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Six Ways to Keep Employees Happy and Motivated

Posted on: 16 Jan 2019, admin

No matter what sector your business is in, your employees’ mind-set and happiness are an integral part of your company being a success. If your business is run by a happy, motivated team of people, they’ll want to do well, successfully meet targets, progress and see the business develop. So, in order to ensure the effective running of your business, how should you keep employees happy and maintain motivation. 1. Give achievements genuine recognition  It can feel unrewarding to work hard and keep achieving goals without any recognition of these achievements so motivate your staff with regular rewards.  This could mean giving a monthly bonus or pay rise, or setting up an ‘employee of the month’ scheme, which gives company-wide recognition and a physical or financial reward for winning the accolade. It’s all about saying thank you and actively praising employees for meeting milestones.   2. Offer a career  One of the best incentives you can offer is clear career progression. After all, one of the main reasons that good employees leave is because they run out of options or start to think there is no more room for progression in your company.  Communicate with members of your team and commit to helping them become even more brilliant at their job. Ask whether they would like extra training, or maybe time off for conferences. Also be prepared for employees requesting career development moves. If you can give your employees something more than just the nine to five routine, you’ll have a more loyal workforce, and the length of service from your employees will flourish. 3. Give your employees a voice  If your staff feel ignored, they will quickly lose motivation and become less productive within your workforce. Setting up clear channels of honest, genuine communication will not only make each member of the team feel like you’re interested in their opinions but will also provide you with a useful way to stay in touch with them.   Giving your employees a voice and taking on board their opinions will benefit you as well, as you’ll open up a new stream of ideas, thoughts and questioning that will be useful when it comes to improving your business and updating your business plan.  4. Provide financial rewards Most employees work efficiently when they know they are getting paid well. If they feel like they are underpaid for the work being done, they will usually leave. Therefore, it’s important to regularly assess your salary levels to ensure your company is paying industry standards at minimum.  Other benefits to consider include pre-paid childcare, sports memberships or a particular number of hours per week that can be worked from home. If you have a shared online platform for your employees, you could have a ‘Highlights’ page where you post about individuals’ effective team work or strong organisation, for example, and each employee mentioned on the page could go into a monetary prize draw at the end of the month. 5. Keep tabs on your employees’ work/life balance  Remember that it should never be all work and no play. Another reason for employee attrition is when work overwhelms everything else in your employees’ lives and the all-important work/life balance becomes thrown off or disappears altogether. Long hours and relentless schedules can worryingly result in employee burnout, which often means losing your best team members to a better-balanced workplace.  There are smaller things that can be done, such as ensuring staff take their lunch break instead of working through it, but also consider offering flexible working hours, too. 6. Give them more responsibility  Is your employee lazy or bored? If you find yourself questioning an employee’s mind-set, it will often be the case that they’re feeling unproductive or demotivated because their role is too easy.  Don’t under-use your staff! Hand over more responsibility wherever you can. If you’re unsure what type of extra responsibility to give employees, ask what they’re interested in, what else they’d like to learn and what they like to do outside of work. Maybe they could spend two hours per week in the company’s marketing department, taking responsibility for some of the advertising content? This would be sure-fire way of providing more responsibility and offering more room for personal and workplace development. Put these six steps into action and you’ll notice that your employees are happy and motivated. Running a company is all about maintaining productivity as well as thinking about each employee as an individual with their own aspirations. Career prospects, a reliable rewards system, genuine communication and giving credit will provide a firm basis for great working relationships.  If you’re a business looking for a recruitment agency in Northampton or Milton Keynes, contact Ascendant Recruitment today. Email or call 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) / 01604 439380 (Northampton).


Why Should Businesses Use Recruitment Agencies?

