick to respond to the road and driving conditions they are faced with. They must ensure they are well-rested and able to handle the task at hand. This is a huge potential hazard if not carried out due to the fact that if a driver is half asleep at the wheel then they can be causing danger to themselves and other road users. Customer service skills HGV drivers must have excellent customer service skills when dealing with clients who are either shipping or receiving goods carried in the vehicle. You are the face of the company so, therefore, have to be on top of your game. Stamina As a HGV Driver you should have good stamina for the loading and unloading of goods, some can be very heavy and therefore needs someone strong to be able to unload with no issues. Also, drivers need stamina for the long drives a trip involves, this means that they ideally should not have any back issues that could suddenly cause pain whilst driving and distract them. Good Time Management Driver’s should always ensure they’re consistently making all pick-ups and deliveries on-time. This is essential because if they are late or don’t show then it can reflect badly on the company you are working for and therefore result in losing business and money. Think we missed any other top tips? Let us know in the comments below! Also, if you’re looking to become a HGV Driver, take a look at what jobs we could offer you here!
Whilst there are a huge number of Healthcare Assistants out there who work in various settings – from care homes to domiciliary – there are a few things they all have in common that only other Carers will understand! You know you’re a Healthcare Assistant when: You can never find a pen when you need one When we asked Carers this was their top idea! They also said that if you work in domiciliary care, you can’t find a pen when you need it and then end up finding hundreds in your pockets or tunic when you get home but you’re not sure which home or person they came from! When you try to use your key card to get into your house after a long shift! Whether it has been a particularly long day shift or a tiring night shift, you’re not the only one who tries to swipe your front door open with your key card! After all it becomes a habit and sometimes you just can’t help it! You knock on every door before you go in, even at home! Yes it’s the polite thing to do but there’s no need to knock on your own living room door before going in. It’s especially awkward if there is someone in there and you have to explain why you’re knocking! You find disposable gloves in your pockets at random times, such as walking around the supermarket! Whilst disposable gloves are handy and absolutely one of the top items you need to do your job, there are not needed when you’re choosing which microwave meal to have in the middle of Asda! You think any alarm type noise is the emergency buzzer and immediately jump up Whether it’s the smoke alarm or a car in the street, you find you are immediately alert and ready to rush to help. Whether you need to be or not! When you find yourself speaking louder than normal until you remember you don’t need to as you’re not at work! Whether you say things slower to be clearer or louder to be heard, your friends and family have probably mentioned more than once that they are not the residents you work with Can you think of anything else we have missed? Let us know in the comments below! If you are looking for work then check out our current jobs here. Alternatively you can find your nearest branch and get in touch with them using our branch locator.
There are a huge number of Healthcare Assistants working in various setting across the UK, offering care to those in need. The role they do, whilst sometimes difficult, is very rewarding and offers a level of job satisfaction that is hard to find. So what does it mean to be an agency Healthcare Assistant? To become an agency Healthcare Assistant you need the following qualities: Flexible your job will vary day-to-day so you must be flexible to the needs of the people you care for Caring you will need to show empathy to everyone you work with from your colleagues to the families of those you care for Friendly you will need to get along with a variety of different people who may need different levels of care Reliable familes and service users will rely on you so you will need to make sure you arrive on time and follow the care plan in place Understanding you must be able to show understanding to people with a variety of needs, in a range of situations Motivated you must be able to self motivate, you cannot just "not feel like it" when caring for someone Patient you must be able to stay calm and be patient, even when service users are challenging or aggitated Enthusiastic you should be positive and enthusiastic so that the service users feel comfortable with you Healthcare Assistants are not only there to support physical safety and care but also emotional wellbeing. To find out more about what you need to be an agency HCA, check out the infographic below:
What are you up to this Bank Holiday weekend? Are you planning pub lunches, days out and barbeques with family and friends? What about your job search? The excitement of some time off can often mean that most people let their job search slide. So why not take advantage of the lull and get your CV out there ready for Tuesday morning? Here are our top tips for how to job search over the Bank Holiday weekend: Start early It doesn’t have to take up your whole weekend. Choose a morning and dedicate a couple of hours to working on it first thing. This will leave you with enough time to still make the most of the days and the predicted sunny weather! Update your CV With this extra time you could to go through your CV and update it with any new skills you might have. Take the time to write a few versions if you are applying for different jobs, tailoring them to the knowledge and experience needed for those roles. You could also write cover letter templates to go with each CV so that all you need to do is add a few bits of information in before sending it. Look for your dream job I know that’s probably what you are already doing but what about the companies who aren’t advertising for staff? Research the companies you would love to work for. You can use LinkedIn to find the people who work there and work out the best person for you to contact. So what should you say when contacting someone about a job when there isn’t one advertised? Here is a template you can use: Good morning _________, My name is ______ and I am a _________[insert your job title or preferred job title here]. I hope you are well. I understand that you aren’t advertising a job role like mine at the moment, but I would love to take this opportunity to introduce myself and find a bit more about what I can do to potentially work for you in the future. I had a look at your company website and I really loved the look of the business. I particularly liked______[give one or two examples of things that made you want to work for them]. For the past ____ years I have worked in_______[detail your experience here]. This has allowed me to pick up a variety of valuable skills including _________[list skills or training you have]. I have attached my CV to this email but please get in touch with me on ______ or email me back if you have any questions. Thank you for your time [Your name/signature] Get in touch with a recruiter - Even if you cannot find the perfect job, send your CV to a good recruiter. Make sure you include a cover letter explaining the type of roles you are interested in and let them know they best way to contact you. This will show your dedication to your search and allow the recruiter to help or direct you to someone else who can help. You can get in touch with your local Swanstaff recruiter by visiting our branch locator and clicking the “email us” button under your nearest branch. Can you think of any other ways a bank holiday can help your job search?
A group of potential employers and recruiters all in one place and looking to hire? It sounds like a job seekers dream but it is much more than that. It is an opportunity to network and get to know the people you’re applying to work for. So how can you prepare to make the most of visiting a job fair? We’ve broken it down into four stages; before the fair, on the day, during the fair and after it. Before the job fair you will need to: Print enough copies of your CV Depending on the size of the job fair you may want to bring one copy per job stand so that you’re ready. If it’s a particularly big job fair then try to work out how many will be relevant to you and print a few more than that (you don't want to run out!). Your CV should only be 1-2 pages so you should print them double sided if possible. That way you’re only handing them one piece of paper and there’s no chance of the two halves getting separated. Business cards If you have personal business cards then bring them. A business card is not essential but if you have one it will make you look both prepared and professional so make sure to bring enough! Research, research, research A job fair is a fantastic opportunity to speak to the people who will be involved in hiring you so you want to make a good impression. Find out which companies will be there and research the ones most relevant to you. You can use the knowledge you gather on the company to show that you have a real interest in working for them. Typically the first question they will ask is “why do you want to work for us?” so you should be ready with reasons you are interested in their company. On the day you will need to: Dress smartly Making a good first impression is important. You will need to dress smartly, as though you are attending an interview. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes (but not trainers) as you will be on your feet quite a bit. If you want to see more ideas of what to wear to look professional then check out our blog. Remember the essentials This will include a notepad for writing down contact details, a couple of pens, a diary/calendar so that you can schedule meetings whilst you are there and a bottle of water. You will often be given marketing materials so bring a small bag so that you will have somewhere to put them whilst you are speaking to other employers. When you get there: Get your bearings depending on the size of the job fair it may be worth walking around it once to work out the busiest stands. If you are given a map then sit down and circle the stands you are most interested in. This will help you plan a route to make sure you don’t miss anyone. Prioritise ones you are most interested in If you have enough time then it is worth visiting the employers you are least interested in first. This gives you the chance to warm up, practise your pitch and make sure you come across as confidently as possible for the ones you really care about. However, you will need to remember to keep an eye on the time and factor in the potential for waiting to speak with some employers. If you feel like you are running out of time then go and see your top choices as quickly as possible! Take notes When speaking to the employers always ask if they mind if you take some notes. They often won’t and will appreciate that you are taking the initiative to record important information. Write down the company name and the name of the person you spoke to. Ask them for their business card or contact details if they do not have one. You should ask what the next steps are (who needs to contact who and when). If possible find out the dates they plan to interview so that you can keep the days free for this. Ask questions Using your research try to ask questions about the organisation. Some other question you could ask might be: Is there a specific type of experience or training you like applicants to have? How would you describe working here? What can I do to help me stand out from other applicants? How often do you have positions come up? Are there opportunities for progression? After the job fair: Say thank you Using the contact details and business cards you gathered, send a thank you note to the person you spoke to. This could be an email, card or letter. This acknowledges the time they spent with you, creates direct contact and gives them a positive memory of you. Follow up If you were asked to email your CV to a specific person or come along to meet someone then make sure you do this. There is nothing worse than making a good first impression and then letting them down by being late or not getting in touch. If you leave it too long then you risk missing out on the roles they have. Find them on LinkedIn Try to find the people you spoke with on LinkedIn. Even if you aren’t able to work with them immediately they are great to add as part of your network as a long term opportunity. Attending a job fair is a great way to get to know employers and help them find out more about you. Can you think of any other tips on how to get the most out of a job fair? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re looking to meet with experienced recruiters you don’t need to wait for the job fairs. Check out our branch locator for your nearest team and give them a call to find out more about how a recruitment agency can help you!
