“Life of a newbie… after maternity!” A Safer Hand Solutions blog by Stacey Goode.

Life of a newbie… after maternity!

After having my darling little boy in December 2020, I enjoyed the relaxing morning lie-in cuddles, spending the day in my pj’s and loved the fact we had no routine. As time went by and my return-to-work date loomed, I knew that to make myself happy, I needed to look at new challenges with the possibility of a new career when it was time to return to work (after all the Prosecco had run dry on SMP).

I have always loved the idea of recruitment but having a lack of experience seemed to hold me back, I have done sales for 15 years and in my eyes, recruitment was similar but you are selling people instead of products. I saw the advert for Safer Hand Solutions (through being friends with the directors on good old Facebook) and having sent my CV to a few different places but not hearing back (as they all want ‘experience’) I thought I had nothing to lose but everything to gain. I got a call on the Monday to invite me to interview, just to get to know me, and straight away I thought – these are my kind of people, they want to get to know ME rather than just relying on experience.

An interview was daunting, I hadn’t had professional conversations for 9 months! What would I say are my biggest achievements? What are my weaknesses? Are they even going to like me? I walked in with my big girl pants on and sold ME. The fun, nice, loving side to me as well as the desire to achieve and passion for helping people. I love people (I can also dislike people as well – who doesn’t??) but the idea of assisting someone to establish a career, enjoy the job they are doing day in and day out and for some, just putting food on the table or enjoying the days out with their families. Jo and Rebecca were amazing, put me at ease straight away and even turned that weakness (the rejection from people) into a positive. I NEEDED THIS JOB AND TO WORK WITH THESE PEOPLE.

On the Wednesday, I waited all day to hear back and by the time 4pm came round, my stomach fell thinking I haven’t had the call so it is going to be a ‘No, sorry,not this time.’ However, when the call came in at 4.40pm and I was offered the position, I did my little dance in the kitchen with a giggling Teddy in my arms – his mum was happy and was looking forward to go back to work. A happy Mummy makes a happy Daddy and a happy baby.

From my first day, I felt immediately at home. By the 2nd day, I felt I had known the girls for months rather than a day and they have been an amazing support; taking me through the processes, the dreaded systems everyone just loves to learn (lol) and just about everything else I need to know to be the best Recruitment Resourcer I can be.

Baby brain is very real but trying to get your brain back into work after 9 months off AND into a brand-new role has been hard to adjust and I have felt overwhelmed at times thinking, am I learning this fast enough? Is it going in? Do they like me? HOWEVER, they have been the most fabulous girls, always there to answer my questions – No question is a stupid question so I’m told.

Its been hard leaving Teddy, he isn’t quite 9 months old but already standing, walking with a car or a box as support and trying to talk ( I grew him for 9 months, looked after him for 8 months and he repays me by shouting Da Da Da Da all the time – thanks for that kid!). I am lucky as he is being looked after by my sister and my mum, and has the best time with them as his cousin is 2 and she loves to look after him…and constantly tell her mum that he has taken his sock off again for the 12000th time that day! He is thriving so means I can fully focus on work when I am here.

I took a risk, and it is paying off so far. The only advice I would give is to believe in yourself – you can put your mind to anything. I am relishing this challenge and cannot wait to forge my new career with Safer Hand Solutions.

Rebecca, Jo and Holly (as well as the Safer Hand Care team) – thank you so much for making me feel so welcome, making me a brew just the way I like it and being there to teach me everything I need to know. You already feel like family. Let’s do this!!!!

Candidate Driven Market – Safer Hand Solutions Blog by Holly Goodwin

It’s not just Safer Hand Solutions that have been staring at the job boards blankly, asking “Where are all my candidates at?” – there seems to be a continuous trend across all recruitment of a shortage in qualified and actively-searching candidates.

But what does Candidate Driven Market mean, and how can you adapt?

Candidate Driven is essentially what it says on the tin – the candidates are in the driving seat as there are more open vacancies than there are people actively searching.

The applicant can therefore be a lot more conscious of who they interview with and where they accept – so it’s crucial that a company plays to their strengths and understands how they can best attract the right individual.

A few reasons could explain this slow down, mostly surrounding the recent pandemic.

·       Furlough scheme is still in place until September meaning if something happens, those in roles currently have the security of being eligible.

·       A lack of trust in the economy, with the news of several redundancies and company closures it may not be wise to move.

·       EU workers who have, as of yet, been unable to return to the country due to Covid restrictions.

·       Covid itself – is now the right time for those classed as vulnerable to move environment.

·       The sudden rise in open job vacancies has been incredibly dramatic.

According to a recent report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), there were 211,000 new job adverts posted in the first week of July 2021 – up from 181,000 in just May and only 81,455 in January.

Which, coupled with the availability of workers dwindling, has resulted in a huge discrepancy across the board.

As an employer, it may be time to review your process and increase your desirability to stand strong in the marketplace and attract those high calibre candidates.

·       Review your recruitment process – are you moving quick enough to keep up?

·       Compromise on what it is you’re looking for, from a candidate – don’t set your expectations too high and too limiting.

·       Understand the market you’re recruiting in and get to know your recruitment competition.

·       Review your salary package – are you offering above or below the average? Do you offer anything additional such as bonus, hybrid working, COVID safe operations, flexible working?

·       Review your interview techniques – are you showcasing the best parts of the company or putting people off?

·       Do you need the support of an agency to consult you, on your best way forward?

·       Be creative in your search – LinkedIn, Facebook, and even TikTok are becoming popular ways to attract those dormant candidates. Be a presence!