Posted on: 11 Dec 2018, admin

In our previous post ‘What value does a good agency add?’ we considered the main reasons a business might team up with an agency to support their recruitment strategy. As we have discovered, there are numerous advantages to working with a good recruitment agency, including: Access to highly-skilled candidates Saves business time (and money) Most agencies have an in-depth knowledge of sector/industry Salary benchmarking (based on our market knowledge) To complete the blog series, we spoke with our Managing Director Nick Peacock, to ask more specific questions on the subject. Nick established Ascendant Recruitment in 2003, and since then, it’s grown to house a team of 15 highly-skilled consultants who work within a number of divisions including Office Support, Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, Warehousing and Sales and Marketing. Why should businesses use recruitment agencies? First and foremost, working with an efficient and reputable agency will save you time. It’s a proven cost-effective method that will enable you (and your business) access to candidates that aren’t advertising themselves on a job board. We often find that the best people for our roles are people who aren’t necessarily looking for a new role, but will move if a great role is placed in front of them. How can clients identify a good, credible 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. Is it best to use an agency that’s local to you? Not necessarily but we tend to become extensions of our clients’ HR departments and like to be close. But ultimately this depends on how your own business functions and whether any of the roles can be done remotely (where the candidate works from home), or if they need to be in-house at all times. Some candidates are willing to travel for work, such as commuting into London, if the position is right. Ask the agency for examples of the type of roles they’ve filled that are similar to yours. How do agencies normally advertise roles? What are the most effective forms of advertising? In my experience, I’ve always found that word-of-mouth is the best. At Ascendant Recruitment, we try to utilise various forms of advertising, such as our own website, job boards and open events, and we are doing a lot more recruitment via Facebook now. Recently we hosted an ‘after hours’ event at an independent coffee shop, where our team of recruiters met with local candidates to discuss job opportunities. This was a nice way to meet candidates face-to-face in a comfortable and relaxed setting. How do agencies normally negotiate salaries with the client? Who pays what? Clients normally fix the salary but sometimes they look to us to guide them as we know the local market so well. The client pays a fee based on the permanent salary offered to the candidate. When we supply temporary candidates, we do so at a ‘margin’. Do agencies offer industry insight? How does this benefit the client in the long-run? We have a wider view of the marketplace and can help you to put a solid recruitment strategy into place. We can pull our knowledge of the candidate and local market together to give you the best results possible and to advise you about what you can realistically achieve with your budget. We can tell you what our other clients have experienced and we can help to guide you to get the best possible results. We hope this blog series provided you with an insight into understanding the advantages of working with a recruiter. Whether you’re a job-seeking candidate or a business looking to hire fresh talent, we wish you the best of luck with your search!


Should Businesses Look to Agencies for Added Value?