Staff rewards are an essential part of an effective employee engagement strategy. They show staff that you value them whilst creating a good working environment and improving retention. Many leaders however struggle to implement them as they need to find incentives that fit their workplace. With this in mind we have come up with 8 ideas to help your staff feel valued. How many of these do you do? Provide tea, coffee and fruit. It may seem simple but providing you staff with a variety of drinks and healthy snacks can really make a difference. 60% of employees believe their employer should offer fresh fruit to staff in the workplace, according to research by British Summer Fruits. DJ for a Day. As a reward for someone who has done particularly well, allow them to be DJ for a day. This could mean letting them pick the radio station for the day or choosing the music style you listen to for a couple of hours. Whatever fits your workplace best. Monthly award. Create an area with a photo frame for a certificate. Each month choose someone who has gone above and beyond to be employee of the month. You could give them a prize for this or just leave the reward as the recognition of have a certificate with their name on up. Either way, your staff will appreciate that you noticed them. Professional development. One of the most important things you can offer your staff is training. Not only does this improve the knowledge within the team and make them more efficient at their job but it also means that they will be more loyal to the company, therefore improving retention. This could be anything from paying for them to go to a course, sending them to a seminar or allowing them the time in the workplace to watch a webinar. It doesn't always have to cost money as some sectors actually have free courses available online. It is worth looking around for this. Recognise hard work with a thank you note or card. Perhaps someone has brought in a new contract or helped another member of staff with their work. You can send them a handwritten thank you note or send an email to your staff letting them know about the excellent work this person has done. Event recognition for birthday, anniversaries and significant days. Whether this is sending them a card signed by the office, having the team sing them happy birthday at their desk or remembering things that are happening to them outside of work (such as weddings, births etc). Taking the time to remember these things is important for showing that you value your staff as people rather than just workers. Creating a good social scene in your workplace can really help your team bond. Arranging social events can be more than just a Christmas party. Try to find interests your staff have in common. You can suggest cinema trips, pizza lunches, drinks nights or going for dinner with staff after work occasionally. Great office space. Having a great office space can be the difference between your staff enjoying their time at work and being excited to get out the door! Allow your staff to personalise their desks and make sure the office is an inspiring place to work. This means more than just putting up a couple of inspirational quotes. You can see our full blog on this here. Can you think of any other simple rewards you could introduce into the workplace? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re looking for new staff to bring into your workplace then get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch to find out more about how we can help you.
Team building. It’s sometimes seen as the marmite of the employee engagement world. You either love it or you hate it! We're here to show you how you can plan team building activities that won’t bore your staff and will actually increase employee engagement. There are a number of factors to consider: The size of your team Some tasks won’t suit smaller teams and so you may need to plan to use a different space if you have a large group. The personalities within your team Are they introverts or extroverts? The likes and dislikes of the individuals Are they really sporty? You want to make sure you pick something everyone will want to get involved in. Now have a think about what you would like to gain from the team building activity? Are you trying to improve problem solving skills, help people get to know one another or maybe something else? So, keeping your answers to all of the above in mind, here are our top 5 team building activities that we've run at company events and our staff have loved! Knowing Me, Knowing You This team building task is essentially a scavenger hunt but instead of items you need to find people. All you need to do is set a range of qualities or attributes for people to find. This could be anything from someone with blue eyes, someone with a horse, someone who drives a BMW etc. The only rule is that you can only put someone’s name down once on the sheet. Group size: Unlimited (the bigger the better!) Length: 15-45 minutes depending on group size Benefits: Relationship building, creating discussion Do Good, Feel Good Plan a charity event. Split your group into teams (if you have more than 10 people) and ask them to choose a charity and then come up with a creative fundraising idea. You could give them a budget to spend but you don’t have to. At the end ask people to vote for their favourite idea and then run this as a charity event. Group size: Unlimited Length: 20 minutes Benefits: Problem solving, creating discussion Common Knowledge Find five things you all have in common with each other. For this one it works best in smaller groups. Maybe you all have a freckle on your left thumb, or all love country music? This one is great as a warm up task before a bigger team building task. Try to think outside the box with your answers! Group size: 2-5 (any bigger and it tends to be impossible!) Length: 5-15 minutes depending on group size Benefits: Relationship building, creating discussion Who Do You Think You Are There are a number of great personality quizzes out there that you can print or do online. Choose one of these and get people to take it. Once you have the results, get people to stand with others with similar personalities and see if there are any who surprise you. Discuss your results in teams and use the information you learn to get to know your team better. Group size: Unlimited Length: Dependant on quiz Benefits: Relationship building, create discussion The Apprentice Split people into teams. Ask them to create a product or service around a topic of your choice. Provide them with lined paper, A3 paper and coloured pens and ask them to split themselves in half. One half will be Marketing and Design, they will come up with a logo, tagline, marketing plan and marketing budget for their product or service. The other will be Sales and Finance, they will work out the costs and how the will pitch their product and who it will be aimed at. This task is a great one for sales people and gets them to think about production costs, marketing, office costs and so much more that goes into selling a product or service. Ask your CEO or Manager to pick a winner from the pitches. Group size: Split into teams of 4-6 Length: 45 minutes Benefits: Problem solving, creating discussion Can you think of any other team building tasks you could try? Have you tried any of these? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re currently looking for a new job then check out our current vacancies here, if you’re looking to hire new staff, then check out our branch locator to find your nearest branch and get in touch with them.
There are so many myths surrounding working in care and today we’re helping to bust them! Myth 1 - There Isn’t Any Development Or Progression This myth couldn’t be more false. In fact, many recruitment agencies and care providers will work to upskill their staff and promote existing staff members where possible. The more skills and experience you have, the more pay you will be on, just like any other job. At Swanstaff we have our own training team and offer free or discounted training to our agency staff. The more skills they have, the more opportunities we have to place them out so there is in fact a lot of progression wherever you work in care. Myth 2 - Care Work In Long Hours On Low Pay Pay in care work care vary depending on the type of role you are in and what your skills and experience are, however it is not a low paid job. The unusual hours that care workers work can be off putting to some people, however the flexible nature of the job (especially within agency work) can be a great option for people trying to fit in working around studying, family or other commitments. Myth 3 - Care Work Is Unfulfilling Despite the negative perception of care work, 96% of carers said that they feel their work makes a difference. In fact, we are sure that many would agree that looking after other people is one of the most rewarding careers a person can choose. Are there any other myths around working in care that you can think of? What’s your favourite thing about working in care? If you’re looking for work then check out our current vacancies here, or visit our branch locator to find your nearest branch and get in touch with them.
During sixth form I was achieving good grades and knew I was going to complete my A levels with great results. It was then everyone started talking about “what is next?”. But whilst you’re in sixth form there is so much pressure from teachers to go to University. Despite this, I knew I wanted to go straight out into the working world and gain experience. I spoke to my teachers about other opportunities for me rather than going to university. There were several areas to go when leaving school such as completing a college course, going straight into a full time job, or get an apprenticeship. I chose to become an apprentice and am thrilled with how it has turned out. Being an apprentice means I am earning and learning at the same time. Apprenticeship courses are based around the role or area of the business you work in; I am currently completing my Administration Apprenticeship within Swanstaff Recruitment. This company has made my apprenticeship interesting and fun. It has given me the opportunity to learn so much about businesses and how they run. An apprenticeship involves completing coursework and training with regular visits from a tutor to help marking your work and discussing your progress. I really enjoy my apprenticeship and I feel like it has really helped me get a “foot in the door” as people say. I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who is looking to get straight into work but wants to continue learning at the same time! Written by Sian Goldfinch Reception Apprentice at Swanstaff Recruitment
What do they mean by “why do you want to work for us” in an interview? It’s not a trick question and they’re not trying to trip you up. They want to know if you are just there for the pay and because it’s a job or if you are going to become invested in and integral to the company. You need to use your answer to show them you want to become a part of the team/family. So how can you make sure you impress in your answer? Use your research Research the company to get a good understanding of the company needs and talk about how passionate you are to help them achieve their goals. Use compliments Everyone loves a compliment. You could discuss a project or achievement and why you would love to be a part of the next one. Use examples Choose examples of how your skills and experience align with the company needs and values. Can you think of any other important things to include in your answer here? If you’re looking for a new job, get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch here.
When running an interview there are a few things you are trying to achieve. You need to know how good this person is at their job, how well they will fit in your team and if they reflect your company values. There are a number of generic interview questions people typically ask, but what about more creative ones? Here at Swanstaff we ask a number of the following questions in our own interview process. Not only do they help us to ascertain the candidate’s suitability for the role but they also create great talking points to help us get to know them and see if they would be a good fit for the team. Could you ask some of these in your next interview? What’s the most interesting thing about you that’s not included on your CV? Who was your childhood hero and why? If you could have one super power, what would it be? What is your best memory and why? If I gave you £10,000 what would you spend it on? What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced, not work related? How would your closest friends describe you? What was the last thing you watched on TV and what made you decide to watch it? If someone wrote the story of your life, what would it be called and why? Teach me something I don’t know in the next 5 minutes. If you’re looking for a new job then check out our current vacancies or get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch today!
First impressions are so important and you don’t get a second chance to make one. That’s why you need to make sure that you follow these simple steps to making a good first impression in a job interview! Plan Your Journey Make sure that you allow plenty of time to get to your interview. Typically you should aim to be going into an interview no more than 10 minutes before your time slot. If you’re earlier than this, you can find a local coffee shop to sit down and prepare yourself. 96% of interviewers in a survey by Monster said that a candidates time keeping skills would influence their decision so it is a vital part of your first impression! Shake It Up Make sure your handshake is solid and confident. Don’t be too strong or too limp. Try to find a happy medium for this and remember to look them in the eye and smile as you introduce yourself. Look (And Smell!) Your Best You want to make sure that you look smart and fit the required dress code. Clothes must be clean and ironed and you should be clean and smartly turned out. If you wear perfume or aftershave, don’t put too much on. You don’t want to overpower your interviewer! Remember these three things and you will make your first impression a great one! If you start an interview with a good impression, then you have a better chance of success. If you’re looking for a new job then check out our current vacancies or get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch today!
Valentine’s Day is typically known as a day for you to shower the people you love with affection. But instead of chocolates and roses, we think one of the best gifts Valentine’s Day can give you is job search advice! Don’t believe us? Read on and find out! Research, Research, Research Whether it’s your first date or a first interview, you need to prepare by researching. For a date you might to find the perfect location and things you have in common to discuss. However, for an interview you will probably be researching the company, their values and the job you could be doing. If you want to find out more about researching before a job interview, check out our blog here! Dress To Impress For a date or an interview, it doesn’t matter. You’re going to want to dress well to make a good impression. This will mean you need to find out the dress code beforehand to be sure that you will come across well. For an interview this will mean asking the person who has invited in what they would like you to wear. It may vary depending on the job role. Follow Up After a date you follow up with the usual, “I had fun, let’s do it again” message. After an interview you want to do something similar letting them know you are definitely interested in working for them and there if they have any questions. If you need some ideas, check out our blog with templates on this here. Even if the interview went badly, it is worth following up to explain that you don’t think you came across as well as you would like. So remember; you need to prepare, dress well and follow up. If you do these three things then you give any interviews or dates the best chance of success! If you’re looking for a new job then check out our jobs here.
