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September’s sensational Temp of the Month winner!

Posted on: 19 Oct 2017, admin

Well done to the latest winner of our coveted Temp of the Month award, Helen Brown. She was nominated by Jess Sawbridge, who’s been incredibly impressed with Helen’s contribution. Jess said: “As you know, Helen is the only temp we have from you, but she's fab! Helen is hardworking, fits in with the team and gives 100% each day. We're really impressed with her general work ethic, her punctuality and how dedicated she seems to be to strive for excellence.” “During Helen's second week of working with the team, she was already training new members of staff one-to-one which was great progress for her.” “She's happy to help at any time and offers to go the extra mile when she can. All in all, a delight to have in the office.” Helen receives an Amazon voucher alongside our congratulations and thanks for all her hard work. We had a quick chat with her to find out how she feels about the award.   How do you feel about winning temp of the month? Very surprised! I was only doing my job but it’s nice to be recognised. What do you like about the company you’re working for? Everyone has been so welcoming and it’s been easy to settle in. I get treated the same as the permanent staff. What do you enjoy about your current role? It’s so different to what I was doing previously, I’m learning lots of new skills! How would you describe your experience of temping with Ascendant Recruitment? Brilliant, I was found a temp role in less than a week. The team were really supportive and encouraging throughout the process. How will you spend your Amazon voucher? I haven’t decided yet but I will definitely teat myself!    Well done Helen. If you’re immediately available and want to find out more about our current temporary opportunities, please call 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton) or email your CV to info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk Photo: L-R, James Cooke, Helen Brown, Simon Castleman

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New starters leaving your company quickly? This could be why…

Posted on: 22 Sep 2017, admin

A quick Google search will bring up numerous articles on the topic of what drives employees to leave a company. Horrible bosses, lack of career progression opportunities and feeling underpaid are just a few of the reasons most commonly given for moving roles. However, another explanation we sometimes hear from candidates about why they are looking for a new job is a belief they have been mis-sold their current role. In some cases the candidate may stick it out until they find something more suitable. In others the person makes their mind up very quickly that the role isn’t for them and ends up leaving when the job has barely started. In all cases this is likely to cause distress and upheaval for both the candidate and the hiring managers as they start the recruitment process once again. How companies mis-sell jobs  Misleading job advert: When you have a job to fill, you’ll inevitably want to attract great candidates. So when you’re writing a job advert, you’ll naturally make the job sound as appealing as possible to entice potential employees. While it’s certainly a good idea to highlight the most appealing elements of a job, it’s also worth reviewing your ad to ensure it doesn’t mislead candidates into applying for a role which is very different to the reality. No job description: There can often be some confusion between a job advert and a job description, but each has their own place in the hiring process. A good job advertisement attracts quality candidates and emphasises why a qualified individual should apply for the job. A good job description emphasises what an employee has to achieve on a day-to-day basis and how success will be measured. Yet not all companies take the time to create a job description, which should typically include: Job title Overall purpose / objective of the role (and how it fits in within the organisation) The job title of the person that the post holder reports to Duties and responsibilities associated with the role (some companies also choose to include the amount of time expected to be dedicated to each task or at least list them in order of importance) Which other departments or suppliers they will work with Person specification – including any qualifications and experience necessary for the job as well as the type of character who would be suited to the role The location(s) where the role is based Hours of work Any special demands of the job e.g. heavy lifting, extensive travel etc About the company – why should they want to work for your organisation Company benefits If candidates have the opportunity to read a job description prior to interview it gives them the opportunity to decide firstly, whether they want to proceed with the interview and secondly, whether they want to raise any questions or discuss any of the elements at the interview stage. If you are working with a recruitment consultancy they should be able to use your job specification to help effectively screen candidates on your behalf. If you’re struggling to create one, it’s worth asking your consultancy to support you with this. Not all companies create job descriptions, however by doing so could potentially save yourself lots of time in the recruitment process and it will increase your chances of finding the right person for the role first time around. Poor communication at interview: The interview itself is another opportunity to bring the job to life and make it clearer to your candidate what a typical day is likely to involve. Of course, jobs naturally evolve over time and your candidate is likely to want to know about what career progression opportunities will be available in the future. However, they will also need a realistic idea of what they will be expected to do and the support they will receive from day one. Being open about this will reduce the likelihood of them feeling disappointed and potentially deciding the role isn’t for them after all. Tip: Many companies choose to offer a working interview as part of the interview process. This gives the candidate the opportunity to sit in the environment in which they would be working, meet other members of the team and get a good insight into what the role actually involves and what it could be like to work there. It may not always be practical to do this but it can be very useful for both you as the employer and your prospective employee. Getting it right first time Recruiting the right person for your team can be a time consuming process, from creating the job ad and the job specification, to sifting through CVs, to managing the interview process. Recruiting the wrong person for a role can prove to be a very costly mistake and is likely to result in needing to repeat the process all over again. Having a reputable recruitment consultancy working on your behalf who understands exactly what you are looking for and can match your role with the right candidate will save you valuable time and money in the long run. If you'd like some help finding your perfect candidate please call the team on 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton) or email info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk  

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Announcing August’s Temp of the Month winner!