Posted on: 07 Dec 2018, admin

There is a perennial question that detractors of our industry ask: What value do agencies add? We have long been used to the many conflicting views surrounding recruitment agencies. Businesses and job-seekers continue to question their value when it comes to finding employment and recruiting candidates. Contrary to the belief of recruitment sceptics, many businesses are continuing to rely on agencies to access highly-skilled, talented employees and to recruit more general members of staff. Most businesses understand the huge value of outsourcing recruitment to professionals whilst leaving their own team to concentrate on their key value-adding duties. As such, the recruitment industry still plays a vital role in the job market when it comes to sourcing the best talent and placing candidates in new roles. In our latest blog series, we are looking at the advantages of using recruitment agencies, whether as a client or candidate. Our last piece focused on the benefits from the candidates’ perspective, but today we’re considering the main reasons more businesses are choosing to work with agencies. Access to highly-skilled candidates, often at short notice Agencies tend to cover a broad range of job types, including temporary and permanent roles, contractors, freelancers and part-time and full-time positions. This means you’re able to access candidates with various backgrounds, working styles and availability. If you’re looking to fill a temporary position, perhaps, for example, you need to cover maternity leave, then agencies can tap into their candidate database and match you with the most suitable individuals. Most consultants use key words – administrator, customer service advisor, HR administrator, sales administrator, credit controller, finance assistant – to optimise their search and cherry-pick the right person for the role. Sector expertise and knowledge The best recruiters have extensive knowledge of their particular sector and market. They should have expertise in the following areas: Ability to access the best talent Knowledge of current salary rates Understand their candidates career expectations Awareness of required skills and competencies for a particular role Up-to-date knowledge of industry, including the main challenges, trends and forecasts etc. Good recruiters will work with you, listen to your needs and be able to offer suggestions based on their understanding of the market. They should also have a demonstrated history of placing candidates in suitable roles. If you’re unsure of the legitimacy and credibility of a particular agency, check their website and the clients listed. You can always get in touch directly and ask for specific examples and testimonials from happy clients. Salary benchmarking based on market knowledge Recruitment agencies offer businesses guidance on salary expectations. They use salary data and local market knowledge to extract information that will directly inform the recruitment process. Time-saving (so you can focus your energy elsewhere) It can take businesses a huge amount of time and money to find the right employee. If you factor in the money spent on advertising roles, and the hours it takes to read CVs, cover letters and interview candidates, it can be hugely disruptive to your working day and cause major set-backs. It’s also risky as major roles don’t get filled.  This wasted time and money cannot be recovered in contrast to an agency who only charge (if they are working on a contingency basis) when they have successfully secured a person who has started the work. If you’re looking to fill a role quickly, agencies are the most effective, fool-proof solution. Recruiters screen, filter and profile candidates to ensure they have the skills and competencies required for each position. Individuals registered with agencies usually rank higher than your average job-seeker. If you’re looking to use an agency: Shop around, read reviews and research the best agencies (both local and regional) that represent your sector Use an REC member recruitment agency, as this will ensure the agency adheres to all legal requirements and best practice If you can, arrange to meet with the agency face-to-face Seek out agencies that are proactive when it comes to recruiting candidates. At Ascendant Recruitment we have started running ‘after-hours’ socials, to meet with potential candidates and assess their suitability for our client-base. For further information, read our previous blog post on How to choose the right agency.


What Value Does a Good Agency Add?