How do you answer, what is your biggest weakness? This is another of those questions that seems to scare people in interviews. When answering this question, bear the following points in mind: Choose a weakness which does not directly relate to the role you are applying for. The weakness must relate to a the workplace but if the job advert said they wanted someone who is highly organised then you say your weakness is being disorganised then they may not feel you're suited to the job! Show awareness of the weakness and how it affects you by saying how you will overcome it. You could even include ways you are working to overcome it already and how they are helping. Don’t be a cliché. Don’t answer with “I’m just such a perfectionist”. This shows a lack of self-awareness and will not go down well with a hiring manager. Do not avoid the question. How would you answer this question now? You can search our blog for more of our “how to answer” series to discover other interview questions and our top tips for answering them! If you’re looking for a new job, then get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch.
Are you a hard-working, multi-tasking, highly-organised superhero of a candidate? So why are you panicking when the interviewer asks “why should we hire you”? Well don’t worry, we all do it. It can be hard to be put on the spot and asked to sell yourself. After all, what are they really asking here? They want to know what skills and experience you will bring to the company. How do you stand out in comparison to other candidates? Here are our top tips for how to answer, why should we hire you: Research, research, research Make sure you have looked up everything you can about the company. Know who they are and what they do well enough that you know how you will fit in and benefit them. If you’re not sure how to research a company, check out our blog here. Know your USP Chances are the other candidates you’re up against have similar qualifications and experience to you. So how do you stand out? What is your unique selling point? Try to emphasise this in your answer. Problem solving Did you notice a problem the company is having during your research? Talk about how you could help to solve this and explain your solution. This will give them an idea of how you work and how you can help them. Be concise You want make sure your answer is no longer than a minute or two. Whilst it is good to practise beforehand you need to make sure you leave room for changes to highlight or emphasise skills that the employer suggests are more valuable throughout the interview. If you’re looking for a new job then get in touch with your local branch today.
Many people struggle with the question “where do you see yourself in 5 years” because on the surface it appears to be simple but there are a few traps. You need to show ambition without going overboard. So with this in mind here are our 5 top tips on how to answer, where you see yourself in 5 years. Show commitment. It’s important to make sure you show that you plan or would like to stay with their company. Show realistic plan for personal development. You need to stress your long term career plans and how this company are a part of that. Show how your values link to the company’s. Try to understand their growth plans and how you and your potential role might fit into them. Don’t say “in your job” to whoever is interviewing you. It might seem “cute” at the time but it’s not going to go down well if they think you’re out to steal their job from the start! Don’t lie. Whilst you may not plan to stay with a company long term, it is not in your best interest to mention this in your interview. Try to be honest about where you would like to be professionally. If you’re not planning to stay with the company then you will need to think and prepare your answer for this before the interview so you can word it well. If you’re looking for a new job, then call your local Swanstaff branch or check out our current jobs here.
If the thought of a work appraisal makes you worry then you probably aren’t doing them right! Depending on the size of your company will depend on the number of appraisals you will be going to get a year but typically you will have at least one. Appraisals usually have a set format or form that must be filled in during the meeting to guide the discussion. The main purpose of an appraisal is to review your progress, achievements, and goals. The information gathered will help you and your manager to decide development opportunities to help you improve. Although you will be told what you need to bring to an appraisal, there are a few things you can do to prepare: Write out your achievements. It can help you to keep them fresh in your mind so that you feel comfortable discussing them and don’t have to come up with something on the spot. Think about something that challenged you that you would like to do better next time. An appraisal is a great opportunity for self-reflection and evaluation. Get details. Though your manager will have time to prepare they may have more than one appraisal to do. You can bring along evidence of work that you did particularly well to discuss. Pick 3 career goals. Decide a few goals that you want to achieve to discuss. These could be a project you want to complete, course you want to take, skill you want to learn or even new responsibilities you would like to take on. What do you want to get from the meeting? Prepare questions that cover these things to make sure that you get what you need. Some good questions to ask would be: How can I progress for next time? Is there any training I can take that will help me move forward? Are there any additional responsibilities I can take? What weaknesses do I have that you would most like me to work on? With this all in mind, our top tips for an appraisal are: Be upbeat Try to focus on the positives, even when discussing weaknesses. Weaknesses are an opportunity to grow so when you mention them, it is worth also saying how you plan to avoid or overcome them in the future. Practise If you’re feeling nervous then practise answers. You can ask for a copy of the form or questions they will be asking beforehand so that you can think about the answers ahead of time. Be realistic Try to set realistic plans and goals. It can help to come up with both short term and long term ideas to give you things to constantly aim for. If you’re looking for a new job then get in touch with your local branch of Swanstaff today.
So you’re reaching the end of the interview, and the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” At this moment you have a couple of options. Option 1, say “No, thank you, I think you’ve answered all the questions I had already today!” Option 2, ask some of the following questions if they haven’t already been answered: How would you describe the company culture? What do you love most about working here? Will I be working with a team? Could you tell me a bit about them? What would a typical day look like for this role? What opportunities are there for training and progression within the role? Where do you see the company in 5/10 years’ time? What are the next interview steps? When can I next expect to hear from you? It is important to make sure that you prepare for an interview thoroughly. If you think of any questions during the interview, try to save them for the end, just in case they are answered later in the interview. If you’re looking for a new job, get in touch with your local Swanstaff team today!
How would you describe yourself? It’s one of the most popular interview questions but your response is still very important. You need to try to plan your answer in advance. Try to take keywords from the job advert to inspire your response. If they are looking for someone who is “Driven and self-motivated” you could say something like the following: “I am comfortable working both in a team and alone. For example when I did _____at ____ I proved that I was able to motivate myself to stay focused on the task and complete it independently before the deadline.” Another example could be for the keywords “organised and a team player”. “I am organised and reliable. Whilst working for _____ I worked on _____. For the project we had to hit a number of deadlines and work collaboratively to achieve this. This meant I had to be highly organised and be clear on who was dealing with each part to make sure it was a success.” Other words you could base your description of yourself on would be: flexible detail oriantated reliable communicative creative Try to include examples of when you showed these qualities to justify them. However you don't want to make it all about the keywords, be sure to personalise your answer to really show who you are. So how would you answer the question “how would you describe yourself” now? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re looking for a new job then give your local branch a call.
When preparing for an interview you should go over the job description carefully. Make sure that your experiences and qualifications match up and if there are gaps, prepare an answer to cover you for this. However, there will still be a number of typical questions that you will likely be asked and need to prepare for. Here are the 3 most commonly asked nursing interview questions and how you can answer them. What made you choose to become a nurse? Possibly the most common question nurses will be asked (both in and out of an interview) but it is still important to have an answer prepared that you have tailored to the role you are going for. Don’t be afraid to be personal, especially if you have story behind your choice. If you don’t really have a story or something you are comfortable sharing then you can say something like the following: I have always loved caring for people, even from a young age. As I have grown I realised that nursing is a way for me to turn my passion into a career where I can really make a difference to people’s lives. What do you find rewarding about nursing? There will obviously be a number of rewards to any job you are going for but they are looking for an answer that tells them about the type of nurse that you are, so try to offer an experience you have had which shows them the part you find most rewarding. You could share a story about a particularly grateful patient and their family, or about a patient that inspired you through their strength. Try to avoid talking about money or how easy the commute will be. That’s not what they’re looking for here. What do you find is the hardest part about being a nurse? This question is not asking you to tell them about how much you hate working nights because it affects your social life. It’s asking you to talk about how the job role affects you personally. You could discuss how hard you find it to deal with feeling helpless and wishing you could do more to help a patient, or how you find it hard to speak to the families of a patient as you genuinely care about people and find it difficult to give them news when there is nothing you can do to help them. These are just a few of the questions nurses are often asked in an interview. If you’re a nurse looking for work then we have jobs both permanent and temporary across the UK. Get in touch with your local team today or see some of our current jobs here.
Leaving a job you’ve been in, no matter how long it was for, can be difficult. However, talking about why you are leaving in interviews with potential new employers can also cause issues. You need to avoid being negative about current or previous employers, whilst also explaining as honestly as you can why you don’t want to work there anymore. You should be careful with the wording you use and the way you approach this question. Here are some ideas of what you can say for a variety of different reasons: “I’m not going anywhere, I feel stuck.” “Although this job has allowed me to develop my skills at a comfortable pace, I am now looking for a role that can offer me more progression and opportunities to learn.” “I’m bored.” “My current workplace has allowed me to gain a number of useful experiences but I am now looking for a more challenging role in a faster paced environment to give me the chance to learn and develop my skills further.” “I want to do something else.” “Whilst I have enjoyed my current workplace and learnt a lot of new skills I have revaluated what I would like to do moving forward in my career and can really see myself flourishing in a ____ role, like this one.” “I was overlooked for promotion.” “I realised that the opportunity to grow in the company was not available to me and in order to continue to improve professionally I needed to move onto another role.” “I don’t like my boss/colleagues” “Whilst at ____ I learnt a lot. I would like to move into another role now where I might find a better company culture fit for myself so I can continue to grow in an environment that suits my personality.” Are there any other reasons for leaving a job that you can think of a good way of wording an answer to? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re looking for a new job then check out our current jobs here.
So you nailed your first interview and now you’ve been invited back for a second. This one will be different. Where the first interview tested your abilities and personality, the second will be your opportunity to prove what separates you from the competition. Your interview may be with someone different, for example a Director or Manager. Or it may be a “panel-style interview” which means you are interviewed by multiple people at the same time. However they are going to do it, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Be prepared – The questions they ask might be more detailed and technical. They may want to give you a test to prove your knowledge. Don’t forget to ask beforehand if you need to bring anything additional, this will vary depending on the industry you work in. They could ask for a presentation, a portfolio, certificates, etc. It is also worth making sure you have the names of all the people interviewing you. Plan It – Think about the questions you want to ask and the things you might like to learn about the company. The interview is as much about you getting to know them better as it is about them getting to know you. If it helps, prepare a list of questions that you can read from so that you don’t miss anything. Cultural Fit – They will have probably thought about how you might fit into the team at the first interview, but this will be more in depth one. They may introduce you to more of the people you will work with. This is your chance to see if you think you can imagine yourself working with these people as well. Clarify – Did you have any questions that you felt you could have answered better, things you wanted to say? This is your chance to improve on your first interview, which must have been good for them to call you back! Take your time and try not to rush your answers. You need to think before you speak. What Next? – Evaluate how you feel the interview went and don’t forget to send a thank you (you can see some thank you template ideas here). Make sure you ask what the next steps are before you leave. When can you expect to hear from them next? Will there be another interview or will they be making a decision? Are there other people to see? Can you think of any other tips that you can use to help you ace a second stage interview? Let us know in the comments below! If you’re looking for work then check out our current jobs here, or get in touch with your local branch here.
