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Four ways a recruitment agency reduces the time to hire

Posted on: 22 Jul 2019, admin

There are over 35,000 Recruitment agencies in the UK. What’s our purpose? How can we help your business grow and see it become the success you’ve envisioned? There are many benefits to using a recruitment agency and here are just a few of them: Save time Say goodbye to the hours spent on writing job descriptions, hauling through countless CV’s and interviewing candidates who aren’t the right fit for your company. Working with a good agency will save you time on all of this, meaning that you can focus your energy and resources into other important issues.  Extended Talent Reach You’ll often find that the best candidates for roles are those who haven’t advertised themselves on job boards. However, recruitment agencies are able to reach these candidates. This broadens your selection pool and increases the chances of finding the right person for your company.  Industry Knowledge Recruitment agencies are experts on people and a good recruiter knows the perfect candidate when they see one. Agencies will often keep up-to-date with job market trends within particular industries to ensure that their hiring strategies match what’s going on in the world. So you can be rest-assured that we are doing the proper groundwork to give you the best candidates.  Quick and Efficient As recruitment agencies solely focuses on recruitment, we’re able to act quickly on new information. For example, a potential employee may want more information on a role you’re advertising. As a company,  you may not be able to respond to the candidate as quickly as we can. In a more serious example, a candidate may decline a job offer a day before his/her start date. Without an agency, the company would have to begin the recruitment process all over again, however,  with an agency, we are able to quickly solve that problem.  So now you know the benefits of using an agency, we’ve got some more tips from Ascendant Recruitment’s managing director Nick Peacock, about what to look for from an agency: “Ask the agency about their processes. It’s important you have a clear understanding of how the agency functions on the day-to-day. Do your research. Find out who their main clients are. If they work with influential companies or competitors, chances are they have highly-skilled candidates you could hire. You can also request references and testimonials – and check their social media to gauge how active and ‘present’ they are across various channels and platforms.” If you’d like to find out more on choosing the right agency for your business check out the blog we wrote on this!  To discuss your recruitment needs with one of our experienced consultants, please get in touch with our team on info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk or call our Milton Keynes on 01908 200270 or Northampton office on 01604 439380. 

Life post-Brexit – a guide for job-seekers

Posted on: 01 Feb 2020, admin

When the UK officially left the European Union yesterday, there were undoubtably mixed emotions. We posted yesterday about how businesses can use this as an opportunity to thrive and grow, so we thought we'd follow up with some great tips for job-seekers so that Brexit doesn't have a negative impact on your career. Since my career in recruitment started in the late 1990s, I’ve met hundreds of graduates and back then, it was the norm to get a ‘proper job’ when they left university (which means 9-5 pm, a permanent contract and some degree of job security).  But things aren’t like that now. More businesses are operating 24/7 businesses and need staffing around the clock. Job security is a thing of the past now and many businesses are relying on agency based, zero hours staffing. So, what can job-seekers and the working population at large do to make sure they’re getting the best possible opportunities? Yesterday’s blog post talked all about flexibility being the key to success. Well, I think that this has never been more relevant for our candidates who are both graduates and people with an extensive career. We’ve taken some great tips from The Big Choice who have written a blog post for graduates about how they can be flexible in their career choices.   Open-mindedness – consider new ideas and opportunitiesPositivity – be optimistic and forward lookingCreativity – research and identify new ways of planning and workingAdapting – change the way you work to suit the situation or environmentSaying yes – give things a go instead of saying no straight away For those of you with a number of years’ experience in your chosen field, there are some simple things that you can do to safeguard your position within your company. Make sure you’re equipping yourself with as many skills as you can that will make you stand out amongst your colleagues. If formal training isn’t an option, why not ask about job-shadowing with a more senior colleague or another department? This will give you more exposure to other parts of the business and will help to share ideas and opportunities within the business? Volunteering is another great way to expand your skills and demonstrates your commitment to self-improvement. We’ve written a blog about the benefits of volunteering which you can read here (insert link).  Use your commute in to work and your lunch break wisely. Listen to some podcasts that focus on either self-improvement or that are related to your industry. This will show your employer that you are taking your career seriously and are interested in progressing. Some great skills that you can develop through listening to a podcast include: Getting things done by David AllenThe 5Am Miracle by Jeff SandersProd Pod (it’s only 2 minutes – super productive) by Ray Sidney-SmithPivot with Jenny BlakeSide Hustle School with Chris Guillebeau There’s nothing that you can control about this ongoing political situation and the impact that it can have on the economy. However, you can control your reaction to any career-based curve balls by thinking flexibly, equipping yourself well in the work-place and having a positive mindset. Now that we know how things are moving forward following Brexit, you might want to reconsider your current role? Our consultants can give impartial career advice and help you to secure a new role. If you’re based in Milton Keynes, then you can reach our team on 01908 200270.  For roles in Northamptonshire, our team are on 01604 439380.