Once you have the perfect strategy calculated, you should find it easier to attract the right person. But don’t panic! We at Safer Hand Solutions are here to help and answer any questions you might have to help you get there.

Call us today on 01782 438115 (option 2) and ask for Holly, Rebecca or Jo.
Happy Recruiting!

Balancing a Career with Motherhood – A Safer Hand Solutions Blog by Rebecca Quilliam-Brown

As modern-day women, we are told that we can have it all…but can we?

Well, we can try, but it’s hard work.

There are times when I feel like I’m absolutely smashing balancing my career as a Recruitment Manager with being a Wife/Mother/Daughter/Friend/Functioning Human Being and then there are times when it’s just all too overwhelming and I need to press pause…or go and hide in a bubble bath with a glass of wine with the door bolted firmly shut.

During lockdown when we then had to add home-schooling to working from home, that overwhelming feeling was far more prevalent, especially considering I’d had another baby during the 1st lockdown which came with its own challenges. Returning to work after maternity leave, mid-pandemic, was a unique experience and I could not wait to get back into the office and resume a sense of normality. Don’t get me wrong, I count myself as incredibly fortunate to have a stable job that allowed me the flexibility to work from home, but I craved routine and adult company. Having to excuse myself from a zoom call to go and change a nappy, and constantly being interrupted by my 7 year old whilst trying to take a brief on a new job from a client was getting more than tiresome. I love my children more than life but being with them 24/7 for weeks on end was draining and my nerves were frazzled.

My 7 year old is highly inquisitive with no off-switch and verbal diarrhoea, and my 1 year old needs constant cuddles and cries whenever I leave the room. My Husband is a fantastic Father and life partner but he has a demanding, physical job and so is often exhausted from work himself. Maybe it would all be easier to manage if I took an easy little part time job? Maybe I should dedicate myself to being a full time, stay at home Mum? Maybe I’d rather shoot myself in the face.* I adore my family but I also love my job! I love being in the office with my amazing team and seeing them develop and thrive. I love the fantastic clients and candidates that I work with. I love the buzz of finding that perfect person for a hard to fill role or finding a candidate their dream job. I love what we have achieved so far, what we are trying to build and what the future looks like for Safer Hand Solutions. And do you know what…I love the challenge of trying to balance everything and have it all!

So to anyone else who sometimes struggles, or anyone who is about to embark on the whirlwind of balancing a career with motherhood, I offer this advice: Make time for yourself and do what you need to do to be happy and make life a little easier. Delegate at work and at home, get a babysitter, surround yourself with people that love you and vent at them when you need to. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself; acknowledge that you aren’t perfect, you will make mistakes and you can’t be in two places at once. Work hard, play hard, take a nap when you can. Learn to say no. Lock yourself in the bathroom with a bottle of wine. But don’t give up anything that you love. It’s so worth it.

When To Quit Your Job

There is a lot of talk in the press and on the socials currently about “The Great Resignation” – in brief, people who are actively looking for a new role or who have already changed jobs as part of a surge caused by the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recent survey found that 69% of workers are confident that they will secure a new role within the coming months; a frightening statistic for an employer, but what is causing this wave and are people just getting caught up in it? When is it a good time, or the right time, to quit your job?

In recruitment, it’s a conversation we have daily with our candidates; in fact, it’s often the very first question that we ask. Why are you looking to leave your current role? More often than not, it’s one of the following:

·      Money
·      Lack of progression
·      Culture

The pandemic has forced employees to reassess what is most important to them, and now work life balance/flexible or remote working opportunities are also common reasons for people looking to make a move – but I’d argue that this falls under the umbrella of company culture; do you feel trusted, valued and respected? If the answer is no, then ask yourself why. Do you enjoy the job you are doing? Do you not enjoy the role but you do like the company? Find out why your heart isn’t in it and go from there. Can you change anything about your current role that will make a positive difference to your situation?

Before I continue, I must make one thing clear – if you are working within a toxic environment that is affecting your mental health, or the pressure of your job is causing you extreme levels of stress and anxiety then leave immediately if not sooner. No job or amount of money is worth compromising your mental health.

However, some things are well within your control:

If you want more money and can prove that you deserve it, then ask for it. If you want a promotion and can prove that you deserve it, then ask for it. If you would like to upskill or focus more on one area of responsibility rather than another, then ask for it. If you are a valued, respected and trusted employee then more likely than not, your current company will want to keep hold of you and will do what they can to ensure you remain happy, productive and loyal. If you’re honest with yourself and haven’t really been pulling your weight…then now is the time to do something about it; prove yourself then ask for more.

Your head might be turned by more money, a fancier job title, or better perks but the grass is not always greener. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it definitely is – but if you throw in the towel before you’ve tried then you will never reach the loft heights of satisfaction and fulfilment. No job is ever perfect and we live in a society that constantly wants more, deserving or not – but you have to put the work in to reap the rewards.

If you’ve tried all this and you’re still not getting anywhere then absolutely, it is time to start looking for something better. If and when you do manage to find something that you are excited about and you pluck up the courage to hand your notice in, and at that point, your boss miraculously has a pot of money and opportunity and all the things that you’ve been asking for then please, please, please – tell them no, it’s too little, too late. If they didn’t value you enough when they had you, then this is never going to work out in the long run.

And this is where we come in….professional, compassionate and knowledgeable recruitment consultants that have heard it all.

Talk to us, tell us your joys and your pains; what do you love and what do you hate; be honest, be yourself and let us take it from here.