Posted on: 04 Dec 2018, admin

If you’re looking for a new job, the prospect of finding work and updating your CV, LinkedIn and various other platforms can be demotivating. Job-hunting is exhausting, especially if you’re juggling it alongside work, studying and raising a family.  An increasing number of us are seeking the help of recruitment agencies for extra support. But what value does a credible agency add? How do job-seekers benefit? And can it really help accelerate your job search?  What are the main benefits for job-seekers? There are a number of benefits to signing up with a recruitment agency. Firstly, it can alleviate some of the pressure; a good consultant is proactive, hardworking, efficient and will match you with suitable roles and crucially tell you about roles that aren’t visible yet.    Recruitment agencies are there to ensure job-seekers achieve their career goals by placing them in appropriate roles. A good agency will benchmark their candidates against others and suggest skills that might increase their chances of employment.   Most recruiters have in-depth knowledge of a particular employment sector or industry, whether that’s creative industries such as publishing and marketing, or operation-led roles, such as warehousing and logistics.  Finally, if you’re represented by a credible agency, then it’ll work in your favour as it’ll give you a competitive advantage. If the agency and client have a good working relationship, then you already stand a far greater chance than you would as a stand-alone candidate, most notably because the recruiter will have a huge amount of inside knowledge about the client that they can provide and by providing specific pre- and post-interview feedback. It’s also worth noting that if your CV doesn’t jump off the page, a good recruiter may secure an interview while your CV alone may not have.  How can I find the right recruitment agency? If you’re considering signing up to an agency, it’s important to do your research first. Shop around and try to meet the recruiter face-to-face. Ask plenty of questions about their client-base and the types of roles they advertise.   Most reputable agencies pre-screen their candidates. This tends to be an informal conversation about your career goals and work experience. It may include some basic competency tests to gauge your level and suitability for specific roles.   The recruiter will ask for specific information regarding the type of role you’re looking for. It’s important to consider your answers beforehand, as this will improve your chances of being matched with the right role.  You should be able to confidently answer the following questions:  Finally, be ready for a good recruiter to question your motivation to move roles.  Will a recruitment agency improve my chances of employment? Recruitment agencies enable candidates to easily access a wide range of clients in their particular industry, gain interviews more easily and be informed about roles that aren’t placed into the mainstream.  Some agencies work with small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and therefore can have access to local business opportunities. Whereas other agencies may have a broader client-base that covers a number of areas and regions.  Once you’ve met with a consultant and discussed your options, they might suggest some ‘next-steps’ to help you improve your chances of getting work. This may include CV tips, developing skills or gaining voluntary experience (if you’re considering a career change) or remaining where you are! They will know if your situation is actually a good one.  Remember: consultants will only put you forward for a role if your application is strong enough and covers all the key areas and their clients’ demands and expectations will often change through the process. Every time a consultant recommends a candidate, their reputation is at stake.   What if I’ve been out of work?  If you’ve been out of work, this can impact your self-confidence as an individual. Consultants understand this. It’s their job to offer encouragement and support throughout the process.   Most agencies offer professional guidance and practical suggestions to help you get back to work. This may include interview tips, help with CV-writing and general advice when it comes to understanding a specific industry. For more tips, please see our previous blog post on writing a CV when you have been out of work. If you’re considering a career change, consultants may look at your job history and suggest an appropriate field or role. Most skills are transferrable and can be utilised in a number of ways.   If you have a particular role in mind, then your consultant should be able to advise on this and suggest any skills that are vital for the position. You should then look into gaining these skills, be it through work experience, internships, online tutorials, or additional study. If you’re interested in a new role, we are actively recruiting and need candidates for both permanent and temporary roles across Milton Keynes and Northampton. Please email your CV over to or call the team on 01908 270200 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton).   