How your business can survive BREXIT

Posted on: 31 Jan 2020, admin

We initially wrote this blog post back in November before the General Election. But, we felt that it would be good to update it and share it because there's still a lot of useful information and tips for UK businesses. Here's an article from the BBC  which outlines the current Brexit position. Now that we have some clarity, this post focuses on how a business can survive Brexit. In the 16 years since I started Ascendant Recruitment, I’ve lived by one principle and it’s seen me through the worst recession in UK history and I’m hoping it will see me through the next one! That principle is flexibility. There’s no doubt about it, the UK has never faced greater uncertainty and many critics of Brexit feel that it’s impossible to predict what the likely scenarios are. But if, as a business, you aren’t able to respond to changing market conditions, then you’re putting yourself at risk of not making it through the post-Brexit world.  Here’s a few things I think are important that will help make sure your business is able to remain flexible and adapt during these changing times: Do a Brexit Impact Assessment. You’ll need to think about how this will impact how you sell your products, purchase your materials or your staff.  Understanding the risk to your business will help you adapt your business model, providing you with the ability to weather the Brexit-storm.Be a good employer. If you employ EU nationals, make sure you are able to support them to remain in the UK if they are eligible.  Make sure your HR team is up to speed with the details of the EU Settlement Scheme.Have a solid recruitment strategy. If you rely on agency staff, you may wish to think of a model that allows you to scale staff up and down as you need them, but offers you some stability from a workforce who’s loyalty to their recruiter may be tested if their life in the UK feels under threat.  Contract workers who sign up for a fixed period might be a better solution to a team who work on a day-by-day basisAttract the best talent. If your business is going to survive, you will need an engaged, skilled and motivated workforce. Make sure you’ve looked at your company culture, the package and benefits you can offer and ensure you’re progressing the right people – this will help to get your business in to the best position possible and make sure you’re as recession-proof as possible.Diversify and adapt. If part of your business is propping up another, then consider how long this is viable for. Work out strategies to make this area profitable or look at stopping this area so that you can focus on what you are successful at. We can help you to limit the risk of Brexit impacting your business by advising you on your recruitment strategy. We’ve been doing this for a long time and have seen a lot of creative ways to minimise risk to businesses.  For an informal discussion, please contact me on nick@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk or send me a message on Linked IN. Later this week, we’ll focus on how candidates can position themselves to get the best possible job as the Brexit debate rumbles on.