Conducting an interview isn’t easy. In fact, even though the content of the interview is mainly coming from the person you are interviewing, the responsibility for guiding and making it worthwhile comes from the interviewer. It is more than just asking questions. So here are our top tips you can use to run a great interview for you and your candidate: Ask questions that relate to skills If someone is interviewing for an administration or front of house role then ask about things they do outside of work that show organization. You can learn a lot about someone this way and whether they would be a good fit for the job. Explain the stages At the start of an interview explain how it will work. A typical interview follows this format: Introducing the role and company Interviewer asks questions about skills Candidate has opportunity to ask questions Show candidate around office and introduce the team Let the candidate do the talking Although you are going to want to make sure you lead the interview, it is said that the interviewer should only be doing 30-40% of the talking. The rest of the time should be filled by the candidate answering questions or them being shown around. Culture fit it is important to make sure the candidate is a good culture fit for your workplace. Try to ask them questions about their hobbies and interests to work this out. Introducing them to the team in a tour of the office is also a good way to do this as the team can help you judge if they will get along with a person well. Take notes whether it’s when a candidate is talking so that you can write a question to ask them later, or to make note of their answers so you can clearly remember what they said, this is important. Remember, an interview is a conversation not an interrogation! A candidate is likely to be nervous, even if they put on a convincing confident mask. Make sure they you word the questions as a conversation by asking them to expand on their answers. Try not to quick fire a question at them as soon as they answer another one. If you’re looking to hire someone then get in touch with Swanstaff. Our expert recruiters across the UK will be able to help an advise you.
So you completed your interview and whether it went badly or went well there are three things you now need to do. In fact, the worst thing you can do is to not do anything at all. Follow up You should always follow up after an interview. If it went well then it is great to follow up to make sure they remember you and if it went badly, this is your opportunity to make amends. If it went well you can send a thank you note similar to the following template: Dear----- I just wanted to say thank you for seeing me earlier and interviewing me for the role of ------. I really enjoyed meeting and speaking to you about the role. If you have any further questions you’d like to ask me, please feel free to give me a call on ------ or pop me an email and I’d be happy to answer them. I look forward to hearing from you Thank you again If it didn’t go quite as well as you hoped you can base it off the following thank you note template: Dear ----- I just wanted to say thank you for seeing me earlier and interviewing me for the role of -------. Whilst I really enjoyed meeting you, I don’t feel that I made the best first impression and would really like to apologise and make up for this. I feel I could have answered -------- better by explaining --------. If you have any other questions you’d like to ask me, please give me a call on ------- or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you Thank you again You can send it as an email, a handwritten note or even come up with something more creative and fitting to the company you are applying to. Don’t stop job searching Even if you think you nailed it and the job is yours, it is always worth continuing your job search for many reasons. For one, you may find a better job to apply for. You may also find that you don’t get the job you interviewed for or that their hiring process drags on and you can find a better opportunity in the meantime. For whatever reason, it is vital to make sure that you continue your job search so that you don’t miss out on great roles that might be out there. Review how it went It is really important to take each interview as an opportunity to learn and grow. You need to think about what went well and what didn’t, how can you improve on the negatives? Was there something you did not have enough knowledge on, or a question you struggled to answer? Knowing these things will help you see where you can improve so you do better in future interviews. If you’re looking for a new job then please get in touch with your local Swanstaff team today!
2018 has arrived and whilst most people are looking forward to the year ahead, we’re asking you to look back at 2017. By taking this time to reflect you can see all the difficulties you’ve faced and overcome, as well as the things you have accomplished. Look back at everything from your career, to your personal choices and to the things you could have done differently. Now ask yourself these questions: What really inspired me, or changed my outlook this year? What did I achieve that I am most proud of? What am I most grateful for this year? What was harder than expected and how did I overcome it? What new skills or career developments did I gain or see? Did I add to my CV? How did I surprise myself this year? Did I achieve something I didn't expect to? What negatives did I face and how did I get passed them? What was the kindest thing I did for a work colleague? How did I make a difference to a charity or cause I care about in 2017? What did I start and not complete? Could I do it in 2018 instead? After asking yourself all these questions, you can maybe better understand what you would like your goals to be in 2018. If you’re wondering how to make goals and stick to them, check out this blog. If one of your 2018 goals is to find a new job then get in touch with our fantastic specialist recruiters here.
So you’ve decided you want a new job. You’ve sent your CV out and interviewed and bagged yourself that offer. You accept it and hand in your notice at your current job. Maybe you’re sad to be going, maybe not. Then your boss throws in a curveball. They counter offer. This counter offer may be more than what you’re going for or match it. Should you accept? Only you can really decide but here are the things you should consider: Why were you looking to leave? If you were feeling underappreciated or underpaid, does this new offer fix that? If you’re feeling underappreciated then maybe you need to ask why they wait until you were leaving to offer you a better deal? What does this counter offer give you that your new potential company does not? Which offer gives you the most opportunities? Look at the potential for growth and training in both offers. Being given the opportunity to grow and develop can make all the difference in your happiness in a job. How does this counter offer make you feel? Do you feel excited that you will be able to stay in your current job? Your feelings and reaction to hearing the counter offer will tell you a lot about whether you should go for it. Who has made the better offer? Sometimes, the highest offer isn’t always the best when you take into account the full package. Consider opportunities, training, perks and social benefits of the roles. Ultimately the choice of whether or not to accept a counter offer is down to you however it is worth bearing all of these things in mind when making your decision. If you’re looking for a new role you can download our app here or here. Or click here to find your local branch and speak to one of our expert recruiters.
So winter is well and truly here and any may be feeling the effects of the shorter, colder days and be struggling to shake that sluggish feeling. If at this time of year you find yourself feeling moody, depressed or snapping for very little reason then you may be part of the population who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as “SAD”. Research commissioned by The Weather Channel and YouGov, shows that 29% of adults experience symptoms of SAD at this time of year, ranging from low energy levels, to low self-esteem and anxiety. So with this being a relatively common problem, how can you stop it from affecting you in the workplace? Here are our top tips! Put effort into getting ready for work You may be craving those soft and snuggly clothes but whilst they can have a soothing effect it can also negatively impact your mood to dress down or cut corners in your morning routine. If you are used to gelling your hair or applying some make up then try to keep doing that. Studies have shown a clear connection between dressing up and daily happiness levels. What you wear can affect how you feel so try to avoid letting your morning routine slip for a few extra minutes in bed. Get goal setting During winter it is so easy to slip into that every-day-is-the-same-nothing-changes mind set. Make sure you set goals for yourself over these months. These could be daily goals such as ticking off five things on your to do list, or bigger professional goals such as pursuing a promotion, finishing a big project or taking on a training course to learn something new. Working towards goals can really help as a distraction to take your mind off how you might be feeling. Making social plans So you’ve got the office Christmas party coming up, that’s great but try to plan other evenings or lunches out with your colleagues. It can really help team building to spend time together outside of the office. You spend a lot of time with these people in work so making sure you have good positive relationships can help you feel good when in work as well. On top of this going out can also really lift your spirits! Find rituals that boost positivity Some of the most successful people in the world attribute their productivity to their routines and rituals. This could be anything from not checking your emails for the first hour in work to give yourself a chance to work in peace, to writing a list of the things you must do tomorrow as the end of the day. Writing lists can really make you feel better as you see the tasks being ticked off as you work through them. I can’t be the only one who writes things they’ve just done onto their list so they can tick it off and remind themselves of all the things they have completed that day! It’s all about finding what works for you so create rituals that motivate and give you back the structure you may have lost due to the change in daylight hours. Remember, although you may be feeling stuck, these feeling will pass. If it is really affecting your daily life then have a look at this NHS resource page explaining ways to manage SAD or see your doctor for further advice on how to manage your SAD symptoms.
It can be difficult make sure an employer notices you in a group interview, so it is important to have a clear idea of how you want things go. You need to stand out, without showing off. Here are our six top tips on how you can do this 1. Research Beforehand You should research the history of a business and more about the industry they work in. It can be useful to know the names of people like the CEO or Directors and particularly about the people who will be interviewing you and their role within the business. This is something most candidates will do so not knowing basic information will reflect badly on you and make you appear unprepared. We have a blog here that explains how to research a company! 2. Arrival Time Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes before your interview to demonstrate good timekeeping skills and show that you want to make a good impression. If you turn up late to the interview the employers will wonder if that is what they can expect of you when you work for them. 3. Make Sure You Have a Clear Idea Of The Impression You Want To Make Making a good first impression is vital to help you stand out in front of the other candidates. You need to be confident and show your knowledge without being boastful. Your interview is the time for the business to get their first impressions of what type of candidate you are. It is important to make sure you speak clearly and it may be worth rehearsing some of your answers to popular interview questions to help with the confidence in your answers. 4. Try and Answer First Every Once In A While Answering first every now and again is really important, because it will show that you’re a confident person and you aren’t afraid to lead an interview, but at the same time make sure that you aren’t always interrupting other candidates to show you respect the opinions of other people. This is often something employers will look for as they will need someone to 5. Smile and Show Your Interest During an interview you need to make sure you make eye contact as this will show you are confident person. Remember to smile and nod to show you are engaged and listening to what the interviewer and other candidates have to say. 6. Ask Informative Questions During the interview or at the end of interview the interviewer may ask if you have any questions and if so make sure you have prepared some questions that are suitable and only mention things that haven’t been discussed during the interview. If you are on the lookout for work then why not check out our current vacancies page to see if we’ve got the perfect job for you!
