The COVID-19 pandemic has created some truly difficult times for people around the world, but those who have lost their jobs due to the resulting economic downturn, are among those who have been most seriously impacted. If this relates to you, these developments can feel devastating — but there are steps that you can take to accelerate your journey back into employment. In most cases, those who have been made redundant as a result of COVID-19 will not have lost their jobs due to any problems with their job performance or capabilities. As such, even though the current jobs market may seem demanding, it is important to remember that your credentials are just as impressive as they ever were. Those in this position should take a moment to consider a few simple pieces of advice that could potentially help them to get their career back on track as soon as possible. Make the right preparations when leaving your current role If you have only recently received the news that you will be made redundant from your role, you are likely to still be experiencing some shock. However, it may be helpful to realise that there are steps you can take to ease your transition into the next phase of your career, even before you leave your current post. For many, a key priority will be to ensure that their immediate financial future is as secure as possible, which means making sure that your current employer is paying you all the money that you are entitled to. This may include: Redundancy pay Your final salary payment Any pay in lieu if you are not working your full notice period Any remaining holiday pay you are due to receive Outstanding bonuses, commissions or expenses If you have worked for your employer for at least two years at the end of your notice period, you may also be entitled to ask for some paid time off to apply for jobs or go on training, so it is worth investigating these options to see if they are available to you. Take some time to consider your career direction Once you have left your previous role, the temptation may well be to launch yourself back into an identical or similar role as quickly as possible. However, it could be worth your while to take some time and consider whether there are any alternative career directions that may suit you better. Ask yourself the following questions: Were you truly happy in your previous role? Would you want your next role to be similar? Are there any alternative roles that you could pursue in a related field, using transferable skills from your previous job? Would you be interested in changing your career path completely? What kind of new skills and qualifications would you need to accomplish this, and how long would these take to acquire? Are you willing to explore a new type of working? For example, would you be keen to go from a full-time role to freelancing, or to start your own business? When you are involved in the day-to-day responsibilities of a full-time job, it can be hard to find the time and mental space to consider these questions, so, in this respect, you may be able to use the current situation as a rare opportunity to change your direction. Update your CV and LinkedIn profile These are obvious steps to take whenever you are looking for a new role, but should nevertheless be considered top priorities, especially if you have not updated these profiles for a number of years. Both your CV and LinkedIn profile should be expanded to include all of your most recent roles and work experience. Your CV in particular should focus on creating a concise, easily scannable profile of your professional credentials, and needs to be tailored specifically to the requirements and focal areas of the job for which you are applying. If you have made the decision to change your career pathway, this may require you to revise your current CV and professional profiles more extensively, making sure to highlight the transferable skills from your previous role that qualify you for your new choice of career. Review and reach out to your business contacts The purpose of building up a network of business contacts over the course of a career is to generate new opportunities and chances to collaborate when the time is right. Now that you are looking for new opportunities, it may be a good time to reach out and see if any of these prospects are worth cultivating. Reviewing your list of contacts may be a good way of discovering career opportunities that are not being actively advertised, or give you an advantage in an application process due to an existing relationship with the right people. In the current circumstances, a friendly contact is likely to be sympathetic to the reasons for your redundancy, and may be able to find ways of assisting your job search. Look into skills training and coaching Being out of the workforce could give you a perfect opportunity to take some time to upskill yourself, whether this is to enhance your application for a position in your current industry, or to earn the qualifications you need to pursue a brand new role. This may involve enrolling on a college-based vocational training course, taking up a personalised career coaching programme, or exploring one of the many free and paid training courses available to home-based learners online. The latter option may be particularly suitable in the current circumstances, allowing you to expand your skills in your own time without the need for face-to-face interactions. By completing a vocational course, you will be able to earn formal qualifications that can enhance your CV and make your application that much stronger. Sign up with a recruitment agency Knowing where to look for career opportunities is a challenge at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a pandemic and economic downturn. As such, many candidates will be looking to sign up with a professional recruitment agency to make the job hunting process easier and less complex. Partnering with a recruitment specialist can help to get you back into work quicker by giving you a centralised database of potential vacancies to browse online, as well as allowing you to sign up for alerts based on your specific skills, credentials and preferences. These agencies have direct connections with leading employers on the lookout for promising applicants, potentially giving you access to roles that are not advertised elsewhere. Recruitment Consultants will also work to get to know you and your capabilities in depth, helping them to identify different opportunities that will suit you perfectly. Not only will this save you time, but it will also give you a significant advantage in finding the right role. By following all of these pieces of advice, you should be able to greatly increase your chances of securing a new role after your redundancy, ensuring that you will quickly be back on a positive career trajectory as the UK begins its own recovery from the COVID-19 disruptions. If you would like some help or advice on searching for a new role, get in touch, we would be more than happy to talk to you. You can also search our current jobs here.