Posted on: 14 Sep 2017, admin

Congratulations to our latest Temp of the Month winner, Iain Tarbuck! He was nominated by his manager, Steve Newell, who’s been incredibly impressed by Iain’s work ethic and dedication. Steve said: “Iain has performed fantastically on the new flow line we set up recently. Also his commitment to work has been great. His car broke down the other week and he still managed to get here via public transport whilst his car was off the road. A very worthwhile winner.” Iain wins an Amazon voucher with our thanks for his great work. We caught up with him to offer our congratulations and find out more about his experience of temping with Ascendant Recruitment.   How do you feel about winning temp of the month? Pleased to have won. It’s great to hear such nice words. What do you like about the company you’re working for? I enjoy working with the team to get work completed. What do you enjoy about your current role? I enjoy assembling the cabinets and making sure the work is completed to a high standard. How will you spend your Amazon voucher? I will treat myself to something to do with golf.    Congratulations to Iain. If you’re immediately available and want to find out more about our current temporary opportunities, please call 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton) or email your CV to info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk Photo: L-R, Steve Newell, Iain Tarbuck

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Customer Service Champion Announced For August

Posted on: 05 Sep 2017, admin

Our consultants received some fantastic reviews from candidates during August and after careful consideration, we selected this one as the best: 'I cannot believe the care and attention Sharan has paid me in just 1 week. Having first spoken to Sharan on 2nd August, come for an interview on 3rd August at the agency, gone for an interview with an employer on 9th August and started work on 10th August - the experience has been amazing. Sharan has checked in with me to see if I have settled in OK, and spoken to the Company to see if I turned up for 'Day 2'. Sharan, I can't thank you enough for all you have done for me. I am loving my new role in the Accounts department, and the whole team are so friendly, that I couldn't ask for more.' Congratulations to Sharan Lidder, our Customer Service Champion for August for receiving this testimonial from her candidate Lynne.  She wins an Amazon voucher with our thanks. If you'd like our team to help you find a job you love too, please call 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton) or email info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk .

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Seven strange careers you may not have considered