So you have your interview booked in and there’s one thing for sure, you need to prepare! One of the biggest mistakes made by people preparing for an interview is not knowing enough about the role or company. (To find out the other mistakes and worries people face, check out this blog here) So what information do you need to know? Firstly you need to know the company and the key players within the company. This will include the CEO and senior management team. Who will be interviewing you? You should try to find out things you have in common so you can tailor your responses to questions. It can also help you feel more confident in recognising them when you first meet if you see their pictures on the website or social media like LinkedIn. Whilst on the subject of social media, you should check out the company on social media. This can involve more than just looking at the accounts and how they interact with people. You can search the company name to see what the mentions of the company are like. This may help you to find out more about the company culture. Seeing how their employees feel about them is also vital so you can check Glassdoor and Facebook for reviews from employees about what it’s like working there. Finally, and perhaps most importantly make sure you understand the company. What does it do or sell? What do they do that makes them different? What are their core values or their mission? Make sure you know their industry and competitors well enough to discuss them. If you’ve not worked in the industry before they won’t expect you to be an expert but showing a good level of understanding and interest, proves that you care and are motivated enough to want the role. In summary you need to make sure you know: The CEO and key players The history and background of the company The culture, mission and core values of the company What do they do/sell What is their USP (Unique Selling Point) What are their biggest competitors? Can you think of any other things it is important to research or know about a company before an interview? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Written by Stephanie Taylor, Business and Marketing Apprentice at Swanstaff Recruitment. In 2014 I completed my GCSE’s and then came to the decision just like other people at that age, whether I would go into a sixth form or go to college. Just like most people I decided the best option for me was to carry on at the place I was studying and go into their Sixth form. I chose to study 3 subjects: Media studies, Film Studies and Art as I am a very creative person and I feel that these really reflected my personality and allowed me to carry on studying the subjects I enjoyed. After finishing my two years of Sixth form I decided to start apply to agencies to get an apprenticeship, which isn’t the most obvious choice. Even though all my friends were going to university I didn’t feel like that was for me. I prefer to learn hands on rather than on paper. I knew the path I wanted to follow was in digital marketing or advertising and after researching I realised it wasn’t necessary for me to go to University to follow this dream. Although many people do not see this as the typical choice for an 18 year old to make I knew this was right for me. Reasons why I chose an apprenticeship over university: An apprenticeship appealed to me as I realised that a lot of employers are looking for experience over qualifications these days. I knew I wanted to work in digital marketing and after looking into jobs they were always asking for experience which university just did not offer me. One of the biggest things that swayed me towards doing an apprenticeship was the fact that you don’t get into any debt because you are earning whilst you’re learning. Apprenticeships are designed with the help of employers to offer a structured programme that coaches you through the skills you need to be successful in that particular industry; this allows you to get the practical and relevant experience you need. I found this more helpful to me as I am a practical person, I would rather be shown how to do something and try doing it myself than read about how to do it in a book. Having an apprenticeship allows you to receive the support and guidance you need when you do not understand how to do something. Unlike at university when after a lecture, if you don’t understand something the only real instant communication would be via email. An apprenticeship allows you to strengthen your CV with the transferable skills you learn. They are often useful and adaptable to most industries as your ability to interact within a social and professional environment will develop with everyday you spend at work which is a key reason why employers are keen on hiring apprentices. After going for many interviews with agencies and having interviews for roles at companies such as Google, I managed to land myself an interview at Swanstaff Recruitment. I instantly knew that this was somewhere I would love to work. The employees were friendly, bubbly and knew how to make the working day so much more enjoyable. When researching into Swanstaff I saw how many charity events they were involved in as well as seeing all the different things Swanstaff do as a company it made me even more enthusiastic to get the job. Throughout my time at Swanstaff everyday has been entertaining, everyone works extremely hard which appeals to me as I had been to interviews where they didn’t seem interested in pushing me exceed expectations. I am so glad I decided to go for an apprenticeship rather than going to university especially when talking to friends that did go to university and hearing all the problems they have had since being there. I cannot wait to learn more about Swanstaff and develop my digital marketing skills whilst growing within this organisation. Photo: Left to right: Steph dressed up for our Children in Need Disney and Dapper Day. Steph and at The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies Awards Evening. Steph Go-karting for a charity event) Are you currently looking for an apprenticeship? At Swanstaff we are constantly on the look out for new talent. If you think you've got what it takes to make it as an Internal Recruitment Apprentice then we may have the role for you! Get in touch with Lucy from our Talent Team by emailing her with your CV and a brief description as to why you think you could be a great swan: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are well into December now so it definitely time to accept that Christmas is nearly here. With that in mind we are letting you know our top tips for getting on a recruiters nice list this year. Check out our other blog for the things that will get you on the naughty list! If you are not right for the job, offer to help find other candidates If you realise the job is not quite right for you then try suggesting other people you know who might be suitable. This will not only help your recruiter but also the person you suggest and your kindness will not go unnoticed. You never know who people might know! Good timing “The early bird catches the worm” will never be more relevant than when you are job searching and attending interviews. Employers love it when candidates are early as it shows that they are committed and enthusiastic. It can help to plan your route and even run through it before the day to make sure you know how long it will take. This will reflect well on your recruiter and mean they look good which will definitely get you a spot on nice list. Knowledge of the company Showing employers that you have knowledge of the company tells them that you can be organised and efficient, which is needed in any job that you will be going for. It will also make things easier for the employer as they won’t have to regurgitate information to you. It shows that you are ahead of the game. If you want to find out how to research a company before an interview, check out our blog on that here. Again this will make your recruiter look great and in turn make them happy! If you want to talk to our recruiters about getting on their nice list then find your local branch here.
If you’re hoping to find a new job over Christmas then working with a recruiter can really help you. However, there are a few things that might put you on the naughty list and prevent you from getting that dream role. Here are the things that will get you on the naughty list and how to avoid them: Yell and sell branding Yell and sell branding is using fancy words to describe yourself. “I am a hard-working, organised self-starter with excellent communications skills and am incredibly detail-oriented” does this sound familiar? Employers only skim and scan you CV and if they are seeing all the same words then you are not going to stand out from every other potential candidate, keep it to the facts. Most recruiters are more than happy to go through your CV with you to improve it and help you make the best impression possible. If you want to find out how your CV is read by recruiters then check out this blog here. Snarky follow up emails/calls Sending a thank you email or card after an interview is fine but constantly chasing for feedback and an answer can be quite off putting to a recruiter. They are often waiting on the employer to feedback to them and will be in touch when they have information for you. If you still haven’t heard anything after 5 business days then it’s worth a follow up call or email to remind them you are interested. Dressing inappropriately for interview Nothing reflects worse on a recruiter than a candidate who turns up to an interview dressed inappropriately. If it doubt about what you should wear, ask! Want to know what to wear to look professional? Then check out our blog on that here. If you want to talk to our recruiters about getting on their nice list instead of their naughty list then find your local branch here.
Over the Christmas period it’s easy to get distracted and swept up in the festivities. However you shouldn’t let this time go to waste if you’re job searching and here’s why There’s less competition for job roles - As most people are enjoying eating selection boxes, you can be taking advantage of being one of the only people applying for the wide selection of job out there! Business does continue – Whilst some businesses do close for Christmas they are often open the days before and after so it is worth emailing and applying over this time. You can get your application in at a time when they may not be getting many, so yours will stand out. If you slow your search down it can be harder to get it started again – If you decide to slow down or stop job searching it can be harder to start up again as you lose track of what you have already applied for and where you have already looked. By continuing over the Christmas period you make sure you don’t miss out on any opportunities. Make the most of the time off – If you’re already working it can be hard to find the time to job search but over the Christmas period you can make the most of the extra time at home to look for work. Shoot out emails to companies you would like to work with when it’s quieter! Reconnect with people you know – Christmas is the perfect time to get in touch with your connections. A simple Merry Christmas message can be a great conversation starter. You can ask people how their year has been and what their plans are for the New Year. You never know who they may know. If you’re looking for work and want to get a head start on the competition then get in touch with our hardworking recruiter elves at your local branch today.
Job hunting is never easy but you may have noticed an increased number of jobs about in winter. This is because some companies will be trying to use up their recruitment budget before the end of the year. Some will offer jobs on a temporary to permanent contract, offering you a contract that will allow you both to decide if the job is right for you before making you permanent. If you’ve been thinking about looking for a new job but are planning to wait till January because you believe there will be more jobs then it may be worth checking these benefits of starting a new job in December first! Christmas is often a very social and positive time of year. It’s great for bonding and building relationships with colleagues. Christmas parties and get togethers will give you the chance to get to know the other staff in a more informal setting. Client facing roles will find December brilliant for introducing yourself and meeting them. People are often more relaxed and expect the visits and drops with gifts so are more open to seeing you. In contrast, some businesses find December to be a quiet period so this will give you the opportunity to get your training done and build an understanding of the business before things pick up again. So whether you’ve been debating that move for a while or just feel like you might like a new job for the New Year, go for it! If you are on the lookout for work then why not check out our current vacancies page to see if we’ve got the perfect job for you!
It’s probably fair to say that anyone who holds a driving license of some kind has their pet hates about driving, whether it’s the driving itself or the other drivers on the road. Being behind the wheel of a vehicle comes with its difficulties and even though you try your hardest to explain to your friend who constantly seems to be in your passenger seat the things you find irritating, there’s just some things that you can only understand if you’re an owner of that little pink card. Bikers and motorcyclists Do you ever just wonder if they are looking to cause an accident? They’re practically invisible and come out of nowhere. You spot a cyclist just ahead of you and suddenly your adrenaline levels rise as you realise you somehow have to overtake this cyclist who is just happily gliding down the road with not a care in the world. Move! Bad weather Driving can be fun at times, when its sunny and you’ve got your music blaring suddenly being stuck in a confined vehicle isn’t too bad of a thought. So, winters fun too right? Nice cup of coffee to go, heating up high can’t be too bad. Although if you’ve ever had the pleasure of driving through torrential rain, heavy fog or even snow? Yeah that’s not too fun. Braking suddenly You’d of thought people would’ve realised that you have brake lights on vehicles for a reason? So why people insist on braking so harshly is something that’s baffling. The best thing to do is to slowly brake like you’re supposed to give some warning. Red lights Ever been driving somewhere in a rush and wonder if you’ve just been cursed with constant bad luck. When you have all the time in the world to get somewhere its nothing but green green green but no; you’re in a rush and all you can see is a stream of red lights. Drivers who use their phone Do people not understand how dangerous this is! Its 2017, get a hands-free system! That awkward look So you’ve found yourself caught up in a slight bit of road rage, making gestures and mouthing words at each other. You suddenly end up at a red light or in slow moving traffic. All you can picture is the look that you’re probably getting from the person in the vehicle next to you. Or maybe you’re the person giving the death stare to the person who just cut you up. Either way, HOW AWKWARD is this moment, all you want is for the lights to turn green so you can drive off and never have to see them again. Indicators Did you know that all vehicles have these small lights on either side of the rear end that allows you to let other drivers know when they’re about to merge or turn left or right? Amazing isn’t it this tool of communication that people just don’t seem to know exists. Parallel parking I think I’ve come to the conclusion that this is something as a driver you either can or can’t do. As frustrating as it can be to find parking a struggle, there’s also nothing more awkward than watching another driver epically fail at attempting to park. Weekend drivers If you’re someone who drives7 days of the week I’m hoping you’ll get what I mean by this. People who tend to commute by train or other form of transport Monday-Friday and so don’t spend their weekdays driving somehow miraculously seem to forget how to drive in these short 5 days! They are slow, never know where they’re going, love to drive, think they own the road and some of them simply should not be on it. Last but not least. Slow drivers in the fast line This is definitely a pet hate that every driver can relate to. Why do some drivers think it’s appropriate to drive 50mph in the fast lane when there is evidentially a queue of drivers desperate to get past! So that’s my rant over, got anything else you think only drivers can understand? Drop it in the comments below to share your wisdom with the world.