Employee wellness is something that Sellick Partnership has been working on for some time and is very important to us as a business. We want to create an environment where people enjoy coming to work and have all the support they need to do well. Find out what Sellick Partnership’s Internal Talent and Wellness Manager Simon Briffa thinks about employee wellness, and some of the things we have introduced over the years. Understanding employee wellness Before you can implement an employee wellness programme, first, organisations need to understand what employee wellness actually means. By definition, employee wellness initiatives are a form of health benefit that employers provide – in one form or another. Basically, employee wellness plans are designed to help keep employees healthy, happy and motivated in work. Without them businesses can lose out on talent, something that we cannot afford to do. That is why employee wellness should be something that every business should be considering, especially now as workplace pressures rise. It is no longer enough to simply offer a great salary and good benefits. Companies need to show that they care for the welfare of their employees and implement strategies to support them both professionally and personally. Here are some of the things we have successfully introduced at Sellick Partnership. Flexible working Flexible working is one of the first things businesses should consider when trying to implement an employee wellness programme. Expecting employees to work a 9am-5pm working day, five days a week, with very little breaks and respite is becoming a very archaic view. Nowadays, most candidates are looking for a role that offers some degree of flexibility. For example, we allow our employees to take a more tailored approach to their working day depending on their home commitments. One way we do this is by allowing employees to adapt their working hours to suit needs at home when needed – giving our staff greater control, whilst creating a sense of mutual trust. We also have a number of staff that work four days a week to assist with commitments at home. It is important however to ensure that any flexible working policies you introduce fit around business needs. For example, offering the option to work from home may not be advisable if your business relies on staff working collaboratively or as part of a larger team. Social events Everyone likes to relax, unwind and take the opportunity to socialise away from the office, which is why we organise a variety of social events throughout the year, including three big companywide events where we bring the whole business together. These are a great way of giving our employees some time to let their hair down (usually on company time) and allows us to show our appreciation for all the hard work they do. We also hold several team socials throughout the year, ranging from bake sales to other celebratory events and teambuilding activities. Events like this don’t have to break the bank either. Think about what sort of things you can do on your budget or speak to your staff and find out what activities they would like to do. Healthcare benefits and added support It is important to do all you can to ensure your employees have a healthy mind and body, especially if you are asking them to work long hours in a particularly stressful role. To help with this we have enrolled each of our people in Medicash. Medicash is a healthcare provider which operates as a not-for-profit company offering corporate healthcare and benefits. The plan lets employees claim money back on everyday healthcare costs including optical, dental, physiotherapy, hypnotherapy and chiropody. Something like this is a great way to give your staff access to additional support, and access to services they may not have considered otherwise. Encourage people to get away from their desks We also try to encourage our people to move away from their desks throughout the day where possible. To try and ensure this happens we have a number of breakout areas that we keep unoccupied during lunch times for employees to take some time away. It is important to ensure there is a space where employees can relax without the worries of work. We have also recently introduced walking meetings to encourage more people to get outside when not at their desks which is another great way of getting people moving whilst keeping productivity high. Wellness challenges Wellness challenges are also a great way of getting the whole business involved in something that is good for their health. We have previously hosted pedometer challenges and various charitable outdoor activities to try and get our people active. Not only do these spark people’s competitive nature, but they are also great at building team morale and giving people the push needed to do something that is good for their health and wellbeing. If you would like to find out more about the wellness initiatives at Sellick Partnership, you can check out the Work for Us section of our website.