Global Entrepreneurs’ Week: 15 Things I’ve Learned in 15 Years

Posted on: 21 Nov 2018, admin

It's Global Entrepreneurs' Week this week, so here's a post from our archives about running a successful business. At Ascendant Recruitment, we recently hit a huge landmark – 15 successful years in business! I wanted the focus of this blog to be around what I’ve learned in business over the last 15 years. Lots has changed in business over the past 15 years – I started Ascendant Recruitment before everyone had smart phones and Facebook – imagine that! I’ve personally learned a lot throughout the years and wanted to share 15 things I’ve learned in 15 years. So, here it goes... 1.  Invest in yourself When you run your own business, there is no training department, appraisal system or boss to breathe down your neck! You need to constantly push yourself. Make the time to take courses, find people you can learn from and who will inspire you and, if you can afford it, hire a business coach to help you take your business to the next level. 2.  Cash really is king You need to be really good at credit control. You may be the most talented person in your field, but if you don’t have good cash flow, your business will fail. This article shows that 90% of small businesses fail because of cash flow. 3.  Be clear on what you stand for Ascendant Recruitment is deliberately different, and we pride ourselves on providing an excellent service to businesses in our local area. I have built this reputation up in Milton Keynes and Northampton alongside the excellent team I have working with me and, to be successful, you need to recruit people who buy into your vision. 4.  Surround yourself with the best people you can find I have a great team of consultants and support staff at Ascendant Recruitment – you can learn more about them on our website. 5.  If you can’t change your people, change your people This is a great quote by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great. What Jim is saying is: try to develop your people to embrace your vision and goals, but if you have to admit defeat then you’ll need to change the person by replacing them. When I’m recruiting within my own team, I’m really clear about my business goals and I’ve been really lucky to have been able to recruit a team that really ‘get’ where Ascendant Recruitment is going. 6.  Selling = listening It’s true: you have two ears and one mouth! Listening is a very hard skill, believe it or not. Pay attention to the choice of words that somebody uses and their body language. Not what you’ve got to tell them next! 7.  Be obsessive about what your customers say This goes back to the earlier point. Customers are such a wealth of information – failing to listen to what they’ve got to say is the worst mistake you can make in business. 8.  Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint Some of the biggest companies started out being based in people’s homes (Apple, Disney, Google). Author JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series was turned down multiple times. You won’t achieve overnight success but, if you have a strong plan, pace yourself by setting some realistic goals and keep going. You’ll get there (but only if you’ve sorted out your cash flow!) 9.  Remember you can do anything but not everything Make sure you’re using your time as wisely as possible. If you’re a great salesperson but rubbish at administration, get out there and sell and outsource your admin! If you can’t afford to pay somebody full-time, consider a virtual assistant. Find somebody through the Society of Virtual Assistants website. 10.  Make sure you have at least one win everyday If you’ve got your plan and set yourself a daily goal, make sure you strive to achieve something every day. Sometimes, my win is to secure a new client, sometimes it might be something personal, like leaving the office on time. 11.  Not all business is good business It’s really hard to turn business away when it’s your own company. But if a client or candidate doesn’t fit in with your values as a business, then it’s better in the long run to turn away and let them be a bad customer for somebody else. 12.  Build a business that you want This goes back to the point about knowing your values and the type of company you want to be. You need to be profitable and deliver a service that the market wants but be true to yourself and passionate about the business that you’re running – this will lead to success. 13.  Beware of toxic people There have been many times in the last 15 years that I’ve met someone, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what didn’t feel right about them. Generally, they had their own self-interests to serve so try to avoid these people! If somebody wants you to do something for nothing, then they won’t value what you’ve got to give – trust your instincts! 14.  Get a coach I mentioned this earlier. Not everybody can afford it, but as a business owner, it’s really tough without a boss to guide you. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes is a good thing for your business – there could be an easy win that you can’t see because you’re too close to it. If a coach is unaffordable, try to find an accountability buddy – somebody who can spur you on to achieve more who perhaps works in the same sector but in a different location. Make sure you use an accountant who can give you good business advice. And don’t forget LinkedIn – find someone who has been there and done it and ask for their help. Lots of business owners, if approached politely, will be generous with their time. 15.  Every setback is an opportunity I’m incredibly passionate about setbacks being an opportunity for greater things. As the old saying by Churchill goes: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts.” In business, there will be things that knock you down. In my second month of trading, my main client went bust and owed me £5,000. It put me in a really difficult position (note again the point about cash flow). But I used it as an opportunity to do more and do better next time. And 15 years later, I’m still learning these lessons but I’m still here! If you’ve enjoyed this blog post, we’d love to send you our regular updates – subscribe to the blog here to find out the latest news and views from the Ascendant Recruitment team. We are a growing team – if you’re interested in a role as a consultant in our Northampton or Milton Keynes office, please drop us a line at  We’re looking for full-time and part-time roles and are offering a £1,000 incentive! Best wishes, Nick Peacock Managing Director Ascendant Recruitment


Looking for work when you’re facing redundancy

Posted on: 07 Nov 2018, admin

Timing is everything and sadly as we approach Christmas once again we hear that redundancies are occurring in Milton Keynes. Whilst there’s never a good time to be made redundant we think the run-up to Christmas is possibly the worst? This is a stressful time for the individual involved and their family and whilst you’ll be counselled that this is a business decision, we understand that you cannot help but take the decision personally. The good news is, that lots of companies are hiring new staff. We’ve got great roles working for some of the best employers in Milton Keynes.  Our clients are looking for administrators, call centre staff, collections advisors, team leaders, payroll administrators and customer service executives. So, if you are facing redundancy, please get in touch with our team on 01908 200270 and we can talk to you about some of the roles we are looking to fill straight away!  We’d equally like to hear from you if you’re not being made redundant but you’d like to know what we can do to help you. We’ve written some blog posts in the past which may be useful for you if you are facing redundancy: How to write a CV when you have been out of work Life after redundancy – what next? Please seek advice from your HR team if you are facing redundancy so that you get the best possible package to set you up once you leave work.  And speak to your line manager to discuss the possibility of time off to meet with agencies and attend interviews during your last few weeks at work.  Our team can be really flexible about meeting up with candidates so that we can register you for roles and start job hunting on your behalf. We have a broad scope of live vacancies, both on a temporary and permanent basis. So if you are looking for a temporary position to pay the bills whilst you think about your next move or if you are looking for the right permanent option, our clients are actively looking today and we want to hear from you!