There are many types of recruiters. While they do the same job – find employees for clients or companies – there are different types of recruiter. It can be confusing to work out which type you are using or need so I thought I would write a blog to explain this. To give it a seasonal twist, I’m going to explain 5 types of recruiters, using Halloween analogies! Head-hunter – Dracula (The Vampire) Head-hunters are the recruiters that source and find talent in big companies They are typically known for their “aggressive” recruiting style. They make it their mission to find talent that other companies may be hiding way, engage with them and then introduce them to another company. Spooky Skills: Networking, matchmaking, cold-calling, negotiation, persuasion Relationship building is very important to them. Much like the vampire I’m comparing them to they are skilled at the art of persuasion and convincing people to do what they think is best! Executive Search Recruiter – The Ghost Executive Search Recruiters are the type to find candidates for high level positions like CEO, executive, high level managerial etc. They have built relationships with industry professionals for years to gain their network and knowledge. They will charge a retainer fee, meaning they get paid some money up front and then the rest after the candidate is found and placed. Spooky Skills: Established network of contacts, often backed up by sourcing and recruitment team, people-person, business minded, matchmaking As with a ghost they seem to come out of nowhere with candidates that other recruiters would never have been able to find! Agency Recruiter: Junior & Senior – The Werewolf Agency recruiters have access to specialized technology and often have their own networks of contacts. They are used to finding people for a variety of positions, levels and sectors, though they often specialise in one industry. Spooky Skills: Large network of contacts, Boolean search expertise, social media gurus with large amount of social contacts, often speak to candidates during the evening and are adaptable to the needs of both candidate and client Much like the werewolf they work best in a pack (team!) and bounce of each other’s success. They sometimes work late into the night (even on a full moon!) and are like a dog with a bone, determined, when it comes to sourcing. Corporate Recruiter – The Wizard (or Witch) This type of recruiter is usually part of a HR or Talent team and manages internal hiring for a company as a full time employee of that company. When recruiting, a corporate recruiter will think about the tasks and skills required for the role and have a strong understanding of the company culture so that they can find the best “company fit” or “team fit”. Spooky Skills: Strong company culture knowledge, interview knowledge, often social media knowledgeable, good at finding a high standard candidate, good a finding a candidate that is a perfect company fit Very like the Wizard, they are known for being able to “magic” a perfect candidate out of thin air! Contract Recruiter – Dr Frankenstein This type of recruiter is very similar to the Corporate Recruiter. Typically a contract recruiter is someone who works on-site for a company but is paid an hourly rate as a consultant or something similar (ie. not a full time employee). These recruiters usually work on projects that ask them to find a team or group of people and once the project is completed they often have to find a new contract. Spooky Skills: Able to be work on a large amount of varied recruitment, good at finding quick fits, often used for multiple projects. As with Dr Frankenstein they are good at putting together a “monster” mish mash of personalities and skills to create a great team. Have you worked with any of the above types of recruiters before? What was your experience? If you are a recruiter, what type of recruiter are you?
Today is the final of Great British Bake Off, so we have decided to give our CV advice blog a baking twist! You don’t have to be Mary Berry to cook up an interview winning CV, here’s a home grown, tried and tested recipe to win over those potential employers!
Well even though the sun has decided to put in an appearance while I’m writing this it’s clear that the evenings are drawing in and it’s probably time we all accept that Autumn is on its way. Though it’s getting darker earlier, it’s not as gloomy a prospect as you might imagine. With no sunny afternoons and BBQ’s in the garden to distract you, what better time to invest your time in looking for that job you’ve always wanted? Still not feeling motivated? Not to worry, here are my top 4 tips for kick starting your autumnal career transformation so you’ll be blossoming in your new role by Spring! Make the most of those wet weekends and early sunsets. You’ve almost certainly got a little more time on your hands since going out in the evening has become an indoor only activity! Now is the perfect time to make a plan. Maybe set aside one or two evenings every week to your job search. FALL back in love with your career. Are you tired of your job or didn’t like your old job? Maybe the hours don’t suit anymore or the job isn’t what it used to be. They best way to fall back in love with your career is to sit down and write the things you like about your job and the things you don’t. Next think about a time you were happiest in your career. What’s changed since then? When beginning your job search it helps to know exactly what you are after and what things you need to avoid so that you don’t become unhappy in your next role. So what’s first with your search? Updating your CV! Like the spring clean before summer, autumn is the perfect time to spruce up your CV. Add new skills and qualifications you might have gained and update your work history. If you will be applying for a range of different roles it is worth taking the time to come up with a few different versions of your CV tailored to different positions. You can also take this time to set up a cover letter template to use when needed. So now you know what you want, you have the CV set up to get it and it’s time for you to start looking at all those job boards. Registering with as many agencies as possible will get you the maximum exposure. Autumn is a great time for job hunting, especially for temporary work in the run up to Christmas for some industries. So that’s my tops tips for your autumn job hunt. What would your tips be and do you agree that autumn is a great time of year for your career?
Job interviews can be a worrying process for everyone. If you’ve managed to get yourself an interview then well done you’ve already achieved something that other candidates may have not so remember that. I’ve put together the 5 main worries which people stress out about just before an interview and why they shouldn’t be worries at all! Remember to keep everything in perspective, the worst that could happen is that you don’t get the job and although this would come with disappoint there is plenty more jobs out there that are just waiting for someone like you to apply. Being underprepared Preparation is key to a job interviews success! Research the company you are interviewing for, the more you learn the more prepared you will feel entering the interview. It shows the employer you are interested in what the company does and what it expects of its employees by having expressed this awareness. Arriving late Being late to a job interview isn’t the best of starts so I have 3 tips for this worry. Ensure you leave plenty of time to get there to save yourself the stress of having to rush. Make sure you have an alternative route planned just in case of any mishaps that may take place. Lastly, you must make sure you have the correct details to be able to contact someone to let them know if you are going to be late, this looks much better than not calling as it makes them aware that you are respectful of their time if you give them a valid reason to why you may be late. Making a bad first impression Of course making a good impression on whom you are interviewing with is an important factor of a job interview and so can seem somewhat scary so just stay positive and polite and the rest should take care of itself. Pick out your outfit in advance, something suitable and professional. Simply looking presentable and ensuring you greet with a smile and a handshake is something that will go a long way with the interviewer. How to sell yourself When in an interview it is understandable that the main objective is to sell yourself to the interviewer but don’t make the error of just over using generic phrases about being “heavily organised” or about “how you have great time management”. This being said it is important to express these things in an interview but they are also things that they’ve probably already heard from numerous candidates so think about what makes you stand out. What have you achieved that would benefit the company by having you on their team. Be proud of your achievements and the skill set you have. Predicting what questions will be asked If you don’t have the mystical talent of being able to predict the future then just don’t try! It’s pointless stressing yourself out more when really there’s no way of telling what they will ask you on the day. Instead focus your energy on what you do know about yourself and your experiences that will help you get the job because ultimately that is the end goal. So hopefully by now you’ve read this through and we’ve managed to calm your nerves about your job interview and you feel slightly more prepared. Now all that’s left is for you to take a deep breath and realise that you’re going to do great. We’re wishing you all the best from everyone here at Swanstaff Recruitment.
As a university student I get a number of months off for the summer. I didn’t want to waste my summer lounging around the house; instead I decided that a marketing internship would be the perfect opportunity to gain relevant skills for my degree, (History) as well as looking great on my CV. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from working in the marketing department, my fear being that I would be required to create artwork on the computer, something which is not my forte. However whilst I have had to produce eye catching adverts to post on social media and design infographics this has not been my only role. I have covered a variety of tasks including working on a project with the rest of the marketing team which involved creating emails, sending out letters and helping with the general preparation. I have also learnt to schedule social media posts which involves finding relevant articles from “how to write a CV” to the latest news in the recruitment industry. I then schedule all the posts on our social media platforms (Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn) for the following week. Being part of the marketing team meant that I have had the opportunity to experience what a work environment and office setting is like. By working in the head office of the company I have been able to observe how other departments operate, and get a real feel for what will be expected of me when I enter the working world. All of the staff at Swanstaff has been very friendly and welcoming. This has allowed me to enjoy the social side of work as well, which has ranged from lunches at the pub on a Friday to the summer party held at Lingfield. To anyone thinking about doing an internship I would recommend doing one as I have had a great time and I have also learnt valuable skills that I can carry into the future in whichever career path I choose to take.
So you’re about to graduate and the world is your oyster. But you’re being faced with a somewhat daunting new challenge. Your job search. It’s different for everyone I’ve known people who got a job straight out of uni and some who took 8 months to get on the career ladder. However there’s no need to panic. Especially if you have a read through this top 5 list of tips for grads that our fab HR and Talent team here at Swanstaff have put together: Be realistic and level headed about your prospects Everyone has to work their way up in a company and your degree isn’t a springboard up the career ladder. Don’t be afraid to apply for entry level jobs. You will soon be able to prove yourself and work your way up to that dream job with hard work and commitment! Cover letters are key We can’t stress this enough. When you don’t have much on your CV, your cover letter is the perfect moment to show your personality and point out the skills you have that would make you perfect for the job. Don’t forget to personalise them to the company you are applying to and if appropriate to the sector or job you want, be a little creative with it and your CV (Check out our Top 5 Creative CV’s for ideas!) Start applying before you graduate If you leave it until after, you will be competing against all the other graduates. Experience is something that will make you stand out from the crowd so an internship or paid job you completed alongside your degree will prove you can work hard. This is also a good thing when it comes to references. A glowing reference from someone you interned with for 6 weeks is going to really look great and may be the boost you need to be better than another candidate with similar qualifications. Make the most of experiences you’ve had Ok, you may not have the two years in events management they asked for but you did help your friend set up and run a couple of charity events last year. Talk about their success and the skills you picked up from them. Or maybe you don’t have the 1 year working in computing they asked for but you do volunteer at your local library helping people learn how to use computers. Voluntary work and hobbies can be just as valuable as other experiences! Don’t give up You may not find that dream job straight away but keep at it. Job searching can be demoralising when you don’t get responses quickly or at all. Just keep trying, you never know which application could be your big break! For more tops tips Follow us on Twitter – @Swanstaff Like us on Facebook – Swanstaff Recruitment Ltd Follow us on LinkedIn – Swanstaff Recruitment Ltd Check us out on Instagram – Swanstaff Recruitment
Every month we ask for feedback from our newly registered temporary employees, as a recruitment agency there is lots of competition and we like to make sure we stay ahead of the game and keep our candidates happy. Customer feedback is really important to ensure we continue to develop and offer the highest standards of customer care. Here you can see the results from April-June 2016 and also that we have identified areas for improvement If you would like to register to work with Swanstaff visit our Branch Locator page to find details of your nearest branch or apply for current vacancies on our Jobs Board.