Seven Job Search and Career Resolutions for 2020

Posted on: 23 Jan 2020, admin

How's your 2020 going so far? At the start of a new decade, many of us have used this as a time for reflection but also for making goals and plans for the future. It’s the ideal opportunity to work out what changes you want to make, and that includes evaluating your job and career path. So, we’ve come up with seven resolutions that could make a significant difference to your career. Whether you choose to focus on one or several of them, see the new year as a fresh start; it’s the perfect time to work on your goals for 2020 and beyond. 1. Check your CV  Whether you’re actively job-seeking or not, it’s important to keep regular checks on your CV to make sure it is fully up-to-date. If your CV is poorly structured, out of date or difficult to read, it’s likely to be ignored. While you’re at it, update your social media platforms (ensuring any public posts or photographs show you in a positive light). If you’re not a jobseeker, you will reap the benefits when you eventually find yourself looking for a new role or even if you’re made redundant, because you’ll have an updated CV ready to go.  2. Combat clock-watching  Counting down the hours until lunchtime or working out how many minutes you’ve got until home time are clear signs that you’re bored in your current role. If you’re unmotivated and uninspired, it could be time to start looking for a new job. After all, time flies when you’re having fun, and you won’t be clock-watching when you’re in a job you love.  3. Take interest in your industry  Whether you’re looking for a new job or not, you should keep your social media pages up to date, follow accounts relevant to your sector, and update your LinkedIn page regularly. If you’re not a social media whizz, why not sign up to relevant newsletters or magazines? It’s important to keep up-to-date with the latest changes and developments within your sector.  4. Network, network, network  Networking can take place in a variety of ways, from attending local business events and talks to simply connecting with new people on LinkedIn. There’s no reason not to expand your network of contacts and, even if you’re not looking for a new job right now, networking will mean you have a ready-made list of people to contact when you do want to move jobs. At a minimum, try to make at least one new contact every month.  5. Assess your work/life balance  If you’ve been skipping your breaks or find yourself looking at work emails while you’re at home, it’s time to assess your work/life balance. Everyone should be able to switch off from their work schedule, but sometimes the distinction between work and home life can become blurred. There are a number of ways to improve your work/life balance, but our main advice would be to delete any work email apps from your phone if you don’t need to check them at home, and to allocate some time every evening to ‘unplug’ and do something unrelated to your phone, laptop and social media. The ideal time to ‘unplug’ is before bedtime, as exposure to electronics and screens before bed can interrupt your sleep patterns and negatively impact the quality of your sleep.  6. Learn something new  However long you’ve been in your current job or industry, there’s always something new to learn. There are hundreds and hundreds of skills that could benefit your current role and responsibilities but also your wider career. If you’ve got one in mind, search for a local course or training sessions that cater to that particular skill. If you’re not sure where to start, talk with your manager about learning something new. Your current employer may even offer subsided training sessions, free-of-charge courses or send you to a relevant conference.  7. Take action and quit  If you feel like it’s time for a change, a new challenge or a steer in a new direction, it could be time to quit your current job. Leaving your job doesn’t mean you’ve failed; instead, it means you’re acting on your goals, making positive changes and taking action to develop your career. Having said this, don’t quit without a plan of action. Research your opportunities and have a plan in place before resigning.  Whether you’re looking for a new job or continuing to develop in a role you already enjoy and feel passionate about, Ascendant Recruitment can help you find your dream job. Wherever you are in your career, now is the perfect time to take action. Take a look at our social media pages to find out more about current job vacancies, or contact us today. Email info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk or call 01604 439380 (Northampton office) / 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes office).

What a year 2019 has been!