The events of 2020 have undoubtedly challenged pre-existing concepts about the way we work, and prompted many businesses to reflect on their remote working policy. According to a recent survey from the British Council for Offices (BCO), most office workers don’t want to return to the office five days a week when the pandemic is over; with the majority planning on splitting their time between the workplace and home. This hybrid working model, with a mixture of in office and remote working is expected to become the norm for many businesses. With this in mind, we have outlined some of the technical challenges associated with hybrid working and some tools that could help bridge the work-home gap. Technology and ‘mixed reality’ As many of us found when we started working remotely last year, there is already a wealth of relatively simple tools designed available to help with the process. Almost overnight, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet became an essential part of the ‘new normal’ but as employers begin to look ahead there is going to be an inevitable shift towards newer technology and collaboration tools that promise an element of ‘mixed reality’ - where staff are able to interact in the same way whether together in the office or at home - to increase productivity, engagement and maintain relationships. How businesses can make the shift to this new software, without causing too much disruption and upsetting the careful working balance that has developed since March, is something that is going to become increasingly important as we move forward. Security We know that this shift to hybrid working presents a number of challenges for those in digital and IT roles, not only will they have to adopt a new approach to working but have found themselves having to manage an increased workload. In addition to their normal responsibilities, they need to consider a range of additional security factors, including staff using personal devices, increased data breaches and phishing attacks. It is inevitable that businesses will look to implement new technologies to help manage these risks in a hybrid work environment. But this shift can bring with it its own set of security challenges and it is vital that businesses identify potential risks before introducing new technology. As Mike Stentonas, Chief Technology Officer at cyber security company CrowdStrike, told the FT, he has seen businesses try and roll out systems and platforms over the course of a weekend that should take six months to plan, research and test - risking the cyber security architecture. Accessing and storing information How information is accessed and stored is a technical challenge for businesses looking to implement a hybrid working model. With staff working from home and some using personal devices, it is difficult to ensure that the same level of security and privacy is maintained. Research carried out by security firm Tessian found that since the start of the pandemic it has become increasingly common to see company information and files sent and shared between personal email accounts. In the same survey, the IT professionals asked said they were worried about remote employees not understanding the risks of connecting to unprotected networks - with 58% of employees admitted to considering or already having connected to public wi-fi. It is clear that additional training is required to make sure that employees understand the risks associated with remote working and the importance of ensuring information is being stored and shared in the most secure ways possible. Ultimately, the hybrid model is going to mark a shift away from traditional office-based working and therefore some challenges are to be expected. Over time, businesses will be able to educate their employees about the potential security risks of hybrid working and digital and IT professionals will become better equipped to manage technical challenges. The increased flexibility afforded by hybrid working provides a fantastic opportunity to reconsider previous recruitment practices and consider recruiting talent from further afield.
This Valentine’s day why not make a commitment to fall back in love with your work and dedicate some attention to your career. There are days in all our careers when we don't leap out of bed filled with joy about the forthcoming day at work. In fact, sometimes the idea of the coming week can mean that Sunday evening makes you anxious about what the next five days may hold. If you want to get more out of your career, it might be time to take stock and consider what the problem is in your relationship with work. After all, the only thing you will spend more time doing in your life is sleeping, and we all know how much we love that! Here are the top reasons most people fall out of love with work, and what you need to do to build a better relationship with your career. Are you bored? This is one of the most common reasons that people feel unsatisfied at work, and often it can creep up on you. Perhaps you have been in the business for a long time without any major changes to your remit or day-to-day activities. This is the perfect time to decide what you really want from your career. Why not think about your long-term goals and establish what skills gaps you might have in your experience that are hindering your chance to progress. For example, do you need to work on your communication skills or develop project management techniques? Or perhaps you need to take a more commercial approach? Either way, identify key areas you would like to develop, research internal and external training opportunities and book a meeting with your boss. A manager is never unhappy to hear that a member of staff wants to take on more responsibility and learn more. Are you struggling with your workload? Too much work can be highly stressful and can make you feel like it will never end. But rest assured you are not alone, and it can be managed. The key is to start prioritising and ask for help. Make a complete list of all the projects you are currently working on and a list of all deliverables in each project, including any deadlines involved. Then book a meeting with your line manager and ask to go through your current workload and to seek advice on prioritising. It is important to be clear, confident and professional whilst discussing this. State that you are concerned about ensuring quality and that your key focus is to ensure that whilst 'balls aren't dropped' the reputation of the team is not damaged. Talk about opportunities for delegation or collaboration with your team and make sure to book in follow up meetings and keep your manager appraised of any issues – but make