Posted on: , admin

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Whether it was a footballer, pop star or doctor, chances are you probably plumped for something quite conventional. Likewise, once you finally entered the world of work, you’re likely to have ended up in a mainstream role, whether that was working in an office, a retail position or industrial environment. However, are there are some people out there who have shunned traditional job roles and found something a little more niche. So if you’re looking to find a career that’s a bit different and you need some inspiration, take a look at our list of extraordinary jobs and see if there’s anything that tickles your fancy!   High Rise Window Cleaner If you’ve got a head for heights, love working out in the open and you’re a bit of a daredevil, high rise window cleaner could be the gig for you. With space in cities at a premium, architects are increasingly looking to build taller and taller structures, so you’re never likely to be short of work! An agency in London was recently looking to recruit brave souls to clean windows up to 72 stories high on The Shard. Whilst the view would be absolutely incredible, you will have to contend with gusts of wind and some wild weather so it’s not going to be all plain sailing. Salaries start at around £20,000 per year. Queue Sitter According to recent research, the average person in the UK spends more than three months of their life queueing, but did you know it’s possible to make a living from standing in line? If you’re incredibly patient, happy to brave the elements and willing to sleep outside, you could earn up to £15 per hour providing a queuing service. You may find yourself filling in for people who want concert tickets, the latest hot gadget or access to the New Year sales but don’t have the time or inclination to line up themselves. Instead, they’ll pay you to queue! Ash Portrait Artist If you’re a skilled artist but you’re bored of using the traditional paints and pencils, how about crafting portraits using the ashes of cremated people? One artist has been doing it since 2008, using a scalpel to apply each particle of ash to a layer of beeswax, eventually creating a monochrome mosaic of the deceased person. Another artist grinds up ashes and brushes them over the top of pencil drawings of people and pets. Portraits start from around £200 and you’ll need to be a gifted portrait artist who’s not spooked out easily to consider this as a career! Sewer Flusher It’s not glamourous, but somebody has to keep our sewer system flowing freely and that’s the job of a Sewer Flusher. Entering the dark tunnels underground, their main task is clearing blockages caused by congealed cooking fat and oil, which merge with baby wipes and other debris to cause ‘fatbergs’. These obstructions can be up to 100m long, are often riddled with flies and worms and smell awful! On the plus side, you’ll get to admire some impressive Victorian brick architecture and follow in the footsteps of several celebrities who’ve tried their hand at sewer work, including Scott Mills, Dan Snow and Neil Morrissey. Plus, a salary of up to £45,000 is not be sniffed at, so to speak! Professional Iceberg Mover Following the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, the International Ice Patrol was founded to prevent any further incidents. Around 20,000 - 40,000 icebergs drift across the North Atlantic each year, where they become a danger to both ships and oil installations. Once an iceberg has been identified as a potential threat, specialist contractors rush to the area and use a tugboat to tow the offending iceberg out of harm’s way, a job that can take up to 72 hours. If you love being out in the fresh air, have a sturdy pair of sea legs and don’t mind a chilly working environment, you could earn a tidy £100,000 per year. ‘Ice’ work if you can get it! Pet Food Taster If you’ve ever enviously eyed up your cat’s breakfast, this could be the career for you! Much like when testing human grub, the Pet Food Taster is checking to make sure flavours are perfectly balanced and the texture is appealing. The tester will also check the food visually to make sure it’s enticing and sniff it to ensure it has an appealing aroma. In addition to wolfing down Fido’s dinner, the Pet Food Taster is also responsible for developing new recipes and flavours and keeping abreast of regulatory matters. With salaries ranging from £20,000 for an entry-level role up to £50,000 for an experienced taster, this could be a ‘paw-some’ job for the right candidate! Snake Venom Collector Known as ‘snake milkers’ these courageous people handle some of the most dangerous reptiles on the planet on a daily basis. Their role mainly involves extracting venom from poisonous snakes in order to create anti-venoms and other medicines, including treatments for high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. In order to extract the venom, ‘milkers’ have to encourage the snake to bite through a latex cover and inject venom into a jar, so it’s certainly a risky role. Collectors are also in charge of breeding snakes and ensuring they’re healthy, for which you’ll earn a ‘fang-tastic’ salary of around £30,000 per year.   If you’re looking for a career that’s a little bit different, hopefully these extraordinary roles will have fired your imagination and inspired you to think outside of the box when it comes to landing your dream job. We won’t be able to help you become a Pet Food Taster or Sewer Flusher, but we do work with some of the best companies in the region, so click here to view our latest jobs if you’re seeking something a little more conventional.

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3 tips for getting a job when you have no experience