Posted on: 30 Dec 2019, admin

As the year and decade come to an end, I wanted to reflect on 2019 and some of the fantastic achievements of my team.  Like every year, we’ve had highs and lows, but our highs have been brought about by helping hundreds of hard-working people into new permanent positions. For some people, this has allowed them to gain a foot on the housing ladder and finally leave home!  We’ve been even busier in the temporary employment market where we’ve run more major contracts than ever before in our 16-year history. This means that some of Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire’s companies have been able to deliver for their clients. In the process of completing their temporary assignments, our workers have gained valuable employment, great work experience and in many cases permanent roles. January is always a time for career resolutions, so we posted some top tips for job searching and careers resolutions. We’ll update this for 2020 but if you can’t wait until then, check out the post from January. In February, we ran a Meet the Team event, this time for Warehouse and Logistics staff in Milton Keynes. If you’re looking for any roles in this area, you’ll want to get in touch with our new consultant, Paula on paula@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk. March 2019 saw us celebrate 16 years in business. Check out this blog post for a bit of 2003 nostalgia. If you’re like me, 2003 won’t sound that long ago, but back then, there was no Facebook or Smart Phones, both of which have revolutionised recruitment. Our finance manager Jo Deller completed her first marathon in April, raising an incredible £1,725 for Hearing Dogs for the Deaf. We’re incredibly proud of Jo but do think she’s slightly mad because she’s talking about running another one in 2020. Over the summer months, we were incredibly busy (and hot) placing graduates into new roles across Milton Keynes and Northampton. If you’re a graduate and haven’t yet found your dream job, or chose to take some time out, then take a look at some of our blog posts with hints and tips for graduates. In September, Ascendant Recruitment said goodbye to Izzy Hussain, one of our consultants. Izzy had been with us for almost six years and was left paralysed after a terrible car accident. Izzy has gone back to university to study Psychology & Counselling which we know she will be amazing at. Once she has graduated, Izzy will work as a counsellor to support other people who have experienced the same life changing events that she has.  What an amazing person.  Our loss is very much their gain. In October, our industrial consultant Paula broke the record for the highest number of temporary industrial placements ever at Ascendant Recruitment. A brilliant achievement – well done Paula and we hope you enjoyed celebrating with some well-earned bubbly. We’ve had a fantastic year in terms of securing several great new clients so we’re busier than ever. That said our biggest achievement is always retaining the loyal clients who have supported us since 2003 – for which we are very grateful.  Although Brexit, the election, Christmas and a general lack of confidence in the economy has reduced the amount of people looking for new opportunities, we are lucky that our history of professionally supporting people over many years means that we still continue to gain an unequal number of excellent applicants. Ultimately, this means our success rate of filling our clients’ roles continues to grow.  That said it’s been tough, and we’ve had to support our Consultants with more investment in technology and training – but it’s them who have brought masses of enthusiasm, hard work and dedication; which are always the determining factors in our success in providing a World Class Service to our Clients. This year has seen a promotion for Shaun Rickard, who is now senior consultant at our Northampton office. Shaun has had a phenomenal year, winning more than 25 new clients whilst continuing to receive outstanding feedback from his clients and candidates; we think the two things are linked! In addition, we are one of the few recruitment agencies to offer flexible working. Anna Elder, one of our flexible working consultants in Milton Keynes has also had a brilliant year, smashing all her targets as a part time employee.  Anna works part-time hours (a day off each week to spend time with her young family) so achieving these results is simply brilliant.  The results are a testament to her unwavering professionalism, thoroughness and dedication. As you can see, a very successful year for both of our teams.  I’m looking forward to their continuing success in 2020.  Christmas can be a difficult time for many, so I wanted to end by raising awareness of a great cause that Ascendant Recruitment regularly support. The local Food Bank in Wolverton is run by our Sales Manager David Forbes’ parents. They are always looking for donations, so please remember this fabulous charity if you can.  We are also supporting our local branch of the Samaritans – you can find out more about them here. I’d like to finish off by thanking all our workers and clients for their unwavering support of Ascendant Recruitment in 2019 – our seventeenth year and I’d like to wish them all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. See you all in 2020.

7 new career resolutions that you can start before January!