sure it is before any deadlines are missed! Do you love your job, but are struggling with the commute? Is your job perfect, but the location not so good? If you have reached a point where a good book isn't enough to make the journey worthwhile, why not think about how you might be able to start working differently. The options are plentiful, and businesses are more open than ever to flexible working arrangements that will fit around your home life. Legally all employees can now request to work flexibly, and this could include: Working from home one or two days a week Reducing your hours – if it is financially viable Compressed working – working more hours for four days so you could take each Friday off Working from another location – perhaps there is another office or affiliate business where you could look at being based in. There is no harm in speaking frankly to your employer about this problem, they would rather look at new ways of working than lose a great member of staff which will cost far more in the long term. Have you fallen out of love with a colleague? Challenging relationships can be tough at the best of times, but this is particularly true at work. When you have reached a point where you or work is impacted then realistically there are two options. You can confront it head on or ignore it, and things that are left will never get sorted. Ask your colleague for a virtual coffee and diplomatically talk through your concerns. Never make accusations or refer to specific incidents, tactfully talk about how you have been feeling and suggest ways that this could be improved. That might be to have more regular meetings to ensure communication channels are open, or perhaps it is ensuring there is a process to make sure that work is not duplicated, and you can work well together. If you have tried this and can't seem to find a solution, then the second option is to speak to your manager. Be honest and keep it professional – you want your manager's support, not to get their back up. It might be that you could look at moving to another project, or working from a different desk, or perhaps your manager has seen similar issues with other staff and can advise ways for you to manage this difficult situation in the future. When all else fails… Perhaps you have reached a point where you are not able to find a solution or achieve any more in your current role, and you have exhausted all possibilities. In which case, it might be time for you to think about moving on. Some people change jobs immediately when they are unable to see a future there, whereas others dislike change. If you are the latter then there can be lots of reasons for you to stay, particularly security or relationships with colleagues, but if you aren't waking up with glee every morning, it might be time to admit that it's over. Remember, if this is what you are thinking it is not you, it's your job! With love in the air, now is the time to take that next step, if you're ready to make a move, check out the latest opportunities from Sellick Partnership here.
Over recent years, we have seen more discussion surrounding the need for leadership to better reflect the workforce as a whole. This push towards greater equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at board level, is already beginning to have a positive impact but there remains more to be done. While diversity and inclusion are closely linked, they are not one and the same. Diversity refers to the characteristics of people that remain unchanged, while inclusion is the practice of making all members of a business feel welcomed and valued. The benefits of striving for a diverse and inclusive workforce are noteworthy, research has shown that organisations with advanced EDI strategies perform better in a range of areas, including staff retention and profitability. Bringing together experienced industry professionals, with different backgrounds and career paths, has been proven to enhance creativity and critical thinking. A study by the Boston Consulting Group found that organisations with more diverse management teams reported revenues almost a fifth higher (19%) than those with below average diversity scores, due to greater innovation. Another competitive advantage of promoting EDI initiatives is that a team from diverse backgrounds will be able to approach problems in different ways. Being able to hear from a wider range of perspective will help ensure a more considered outcome. A strong focus on equality, diversity and inclusion can help attract better talent at every level. Organisations that prioritise diversity and promote inclusion are seen to be more ethical and socially responsible. A candidate will be more inclined to consider a business where they see themselves reflected in the leadership. The culture of an organisation is set at the top. Without a senior and executive team that adequately represents the organisation as a whole, there can be a lack of credibility and confidence in the longevity of any EDI policies being implemented. Increasing inclusion and diversity at board level has traditionally been challenging. Despite a range of initiatives and government-led reviews being in place, progress remains relatively slow. In 2020, The Parker Review found that 37% of FTSE 100 companies still did not have at least one person of colour as a director. And while 355 women sit on boards at the FTSE 100 – making up over a third of positions – The Hampton-Alexander Review noted there was still a lack of women in some senior and executive roles. It is clear that whilst organisations understand the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion at board level, implementing effective EDI policies when recruiting for the most senior positions can be challenging. Rethinking hiring strategies can be crucial when it comes to increasing diversity at a senior and executive level. As Sir John Parker, chair of The Parker Review, observed: “There are many more qualified and competent people from minority backgrounds out there in the UK and Internationally than we often believe; we just don’t meet them – and all too often our head-hunters aren’t introducing them to us.” Ultimately, finding the right candidates for these roles requires a new way of thinking and a different approach to HR. Working with a third party can help ensure objectivity and help challenge any preconceived notions about the ‘ideal candidate’ that might be impacting the recruitment process. If you a client looking to making a senior or executive level hire, or an experienced candidate and would like some help or advice on searching for a new role, please get in touch with us today to see how we might be able to help.