Parent’s Week 2018

Posted on: 22 Oct 2018, admin

We’re coming to the end of Parent’s Week (17-23rd October), so we thought we’d take a look at the issues working parents continue to face, and offer ways to help reduce stress. The benefits of flexible working Some parents choose to opt for a flexible learning set-up, which allows them to better manage the daily responsibilities of being a parent. All employees have the legal right to request flexible working. So if this is something that interests you, then speak to your line manager or HR team to discuss your options. There are plenty of studies that suggest flexible working is not only a practical solution for many, but also increases levels of productivity. For more information, you can read our previous blog on the issue: Why flexible working can increase productivity. Know your parental rights As a working parent, knowing your entitlements is key. Employers should be supportive and allow an amount of flexibility (within reason), when it comes to parental responsibilities and balancing this with the demands of work. There will be times when you have to drop everything for your child, whether it’s to collect them from school or the nursery due to sickness or childcare falling through. You can take time off work (unpaid) to deal with any unexpected issues or emergencies involving your children. For further information on your parental rights, visit Families Online or for professional advice. How to reduce guilt as a working parent Most parents experience guilt at some stage, especially when it comes to balancing home life and pursuing a career. Parents can find the prospect of returning to work following maternity or paternity leave both distressing and upsetting. It’s normal to feel this way, especially as you’ve spent weeks or months bonding with your new baby. Guilt can be incredibly stressful, particularly when you have meetings, deadlines and projects to focus on. Read our blog post on how to reduce guilt as a working parent here: Five tips for reducing the guilt of being a working mum Self care: hints and tips for working parents These days, people are adopting various strategies when it comes to reducing stress and practicing self-care. We are told to look after ourselves, eat well, exercise regularly, meditate, the list goes on. But what if you’re a parent with children to wash, dress and feed? You’re not alone. In fact, there are a number of useful tips on self-care methods for parents that are both practical and achievable. These include the following: Arrange for childcare and schedule 1 hour per week for a coffee and chat with a close friend. Take a brisk walk in the park and listen to a podcast. This is a great way to get exercise, fresh air and engage in an interesting debate or topic of choice. Call a friend, parent or loved one. Keep a journal and write for a few minutes each night - it's a lovely way to unwind and clear your mind for a good night’s sleep.  