Posted on: 16 Dec 2019, admin

Last January, we wrote a blog post with some resolutions that could make a huge difference to your career. We’ve given this an update for 2020 – but if you want to get ahead of the game, start implementing some of these great steps now and you’ll get the next decade off to an absolutely flying start!  1. Check your CV  This is a key one and it’s important to keep it fully up to date. Look back over your last year’s appraisal and note down some training you’ve undertaken or key skills that you’ve developed. If your CV is poorly structured, out of date or difficult to read, it’s likely to be ignored, so use this time to make it as good as you can. While you’re at it, update your social media platforms (ensuring any public posts or photographs show you in a positive light).  2. Combat clock-watching  Think about how much of 2019 you spent watching the clock – do you want the same for 2020? If the answer is no, then it’s a sign that you need to move on!  After all, time flies when you’re having fun, and you won’t be clock-watching when you’re in a job you love.  3. Take interest in your industry  Whether you’re looking for a new job or not, you should keep your social media pages up to date, follow accounts relevant to your sector, and update your LinkedIn page regularly. If you’re not a social media whizz, why not sign up to relevant newsletters or magazines? It’s important to keep up-to-date with the latest changes and developments within your sector. There will be lots of end of year reviews, so get your name known within your industry and comment with some thoughts. Linked In is a great place to do this. 4. Network, network, network  Networking can take place in a variety of ways, from attending local business events and talks to simply connecting with new people on LinkedIn. There’s no reason not to expand your network of contacts and, even if you’re not looking for a new job right now, networking will mean you have a ready-made list of people to contact when you do want to move jobs. At a minimum, try to make at least one new contact every month – why not make this a new year’s resolution? 5. Assess your work/life balance  If you’ve been skipping your breaks or find yourself looking at work emails while you’re at home, it’s time to assess your work/life balance. Everyone should be able to switch off from their work schedule, but sometimes the distinction between work and home life can become blurred. There are a number of ways to improve your work/life balance, but our main advice would be to delete any work email apps from your phone if you don’t need to check them at home, and to allocate some time every evening to ‘unplug’ and do something unrelated to your phone, laptop and social media. The ideal time to ‘unplug’ is before bedtime, as exposure to electronics and screens before bed can interrupt your sleep patterns and negatively impact the quality of your sleep. Why not start 2020 as you mean to go on? 6. Learn something new  However long you’ve been in your current job or industry, there’s always something new to learn. There are hundreds and hundreds of skills that could benefit your current role and responsibilities but also your wider career. If you’ve got one in mind, search for a local course or training sessions that cater to that particular skill. If you’re not sure where to start, talk with your manager about learning something new. Your current employer may even offer subsided training sessions, free-of-charge courses or send you to a relevant conference.  7. Take action and quit  If you feel like it’s time for a change, a new challenge or a steer in a new direction, it could be time to quit your current job. Leaving your job doesn’t mean you’ve failed; instead, it means you’re acting on your goals, making positive changes and taking action to develop your career. Having said this, don’t quit without a plan of action. Research your opportunities and have a plan in place before resigning.  Ascendant Recruitment can help you find your dream job – no matter where you are in your career! We post vacancies every day on our social media pages, so head on over to Facebook, Twitter, Linked IN or Instagram to see if something suits you! We’d love to hear from you – drop us an email at info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk or call 01604 439380 (Northampton office) / 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes office).