So you’ve managed to get through that interview. You’re feeling pretty good. Pretty marvellous. One might even say splendiferous considering the fact it’s Roald Dahl Day. Now what? How do you follow up from this? Here are 5 golden ticket tips from a Roald Dahl classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, for how to behave and what to do after an interview. 1.Gratitude. Charlie is grateful for everything he has and everything he receives. He always say thank you and so should you! Take the time to write a short email or letter thanking the interviewer for their time. For example: Dear----- I just wanted to say thank you for seeing me earlier and interviewing me for the role of ------. I really enjoyed meeting and speaking to you about the role. If you have any further questions you’d like to ask me, please feel free to give me a call on ------ or pop me an email and I’d be happy to answer them. I look forward to hearing from you Thank you again 2.“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Believing in yourself is a vital part of searching for a job. If you don’t believe in your ability to do well in a role, how will you convince an employer you can do it? Stay positive, even after an interview. 3.“We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that and reverse it.” Now is not the time to rest on your laurels! Whether the interview went well or not quite as planned, it is worth continuing to look. Keep applying for jobs and looking at companies you might like to work for. You want to keep your options open, instead of pinning them on one role. 4.“A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.” Don’t take things to seriously or too much to heart. Rejections are hard but it doesn’t mean you are a bad candidate. It just means they found someone more suitable for that specific vacancy 5.“Tremendous things are in store for you! Wonderful things await you!” I am a great believer in the motto, “everything happens for a reason”. You might not get a specific vacancy but something better for you will come along and you will be free to grab it with both hands! Can you think of any other advice you could take from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Happy Roald Dahl Day!
On average recruiters spend 6 seconds looking at your CV. Only 6 seconds! It is therefore essential that your CV is the best it can be in order to catch the recruiters attention. There are a number of ways you can do this including make sure your format is easy to read, only include relevant content and proof read your CV a number of times to ensure that there are no mistakes. We have created an infographic for you which gives an insight into what recruiters look for - all tips are hot off the press from recruiters directly. Why not give your CV a refresh and you should be sure to find your next career move soon!
Employee Engagement drives your business forward via a motivated and loyal workforce. But what does it really mean and how do companies do it? Swanstaff have won several awards including the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies, Great Place to Work and Kent Excellence in Business Awards for Best Employer of the Year and Leader of the Year. This infographic gives some insight into how we achieve successful Employee Engagement, it goes to show that sometimes it is the small things that count! We believe that creating a well-balanced company culture that celebrates success is key. Our MD Steve says “My workforce are key to the success of Swanstaff, I make sure that they are informed, motivated, included and rewarded. I aim to achieve a positive company culture where achievers can thrive, the sky is the limit for our employees. The growth we have seen in the past 5 years is the result of a happy workforce that shares in our vision”
The sales process is a step-by-step layout of what actions must be taken to turn leads into customers. Regardless of how you look at it, recruiting is exactly the same. You are selling the Employer as a product to prospective candidates, you need to know your stuff and be able to sell the opportunity to your prospect – hopefully turning them into a candidate. Follow this sales process, selling the features and benefits of the Employer and you should be bringing in the placements thick and fast!
For those who haven't yet heard of LinkedIn and aren't aware of what it is; in a nutshell it is an online social CV you create for youself. You can connect with many different people just like social media platforms, however it is a professional site, be wary not to post things you wouldn't want your boss seeing. If you're looking for a new job, LinkedIn is a good place to start your search. At least 500 million people use the network, and there are more than 10 million active job listings, Fortune magazine reported in 2017. If you're wondering how to use LinkedIn to find a job, you're best to follow our steps below:
What makes a great leader? Our MD Steve has won a few awards for leadership and employee engagement so we thought we would explore what sets him and other leaders apart from your bog standard manager...
We recently published our article “what role does outsourcing have in recruitment” and promised you more information on how RPO can benefit your company. Our full white paper is due out on April 1st but we thought we would give you a preview… Below are 6 key benefits of RPO and HR outsourcing: Increased Effectiveness One of the most important benefits of RPO is scalability. Many employers have vastly fluctuating recruitment needs, due to industry trends and seasonal activity. If that’s your business then RPO can scale up for busy periods and scale back down at other times. It is also useful for companies experiencing high growth who need help scaling their recruiting capacity to meet demand. Mitigating Risk With RPO recruiting, every element of recruitment can be monitored by your RPO supplier – allowing comprehensive tracking, reporting and auditing of the recruitment function. This allows companies to have a fully transparent system and feel assured that high standard of training and compliance are in place and that their processes protect both them and employees. Improved Efficiency – reduced recruiting costs This is one of the top reasons why businesses choose RPO solutions; it is also one of the biggest benefits of RPO. Many companies will spend a lot of money on head-hunters or trying to recruit in house and taking staff away from their other duties. Particularly for companies with a high turnover rate this can waste money and resources. A significant advantage of an RPO agreement is the reduction in time to fill a vacancy – which improves the overall efficiency of the business. Increased Candidate Quality A great candidate is more than just experience and qualifications. Things like personality and company culture/team fit are vital. If hiring managers are pressed for time to fill a position or have a huge volume of applications to sift through, they may not look at these additional things which can help you know whether a candidate will have longevity. A good RPO supplier will take time to assess your company culture, skills sets for roles and special requirements. These will then be at the centre of their candidate sourcing process. This also results in an enhancement of your employer brand and values. Detailed Insights – Analytics and reporting to aid with prompt decision making RPO suppliers will utilise specialist technology platforms, like Swanstaff’s S-Recruiter which allows for “real time” reporting at a click of a button. With features such as the ability to authorise timesheets, have visibility of hiring costs and generate detailed analysis reports your hiring process becomes seamlessly integrated and stress-free to monitor. A Bespoke, Tailor-Made Hiring Process A fantastic advantage of an RPO is having a dedicated account manager and support team that will look at every aspect of your hiring process. From company culture audits, to candidate sourcing, to bespoke induction programmes, an RPO really can be a “one-stop” solution. Equally, you may only wish to outsource certain stages of your recruitment process and there are flexible solutions available, whatever your needs. Here at Swanstaff Recruitment we have the capacity to create bespoke, comprehensive RPO services. We can support you at every stage of the hiring process, including proactive candidate sourcing, competitive market mapping, initial screenings, interview scheduling (including travel and meeting room arrangements), interview feedback, contract negotiation, new hire on-boarding, and post-placement follow up. We will work in partnership with you to create a recruitment structure which is perfect for your team and organisation. To find out more click here.
With all the attention and controversy surrounding the NHS in recent months, International Nurses Day is probably more relevant and important than it has ever been – but some people still haven’t heard of it! So what is International Nurses Day? International Nurses Day is a celebration of nurses and the nursing profession in general, across the world. It is an opportunity to thank nurses for the often thankless work they do, helping people every day. What type of nurses is it for? All types of nurses. No matter their level. Today is a day to celebrate everything they do. Why 12th May? The International Council of Nurses chose 12th May to be International Nurses Day as it was Florence Nightingale’s birthday. She is often called the founder of modern nursing and even though some people might disagree, the date stuck! How can you celebrate? It can be anything from writing a social media post thanking a nurse to visiting a nurse and saying thank you in person by giving them a gift, as Swanstaff branches across the UK will be doing for their superstar nurses working today! If you’re a nurse looking for a career change or looking to get back into work, Swanstaff Recruitment can help. We have vacancies across the UK. You can get in touch with your local branch here.
They’re not in a galaxy far far away, in fact you probably work with them every day! Today is 4th May, otherwise known as "May the Fourth Be With You"! In the spirit of this here are the roles we think the characters of Star Wars would have if they worked in a normal office job! Hans Solo – The Dynamic Director Creatively comes up with solutions Great mind for problem solving He’s got a great mind for problem solving but can get easily distracted if not kept busy. The challenge presented by growing and improving a company will motivate him to give his best and offer creative ideas for solutions to tasks and issues which will guarantee company success. Yoda - The Helpful HR Calm and non-judgemental Unbiased His calm attitude and unbiased view of situations makes Yoda perfect for a HR role. He is definitely the sort of person you’d trust and want to go to for advice. Non-judgemental and helpful you can trust him to see both sides of the story and know what to do next. Luke Skywalker – The Active Apprentice Huge Potential Eager to learn Luke’s potential was quickly recognised at his interview with your company. With his positive attitude and capacity for learning he’ll breeze through the course and find success within his chosen career path. Princess Leia – The Majestic Manager Diplomatic Defender of the underdogs She’s diplomatic and protects those who don’t defend themselves. With her quiet authority and the fact that she’s not afraid to speak out when something isn't right, she was the perfect choice for manager. Her ability to speak to her staff without being condescending but able to rally a team when a big project needs to be finished, are all the signs of a good manager and royal! Darth Vader – The Monster Manager Crisis management genius Good at meeting deadlines While he may be seem as the bad guy he does know how to make tough decisions and can manage a crisis if needed. Big project are easy for him and he always sticks to a deadline. His ways of motivating his teammates may however not be the best and his morals can stray if not kept on the right track. R2-D2 - The Tech Trouble-Shooter Technology wizard Efficient Technology is definitely R2’s specialty so a job role which focuses on this is where he will shine. Quick, efficient and the ability to see where improvements can be made without giving up until he’s found the answer mean he can handle a lot of responsibility. He really puts his heart (or motherboard) into everything he does! C-3P0 – The Perfect PA Highly organised People person Designed to interact with a variety of people and programmed primarily for etiquette and protocol this perfect PA is fluent in quite a few different forms of communication. Their slightly fussy and worry-prone personality means they question everything and are highly organised. Chewbacca – The Motivated Marketer Trustworthy Friendly and loyal Just as Chewbacca often served as Hans Solo's conscience in their smuggling endeavours which made people trust him more than they did Solo, this marketer is brilliant at getting customers and clients to trust their brand more. Loyal and conscientious but also stubborn, he protects his team and gets the job done! So what jobs can you see the characters of Star Wars doing in your office? If you want a recruitment job role that's out of this world then give the Talent Team here at Swanstaff a call on 01322 473 157 to see if we have anything in your area! Alternatively, you can register with our branches for Healthcare, Driving and Warehouse work local to you!