How to write a CV when you’ve been out of work

Posted on: 11 Oct 2018, admin

CV and resume writing is a skill in itself. For most people, writing about themselves doesn’t come naturally. It requires a strong sense of self-awareness and the ability to think objectively. It can feel uncomfortable, in the same way that presenting yourself in an interview might feel awkward and contrived. Writing a CV can be even more challenging if you’ve taken time off work. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether you should mention a career break in your CV, or pretend it didn’t happen and leave it out entirely. What is classed as a career break? Firstly, it’s important to identify whether your time-off was in fact a career break. For example, if you left a job without a new one to go to, and you’re actively looking for work, then this isn’t career break. Similarly, if your role has recently been made redundant and you have been looking for work, then you don’t need to mention this in your CV either. Generally speaking, a career break is when an individual decides to not work for a prolonged period of time – usually three months or more. People usually take time off due to personal reasons. The most common instances are the following: Childcare – this is more common due to the increasing childcare costs Career change – for example studying, becoming a freelancer, or taking time off to explore a business idea Chronic illness – including treatment for physical and mental health problems, operations and recovery time Family bereavement – supporting a loved one, dealing with grief following the death of a family member or friend Travel – going travelling before settling down, taking a sabbatical. How should I mention my career break? If you choose to mention your career break and the reasons for this, it’s important to keep if brief, succinct and remain positive. Avoid going into too much detail. Simply state your reason for taking the time off, such as ‘volunteered at an orphanage with a charitable project’ or ‘cared for an elderly relative’, and include the period of time. It’s likely you gained new skills during your career break and have plenty of examples that you could use constructively. You may wish to include these in your CV to show any key competencies learnt, or you could simply save these for the interview stage. Make a list of any skills developed during this period. For example, if you cared for a loved one, then it might be that you developed social and communication skills. These are all classed as ‘soft skills’, which are desirable to employers, as it demonstrates your willingness to work as a team. What information doesn’t have to be disclosed? If you were recently made redundant, were on a zero-hours contract or were fired from your previous position, you don’t have to disclose this information on your CV. Simply put the start and finish date of your position, including details of the role itself, and treat it as any other job or previous experience. Instead, it’s best to focus on the skills and achievements gained during each post. If your reasons for leaving come up at interview stage (e.g. being fired), it’s important you tell the truth and be totally honest about any problems you encountered. Instead of focusing on why you were fired, it’s best to reflect on what could have done differently, and how you would approach the new role. Try not to dwell on the reasons for leaving your previous position, as this could impact your chances of further employment. We all learn from our past experiences (and failures), and it’s the challenges and shortcomings that enable us to grow as individuals. Any more tips or advice? Once you’ve written your CV and made any relevant changes, ask a friend to proofread it for any grammatical errors or inconsistencies. If you have a contact in recruitment or someone in the same industry of work, then utilise this and ask if they’d be happy to read it through. For more tips on this subject, read our previous posts: How to cover employment gaps on your CV and Thirteen top tops for improving your CV to help you build a professional CV and resume. Ascendant Recruitment is an innovative and forward thinking recruiter that has helped numerous candidates get back on the career ladder. If you’d like to speak to one of our team to get some help with your job search see our website for contact details.  


Meet Ascendant Recruitment – After Hours

Posted on: 26 Sep 2018, admin

Are you currently working in an admin or customer services role in Milton Keynes and think you’d like a new opportunity – and earn more money? Ascendant Recruitment are hosting an event to help people in Milton Keynes find bigger and better roles! With over 15 years’ recruitment experience, we have relationships with some of MK’s best employers, including Mercedes Benz, VW, BSI and Join us at Fourth & Fifth on Thursday 11th October from 6-8pm to find out how you can take the next step in your career (and get a pay-rise before Christmas). Find out what our best clients are looking for from their staff FREE CV CLINIC – bring your CV in to us and we’ll help you to make it amazing!  Bring it on a memory stick, tablet, laptop or even on a piece of paper! Find out how to ace at interviews – we’ve got loads of hints and tips to help you wow your future employer BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE Check out our latest Google review - we got Deborah a new role in just over a week of applying! Super impressed !!!!! I would like to say a huge thanks to Sue - I signed up with Ascendant on the Wednesday and to be honest I'd worked in a production role for 8 years - I had also worked in Retail / office work / dental nurse and really didn't know what I could do or what direction my previous experience would take me. After speaking to Sue I felt very reassured - she was going to look at my skills and we would go from there. I left the office feeling very positive. I got a phone call Monday /Tuesday from Sue hoping that I didn't mind my CV being passed on to one of their clients and he would be interested in having an informal chat. I went along 3 days later and was offered a job!  I can't thank Sue enough." We look forward to meeting you on Thursday 11th October from 6-8 pm at Fourth & Fifth. Please book a ticket so that we know who’s coming but the sessions are informal on a drop-in basis. Ascendant Recruitment


Bullying in the workplace: What to do?