Ascendant Recruitment’s Christmas Charity: Samaritans MK

Posted on: 13 Dec 2019, admin

Ascendant Recruitment made a donation to the Milton Keynes branch of Samaritans UK recently and we wanted to talk about it, to encourage the people of Milton Keynes to do whatever they can to support this wonderful charity. IPPR research has found that the issues of flexible or temporary working can have a huge impact on the mental health of workers, so we wanted to use our blog to raise awareness of the issue and to make sure that our workers know that there is help and support locally. From self-harm to suicide, general anxiety and stress reduction, it’s clear that people are talking more about mental health than ever before – which can only be a positive thing. Christmas can add an unwanted dimension of stress to people already experiencing mental health issues and these statistics just demonstrate how much of an issue it is.  Samaritans UK do a wonderful job of helping people who are struggling at this time of year: 1,479 volunteers gave up their time to respond to calls last Christmas Day£52,628 was the cost to provide services to people seeking support last Christmas Day300,734 calls were responded to over the Christmas period last year Nicola Prichard, Director of Samaritans Milton Keynes hopes to use our donation for volunteers: “Our volunteers all give 16 hours of their time each month to callers and this includes over night shifts plus recruiting and training new volunteers. My plan is to use Ascendant Recruitment’s donation to make things more comfortable for our volunteers, so that we can make their time with us each month as pleasant and comfortable as possible. The Samaritans website has a wealth of information available if you think you need help in the workplace specifically – please visit https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/workplace/ Director of Ascendant Recruitment, Nick Peacock said: “I met Nicola at an event recently and we started talking about the amazing work the Samaritans do. I’m really pleased that our donation will help to retain volunteers and make sure that their shifts are in as comfortable and pleasant surrounding as possible.  The calls that the volunteers take each shift can be harrowing so making sure they’ve got comfortable facilities is great news.” If you think you need help? Get in touch with Samaritans MK – visit their website: https://www.samaritans.org/branches/milton-keynes/ Would you like to volunteer? The Samaritans hold regular information events and the next one is at 10am on Saturday 25th January 2020 at 10.00am. If you want to find out more about the fantastic work that they do, get in touch with Sam Joiner at sam.joiner1980@gmail.com. If you would like to donate to Samaritans Milton Keynes: You can make a donation on the Samaritans MK giving page.

How to host your staff Christmas party

Posted on: 11 Dec 2019, admin

We wanted to follow up our series on Christmas party etiquette. We’ve covered off what you need to do if you’re an employee, but many of our clients are business owners and will be taking their teams out. How’s the best way to handle this – how can you make sure you enjoy the Christmas period and keep your employees happy. First things first – where shall we go? This is a really tricky one. If you’ve got a large team then it will be hard to find something that will suit everybody. Something with an activity is likely to divide opinion – these may be better for smaller, inter-department celebrations.  Some people might like to go the Karaoke bar – for others it’s their worst nightmare! You might think it’s a good idea to take everyone out, but consider if it’s really best for team bonding? Would it be better for each department to decide what they want to do?  Or, do you want to mix things up a bit and break down some of those silos? Who is footing the bill? This is a tough one. Of course, you want to demonstrate your thanks for their hard work across the year. But there is still a limit. Decide on how much you are able to spend and make sure your staff know what’s included and what isn’t.  Did you want to put on transport? Figure out some ways to get people picked up that won’t break the bank? Happy to pay for dinner? That’s great, let people know that wine is included with the meal and that they’ll have to buy their own drinks at the bar. Are partners invited? Again, this is a tough one. Many people like to invite their partner along, but for others, it can be a nightmare if you need to get babysitters, or if there are clashing Christmas parties. When you invite your team to the Christmas party, make it clear so that there isn’t any ambiguity. You don’t want to be the only one to bring your other half to the party! Make sure people are aware of boundaries! In today’s age of social media, you need to be careful that your staff don’t end up causing any damage to your company’s reputation with an ill-judged post on social media. In days gone by, any Christmas party misdemeanours might have gone unnoticed. However, it’s easy to do a Facebook Live from a night-club or add in your company’s hashtag to the Instagram story of the IT team downing Jager-Bombs. Nobody wants a kill-joy boss but it’s worth having a sensible discussion or sending out an email so that people know not to embarrass you or damage your brand on a night out. Know when to leave This is key. Once the party is getting started, you might not want to know what’s going on! So, have a plan of when you want to bail out and let the team get on with the celebrations. Have a time in mind and book a taxi – that way you won’t be tempted to join in with any drinking games. Have a plan for the next day Hangovers are horrible, there’s no getting away from it.  According to the Daily Mail (so it must be true), 1 in 5 will call in sick the day after the Christmas party! Apparently, IT are the most likely to call in sick (24%) but only 3% of recruiters do!! Consider whether you want to give people a free pass to arrive an hour or so late the day after the Christmas party. Maybe some of the team would be happy to come in at the usual time (the non-drinkers perhaps) but would prefer to go home early instead? Consider some flexibility – it would be better that the team made it in to work by mid-morning than have 20% of your staff calling in sick! And Bacon Sandwiches. They are scientifically proven to reduce any Christmas party excesses by up to 75%. What are your Christmas party plans? How are you planning to treat your team? Let us know your best tips and places to try!