Posted on: 31 Aug 2017, admin

With degrees and A-levels done and dusted, it’s that time of year when thousands of graduates and A-level finishers embark on their career journey, hoping for an opportunity to find a role that will allow them to develop new skills and offer progression. Whilst this should be an exciting time, for many, it can be period of frustration and uncertainty when finding a good opportunity turns out to be tougher than expected. After all, how are you supposed to get the experience required on the job ads you’re reading if no-one will give you the opportunity in the first place? If you’re looking for a career break but your lack of experience is holding you back, read on for some ideas on how you can overcome this.  1. Exploit your connections: There’s a saying that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. There’s certainly plenty of truth in this. Think about how many people you know and then everyone they must know…there is great potential to expand your network through reaching out via shared connections. Do you know someone who is working somewhere you would like to work? Consider places where you’ve gained any work experience in the past – did you meet anyone who might be able to help you now? Think about friends of your parents and parents and siblings of your friends…are any of them in a position of influence? Are there any lecturers or teachers who would be able to make any introductions to people in your preferred industry? Tip: If you’ve graduated from university, check out what career support they offer to alumni. Most universities will be able to offer support as well as having links with local employers so it’s well worth finding out what’s available. There is nothing wrong with reaching out to anyone you know who could be in a position to make a useful introduction or look out for opportunities on your behalf. The most obvious place to do this is through LinkedIn which is a professional network. However, there are plenty of other social media sites where you could reach out to contacts. A word of warning! Remember that social media can work both for and against you! If you’re looking for a new opportunity your prospective employer is likely to check you out on social media and form an impression of you based on what they see. Inappropriate photos, swearing and political rants are best avoided! 2. Volunteer: If you’re a little light on experience in your chosen field then volunteering can be a great way of boosting your experience. How much you are able to volunteer is likely to be dependent on your personal circumstances but if you’re able to give up any time to gain some practical experience in your chosen field, it can be a valuable way of gaining new skills and experience and making new connections. 3. Join a recruitment consultancy: Over the years we’ve placed hundreds of undergraduates and graduates into temp roles and permanent roles after graduating. There are several benefits as a graduate or undergraduate to registering with a reputable recruitment agency: You’ll gain practical experience in a variety of different settings: Some students return to us to temp during each university break, meaning by the time they leave university, they’ve not only gained valuable experience whilst earning money, they’ve often already worked with an employer who would love to take them back. You’ll get a foot in the door: If you’ve graduated and you’re looking for your ideal role, you might have decided to hold out for a permanent opportunity. However, it’s worth keeping an open mind! Not only does temping bring the benefits mentioned in the point above, it’s also a great opportunity to get your foot in the door of an organisation. Once you’re temping in a company, you never know who you will meet or where it will lead. You’re likely to hear about any internal opportunities and get the chance to impress any decision makers. So even if the temp role doesn’t appear perfect at first glance, it’s still worth keeping an open mind. You’ll have a team of people working on your behalf: When your CV is one of hundreds landing on people’s laps, it’s not always easy to stand out from the crowd. One of the benefits about working with a recruitment consultancy is that they will proactively seek opportunities on your behalf. They’ll also be able to bring your CV to life and promote your many attributes to companies you may be suited to. You’ll find out about jobs first: Many jobs never make it as far as being advertised. By registering with high quality recruitment agencies, you’ll be in an excellent position to find out about new opportunities and be considered for roles you would otherwise have never have found out about. Tip: When choosing which recruitment consultancies to register with, always pick reputable companies who take the time to meet their candidates face to face. Doing this helps them get a better understanding of what you’re looking for, your skills and personality trait etc. and this means they can match you up with a company who shares similar values. Starting your career journey can be daunting but also very exciting as well. It’s normal to encounter some bumps along as the road as you search for jobs so it’s important to stay positive, focused and open minded.  If you do this, utilise your connections and take advantage of the support available - you could find that there are more opportunities available than you first realised. If you’d like us to help you find a temporary or permanent opportunity, please get in touch. We work with hundreds of fantastic employers of all sizes a and have specialist divisions in Office Support, Sales & Marketing, Finance & Accountancy, Human Resources, Bids, IT support and Warehouse & Logistics. Alternatively click here to view a selection of our latest opportunities.

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Latest Temp of the Month winner!

Posted on: 23 Aug 2017, admin

We’re delighted to announce our Temp of the Month winner for July is Paul Fairley. He was nominated by his manager, Janet Lee, who said: “Paul has definitely exceeded all expectations. He has been working in our order entry department and has shown himself to be extremely efficient and accurate. He has a pleasant manner and everyone likes him. I cannot speak more highly of him, if he were looking for a full time job I would hire him in an instant!!” Paul wins an Amazon voucher and our thanks for his sterling work. We caught up with him to congratulate him and find out more about his experience of temping with Ascendant Recruitment.   How do you feel about winning temp of the month? I’m quite surprised, I’m just doing my job!   What do you like about the company you’re working for? The people I work with and the working environment.   What do you enjoy about your current role? It’s a fast-paced and busy office.   How would you describe your experience of temping with Ascendant Recruitment? Excellent! The staff are always friendly, welcoming and helpful. That makes Ascendant unique.   How will you spend your Amazon voucher? Not sure yet, I may treat myself to a CD or DVD.   Congratulations to Paul. If you’re immediately available and want to find out more about our current temporary opportunities, please call 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton) or email your CV to info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk Photo: L-R, Janet Lee, Paul Fairley

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Congratulations Sascha and James!

Posted on: 03 Aug 2017, admin

Well done to our consultants Sascha Ross and James Cooke who jointly won the Ascendant Recruitment Customer Service Champion award for July. Here they are with their Amazon vouchers. They won their award following this fantastic candidate feedback: 'Cannot recommend this company enough, Sascha and James went above and beyond for me and ended up getting me a perfect role with more money than I'd anticipated. Unlike some of their competitors they really took the time to assess what I was looking for and what roles they had on offer to match me up with the right company. Keep up the good work.' If you'd like Sascha, James or another member of the team to help you find your perfect job in Milton Keynes, Northampton or the surrounding areas, please call us on 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton) or email your CV to info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk .

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Five questions you should never ask at a job interview

Posted on: 19 Jul 2017, admin

We’ve previously written a blog that detailed Eight insightful questions to ask at the end of a job interview to help you make a good impression at your meeting. If you can demonstrate your enthusiasm and depth of research to the interviewer, you stand a much better chance of being offered the role. However, for every great, thoughtful question you can ask there are others that should be avoided altogether, alongside saying you have no questions of course! Whether they’re inappropriate, badly timed or show up your lack of research, here are some questions you should never ask at an interview.   How many holidays / sick days do I get? Basically, asking anything related to the salary or benefits of the role is a big no no at interview. Firstly, this could make you appear presumptuous and a touch arrogant, as it may look like you’re assuming you’ve already got the role. Secondly, asking about sick days or annual leave will set alarm bells ringing in the interviewers mind, leaving them wondering if you’re someone who can’t wait to take a break or pull a sickie! So leave benefits and salary negotiations until you’ve been offered the role, unless the interviewer brings the issue up, in which case it’s fine to give an answer.   Do you do background or reference checks? Many companies will ask for references and contact former employers as a matter of course, not only to get an insight into your character and work ethic, but also to make sure your experience matches up to what you say on your CV. So asking this question will instantly make the interviewer think you have something to hide or question the validity of the references you have provided. You should always expect a potential employer to contact your referees, so make sure your CV is truthful and matches what you actually did in your previous roles. However, if you’re concerned about the employer contacting your current boss and giving away the fact you’re seeking a new role, make sure you mention this to the interviewer.   Will you monitor my internet usage? Another question that will raise concerns about your motivation and work ethic, as it implies that you’re planning to spend at least some of your time at work surfing the internet rather than doing the job! Even if the role requires you to use the internet/social media for research or work purposes, raising this point during your meeting will only serve to raise a red flag for the interviewer, so it’s advisable to avoid it altogether.   Who is your main competition? On first appearances, this question doesn’t seem to be as obviously unsuitable as the ones above. However, the interviewer will likely mark you down as someone who has done zero research, as this is the type of question you could have answered yourself with some simple online investigation (see also, “What do you do here?”). Asking any question you could have researched the answer for yourself will only serve to make you look uninterested and indifferent, not exactly the sort of impression you want to be making at interview!   Can I start late/leave early as long as I do my hours? Even if you have a legitimate question regarding flexibility in the role, the interview is not the time to ask it as it will simply raise concerns about your motivations. A good work-life balance is important for many people, but it’s unlikely to be the main focus for the hiring manager, plus you don’t want to make it look as if your personal needs are more important than those of the company. If flexibility of hours is a deal breaker for you, it may be worth checking out the company benefits page (if they have one) beforehand or waiting until you’re offered role to broach this subject. Again, if the interviewer raises the issue, it’s best to answer it honestly.   If you’re preparing for an interview, hopefully you’re now fully aware of the type of questions you need to avoid if you want to impress your interviewer. Anything to do with the salary/benefits, references or questions that will raise concerns about your work ethic are to be avoided as they are likely to damage your chances of landing the job. Likewise, it’s important not to ask anything you couldn’t have found out yourself. The interviewer wants to see evidence of thorough research in the form of intelligent, considered questions regarding the job role or company, so steer clear of anything that doesn’t follow this formula and you’ll give yourself a better chance of being offered the job.

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Joint winners for Temp of the Month!

Posted on: 17 Jul 2017, admin

In June we had double winners for our Temp of the Month competition. Laura Stevens and Emma Wilson have been working for different departments of the same company and both impressed their managers Diane and Stephanie with their strong work ethic and willingness to get stuck into a variety of different tasks. They each win an Amazon voucher. We caught up with both of them to find out more about this and their experience of temping with Ascendant Recruitment. How do you feel about winning Temp of the Month? Laura: ‘I feel absolutely honoured to win Temp of the Month’ Emma: ‘Surprised – I’m only doing my job!’   What do you like about the company you’re working for? Laura: ‘I like it, mostly for the freedom to expand, develop and grow in a business environment. The company has given me so many opportunities that could not be found in such a short time through any other company.’ Emma: ‘The people, the work and the perks.’   What do you enjoy about your current role? Laura: ‘I love working with people, internally and externally. Training, educating and giving advice is what I love doing!’ Emma: ‘It’s giving me experience of an office environment, showing me how a legal team works and it plays to my strengths.’   How would you describe your experience of temping with Ascendant Recruitment? Laura: ‘Perfect! Never had any issues whether this be support, financial or communication. Genuinely the best recruiters I have come across.’ Emma: ‘Better than I had imagined, the people have been so welcoming and appreciative.’   How will you spend your Amazon voucher? Laura: 'I’m going to save it for a rainy day or until I decide on an impulse purchase!' Emma: ‘I’m going to buy a candle.’ Congratulations to Laura and Emma. If you’re immediately available and want to find out more about our current temporary opportunities, please call 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton) or email your CV to info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk Photo: L-R, back row: Diane Kent, James Cooke and Stephanie Lawson Front row L-R: Laura Stevens, Emma Wilson

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