Spring is here and what better way to celebrate a time of new beginnings than by starting a new job?! Maybe you’re new to the job hunt or have been searching for a while, either way here are four great ways you can give your job search a boost with a spring clean! Dust off your CV Did you know that it only takes recruiters 6 seconds to decide whether they want to look further into a CV? (you can read more about that here!). Make sure your CV passes the test by ensuring it is clearly laid out and not too long. No one wants to read four pages of your work history! Only include the basics of the role and the important parts which relate to the role you are applying for. You can discuss the rest in more detail over the phone or in an interview if they are interested in finding out more. For 10 other things you don’t want to include on your CV click here. Tidy up those job alerts If you haven’t got these set up already then they are a must have! Make sure to sign up to alerts on job sites relevant to you so that you can respond quickly when a suitable role becomes available. Try to be as specific as possible in the alert to make sure you don’t have to waste time reading irrelevant job alerts. Sweep a recruiter off their feet Building a good relationship with a recruiter can be vital to finding a role. A good recruiter will listen to your needs and experience and match them to jobs they currently have or keep you in mind for future roles. Always remember to respond to emails and calls and thank them for any feedback they are able to provide. They speak directly to your potential employers and are responsible for selling you, make sure you’re showing them how polite and professional you are. Polish up your interview skills If you haven’t been to an interview in a while it can be pretty daunting to go to one but they don’t have to be scary. Here are 5 things you need to take to an interview and some top tips on what you should wear to an interview. If you’re still worried then we also have 5 interview worries with easy fixes you might like!
The following is written by Nathan Shutt, an Accountancy Apprentice here at Swanstaff. A normal work day for an Accounting apprentice like myself consists of inputting the day’s cash into the accounting software, collating all the relevant remittances and reconciling the bank once all the cash has been input. I would then either go on to doing any invoice queries that are outstanding or I would chase any clients for PO’s we are waiting for. I would also enter any invoices that need to go onto a 3rd party system around this. Some of my day would be dealing with any new client clearances that the branches may have during the day, which means I need to create the necessary client accounts and link them up so when the invoices are generated they get billed to the correct account. Another responsibility I have is to take calls for the Credit Control department throughout the whole day for any client to relay queries to ourselves and then I can deal with them accordingly. In the afternoon, I would either continue with any remaining queries/PO’s outstanding or if there was none to do, I would instead be inputting and scanning in the days cheques received in the post. If it is the latter half of the week, I would start checking the week’s invoices for any errors, seeing if they can be corrected and if not enter them onto the error log report. After all the invoices have been checked, I scan them into our emails to be sent out by the automated invoicing software. As it gets to the end of the day, I finish up on any last minute queries that need to be dealt with and I retype any invoices that need it, for PO purposes or general invoicing structure. Finally, before I leave for the day I tidy up on a bit of filing to keep myself organised and set up tasks for tomorrow If you’d like find out more about apprenticeships click here. If you’d like to find an apprenticeship, you can search here. To find out more about the company I work for Swanstaff Recruitment, you can click here.
National Apprenticeship Week – My Story The following is written by our Marketing Apprentice, Amy. As you may or may not know, this week is National Apprenticeship Week. I’ve decided this might be a good time to share my story. It took a long time for me to work out what I wanted to do when I “grew up” but essentially for me it boiled down to a love of creativity and writing, which led to the BTEC Media course I took at college. After I had completed the course I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next, so I ended up as an Office Administrator in an Estate Agent. Whilst I loved the people and the world of work, I knew this wasn’t something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. A number of people suggested I go to University, but I wanted money and independence rather than a mountain of debt. I know there’s more to Uni than debt – for a lot of people it’s really important on a social and educational level – but I knew it wasn’t for me. This was when I discovered Apprenticeships. My parents were very supportive and thought they were a great idea, which was brilliant as I knew a lot of people whose parents didn’t really understand them. I knew right away the hands-on style of working that apprenticeships offered was for me. Earning, learning and no debt; it was perfect! I took my Level 2 Apprenticeship in Social Media for Business at Springfield Education and Training Ltd, before moving to Swanstaff Recruitment for my Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship. Throughout both levels of my Apprenticeship I have gained knowledge, skills, and experience; both of marketing and the way businesses are run in general. I feel like they have really given me the opportunity to flourish and develop personally and professionally. My confidence has grown significantly and I love being a member of a dynamic team. I am trusted with tasks and projects that I can plan and really take pride in. I feel very fortunate to have found a career that I enjoy so much. Anyone who says an apprenticeship is just about making teas and coffees (though I do make a great cuppa!) has clearly never experienced one. The best thing about my job is working with great people who really believe in my abilities and encourage me every step of the way. I have even been lucky enough to take part in charity events, attend awards evenings and go to parties. It’s a real experience to be an apprentice and not just work wise! If you’re umm-ing and ahh-ing about University then I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship as another valid option. An apprenticeship won’t stop you from going to university in the future but it may help you decide exactly what you want to do, so that you can pick a course you know you’ll enjoy. If you’d like find out more about apprenticeships click here If you’d like to find an apprenticeship, you can search here To find out more about the company I work for Swanstaff Recruitment, you can click here
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and this time of year draws focus on the significant relationships we have with the people in our lives. Whether this be a partner, a friend or a family member but let’s try not to forget the other love in your life… your job! We spend most our waking hours at work slaving away trying to provide for ourselves and those around us but what if your job was more than just something you do to pay the bills. Do you live for the weekend? Spend your days watching the clock waiting for the day to be over? What if I told you it didn’t have to be like that! If you’re doing either one of those things then you’re doing it wrong! I know it must sound crazy right, that there are actually people who enjoy what they do. With thousands of different industries and endless possible roles you could choose to tackle how do you know you’ve chosen the right one? What you’re probably actually thinking is “are the rhetorical questions ever going to stop?” Think about it. Take a moment to sit back this Valentine’s day and evaluate the relationship status of your current work situation. Whether it be that you’re single, in a relationship, engaged, married, in an open relationship or it may even be ‘complicated’. Taking this into consideration, how nice is it knowing you love your job. There are many factors that influence how you feel about your job and what this means on a day to day basis. Working within a company that fits you is key! The company culture of a business needs to suit you in order for you to be able to succeed from within. This is more than just what the company values state as of course as an employee you must embody these in everything you do but this also takes into account the environment you are working in. Working in an environment where you are socially involved is important to your emotional wellbeing at work and this translates into motivation and helps you progress within a business. For example, here at Swanstaff we take great pride in being a company that’s works hard to play hard. We are constantly promoting the exciting culture that we embrace with open arms. Being a Swanstaff employee (or a swan as we like to say) means you get involved in regular social activities as our productivity thrives from a culture of inclusion, fun and participation from all staff at events. Remember that you are a representation of the company your work for. You do your best work when you are invested and doing something that makes you happy, your job role should fill you with pride. Productivity levels increase when you are in a role that you love and if you’re a driven individual who is looking to achieve the best out of any opportunity placed in front of you then you should want this! Starting to get the picture as to why it's important to love your job? Maybe you think you have what it takes to make it as a Swan? Remember, if you do a job you love you’ll never have a problem with Mondays again! Continue the theme of love & read our recent post on 'Why job interview are like blind dates' simply click here!
So it’s January; a time of year well known for “New Year Resolutions” and goals for the future. But how many of us actually accomplish them? A poll of 2,000 British people, published by Bupa, found that, half of those who made a resolution for 2017 were not confident they would stick to it. So how can you make goals and stick to them? Here are our top tips! Be realistic It’s ok to be ambitious but make sure you can achieve your goal! It should be challenging enough to be motivating but not so unattainable that you can't reach it without losing focus. Setting a realistic timeline for achieving your goal is vital. Define the goal Specify details if you can. Setting deadlines for projects can be a great motivator. Write them down or create a mood board if you’re more visual. The act of doing this can really help you to remember them and want to stick to them more. Make sure your goal is specific. For example don’t just say you want to lose weight. Say what your target weight to be. Tell people you’re doing it It’s surprising just who much it can convince you to stick to your resolution, knowing that others will know if you don’t succeed. It is engrained in our psyche to want to appear as successful as possible. Remind yourself why Before you start, write a list of reasons why you want to achieve this particular goal. When you feel as though you might fail, it can be great to read them and remind yourself why you’re doing it. Don’t worry if you stumble Ok, we all know that sticking to your goal is important but if you smoke once or have an eating cheat day, don’t let it derail you. So often people say assume that they should just give up entirely if they trip up once. This doesn’t have to be the case. No one is perfect but it doesn’t have to stop you achieving your dreams and goals.
New Year is a time to make promises and resolutions, and for job seekers they often think “New Year, New Career”. So what is the best resolution for job seekers to make in 2017? “Never stop Networking” In a world that has become social media focused it is easy to forget how you can use this to your advantage when job hunting. Did you know that 93% of Companies use social media in their Hiring process? So how can you maximise your chances of being spotted amongst the thousands of other social media users? Freshen up your LinkedIn profile ensure all your details are up to date, provide a number in your profile for recruiters to call, publish articles and share content that shows you are passionate about your career. Attend seminars, classes and networking events relevant to your sector or businesses you work in You never know who you will meet there and the skills you learn can be hugely beneficial to put on your CV. A great example of a class you could attend would be the free sessions run by Zoe Cairns and ZC Social Media - http://zcsocialmedia.com/all-events/ - A huge variety of businesses attend these and teach your skills which are sure to help you with using social media. If you aren’t local to Kent, there should be an agency running similar events near you! Let people know you’re job hunting Obviously, if you already have a job it might be worth keeping it quiet from work colleagues but you can definitely tell people you trust. You never know who might know someone that can help you. Be pro-active Don’t just sit and wait for roles, search for specialist recruiters and companies you may like to work for. Reach out to them and let them know you are job seeking and interested. Don’t pin your hopes on one role Although it’s good to feel confident, make sure you apply for a number of suitable roles and keep yourself open to looking until you have an offer. Good luck with your Job Search!