 

How to enjoy the festive season – without risking your job!

Posted on: 09 Dec 2019, admin

As we’re now firmly in December, it’s Christmas party time. This can either fill you with excitement or complete dread! Whilst Christmas is a great time to get to know your colleagues better, we think it’s important to strike a balance between having fun with the people you spend a lot of time with but making sure that you aren’t so uptight you’re a bore. So, how can you enjoy the party season and make sure you keep your dignity – and your job. Drinking Well, this is pretty obvious. Understand what your limits are and stick to it. If you’re a regular drinker and know that you can handle your drinks, then that’s fine (and make sure you’ve organised a way to get home if you aren’t able to drive). But if you’re drunk on half a spritzer, it might be a safer option to drive and not drink at all, that way you’re not putting yourself (or your career) at risk. Be very careful if there is wine at the table for example. Helpful waiting staff can fill up your drink without you noticing, so it’s quite possible that the one glass of wine you think you’ve had is actually five!  Stick to what you normally drink and have some water as well. 2            Dress code Make sure you’re dressed appropriately. We’d suggest a dressier version of what you usually wear to work (so not too tight, short or revealing).  It’s fine to discuss what to wear with your colleagues – and if there is a fancy-dress option, make sure nobody is pulling your leg! And if you are dressing up as the star of David or a Christmas tree, make sure there’s no chance of having a wardrobe malfunction! 3            Social Media Your team might want to put photos on social media – but make sure everybody is comfortable with that, especially if they are going on your company page. It can be tempting (especially if conversation isn’t flowing) to get your phone out and scroll through your social media. Don’t be that person. It’s only one evening so make the effort to make small talk – even if it is difficult.  And finally, make sure you’re not tempted to do a Facebook Live on your company page! What you might think your company followers want to see from you at gone-midnight might differ when you watch it back on the way in to work the next day! 4            Office Romance There are various sources that claim somewhere between 25-39% of workers have got romantic with a co-worker at the work Christmas party.  Whilst it could be a good opportunity to flirt with the hot guy from IT, you need to be careful, especially if other people are in relationships. You don’t want to be the cause of a pre-Christmas break up and risk your reputation in your workplace. Again, research would suggest that IT is the most likely sector to engage in some festive frivolities with colleagues and health and education professionals are the least likely. And surprisingly, more senior managers and directors have ‘misbehaved’ at the Christmas party compared to people in more junior roles. We would love to hear stories about your Christmas parties! Where have you been? What advise can you give to others about keeping their jobs but still enjoying the Christmas party. Let us know!

 