Posted on: 21 Sep 2018, admin

The definition of bullying is when an individual or group of people with more power, repeatedly and intentionally cause harm to an individual or group of people. We assume this type of behaviour is left at the school gates; that bullying is a problem which only affects the younger generation and won’t be tolerated in adulthood. But this isn't always the case. In 2016, a study revealed that 75% of workers are affected by bullying. Bullying in the workplace can be incredibly distressing for those involved. It can affect mental health, self-esteem, and if left unresolved, the victim may decide to terminate their contract of employment. At Ascendant Recruitment, we wanted to write about this topic as it’s an issue that affects many individuals and businesses, big or small. It’s important to deal with each case in a professional and sensitive manner. So what can employers do to prevent bullying in the workplace? What procedures should be in place to protect staff and minimise conflict? Ahead of World Day of Bullying Prevention on the 1st October, and to shed some light on the issue, we spoke to Sarah Neyland, the MD of People Tower Ltd, an HR consultancy based in Milton Keynes. Sarah has over 30 years’ experience in HR, and works with smaller businesses advising on disciplinarians and dismissals. How often do you come across cases that involve harassment or bullying in the workplace? "It’s more prevalent with larger businesses as there’s less transparency and it tends to be impersonal. In my experience, smaller businesses suffer less." What are most common examples you’ve seen? "The majority of cases involve disputes between older managers with younger staff. I’ve worked a lot in the manufacturing industry, and have seen cases where managers have been vocally aggressive to staff. There’s a real dichotomy between old-fashioned management techniques versus the procedures in place today. This causes resentment and conflict." "Discrimination is easier to deal with, as it’s evidence-based and there’s less of a grey area. If someone has made racist or sexist comments, for example, they are easier to report and most workplaces have anti-discrimination policies in place that are effective prevention measures. However, bullying can be hidden and is not as transparent." What advice you’d give to someone experiencing bullying in the workplace? "Talk to somebody. If you’ve got an HR department go to them and start keeping a diary. The more facts you have recorded the easier it is to use as evidence. It’s also important you get as much support from colleagues as possible." What advice would you give to an employer? "Investigate the issue properly. Look into the case and act sensitively and professionally. Try and find as many objective ways to gather evidence, such as speaking to employees who might have witnessed the bullying." "Talk to the individual affected (in a private space) and try and understand the case. Who else was in the room? Was there CCTV etc.? Be gentle with people. Try and get them to be honest." "Make sure you have a basic policy in writing or procedure in place, and that there’s an HR advisor to report to. Seek advice where needed. Make it clear that bullying and harassment won’t be tolerated." Ask yourself the following questions: Are you creating a safe, protected and supportive culture? What can you do to improve the work environment? Who can you speak to for objective, trusted advice on the issue? If an employee has escalated the issue to HR, but is dissatisfied with the support, where should they go next? "Speak to someone who is sympathetic and more senior than yourself – perhaps a line manager or head of department." "Alternatively, there are a number of helpful tools online, such as the Acas helpline which offers free and impartial advice. If you’re looking to take your case to employment tribunal, you can call the Tribunals helpline on 0808 800 2222." "For businesses and employers who are looking for further HR support, People Tower Ltd is a local boutique business that offers consultancy services. CIPD also provide useful tools, content and case law on bullying and harassment in the workplace." Finally, we asked our MD Nick Peacock for his thoughts on bullying in the workplace. What advice would you give to someone who has experienced bullying in their previous role, but is interviewing for a new position elsewhere? "I would always advise that any description of bullying is not raised in an interview. Discuss the most cogent reason for you moving on from your last role [with your recruiter] and stick to that when you are interviewed." "It's important to put the bullying in context, because typically it's one person administering the bullying. It’s best to be professional and focus on the new role itself and why you’re suitable as an applicant. Try and view it as a fresh start!"