The job-seekers guide to surviving Brexit

Posted on: 22 Nov 2019, admin

Yesterday’s blog post focussed on how businesses can survive in these uncertain ‘Brexit’ times. We wanted to continue with this theme and provide some great tips for job-seekers to make sure that business uncertainty isn’t having a negative impact on their career. Since my career in recruitment started in the late 1990s, I’ve met hundreds of graduates and back then, it was the norm to get a ‘proper job’ when they left university (which means 9-5 pm, a permanent contract and some degree of job security).  But things aren’t like that now. More businesses are operating 24/7 businesses and need staffing around the clock. Job security is a thing of the past now and many businesses are relying on agency based, zero hours staffing. So, what can job-seekers and the working population at large do to make sure they’re getting the best possible opportunities? Yesterday’s blog post talked all about flexibility being the key to success. Well, I think that this has never been more relevant for our candidates who are both graduates and people with an extensive career. We’ve taken some great tips from The Big Choice who have written a blog post for graduates about how they can be flexible in their career choices.   Open-mindedness - consider new ideas and opportunitiesPositivity - be optimistic and forward lookingCreativity - research and identify new ways of planning and workingAdapting - change the way you work to suit the situation or environmentSaying yes - give things a go instead of saying no straight away For those of you with a number of years’ experience in your chosen field, there are some simple things that you can do to safeguard your position within your company. Make sure you’re equipping yourself with as many skills as you can that will make you stand out amongst your colleagues. If formal training isn’t an option, why not ask about job-shadowing with a more senior colleague or another department? This will give you more exposure to other parts of the business and will help to share ideas and opportunities within the business? Volunteering is another great way to expand your skills and demonstrates your commitment to self-improvement. We’ve written a blog about the benefits of volunteering which you can read here (insert link).  Use your commute in to work and your lunch break wisely. Listen to some podcasts that focus on either self-improvement or that are related to your industry. This will show your employer that you are taking your career seriously and are interested in progressing. Some great skills that you can develop through listening to a podcast include: Getting things done by David AllenThe 5Am Miracle by Jeff SandersProd Pod (it’s only 2 minutes – super productive) by Ray Sidney-SmithPivot with Jenny BlakeSide Hustle School with Chris Guillebeau There’s nothing that you can control about this ongoing political situation and the impact that it can have on the economy. However, you can control your reaction to any career-based curve balls by thinking flexibly, equipping yourself well in the work-place and having a positive mindset. If you’re concerned about the possible impact of Brexit and the economy on your current role then why not speak to one of our consultants who can give some impartial career advice and help you to secure a new role. If you’re based in Milton Keynes, then you can reach our team on 01908 200270. For roles in Northamptonshire, our team are on 01604 439380.

How your business can survive Brexit

Posted on: 21 Nov 2019, admin

OK, so emigrating to another country isn’t an option for all of us. So, we need to face MORE uncertainty around Brexit but that’s after we’ve endured another general election. We don’t really want to focus on the details around the General Election – but here’s a good article from the BBC  just in case you do. What we’d like to focus on is how a business can survive Brexit. In the 16 years since I started Ascendant Recruitment, I’ve lived by one principle and it’s seen me through the worst recession in UK history and I’m hoping it will see me through the next one! That principle is flexibility. There’s no doubt about it, the UK has never faced greater uncertainty and many critics of Brexit feel that it’s impossible to predict what the likely scenarios are. But if, as a business, you aren’t able to respond to changing market conditions, then you’re putting yourself at risk of not making it through the post-Brexit world.  Here’s a few things I think are important that will help make sure your business is able to remain flexible and adapt during these changing times: Do a Brexit Impact Assessment. You’ll need to think about how this will impact how you sell your products, purchase your materials or your staff.  Understanding the risk to your business will help you adapt your business model, providing you with the ability to weather the Brexit-storm.Be a good employer. If you employ EU nationals, make sure you are able to support them to remain in the UK if they are eligible.  Make sure your HR team is up to speed with the details of the EU Settlement Scheme.Have a solid recruitment strategy. If you rely on agency staff, you may wish to think of a model that allows you to scale staff up and down as you need them, but offers you some stability from a workforce who’s loyalty to their recruiter may be tested if their life in the UK feels under threat.  Contract workers who sign up for a fixed period might be a better solution to a team who work on a day-by-day basisAttract the best talent. If your business is going to survive, you will need an engaged, skilled and motivated workforce. Make sure you’ve looked at your company culture, the package and benefits you can offer and ensure you’re progressing the right people – this will help to get your business in to the best position possible and make sure you’re as recession-proof as possible.Diversify and adapt. If part of your business is propping up another, then consider how long this is viable for. Work out strategies to make this area profitable or look at stopping this area so that you can focus on what you are successful at. We can help you to limit the risk of Brexit impacting your business by advising you on your recruitment strategy. We’ve been doing this for a long time and have seen a lot of creative ways to minimise risk to businesses.  For an informal discussion, please contact me on nick@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk or send me a message on Linked IN. Later this week, we’ll focus on how candidates can position themselves to get the best possible job as the Brexit debate rumbles on.